It’s All About Colour… Unless You’re Fat.

Published August 15, 2012 by sleepydumpling

I’m feeling really disheartened at the moment.  I went into my local Target yesterday, as a friend had told me that they had all this stock with amazing colours at the moment, and being the colour fan, I’m in!

But I came away so depressed, so disheartened.  But the difference this time is, I decided to take some action about it, and I took a bunch of photos on my phone (apologies in advance for the low quality of images, I was in a hurry on my lunch break, and was just grabbing shots on my phone, but I think they do illustrate my point) to share here.

I walked in to the store, and you betcha, there is colour splashed everywhere in the women’s wear.  It’s awesome.  They also have these little signs up on quite a few of the racks:

Weee! Colour!!

There are neon brights, loads of prints, lace, crochet, jewel tones, sportswear, you name it… all in the most glorious of colours.  So I took myself off to the plus-size section, which is at the back corner of the store, facing the shoes, you know, like they’re ashamed of it (they should be) looking for some fab coloured clothes for fatties.

Sorry, no fatties, you get this…

Zzzzzzzzz

Or you can have this:

Perfect… for my Grandma.

Ooh, wait is that a little blue I see?

Oh great, navy… tradesman checks.

Hang on, there’s a bit of colour behind here…

That’s a bit better, at least it’s not black, navy or grey.

Ok, that’s a bit of colour, I’ll give them that one, it also comes in a deep blue as well.  Not too bad.  Bit casual though, let’s see if there’s anything by way of colour for non-casual occasions (work, going out etc)…

Oh just, no.

Ugly print, again with the dark/muted colours, looks like something my Grandma would love.  I’m a successful woman in the prime of my life who loves fashion, has a career and a full social life.  I do not want to dress like my Grandma.

What about a frock?  Frocks are much more likely to work for a wider age group, and are more likely to have a bit of fashion about them, let’s try the frocks…

Oh look. Black. Grey. Beige. I think I need some No-Doze.

Can you see why I am depressed?  Everything is so bland, so boring, so OLD.

So I went back to the straight sizes.  I want to know, where are these clothes for me?  I mean look at this:

I would wear the hell out of these print pants!

Where are the fabulous prints and bold colours for plus sizes?  Wear are the funky separates to mix and match for women like me?

I want this shirt.  Exactly like this, in a size 26 to fit me.  I don’t want a version with a hanky hem and weird sleeves added to “flatter” my arms, I don’t want it in muted colours, I don’t want it in some kind of nanna print.  I want it just like this, but bigger.

Piping Hot Activewear

See all this casual/activewear?  I want a whole bunch of that in my size too.  In these colours and prints.  Target hardly even have activewear for plus-sizes, it’s like four or five pieces, all as dull as dishwater.

T-shirts anyone?

Look at all these t-shirts.  In a rainbow of colours, with a bunch of variations in sleeve and neckline.  Where are these for plus-sizes?  Why do we only get muted colours, and the only variations we see in design are those that I like to call “fat lady uniform” – shark bite or hanky hems, weird sleeves, ugly prints like that purple shirt above or with “bling” on the bust.  All things that are supposed to “flatter” but just mark us as “different”.

Prefer prints?

Want prints?  Look at that – all on trend styles, colours and prints.  Acres of them.  But not for the fatties, no, you can’t have cute, fashionable pieces like this!

What about the young women?  Let’s have a look what is on offer for them in straight sizes:

Where are these clothes for the young plus-size customer?  In fact, not just the young ones – I’d wear a few of these things myself if they came in my size.  That stripey shirt with the pink sleeves on the right is AWESOME, as is the rainbow leopard print top there.  Nope, fatties can’t have anything funky and fun like this.

What about something a little more dressy?  A little more suitable for work or a night out?

Yet another garment I would love, exactly as it is, no changes to style or shape, except sized to fit me.  But no, instead I get those bland things pictured above.

Or this one:

Seriously cute!

I would absolutely kill for this dress, exactly like this, in my size.  I would rock the hell out of it, people would say “Cute dress, where did you get it?” and I’d reply proudly “I bought it at Target, isn’t it awesome?”

It is so disheartening, so depressing to see that straight sizes have all these fabulous choices, and yet we plus-sized women get this tiny section of frumpy, unfashionable, boring clothes.

Look, don’t get me wrong, some women want dark colours and conservative styles.  Hell my Grandma needs clothes as much as I do, I don’t want Target to get rid of the selection they have.  But I want them to treat me the same as they do their straight size customers.  They’re doing FANTASTIC fashion for straight sizes at the moment.  All these great things I’ve posted here are just a tiny drop in the ocean of choice they offer in size 8-18.  There’s something for every taste and style in their straight sizes – they have acres of it in my local store.  And it’s well priced, well made and readily available to most Australians.

But I’m tired of being treated like I’m not worth the same amount of choice and quality as the rest of their customers.  I’ve talked before about the power of fashion, about how it’s more than just putting on a pretty outfit, about fashion.  It’s about being part of society, and about being able to participate with your peers.  And yes, as a fat woman, not-fat women ARE my peers.  We are just as valuable and worthy as any not-fat woman.  Our money is just as worthy as any not-fat woman.  Our requirements for clothing and style are just as worthy as any not-fat woman.  We have as much right to participate in society as any not-fat woman.

So why am I not offered the same options, the same range, the same products as not-fat women?  In fact, when Target’s own company website says in their “about us” section, and I quote:

Target Australia is a mid-market department store renowned for delivering to its customers great quality and great value apparel and homewares. As one of Australia’s most successful retailers our aim is to make stylish living affordable and available to all Australians.

Now the last time I looked, I’m an Australian… so why is stylish living not available to me and other women like me?  If you look at the straight sized options in the photos above, and then those in plus-sizes, do you think we’re being offered the same “stylish living” as their straight sized customers?  If you don’t believe me just from these photos, go to their online store and look at what is offered to straight sized women, compared to the Moda range.

I’m tired of excuses.  I’m tired of being told that fashionable clothes “don’t sell” in plus-sizes.  Of course they don’t, when they’re shoved on the back side of the shop floor like you’re ashamed of them, never marketed properly and of course, are never there.  Perhaps instead of blaming the market, perhaps it’s time to look at how you’re approaching it.  Perhaps it’s time to make a splash and say “Check out our hot new clothes for plus-sizes!  Shop your heart out, you deserve nice things too!” and watch just how things change with what sells and what doesn’t.  How about looking at how you market to plus-sized women, and instead of selling them “flattering”, sell them fun, sell them fashion, sell them empowerment.

You worry about providing fab clothes for plus-sizes, and let us worry about making sure fat women feel confident and strong enough to wear them.  I’ll promote the hell out of you if you do, and encourage every fat woman I know to get themselves into your gear.  You have my word on that.

About these ads

145 comments on “It’s All About Colour… Unless You’re Fat.

  • This is so true and one of my pet peeves! I hate how I am a fat person who is young and have always had to dress in old fashion. I remember being in my teens and having to shop at Millers and wear the SAME clothes my mum was wearing. it is depressing. Very depressing. Not being able to act out and play in fashion like my peers has caused me a great deal of sadness and embarrassment over the years.

    Only recent times have I seen some younger fashion for myself to enjoy in fat sizes. The problem is though that they are so very expensive in comparison that to buy general everyday wear I am paying double what the up to size 16 pay.

    Also I think it is a worrying trend that size 14 and 16 are being sold as “plus sized” in some stores known for being plus sized. It encourages people to have such a distorted view on their bodies. I’m really not happy with much of the choices for myself and never have been. I guess that by the time the market catches up I will want to be dressed in the clothes I’ve been forced into the last 20 odd years. I too would love colours and fun clothes. I’m finding it hard not to be disheartened by the whole situation with clothes.

    • Lyfin I know exactly how that feels, to find myself having to buy the same clothes as my mother or Grandma. It’s depressing and makes you feel like shit. Who wants to spend money on clothes when that’s their only option? Is it no wonder these things don’t sell?

      And don’t get me started on the price differences between straight sizes and plus! A few bucks here and there, maybe, but double the price!? Complete robbery.

  • I agree that Target are not targeting the diversity of customers, shapes, sizes and preferences. I too am happy to see that colour is finally making an appearance. Tops are easy enough for me to find and for that I am grateful. Granted I also do have far more choice available for my size and have very little to complain about, but I’ve just been down to Target myself today and as a size 16 none of the jeans/pants fit – despite their extensive self promotion about their jeans fitting the average woman??! Load of crock! Every style seems to be for the same shaped person or a certain dimension and then sized up. Whoever that person is, it’s not me. I wonder why we have a plus sized section? Why not just have style sections: young, hip, classic, conservative, comfy and dressy for example and make the items in all sizes? Heck for the sizes that aren’t as popular or for odd fitting people like me (tall, short legged, high waisted) even offering a order & pay service, I could live with that and would pay extra, if I knew I could get things that fitted and I liked. Am I dreaming with such a wish?

    • Kerry I have to say one thing though – at least you have the privilege of being able to go up a size or down a size in the straight sizes at size 16 to possibly find something that fits. They don’t even make ANYTHING worth buying at my size.

      Jeans are notoriously difficult to get to fit anyone though – if you can find them and get them on your butt at all, you’ve got a major head start over a lot of us.

  • I was in Target last week and felt much the same way when looking at their plus-size selection. Not only are the clothes dowdy and ill-fitting, the sizes were quite small when compared with other plus-size brands. Now, while I don’t believe in “aspirational” sizing, I do still believe that Target should be more consistent with retail norms in plus-sizes. I tried on about five things and not one of them looked good on me. None! That rarely happens to me. Very disappointing and I left there feeling so disheartened and depressed and frumpy.

    Contrast this with my experience with plus-size shopping in NZ last weekend: fashionable, colourful clothes in proper plus-sizes at very good prices. I bought three pairs of work pants, a pair of casual pants, a scarf and a casual T-shirt for NZ$65 – approx AU$50. And they make me feel awesome about myself. Admittedly, they were all on sale, but try getting the same experience in Australia – impossible.

    Target and other mainstream retailers are missing out big-time on this market. I’m amazed at how badly this segment of the market is serviced. Amazed! Unless you shop at Maggie T or Taking Shape (which I lurve but can’t normally afford, and which I’m guessing most fat women can’t afford) you are stuffed.

    End of rant. Thanks for highlighting this problem again. Maybe someone will eventually take notice!

    • Just out of interest, where did you go in NZ? Because I find the plus size selection here to be utterly woeful. Damn near every dedicated plus size shop (bar two that sell ‘old lady’ clothing) only go up to a maximum size 24 and they only carry that size in a few garments. Of the others you have Ezibuy (the occasional 26 or 28 but their pants are cute terribly small), Kmart (up to a 26 fairly consistently but the clothes are very, very thin and only summer clothing – tshirts and the like) and the Warehouse (oddly cut, the occasional size 26 or 28 but no color, no hems other than ‘shark bite’ and pretty much exclusively short sleeved, even in winter. It’s so bad I have a friend I funnel money to in the States who buys and sends me proper clothing.

      The color… I remember not too long ago when monochrome was ‘in’ but all the plus size offerings were *this close* to neon. It actually seems as though the buyers (and manufacturers) deliberately go for whatever our peers are *not* wearing. I’m not exaggerating for effect, either: I actually believe they do this. The question is why they think it is a good sales strategy…. because we ain’t buying (unless we need to).

      • I didn’t even bother to try clothes shopping in NZ, as I had heard it was really bad over there for plus-sizes.

        As for companies deliberately going for the opposite of what is fashionable, I think that is because they’re constantly 2 years behind trends. Instead of bringing things out the same time as everything else, they hold back until saturation point before beginning production in plus-sizes. It’s fucked up!

      • Tanz33: I found some great pants at Farmers that were on sale. I quite like their plus-size stuff. And by some miracle, I was able to find a couple of pairs of pants at The Warehouse for $5 each, so of course I bought two. Having said that, I’m not really a big fan of The Warehouse’s plus-size brand Kate Madison. I find they’re quite shoddily made, in general. But for $5 a pair, you can’t go wrong!

    • VickiR I have noticed that their sizes have gotten smaller too. Not so much in pants but definitely tops. If anything I should be going down a size at the moment (being sick has changed my body a bit) but I’m finding my regular size (which still fits me in all other brands) is snug at Target at the moment.

      And while I think Maggie T and Taking Shape are fine for those that like them and can afford them – I personally wouldn’t be seen dead in either. Even if I could afford them. There needs to be MORE variation of style, lots, lots more!

      • Agreed. I do find Maggie T a bit grandma-ish but I do love a bit of Taking Shape. If only Big W or Kmart or Target would take the plus-size market seriously and develop big ranges at reasonable prices – the stuff would run out the store!

        • I find it insulting that Taking Shape use the scraps off the factory floor of cheap fabrics to cobble together outfits that no straight sized person wears, and sell them to us at ridiculously inflated prices.

  • This is exactly why I don’t even *DO* fashion. I’m a mother to two special needs kids, money is tight as all get up in my house. I can’t afford to buy from the Fashionably Fat designers out there. Target is the upper of my limit. If Target actually provided the option for me to wear AMAZING clothes in my size you can bet that I would spend every single cent of my “me” money at Target! I LOVED that rainbow leopard print top, and the top with the string of birds on them. I would wear the mofo out of those! Come on Target! It’s really not that hard, nothing changes if nothing changes – be an innovator!!

    • Target aren’t expensive by way of plus-size clothing, that’s one thing I’ll give them. A dress that you would pay $80 for in many other places is half that in Target. And I will also admit that generally speaking, at RRP (before any discounts or sales), most of their plus-size clothes are fairly comparable in price to their straight sizes. However, straight sizes get discounted quicker and a lot more than plus-size garments do, because there is so much variety in straight sizes that they have to entice the stock to move, with plus-sizes, they aren’t trying to shift as much stock (they know we have very little choice in the market).

      If you look on their online store, a new stock straight sized top is around $30 – $40, as is a Moda (plus size) one.

      If you have access to a Best & Less AnotherFatPrincess, I am told they have some really cute stuff now. I’m going for a look next pay day.

  • Sorry, I left out Autograph as a great, reasonably-priced option for fatties – most of my stuff is from Autograph :). Having said that, I went into my local Autograph recently and was a bit disappointed at the selection this winter. I guess everyone’s allowed to have an off moment lol.

    • Yeah I’m not fussed on the current stuff at Autograph either VickiR, but one thing I know with them is that they have a very rapid turnover of stock, so here’s hoping the next lot of stories to come through will be an improvement.

      • I live in a regional NSW area and Autograph is one of only a couple of places that I can buy clothes. I was really disappointed in their jeans whilst shopping recently. As a person in my mid-twenties I don’t want to buy jeans that have an elastic waist and no pockets! They might be ‘easy’ but I don’t think doing up a zip and button is all that difficult.

        Being new to this site (as found on news.com.au, well done ladies on the article) I would love is anyone could give me some great online stores for jeans that don’t cost too much and are stylish and aren’t skinny leg, because they simply don’t suit me. :)

        • Thanks Steph! I don’t wear jeans myself (down with pants!) so I never take much notice of them in stores, I only notice the colour.

          You could try Yours Clothing, Evans Clothing or One Stop Plus for jeans? If anyone else can help, please let us know!

  • I had a similar experience in Target USA last year which is why I haven’t been back in almost a year.

    I would have welcomed the women’s section being next to the shoes. Instead, they had expanded the misses area into the women’s and tucked women’s along the wall behind all the maternity stuff. I quite honestly found it mortifying to be shopping for clothes directly below the MATERNITY sign. Not to mention the things I did find were poor quality and not on sale like the advertised misses clothes were.

    • My advice to you Amber and anyone else in the US, please take the time to contact Target in your country. They’re not going to listen to an Australian post, believe me. You are welcome to send them my post and say “I feel the same way about our Target as this Australian does about hers.” though!

      The more we contact them, the more we speak up publicly, the more they HAVE to listen.

  • Just a heads up, I will not be allowing any comments through that pull the “I’m a size 6/8 and I can’t find clothes at Target either!” Take your thin privilege elsewhere – you have a whole world of shops that sell to you and celebrate your body. Other than Target, I have TWO stores that sell plus-size clothes up to my size (one of which is My Size, who can kiss my fat arse), and a small selection in Myer, Big W or K-Mart. So two plus-size chains and four small sections in department stores. Yet I could sit here and list dozens of retailers that DO cater to size 6/8. Come back when you have as few stores to choose from as those of us over a size 22 do, and then we’ll talk.

  • I was in Target a couple of weeks ago and was thinking basically the same thing. Even as someone who loves black and whose wardrobe is about 95% black, I still wouldn’t wear any of those clothes! Ugh. Get with it, Target! Every time I go there to spend money on clothes I leave with a $2.99 nail polish or something instead. I’d rather have some fashionable clothes. More choices good!

  • I hear ya, Amber, on your not-so-great experience at Target USA. Every Target I have ever been to, and I travel, so I’ve been to Targets in Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, and Georgia, always hides the plus size clothing in the back, rarely if ever has the same cute stuff as the smaller sizes, and sticks maternity clothing right in the middle of it all. There doesn’t actually seem to be a defined Maternity section – it’s sprinkled throughout, as if to say “Chubby, pregnant, whatevs, it’s all the same”. Which is insulting, and part of the reason why, even in the plus sized clothing desert I live in, Target doesn’t usually get my clothing $$$$. Also, I don’t know if I just have some kind of weird abnormal body shape, but Target plus sized clothes just never fit me right – they’re ridiculously too big in the chest to where a cami underneath doesn’t help me any, or it fits everywhere but the hip which pulls so tight it pulls the rest of the garment out of proportion, or the thin crappy jersey fabric (which is not kind to my lumps and bulges, acting as a highlighter to places that, while I’m not ashamed of, I don’t necessarily wish to make the main focus) doesn’t drape correctly or skims oddly. I may need to wear plus sized clothing, and I have come to accept that pickins are slim where I live, but if it has to be dark, dreary, depressing old lady clothes that I feel ugly in, I’m not going to pay what Target wants for it when I can get big t-shirts and yoga/sweat pants for cheaper that I feel equally ugly in, but am more comfortable in. I’m incredibly blessed to be doing online classes at home right now and not having to work, because if I needed plus size careerwear, I’d have to settle for clothing that I feel unattractive and dowdy in.

    Also, as a chubby pregnant woman, it’s doubly irritating that the Maternity section is in the plus size department/Corner Of Shame because they’re just as bad about giving the smaller Maternity sizes the prettier, more colorful options. What little plus size maternity clothing they have is also sub-par in terms of design and color choice. Several times I have gone to Target, money in my purse, grimly saying to myself, “Crap, I’m getting to where even my loosest clothing is too tight around my preggo belly, so I’m going to have to bite the bullet and get something here” only to emerge an hour later empty-handed, thinking, “Nope, nope, not that hard up yet.” Thus, so far, my maternity wardrobe of, oh yes, big t-shirts and yoga/sweat pants, supplemented by a few cheap maxi dresses from Walmart. Walmart doesn’t have maternity wear at all where I live, but I’ve been lucky enough that the biggest size they sell in the smaller sizes fits me sometimes…which will probably change when I hit my 3rd trimester. Again, thank whoever that I don’t have to try to find plus size maternity careerwear, because I’d be in clothing that would leach my confidence away.

    • Hey, as a pregnant fattie I just bought the next size up rather than buying maternity clothes. I found this worked well, specifically with the more floaty varieties in tops from places like Autograph. HTH.

    • As a fat, not-pregnant woman, it infuriates me that they put Maternity and Plus together. It’s like the clothes for “other women”, as if the two states of womanhood are not worthy of their time and space. In the Big W in the CBD of Brisbane, Maternity is actually smack bang in the middle of Plus – completely surrounded by plus-sizes. So you have a section of plus-sizes, with two racks of maternity that only go up to size 16 smack dab in the middle. UGH!

      • even worst than being next to maternity, my local Myer has Petites next to the plus sze clothes which make you feel very shit.

  • I actually work at Target, and just purely from what i see come through checkouts there isn’t much of a stylish range for many plus size people. In their defence (hey, i gotta pay my bills haha) they have started bringing out most of the casual women’s wear and most jeans (which means all the bright rainbow coloured jeans at the moment) up to size 20, but beyond that it really is just back to awkward sleeves. However I’m not sure which store you went to but my store has the plus size section in the middle of the ground floor in the centre of all ladies wear sections – thankfully not all of them are getting shoved away with the shoes!

    • Huh, size 20 is only ONE size up from their standard 8-18 range. Whoop-de-do. If they’re not going to include the basic Australian plus-sizes, which go up to 26, they’re not even trying.

  • So many people don’t believe me when I tell them that just because fatshion has improved over the past couple decades doesn’t mean we have much real choice.

    To make matters worse, I don’t wear black. I don’t feel pretty in it and it makes me sad. That said, I always wind up with black pants and skirts in my wardrobe because if I won’t even bend that much, I WON’T HAVE ANY CLOTHES AT ALL TO WEAR. It’s that simple.

    Right now everything is shark hems, which I personally don’t mind so much because it’s a style I like that looks good on me, but I want you to have other options. Hell, I want other options. I want to wear shark hems because I like them, not because it’s the only thing out there at the moment… sort of like those three years in the nineties when I literally couldn’t buy a shirt that didn’t have freaking rhinestones all over it unless I went with flannel lumberjack plaid.

    I crave that adorable zig-zag top, the cute red sleeveless blouse with the white collar and the row of tiny buttons. Hell, I even want the rainbow leopard print top. I don’t wear animal prints and I don’t do pink, either, but I want that shirt.

    Oh, and here in the US? Yeah, Target sticks us and maternity together in an ill-defined jumble at the back of the store here, too. I have to go on a hunting expedition to find anything in my size range, then I have to wade through all things black, then I have to get past the icky ugly prints in ‘size flattering’ colors… and then I find one barely acceptable garment in a color that doesn’t make me utterly miserable only to discover the one size missing from the rack is the one I wear. But that’s okay, because it was a maternity style, anyway.

    And people wonder why I don’t buy clothes at Target.

    • Twistie, it has only improved really if you count online shopping. Take that out of the equation, and we’re no better off, really. One or two stores/designers have improved, but others have got so bad it kind of negates those improvements.

      People have no idea the work we fab fatties put into building a wardrobe.

  • What is even sadder is that the range of plus size clothes you show here are BETTER than the range in my local Target store. I was in there yesterday and it was all polyester slacks and black, brown or grey tops. There was NOTHING else. I was disgusted and walked straight out. Between their inappropriate clothes for little girls and their ridiculous ideas about what fat women want to wear I am about over shopping at Target. And considering we don’t have a Big W or a KMart or anything other than Best & Less in my town, that is pretty worrisome.

    • I remember all to well being stuck in a rural area and having no options at all Bri. It sucks.

      I can tell you, Big W is kind of crap at the moment. Their sizes have got small too, and all their garments are really cheap, thin, crappy fabrics. Which is a shame because they DO have some colour happening in their plus-size stock. I haven’t been to a K-Mart in ages (don’t really have access to one), but Sonya K tells me that Best & Less have a really cute new range, so I’m going to have to investigate this.

      • Hope your B&L search is more productive than mine. They had a blue skater dress (I hate blue) and some bright blue jeans (more with the damn blue) and that was about it. Everything else was horrible. I did get a plain black skater dress for $20 that was on the clearance rack though so that is something. I bought two dresses from City Chic this week and they are both lovely but hella expensive.

        • I’ll definitely share online my finds when I go. Sonya had some interesting pics on her blog from B&L.

          City Chic size many of us out – and yes, they are ridiculously expensive.

          • I’ve always wanted to love City Chic, and I think they’re a great option for going out gear, but I find their stuff just a bit too young for me. Plus, they seem to suit hourglass shapes better than apple shapes like me. And they’re very expensive! I noticed my local City Chic hasn’t had a sale in yonks too, which is the only way I could afford to buy them.

  • I feel the EXACT same way towards my Target. I have a love-hate relationship with their clothing section, because every so often I will find something so freakin superb (and on clearance yet) that I wear it until it falls apart that it mitigates the otherwise lackluster plus collection.

    Since I live in a big city my Target is a lot smaller compared to other stores, the clothing sections are hence smaller, but it also annoys me how the plus section is not really defined. It’s shoved somewhere between the Merona careerwear and Cherokee basics in straight sizes, and the maternity section, which is juxtaposed to the fitting rooms in the upper right corner of the store.

    I can sometimes fit into the larger end of their straight sizes, but the closest I’ve come were these cute 90′s neon t-shirts in XXL, and a pair of leopard print shorts in 17. The shirt just about made it but the shorts barely made it– I would’ve LOVED to see both in plus sizes. They had so many cute dresses, shorts, and shirts out this summer. I WANT those things. They came in so many cute colors and prints. And I totally squee’d over the gorgeous Josie Natori sleepwear they had earlier this year– but the biggest I could find was L.

    I will continue to shop at Target for my other needs, but they won’t be seeing any money from me for clothes unless they change their selection. I not only haven’t found any clothing gems lately, but they even stopped making my favorite kind of Prospirit socks! Grrr.

    • That’s just the thing Rachel, Target get SO much right. I go there for so many things – one look around my house and you’d see it’s full of Target stuff. I sleep on Target bedding, wear Target shoes, have appliances from Target in my kitchen, not to mention that I buy books, DVD’s, gifts, toiletries, iTunes credit, accessories… all kinds of things from Target. It’s what makes it so hard to bear that they get their plus-size range so, so wrong.

  • My other favourite thing is where the plus-sized sections are in the stores – often at the back, sometimes even with a segregated dressing room from the straight sizes. It grosses me out so much. I do most of my shopping online because the stores are so fucking unwelcoming.

  • Also, I live in the largest city in my country, with a world-renowned shopping mall right downtown. How many stores carry sizes that I can fit into? One small store in the big mall has my size at the back. Outside of the mall, downtown there are two stores that carry my size. That’s three stores for me to shop at, downtown in the largest city in Canada. If I go far afield, I can hit up WalMart or some outlet stores that carry plus sizes, but you need a car to get to most of them.

    • Me too Michelle – I live in the capital city of my state, and the fastest growing city in Australia. In all the hundreds of stores in the CBD, I have two stores dedicated to plus-size clothing, one of which is MySize and I wouldn’t touch with a cattle prod. I then have the choice of two department stores, one of which is so expensive and elitist that it is clear I am not welcome. That then leaves me with 2 variety stores (Target and Big W), both of whom shove their plus-sizes in an awkward small place and pack the sad stock so tightly that you have to climb over most of it to see anything, the latter of which currently has really poor quality to boot. That’s it. Nowhere else has stock that fits me. If I go to the suburbs (difficult, as I don’t drive), I have Kmart, which is usually all casual wear and just as ugly as Target.

      It’s ridiculous.

  • YES. YES. YES. I want to know why they can’t just make the exact same clothes for everyone? Don’t change anything! Just make them bigger! You know what you did when you made that large? Yep, I’m pretty sure you can just do that for the plus sizes for crying out loud! Same clothes, different sizes. Why is that so difficult!? Ugh!

    It just isn’t a good idea for me to shop for clothing at affordable stores in person until that happens though. People tend to look at you like a crazy person when you do a very loud and sarcastic commentary while you shop, and I just can’t help myself,

    “Oh, that is just way too adorable! I’d never want to wear anything that cute! I can’t stand trendy clothes. Everyone knows that fat women hate wearing trendy clothes! A fat girl can never have enough ugly frumpy drab stuff in their closet. Oh GOOD! Black and gray! I can never find enough stuff in black and gray!? Oh, I just love being shoved off into an area where all the ugliest clothes are so that all the smaller women don’t have to look at me, don’t you!?”

    To be honest though, my rage is really just a mask I use that keeps me from crying. I’m just so tired of it.

    • It’s not at all difficult to grade straight sizes into plus sizes. That said, though, I don’t want my plus size clothes to just be sized up from the size 8 or 10 that most designers start from. I’m a size 26, you need to scale up the details and change the shapes; just putting a size 10 pattern through an enlarging program isn’t going to cut it. I do want to have the sorts of designs available to straight sizes available to me as well, but I also want designers to design with fat women in mind, because thin women should not be the default!

      Design with thin women in mind as well, of course, but I don’t just want to be wearing things designed for size 10 women. I want designers to value me and my body as well!

      • Hear hear Sarah!

        Sometimes I think they don’t provide the same options in plus-sizes because they’re worried that their thin customers will be offended at having to wear the same thing as the fatties!

        • That is EXACTLY why this happens. It’s no accident. The clothing manufacturers claim they actually have data that says that if fat women wear their clothes, thin women (who buy more clothes because they tend to have more money AND more choices) will think of those items as “fat girl brands” and refuse to buy them.

          What I find hilarious about that is that straight-sized women ask me all the time where I got my dress or my top. Their “research” is poo.

    • YES. YES. YES. I want to know why they can’t just make the exact same clothes for everyone?

      This! I was just in H&M the other day, and while the plus-size section did have some cute stuff, the rest of the store was full of so much awesome clothing that I really wished came in my size. :-/ I wish clothing stores would get rid of the concept of “plus-size” altogether and just make clothing for everyone.

    • I love that tack Marilyn, I think I might try it myself sometime! At least it might beat feeling depressed. My rage is exactly the same – it is what keeps me from tears.

  • I can remember a time, about 10 years ago, when I LOVED loved loved going for a shop at Target…they had beautiful things for plus sizes, dresses, tights, blouses, jeans in different fits,, even overalls and overalls shorts…then one winter season, I went in to have a look at what was upcoming….and it was awful.

    That was about 7 years ago, and it has been absolutely awful ever since…it was obvious to me that they had changed buyers/suppliers and not only was everything ugly, but items previously made in 100% cotton were now cotton-poly blends, or worse.

    AND to add salt to the insults that never stop coming from Target, poly and ester are their favorites ladies…everything is made from plastic! I hate it!

    And the dresses are cut so badly…as someone who sews, I can only guess they think we won’t notice, and they are trying to save $$ on our backs, literally. Utter B$ again. Nothing from Target ever lays right.

    I only wear 100% cotton, and can no longer find a t shirt at Target that is 100% cotton above their straight sizes.

    I find this offensive…they make straight sizes in cotton, and advertise it, but not the bigger sizes. Where I come from, we call this BIG B$.

    So now I don’t even shop Target at all, for anything, not housewares, not tampons, and not clothing for anyone in my family.

    I win.

    • I so agree – even when I find something *reasonable* at Target, I try it on and low and behold the cut is so weird that it is like an experiment gone wrong. I am *proudly* hourglass shape. I have big legs and calves (not grotesquely though) *curses to my genetics*. If I want jeans/trousers to fit my legs and calves there I have to go up several sizes and could fit another person into the waist and hips. Try buying bras with bigger cup sizes. They are available in beige, white and the riske black. For this honour, there is a pricetag that takes your breath away. I would kill to be able to buy a bra from a department store…

      • Can we please not speak of “hourglass” shape as if it were something to be proud of? We don’t speak about bodies as though some shapes are better than others here, nor do we refer to bodies of ANY kind being “grotesque”. You need to rethink your language around bodies and body shapes in this space. For people who are NOT hourglass shaped (including myself), your statement reeks of smug satisfaction that your body shape is better than other people’s.

        All bodies, no matter what shape, size or proportions they have are valid, worthy bodies, and none are “better” than others.

        In this space, bodies are not given hierarchy, even unintentionally.

  • I’m a little surprised at the difference in Target here and there. I will have to go back and take some pics I guess, but I walked out with a bright aqua top for myself. My biggest gripe with Target is that their plus sizes are hidden behind the maternity section and there are zero signs to show the difference! I have complained before, but I think it’s time I start anew! Thanks for this, Kath. You’re fantastic!

    • notblueatall when I was in the US (admittedly 5 years ago now), I went buck wild in various US Target stores shopping for plus-size clothes. I brought HEAPS home because it was by far better quality and variety than we have here in Australia.

      • That said, I think it may well depend on region of the US. I’m in a mid-size city, though not a major market, in the US — I can routinely look through my local Target and find literally zero pieces of clothing (minus packaged underwear, socks, and shoes) on the rack in my size.

    • Target in Australia is completely unconnected to Target in the US. Australian Target is owned by Westfarmers (same people who own Coles supermarkets, and also Australian K-mart). I think the worst example of product positioning I’ve seen in a department store was the Myers in Sydney CBD had positioned their plus-size section next to a Weight Watchers outlet – wtf?! (we were there on holiday & I’d spilt a drink on my shirt that had stained it, so I needed a top urgently)

      • Yes, that happens up here in Queensland too. I think it’s important that we complain when we see these blatant instances of fat stigma in spaces that are supposed to be marketing to US! Well, in other places too, but ESPECIALLY in places that are marketing to us.

  • Thank you SO much for taking pictures! They add another layer of punch to everything you’re saying – and you are SO right.

    After one shopping trip where I came home with *nothing* because even though garments fit, I didn’t want anything more in depressing colors, I realized: plus sizes are like Henry Ford’s Model T: you can have any color you want, as long as it’s black.

    • You’re most welcome TropicalChrome – I think it was just that moment where I wanted to actually SHOW people the discrepancy. I want people to see what it is actually like.

  • I went into Target last week lured by their ad campaign about bras to fit every woman. While there I wandered through the clothing and underwear sections. The clothing section was so uninspiring I didn’t even try anything on. It doesn’t help being pregnant, but the maternity section doesn’t even have a single item in my size anyway so I was left hunting through the boring stuff in the plus size section. I was so bored by it I didn’t even try anything on. In the underwear and sleepwear section there were lots of cute things-but none in a 24/26. Apparently we still like to wear long shapeless nighties with pink flowers embroidered on them and purple dressing gowns with shiny buttons.
    I am so lucky there are online options for me (with a few things from autograph) or my wardrobe would be reduced to trackpants now which are hardly suitable for a corporate work environment but anything else is so hard to find in my size. I thought it was hard before falling pregnant but now shopping at places like Target is a nightmare.

    • … their ad campaign about bras to fit every woman.

      Their WHAT? I literally just spewed mineral water from my nose to my computer screen.

      Part of me wants to take my GGs in to prove them wrong. The other part already knows how futile that would be.

      Can I send my boobs without me and just have them report back later?

  • Yep. I *LOVE* the skinny-fitting, lightweight jeans dyed in riotous colors, but every store I go to seems only to carry them in junior sizes. I need plus sizes on top (hello, weightlifting-augmented arms and shoulders!), but on bottom I can wear straight sizes — just not juniors’ straight sizes. Even when they are theoretically big enough the proportions just don’t work — it’s like no one under 30 has thick thighs. If they offered loud, colorful, close-fitting jeans in grown women’s sizes, I would be ALL OVER that.

    I’ve also noticed the thing about everything being duller and dumpier in plus sizes … that’s annoying too. I can find bright tees in the algebraic sizes (what I call 1X, 2X etc.), but there are only a few of those compared with racks and racks of baggy button-downs better suited to someone thirty years older.

    I’m a bit lucky in that I’m somewhat Gothy and *like* having lots and lots of black things …. but I like to punctuate that black with, like, a bright or jewel-toned tee or set of leggings.

    • Lindsay, are you in Australia? Big W’s plus size section has a selection of bright candy coloured skinny-leg jeans at the moment! I don’t know what the sizing is like because I am too fat to buy jeans in Australia and rarely bother to try them on, but the colours were excellent.

    • I’m not a jeans wearer myself, but those coloured jeans are EVERYWHERE in straight sizes, they’re really hot this season, but hardly anyone is doing them for plus-sizes. I mean how hard is it to go “Well this is what’s fashionable in straight sizes, so let’s just do it in plus sizes as well.”

    • The Big W coloured jeans are great, but their sizing is a bit small. I just fitted a 26, and that’s the top size. They’re making coloured stuff which is great, I’d just like to see them reassess their sizing and make it more like Autograph’s sizing.

  • My local Target also lumps the plus-size clothes in with the maternity clothes so you can’t really tell which is which and they shove it in a tiny corner in the back of the store. I don’t even buy clothes in there anymore because of this and it’s a shame. And now that Fashion Bug in the US is closing permanently next January, that’s one less place for fat women, especially women who wear 28-32, can find clothing. Target could do well to nurture and cash in on plus-size clothing, but I guess they feel the majority of us have low self-esteem and don’t want bright colors and unique styles. There’s nothing wrong with black, brown, navy or beige, but a lot of us don’t want to wear it all the time.

  • Yeah.. Ever since H&M did their “inclusive” range (let’s discuss the name another time) and the upper sizes sold out immediately, as do the upper sizes at Domino Dollhouse every time they come out with a new collection, I’ve been thinking that the lame old “but fatties won’t buy it!” explanation is a load of crap. Every once in a while I see the Finnish plus size retailers managing to produce something that’s kinda trendy and cute, and that stuff never makes it to the sales. It’s obvious that the demand is there.

    By the way, as I’ve been complaining on Tumblr, H&M+ announced burgundy, grey and beige as “the most obvious trend colours for the new collection”. Sure, ’cause THAT’s what fat fashion hasn’t seen before. *eyeroll*

    • Yes, it’s always interesting, isn’t it, that when there is a clearance, the only items left after everyone has picked through them are the smaller straight sizes, the 8s and 10s. Surely that should tell retailers that people are crying out for more plus-size options!

    • Oh yeah, the demand is definitely there. Look at us all here to start with. Not to mention all of the other bloggers and their readers asking for the same thing. I am not a lone voice in this!

      • The demand is absolutely there. As Vicki mentioned the smaller sizes are typically what’s left when they run clearance. When I worked in retail, I noticed many of the smallest sizes carried were the ones left over for clearance. So, clearly few customers are buying them. Now, I’m not advocating taking away clothes for the smaller women, but good grief if you’re going to cater to customers on one end of the size spectrum why can’t you cater to the ones on the other end? The argument that ‘there isn’t enough demand’ for clothes above an 18 (usually the highest straight size) is ridiculously and completely untrue.

  • I was thinking about it some more and it just seems extra disappointing given that Target seemed like they were making the effort to listen to people (especially Kath!) about their plus sizes, but nothing’s changed. :(

    • This is EXACTLY what I was about to say. For them seeming so open to change and willing to listen, there doesn’t seem to be much done. Disappointing. The range at my local Target for plus sizes is utterly dismal. My sister can only really buy their t-shirts and denim shorts for work. The rest? Fuck no. She’s 26 years old! She wants to dress like a 20 something.

  • I’m honestly not sure what bugs me more, the paltry selection or the segregation. Unfortunately, this is nothing new, but it still irritates me. As you said, why can’t they make it in your size, and why does it have to be in a different area? Why not put all the clothes together in one area? It’s not like we’d suddenly be unable to read the size tags on the clothes and pick out the one that fits us if they did that. Makes the whole process of shopping for clothes so unpleasant if they start off by segregating you, then offering you so little that is appealing to wear, and the colors are so drab. Not that black or beige aren’t fine to wear, but goodness, it’s depressing seeing nothing but a sea of black or gray in front of you. Not sure why stores don’t seem to understand that if you offer a good selection (both sizes and colors) and make it pleasant, customers will return. Sadly so many don’t seem to get this.

    • It’s not like we’d suddenly be unable to read the size tags on the clothes and pick out the one that fits us if they did that.

      It’s true! And even if the occasional tag does somehow lose its garment — I can tell whether the item I’m holding is a 4 or 14 or 24, you know? I can at least eyeball the thing and get close.

    • I think I’d suffer the segregation a whole lot better if there were cute things to choose from. It would still suck, but at least it wouldn’t be the double whammy.

      I know they whinge about the rack space to fit all sizes between 8-26, but seriously – the store I posted pics from above is MASSIVE and I’m quite sure they could find a way to make it work.

  • I was thinking more on it. What makes shopping in plus sized sections is they are stuck well in the back which means you have to walk past all the beautiful smaller sized cloths to gfet to the ugly fat people stuff. That’s what really upsets me. I even make comments to my husband that I would totally rock that clothes if it were in my size.

    I’m also in awe of you ladies that risk buying online. I live rurally so can’t access many shops, but I just can’t bring myself to buy clothes without trying them on as it all differs so much! Any secrets to making it work online?

    • My tactic has been finding places that do free returns and have reasonable size charts. I will not always be a 2X, but my bust of 50″ doesn’t change (much).
      I have had some duds, and I haven’t done a ton of online shopping lately so I don’t have any suggestions.

      Oh! I did find some awesome colorful shirts in 100% cotton at Kohls for those of you who live near one.

    • My experience has been that you should rely on sizing charts rather than number of letter sizes, but that you do have to expect the occasional dud because the sizing charts aren’t always accurate. Some sites just have one chart for everything, even though their garments come from different manufacturers or labels. Be prepared to send things back occasionally, or make an arrangement with local friends to swap, gift or even sell things that don’t work for you.

    • The point really is that we shouldn’t have to buy online. Straight sized women aren’t, so why should we?

      And I agree, making us walk through all the cute stuff that we can’t have just adds insult to injury.

  • I totally agree and am constantly searching for any new brands that offer a decent range for my size. I absolutely love buying from local designers too which is near impossible!@ I have a friend of a friend who has just started a new brand that just launched in Myer they don’t have a website yet but their range is on facebook.

    Bellecurve http://www.facebook.com/www.bellecurve.com.au

  • Great blog! I am plus sized and have only one sweater from Target. I rarely find any clothes I would wear there. Ditto here in the U.S. to the frumpy frocks and dull colors you are finding in Australia. Thanks to the internet, you can check out some of my favorite American-based stores…and hopefully you can order from them and have shipped for not too much. Avenue.com and FashionBug.com are tied for first place in my book. Right now, Avenue is showing some of the color block dresses you may be seeking on their home page in sizes 14-32! LaneBryant.com is second. Roamans.com is third since they sell some frumpy stuff, but have some trend stuff, too.

    • Avenue are fantastic. I went there when we went on holiday to New York, and their clothes were really beautiful & affordable (especially compared to Australian plus sized stores), and the staff were lovely. I was able to get a basic wardrobe of clothes for about $250AUD. A million times better than MySize in Australia. Avenue ship to Australia via onestopplus.com (who say they have clothes in the range of 12W to 44W, with a lot of different stores using them).

  • P.S. Good luck! Hope you find what you’re looking for. @Living400Lbs: Roamans.com has sizes up to 50+, so check them out! I forgot to mention One Stop Plus.com, which is kind of a clearing house for several plus size clothing sellers. Happy shopping! Every woman is beautiful and she should be able to buy a nice outfit that makes her feel that way! *hugs and much love!* (You can find me on facebook by searching Karen Davis Ahng…for some reason this page wouldn’t let me log in using FB.)

  • Interesting; I bought some cute and bright colored clothes at Target in the U.S. earlier this summer–maxi dresses that actually look good on my short body, some really fun shirts, and some capris. I am a size 24 and was really happy to get some bargains, since several of the items were on clearance. I was also amazed that I had so many great choices, because the experiences many of you describe have generally been my experience with the store as well. I kept on thinking it was a fluke. It probably is. I’ll probably go back in and the fall selection will suck. I don’t do earth tones, e.g. Always afraid of years when they show up on the racks.

    And yes, absolutely hate the location of the plus sized section, back in the corner next to the dressing rooms. Wishing that some day I’ll wake up and there will be a shopping center, with every clothing item in every store in my size. Even living in a large city like I do, it is a real problem finding reasonably priced stuff. Kohl’s department store has a really nice selection of plus sizes, but they are also really expensive unless on sale. And they only have clothing up to certain sizes, so it doesn’t work for everyone. I’ve resorted to thrift stores (happy to report I’ve had some good luck there, but it takes a lot of time and effort to find nice things). It shouldn’t be such a struggle.

  • I just want to pull everyone back on to topic a little bit. Yes, online shopping is getting better, but my point is that we shouldn’t be forced online. Not to mention that there are many people who don’t have access to online shopping for many reasons (eg, no credit card, nowhere to safely receive delivery, can’t afford the extra $$ for postage, or simply no internet access).

    Personally, I would MUCH rather shop in a store 100% of the time than shopping online. I want to go in, see and feel a garment, try it on, compare it with other garments, pay for it and receive it on the spot. Not to mention the actual social aspect of being able to go to a shop and browse/buy with friends. Online shopping is NEVER going to replace these things – and we should have the same options as everyone else, not be stuck shopping at home on a computer as if they are embarrassed to have us as their customers.

    But most importantly, we shouldn’t HAVE to resort to online shopping because there is no brick & mortar alternative. I don’t believe the answer to this problem I am highlighting is “well just shop online”. The answer is Target need to fix their plus-size stock and how they market to plus-size customers.

    • Feel free to correct me if I have this all wrong, but didn’t Target talk to you about what the plus-size range needed sometime over the last 12-18 months? for some reason i seem to remember a blog entry along these lines, but my brain is a little fuzzy atm.. :)

      It does seem like they got rid of the person who was buying the colourful moda stuff from around Christmas [brightly coloured short sleeve print tees with flowers and butterflies and foil/silver highlights, etc], and replaced him/her/them with someone who only thinks we could/should/must wear frumpy and dull!

      Even Mum reckons she would rock a pair of those bright orange jeans that are around atm, ‘just to show the kids’ – please Target, we *don’t want* hessian, we want colour!

      • Yes they did, and I’m really disappointed that things seem to have got worse, not better! I have sent this blog post to my contact at Target, and she has responded (she is currently in Arnhem Land in the far north of Australia) that she will be in touch again when she returns to head office. So it will be interesting to hear what she has to say.

  • Kath, I totally agree re going and physically trying clothes (often what i like in the catalogue just doesn’t suit). And Tar-jay is soo disappointing lately (all brown, black, grey, too small and frumpy) – what happened to those lovely colourful tops that they had over summer (i’ve got at least 6 in my cupboard!)? I mean, I even bought a dress at the start of the year (first one in over a decade!), a purple, black and white abstract print that managed to be both casual and dressy and *shock* looked alright on me… (not a dress person generally)

    am just glad that I bought casual/dress to go out/work clothes when i did over the last 6 years, as there is nothing around now that i like/suits/would wear – and all-black and pale-me *do not* go together well!

    Big W ain’t much better – just came back from the local one, thought i’d check their plus-section and was disappointed/not surprised – colour was present, but the stuff just wasn’t nice and the sizes were really on the small side (was trying on a cardigan – nice colour, purple, but the 26 was tiny! and i am usually in the 20-24 range, depending on what im looking at)

    Oh well, I have come to the conclusion that I hang onto everything I own, and I will MAKE my own cardigan!

  • Ah, that old chestnut about fashionable plus size clothes not selling well. Obviously this problem is why City Chic* is going out of business, amirite? Not that City Chic doesn’t have its problems – I’d like to see their sizes go as high as Target’s plus size section, for instance! – but come ON. This is a label entirely dedicated to fashionable, youthful clothing for plus size women and it is RIDICULOUSLY successful. Imagine how successful Target would be with similarly fashion-forward designs and marketing AND a more affordable price point like their straight size womenswear? Target’s plus size lines don’t sell because they’re not promoted properly (have you ever seen a Target catalogue with more than a page of plus size models? Or a Target TV ad with a SINGLE plus size model in it?), and they don’t appeal to a broad enough market.

    It makes me furious. I haven’t had much luck with Target and other department chains before, so I don’t go there that often, but I drop into Target every now and then when I’m getting fed up with having to pay $100 for a dress at Myer or the plus size boutiques. I almost never find anything I want. Kmart has black leggings, but that’s usually all. I visited Big W recently because I’d heard their plus size section had improved and found a handful of nice, colourful and youthful things (in a department far smaller than the straight women’s sizes, crammed in next to the maternity wear as usual), but only one item that fit me. It’s just depressing.

    I love fashion. I spend almost all of my disposable income (currently insignificant, but not always!) on clothes and accessories, and I am fat enough that I cannot ever shop in straight size lines, even when the clothes are “oversized”. In other words: I AM YOUR MARKET, plus size clothing designers. I should be the kind of person you are TARGETING. And yet you insist on sidelining me. You cram the fat lady clothes into a dingy back area, or two floors up from the straight sizes (I’m looking at you, Myer). You don’t feature the plus sizes in your catalogues or other advertising. You make the assumption that women who are interested in current fashion trends are either not plus sized or don’t shop in your store. Yet US and UK brands, and even some Australian boutique labels, seem to do just fine selling fashion forward styles to fat ladies. If you can’t manage it, maybe it’s not that the market isn’t there, but that they need to be wooed (or hell, even informed of your product’s existence) just like any other goddamn market.

    • Sarah, I am exactly the same. I don’t spend my recreational money on alcohol or going out partying or anything like that. I spend it on clothes… or at least I try to. The would COMPLETELY have me as their loyal customer (as Autograph do at the moment) should they pull their heads in and actually think about what they are doing with plus-sizes.

  • Oh man, that colourful chevron shirt, I NEED IT! It’s so frustrating! The colours and styles avilable in straight sizes are amazing, but you get to the plus size and it’s so drab! I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought plus size clothing from Target. I have bought some underwear and some pjs, but not clothing.

  • I’d love to see +size clothes in the main shop floor. In a large shop they split the main range clothes by style. I’d love to see one rack per section of a select few of those garments in +size. Even if it’s as they say and it’s just you and me and a few dozen other people in the whole wide world who are fat but want fashion clothes instead of “flattering” clothes, they should be fine with that, right? (Of course I think it would sell out and they’d end up with more than one rack and more than just a selection per section, but it’s a good enough starting place, it’s more than we get now!)

    • Great blog and great to see so many responses! Let’s hope that someone from Target who has the power to make a difference will read it.

      I am a size 18-20 and so I am that inbetween size that is really hard to find. Yes, Target’s normal line goes up to size 18 but it’s a really really small 18. I can rarely fit into their normal size 18. So then I go to the plus size section and find shapeless, ugly tent-like garments and size 16 is often too big for me. Shapeless clothese are so unflattering. Just because I am large, does not mean I want to dress in a tent! I do not want a tshirt that almost reaches my knees. I do not want a neck that comes half way to my navel. I just want a normal shaped garment in a larger size.

      A few years ago I bought some really nice collared tshirts from Target plus size, but I have not been able to find anything like it since. It is so hard to find plus size clothes for activewear. Maybe if we could find some nice clothes to exercise in it would help us lose weight!

      I could go on and on… plus size fashion is so depressing.

      • Another thing we don’t have in this space, the word “unflattering”. Nobody needs to “flatter” their bodies.

        Clothes can be ugly, they can not fit, they can be poorly made, they can be bad fabrics, they can be uncomfortable… but here on Fat Heffalump we don’t use “unflattering” nor do we refer to needing clothes that disguise, minimise or hide our bodies. Instead we find clothes that fit us, make us feel good and suit the occasion we are wearing them.

        Just making that clear.

  • Been bloody pissed off with those stores for year, that y i get all my clothes offline like from dream diva, and many others us fatties need to come up with a plan to take over the designer world and make a stand for all skinny or fat to get equal clothing, shoes and accessories world wide and even get our bigger models more public notice……

  • The situation you documented above at Target ist pretty much the same over here (Germany) in most of the stores that carry plus sizes. I am very luck that I found a range of trousers at Evans that fit me really well, and that I am in England pretty regularly.

    As for everything else, I have turned to sewing my tops and jackets myself. I was just so fed up with my only options being black, brown or gray tents.
    Now I can go and buy fabric in any colour or pattern I like and turn it into something I really like to wear.

    Of course you get the inevitable question “Do you really think that colour/pattern is a good match for you?” or “Don’t you think you should add a little more width to the hem?”, meaning “You’re too fat for something bright and colourful, and also please go back to hiding your curves under the aforementioned tents”, but by now I have built up enough confidence to just answer “No, I like it just the way it is”. And that makes me quite happy.

    • Yep, there are always going to be those who think we should hide ourselves away, but let’s make it clear, that’s not the clothing company’s business to deal with by forcing us to hide away. Their job is to provide the clothing we want, not the clothing society thinks we should have. We’ll sort out the societal attitude, that’s what fat activism is for!

  • I agree with you 100% It’s exactly the same here in the US. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the same experience, I LOVE your documentation!
    I went into fashion design believing that they’re just wasn’t enough fat people actually designing plus size clothes (which they’re aren’t) But as I dig deeper into the fashion industry I have realized that the buyers for these department stores are the PROBLEM! None of them will give all these kick ass new collections chances. I hope there will be a break through soon.

    Thanks for this post.

    Liesl Binx

  • I had lots of fun trying to find clothes for 2 wedding and a hen night last year, even with my mum paying (I’m unemployed so my budget is tiny) and planning months in advance I ended up with a top I may never wear as it wasn’t taken to the hen night and a dress I have to wear leggings with as it’s too short to lean forward in. I did get a red dress that I will wear with leggings (again short style) that I actually like, and thankfully the dresses cost less than the bridesmaid dresses, but it was still a nightmare to get and the red dress isn’t suitable for weddings and lets not get into trying to find suitable size 4 1/2 – 5 wide fit shoes that would be comfortable all day and still wearable for other occasions, oh and half the clothes were bought online with limited time to return them as the choice was crap for wedding suitable dresses.

    • Tip on shoes – myer has a brand called Wide Steps which are pretty good. Kumfs / Ziera do some gorgeous shoes which you can actually walk in – for a certain amount of time naturally.

  • I have bought the same pair of jeans Moda brand for the last 3 years in Target and loved them. They are stretch so comfortable with a little elastic on both sides, lovely colour and shape. So I started looking at Easter time as I notice in the smaller size selection they were getting jeans in but the larger section, NO jeans. So I figured they were just a bit slower.

    So I go in a couple of times before winter, a couple a styles arrived, not many. I was getting excited for my same pair of comfy jeans to arrive. Middle of winter, NOTHING…So I ask the sales girl What’s happening with the jeans in this section? I have been buying my jeans here for years and now they are getting shorts in. She didn’t know as the head office does the ordering. They ended up with a couple of styles of jeans, like regular fit, nothing fancy as if we dont like to wear nice clothes.
    It is like we are the forgotten ones. I am a size 20, 44yrs old and there is a lot of girls out there this size. As you said do they think we want to hide and not be seen looking attractive. I love Target but there larger size section the past 12 months has a lot to answer for. We want to spend our money just like everyone else,

  • And its places like Target that do make us fatties feel inferior. Even Autograph, which i used to think were awesome clothes, are really quite drab these days. I do all my clothes shopping online from Torrid and Dr Jays. Realistic sizes for REAL women :)

    • Autograph had a bit of a boring run over the past few months, but their new spring collection is looking HOT! I am loving the lightweight blazers they’ve brought in, not to mention all the fresh mint and peach colours. Yum yum!

  • I’ve been complaining about this over the last few weeks too. I LOVE colourful clothes and I’ll admit – I was blindly optimistic when I saw the ‘All About Colour!’ ads on tv. But then I actually went in to my local Target. I’m a size 20-22 on the bottom, while maybe not as hard to dress as say a 26, definitely not as easy as an 8, or a 14.
    I rarely venture over to the Moda section, those clothes aren’t ‘me’ on any level. If Target does eventually get off their arse and offer bright clothes in larger sizes, I seriously hope they bring out normal cut jeans cuz there ain’t no way I can pull off skinny jeans!

    • My hubby’s a big guy too and we have no end of trouble finding funky clothes for him too. Unless you want to pay $60 for a plain T-shirt or $150 for a pair of jeans from the Big & Tall shop, you’re basically stuffed.

  • Last week, I was lured in with the shiny ads promoting colour and I cannot agree with you more. I was appalled at the lack of option in the plus size range. My tiny size 8 mum picked up bright coloured jeans, beautiful bright tops and was doing her best to help me find something for my size 22 body in that soul crushing area. I was in tears by the time we left. All black or dark coloured nanna type garments. Its like Target thinks that only woman over 50 are plus sized, there was nothing for a young women like myself. I online shop 95% of the time, but it would be nice to go into a store and have the same choices are every other woman.

  • This is exactly why I sew!! I get the most beautiful fabrics in from Europe, and all sizes and shapes can enjoy! I also create and stock sewing patterns that cover plus sizes- because I know how frustrating is it- being a size 24 myself.. Cheers, Lisa :)

    • It’s fantastic that you sew Lisa… but we shouldn’t have to. Not everyone can sew, or even wants to. I can, but I have absolutely no desire to spend my precious time over a sewing machine.

      We should be able to walk into a store as easily as a straight sized customer does and find the clothing we want and need.

  • Yes, yes and yes!!!
    I love clothing and do personal styling for friends but constantly struggle to find clothing for myself. It is always a compromise situation. I live in Kalgoorlie and there is literally nothing in town I can buy (although TS/ Vitu opened last month but that is slim pickings). I love Target for my beautifully slim friends who I dress but I refuse to wear their mumus and shirt bags – which as you can see are HIDEOUS. I take people to shop in the boutiques in town and always talk to them about bringing in plus sizes but the designer shops say their suppliers dint do plus sizes or they are struggling to find suppliers. You cant blame them – it’s true. There are a few designers like Megan Salmon doing plus sizes but they are well outside my, and mist people’s, budgets and are a very particular look. The only solution for me in Kalgoorlie is online overseas shopping, most of which is very very expensive (Anna Sholtz anyone) and come with high postage and handling and the very big problem of not being able to try things on. Igigi and Asos are pretty fabulous and I get most of my favourite pieces from them but would so love to be able to pop out and try in a frock, grab a new tshirt or a cheeky little jacket.
    Well, slight but of a clothing rant but just wanted to very loudly agree! Kalgoorlie is a town of big women with busy social lives – come on retailers, pick up your game!
    Ps same applies to bras – come on!! The world doesn’t stop at a DD cup – give us some GGs people!

  • Have you been to Best and Less lately? Great colorful stuff! Up to size 26! I have bought heaps of stuff there in the last few weeks

    • I was at Best and Less last week. The majority of their plus size range was leopard print. What is with that???? I commented about this only today to my colleagues.

      • I love leopard print! Bring me more leopard print! In fact, I went to Best and Less today and put leopard print palazzo pants, a tiger print dress and a tiger print skirt on layby. Animal print is HOT this season (though I like it any season!)

        That said, it shouldn’t be the ONLY option. Best and Less also have a whole lot of colour, some cute prints (polka dots, birds, goldfish) in their plus-sizes and some really awesome skater dresses.

  • I had a look today and yep ,Kath -dull dull shapeless and worse still -has been reduced in size to fit in a maternity line ….AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH.
    I went to autograph the other week and was impressed …wagga has nice friendly shop

  • City Chic have great stuff, but it’s sooo expensive! Even just a plain scoop neck tshirt is like $50! I think the plus size section in Target sucks too – they think we’re all frumpy bogans who just go around in trakkie dacks and don’t wear a bra! I wish I could wear a lot of the ‘straight size’ clothes too – there’s been clothes I woukd have died for! I wish they had a better plus size section.. :( And have you noticed how big a gap in sizes there is between the two sections? Size 18 in the normal section might be too small, but if you try the same style thing in the next size up in the plus sized section you’re almost swimming in it!

  • Everyone’s comments about plus-sized clothing ranges being hidden in the back of stores as though they are ashamed of them reminds me of my nearest Myers store, where the plus size clothing range is on a DIFFERENT FLOOR to the straight sized clothing ranges (its on the top floor, straight size clothing is on the main ground level floor, next to the massive makeup/beauty department and accessories & shoes department.

    The plus size clothing ranges (and there are much fewer of them) is between the men’s business shirt area, men’s casual, electronics and…a weight watchers office. Really.

    My steady weight gain over the past 3 years has given me such a clear picture of the stark difference your reality can be when you have thin privilege. Looking for decent clothes to wear never used to worry me – now, its a big concern of mine, and it really breaks my heart to say so (I fucking love clothes and shopping, shoot me).

    • Alisha that’s happening in quite a few Myer stores now. Up with the homewares or the electronics, or worse, with the menswear as if we are somehow less than women because we’re fat. It’s disgusting!

  • My partner set aside some extra $ for me to buy some clothes and I ended up only spending half of it for lack of choice. Now while I didn’t “need” to spend it all to be clothed, I have a pretty casual and basic style because I am not employed, I look after my kids fulltime, it still goes to show that there is an untapped market there. I would happily of bought some happy print tshirts, hoodies etc, because of liking the fabric or pattern, except they are not there to buy. So instead I grab a handful of inoffensive boring plain tshirts and call it a day for another year. Well there are worse things in life than a plain tshirt, I actually quite like a nice bright white tee, I didn’t think that this is how the free market is meant to work – there is definitely more at play here than supply and demand! They could have had all my money.

    • Yup. I was still thinking about this post when I went to my local US Target store tonight. Between the men’s clothing and the straight-size maternity clothing that had encroached under the plus-size section, there was literally one rack of plus-size clothing in the store. (Not counting underwear and maybe pajamas; I didn’t look at the latter.) Even assuming that all plus-size items were available in my size, I could have purchased a whopping total of four different items.

  • Yes, so much yes. So many of the clothes I see seem to be made for much more mature tastes, shall we say, and I’m twenty-four. I’m not middle-aged yet, I’m just fat darn it.

    You can ignore this part, I just need to vent somewhere. I need a handbag for a friend’s wedding. My mother (who is the same clothes size as I am) was saying about all the shops I could check. I tentatively made the point that I don’t want to give money to shops which pretend my size doesn’t exist, even if this is for an item where size isn’t particularly relevant. She got really annoyed at me, and asked what I’d do if she bought a blanket for my cat from a mother/baby store, even though I don’t want children; they’re not catering for me either. (I don’t see the link, either.) I just… is it so much to ask that we exist, somewhere? That I don’t want to give money to companies who would rather I didn’t? Oy. I’m having one of those days. I hope you’re having a better one than I am.

  • I just found your blog today, and all I can say is I’m in love with you! I’m a plus size woman, tattooed, blue hair and I’m addicted to color! I love the things that target has for woman but have to agree with you- why is there no color in the plus sizes???? I would love that green dress, but finding it in my size would be impossible, or if I found something similar, I’d be forced to pay big bucks to get it! What are we, invisible??? Do they not know that the bigger sizes go the fastest because that is the average size?? A xs is not average- an xl is! You’d think it would be in their company’s best interest to cater to all sizes!!!!! Arrrgggggg!!! It’s soooooo frustrating!!!

    • Bethany, you sound like you ROCK! Tatts, coloured hair, a fan of colour… are you my long lost twin?

      It’s like they want us to be invisible, covering us in drab grey, black, navy. Boring!

      • I may be your twin!!!! I hate how they make things so colorless! Oh hey you should check out this awesome site online- chubbycartwheels.com. She makes awesome plus size clothing by hand! She has these stunning leggings in neon leopard print! You’d love them!!!

  • Comments are closed.

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 1,921 other followers

    %d bloggers like this: