As a “plus-sized” person, I know that my options for buying clothing are much more limited than my “straight-sized” friends. It is not all that uncommon, especially in certain parts of Los Angeles to go to a mall that doesn’t carry any plus-sized clothing whatsoever. But I am also deeply aware, that as a “midsized” fatty, my options are far more plentiful than many of my larger friends. While it’s fairly common to find at least some things up to a 2x or 3x, beyond that you’re often stuck ordering from a catalog, which not to put too fine a point on it, sucks. Here’s why:
I am notoriously fussy when it comes to buying clothes. Not only do I need to love them and need to be able to afford them, I want them to fit. And there’s the rub (literally at times). Not all women are built the same way. And I wear anything from a 1x to a 3x depending on the cut of the garment and the arbitrary way the garments are sized. That means when I go into a fitting room, I might have 20 or more garments to try on. And often I don’t buy any of them. Not a big deal, when all you have to do is hang up your rejects and put them on the dress rack outside the door. Sometimes a deal breaker when you have to order all those clothes and pay multiple shipping charges to return them all. I have to admit, I very rarely mail order clothing these days. Because when I have to have them shipped in 3 sizes and I am very likely to return most, or all of them, it gets quite expensive.
I understand my privilege. Buying clothing in a store is possible for me much of the time. I have the means to buy a few nice quality pieces of clothing a year. And I have the means of transportation to go look and a job that allows me to sometimes shop for clothing when the stores are open. But I am very aware that for people over a 3X there is often only one store in the mall that carries ANYTHING in your size, and woe be to you if their hourglass-shaped fit model is differently proportioned than you.
There is really no excuse for not carrying plus-sizes in your stores–especially if your company MAKES plus-sized clothing (I’m talking to YOU Old Navy and J. Jill). For the most part, if a store makes plus-sized clothing but refuses to carry them in the store, I refuse to buy clothing from them. After all, if you can’t give me a few square feet of rack space so I can haul some stuff to the dressing room so I can try stuff on, you don’t care enough to get my money. And I am lucky enough to have some money to spend.
So what do you say clothing companies. Our clothes may come in different sizes and shapes, but our money and credit cards are the same size and shape as everybody else’s. Why not let us spend some of it with you. I’ll meet you at the dressing room.
Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)
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