Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


Shopping As A “Big Girl”

Big Girl

 Since I start my new job soon and have not bought any new clothes this past year. I am now clothes shopping. Something I dread doing.

As I said in a prior post I am not skinny, I am a “Big Girl”. Shopping as a big girl is not a fun task. First of all since I live in a small town there are no ‘big girl’ shops close to me. I have to travel an hour to even get to one store and 2 hours to find more than one store to shop at. You know us girls, we never find what we are looking for just in one store.

I am overwhelmed before I even get in the car. I have to be prepared to drive to places I am not comfortable with. I have to prepare myself mentally, that I may try on 50 pieces of clothing and come home with nothing.

I have to make sure I have the right clothes on so I can take them off easily so I won’t get all sweaty in the dressing room. I need to have slip on shoes so I won’t have to bend over so much to tie my shoes. Tying your shoes is a chore when you are a big girl. There’s a lot of prep time and thinking before I even get in the car.

Once I’m at the store, I am already in a sweat. Just knowing I will be trying on 3 different sizes of the same blouse is daunting enough and still not have the right fit in any of the sizes. But now I am in public and being judged just by walking into a “big girl” store. I have no idea if the sales people are judging me, which I’m sure they are just by the looks I get walking in with my t-shirt, jeans and hoodie on.

I need to have blinders on and get past the judgmental looks and stares. I have a job to do….get new clothes. I take a big breath and trudge forward.

Now I’m in the store and realize that every shirt/blouse has some sort of crazy design, sparkles and multi-colored on them. WHY??? Who, in their right mind, thought it was a great idea to have a wild print in 4 yards of material and make a shirt for a big girl? I have never talked to a big girl and they said they loved all the sparkles and prints on their blouse. We, as ‘big girls’ already stand out just because we are big. We DO NOT need or want a blouse to make us stand out even more.

Our size is enough for us to catch your attention we do not need the apparel experts help in this area. We need their help to make us blend in with the other women in our fashion.

There is no fashion in a blouse that has 5 colors on it that look like a 3 year old put paint strokes on it. Then they told the 3 year old to add some sparkles to the shirt that is 10 inches longer than it needs to be and the neckline is so low you have to wear a tank under it so your boobs/bra don’t show. Crazy!!!

Big girls do not have the option for a perfect fit. It’s either too big in one place or too small in another. We have to get creative in order to wear any of the clothes we buy. Maybe I can wear a scarf with this shirt to help cover my cleavage. How about a jacket/blazer/sweater to cover that awful design on the sleeves. I could even sew a piece of material there so my boobs don’t show. I could have the sleeves altered so I won’t have to roll them up. I can have this taken in or I can add a panel to the back and wear a sweater.

Being a big girl you have to be a seamstress or at least know someone that can do the alterations for you.

I am a short, fat girl. I cannot wear a V-neck t-shirt because no one wants to see my bra or my cleavage. Shoot, I don’t want to see that either. Where is the modesty in ‘big girl’ clothing? There has to be a designer out there that can design the perfect ‘big girl’ T-shirt. One that the neckline covers the bra strap, one that doesn’t gap open when we bend over and one that the armpit area doesn’t show our bra when we raise our arm. It can’t be that hard.

You are professional designers. Put your college degree to work and make the perfect T-shirt. PLEASE!!! Or am I asking for too much from the designers? Maybe they are wanting all of us to look silly just in the hopes we will lose weight. Or are we being penalized because we are not the norm?

Can we talk about the prices for ‘big girl’ clothes? They are outrageous. There is one store I love and I can usually find something I like and it fits.  They sell regular sizes and plus sizes for women. Which is great but their mark up on the plus size is nuts. Generally the mark up is 20-40 % higher than the regular sizes. I understand that there is more material in the item but that is no excuse for such a huge hike in the price.

On average the plus size clothing can be as much as 40% higher. If you are shopping for a typical white t-shirt, regular sizes are $10-$20. But for me, I am paying $25-$40 just for a stupid t-shirt. Might I add, that the t-shirt still doesn’t fit right.

I expect to pay a higher price just because of the material and labor that goes into making a plus size item. But 40% higher…no. We are getting ripped off in my opinion.

This is all for the blouses/tops. Don’t even get me started on jeans and dress pants. Needless to say…..I have to hem even the petite cuts. That means every pair of pants I own or buy will and have been hemmed.  

Just more money being spent so I can go out in public and hopefully not be laughed at from my lack of choices and the horrific choices I get to choose from.

It’s hard coming up with an outfit that won’t make me look like a clown with all the colors and awful designs. Now I have to come up with at least 7-10 new outfits just so I can go to work. Stressful and exhausting.

I too want to be fashionable, cute, and comfy in my clothes. I may be a “big girl” but I deserve to have descent fashion as well. I don’t think I am asking for too much. Do you? I know that the plus size fashion has come a long way but it still has a way to go.

I have resorted to online shopping. I can order the sizes I think will work and can always return what doesn’t. I can shop at multiple stores in just a few hours. I get to try on the clothes in the comfort of my own home without some small girl trying to assist me in the fitting room. (She just doesn’t get it anyway). I don’t have to waste my gas on traveling to a store to come home with nothing.

I may order 6-7 items and keep 3-4. To me, that’s a good shopping spree. And I got to do it with less stress than going to the store.

Granted, yes it takes time for the items to arrive to my home. But it is worth the wait when I finally have an article of clothing that works for me.

Just as a side note: Those catalog girls are a size 14-16. These girls may be big girls, but they are not the BIG GIRLS. They still look good in almost anything and can still get the perfect fit. The rest of us struggle more to find the right clothes.

Tell me what bothers you about shopping.