Too fat to go shopping

Australia
March 19, 2009 6:07am CST
Dozens of studies tell us that in the Western/industrialised nations there is a huge problem with obesity, something in the vicinity of 40% of the population. So why is it that all the clothes stores, including the big chain stores, stock almost nothing over a size 16 for women or a 2XL for men? I have recently lost enough weight to again be able to just about get away with 2XL, but at one stage I was 4XL or even 5XL, and buying clothes was a nightmare. There are some shops for big people, but very few and far between, and expensive into the bargain. But it's as though the buyers for clothes shops have simply closed their minds to the facts and continue to carry on as though all women are size 8/10 and all men are S, M, or L. If you're really lucky there may be some 12/14 for women, but since 14 is the average size, by the time my partner gets to a shop all but the ugliest stuff is gone. And I can find XL and sometimes 2XL fairly easily, but my choice is similarly limited for much the same reason. It's as though there's a conspiracy to keep all us happy fatties in rags, or better still, too embarrassed to go out at all. HWP is the eleventh commandment of the trendoid majority. Waddya reckon? Lash
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3 responses
• Philippines
19 Mar 09
Hello grandpa_lash! This is indeed a very interesting topic! I share the same sentiments. I am from the Philippines and you know what? Each time I go shopping, I feel that I am being discriminated against. LMAO! I see clothes with sizes from Extra Small to Extra Large. Yeah, they do have Extra Large sizes but it seems that it would only fit small body frames. While there are shops that sell clothes for those who need Plus Sizes, the designs and the colors are the worst in the world. LMAO! More often than not, what I do is to ask my relatives and friends abroad to buy some clothes for me. Or, each time I have the opportunity to go abroad, I do buy a great deal of clothes that are of my taste and yeah, of my size...
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• Australia
19 Mar 09
I came across a pair of shorts made in China which was a 44" waist, and which was described as 2XL. I would have thought, in today's context, that this would be no more than XL. Lash
@sharra1 (6344)
• Australia
28 Mar 09
Yes that is so true. They seem to think that just because a person is larger that they will want to wear dowdy colours and baggy shapeless clothes. It is so insulting. We had a person who was so annoyed by this that she opened her own designer range, just for women over size 20 as that was what she was. I think that was wonderful of her as it made people realise that there was a real problem in this area and a huge market. I think there have been a few more people doing it since then. I am on the edge of the 14/16 and find it so hard to find clothes. The sizes are wrong and rarely fit properly. I have learned not to look at the size label seriously as people use the wrong tags. Tagging a size 12 as a 14 does not make it a 14 it just makes the person confused. I wish they would standardise sizes and stick with them.
• United States
19 Mar 09
I like to sit at the local mall sometimes and watch the crowd just for fun. There are very few people that walk by that fit the sizes offered in the stores. Poor stores I have heard sales are down. Finding the right size gets even more interesting if you are tall. My husband not only takes a large size but an extra tall size. Then add the fact that he has large feet. For years his socks would have holes at the toes in a matter of a few wearings. I finally figured out that the socks were too short. Shoes are fun too. Oh, and if he wants a tie he has to find an extra long one. At one point I was making his ties and shirts because they were not long enough. This gets even better when your kids are all tall especially the girls and they aren't built like pencils. Poor things can't find jeans anywhere. I have noticed that heavier women like me end up wearing T-shirts and jeans or stretchy pants because that's about all there is to pick from. That really makes a fashion statement and lifts your spirits. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Could Corporations be in trouble because they are blind to the public's needs. I have had to learn to sew in order to clothe my family. I am now teaching the kids to sew. They will need this skill in view of the fact that we have "one size fits all" thinking. We have resorted to fringe on the bottom of jeans to make them look longer, etc.
• Australia
19 Mar 09
One could understand if, in true economic rationalist fashion, large people were a small minority: it would make rational economic sense to ignore us, since we would have little effect on God - oh, sorry, I meant The Market Forces. But we are a very significant minority, so one has to wonder where their brains are. But then GM kept making obsolete gas guzzlers in the face of clear demands for Green sensitive economical vehicles, to the point that they are in the awful trouble they are now in. It's called irrational rationality in the sociology and anthropology texts. Marx spoke of the Contradictions of Capitalism, one of which is, in today's context, that if you chase economic efficiency by replacing workers with either machines or offshore cheap labour, to the point that your own national unemployemnt figures go beyond a critical point, you destroy your own market base, and go broke. It doesn't matter how efficiently you can produce a product if there is nobody to sell it to. I wonder how long before the clothes manufacturers and the clothing stores go broke with warehouses full of small sized clothing and no market for it? Lash
• United States
19 Mar 09
Thank you for your comment. You brought to mind something about the auto manufacturers. I can say that at least some of the big three automakers make cars that fit tall and larger people. For some reason a tall person even has enough head room in a Volkswagon. Some of the lines from Toyota, though, put me in stitches when you see a tall person try to fit into one. I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I do hope we go back to small business overall and serving the customer instead of the bottom line. I think a society that encourages creativity is one I truly enjoy.
• Australia
10 Apr 09
This all seems to be part of the "standardisation" our culture craves. I suppose it is more comforting to know everyone is similar, which is why outsiders and rebels are so harshly treated; it upsets the feeling of safety in numbers and conformity. Lash
@sharra1 (6344)
• Australia
28 Mar 09
Oh this is a common problem that I have found. The average size for women is 12 to 14 which is medium but they never stock enough of it and it always sells out first. Then there is the larger size range 16 to 18 which is for the chubby ones and above that you have to find a shop that caters to larger women or has a larger women section. I have found some stores only stock up to size 14, they tend to be the trendy stores. Maybe they do not want larger people wearing their clothing. I suppose there must be enough young teenagers that size to enable them to stay in business. What surprises me though are big department stores stocking so much clothing in the 8 to 10 range. I have noticed that when they have sales they seem to only every have size 8 to 10. I think their sales are just to get rid of the clothing that no one wants to buy. Maybe they could buy less small stuff and more in the average size so people like me could find clothing to wear. *sigh* Another problem I find is that they are incapable of standardising their sizes. I will often find that I can fit into a 14 in one brand but other brands it will be a 16 as they make skimpy sizes. What is the point? If a person is a 14 then making a 12 and calling it a 14 will not make it a 14, it will just make the customer angry. grrrrr.
• Australia
30 Mar 09
It seems to me, from the lack of response to this thread, that the manufacturers and retailers are not the only ones into denial about this issue. Have we become, as a society, so embarrassed about our obesity epidemic that we simply can't discuss it? Lash
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