Maybe you love shopping for clothes, or maybe you don’t. It may not be fun at any size. However, the fact remains that even despite lots of talk and some real improvements in plus size fashion, there is still a segregated shopping experience.
We’re Panty Drop, a panty platform where you take our quiz and our panty experts pick the perfect panty style and size for you. We embrace the tiny (XS), the plus sized (6X), and the rainbow in between.
We recently interviewed 22 plus size community members and came up with 4 things they wished their less-enlightened thin friends knew about their clothes shopping experience.
1. Stores STILL don’t have my size.
Imagine an alternate reality where one day, you walk into a shopping mall and 90% of the stores had signs: “no skinny sizes here”. There are tons of cute clothes, but nothing is available for you. There are no images of people who represent you. But you look around and you know you’re not the only one, so why is no one paying attention?
This IS the reality for many plus size shoppers. Thank goodness for online shopping. IRL, all of the stores that do offer plus size clothing either have limited and frumpy styles (Walmart) or don’t include larger sizes. Sound frustrating? Here are some hair-pulling thoughts from our community. This is real, from 2020:
I get kind of sad because all the pretty stuff is for smaller girls so I don’t really buy much.Michelle, size 20
Only a few options for stores. Most clothes in my size are for older people.Anonymous
I shop with my husband and drive him crazy with 100 does this look good questions.Anonymous
It is hard. Living in a rural area, it can take up to an hour or more to get to stores which carry cute plus size clothing. The choices at most stores I wouldn’t catch my mother in.Anonymous
A lot of places call their clothing ‘plus size’ but it isn’t.Anonymous
2. Plus size clothing feels like extra material stitched together
New clothing means new possibilities, like a new date or a boost in confidence, right? What ends up happening in plus size stores is confusion and disappointment. Here’s what we know: all womxn want to feel confident in their clothing and have lots of options when it comes to style.
Finding my size that actually fits me and doesn’t feel like just extra material that someone stitched together.Anita, size 15
If I can find what I want in my size and it’s cute, I’m happy! A lot of times it is frustrating due to lack of sizing, style and it’s usually out of stock.Stephanie, size 24
Sometimes I’m defeated if I can’t find what I’m looking for in my size. I tend to buy multiple items of the same design in different colors if it fits.Marcia, size 5X
The sizes aren’t always the same from product to product. In many stores the plus area style is designed for older women. We plus girls want to be sexy too.Kate, size 18
3. When we shop at plus size stores, we feel respected because we finally feel seen.
I love that when I find the perfect outfit, it gives me an instant confidence boost!Anonymous
Sometimes I feel very embarrassed shopping for clothes in stores that aren’t made for plus size people. But, I feel confident when I go to stores that are more the plus size girl. They are so nice in those stores and are always ready to help.Anonymous
When I shop it is normally specialty stores so there is no judging.Anonymous
It has come a long way. But in some stores plus size means a 24 I’m Talking about 32/34 for plus so we have a lot away to go.Karen, size 32
4. My clothes are more expensive.
Yep, it’s true. Many plus size clothes are more expensive than their ‘straight’ size counterparts. Brands claim that this is due to the fact that more material and more labor is required to make larger garments. And yes, that’s true. However, manufacturers have been blending costs across size ranges for decades — it’s just that those size ranges are typically XS-XL or S-L.
I find that all of the clothes that are cute are too expensive.Anonymous
It’s gut-wrenchingly painful when you go into a popular store and look for your size, just to realize it’s only part of their online stock. I struggle with not breaking down while still in the store. Even online, it can be worse because actually cute styles for plus size women are very often overpriced in comparison to their straight size counterparts.Kate, size 18
What needs to change
More options, more styles and standardized sizing at affordable pricing
We’ve come a long way, but the fashion industry needs to do more. We’re waiting for the day when the words plus size will be obsolete. A day when all fashion walkways will include womxn of different sizes. We’re thankful for our community of womxn who continue to push body positivity and fashion inspiration for all sizes.
It’s a disappointment and plus size women deserve more. I personally keep showing up each day on Instagram as a blogger and content creator, being body positive and sharing outfit inspiration, because every girl deserves representation. We should all be able to feel cute, sporty, grungy, or whatever is in your soul. We shouldn’t have to compromise.Kate, size 8X
Standardize the plus size clothing category. We need easier sizing numbers with consistency across different brands. It’s hard once I find a size and style I like and I cannot go to another store and get a similar outfit.Anonymous
And at the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is this self-love thing is a journey
I used to be embarrassed but as I’ve grown older i definitely have grown to love myself more and more each dayAnonymous