Monday, May 07, 2007

Shopping While Shapely

I don’t know what’s wrong with American retailers.

Don’t they see all this information about how America is facing an obesity crisis?

Don’t they know that 1 out of every whatever number of people are overweight in this country?

Don’t they know that HALF of those people are women?

Why is it that retailers/designers/store buyers believe that a woman loses her good taste and fashion sense just because she is overweight? Obesity is not a mental condition that impairs our vision.

Why CAN’T we find the variety and quality of clothes that Little Miss Size Six has access to? Fat people are the MAJORITY! The retailers should be CATERING to us.

We have money in our pockets, too. We shouldn’t have to settle for giant white shirts with little horizontal red lines or plain khaki Capri pants. Where are OUR designers T-shirts, classic jeans, or just plain trendy clothes?

How about making something for us that ISN’T in a primary color?

It’s a well known fact that I love the color black. And while my friends may tease me by saying “There ARE other colors, you know,” I’m proud of wearing mostly black outfits. It’s classy.

I mean, I’m no Audrey Hepburn, but most of my stuff stays in fashion and lasts longer simply because black never goes out of style.

Yesterday, Carleen and I went shopping at Kohl’s. She needed a new outfit for her new foray into the home party business – USBORNE Books. I was there for moral support and to offer my opinion if needed.

Now, Carleen has never been overweight. But after the birth of her two children, she kicked herself into overdrive and has (through exercise and healthy eating) whittled herself down to a pretty small size.

As I wandered through the wonderland that is the Misses section, I was amazed at the choices. The quality and variety of the clothes were almost overwhelming. I found myself picking out dozens of outfits that I would wear if I were ever…

I visited the Women’s section later and saw the same old tired choices of light colored T-shirts sans designs, old lady pants with elastic waistbands, and Sunday dresses straight out of a 1980’s catalog. Yep. Those were MY choices.

Carleen walked out with two beautiful outfits. I left with my purse still zipped and a new sense of appreciation for stores that DO cater to the MAJORITY of American female shoppers - places like Lane Bryant that support shapely women like me.

However, I was more than a little irritated I was made to feel like an unequal just by going shopping. I mean, I KNOW I’m NOT a lesser person, just because I don’t WEIGH less. But standing in the fashion desert that was the Women’s section at Kohl’s, I felt like I mattered less to the store and the designers who don’t design clothes for the rest of us.

I guess I just decided I won’t LET them make me feel inferior. I’m writing a letter to Kohl’s today requesting that they start offering high-quality, trendy clothes for REAL women.

And if they don’t, then I’ll have to go elsewhere.

TAWANDA! Face it, Kohl’s. I’m shapely, and I have more to offer.


Heidi said...

AMEN and AMEN. After the birth of my last child, I found myself shopping in the women's department at JcPenney outlet and I left with no shirts because I did not like that they charged more for women's clothes (only one size larger, instead of XL, it was 1X). What is the BIG deal of that. It was harder to find khakis and I am not a blue jeans fan (not comfy to me).
Granted, I do plan on fitting in the misses clothes again, but it is definitely an eye opener to the other side, when you are there, even for a short while.
Retailers better listen, because I don't think they want "shapely" women running around naked because of blah clothes choices.

Anonymous said...

So well put, and SO TRUE!