I’ve always been a big girl. When I was in fourth or fifth grade, I wanted Aeropostale shirts DESPERATELY because all of my friends had them. My mom finally took me to one when we were on vacation, and a worker told me that they didn’t think they would have my size there. TO A FOURTH GRADER. I of course, didn’t think anything of it at the time, because I was in fourth grade. I ended up buying 4 or 5 shirts anyway because I wanted to fit in. And yes, they did have my size. Since that day, my mom despises Aeropostale, and now I have a fear of going into any store that I know doesn’t sell my size. Even if I am there looking at accessories.
I once took a bunch of pricey, unworn heels to an upscale second-hand boutique to sell, and the cashier looked at me (not the shoes) and said I’d be better off taking them to a plus-sized thrift store, or just donating them to Goodwill. When I asked if she was even going to look at them she said they weren’t interested in plus-sizes clothes. Um, they’re shoes.
I was looking for a bridesmaid dress at Neiman Marcus, and had a literal Mean Girls experience. I asked an employee for help finding a specific dress color, and she looked at me and said “hmmm, you might have a better time finding something in your size at Penney’s or Macy’s.” I left in tears.
Wedding dress shopping as a plus-size woman was awful. Most of the places we went had very matronly dresses–I wanted to be a little sexy. David’s Bridal had 3 choices in my size and wondered why I wouldnt commit. Other places had dresses that were way too small or none at all and said they could order a dress if I paid the deposit–who buys a dress if you cant see what it looks like on you. We ended up at Alfred Angelo, because every dress came in every size and I found my dress. It was the 20th dress I had tried on. My seamstress was the one Mike Rowe featured rescuing the dresses when AA went out of business and she took that beautiful dress and made it perfect for me. It shouldn’t be so hard to find a dress to bring tears to your spouse’s eyes.
Having to hear: “are you sure that’s what you want?”, “ya know someone with a (insert fruit here) body shouldn’t wear this and that”, “oh but we don’t have your size (without even knowing your size)”, “it doesn’t fit? But you can buy it for when you loose weight!” . Or have people look at you like you’re an alien when buying something (specially lingerie or more revealing outfits). The awful experience of having jeans that would fit on the waist but don’t fit on your thighs, or having to escavange for clothes your size and seeing people just go by the store just picking stuff. Don’t even get me started on thrift shopping, it’s so hard to find cute stuff on bigger sizes.
Once, I was in a very well know shopping in Buenos Aires, where I live. I say this because there are laws in place to stop shops to charge an extra or discriminate. That said, I was browsing for a friend who is tiny and had grabbed a shirt to buy. A woman apparently wanted the same shirt and so the shop employee took the article from my hands, telling me “It won’t fit you” and promptly sold it to the other woman. The manager was nowhere to be found and they refused to call her. Never bought there again.
I’ve been flat out told to leave a shop by a person who said “we have nothing that will fit you.”
I’ve been plus size my whole life according to US measurements. In high school in the late 90s, I couldn’t find any clothing I was comfortable wearing that was trendy or fit my personality. For the longest time my mom bought me clothes out of the ad section from Parade magazine (think cheaply made jeggings with pleats and elastic band waists with material that appears to resemble denim). I was bullied a ton for my clothes, and my dad, who travelled a lot for work, got a ton of European teen plus size mail order catalogues. I was successful, and my parents eventually found Lane Bryant online and then learned it was at our local mall. When my mom and I went to this store where there was legit plus-size fashionable clothing I could try on in person, I burst into tears of happiness on the way home (with an entirely new wardrobe in the backseat). As a plus size kid, I could never express myself through fashion like my peers did, so learning that I could express myself and be taken seriously when I stood up to bullies helped me be confident.
This one time I was shopping for jeans and the guy in the store helping me started really helpfull and kind at first. The problem was, every pair I tried on was, or too tight around the hips, or too loose around the waist.
Hé got really impatient and frustrated really fast and recommended to me I’d try buying my jeans in countries like Brazil, “where girls are more curvy and you would fit in” , to find my right size…. I am an Italian girl living in the Netherlands…. I asked him if he would pay for my planet ticket and left the store.
I know a lot of these are gonna be negative but honestly the most prevalent memory for me was the first time I swallowed my fear and shopped in a plus sized store. I had been punishing myself and denying myself of feeling good and looking good for so long and the second I walked into that store, I realized it. Finally, I found a place where I don’t feel lesser than because of my size. I finally felt like a person and was willing to find clothes that made me stand out rather than clothes that helped me be invisible. Life changing.