An Open Letter to Clothing Stores Everywhere

I went in two Target stores recently looking for plain t-shirts and hoodies to buy for an upcoming trip and was disgusted to find that their Plus Size section had been turned into a clearance section. The signs were changed to say “Women’s” like Plus Size people aren’t women, too. I wasn’t a frequent Target clothing shopper, I hated that most of their clothes weren’t as cute as the “regular” section, and that you had to walk through Maternity (which also shrunk, btw. but still exists) just to get there. Like Plus Size is an afterthought, a blip in the clothing size radar.

So I get to this section has has miraculously disappeared. There are a few plus size shirts amongst piles of other clearance items, but that’s about it. I actually go and try a different Target, closer to my home. Maybe this one is different. I was disappointed to find it isn’t any different. And for a few small moments in time I felt like Target was trying to tell me that I don’t deserve to buy their clothing, that I don’t need a few simple t-shirts from Target, or a hoodie that zips.

I can count on one hand the number of stores that carry Plus Size clothing in-store. Most of those stores sell shirts for around $50 and I think they think they can get away with it because there’s such low competition. Let me tell you something, there’s a lot of plus size people around.

And you can get on your high horse and scoff and say that plus sized people are unhealthy and need to lose weight. Sure, if that makes you sleep better at night keep on thinking about that. Forget that you do not know anything about my health, especially not from looking at me. And more importantly, no matter how healthy or unhealthy I am in the present moment I cannot fit into normal size clothes and that doesn’t mean I’m less of a person. Just because XXL isn’t the same as 1X or 2X doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to wear clothes that don’t have shoulder pads and cost more than two fancy dinners. They’re not even good quality clothing, not really.

Big brands like Lululemon and Abercrombie and Fitch have already spoken out about why they don’t offer plus sized clothes. I’ll tell you right now that even if I wasn’t plus sized, I wouldn’t support your clothing line.

Lots of stores carry larger sizes online. That’s something, maybe, but it’s also asking your customers to take a gamble. If I can’t figure out what size I am and where I might fit into your spectrum of “plus sized” I might not have the patience to try and guess (hint: I don’t) that might fit me. It’s more than frustrating to go into a store and try on something that doesn’t fit. I cannot find a pair of jeans that will simultaneously fit and also not fall down when I’m walking. Lane Bryant has these “genius fit” plans that are supposed to be amazing and fit everyone just right. Hint: they don’t even come close.

So do me a favor and consider everyone of every size, appeal to the masses and don’t shut us out just because we aren’t some standard of normal. No one is any less or a person because of their size.


Melanie Kristy


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