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I was walking through a mall in Massachusetts and was looking around to see what was new in stores. It’s been a while since I shopped in the mall so I didn’t know what to expect. What I did know was the stores that I wanted to visit. I always like the clothing styles in HM and sometimes Forever 21 so I decided to go to those two stores. First, I went to HM and didn’t found the plus size section as usual (because they only carry plus size online) so I did what I usually do when I visit the store, see what has an “oversize fit” and try on their 14 or 16 in that piece of clothing. Unfortunately this time I wasn’t lucky, nothing fitted me. I felt a little disappointed but I said to myself “it’s ok because they usually don’t carry plus size in stores” so I left the store and kept walking through the mall.
I found Forever 21 along the way and as soon as I enter I got excited because I saw they had these cute sundresses with oversize sleeves in the usual plus size section. But I notice they are relative small so I checked the tag and effectively, the dress was “small”. I check the others and they were all sizes “small, medium and large” as you can imagine I was confused because those dresses were in a space area that was previously designated to plus sizes. For my surprise I notice everything in that “Plus Size” section wasn’t plus size except TWO racks of clothing.
I thought they moved everything to another area so I went to a store associate and asked where was all the plus size clothing and if that was all they had and she replied, “yes, that’s all we have for plus sizes”. After she said it I was going to leave but I decided to look around the whole store to see the clothing for “straight- sizes” and saw the whole variety they had (basically 2 levels of clothing) and I felt so excluded that I left the store upset.
I was so upset that had to share a little bit of that experience in my IG Stories. But more than anything I felt FRUSTRATED. How can be possible that you carry 98% of “straight-size” clothing and 2% or less of what you offer is plus size? If you as a brand say you offer a “Plus + Curve section” as a customer I would like to see it in stores. I would like to be able to try it on just like everyone else. Why only carrying the sizes 0x – 3x online? Or Why carrying the plus sizes in a little space? Why the lack of variety? Don’t you think we as plus sizes deserve a physical space to shop? It seems the response is “We don’t care”. That is exactly what your brand is saying when only has 2 racks of plus size clothing. The lack of compromise, attention, and equality in the plus size fashion industry is very disappointing. And I’m not going to accept it anymore. Actions speak louder than words. A banner with a few plus-size models WON’T work for us the plus size community because we deserve better. Inclusivity should NOT be a trend and should not be used only for marketing purposes. The brand has to believe in what they sell but I’m not going to get too much in the inclusivity topic because that is for another blog post. Meanwhile, I only will promote, share and encourage others to wear inclusive clothing brands or brands that acknowledge our reality as a consumer. Brands that show they care.
When I was a teen I had the mindset of “let’s see what I find that has an oversized fit or let me try the biggest straight size to see if it fits”. But now that I’m a size 14-16 in my mid-twenties I refuse to conform to that. Why? Because the average American woman falls between sizes 16 to 18 and there is a huge gap that needs to be attended. We as customers have been ignored for so many years and it’s time for a change. I don’t care if I’m spending $25 in a dress from Forever 21 or $150 in a dress from Universal Standard, which by the way is an amazing brand. I just want to look good and modern! And I also want to feel good about the process of buying clothing. I know I’m not the only one that feels the same way. I think is time for everyone who is plus size to speak up about these experiences. I know you guys have a lot to say because when I shared in the IG stories about the whole experience in the mall my inbox was on fire. And I know we can change what’s happening by sharing our experiences.
The Plus Size Community Deserves Better Options. The prices are way up and the limited options are not on par with the current fashion.
That’s why from now on I’m committed to share my experiences on the blog and social media. Don’t worry, I will keep sharing my regular posts but I want to make this addition because is necessary. I decided it would be a good idea to create a hashtag where we as a community can express our opinions and share our experiences. Whether is about a store visit or an email reply, if you want to share it with the plus size community, please use the hashtag: #HearUsThePlusSize
Enough is enough and we as plus size women and men deserve better. Anything related to the plus size fashion industry whether is fast fashion or high end, diversity, body image or inclusion don’t hesitate to share it using the hashtag #HearUsThePlusSize. If you want to share your experience or concern privately you can always send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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