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Applause for Sears and their clothes

September 5, 2012
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Shopping as a fat person is horrible. Nothing fits, nobody carries your size, and if it does then it’s online only and you have to order it, PRAYING that it will fit.  Of course, it only fits, like, half the time, then you have to ship it back to the store, often at your cost.  Things cost two, often three times as much. Plus-sized clothing stores will often carry something like 15 items in size 14-16, and then 5 in size 18-20, 2 in size 22-24, and anything over that, forget it. This makes NO sense to me, since size 14-16 can often pass as skinny, or at least go to straight-sized stores and buy the XL size.

As a tall size 28, I have to order most of my pants online since I usually can’t find anything in a brick and mortar store that fits. Don’t even get me started on the clothes themselves: bad cuts, ugly colors, styles only designed to “flatter” (flatter being code for either “hide everything you can about your body fatty” or else “look at these boobies!!!!!”).

Now take that pain, that pressure, and put it on a little girl as young as 7. Girls want to fit in with their friends, wear what everybody else is wearing. Gosh, the pressure of being in style, for tweens to fit in, to match their peers… I remember being VERY tall for my age, like 5’2″ at age 11. Nothing ever, EVER fit. It was always too short.

When I hit 10, I couldn’t shop in the girl’s section anymore. So off to the women’s section I went, and goodbye to the cute, girly stuff.  Now it was all mini-skirts, instead of lace and tutus; blouses not t-shirts. Everything was cut for a body with curves and boobs, not for a tall, little girl growing fast. Some retailers are realizing that there is money to be made on this lack of size diversity in children’s clothing.

The Today Show recently had this wonderful segment about Sears and other clothing retailers offering plus-sized clothing for kids.

Sears recently launched their “Pretty Plus” line for girls 7 to 10 years old, which mirrors the standard size line. According to Sears, “Pretty Plus” was successful overnight and there are plans for expansion. The Gap, Old Navy and The Children’s Place have also picked up on the trend, offering roomier clothes for girls ages 3 and up. This means clothing made of the same materials and in the same styles as their peers, just larger.

What a blessing for a tall 7-year-old that she gets to still wear kids clothing. No more ugly, plain clothing for the fatter or taller child. Now they can shop with their friends and not have to go to a special section in the store, hidden in the back of the shop.

I applaud Sears for this. It is so hard to shop to begin with, let alone to shop for fast-growing children. Online only  just doesn’t cut it. We want — need even — to try clothing on, see how it looks on us, see how it hits our curves, our belly fat. Sears gets this. They have been getting so much good feedback from “Pretty Pluss” that they have plans to expand the line next season.

FINALLY, a retailer is listening. They may not have the best clothes for plus-sized WOMEN yet (hint, Sears, hint) but this will make me shop there, even though both of my adopted kids ended up NOT being as plus-sized as myself.

There is some argument in the media as to whether the term “Pretty Plus” is OK or not for a child’s self-esteem. I believe that the media and retailers are missing the point entirely. Who CARES if it’s labeled plus. At least fat kids finally get their own clothing to match their peers, in the same styles, patterns, and materials. Larger kids ALREADY wear clothes that make them different. At least the plus tag is hidden on the inside, unlike an unfashionable or boring shirt bought from somewhere else because nothing fits at the kid’s store.

Now if only other stores would start to get this concept too.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Catgal permalink
    September 5, 2012 11:03 am

    I remember shopping at Sears for “back to school” for grammer school with my mother. They are among the most awful memories of my life. Maybe that’s why I have a Sears aversion… It is comforting to know that some girls will be spared my pain.

  2. September 5, 2012 12:24 pm

    Sadly, the Sears company in Canada doesn’t seem to be following suit. I was in there two weekends ago and the woman’s plus sized department had frumpy, ugly clothing and nothing went over a size 22. And kids clothes..forget it. So…once again, things are full speed ahead in one place and years behind in another. If I could sew and draw, I would design my own clothing line made for plus size women and girls that mirrored some of the current trends but made their own. Sadly, I can’t either sew or draw.

  3. mirandack permalink
    September 5, 2012 12:37 pm

    This is so awesome! I was never a larger kid, just filled clothes differently. Of course I still felt huge and weird.
    My daughter, who will be 3 next week, is already larger than her peers. She is wearing little girls 8s which are hecka long, and its hard to find appropriate styles as I don’t want my 3 year old to look like a 16 year old.
    I applaud a retailer for realizing the world is changing and so are our “average” bodies. Even though thier motivation is money and an untapped market, I can overlook that as I shop there.

  4. fatology101 permalink
    September 5, 2012 1:58 pm

    Thanks for the info. I will check it out.

  5. vesta44 permalink
    September 5, 2012 1:59 pm

    I remember when there were clothing lines for larger girls, but they were called Chubby. I hated having to shop there for my clothes because they didn’t look anything like what my thinner peers were wearing. So hooray for Sears and their Pretty Plus line (and that’s a much better name than Chubby or Husky, IMO). And if it took the motivation of an untapped market and money to be made to get them to do this, then other retailers should get the same idea that there’s a lot of money to be made by marketing clothing to fat people, especially if that clothing looks just like the clothing marketed to our thinner peers (in fabrics used anyway).

  6. violetyoshi permalink
    September 5, 2012 7:00 pm

    The majority of people in this country are fat, and stores are still clothing women that are half our size. That doesn’t make any sense does it? That only the 1% of super skinny women can go to the mall and find clothing. Guess they finally realized they need to start selling clothing to Americans, not these fantasy thin girls they imagine.

  7. September 6, 2012 10:55 pm

    Hooray for inclusive fashions!

    Peace,
    Shannon

  8. September 7, 2012 2:15 pm

    Sounds excellent. I wasn’t a fat child but I am as an adult, and I know the shops sell awful clothes in my size. The main retailer (& the one with a brick-and-mortar shop) Evans, sells awful clothes. Sometimes I find things I like, most of the time they sell things that my grandmother would be ashamed of wearing!
    It really gets on my nerves. I like clothes, and I do not like having to buy sight unseen from internet shops. All I was looking for was a pretty dress but no one did them in my size.
    Although on the good side I have recently found I fit into Marks & Spencer (very large high street store) clothes.

    • September 7, 2012 8:51 pm

      You think Evan’s clothes are awful? Wow…if you think those are awful, you should see the crap they sell here in Canada … it’s so ugly I can’t even look at it long enough to burn it!

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