Applause for Sears and their clothes
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.