Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of JMS!
Since the first catalog 35 years ago, Just My Size has been dedicated to bringing you the best-fitting, most comfortable brands of hosiery, bras, panties, shapers and casual clothing – all designed to help you look and feel your best. JMS was and is America’s brand of choice for great fitting plus size intimates and apparel.
When L'eggs introduced JMS hosiery at retail in 1984, it constituted a seismic change in the fashion industry. JMS national advertising, showed beautiful, confident full-figured women usually on the arm of very handsome men, which stood out dramatically against the typical advertising of the time. One tagline read "Just My Size fits some of the most beautiful legs in the world." Women everywhere were delighted to see beautiful models wearing elegant fashions in larger sizes, in contrast to ads for plus size fashions from other retailers with headlines like, "Stout Women: Dress Fashionably Look Slender." We like to think that the body positivity movement had its inception in JMS hosiery advertising. The hosiery brand was called Just My Size by L'eggs and the packaging described it as "pantyhose for tall or fuller figures that looks terrific and are guaranteed to fit your legs perfectly. A special knitting process gives you extra stretch everywhere. Plus, the knit-in waistband stays up comfortably without binding."
Some of the very earliest JMS catalogs featured a brand of hosiery produced exclusively for JMS called True Delight, as well as a Hanes line called Fitting Pretty, both in sizes 1X-4X, as well as JMS pantyhose. The popularity of the JMS brand in stores soon led to JMS becoming the major hosiery line in the US for sizes 1X-4X. Those early catalogs also featured L’eggs panties, JMS lingerie, L’eggs Activewear and Bali & Glamorise bras. We still offer the Flower Bali Underwire Bra and Bali Double Support Bras. JMS hosiery included regular, light support, silky sheer control top and knee highs, just as it does today.
Women looked to their JMS catalog to fulfill more and more of their apparel needs. By 1993 and by popular demand, JMS casualwear was an important part of the mix in the JMS catalog. Tunic tops were popular. Casual dresses and sleepwear also made an appearance.
The Hanes Silk Reflections Plus collection was introduced in 1994. The ads said "Bigger is better. They’re finally here. Very silk, very sexy, very Silk Reflections. But not very small." By then, Playtex 18 Hour bras and shapewear had a major presence in the JMS catalog. JMS bras, JMS panties and JMS shapewear had also joined the mix, with sizes to 46DD. Bali offered a minimizer bra.
By 1998, the JMS catalog was featuring an extensive line of apparel, including sophisticated careerwear and the first JMS jeans. Our great-fitting denim remains among our customers favorite items. The catalog motto was "Effortless style sizes 14 and up." A magazine advertising campaign that year for JMS hosiery, jeans and minimizer bras had the theme "I am." The ads had a variety of versions such as this one:
By 1999, minimizer bras were 20% of full figured department store bra sales, with the Bali brand dominating the department store market. There were even three Champion sports bras in the catalog! Full slips were a major part of the lingerie selection, since women in the workforce who didn't wear uniforms wore dresses and skirts almost exclusively. The beautiful models featured in JMS over the years included several who have gone on to national prominence, including Emme, named one of People magazine's 60 Most Beautiful People, and Ashley Graham, the first plus size model featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and on the cover of Vogue magazine, as well as a judge on America's Next Top Model.
The JustMySize.com website launched in 2000. Now women could shop 24/7 for the curvy fashions they wanted and needed. That year, Just My Size described itself as "the brand of choice for nearly 50 million plus-size women." Media coverage said JMS had a strong, loyal consumer base that identifies JMS as an advocate and friend of plus size women. Another magazine ad series for Just My Size clothing co. had positive messages such as "Beauty is what happens when you're busy being yourself."
In response to customer demand, JMS carried a terrific selection of swimwear starting in 2004, all designed for taller or fuller figures.
In 2009, JMS catalog celebrated its 25th anniversary. We asked customers to tell us what the JMS brand meant to them and were overwhelmed by the response. Women told us they called JMS "my catalog" and that they depended on JMS to meet almost all of their clothing needs. They also appreciated the affordable prices at jms.com. Every catalog cover proudly announced "Bras 38A-58J, apparel 14W to 40W."
In 2013, JMS conducted a national survey of women, Passion for Plus, on confidence, style and inspiration. More than 92% of respondents were size 16 or larger, with an average size of 22. At that time, HanesBrands, the parent company of JMS, was America's leading manufacturer of plus size apparel (NPD Consumer Tracking Service, units, year ending March 2013). Of the 7000 women surveyed, 80% said their clothes fit who they are as a person. More than half the respondents said they were more fashionable than they'd been 5 years previously. At that time, JMS had more than 700,000 fans on Facebook.
Today's JMS customer is comfortable shopping online at JMS.com for bras, panties, shapers, legwear and apparel. The JMS, Playtex, Bali & Glamorise brands remain the most popular bra brands, while denim, dresses, graphic tees, swimwear and sweats are favorites among the clothing offered. Bras, panties, legwear, apparel and swimwear carry the JMS brand name. Market research estimates that 67% of women wear a size 14-plus. The average female shopper in the U.S. is wearing a size 14 or 16 — 35 to 60 percent of women. Yet most clothing in sizes above size 14 in stores is relegated to a back corner department in the store, if it is carried at all. No wonder JMS has so many loyal customers. Another reason JMS intimates and apparel have proven so popular for 35 years is that we don't just take an item designed for a size 6 and size it up. We change the cut on the clothing to fit larger silhouettes. That's why for more than a decade, the JMS tagline was "fits who you are." For the 35th anniversary, JMS introduced a new tagline, "Curvy. Beautiful. You."
JMS.com looks forward to continuing to be a leader in serving the fashion needs of women size 14 and up from now, through our 50th anniversary in 2034, and beyond!