Not exactly “Plus Sized”

lady shoppingI recently went shopping and felt the not exactly “plus sized” frustration. I, like most busy moms, feel I look pretty good…but am carrying an extra 15-20 lbs. Now, that puts me in the average American woman size of 14.  However, clothes aren’t build for the us! Clothes are either designed for a size 6 and made bigger.  Or they are “plus-sized” and made smaller.  
Everyone has places they would like to hide and others that should be highlighted! For example:  I’ve got bigger upper arms and a generously-sized Buddha thanks to having kids.  However, I do have long legs, skinny ankles, narrow hips and a decent rack – any of which I would like to show off. If I try regular tops, they’re too tight on my arms and cling to my Buddha. If I get a small in the “plus-sized” they are WAY too big. 
Why aren’t clothes designed for the average American woman?  No wonder we all have body image issues!  You’re guaranteed to come home depressed from a shopping trip. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful.  Even the most confident woman can falter after braving the mall!
Back to my trip last week.  I simply wanted some new shirts to wear with my jeans.  Nothing fancy. (I live in Colorado where casual is key.)  I work from home but want to look like “I tried” even if I’m just out running errands.  I shopped at Target, Old Navy, Macy’s, Banana Republic, Nordstrom and The Gap.  The only place that had anything that was decent was Nordstrom, particularly their Caslon and Bobeau brands. I have a few Caslon (a Nordstrom brand) shirts that are above average, but have either lost their shape after a few washings or the fabric has pilled.  Bobeau has treated me pretty well with their flattering lines…”known for it’s signature silhouettes that make every woman look great.”
 As I sit here drinking what’s probably half of my day’s allotted calories in one cup of coffee, I understand that Americans have a weight problem.  We spend too much time in front of our screens *ahem* and don’t move enough.  I get it.  But as a country who is always innovating sales and marketing strategies, why aren’t stores selling what we want?  I know I could shop online but that can be time-consuming.  I simply want to go to the mall, try things on at a few stores and come home with something that makes me feel I look good.  Is that too much to ask?  It shouldn’t be.
Kudos to Sport Illustrated for putting a “real woman” on the cover of their swimsuit issue this year.  I think that Ashley Graham is a bombshell! She’s curvy and sexy like Marilyn Monroe.  I also love Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty and I feel like it has showed the world that everyday women and their bodies are beautiful.
Now you might say that I should get over it, that happens after you turn 40/have kids, exercise more! I get it.  But why shouldn’t our consumer-savvy culture catch up?  I actually would like to feel special after a shopping trip. Is that too much to ask?  If I WANT to spend money in your store, shouldn’t you be catering to me…and the thousands of women like me?
That is all.  End of rant.  PS – If you have any good ideas of places to shop let me know!

16 Replies to “Not exactly “Plus Sized””

  1. I’m plus sized, and often have a hard time finding clothes that are cut proportionately, and aren’t just “bigger.” The struggle is real no matter what size you are, I suppose. Boo, hiss!

  2. Start a line of clothing. I will buy it. Let’s also start a new magazine to promote. When will the stores realize the people that have money……..look like us!

    I shop at a little bohemian store owned by a fabulous woman that looks like me.

  3. Try shopping at your local gym for a membership and stop complaining. It’s called blood, sweat and tears. And don’t do it just because you want clothes to fit. Make it a lifestyle.

  4. Nicole – I’m sorry you felt the need to take this stance. I had a hysterectomy five years ago that screwed up my hormones, metabolism, etc. I do live a healthy life. I can ski all day with my kids at 10,000’elevation and not get winded. I can hike in the mountains with a pack carrying the entire family’s supplies for the day and can probably outswim you. I do all my own yard projects – move rock in my yard, dig holes in rock hard Colorado clay, haul large bags of mulch in my own strong arms.

    My point of the article was that in our consumer-focused society you would think that the folks making fashion lines would cater to the folks like me who have the money to spend on good quality clothes. As someone who is surrounded by friends and family who own and/or run companies of many sizes and research their consumers constantly, the stores at the mall should catch up. That is all.

    I hope in the future you read the entire article and see the point the writer is trying to make before lashing out. Have a good day!

  5. Wow! That’s quite a judgemental response, sometimes people hold onto weight for other reasons than being inactive, like me for instance. I run on average 30 miles a week, lift weights and do Pilates and I am a size 10. I run half marathons for fun so before you pass judgement and call someone lazy for carrying a few extra pounds maybe you should consider that there maybe other reasons, metabolic disorders, autoimmune disorders, cancer, the list is endless…

  6. But what if she wasn’t carrying extra weight? She acknowledges exercise not once but twice in this post. Even at my most fit, my “thinnest” if you will, I am a size 8/10. It’s how I am built. Everyone wants to look good AT ANY SHAPE. But her point is that there are more sz 14 women (the average) than sz 4 women – however the mass market options don’t cater to the larger sizes/ shapes other than making you look like a sack. And again – why is that OK? And why is telling her to go to the gym an acceptable response?

  7. Thank you for your sweet response! If the shop you mentioned has a website, please share it! I’d love to browse!

  8. Thanks Andrea! To be fair, I should have mentioned that I’m 5’9″ and have always been in bigger sizes due to my height alone. If I was shorter with this extra weight I would maybe be a smaller size. I should’ve stated that I’m up a size (or two!) after kids. I want to hope that she’s just a petite lady who can’t imagine being a size 14 and that she’s not part of the problem with women and their body issues today.

    And yes, my entire point was that the mass market is dropping the ball on giving consumers what they want!

  9. What a great post! I like Bobeau too, Dillards also carry them! Have you tried Kaftans? The title of this post somehow attracted me. I can relate with you so much, I was size 12 few months back because I had gone through a cervical spine surgery and the steroids screw up my metabolism. There is one trick that has worked for me that might work for you for feeling great. Forget about weight and looks…its just something that makes you feel great. its just about the energy and happy feeling. Try breathing exercise. It’s called “Pranayam”, just search it on youtube or google it. Its good for overall health and feeling great.

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