Over the last few years I've been very frustrated when trying to pick up simple clothes in my size. I'm a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal most of the time which sounds like it should be the simplest thing in the world to replenish.
Instead, I haven't been able to find much over the last 3 years. The cuts aren't flattering and neither are the available colours. And when I do find something, it's only in the tiniest and largest sizes, not mine.
This has been very frustrating, especially since it left me wearing some things which probably would have qualified me for What Not to Wear.
I decided to try the plus-size online options for typical clothing stores, such as Old Navy and Reitmans. (It annoys the heck out of me that there are no stores where I can go to look at the material and cuts but that's a separate issue.)
I ordered some simple t-shirts and then sat back and waited to see how awful they would be. Would the sizing be consistent? I'd ordered tall so I also had to wonder if necklines would end up being indecently long for the playground. Of course, if I'd ordered regular, I would have ended up flashing my belly and I'm a little past the age where that's flattering.
To my surprise, the clothes were acceptable. Not great but acceptable. Since I was in desperate need for replacements, acceptable was good enough.
Having to order clothes online bothers me. I live in a relatively large city with a good economy. I'm not particularly abnormally shaped or proportioned. Yet I do not fit within the current standards of body image (as indeed, most women do not). To me, refusing to carry clothes which fit me (although their brand does provide them) is a deliberate relegating of me to a second-class citizen. I'm not good enough for other people to see me shopping at their store. I'm a not a "desired" customer image for their brand.
As for plus-sized stores, I'm finding them to be more and more unpleasant to try and shop in. Everything is expensive and boxy and the vast majority of it is unflattering. (The number of plus size designers who use horizontally striped fabric boggles the mind.)
It's irritating and humiliating. But apparently, it's how it's done.