British women are far from satisfied with the availability of larger size clothing with nearly half of those aged under 25 unhappy about the lack of fashion choice for size 16-plus in shops and stores, a new report claims.

Nearly 40 per cent think there should be more choice available while more than a third of women in the 45 to 54-year-old age group complain of difficulty finding attractive clothes in the 16-plus category.

And nearly 50 per cent of UK women think it is important that they take pride in how they look - whatever their size.

According to the Key Note survey, 60 per cent of women say their clothes size tends to fluctuate according to the retailer or manufacturer, while 51 per cent believe clothes sizes should be standardised throughout the industry.

The report's authors predict that the market for plus-size fashions will grow to £4.5 million by 2005 - 29 per cent of the total clothing market. They add that both men and women's plus-size markets will increase rapidly over the next few years as 63 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women are now classes as overweight or obese.

The report adds that increased obesity levels among children are producing a growing market for plus size children's and teen clothes which has not yet been fully recognised by high street retailers.

If concludes by saying that if the UK market follows the same pattern as that in the US, the plus-size market is likely to continue to be important over the next few years even if the economy slows down.