In the recent past, while visiting my sister, we had a conversation about the store Forever 21 and why I was upset with them.
Before we go any further, let’s all quickly digest the fact that I still shop at Forever 21.
Are we okay?
Great, let’s proceed.
So, I was upset because the location where I live is 2 stories and their plus size clothing section has moved to the second floor. Now, my frustration wasn’t out of the logistics of having to walk upstairs, that, I don’t care much about. My frustration stemmed from the fact that the plus size area had gone from an area semi-close to the entrance on the first floor, to the back of the store on the first floor to, finally, upstairs in a back corner.
My sister said it was likely due to the demand of plus sizes at the store and I agree to some extent. Supply and demand folks; if your clientele is not buying a ton of Plus Size merchandise, why would that selection be front and center? Very true. Makes a lot of sense.
I should be more clear; while this move of an area within the Forever 21 store near me upset me, Forever 21 is not the whole problem. They just brought part of the problem to my attention.
So who is the whole problem? Oh, basically the fashion industry as a whole. Allow me to share with you:
3 Ways that the Fashion Industry & Curvy Women can Make Amends:
1. Hide Away – The Story of a Plus Size Outfit
Business have the right to sell what they wish and what they believe will result in their greatest profit. More power to them. I am not asking any business to sell anything different then what they already do.
That being said, if a business does decide to sell plus size clothing, can they please do it nicely? Walk into any store that does not sell only plus size clothing and I am confident that 9 out of 10 of these stores will have their plus size section located in the back, corner or some other semi-hidden area of their store.
We have a society that places such extreme pressures on women in regards to how they should look – I am sure it doesn’t help that if you are above an XL (and sometimes even above just a Large), you are sent to the dark corner of the store away from the “regular sized people”.
When I was a teenager, I didn’t shop for clothing with my friends. I had 0 self esteem and did not have even a quarter of the over-inflated-confidence level I have now so a shopping trip with thin friends would’ve resulted in an after-school-special-esque breakdown of sorts. However, I cannot even imagine being a plus size teenager going shopping with friends that are not plus sized. That’s probably super frustrating and annoying.
2. Fashionable Meets Curves – 2 Beauties Find Love in a Hopeless Place
Now, we have come a bit of a way over the years, not a long way, but a bit of a way, in terms of plus size fashion. I will say that while there are some really cute and fashionable finds out there for the curvier figure, they also tend to cost quite a bit.
The only place that I have found very affordable plus size clothing that is also of good quality is Old Navy. From what I understand (may not be accurate in all areas) Old Navy also took their plus size section out of stores and it is now only available online (please insert rolling eyes face here). But, fun fact, their clothes tend to not run true to size is a good way…meaning, you may be able to get away with the larger sizes of their non-plus size section.
Anyway, other than that, there are places that I have found where you can get good deals on plus size clothing, but it isn’t good quality. This is especially true for stores that are strictly plus size stores. If you haven’t had the opportunity to glance around a plus size store or check out one online, please do. You will grab your pearls in dismay when faced with a price tag. I get that more material = more money but, stop, it’s not that much more material.
Plus, the fashionable aspect – I am a firm believer that just because you have boobs and hips doesn’t mean you have to wear clothing that hides all of that. This is also true if you have a big stomach or big thigh. Truth is – it doesn’t matter what outfit you buy, unless it is a magic outfit, your body is still your body under the material, so like it! This doesn’t mean you have to wear revealing clothing or anything like that, it simply means that you should not be afraid to show off and embrace your curves.
Did you hear me plus size clothing designers? People don’t have to hide everything about their bodies that is different then that of a swimsuit model. Therefore, not every shirt needs to be paired with a cardigan of sorts, not every bathing suit needs to be paired with a cover up and not every plus size trend needs to be “forgiving”.
3. Petite & Plus Size – Two Star Crossed Lovers, Both Alike in Material
Here’s a crazy idea – brace yourself – what if we made the same clothing for plus size women that we do for women who are not plus size?
And then, if you haven’t passed out yet from reading that last sentence…what if we put these clothes in the same section…. on the same racks!
I know. I am blowing your mind right now. But while it’s a crazy idea, it may actually work.
Imagine, women of all shapes and sizes, just shopping in the same section amongst the same fashions?!
A single tear just rolled down my cheek.
In the mean time, if you do know of any awesome stores that sell cute plus size fashions, please share with your fellow Curvy Millennials in the comments below!