Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Last 'Acceptable' Plus Size?

An Open Letter to the Plus Size Industry......

Dear Plus retailers, 

How are you? I'm a little bit disappointed if I'm honest. I have noticed recently that although at times the plus size market seems to be getting a little bit more choice, the super plus size market (in my opinion UK sizes 26 and above) seems to be faltering somewhat. 

The first ruffle in my feathers came a while back when I noticed that the plus size range over at Next dropped it's size range from being available up to a UK size 28, to a UK size 26. Just a drop in one size, I know, but why? I had my rant about it at the time but unfortunately got no real answer from Next as to why they had chopped the size range down. Not long after it came to light that the H&M+ range had out of the blue dropped it's size accessibility which had previously catered to a size 32 (or what they tried to pass off as a 32) down to a size 28. Again, no idea why, but mysteriously it just cut off the larger end of it's market. So, two down, not very many retailers left whom cater to those of us in the 'Super fatty' category. 

So, I was over at the trusty Very 'So Fabulous' range recently having a shop (I say shop, what I really mean is browse online, because that's the only way you want us fatties to shop these days, right?) having a mooch at their 'New In' items when I noticed it, they, just like Next and H&M+ had chopped back their range that had previously catered up to a size 32, right down to a 28!!!! 

SHUT.THE.FRONT.DOOR! 

'Another one?' I thought to myself! Yep indeed, ANOTHER ONE! Another 'exclusive' plus size range which had closed it's doors to the ones of us whom are desperately in need of choice from the market. This is not to play down the issues that women below a size 26 have but you have to admit, clothing ranges that offer items up to a size 32 are pretty fuckin' limited. I bet I could pretty much count them on one hand! 

I angrily tweeted your PR team Very, whom said they would question their buyers about the change and I think I got some lacklustre, wanky PR response along the lines of 'Certain key lines will still be available up to a size 32'. Oh really? You mean we've got more chance of plaiting piss than getting a pretty dress from you guys if you are larger than a size 28? Yes Very, that's exactly what you meant! 

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a personal attack on you, Very (although it did begin to start sounding like it), but this is just sheer frustration at the fact that apparently, now, if you are above a size 26 you are out of the 'acceptable plus size' range. That's it, not only have they wiped they're hands of you once, by making the market as difficult as fucking possible for you being plus sized as it is, they're going to kick you in the balls, slap you in the face and piss all over your dreams if you are above a size 26 and make sure you've got bollocks all chance of ever owning anything remotely fashionable!

Not only does this frustration come from the reduction in the availability plus size ranges catering to us more buxom ladies, it also comes from exclusive plus size only stores whom seem to stop caring about their customers above a size 24! Yes Evans, I'm looking at you! Now, when I think about this, I am rather perplexed as to the logic behind it. The size range in Evans goes from something like a size 14 to 32, right? Now, the availability of clothing between a size 14 to 22 in the market in general is a damn sight better than what it is for the market for anyone a size 22 and over. So, my thoughts would be that this 'exclusive' plus size retailer would put more emphasis on making the higher end of their range better than the lower end of their range as they have the monopoly on fat chicks shopping with them, does that make sense? I know it does in my head, but apparently, if you are at the upper end of the Evans size range, all you can expect is, dual sizing and poorly fitted items, whilst there smaller customers reap the benefits of they're actual size and a proper fit! So, what's going on with that? Why can't I have a dress or a coat or a top in my actual size rather than half of one size and half of another that doesn't fit me properly? You have given me the choice of either looking like I grew out of my clothes, or looking like a clown in items that swamp me! I have also noticed online recently that a lot of your new in dresses stop at a size 28 also! *WELP!* Are you soon to be shutting your doors on us too???? Where is the love for us super fatties Evans?

Retailers such as ASOS and New Look go up to a 26 and don't seem to be rushing to broaden their parameters, the likes of Lovedrobe, Koko, Samya and AX Paris keep popping up only to make very small offerings past a size 26 but only in collaboration with other retailers and then there is dear old Gemma Collins whom decided that her love of the plus sized ladies only extended to those of us up to a size 22 to make sure she wasn't seen to be promoting 'OMG-OBESITY!'.

I don't have any answers or solutions really, but it seems to me, dear plus size industry that you have made your mind up on what is the last acceptable plus size, and right now, it doesn't look like I'm included......

Yours Sincerely,

One very disgruntled super fat, fatty!


7 comments:

Mrs BeBe said...

I know I can sit in my ever so smug size 22 and say oh I'm so sorry Naomi, but I genuinely am. As someone who's been everything from a 20 to a 32 in my time I know how fucking frustrating it is to get clothes. Sometimes not even fashionable clothes just basics that fit, that are well made, that don't look like a granny's cast offs. Like you I wish I knew the answer, had the solution. B x

Cass Parsnips said...

I FUCKING LOVE THIS POST! I can't help but think that nearly all 'plus size' retailers are run by thin people.

Louise said...

It's absolutely ridiculous that these brands are isolating the larger ladies when they know how little there is out there in those sizes. Surely their buyers must realise that the lack of clothes available to ladies over a size 28 (well, even over a size 22) gives them the opportunity to create a killer range which will generate a huge amount of profit?? I often think when brands isolate certain sizes it's nothing to do with profit/loss but the fact they don't want to associate with people of a certain size.

I'm on the lower end of the plus size scale and I know I can find my size in a dozen or more different stores, but it annoys me that my Sisters who are larger and like to look fashionable can't. The industry should be progressing, not going back twenty years.

I did hear that New Look Inspire are apparently soon to be going up to a size 32, though. Though by the way Inspire is being removed from so many New Look shops most of us will have to shop for it all online!

Just me, Leah said...

Have you noticed that most of the trendiest clothes on Yours Clothing now stop at a 26? I think there's something behind it, like some behind the scenes pressure from healthcare bods not to let the fatties have the clothes we want so we all have to diet. Call me paranoid, call me cynical, but I smell a RAT! xx

Sara™ said...

THANK YOU for this post - it's just as bad here in the states where it seems like retailers have decided that if you are at (or over) a 26/28 you are a 54 year old housewife who either has the same style you did back in 1986 (aka. super dated) or you have lost all care about how you present yourself in this world and are happy with ill fitting, matronly clothing.

So frustrating!

Linz M said...

Brilliant post, it's so frustrating trying to get decent clothes in plus sizes as it is without the ranges being cut back. I hope retailers start to take notice x

Sleepydumpling said...

You know what I think it boils down to? The desire to keep some thin privilege "exclusivity" even though the size market is expanding. Yes, I really do believe that they want to have a range that someone, ANYONE can say "well, at least I'm not going to be seen in the same thing as that mega fatty over there" and also reap the benefits of a growing market of plus-size fashion.

It makes me sick to be honest.