I know everyone laments the lack of plus-sized clothes . Yes, it has come a long way in the past decade, but there is still a lot left to be desired. I still find myself seeing women in the same clothes as me everywhere, or find that the styles aren’t to my taste, and am tired of paying vastly more for my clothes than my normal sized friends do. Not to mention how badly made a lot of plus sized clothes are.
However, what really boggles my brain is this:
Do clothing companies not want to make money?
I have money to spend on clothes. I’m not rich by any means, but I work hard and have a good job, and have a considerable amount disposable income. If I could, I would spend that on clothes. A lot of clothes. But the right clothes are just not there for me to spend money on. Unless I a) want to look like every other fat lady in the country or b) look like my mother or c) spend three times as much on one item as it is actually worth.
Even if I decide to buy overseas online and ship it here, because there is such a dearth of cool plus-sized clothing, I’m still going to look like a lot of other fat women. Everyone cheered over the Beth Ditto range from Evans bringing “something different” to plus-sized clothing, which in theory was great, but if I see another Domino dress I’m going to vomit. The bloody things are everywhere!
What do we have in Australia by way of REAL plus-sized clothes? I’m talking up to size 26 or beyond, none of this stopping at size 20 bullshit. And I’m talking retail chains, not high end boutiques, because let’s face it, most of us can’t afford much there. Let’s see…
Autograph – better than it used to be. Their clothes are getting some shape into them, and are less old lady than they used to be. They can be expensive for the level of quality that they are though. They often subscribe to “fat lady” memes, like applique and sequins on jeans, big lurid prints or crossover busts. But they are getting better. I tend to buy classic pieces there, like skirts and pants for work, cardigans. Occasionally I will find they have some nice fashion pieces. Their maxi dresses this year have been very good.
City Chic – pretty if you’re going to a nightclub or the races, but very little by way of “everyday” clothes for work or weekends. Expensive too.
My Size – ie, My Mother. A range of t-shirts, big shirts, pedal pushers and boxy blazers. Boring as bat shit, and often expensive.
Maggie-T – very expensive potato sacks.
Noni-B – a bit mother-of-the-bride and expensive.
Target – a gajillion cami’s and t-shirts and button through shirts, lots of indian/gypsy skirts and maxi-dresses that are not meant to be worn with a bra underneath. Fat women usually have big tits. Put something in there to conceal a bra and not have a lady fall out of. A lot of black there too.
K-Mart – HELL NO!!
Big W – surprisingly one of the best places. Their clothes do not last, but if you want this season’s cute themes, you can get them at Big W and they’re mega cheap. I tend to buy tops and things I’m only going to wear for a season there. Doesn’t matter if I throw them out after a few months, they are really cheap.
Myer – black, black, navy, black, burgundy, black, chocolate brown, black. Boring plain styles. BORING. Expensive too.
Any others I’ve missed?
Someone out there needs to see this market. For affordable, fashionable, wide ranging, and reasonably made clothing. Lane Bryant need to come to Australia, they have a good broad range, the stuff fits well and it’s well made but affordable. As do Torrid, for something funky and fun. I spent a lot of money in the US on clothes because shops like these do meet my needs a whole lot more than any here at home.
If you’re a clothing manufacturer out there, and you’re Googling for where women in Australia are looking for fashion, here’s your chance to make a motza. Go for a trip to the US. Look in Lane Bryant and Torrid, and think of a hybrid of these two stores and get rolling with that concept in Australia. I and a lot of other women with money to throw in your direction will be there when you open your doors.