Fat Clothing Revolution

When I was young (lo these many many years ago), fat people had little choice in clothing unless you could sew.  And even if you could sew, you better know how to adjust a pattern.

The only large sizes were half-sizes.  Does anyone remember half-sizes?  They were for fat people — who were also short.  This means on me, the waist would be empire – even though it wasn’t supposed to be.  And of course, they were all styled for the “mature” woman. 


Enter Lane Giant.  OMG.  The first time I walked into an LB store I was 16 and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  I LOVE clothes; and they had beautiful clothes that would fit me.  Unfortunately, to shop there I had to go to Detroit (about 60 some miles south of my hometown). 

Then a local lady in my home town got the bright idea to open her own fat ladies store.  And I have to hand it to her, she only hired people who could wear the clothes she was selling.  I made a couple of TV commercials for her — getting paid in clothes, and I was hooked.  I went to work at the store and began my long career as a clothes fanatic. 

Fast forward to the present.  We now have so many options.  Maybe not as many as the average size person; but still a lot.  And thanks to the web, there are lots of entrepreneur designers and retailers that cater to us with more custom-type designs. 

Of course, the main problem with fat clothes is the price.  Except for the mega-retailers, fat clothing is a lot more expensive than that extra yardage seems to warrant.  The prices for the mega-retailers do seem to be coming down, especially if you are willing to haunt the clearance sections of their websites.  The other (smaller) vendors are more expensive (in most cases WAY more expensive), but they are offering clothing that you won’t see on everyone you meet.  So it’s a trade off.

And if you sew, they now make patterns in our sizes!  Not a great selection, but you can now make your own basics if you are so inclined.  So you can create your own personal look.

So I want to salute the fact that fat people now have options when it comes to dressing well.  I am sure the main reason fat clothes are available is because of capitalism and greed; but hey – I can live with that.


2 thoughts on “Fat Clothing Revolution

  1. Yes, capitalism works. I am a mid-size fat woman who has always ranged between size 16 & size 22, depending on where I was age & hormone-wise & where I was on my cycles of normal or compulsive exercise, & for a woman my size, I think that there are nearly as many clothing options as there are for thin or average-sized. I never have any real trouble finding what I want that fits, though I could wish that LLBean made their Goretex rain jackets in misses plus, so that, in order to own one, I would not be forced to buy a men’s XXL. I wrote them letters & chewed their representatives’ ears off on the phone for years, as I suspect a lot of others also did, & they now carry about 25% of their women’s clothes up to 26W. Unfortunately, in my case, they seldom carry an item I really like in plus size, or in a color I like. That, however, is the exception to the rule for me. I generally have few complaints about clothing shopping.

  2. Sometimes capitalism works. And sometimes the major retailers get reactionary. It seems like Lane Bryant has bought out Catherine’s, and they and the Avenue are chopping some of their supersize items.

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