I don’t buy new clothes often because…well, I couldn’t find a doctor to prescribe me depression meds based solely on crying jags in dressing rooms.
Being an ample lady, I understand all too well the horrors of plus sized fashion. When you add to it the fact that I’m a tiny inch ruler of a person (height wise), exceptionally booby-licious (what I lack in height I make up for in tits), lacking in ass, and not shaped like a refrigerator (I’m working on a theory that plus sized brands use them as fit models) well…I’ve got a crap load of issues to deal with that are only made worse when I go to a store and am confronted with racks upon racks of bedazzled animal print tents.
No offense to refrigerators who like to wear animal print tents.
Fashion wise, I’m a simple girl. Every once in awhile one of the ladymags will print up some list of closet classics/essentials. These are the things I want my closet to consist of. Almost solely. My favorite outfit is ankle length cigarette pants, a boat neck top, flats, a blazer, and a scarf. I like cardigans and a-line skirts. My fashion holy grail is the perfect full-skirted (NON FLORAL) summer dress. Call me preppy. Call me boring. Call me a Stepford wannabe. I can accept that. I like what I like.
And no one wants me to buy it. Or at least not in a plus sized store.
I’m “lucky” enough to be able to buy most of my clothes in “regular” stores/sections. So all my “staple” items have been purchased in stores that decidedly don’t do plus sizes (Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie) and usually only because I got lucky on the way something was cut. But once in awhile, I make the mistake of wandering into [insert name of your plus sized fashion hell mouth of choice here] because I figure that…well…its a store full of clothes for women my size and larger so surely there must be SOMETHING, right?I won’t be restricted to only the largest size! Choices! Options! GIMME.
And then I remember. Animal prints. Bedazzling. Tunics tunics tunics!
The mission statement of these stores seem to be: If we have to co-exist with fat people we must 1. Make clothes with so many patterns that you can’t even focus on their fatness. 2. Blind them with sequins. 3. design with the assumption that every plus sized woman is a 65 year old retiree from Ft. Lauderdale. 4. All plus sized women are roughly the height and shape of a refrigerator. 5. Tunics tunics TUNICS!!!!!!!!!
Here’s the thing: I don’t know anyone who actually LIKES the shit these stores sell. Regardless of personal style, what we want are the same options everyone else gets, but in bigger sizes, with the full knowledge that everything won’t fit perfectly. Whenever I read designers/stores defend themselves against why they don’t “do” plus sized fashion the response is always some variation of “there is such a variety of plus sized bodies that its impossible to fit them”.
This? Is total horse crap.
No one, I don’t care how big or small, can walk into every store and have everything fit them. Thats not the point. Some things look better on small boobs. Some things look better if you have a big butt. Some things are too long for short people, etc.
Or, when a store decides to carry plus sizes, they either restrict it to online sales (read: keep the fatties out of the stores) or, my personal favorite, release the ugly uninspired line with little to no fanfare and then say “hey! We tried!” and cancel the line.
By mere chance, a few weeks ago someone on Twitter happened to link to an article about H&M bringing plus sizes back to their US stores. I remember when H&M opened up their Chicago store many years ago. It had a terrible plus sized line of boxy ugly clothes with weird prints that was shoved in the back corner of the second level of the store and then quickly removed altogether (hey! We tried!). So. I didn’t have much hope. But then I remembered that early last year, they released a line of adorable girly skirts, tops, dresses, etc, called “Inclusive” (*eye roll*). Sadly, the line was only available online in the UK and Europe. But maybe, just maybe…
So with hope building in my ample chest I ran downtown and…well…
Boxy ugly clothes with weird prints shoved into a back corner…but on the first floor now! PROGRESS. So not only did H&M not advertise the fact that they had plus sized clothing in brick and mortar stores, they also failed to produce anything to make it worth the trip. Meanwhile, on a rack close enough to the plus sized section to think it was part of it (this happens to me with the maternity section in Target a lot) was this:
A cute basic cotton dress in a fun print. Oh, how I dove for it. Only to find that the largest size was a 12.
Thankfully, there are people out there doing work in the blogging world using the power of their keyboards to help out us fat bottomed girls (we make the rockin’ world go round). My favorite is these blogs is GabiFresh. I’m far too intensely conservative for most of her looks but I love the way she styles and shares her secrets. Plus she’s just a cutie patootie. Go, read her site. Bloggers like Gabi do the work that I am far to cranky to do.
Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’m gonna go buy some shoes.