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One Size Fits “Most”…My Mother Can Testify to That!

March 12, 2010

How many of you have gone shopping and you saw a dress or pair of leggings that you wanted to buy, while when selecting your proper size you read the label and it says, “One size Fits All?”  Could you wear it or are you faced with an unsettling dilemma.  Is the “One Size Fits All” a fact or myth?

I think clothes makers do this just to attempt to be humorous at the expense of pissing a lot of women off.  I happened to be in a store at the Baldwin Crenshaw mall several months ago, and on the first level there’s this store that sells a lot of tropical-type, summery-like clothing.  They had a summer dress that came in three colors — pink, black and white (I have the pink one), and there were these two women scoping out the dresses in front of me while I was frantically waiting for them to step aside so I could reach for the pink one…I didn’t want to be rude.  They were rather a colorful couple of women who voiced their dissatisfaction of the fact that the dresses said “One Size Fits All” because one of the women resounded a tune of singing her praise for weighing over 200 pounds and the other woman agreed that her weight was right up there with her.  They were annoyed, of course, when as soon as they stepped aside I took the pink one from the rack and walked over to the cashier after taking another few minutes to walk around the store to see what else they had.  I was stalling hoping they’d leave the store before I did.

Sometimes in that store you’ll find them to have really lovely evening sequined dresses, and at inexpensive prices.  But anyway, the two women continued to walk around the store to see what their wallets could be emptied out on, as one of the women under her breath threw a few choice words my way.  It was funny to me, not something I wanted to get all bent out of shape over.  It’s a known fact that this is something that plus size women have been plagued with for centuries, it would seem.

Stores like Ashley Stewart, Lane Bryant, Torrid cannot completely meet the demands of larger sizes.  But luckily there are some local neighborhood boutiques that specialize in plus sizes will often be generous enough to cater to those women who do not have the luxury of shopping in any of the above mentioned stores.  The prices are right up there with their prices — sometimes lower or higher depending on where they go and it’s a breath of fresh air to them to be able to find something they can wear. 

Now lets talk trends.  What I’ve been seeing is a lot of unnecessary prints and patterns that really do not flatter plus size women, but tend to make the stick out like a sore thumb.  When I say prints and patterns, I mean lots of dark floral prints, stripes, polka dots, bright and neon colors — and styles that just seem a bit on the ridiculous size — and yet it’s considered fashion of today’s trends.  Soft colors, less floral prints and patterns, and properly coordinated solids with patterns and prints is where it’s at.  Nice cardigans and sweaters, jeans and pencil skirts; button downs and nicely fitting dresses that gives them a slimmer look.

Now my mom who is 4 ft 9 in, struggled with weight most of her life, mostly due to her health and other reasons.  But when she was thinner…I saw pictures of her thinner, she enjoyed the world of wearing skinny people clothes.  As over the years her weight has teeter-tottered in the low 200’s she’s been put on one diet after another to control her diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma.  She’s been frustrated with buying clothes the past few years and the one store where she could find clothes for her height and weight, the store later closed down.  I just recently introduced her to a store in the Fox Hills Mall, Culver City that specializes in plus size clothes for the bigger woman.  Although you would think it’s for younger girls, but my mom is trendy at heart and refuses to wear the over conservative attire that makes her look older than she is (she’s 63).  She lost her left  breast to breast cancer back in 1981, and she has to protect her skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, so what she looks for are trendy long sleeve tops with cute tank shells she can wear underneath.  She likes lace trims so we try to look for something of that nature she can wear under a button down top.  She’s more partial to neutral colors like ivory, beige, browns, blues and some purples and violates.  Jeans are her favorite.  In the store, we picked out some really cool summer wear and it’s not going to cost her a fortune.

She likes Ashley Stewart, but thinks they are too boring for her.  Can you believe that?  But she’s lost a considerable amount of weight allowing her the opportunity to wear like a size 20-22 comfortably.

The “One Size Fits All” is truly a myth in its own right.  It’s designed to discourage a lot of plus sized women and doesn’t apologize for the lack of concern for the feelings that are impacted in the process. 

I see that dreadful label in leggings that are obviously designed for a small person no larger than someone who wears a size 14; in sweat outfits, sweaters, and other clothing that would seem to be improperly labeled in that regard.  Frankly, the need to do away with that label.  Be fair and generous in sizing.  In another post I’m putting together, I’m talking about how a medium can fit like an extra small and how an extra-large can fit like a medium; and misses wears like a junior size.  Weird, but it’s true.  Stay tuned.

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