Tuesday, May 08, 2007

shopping: the return of ugly

i had to get an outfit for tomorrow - one that would move from a business meeting, a luncheon and then another business meeting and then a board meeting. basically, a cute lightweight suit-ish thing. (i have a couple at home, but they're more for fall, not spring.)

i was about to write a long, screedy thing, describing every awful outfit i saw in macy's and lane bryant but i'll just keep it simple:

dear retailers,
do you hate us?
because you keep ignoring the pleas and downright demands of plus size customers.

we don't want to wear the clothes you're making for us. they. are. ugly. you are forcing us to choose those boxy skirts in colors that wouldn't find a place in GAP, Banana or JCrew; those shapeless shirts and jackets that our mothers wore are beginning to show up in your stores again and we hate them. and, now, we are beginning to hate you. if you even attempt to foist mom jeans with a tapered leg on us, we might just have to rise up and kill one of you.

hear us: if you won't create a separate, stylish store for us, for the love of god, expand your sizes. don't hide your large sizes in the back of the store, or in the burbs; put them where you put everything else. find a fit model (joy nash is a good template) and, for god's sake, fire your buyers. they hate fat people.



SiddityintheCity said...

So much win. Since I left my old job and gotten away from my gym, my weight has gone up from about 180/sz 14 to prob. 210 and a 16 or 18, so I have started shopping at Lane again. But I have completely given up on finding anything in "normal" sized stores, for the very reason you proclaim!

I hereby cosing your letter. And you can add a P.S.: I know how to shoot, so if anyone of us has to take out a buyer to get notice...I volunteer.


SiddityintheCity said...

post script: drop me a line if you'd still like to have drinks sometime. Im in town for the summer.

wade said...

i have wheels and I know where the malls in the burbs are. We can have a martini (or 2) before shopping and work off the alcohol scaring the suburban retail workers.

You tell me when...

ding said...

Sid: i really don't want to wear ugly clothers anymore. really.

Forth & Towne, while not the most fashion forward, at least let me blend and look somewhat sylish. (and no one could figure out where i got my jackets!) but now that they're closing, what else is there except bloomies' women's section? and i really don't like all their lines' color selections.

with all my stress, i think i'm down to an 18 again. of course, my fibroid could be taking up some room...(which i've named Agatha.)

and you're in town? like, my town? cool! email me and let's meet for a drink or many!

Wade: i cannot inflict the anger and frustration of big girl shopping on an innocent; i don't even shop with my girl friends - unless it's for shoes and bags and perfume. however, i am an awesome feedback giver when it comes to shopping with/for male persons.

hm...i have been meaning to get to Forth & Towne before they close, though...

Dharma said...

I too hate the clothing choices that exist for those of us that are *normally* sized. Okay I am not totally normal as I am petite (5' nothing), and range depending on a million things from 12 -16 in sizes.

It takes creativity to dress well when one is not a off the rack kinda gal and I take great pleasure in my ability to find good things but am annoyed at how hard I have to work at it.

ding said...

it does take creativity.

or an adherence to a 'uniform.' i have a uniform: white or black pants that can be worn with flats or a low kitten heel with pointy toe; black, white, gray, navy stretch t-shirts with 3/4 sleeves (so i can wear them with my cropped jackets); a pair of 'office' jeans (dark wash, conservative cut, goes with at least 3inch heels); button down shirts (mostly black or with pops of color); a bright colored trench/rain coat; various cropped jackets for variety. if i bounce between target, bloomies, old navy and lane bryant, i can keep this uniform going forever.

if i stick to this 'uniform' i'm pretty set. but for special occasions or events, i'll need something nice looking, well made and stylish. and this is where the problem is: if us big girls want to look pretty, stylish and put together (like everyone else) then where the hell are we supposed to shop?

huh, retailers? where?

shrinkykitten said...

Have you had any luck with Vive la femme in bucktown?

ding said...

i've had *some* luck.

for me, i've found that VLF is great if you're looking for that one of a kind party piece - the kind of party where your inner drag queen would be right at home.

i have a couple of lovely things from VLF i really like (especially the white/black kimono sleeved sweater) because they're so disco but how often is everything disco?

and i think they're sometimes way overpriced. have you had luck?

shrinkykitten said...

I've only been there accompanying a friend whose style is more in line with what they carry. It's too overtly sexy for me (and spendy!). In the summer, I have best luck thrift shopping - cute dresses and skirts on the cheap.

Plus, I am on the hunt for some gunne sax dresses/skirts because I *couldn't* wear them the first time around when they were cool in the 80s. I still remember going to the gunne sax outlet in san fran and drooling over everything.

ding said...

i love thrift shopping too - for jackets and vintage slips. i once had a dream of pulling together some really nice thrift finds, but again, it is sort of difficult to find vintage in plus sizes. attractive vintage, that is. but i've been really lucky with vintage slips and the jackets.

i don't remember gunne sax... and i'm seriously disturbed at seeing my junior high wardrobe on the street on trendy young things.

shrinkykitten said...

The trick is to shop in hispanic neighborhoods. There is a thrift store on milwaukee (near western, I think - it's called Family thrift) that has a whole plus size section. I both love and hate this particular thrift store. I love them because they get great brand name labels. I hate them because they know what they've got -and they mark up accordingly. Of course, $15 for a cashmere brand name cardigan isn't much - but it is when you are used to getting stuff for under $3.00.

The thrift store near me is fabulous because they have a good range of sizes (although I once found an incredible quilted velvet vintage jacket - in size xs! Waah!), and they have some great vintage items (on the cheap) and some super fun handmade stuff.

I learned the trick to shop in hispanic neighborhoods from a frequent posted on the wardrobe remix flickr pool.
She has amazing thrift store finds - but won't say exactly where she shops!

ding said...

oohh, i never knew that...
i've always followed the hipster around and that was my downfall! damn the skinny hipster!

do you go to the renegade craft fair?

shrinkykitten said...

Yes, you've got to expand your thrifting horizons. Just a couple weeks ago I got a beyond awesome 70s disco dress. I recall very little of the 70s, and my attire then was california hippy child clothing - so no disco dresses for me. I also almost got an awesome 60s shift dress (hot pink with huge white flowers) but it was too big for me - so I left it for someone who needed it.

I went to renegade 2 years ago - is it coming up?

Is forthe and towne at Woodfield? I've been thinking of trying public transport to there and mitsuwa since they are on the same bus route.

And by the way, wonderfalls is from a few years ago. It by the guy who wrote "Dead like me" (on hbo? showtime?) also about a disaffected, misanthropic, alcohol guzzling, smart, underachiever. But I didn't like it quite as much.