I have many frustrations with my weight at the moment – the chaos it causes with my hormones, the pain it causes in my legs – both because of shin splints and bad knees, the asthma that has made an unwelcome return from my childhood.
But while I work on the whole get fit and healthy thing, there is one thing that affects my confidence on a daily basis, sometimes in a good way and sometimes in the worst way – My clothes.
Recently I went on a bit of a rant on Twitter about the bras available for someone my size. Good ones are expensive, and even those often feel big and bulky and more utilitarian than you necessarily want every day, always. But I also want to take some time to talk about plus-sized clothing.
I do not take offence at being called plus-sized. It is what I am. Even at my thinnest I was at the top of the “normal” sizes. I have big hips, a large chest. I have been able to shop in plus-sized stores most of my life, though I have gone from the smallest sizes they offer to not the smallest sizes.
I have found clothes that I love at this size. Clothes that I feel comfortable in. Clothes that I wear over and over again. My main issue is that right now there are only a handful of stores I can go into and find my size. There is another handful of stores that I can order from online – but I don’t like to order from stores that don’t see fit to carry my size in their actual store. Fat people deserve to try on their clothes before they buy them too. Especially since women’s clothing sizes seem to be totally random.
For example, I heard recently that H&M had plus sizes – not in store, but online. I went to the website, as I need to update my professional wardrobe, and there I found about 20 items in the “plus” section, most of them t-shirts.
This is why when we were in Toronto this weekend and walked past the new Torrid in the Eaton Centre I nearly started jumping up and down. This is why I stopped at Lane Bryant twice while we were in the US on our trip to Washington.
Here’s the thing: Fat people are not few and far between. I am not alone in my desire for options. And yet you still see designers who don’t want to “debase” themselves by designing for the average body type. Seriously, I saw actual up-and-coming fashion designers on Project Runway regularly who would FLIP OUT when they had to design for someone who was not a model.
Who in the hell do you think you’re going to sell clothes to?
Google tells me the average American woman is 5’4″ and 140 lbs, about a size 12 or 14. An average woman who is a size 14 falls into the plus category. The average Canadian woman is about 5’3″ and 153 lbs, which puts her decidedly in plus stores.
Would it not make sense for more stores to sell clothing that fits the average?