The Sad Truth About Shopping for Plus Sizes

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The latest from Lane Bryant

The latest from Lane Bryant

Last week I went shopping for my friend’s birthday. I wanted to get her some clothes that she could feel confident in. Not too difficult of a task, right?  Not quite. My friend is a size 12 to plus size depending on the label. After spending nearly three hours searching one of the most popular malls in LA, I found absolutely *nothing* for her. I left defeated, overwhelmed, depressed and empty handed.

What a cruel practice it is to not include women of all sizes in all clothing lines. After that experience I feel nothing but empathy for the millions of women who aren’t empowered by fashion. Instead, a journey to the mall is a painful step into the surreal world of being ignored and alienated.

Like me, my friend has a Mexican body. Our apple shape fails to live up to the sexy Kardashian hourglass. Our bodies aren’t like the curvy girls who tend to be plus-size models. For some larger Latina’s, the only shirts and dresses out there are big and flowy.  Rarely, flattering.

While I am thrilled that there are more options for plus sized women, the industry has a long way  to go.  I can’t wait for the time when my friend can shop and know that she’ll find a fierce outfit to flaunt on the dance floor Saturday night.

Check out the piece below to learn more about the history and limitations of the plus-sized clothing industry.

Read More: NYTimesMagazine.com

And the following rebuttal to the piece with insightful comments worth the read:

The Supposed “Difficulty” of Making Plus-Size Clothing

Related Content:

Filling Out Fashion: The Expanding Plus-Size Industry

New York Fashion Week To Include Curves

Plus-size Modeling: A Passing Trend Or Here To Stay?

Jessica Simpson’s New Plus-Size Denim Line


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Comments

  1. plus4us says:

    I definately recommend Forever 21 cause there are sizes that go to 5X! And there are clearances so that way you don’t break the bank.

  2. Ah, the Marilyn Monroe myth. Yes, she wore a 14, in the 1950′s. In today’s sizing, I suspect that’s more like a 6.

    http://jezebel.com/5299793/for-the-last-time-what-size-was-marilyn-monroe

  3. Come shop in Houston. There’s lots of plus sizes in the store. In fact, if you aren’t a plus size woman, you’ll have a hard time finding things that fit, unless you go into an overly-expensive boutique store.

    As a side note, 2000 calories a day for the average woman is way too much. Realistically it’s closer to 1500-1600. Dissappointing, isn’t it? 2000 + is for a man.

  4. @CB, if you’re eating HALF of what a “normal” person eats (2000-2500 calories per day), you’re not eating enough!!! You’re starving your body and wrecking your metabolism. Please seek help from a licensed dietitian or at the very least, your physician.

  5. HELLO LADIES,

    I AM A RESEARCHER FROM LONDON UK RESEARCHING THE PLUS SIZE INDUSTRY FOR WOMEN. WOULD YOU LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS RESEARCH, I AM INTERESTED IN THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF BUYING PLUS SIZE GARMENTS AND THE AVAILABILITY OF CHOICE.
    YOUR FEEDBACK WILL BE VALUABLE TO COUNTLESS WOMEN AND RETAILERS WHO SEEM TO IGNORE THIS MARKET SEGMENT.

    PLEASE EMAIL ME AT IF YOU ARE INTERESTED OR ANY FRIENDS OF YOURS THAT MAY BE INTERESTED, AT LEAST IF YOU COULD FILL ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRES I WILL GREATLY APPRECIATE

    onyx74@yahoo.com

    MANY THANKS AND LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU SOON!

    RJ

  6. This really hits close to home. And it’s funny to see people of complete ignorance comment, like “everyguyever”, who obviously doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together, let alone create a rational thought (maybe if you consumed MORE calories, your brain could function properly?).
    I am overweight, but for 3 years now I have eaten LESS THAN HALF the calories a normal, healthy person should eat every single day (yes, I actually keep a journal of every single thing I eat every single day). I still can’t buy “normal people” sizes. It’s depressing. And I didn’t even start out “morbidly obese” 3 years ago, either.

    The fashion industry has some real problems, because you have some companies who are actually increasing their sizes while others are rigidly lowering theirs. I can tell you from experience it’s extremely frustrating to buy a “normal” size pair of jeans one day and the next, you cannot fit into another 4 sizes larger in another brand.
    Best of luck to any others who understand this frustration. Until this industry figures itself out, we will just have to be loved by ourselves and our friends/family/significant others.

  7. I’ve found that most online plus size shops are quite old fashioned and at 19 most of it just isn’t suitable for me. when I shop i often find several things I will show my mother but hardly anything for me! Good for my bank account but bad for my self esteem.

  8. I feel the same way. there are no attractive clothes for plus sized girls. and at one of the stores *cough*target*cough* they even mix the chubby clothes in with the maternity clothes! seriously?! like i already don’t live in fear of some dummy asking me when I’m due, now I have to wander around in the maternity clothes. I have managed to find some cute clothes online at lane bryant and torrid.com but that’s really it.

  9. FYI, in this day and age, Marilyn Monroe would be considered “plus size” since she wore a size 14 (the average size of all women now). Those were the days of glamor extraordinaire–the Mad Men years– and the clothing makers back then did not complain of these problems. Look at Joan (the redhead w/the DD bra size). She wasn’t a rarity. What happened? The industry just wanted to make it easy for themselves and not for their potential customers? Obviously very bad customer relations/customer care going on here!

  10. suzysomething says:

    Many plus sized women shop from catalogs, or on-line. Woman Within, Lane Bryant, Romans are a few that have only size 12 and above sizes and many fashionable styles. Unfortunately, they are sometimes pricey and the quality does not support the high prices.

    In smart catalogs such as Coldwater Creek, some of their styles offer plus sizes, but for an additional cost. What an insult…when it only takes only an inch more fabric to make a plus size. It’s also insulting to see that the catalog decides what styles would be more appropriate to plus sized women…some of their cutest things only go up to size 16-18.

    It is difficult to find clothing that one can wear to work or in public, and feel the kind of self-confidence that comes with knowing you look your best. The thrill of something stylish and new…that isn’t flowered and flappy.

  11. it’s crap to believe that all women sizes 12 and up are that size because they eat a lot. it’s simplistic and shows what a fool you are.
    people are diverse in every way shape and form. have you been to these other countries that you speak of? they have fat people too. and their fat people are healthy, active, eating the same meals as others, walking, running, being on sports teams. size does not directly correlate with or cause health status. no matter how much the fear mongering media shoves it down your throat. (you dont really believe everything they say do you? then take EVERYTHING they say with a grain of salt)

    that being said, not only is there a lack of styles for women of size, but have you noticed the GIANT class issue with plus size clothes? cheapest shirt at lane bryant is like 30 bucks. the bras are 40, the pants, at cheapest are 50, commonly closer to 90. can you imagine trying to wear clothes that are nice at a minimum wage income? you couldnt do it without goodwill or walmart (which btw- fuels the cycle these women get caught in, where all they can afford is crappier clothes and food that is horrible for them)

  12. everyguyever says:

    With all the money you save just eating less you could buy all the regular clothes you want. Funny how 75% of the world doesn’t seem to have trouble being overweight…

  13. I have often complained about the poor choices offered to we fluffier ladies (even the guys have more options). There is a mall in Maryland that offers no plus size stores (there were removed) and the choices are poor at best.
    I love fashion and my friends are sexy and confident (in front of and behind closed doors). They have found many different out of the way shops that offer unique pieces that don’t drape them like an old slip cover.
    Fashion is created to enhance the beauty and personality of the wearer; a compliment to her/his unique style and flavor. It should not be created to hide the person.
    The curvy revolution is upon the world and we shall NOT be silenced. Hot clothes are everyone’s right!

  14. I can go shopping for 3 hours in a whole mall and maybe find one shirt and a decent pair of jeans. Sometimes I don’t actually like what I’ve bought; I just buy the items because I know there won’t be anything better in the next store anyways. It can take several trips over a 2 month period before I can even form cohesive outfits.
    It’s unreal how plus sized clothing is so tacky and completely different than the clothing offered for smaller sizes. I’m not a dressy person and with nearly every style available catering to the perpetually overdressed, I’m having an even harder time finding casual type clothing. I don’t want to wear silk blouses and polyester pants every day or on errands. I just want normal, comfortable, plus size clothes that do not look like something my grandmother would wear!

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