I was reading an article about a passenger of Virgin Atlantic who was offered the opportunity to be one of their “foodies” after his humorous, but critical letter pointed out the cruddy nature of the in-flight food’s quality. When I read it, a thought came to me that I’ve had before, most recently this weekend: “I should be the buyer for the companies that supply fat girls their clothes.”
You might laugh, but unless you have been in the position of having to shop at those stores, you don’t understand the lack of choice. And before some of you mutter, “Just lose the &%$(# weight, let me remind you that I have been losing weight, but it doesn’t just melt off of some of us and some of us are overweight, in part, because of medical issues.” (Not just talking about me.)
Well, anyway, here it goes:
Dear Charming Shoppes (Lane Bryant, Catherines, & Fashion Bug) and Avenue:
Who is buying and ordering the clothing that you place so proudly in your stores? Look, I already kind of stick out in a crowd: I’m 5’10 and I am a big gal. Do you need to make it worse with crazy, stupid prints, motifs, and a choice of clothing that isn’t always professional enough for my vocation?
You all seem to get jeans down really well, which I appreciate. However, everything else is an assault on my desire to look professional and put together. (Note to Catherines: MOM JEANS ARE NOT COOL!)
Let’s begin with the blouses: Did I mention I was 5’10? Did I mention that I have huge boobs? You either have things so low-cut that I cannot buy them, so sheer that I cannot wear them, or cut so short that there will be space between the blouse and my pants. I routinely have to buy a size or two larger in button-down shirts just so I’m not always trying to pull down the blouse to cover my belly. I stand in front of kids all day. They don’t need me to be distracted by my clothing. When I do find something that comes down low enough, I wear it so often that people think that’s all the clothing I own. By the way, could you please place buttons correctly and make your button holes the right way? It will keep my buttons buttoned and there should be no pulling, especially in the boob area. Oh, and your blouses should measure 30″-32″ inches for the tall gals. You know why all your stuff in the higher sizes sells out first? Because all of your clients want longer shirts and 28″ isn’t cutting it. No one wants to expose the belly/abdomen bulge. It is rather unsightly.
While I’m at it: SHOULDER PADS WENT OUT 20 SOME-ODD YEARS AGO!!!! (Thought maybe you didn’t get the memo. I take them out anyway, because I’m broad shouldered, so…neh!)
Now the pullover shirts, sweaters and t-shirts:
1. I do not want to wear anything with a pumpkin, Christmas tree, cats, dogs, stars streaking across the sky, or fish. I do not want to wear anything with rhinestones, metal studs, and bedazzlement. Seriously, are you throwing darts at the clothes to pick them, or are you taking bets on how desperate fat chicks are to find clothes?
2. Again, I repeat: I’ve had more than one person who is shopping along side of me complain about the length of the shirts and blouses found in your stores. (People who are shorter than me, I might add.)
When I go to the gym, I don’t want to have to worry about my shirt coming up. If you don’t make them long enough, they will.
When I go to work, I don’t want to look like a clown.
When I go out to socialize, I don’t want some cat on my shirt staring at my friends.
I’ve had to give myself over to the ugly patterns and crazy color combinations most of the time. Sometimes it works out, but for the most part, I hate my clothing choices.
Now for the dress pants: Do you make a color other than black and dark blue? Do you provide pinstripes with pinstripe colors that actually match blouses you have in your stores? I’m not saying that I want to walk around in canary yellow pants, but I would like brown and tiny houndstooth (the ladies know what I mean). Would it be too much to ask that pant suits have jackets that measure 30″-32″ for the tall gals?
I want real business suits with skirts that come a few inches below the knee. I want dress pants that don’t look like floods and were made for a 5’5″ chubby chick. I don’t want dress shirts in neon green, with metal buttons. I want dresses that don’t have my boobs hanging out, are made for a professional atmosphere, and like the skirts, come down to a few inches below my knee. At the knee for your models is above the knee for me.
For casual wear, I want nice sweaters, tees, shirts, and such that come down just past my hips. They don’t need to scream, “Look at me! I’m wearing stupid patterns and motifs!” Why can’t I have a nice beige sweater that makes me feel comfortable? I’m okay with tasteful designs and stripes; however, why do I have to always walk around like I’m a freakin’ Jackson Pollock or Picasso?
Now, about 10 years ago or more, those clothes weren’t so hard to find. Your attempt to be too trendy while forgetting that the majority of your clientele are adults and professional is killing your bottom line. You need to balance the young and trendy with truly professional clothes. Maybe you wouldn’t be faced with shutting down stores, as you are now. Just think: You could get rid of all of the ugly and replace it with my suggestions…instant profit!
Just because people like me have to shop in your stores, doesn’t mean we always will. We will wear what we have until it falls apart. Why? Because when we walk into your stores, like I did this weekend, and are so upset by what we see, we just walk out and wait with the hope that your next season will be more sensible. (Btw., stop using skinny models for the fat clothes.)