Calling all Super Fatties!

Published August 27, 2011 by sleepydumpling

You know what?  I’ve had enough.  I’ve had enough of supposed plus-size retailers/manufacturers/labels sizing out the upper end of a standard plus-size range.  I’ve had enough of these companies deciding “We’ll make clothes for those of you who are fat… BUT NOT TOO FAT!”  I’m looking at you City Chic, Asos Curve, Dorothy Perkins, Pinup Girl Clothing, Leona Edmiston, Style369, Carmakoma, Forever21, Monsoon…. there are so many more.  Even regular companies that do some plus-size clothing as well as their straight sizes, like Threadless and ThinkGeek cut out before a standard plus-size range.  Don’t get me started on department stores that only go to Size 22 or 24 in most of their labels either.  Department stores!  The very stores that are supposed to cater to everyone!

Sadly, even two of my favourite online stores, who offer some plus-sized pieces, have further limited the upper sizes – We Love Colors and Sick for Cute.

There seems to be this perception that if anyone provides clothing in anything over a size 22, that they are “encouraging obesity”, or that we won’t buy them, because we’re not interested in style, or fashion, or shopping… instead we would rather comfort and cheap prices.  Which is utter bullshit.  Firstly, how can you “encourage obesity” when every aspect of society hates on fat bodies to the point that one cannot shop, or walk down the street, or open a magazine, or read a newspaper article, or many other things without seeing fatness pilloried, vilified and desperate calls to eradicate/cure us as though we are a disease or a plague?  And secondly, the reason we do not spend money on fashionable, stylish clothing is because there fucking is none!  Or what little there is often doesn’t fit us properly, is made of shitty cheap fabrics and constructed poorly so that it falls apart after only a couple of wears!

The other one I’ve heard from retailers is “But we can’t find manufacturers to make it!”  But then you go to the manufacturing companies and ask them, and they say “But the retailers won’t stock them!”  The blame game just keeps getting thrown around like a hot potato on to the next guy.  It’s just bullshit – you only have to see how quickly the upper sizes are snapped  up on those brands that DO cater to them to know that the customers want them, and will pay good money for them.  Every time I go to an online sale for any of the companies who do – Yours, Evans, Autograph, No Exceptions etc… the upper sizes are gone.

Major kudos to those companies who do, the manufacturers and labels and retailers who aren’t afraid to cater towards the full standard range of plus-sizes (which in Australia is currently 14-26) and even more kudos to those who go beyond this range to even larger sizes.  Yours, Evans and No Exceptions are three companies who go up to at least a size 32 in many of their garments.

Now it’s no use complaining about this without doing something about it.  So what are we going to do about it, fabulous super fatties?  Well, to start with, I have put together a Facebook group called Super Sizes.  Because Facebook, love it or hate it, is one place where we can spread the word VERY quickly.  I also need to know how many of you there are out there.  When we work together, our voices get stronger.  The more of us that are visible to the plus-size clothing companies out there, the more they are likely to listen to us.

Now I’ve chosen Super Sizes as the title because I want to gather in those folks who have not yet found fat acceptance, as well as we fab fatties.  And well… we’re Super Sized!

As size 22 Australian seems to be the most common cut off point, that is what I’m focusing on here – the sizes from 22 and upwards.  That’s about a 2x or size 20US, or a size 20UK (by the way, sizing conversions are never consistent – it’s so hard to get accurate information about clothing sizes!)  From a quick poke around the main plus-size companies I can find, this seems to be about the most common cut off point.  We won’t say that sizes smaller than an Australian 22 can’t be involved, but most plus-size clothing companies do cater to these sizes, and I want to REALLY focus on size 24 and beyond, which really miss out on the most brands.

Once I’ve got a group formed, we’ll start working on ideas and strategies to campaign for more fashionable, reasonably priced, reasonable quality options for we super fatties.  We will share those companies that do cater to us, talk about how we can make what we have work, and expose those companies who treat us badly, ignore us or give us pathetic excuses.

So I’m calling all of you Super Fatties to put on your capes (sizes 22 and above!) and get ready to make some change in this world!

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131 comments on “Calling all Super Fatties!

  • ‘Liked’! As someone who lives in a very rural area with almost no choices other than online shopping, I’m excited to see what people share. I’d also be interested in finding other fab fatties who SEW and whose input might help my very rudimentary skills evolve.

    • That’s a great idea Shieldmaiden – being able to mod things for one, and who knows, we might encourage a fab seamstress/designer to branch out and become a beloved new source of fatshion for super sizes.

  • Remember that UK sizes (like at Asos, Evans etc) sound bigger but they really aren’t. A UK 32 is roughly equivalient to an Australian size 26, sometimes smaller. The new group sounds awesome. I am in!

  • I am an obese guy. Even though I am down to 280 lbs from 440, my waist is still around 53 inches and to this day cannot buy pants in a regular store. At least fat women can go into a regular store and buy dresses and sometimes pants. For men the cutoff point is somewhere around US 44, but I do think that big & tall clothing stores have better quality anyway.

    • Actually LD, not all fat women can go into “regular stores”. I can ONLY shop of Autograph (in Australia). It is only by pure chance that there is an Autograph store in the town I live in. No other stores here cater to my size. EVEN the ones who claim they go up to a 26, don’t fit *my* size 26.

    • Welcome LD. I know it is terrible for fat guys to find decent clothes too. However, the point I am making about this piece is that we super sized women CANNOT just go into a regular store and buy dresses and sometimes pants – because most of the plus size brands no longer stock them.

      That doesn’t mean that finding plus-sized clothes for guys is any easier – it means we’re both being screwed over by these companies.

  • My complaint isn’t that I can’t find clothes to fit, it’s that I can’t afford them. Making It Big makes tons of tops that will fit me, but come on, $69 for a tee shirt? $89 or more for a blouse? And I’m not talking tee shirts or blouses with complicated styling details that would justify those prices, I’m talking simple, everyday, plain tees and blouses. I’m sorry, for that kind of money, I can buy the fabric and make at least 4 tees or 3 or more blouses myself (I already have more patterns than I know what to do with and have been sewing off and on for the last 40 years, so it doesn’t take me long to make a top). And their sale prices aren’t much better (that $69 tee was marked down to $49, sorry, still too high for a tee shirt).
    I recently hit the clearance rack at Catherine’s and scored 4 tops for $62, they were originally $27.99 each, marked down to 21.96 and the sign said take another 30% off the price marked. They were all sized a 5X (which fits my 62″ rack of doom), and if I had wanted to spend more money, I could have walked out with 5 or 6 more just like them that I liked just as well (I just didn’t want to spend more than $100 on tops at one time, didn’t need that many tops replaced, really). But if I looked at Catherine’s online catalog, none of those tops would have been there in my size, nor would they have been as good a bargain as what I got in the store.
    Now, Catherine’s is the only brick-and-mortar store I can shop in for tops (I can get my knit pants at Shop-Ko). Online, the only places I can find tops that go up to (and sometimes past) a 5X are Making It Big, Love Your Peaches, Woman Within, Roaman’s, Catherine’s, and Blouse House. The first 2, MIB and LYP, are more expensive than I can afford. The rest of them – I shop the sales because I can’t afford full price on most of what they sell. I wait for the buy-2/get 1 free offers or the buy1/get 2nd 20% off/get 3rd 30% off, etc.
    And don’t even get me started on Wal-Mart’s collaboration with Just My Size. That one pisses me right off. They offer tops in a 5X in solid colors. The really cute tops, though, the ones that have the prints and the cute styling details? Those stop at a 4X. And it’s not just in Wal-Mart that their really cute styles stop at 4X, it’s also in their online catalog. So if you want JMS tops to fit a 5X, you get solid colors and plain styles, nothing to get excited about. If it weren’t for the fact that Wal-Mart is the onlyplace that sells the JMS satin stretch hi-cut panties that I love, I would boycott them both (oh, and JMS doesn’t carry my lovely panties in their catalog anymore, at all).
    So yeah, it’s not just in Australia that this is a problem, it’s a huge problem in the United States too. Makes me glad I can sew and wish I could set up a school for other fat women to teach them how to sew (at least the basics of making simple tops and pants).

    • I hear you vesta44 – $90 for a t-shirt or capri pants is bloody obscene… and we have the same thing happening here! I buy very little at full price, but that usually means one has to miss out on the fashionable items they really want, and take the risk of there being nothing left in your size, so you have the choice of spending a fortune or trying your luck in the clearance sales.

      I have been so, so lucky with Autograph sending me stuff, because I would not have anything near the wardrobe I have today without that.

      And I know what you mean about them cutting styles out in the larger sizes too – there is this assumption that all we want is to cover our bodies, not look stylish or fashionable or to have fun with clothing.

    • I agree 100%. After walking out of Lane Bryant one day I knew that I had found a great deal when I only laid $30 for my shirt (after getting it for 40% off).
      When I told my “normal sized” sister she laughed and said, “You could get the same thing for $15! Now, doesn’t that make you want to lose weight?”
      While she was telling the truth…and trying to be helpful- I was immediately LIVID. I shouldn’t be punished because I need to buy larger clothes.

  • I’ll join. I have one of those weird bodies where depending on the cut, I can wear a 22 to a 32. But it is frustrating that women who are 4X and up or like me, a 3X on the cusp of 4X who sometimes will size up can’t shop in stores and are forced to go online, if the retailers that do offer extended sizing have items in stock.

    My main pet peeve is shoes. I have cankles. My feet swell as the day goes on. I have to purchase men’s shoes because I have to wear a 12 WW or a 13 and many mainstream stores refuse to carry extended shoe sizes for women. They always say there’s no demand. Shoes are something I MUST try on because of my feet and I shouldn’t have to buy online, hope they fit and then return them all the time. I’ve had some luck with Avenue, who do carry size 13 in their stores but in limited selection.

    • lifeonfats – that doesn’t make your body weird, that makes all the strange cuts and constructions of garments weird! I too can fit anything from a size 20 to a size 32… but when I go by what I can find are the “average” garment measurements, I’m supposed to be a size 26.

      If it helps at all, shoes made in New Zealand are always bigger and wider than those made elsewhere. This is because the average foot size for women in New Zealand (and many other Pacific Island nations) is bigger than other places. Hope that helps!

    • I totally hear you on the shoes!!
      Length wise I’m really only about a 10 but width wise (and cankle wise) I have to wear an 11, and more often than not that 11 has to be converted into a Men’s 9 because the women’s shoes are just all way way to skinny on the sole.
      :(

    • Hi lifeonfats, I know it’s a pain in the butt to ship stuff but have you ever tried an online shoe retailer with free shipping? I use shoebuy.com all the time. I try it on and if it doesn’t fit it goes back in the box and back to them with a full refund. Sometimes it takes many an exchange to find something I like, but their customer service is fantastic. Just an idea. I started going to them because i have to wear extra deep orthotics which don’t fit into regular shoes.

  • “Liked” as well.
    I’m with you on the shoes, lifeonfats. I’m lucky that I “only” need a 10.5 Wide (usually wind up with an 11 because half sizes stop at 9.5) but most standard shoe shops around here stop at a 10. And those are usually not wide. I’ve had some luck at Payless Shoes as they carry up to a Women’s 12, but the quality is meh.

  • I’m in the US too and buy almost everything at Old Navy online. They go up to size 30 online and that’s what I wear. I’ll check out the Facebook page and the other clothing sources mentioned. :)

    • I’ve heard that Old Navy does have good things in their online store. It’s a pity that shipping is so expensive internationally and that you can’t just go into the brick and mortar store and be catered to like everyone else!

      • Yes, I was really disappointed when they pulled plus-size out of stores. I was hoping they would consider opening plus only shops, but I can see how going online only saves them money. In the US the shipping is reasonable (and free after spending $50, I believe) and returns are free, but you do have the inconvenience of having to wait to receive the clothes and then mail them back if they don’t fit.

  • I’m in Cath. This has been a constant source of stress to me through my big years. I was nearly naked many years ago until I came across two online shops caterinf for sizes that fit me. I could not buy a bra or anything. But then managed to and it felt good but it used to cost me so much money. A bra cost me approx $90 for one and as they were ordered from USA, it was a risk in fitting, and they were sometimes sent back.’
    I am not at the stage if needing more clothes, but my ususal retailers are not keeping up with the times and so have not bought anything, and there is the atrocious cost. And the second rate fabrics used by on USA company :(
    And due to a very huge swollen right foot can not wear shoes, so basically I am stuck in my home. I research most days to no avail. Have called the local podiatrist and they were not much help, telling me they don’t do that sort of thing.

    • Jan it pisses me off so much that people are just ignored, expected to what, wear sheets as robes or something? What it really boils down to is a denial that we exist, that we need clothing and we want to take pride in what we wear. Ugh.

  • It is definitely slim pickings at the big end of the size spectrum. When I was at my largest I was limited to stores that sell a size 32 US, and they are few and far between. Most of the US ones were overpriced or didn’t ship to Australia. Even now the clothes stores I would love to shop at (that go up to a 32 or beyond) mainly don’t ship here so I have to stalk Ebay hoping I get lucky and someone else discards on of the cute little print dresses I would give up most of my wardrobe for.
    I can now squeeze myself into some things from City Chic (since they upsized again), Asos Curve but remember well when my only clothing options were Evans, Igigi and Yoursclothing and I was more concerned about whether it would fit than whether it would look nice. During my 20s I spent so much time wearing shapeless black tops and pants as I couldn’t find anything I liked that fit me, and there were no young styles at all.
    I’m still too fat for Dorothy Perkins, Leona Edmiston etc, but would love them to upsize their clothes as they have some seriously cute styles. I don’t mind paying for quality but $100 for an oversized tshirt in poor quality fabric makes me want to cry.

    • Kind of a radical idea, but I’d be willing to re-ship for you if you need a US address for delivery from the store. My email is lotrlady[at]gmail[dot]com, if you want to discuss something like that. :)

      • Amber that’s a lovely offer!

        I’m one of the lucky ones who has friends in the US (one friend works for UPS… cheap shipping!) who will send me stuff. So kind of you to offer for melhoneybee!

    • One of the problems with Dorothy Perkins is that it’s owned by the Arcadia Group who also own Evans, so I don’t think they will expand their sizes since they think we can/should all be shopping in Evans. However, Evans is much pricier, has a very different aesthetic, and caters to a very different market, in my opinion. I too would LOVE to wear the twee/cutesy stuff DP has.

  • If you think that finding quality, fashionable, affordable clothes in the US, UK or Australlia is tough, try being large in Japan!! I’m about 200lbs, UK size 22 or 24 and have only in the past 3 years found clothes that fit and are not for 70 year olds.
    Japanese women are smaller, the traditional Japanese diet is sea based,lots of fish and seaweed. But as Japanese have travelled they found that there are lot more foods than miso soup, fish and rice. As a result they are getting bigger, in every sense. Taller, heavier, fuller hips and breasts. Unfortually they are still so into the group mind set and being different in anyway is not cool. TV specials abound of young women destroying their health because they are ‘Fat’ we are talking about women who are 180lbs or so. One programme that stands out is a young woman who was 1690lbs and went down to 90lbs, she ate breakfast but then chewed gum for lunch and dinner.
    Anyway back to clothes. Japanese shops go up to 3L, about a large in the UK. I have to shop at a special shop where a T-shirt costs about $120 and trousers easily $200, not anything special or dressy.
    Also I avoid hospitals unless I am almost dying!! This past May I fractured a rib, over doing the exercise, I ended up having to ise a wheel chair, but I got stuck in it. I was in to much pain to really care about the stares. Plus I can swear like a trooper in English and nobody knows what I’m saying.
    Life in Japan is challenging.

      • I’ve been here for 20 years now. When I came I was 140lbs, but four children later that changed. Even at 140lbs finding clothes was tough and that was pre-internet so shopping from other countries was impossible. I honestly don’t care what others think about me, my hubby loves me, my kids love me, and honestly who cares what anybody else thinks!

    • Jackie, I really feel your pain! I lived in Japan for almost two years teaching English and the clothing situation is fairly dire at larger sizes (I was around an AU20-24 while I was living there). I know it’s not the same as bricks-and-mortar stores, but if your Japanese is okay or you have a friend to help you, nissen.co.jp has a pretty wide range of reasonably priced clothing up to a 10L in the smiLeLand section – I think they may have also opened a couple of bricks-and-mortar stores. I also bought some stuff from http://www.fannipink.jp/ – the sizes there vary with each garment, and it’s not cheap.

      I avoided hospitals too – I went to a doctor once the whole time I was there because I was so terrified of being shamed.

      (And Kath, this is a fantastic post – I’m really supportive of your goals, and I hope retailers start listening!)

      • I LOVE nissen. Also another catoluge(whose name has slipped my mind) has lovely large size underwear! My hubby orders for me, by telephone. A couple of months ago he ordered some bras for me, when he finished he said that he lady he was talking to thought he was a cross dresser!! That made my day!!

      • Thanks cutselvage – as you can see by some of the comments on this post, some retailers still have their head up their arses when it comes to their customers.

        But there are good ones out there and soon I’m going to do a post to acknowledge those as well.

  • I actually joined your FB page and was trying to be supportive by posting my videos of my professional Dances, and within seconds I was trolled. I still support what you are doing and what you stand for, I just think it is SUCH a shame, that somehow within moments of me posting my support for your moment and your page that I am personally attacked. Not blaming you of course just bringing it to your attention. If you wish to see the video and the comment that was made, as well as the face my entire page was flamed I can show you.
    Either way keep on keepin’ on, and know that you are well supported in your cause. Because you KNOW that there are more people out there wanting these sizes because every time I go shopping my size is gone, guess the larger is more of the norm then the retailers think it is.

    • Lyssa I’m sorry that you were subjected to trolling. It is fairly common in the Fatosphere I’m afraid – and the more vocal and visible the blogger, the more they attract. I get a new wave every time I comment on some of my fellow Fatosphere folks blogs. Don’t let the arseholes get you down and take it that you are doing some thing RADICAL!

      Thank you for your support.

      • I appreciate that. The worst part of it was the person was “Claiming” to be a Fellow Belly dancer and telling me how much or how little fat I was “Supposed to have” Her claims were ludicris, and false, I mean how can a Belly dance teacher and well performer be that way, ya can’t not in this industry, I should know, I AM in this industry. I perform at Resteraunts FULL of people, and if my home studio which BTW is kind of a big deal around the area, They have NEVER told me that I cannot perform because of my weight, or that my stomach jiggles or ANY of that. Heck there are women LARGER then myself that are teachers! And they are sent on professional gigs. It did hurt me, her words at first, but I was more warning you that there was a troll in your midst, and I didn’t want ANYTHING to get in the way of your movement. Not all of us can go out in front of a crowded resteraunt with our bellies hanging out and DANCE, metaphor for not everyone has as thick a skin about this and I don’t want any of your supporters to get hurt like I was <3

        • I have hundreds of trolls in my midst Lyssa – you are seeing quite a few here tonight. I haven’t given 90% of them audience because they’re not worth it. I advise you to do the same.

    • There are some lovely Celtic and medieval inspired pieces in their collection, and their prices look pretty reasonable too… with free shipping internationally! Woot! Thanks for sharing.

  • Agreed agreed agreed!! NOTHING is worse than finding something that would look great on my size 32 ass only to find out it only goes up to size 24.

    Sign me up!!

  • Preach on! At this point of my life I have the privilege of fitting into Dorothy Perkins and Asos Curve clothes, but I support the Super Sizers very much. Lately I’ve been getting my rage on about a local chain store that has a small plus sized (or “special tailored” as they euphemize it) range amidst the straight sized stuff. The size range used to be 42-54/56EU but then a month ago I ran into a 38/40 labeled skirt while browsing through the racks. Nope, it was not misplaced. Turns out they’ve not only “extended” their plus sizes downwards to SIZE FUCKING 38 (that’s about 8US or 10UK!) but also cut off the former biggest sizes so that the range is now 38-52! Like anyone at size 38 would even go look through the (fugly, I might add) special sized special prized stuff in the store, when their straight sizes go to a 44! I have not yet heard the official explanation to this, but it cannot be good. I still fit in their plus sizes, but hardly think I’ll be buying anything from them in the future.

    (Quite obviously I need a blog for ranting. :D)

    • That’s how I felt beep when I heard about CityChic cutting off the upper sizes from their range (and then after howls of protest, only offering them online).

      Rant away!

  • I have the same problem! I’m in New Zealand and all but 1 of our Plus size shops goes up to a 22 or 24 (NZ sizing) only… and the one that doesn’t is fugly and ridiculously expensive. And of the department stores/online shops there are only 2 that make things that fit my bottom half (since I’ve had kids I have a very large stomach, so Im several sizes bigger around the waist than elsewhere). At the moment I need bras but I litterally cannot find any in shops – and I’m down to my last one. I couldn’t find any rainjackets or warm jerseys for winter, no-one was stocking them to fit me. And few overseas places ship here and those that do the postage costs make it too expensive to contemplate.

    I get a little upset when I see all the fatshion posts, as I can’t join in. I’d like to wear/have nice things too… but I’m too fat. And it sucks.

    • We have one brick and mortar plus-size store that goes to 26. ONE! We also have a small range in the department/variety stores like Best & Less, Target, K-Mart and Big W. Most of the ranges in Myer and David Jones cut off at 24. That’s it. It’s bloody ridiculous!

      And tanz33 – you are not too fat, there are too few clothes made for you! We need to stop blaming ourselves and lay the responsibility at the feet of the clothing companies.

    • Oh I had hoped things might have improved since i left a few years ago but obviously not. i moved to the uk where clothes are much easier to find. i used to wear whatever i could find that fitted but now i wear things i like! If u ver see anything online in the uk u like i could ship it to you no problem :)

  • Hello, Laura of Pinupgirlclothing.com here. It seems you are not aware of PUG’s origins, or maybe you just ignored them because they don’t fit into your characterization of us as a “supposed” plus size retailer. But for the open minded: we launched in 1999 and from 1999-2002 we custom made our creations, to order, to ANY size. Name a hip measurement. We accommodated it. After we switched from custom to production (a necessary act to save our business), we went from size Small to 3X. That was 10 years ago. All the sizes did great, except the 3X. The 3X pieces sat there for years. So, we discontinued 3X. No point in offering something if the demand wasn’t there. And no point blaming PUG for not carrying it if you, and others, weren’t buying it. We’re about to make a foray into 3X again, and if the response is good, we’ll be expanding further.

    Another thought: I see a LOT of posts online where a blogger tries to rally the troops to “call out” retailers who are not meeting their needs. Has it ever occurred to you that if there is such a huge hole in the market, that maybe YOU should try and fill it? Why encourage these “supposed plus size retailers” to fill a need when you or any other crafty diva can fill it yourself and cash out big? This has always puzzled me. People always ask me how I got to be successful and I always say “Well, nobody was doing it so I decided to do it”. Two sewing lessons and I was off and running. So why wait for PUG or anyone else to give you what you want??

    • Laura, I’m glad you commented, but I am disappointed that you should fill that comment with snark. You had the potential to really make some money, but alas, you have blown that away with your comment.

      Firstly, your history is of no use to me when I want the clothes now. We can’t take a time machine back into the past and buy them. Secondly, I don’t want to change my career, I have one that I thoroughly enjoy and am good at, as do many other people who want the clothes now. Straight sizes don’t have to learn to sew and change their careers for the sake of finding suitable clothing that fits them, so why should plus-sizes be forced to do that, especially larger plus-sizes, when there are companies, like yourselves, who make clothing and even SOME plus-size clothing, but just drop those sizes because they perceive a lack of market, when this post, the comments on it and the number of people rapidly joining the facebook group I created shows you that it’s simply not true. I want to walk into a store, or log onto an online shop, and find the same options for me that there are for other people. “If you’re not happy, YOU do it!” is a lazy answer from someone who is not listening to people who could potentially be sending you money for your business. Can you imagine if you went to any other store and they didn’t have what you need, and their response was “Well you can make a hammer/curtains/shoes/whatever yourself! Stop complaining and get busy!”

      Don’t know about other folk here, but that doesn’t inspire me to recommend your business to others, nor does it inspire me to work WITH you to help you create, and then promote for you, the things we need.

      Yes, you see a LOT of posts online where bloggers call to change the current climate of production of clothes because the climate NEEDS to change. This is not the old days where there was no internet (or only a small, elite number of people had access to the internet) to rally together and create change. This is not the past when consumers thought that the only options were those in stores they could actually walk into. It’s 2011 and if you want people’s money for your business, then you need to acknowledge the way people shop in 2011.

      So next time, instead of coming along and commenting on a post full of the very people you’re cutting out, making assumptions that people “don’t know or don’t care” about your history (as though history is any use to them when they need/want clothes here and now) and should just “do it themselves”, and in the process alienating ALL of the voices who are saying that they cannot purchase what they need, perhaps you should listen to what is being said, take it away and think about it and if you can, capitalise on the very clear need in the market.

      • I’m glad that you were glad that I commented. I am, however, sad that you decided to falsely characterize my comment as “snarky”. It was nothing of the sort. My points still stand. I saw a need, and filled it. You can too. If not you, then maybe another crafty diva of size who understands the market? Life should never, ever be a choice between resignedly accepting the status quo, or on the other hand, railing loudly against it. This is my main issue, ultimately, with your post. There is a third way. Create your own system. Don’t wait for PUG, or anyone else, to catch up to you.

        If that makes you want to refrain from recommending my company to anyone else, that’s your choice and I accept it. We’re not for everyone. And to be honest, if your or someone else’s anger at my words motivates someone to enter the market and fill this need, I’ll be nothing but thrilled. I wish whoever does decide to cash in on this need the best of luck, and if anyone ever, at any time needs some business advice, I can be reached at Laura@pinupgirlclothing.com. I am sincerely happt and ready to help. <3 Laura

        • You really aren’t listening Laura. And I’ve noticed that all over the internet since your first comment, women have read that comment and gone “Well I know not to shop at PUG if that’s their attitude.” The only thing you are hurting in the long term with this archaic “Make it yourself” attitude is your own business. Your snarky comments, and yes they were, about not knowing your history or not caring about your history are doing YOU damage. Not only are you not getting potential customers, but your existing ones are reading what you say and deciding that they no longer want to be your customer.

          You’re not listening that we do not want to make it ourselves. You are not listening that we are saying “Provide us with your product in our size and we will give you our money!” That tells me, and most other people, that you really don’t want our money.

          When someone else does, I will be thrilled to throw the money that I would have given you, to them, for understanding that it is the PROVIDERS role to give the customer what they want, not the other way around.

          PUG will either catch up to their customers, or it will cease to exist. That’s the reality you’re not getting.

    • 10 years ago, hardly ANYONE stocked 3x. And fat women were much less aware of their options, and much less demanding for stylish choices. These days, there are so many great fatshion bloggers, so many voices like this one crying out for more. Another blogger I read just did a post on your brand, PUG, and I was looking at the dresses thinking I might buy one (I’m a size 20 or so), but I certainly won’t if this is your attitude. You had a great opportunity here to say the same message in a much more positive way – if you’d said “Previously, PUG has offered custom clothing and sizes up to 3x but unfortunately we discontinued this size due to lack of demand…however, we’re about to start offering it again and would love to hear your feedback, and may extend our sizes further if the demand is there” then you get the same message across and expand your customer base, instead of alienating them.

      • Laura – Ten years ago, the internet was nothing like it is now (in terms of blogs, online stores, and accessibility). If you were doing it then, you were ahead of the times. It doesn’t mean it isn’t wanted or needed now.

        But your rude response hardly makes me want to purchase anything. There are much better ways to respond (one option above), since you’re speaking rudely in a public space to the very group who would be purchasing.

        What are major plus size retailers trying to do, if not cater to their market? These bloggers “calling them out” are asking for better fit/more fashionable options, etc. Why ignore that?

        There are a number of successful indie designers that have taken it upon themselves to offer plus or custom size clothing but these small businesses are limited by time/funds.

        I’m one of those bloggers. I have no desire to create or design clothing but I feel my sartorial needs are not met by what is currently available in the plus size market. I’m not the only one. I can look to a straight sized store to fill these needs but I’m not that size. Why do I need to resign to making it myself or doing without?

  • I kind of agree with Laura here. Kath, you’re always talking about how individuals don’t owe anyone to be thin. Well retailers don’t owe us to make clothes in our sizes. The average woman in the UK is a size 14/16 with numbers and relatively few 24+, so if they’re not going to make a huge profit why WOULD they go to the trouble of mass-producing sizes? You act like if retailers started making size 32, they’d make millions when that’s just not true. Why do you think retailers are cutting back their sizing? Because they don’t sell as well. It’s truly as simple as that. I used to work at City Chic’s online division and the XL sizes were always leftover. The S, M & L sizes would sell like hotcakes and the XS quite well however those that buy XS can generally shop in straight size shops.

    TL:DR – Why do you think retailers owe you? It’s their business and I think they have a pretty good idea of what sells the best. It’s like you don’t understand production costs or something…

    • How can you compare the message of human rights for fat people to business?? Buggered if I know where that analogy fits in to be honest.

      If retailers want business, want to make money, they need to be listening to the people they’re supposed to be catering to. If a business is supposed to be catering to PLUS-SIZED customers, and a swathe of PLUS-SIZED people are saying “Why don’t you cater to me as well?”, then they need to be listening to those customers and either making a change, or wearing the very valid criticism.

      Just because something didn’t sell before, doesn’t mean there isn’t a demand now. Not to mention that it’s probably not that people didn’t want them, but because the sizing sucked, or they were too expensive, or poorly made, or they weren’t being sold to the right market. City Chic is a perfect example. Cheap, shitty fabrics, dodgy sizing, crap construction that falls apart on first wash and they were a ripoff. As someone said on Twitter today, you cannot assume they weren’t selling because there wasn’t a market – it’s their job to find a market / improve product. You can’t blame people for not buying something they didn’t know existed or was poor quality / poor fit / whatever.

      The reason I mentioned the businesses above, is not to “call them out”, but to say here are some brands that many plus-sized customers would like to purchase from, but cannot because they are sized out. I would buy from every single one of those brands, and so would most other people here if they provided options for us. Well, maybe not PUG now, they don’t deserve my money.

      And don’t come at me with that bitchy “it’s like you don’t understand production costs or something.” If Yours, Evans, Autograph, Target, Old Navy, Torrid and other companies like the ones mentioned above can do it, then it’s a crock of shit that others can’t.

      And finally, this is not about anyone owing me personally anything. You (and Laura) need to divorce this whole thinking that my talking about what fat women need from me personally. If you want to help improve conditions, consumer options and the lives of ALL fat people, not just the ones who are a “bit fat”, then that is what we’re doing here. If you have a bug up your arse about me personally, then go away and do something else with your time. Because you’re wasting ours.

      • To be fair, you’re the one who boasts about rarely buying full price items. Yet you think you should lead the charge for better retail options? You’re exactly the sort of customer retailers don’t go out of their way to attract.

        I’ve also worked in plus size fashion and my experience was similar to Lyn’s. Larger sizes Did Not Sell. The cut and fabric of our clothing is very good (and priced accordingly, although not much more expensive than a comparable straight sized brand) and the styles are still bang on trend, even without my awesome presence on the design team. But the feedback we got from stores was that few people wanted extended sizes. When the odd buyer decided to take a chance and stock a larger range of these sizes they were rewarded with a surplus of sale stock. We sized down. Is that fair? No. But a company losing money in order to provide a very small number of women with stylish (discounted) options is not fair either. We all liked receiving a paycheque. Go figure.

        This was not happening a decade ago, in fact it wasn’t even five years ago. I left the job in 2009 and I’m sure if I asked former colleagues about the specifics of size 24+ they’d tell me very little has changed.

        For the record, all the companies you’ve listed operate in large markets and work on an enormous volume. They can negotiate discounts. All the same, Torrid’s pricing is quite high, and the quality at Old Navy is very, very low. I like Evans’ offerings but at a size 20au I can’t get into anything of theirs below 24 so their sizing range isn’t as extensive as you might think. I haven’t tried Yours Clothing but I know people who have and they weren’t impressed with the quality offered. Let’s not forget that retail wages in the UK and US are a LOT cheaper than here in Australia. Retail space is also cheaper.

        Why do you think Lyn has a personal issue with you, Kath? Is it because she’s let you know that you are not an economically viable demographic? Hey, I have wide, size 11 feet. There are a few shops in the city that cater for women like me but when they try and carry more up to date styles, what do you think happens? No one buys and they’re out a lot of money. Believe me, if there was money in selling size 24+ we’d have been in like flynn. A dollar’s a dollar, you know? Who cares where it comes from? But once again Our Stock Did Not Sell. Sure it’s up to the business to market their product. Our product was great. The marketing staff worked their butts off. Maybe you should have rocked up to your local Myer and bought the size 26 garments that they stocked at full price. You didn’t. Buyers stopped ordering. We stopped making. Maybe we failed, but I’m pretty sure there’s nothing more we could have done short of showing up at your flat with an armful of clothing and a cashbox.

        • Oh fuck off. I’ve had it from all you people who call yourselves “experts” in plus-size clothing turning up here and saying “Nope, you can’t have it.” to all of these people who are clearly saying that what is on offer for the larger sized bodies is not acceptable.

          I don’t give a fuck if you worked in plus-size clothing this morning, the problem lies in that plus-size clothing companies ARE NOT LISTENING TO THEIR CUSTOMERS. The stock doesn’t sell because it’s too fucking expensive, it’s shittily made, it’s cheap, nasty fabric and it looks like something my 80 year old grandmother would wear. $90 for a viscose t-shirt? Fuck that noise. $70 for a polyester tank top with sequins sewn on the boobs? Screw that. There is no way in HELL that those garments cost those prices to manufacture, distribute, market and sell. It’s bullshit that people like you keep trying to spoon feed your fucking customers!

          I don’t turn up at Myer and buy those hideous fucking asymmetrical overlocked garbage bags in black with whatever ugly scraps they pull off the floor because they’re UGLY and they’re made of shitty fabrics. I don’t buy those $80 cargo pants at Myer because the manufacturer is making them for $4 in China. I don’t pay full price for your product because every time I have looked at your product over the past 20 years it has been CRAP. You are FAILING and there is EVERYTHING more you can be doing. You only have to look at how fast the Beth Ditto range RAN out the doors of Evans both seasons (and surprise surprise, it fit my size 26 arse with room to spare, so you aren’t looking very hard at their sizing, I’ve never had a problem buying lots of clothes from them and Yours) to see what you can be doing right. And guess what? I paid full price for all of those too.

          When a garment is worth the money, rare as hens teeth that they are, I’m MORE than happy to fork out the money. I just bought a BEAUTIFUL white denim jacket from Autograph (the only Australian brick & mortar plus-size store that a) listens to their customers and b) stocks to a size 26) because it was well made, of a good quality fabric and was a gorgeous, fashionable cut that fit me like it was made for me. Worth every penny of the $90 I spent on it. I did the same for a plain denim jacket. And the leopard print cardi. All beautiful garments I’m happy to put on layby and pay off so that I can have them at that price.

          Instead of going “Yeah, that’ll do for the fatties, it covers them. They don’t have any other options, charge ‘em $90 for that baggy tunic top.” these companies need to LISTEN.

          This is the last comment I will be letting through on this bullshit of “Wah wah, fatties don’t like the cheap shit we put out for them and won’t buy it, it’s too hard!” All you’re doing is proving my point that you don’t fucking listen.

    • I actually have to disagree with this. I’m a size 32, and whenever I go into Evans, apparently the only high-street retailer I can find who stocks a 32, I’m hard-pushed to find ANYTHING in my size, because those are usually the first to go, and the ones with the lowest stock.

      There’s a high enough demand for the sizes. The retailers just aren’t listening.

      • I agree with this. Whenever I go someplace like Torrid or Lane Bryant looking for clothes, I have a rough time finding things because the size 28 (or 4, in Torrid sizing) is among the first to be sold out. It’s rare that I can buy anything on sale from either place — especially now that I have to rely on the online stores because there are no LB or Torrid stores in my state — because by the time items go to sale, my size is sold out. Maybe this is a regional thing, or maybe people who wear 3x and above eventually give up looking because they have become so used to the option just not existing at all (and of course if you’re not looking for something you have a much lower chance of FINDING that something, which translates into a much lower chance of BUYING that something). Or maybe there aren’t enough of us expressing ourselves directly to shops that stop their lines at 3x/24 so they think there isn’t a demand. But honestly? My experience indicates that there IS a demand, and LOTS of it, for everything from cheap throw-away t-shirts to high-end business and evening attire above size 3x/24.

    • It’s not even a matter of whether or not we owe it to anyone to sell clothes for them. That’s not the issue at play at all. We get just as many requests for petite sizes as we do for 3X and up. We tell the petites “no”, an unequivocal “no”, over and over. We don’t venture into petites because for us, the market isn’t there. We’re a small company (compared to other companies mentioned in this post), and doing a petite run would be a money drain. The demand just isn’t there. There is actually more of a demand for 3X and up, which is why, as I said in my initial comment, we’re heading back there again.

      But again, the question remains: If there is such a huge hole in the market, why not fill it? The author of this blog has chosen to take my assertion and turn it into an insult against curvy girls, which is really kind of funny considering I’ve spent the past year or so begging women of all colors, shapes, and sizes to get into the market and start creating, since holes currently exist EVERYWHERE – in high quality clothes. In 3X and up clothes. In made in America clothes. In vintage inspired clothes. In hats (please someone make 40’s style cloches?? please???), purses, jewelry, accessories, shoes, aprons, kids clothes, etc etc.

      I recognize that the author has chosen to get offended because the alternative means taking real, forward-moving, positive action to create change. And that is a scary thing. I put my neck out on the line back in 1998 when I started, and the first few years were rough, but when it was all said and done, I was happier than I’d ever been in my life because I was creating my own reality and choosing my own destiny. I am not special. I’m a working-class girl from Staten Island whose parents used to take her out for ice cream on the off years that we did our taxes and discovered that this year we ended up ABOVE the poverty line. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

      Don’t look to me. Don’t look to anyone. Look to yourself and change the world.

      • It’s getting comical now. Do you want ANY customers? You tell the petites to go away, you tell the larger sizes to go away, who else do you want to NOT spend their money with you? Your famed $20 million is gonna run out sometime.

        Stop trying to prove what a great success you are. True successes don’t have to grandstand about it, to say “But I’m worth X!” when someone criticises their product or processes. Instead, they go away, think about how they can improve what they are doing and come back with the perfect solution for everyone.

        Man, if I worked like you do, I wouldn’t have a job in six months. If I listened to you, the world wouldn’t change at all. The world is going to be changed by those companies that listen to us instead of sticking their bottom lip out and going “I don’t wanna.” Real, forward moving positive action? Honey you wouldn’t know that if it bit you on the arse. Your idea of action is to tell someone else to do it!

        Either change your outdated attitude or go away and let us get on with finding companies who do.

      • Is this earth logic?

        We get just as many requests for petite sizes as we do for 3X and up. We tell the petites “no”, an unequivocal “no”, over and over. We don’t venture into petites because for us, the market isn’t there.

        This is not earth logic. If people are asking for it then the demand is there. If people are taking the time to contact your company to ask for their size, they will buy it if you make it.

        That’s what demand is. For pity’s sake.

        Clearly anybody can take a couple of sewing lessons and start a clothing company, but actually understanding business is a slightly steeper qualification.

      • If you want 40s style cloches why don’t you make them? You sound like a crafty diva, all you need is some fabric and scissors. :)

  • Quick question for the blogger… What size are these “plus size” retailers supposed to go up to? Seriously, where are they meant to stop and still keep EVERYONE happy? Should every company be making clothing to fit the morbidly obese women that cannot even get out of bed, just in case they decide they want to purchase something one day? Because they’re “plus size” too you know. Or is it as long as you get your size, you would be happy and that’s it?

    • Yes, everyone that needs it deserves clothes. How hard is that for people to understand? Everyone, no matter how big or small, no matter how tall or short, no matter what shape or condition their body is in deserves clothing.

      Seriously, do you think that just because you don’t approve of someone for whatever reason, then you have the right to deny them something that EVERY other person takes for granted? How very grandiose of you.

    • I’m not a super fat, but I’m fat and short and basically no one makes clothes to fit my small person. Am I to have an operation to lengthen my bones, or perhaps at the ripe old age of 40, take human growth hormones in the hope I fit into the “petite” (five 4 or less they say) sizing system? I call bullshit of that, cos I am much less than five 4 and even if I do fit their 18’s they are still too long, big, drapey and hang off my wrists like some cheap, overstretched jersey. So, YES, as Kath and all these super people on here say, YES, everyone, deserves clothes no matter fucking what.

  • Holyclothing also makes many cute things but cuts them off at 2x. I liked them on FB years ago but had to unlike them cause they would share all of these really nice new designs and ask for feedback. I was not the only one asking them to make things in the larger sizes, but they acted like most plus size retailers by just brushing us off and being rude. They make only a handful of designs in 5x and even fewer in 6x&7x.

  • Do you know what I would really like in terms of plus sized clothes? Some bloody knitwear that was made from natural fibres and not an old used plastic bag. Just because I’m fat doesn’t mean I love polyester (yes I’m looking at you Evans!). Luckily I can buy stuff from standard sizes that fits and is at the same price point and better quality.

    BTW I had no idea that Aus/NZ sizes were different from UK sizes although I should have guessed it as I moved from NZ to the UK 4 years ago. Here I’m a size 24-26.

    • My rage for polyester and non-natural fabrics–especially viscose and rough polyester–I can’t tell you how many shirts I’ve been gifted that would be FINE if they were just made with cotton or better quality material. It’s frustrating to fine a cute shirt or top or something, only to have it feel like crap–cotton at least has decent insulating and wicking properties–viscose–you can be freezing cold in it when it gets a little chilly, and then sweat on it just clings to the fabric. And when I see tops that cost $60 like this–AUGH. I know they don’t cost more than 50 cents to make! I see crap like this all the time, on top of that–I don’t think any of these people suggesting that I make my own clothes know how hard decent cloth is to find–Many local walmarts don’t carry more than 1 yard or 2 yard peices anymore–and where I live, all there is, is Walmart. My best and only hope is Dirt Cheap, a local salvage place, and then I often take whatever stuff will actually fit me. I’ve had to alter men’s clothes, and dresses, and plenty of other stuff just to fit–because I can’t afford $40 for one crappy top that will fall apart after one washing.

    • Amen to that Eclectica. The fabrics being used for many plus-sized knit pieces are awful. They are weird textures and they sag in odd places. Not to mention how hot and gross they get when you wear them for awhile.

      I want soft, weighty, beautifully draping knits that hold their shape and BREATHE!

  • It always amazes me the number of snots who get on fat blogs and start to gripe about how we are too demanding.

    If these people would actually use their brains (hey Linda and Laura, I’m looking at you) they would realize that according to the media and medical industry, there are tons (no pun intended) of us deathfatties waddling around needing clothing in 3X and up. Apparently we’re such an epidemic, yet only a handful of retailers make clothing and shoes in extended sizes! So that means that the media and medical community are flat out wrong, there is no obesity epidemic and deathfatties (those who wear size 22 and up) are the smallest population of fat out there!

    This means that only a small population of fat people, even smaller when you think how many actively blog about fashion and don’t settle for Omar the Tentmaker Limited, are asking for a more variety of stylish clothing. Dismissively telling us “stop complaining” and pay for someone else to make our clothes or learn to sew yourself is not the answer! I shouldn’t have to try to find a personal tailor or learn to sew to have decent clothing. I should expect to find it in stores! How hard is that to wrap your brains around?

    Now luckily, I have had success in finding things, but the success is limited to only a handful of stores and online. We also have some really great fashion bloggers like Stiletto Siren, Cupake’s Clothes, Deena (hope I got her name right) at Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too and others who know where to find nice stuff and share it with us. But if our lardbutts are supposedly in the mainstream thanks to this so-called obesity epidemic, than we should be treated like the mainstream—not some weird other group that has to pay over $60 for a cotton T-shirt that may fall apart after a few washings. And you know what? I have shelled out $$$ for clothes. But after two bouts of unemployment and finally getting back on track job wise, I don’t have the $$$ right now to pay for it.

    If a small group of very large women simply asking for nice clothing is the only thing that you have to gripe about, well, you’re being pedantic AND pathetic. I doubt you would get this upset over a size 8 woman with the same complaints.

    • I never told anyone to “stop complaining”. I’m pretty amazed the words the author of this blog, and many commenters, are choosing to put in my mouth. I explained the situation clearly and honestly. We used to sell 3X, it didn’t sell at all, and now we’re making another venture into 3X again. I also pointed out that this is obviously a huge hole in the market, and since that’s how I got my start, maybe some of you guys (you know, people who aren’t a size small and know what a 3X and up body type needs and wants) should go and cash in big. Apparently, that makes me a big asshole. OK. I’ll take my size 4 frame and create awesome 3X and up clothes and make a killing and deny a big girl the chance to become a millionaire. I thought I already had enough money, but apparently my suggesting that you guys tell the system to fuck off and make your own way is the most insulting thing I could have said to you guys, so I guess I’ll just go and do it myself. Makes a ton of sense.

      Oh right, you’ll never buy PUG or recommend to others that they buy PUG ever again because I let some truth out of my mouth. Duly noted.

  • I am not considered supersized, however, I think that it is unfair for the companies to single out individuals who are in that range. I also thing that it is unfair for them to be charged so much for clothes that are ugly as well as ill fitting.

    Oh sure its okay to make snarking comments when its not you who has been singled out, but put yourself in their shoes and have some empathy. How would you feel if you had nothing to wear, not being able to afford quality clothes you want. Its not fair and I think that a huge injustice that has been done.
    Everyone has the right to feel good about themselves regardless

  • Lyn, YOU chose to come onto this blog with a dismissive tone. You could have presented your “valid arguments” in a less judgmental way but you didn’t. Others called you out on it. Save your attitude. I’ve heard the same things said by other people, but in a much more professional and less haughty tone. Perhaps you are the one that is immature.

  • Since when was $90 for a jacket expensive? If you walked into a department store and asked for a good quality jacket in a size 8, you are looking at $200 for something well cut in a natural fibre.

    I think there are two issues being confounded here: availability and affordability. There is a lot of options for straight sizes when it comes to cheap disposable fashion. But you get what you pay for and it is certainly not well constructed or made from natural fibres. I think quality and affordability in the sense that it’s being used are not the same thing.

    • Ayla, I’m based in the UK where the choice is pretty crap for plus sizes too. There are a smattering of independent bricks-and-mortar boutiques for fat women, and these do generally carry clothes in significantly larger sizes. And I can tell you that most of the garments stocked therein cost two to three times as much as a straight-sized shopper would expect to pay in an upmarket store. These garments are rarely, if ever, made from natural, breathable fabrics; particularly if they are winter garments. And, for the most part, they bear scant resemblance to anything you’d see in straight size stores, (regardless of budget and demographic), trend, style, or even colour wise.The fact is, even if you’re loaded, you can’t get what you’re looking for, and the bigger you are the worse it gets. I have seen polyester dresses I wouldn’t wear if you paid me with £300 price tags on them.

      • I’m interested to know what we’re comparing here, as in labels. High street fashion isn’t about quality – it’s about making the trends accessible. You are never going to find ‘quality’ at high street price points, regardless of size. I guess Im trying to understand what the demand is – is it high street or is it high fashion? I guess from my perspective, ripping into the likes of Leona Edmiston isn’t very fair if you have no intention of ever handing over $500 for one of her dresses.

    • Simple: because it’s Kath’s blog, she gets to do what she wants on it, and that’s that. You can keep arguing until the cows come home but I think myself and everybody else are done and are moving on.

    • It’s expensive when the jacket is made of cheap, shitty fabric, badly constructed and poorly cut. They almost never have lining, have no details or finishes and do not last.

      Yes, you can get a good quality jacket in a size 8 for $200. But you can also get a cheapie one that you can have as disposable fashion for $40. In plus sizes, $50, $90 and $200 usually get you cheap, nasty garments that fall to bits before they’ve even lasted a season.

      $90 is a great price for a reasonably well constructed garment that has nice fabric and is cut well.

      As you say yourself, $200 for a “good quality size 8 jacket… well cut in a natural fibre” – you find me that in a size 26AU and I’ll invest my $200 in the jacket.

  • You know what? Lyn, go to hell. I’m tired of you people who swing in here having never commented before, thinking you can just swan in, lord it over everyone with your “expert opinion” and spew your anti-fat rhetoric at everyone.

    To everyone else, I apologise for this troll, I will send them to the spam where they belong right now.

  • Ayla :
    I’m interested to know what we’re comparing here, as in labels. High street fashion isn’t about quality – it’s about making the trends accessible. You are never going to find ‘quality’ at high street price points, regardless of size. I guess Im trying to understand what the demand is – is it high street or is it high fashion? I guess from my perspective, ripping into the likes of Leona Edmiston isn’t very fair if you have no intention of ever handing over $500 for one of her dresses.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have to ask, why does it have to be one or the other? Fat people need access to cheap clothes, just like straight-sized people. And there are fat people out there who would be THRILLED to drop hundreds on a haute couture dress/suit/whatever if only it came in their size. Fat people are people too, and we have the same varied needs and desires as folks who can wear straight sizes. But in my experience, the way it stands right now is that we’re expected to pay high prices for low-quality items, and have no other option open to us.

    For me, I want to be able to pay a price for clothes that is in line with the quality of the item being purchased. When I have the money, I am happy to spend hundreds on a piece that is well made and is made from good quality materials. But I’m not happy to spend $80-100 on a single piece of clothing made from low-quality fabric and constructed so poorly that it falls apart after a wash or two.

    But as far as I can see it boils down to one simple point: Fat people of all sizes need and want the same things that people who can wear straight sizes want and need in their clothes, and that includes a broad range of options in terms of price, style, and quality.

    • I’m not at all suggesting that plus sizes should have to choose one or the other. My point was, ‘cheap’ and quality rarely go hand-in-hand. I’m struggling with the demands for ‘cheap, quality fashion’ in plus sizes, when (going by the price points mentioned by the blogger) this isn’t really something that exists in straight sizes.

      This is why I’m interested to know straight sized labels/stores that we’re comparing, as something of a point of reference.

      • I have been hunting for nice dresses to wear to work. If Leona Edmiston made them in my size then I would buy several of them at full price.
        I object to paying $150 for an assymetrical mumu at Myer which does as much for my curves and shape as wearing a hessian sack.

      • We’re not asking for “cheap quality fashion”. We’re asking for REASONABLY PRICED garments. Reasonably priced =/= “cheap”, it means priced for what they are worth.

        If they’re cheap stuff coming out of sweatshops, then we shouldn’t be expected to pay $90 for a t-shirt or a pair of cargo pants. They should be priced the same way straight sizes are, which would be reasonable.

        If they’re quality garments that are well constructed of good fabrics and are cut to fit a plus-sized body properly, then I am more an happy to pay for what they are worth… which would be reasonable.

        I would LOVE to be able to buy a Leona Edmiston dress (as an example). I might only ever buy one because they are an investment, but if they were made in my size, they would be an investment well worth making.

      • What I personally want is quality for the price, whatever price point that may be.

        I just went shopping today at a chain department store. The “Women’s” section had maybe 15-20% of the floorspace the Misses had. I was looking for basic T-shirts and they were having a sale. I found a shirt in my size (2X, or 2 for this store) for $8. Not bad. Out of curiosity, I tried on the XXL from the misses section. It fit more like a 1X, so I didn’t get it. Price? $6. For a shirt with maybe 6square inches more of fabric, they’re charging 25% more. Not only that, if I were one size smaller I could fit in both an XXL ($6) AND a 1X ($8).

        Ok, but it’s only $2, I can see it -does- have more fabric, so maybe I can justify it this time. They do actually have my size in a store I can visit after all. Perhaps I could, if they actually would finish sewing the things. I was just about to add that shirt to my “buy” pile when I noticed the shoulder seams hadn’t been sewn all the way around. There were odd corners on the sleeves where it didn’t match up with the shell and the seam hadn’t actually been sewn across the fabric. One of the ones I had skipped on the rack was stained.

        I’m on a budget. I can rarely afford to spend $30 on a pair of jeans (let alone $150) but I do expect garments I buy to be clean and finished. I’ve gotten lucky a few times and have shirts that I have worn for over 10 years still in my closet. I want fabrics that can last. I want to have some options to wear cotton, even if it is a blend.

        There are ladies out there who have a significantly larger clothing budget than I do. They will want to buy clothing that is more expensive than what I can afford. BUT, they will want value for their dollar just like every other shopper.

      • For me, the issue isn’t necessarily about quality, but it is about price. When a straight-sized woman (or even a woman to a UK22 in some cases) can go into Primark or Asda and buy a t-shirt for £3, but I have to go to Evans and get one in a UK26 that is barely an inch bigger than the UK22 but costs closer to £10, how is that fair? I just want a t-shirt for schlepping around the house/going to the gym/going grocery shopping, but I have to spend 3x more, how is that fair?

        The only place I have found in the UK that does anything even remotely like this is H&M, which goes up to a 3x in most things, which SHOULDN’T fit me, but a lot of their fabrics are surprisingly stretchy. I currently have black and grey t-shirts that cost me £3 each that I wear for work, exactly the same as my size UK14 friends. It’s THAT equality which I want.

  • In a way this whole situation reminds me of my teenage years, when there was no (decent) internet and I was living in a very small town with only one clothing shop dedicated to “youth clothes”. Every time you found something fashionable and nice to wear, you’d instantly see it on every other person in school as well, because it was all there was to choose from. It was upsetting to me as a teenager who would have liked some uniqueness about her style. The fashionable options for fatties, too, are still so limited I can easily recognize half of the stuff I see on FA and fatshion blogs. Not to say that there isn’t also great benefits like peer reviews and inspiration and getting an actual idea of what the clothes look like on a fat body, but it is still kind of sad as well. And the more limited the sizes are, the more you see everyone wearing the exact same clothes.

    • I hear you beep, I can spot an Asos Curve, or an Evans, or a Torrid from a mile off. There are so few options that we see the same garments over and over, which means we learn them by rote!

  • It kills me how retailers complain because customers don’t want to pay full price for their plus-size clothing. One reason I don’t like to pay full price – I worked in a garment factory, I know what they paid for the fabric, I know what they paid us for labor, I know what the mark-up was on the finished garment (can you say 10X what it cost to make it?). Despite knowing all that, when it came time to find an appropriate outfit to wear to my son’s wedding 5 years ago, I was willing to pay full price, and I was willing to spend several hundred dollars on a dress or a fancy pantsuit. Alas, it was not to be. I wear a size 32 in dresses and there was nothing in my size suitable for mother-of-the-groom. As for pantsuits, I wear a 3X in pants and a 5X in tops – kinda lets me out for finding a pantsuit too. My solution was to find a pattern I liked, alter it to fit me (cost – $15), buy fabric I like for the top (found it online – cost $28), find matching fabric for the slacks ( found at Hancock Fabrics – cost $21). I already had the thread and elastic, so I had everything I needed to make my mother-of-the-groom pantsuit and the total cost came to $64 and 5 hours’ worth of my time to put it together. I got more compliments on that outfit and questions of where I bought it, and lots of astonishment when they found out I made it (that’s the outfit I’m wearing in the photo that accompanies my comments). When I got married 3 months later, that’s the outfit I wore.
    There are times when I pay full price for items of clothing that I buy, but it’s usually when I’m only buying one item, and when I know that item is well-made and will last me for more than a year – I have clothes I made that have lasted 15 years and more, I can’t say that about any clothes I’ve ever purchased. I’m lucky if my tops last me a year, and I might be able to get my denim leggings to last 2 years (only because I’ve managed to build up a wardrobe of 15 pair so I can alternate them and not have to wear the same ones all the time).
    One thing I have done though, and it only works if you know how to sew – the tops I have that I really like, when they’re worn out or too stained to be worn anymore, I take them apart and turn them into patterns. The fabric pattern is more durable than a tissue pattern, I know it’s going to fit me, and I can make minor changes to it if necessary (add pockets, lengthen it, shorten/lengthen sleeves, change the neckline, etc). I get to pick the fabric I want, in the color/print I want, and with the alterations I make, I know that no one will have a shirt just like mine (they won’t even have the same style of shirt because I’ve changed the pattern). I’m even thinking of doing that with a pair of my bootcut leggings because I want a pair that have more flair to them (similar to the old bell-bottoms from the 70s) and I can’t find any anywhere.

  • I used to make and sell gothy/alternative clothing on eBay. The size 24+ stuff sold the best, as there was already a glut of crushed velvet lace-trimmed tops up to a 20-22. ;) Maybe if your 3X/26/+ clothes weren’t selling, ur doin it rong. Like Kath said, the plus size fashion world has changed remarkably in just 10 years. Get a 3X fit model to make sure your grading is correct. Put it on actual 2x/3x models so we can see how it looks. Send samples to fatshion bloggers and fat celebrities. Use social media to your advantage instead of snarking. It’s unfair to just say ‘well, start your own plus size clothing business’ – not everyone with an established career can or wants to change from that, you need certain skills, and time and money, to run a small business let alone produce the clothes. And so on.

    • Well said Madamq!

      If anyone said to a straight-size customer “Well if you don’t like what we’ve got, go make your own!” the furor would be heard the world over. But no, fatties have to just suck on the lemon and like it.

      • Can you please explain to me why my encouraging others to start a clothing line is in any way, shape, or form, offensive?

        And for your information, the comment that started Pinupgirlclothing.com was a woman who said to me “You sure like to bitch, but I don’t see you making clothing”. That was about 20 million dollars ago.

  • I haven’t read all the comments, but thinking about this while poaching my eggs tonight reminded me of something I read ages ago in a Dilbert book. Basically, the anecdote went like this: a publisher is trying to sell a new book to a bookstore owner. The bookstore owner isn’t sure how many copies to buy. He decides to buy 5 to test it out. All 5 copies sell. The publisher says, “You should buy more copies! All your copies sold!” The bookstore owner replies, “No way, I only sold 5 copies!”

    That’s the problem with fashion as well. I’m lucky enough that, for tops at least, I can usually fit a 2xl and some straight stores (Jay Jays being a notable example) stock that size. But they have so few that I have to go digging through to find one, and often they don’t have that size in the colour or style I want. They only get a few of that size, and they sell them all, but from their point of view they are only selling a few, so where is the incentive to buy more product? I’m sure this is the same for the biggest superfatz sizes as well. I buy most of my clothes online (around size 20, as I said above) because I struggle to find clothes in the style I want that are decent quality. I used to shop at Crossroads because that was the only store I knew that stocked my size. But their quality is crap, their sizing is all over the place, and their style is awful. I certainly don’t shop there any more.

  • Laura – I’d love to take your advice and start my own clothing line, designing it, making it, marketing it. Fact of the matter is, I’m 57 years old (almost 58) and I have fibromyalgia and other problems that don’t allow me to make all the clothes I want for myself, let alone design, make, and market a line of clothing for superfatz like me. I have the talent, but I don’t have the resources to do it, so all your exhortations telling us what we should be doing are falling on deaf ears (I’m sure I’m not the only one who has good reasons why she can’t start her own business making clothing for superfatz women).
    And the thing is, why should we have to go through all the hassles and heartaches of starting a business to cater to women our size when it’s much easier for an already-established business to just expand theirs? How difficult is it to extend your size range 2 or 3 sizes when you’re already carrying sizes up to a 2X or 3X? What really sucks is that a lot of these places used to carry sizes up to a 5X (Lane Bryant, I’m looking at you). I’m sorry, but being blamed because I won’t start a business making sizes 3X and above doesn’t endear you to me or to other fat women who just want decent clothing that lasts at reasonable prices (and no, a cotton tee that shrinks 4″ in length in the first wash and cost me $50+ is not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination).

    • Vesta, nobody needs to have an “excuse” why they don’t become the next Laura from PUG (though that doesn’t look like it’s going to be lucrative for much longer). We all have our lives. We all have families and careers and passions and skills and lives that we need to have clothes for right now, today, this instant. Not 5 years from now, not a decade in the past, but today. Every one of us deserves to walk into a store and be able to purchase the items we need and want with our hard earned money. Saying “Go start your own business” is tantamount to telling people that they can’t have steak for dinner tonight unless they go out and kill the beast themselves. It’s a very childish and impractical attitude to have.

  • Laura :
    Can you please explain to me why my encouraging others to start a clothing line is in any way, shape, or form, offensive?
    And for your information, the comment that started Pinupgirlclothing.com was a woman who said to me “You sure like to bitch, but I don’t see you making clothing”. That was about 20 million dollars ago.

    Because not everybody is privileged enough to have the time, resources, and/or skills to start their own clothing line.

  • I definitely support the idea that everyone at every size should have beautiful clothes that they love and feel good in. There should be the same range of quality, styles, etc, for every size. In a perfect world this would be the case. But, unfortunately, no retailer has the obligation to provide clothing in every single size and fit imaginable; to think otherwise is just not realistic. Laura’s suggestion definitely makes sense, in that regard – if you can’t find what you need, make it for yourself. That certainly seems to be what she did and it definitely worked! But I know that this is also not realistic for everyone – I for one would have no idea how to make my own clothes nor the time at the moment to learn! Thankfully, there are a few small plus size retailers starting to do it for the larger size market – http://www.dominodollhouse.com, http://www.chicstar.com, http://www.eshakti.com and http://www.lucielu.com are the ones that come to mind right away. There are also some sellers on etsy that will make custom clothing to fit individual measurements. And Laura did say that PUG is expanding into larger sizes again, starting with 3X and going from there. So it is starting to happen, and hopefully other stores will catch on from there. Especially the dedicated plus size stores who have limited their ranges and cut out the larger sizes (does anyone know why they did this? Sorry if it’s been mentioned all ready and I missed it.).

    • But Cara nobody is “demanding” that PUG run out and do anything except LISTEN. What they are saying is that these are companies that we like the styles/quality/price they currently have, we wished they didn’t cut off before the standard range of plus-sizes.

      And I very much disagree about business obligation. If you want to make money, you need to be providing what customers say they want, not what you think they want. The suggestion to “make it yourself” is really ignorant because it assumes that everyone has the skills/time/money and/or desire to.

      But you are right – we need to be celebrating those businesses who DO listen and provide customers with what they want and need – and I will be doing that in the near future in a post that I will ask people to contribute to.

  • All I know is that I can’t sew. At all. I took sewing in home ec in high school and, even using a machine, all of my lines were crooked. And I’m very sure I’m not the only fat girl that doesn’t have these skills.

    The worst thing is I just found tonight that my favorite, and only, pair of jeans that I bought less than 6 months ago have a hole in them. I need to replace them, but first I’m going to have to research stores that carry my size somewhere within driving distance of my new town.

    Pissed off. I’m it.

    • Oh, and for the record, if I find quality clothing at a reasonable price that fits me well and makes me feel good about myself? I will buy it in every color or pattern it comes in. Simply because it happens so rarely that all of those things happen at one time that I feel like I need to take advantage of it when it does.

      • I have eight pairs of 28R jeans from Evans for that reason. It’s been a decade since I’ve been able to buy jeans that I like and I’m loving having more than one holey pair in my wardrobe that doesn’t have an elasticised waist band and are super frumpy or bedazzled like crazy. So scared Evans is going to fail me one day I’ve become a bit of a hoarder.

      • I do that too. I have 7 pairs of We Love Colors leggings because they’re excellent quality, beautiful colours, good fabric and the price was reasonable. I will probably buy more colours next winter, even though I’m sure the ones I have will still be fabulous.

        Same with dresses from Autograph – I have several of their dresses in any colour/print they release because they are worth every penny.

    • You shouldn’t have to sew to clothe yourself. This is not 1945, it’s 2011. I think a lot of people have this assumption that fat women just sit at home all day eating bonbons and watching daytime TV. They refuse to acknowledge that we have careers, families, responsibilities and skills in other areas. Not to mention that not everyone even likes sewing! I couldn’t think of anything more boring than making clothes – but then I’m sure a lot of people would find my job (which I am passionate about and good at) as boring as I find sewing.

      If I told my customers “Sorry, we’ve never made a system like that before/we’ve never had any demand for that before, go make it yourself.” then I’d be out of a job. Instead, I have to listen to what they want, consult my providers and manufacturers as to what we can do with the resources available, and then meet with the customer again to see if we can find a solution that works for them and is feasible. Sometimes it takes time, sometimes it takes being innovative and resourceful, sometimes it takes selling them something slightly different, but that I’ll work to meet their need.

      Shunting them out the door with “Nope, make it yourself.” is nothing short of very bad business.

  • Seriously people, you cannot blame customers for not buying clothes you don’t usually stock. There are plenty of fat people around, if you can’t sell your clothes it’s because they don’t want them or they don’t know they exist. If you want to make sales you need to help people find your product – not hide it in maybe one of your stores in the back corner and only during every 3rd month of the year. I am more than happy to pay serious dollars for clothes that I like. I am not the only one. But there are very few companies stocking clothing that looks like it could be flattering to me in styles that I like, regardless of the price. Right now I’m looking for a dress for a special occasion and can’t find one I like partly because they’re all black – I want colour, either casual or crazy maxi length formal – I want a cute cocktail dress, or clearly made of shitty fabric – which will look shit despite the cute cut and nice colour. Don’t even start me on shoes. I need a xxwide and while I love a lot of the Evans shoes they are very hit and miss for me, especially anything with a heel. It seems to be impossible to find a pair of not black pumps that fit that aren’t frumpy looking and a billion dollars. And again, I’m willing to pay lots of money for what I’m looking for.

  • Hooray for this post! I’m in a rural area with no plus size shops (I can drive an hour and find a very small Autograph and a small Target, but size 26 is usually gone – and I’m actually a 22 top 28 bottom anyway!) so I largely shop online. I don’t use Facebook, so I hope to hear the occasional updates on how you’re going here.

    • lilacsigil it’s my intention to go beyond FB eventually, I just thought that was a good way to get the word out to start with… and it is. In just a few days we have over a hundred people joined up.

      I can’t imagine how anyone in rural areas who don’t use the internet get along. Aye caramba!

      • I can’t imagine how anyone in rural areas who don’t use the internet get along. Aye caramba!

        The first few years I lived here I only had (very slow) dial-up and couldn’t load the pictures on sites. This meant a twice-yearly five-hour round trip to buy work clothes, and everything else from the very small Target. I suspect that’s what many people still do.

  • sleepydumpling :
    I do that too. I have 7 pairs of We Love Colors leggings because they’re excellent quality, beautiful colours, good fabric and the price was reasonable. I will probably buy more colours next winter, even though I’m sure the ones I have will still be fabulous.
    Same with dresses from Autograph – I have several of their dresses in any colour/print they release because they are worth every penny.

    Helps when you get the close for free.

    • If you mean “clothes” by close, then yes, I do get some for free from Autograph, they have been awesome to me.

      However, I purchase FAR more from them than they send me.

      And quite often when they send me something, I will purchase them in other colours if I like it, tell everyone else how much I like it and other people then go and buy them too. It’s a smart marketing investment on Autograph’s part, plus they also get constructive criticism when something isn’t right, instead of people just saying “You suck!”

  • What the hell is even happening :D I’m sort of snorting here over the idea of me making (or worse, selling) clothes for anybody, especially since we’re also arguing the quality of the plus sized clothes here. I can’t even hem my own pants decently, and I had mandatory sewing lessons through grades 3-7, maybe like a 100 in total. I’d say suggesting that two sewing lessons is all it takes is not only hilarious but also dismissive of a profession. If two lessons is what it took you, you’re a frigging prodigy.

    Of course, for the sake of those people who would have the skills and desire to design and make clothing, I wish that embarking on an enterprise would be made easier and more supported (I suppose Etsy has helped with that). But that’s a whole another matter.

    • Let’s make sure we support those who DO get it right, who do listen to their customers and who have a positive attitude towards those people they expect to spend their money on their product.

  • sleepydumpling :
    You really aren’t listening Laura. And I’ve noticed that all over the internet since your first comment, women have read that comment and gone “Well I know not to shop at PUG if that’s their attitude.” The only thing you are hurting in the long term with this archaic “Make it yourself” attitude is your own business. Your snarky comments, and yes they were, about not knowing your history or not caring about your history are doing YOU damage. Not only are you not getting potential customers, but your existing ones are reading what you say and deciding that they no longer want to be your customer.

    I still haven’t seen you respond to her claims that she did make 3x for a long while and that it didnt sell? And the fact that she is planning to try out the size again to see if it sells. You seemed much more willing to jump on her for suggesting that you sew the items yourself. Her attention to the problem at hand seemed entirely overlooked. She made the size and it didnt sell. Why would a company continue to craft something that takes a lot of fabric resources and simply sits on the shelves?

    Please respond?

    • Umm… have you not read my comments where I’ve said over and over and over and over that the market for 10 years ago is not the same as it is now? Have you read my comments where I’ve said that if things don’t sell, perhaps it’s the marketing or the product or the price that is at fault, and not the customer?

      Have you read any of the comments by other people saying EXACTLY the same thing??

      I’m not going to say it again, it’s like flogging a dead horse.

      • They keep “flogging the dead horse” because for all your claims that I’m not listening, the fact is that you have repeatedly responded with scorn, condescension, and derision to my first point (That I offered 3x 10 years ago and it sat there for years), but not once, in any comment, to anyone else or to me, have you responded in a POSITIVE way – or ANY way, for that matter – to my comment that we were about to expand our offerings into 3X again. Not once.

        And by the way, we’re not offering 3X in a year, or a few months. We’ve been in the planning and research stages for over a year, and the first 3X styles are set to hit the site within a few weeks.

        In this light, your “Well DUH, the market isn’t the SAME as 10 years ago!” responses (Please excuse me for taking a page out of your playbook to wildly paraphrase something you said to extreme and dramatic effect), are extremely obtuse, not to mention disingenuous. OF COURSE I understand that the market is different now, otherwise, why on earth would I be bringing back 3X after its originally disastrous showing. Seriously. You need to cut this out.

        You are not listening, or rather, you are determined to hear only what you want to hear. and you are determined to be a nasty and negative person no matter what anyone says to you.

        I sincerely hope that you move beyond the place you’re in now. I say this with no nastiness or sarcasm. I mean it.

    • If Laura had couched her original comment in a less derisive tone, this whole argument could have been avoided. I’m talking something like:
      “Laura from PUG here. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been feeling under-served by the clothing selection we have to offer currently. You may be pleased to know we will be expanding back into 3X offerings in the near future. Our foray into the larger plus sizes when we switched from custom to ready-made clothing was unfortunately not profitable, but we have high hopes for this expansion. If the response is good, we may even expand further.”

      THAT is the kind of post that would get a positive response on a blog post about larger plus size clothing and retailers who don’t offer it. If Laura had said something like that, She could have gotten a boost in sales, for all sizes, not just the potential 3X stock.

      Jumping out of the gate with phrases like “It seems you are not aware of PUG’s origins, or maybe you just ignored them because they don’t fit into your characterization of us”, “no point blaming PUG for not carrying it if you, and others, weren’t buying it”, “Has it ever occurred to you that if there is such a huge hole in the market, that maybe YOU should try and fill it?” and “Two sewing lessons and I was off and running” was no help to the cause of defending the honor of the store as a plus size retailer. These phrases are patronizing, defensive and dismissive. It does not matter how they are intended, that is the way they come across on a computer screen. Tone of voice does not exist on the internet, so the choice of words, grammar and punctuation becomes critical for good communication.

      The post wasn’t even targeting PUG in a vacuum. Several other retailers were listed who bill themselves as catering to plus sized customers but don’t offer the larger plus sizes (ie 3X, 4X, 5X). By Laura’s own admission PUG only carries up to a 2X at this time but wants to expand their range.

      I’d never heard of Pinupgirlclothing.com but before I was done reading Laura’s first post, I had crossed it off my shopping list. And I’m a 2X, so I could have potentially bought something this week. If Laura had not posted, I might have been curious enough to check out the site, maybe buy something and then say “as a customer, I’d like to see larger sizes” and the company could have responded “Way ahead of you. Our 3X sizes are coming next month” or whatever.

      Not all publicity is good publicity.

  • Are you still here Laura? Who’s the one who needs to move on? If you’re not going to make changes to your business or contribute to changing the market for larger plus-sizes, you’re wasting all of our time. No nastiness or sarcasm… oh you’re hilarious! Dripping with snark and passive-aggressive “you need help” attitude won’t be undone with “no nastiness or sarcasm.”

    I don’t need to do anything – I’m not on this earth to please your sensibilities. Take a look around… you’re on MY blog. I make the rules here.

    Take your passive-aggressiveness off to someone who still cares. No doubt it won’t be anybody over a size 2X, since your begrudging tossing of crumbs to us is just not winning you any fans.

    Any further comments by you will be removed, we have better things to do.

  • Laura, I have had two friends (this week alone) bemoan the fact that the majority of items are your site (particularly anything above a size L) is out of stock. Why show them on your site if they are continually out of stock? Also, your sizing is ridiculously small. A size 12Australian (so approx a 10 US) is NOT an XL which is what your sizing equates to. I am a 3XL in every other store but not in yours. Your sizing runs small so please don’t sound so smug in thinking you cater to the plus size community when in reality, you don’t. And also, I told my friends about your attitude and referred them to this post and your comments. They decided they would never purchase from you because of it. So keep talking and put yourself out of business in the process.

  • Dangit! I almost posted on Target USA’s facebook page, drawing their attention to Target Australia’s positive response but… I suddenly had this image of my facebook being deluged by fat-hating trolls… hatemail, hackers, the whole 9 yards. I’m kinda disappointed in myself! :( Target was one of my favorite stores once upon a time… I guess the haters have silenced me… for now…

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