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Recently, some of us at She Might Be have noticed more and more comments from people who wear straight sizes saying that they wish a certain plus size design was available in their size. This then often leads to people asking us as plus size bloggers why we aren’t pushing for total size inclusivity, rather than just plus size inclusivity. There are literally thousands upon thousands more straight size clothing options than there are plus size options. Comparing what is available in a size 10 to a size 28 just isn’t possible.
When I go shopping as a plus size woman in my hometown Grimsby, there are three options available for me to shop at: Yours Clothing (and that only opens on the 28th April), Bon Marche, and New Look. Honestly, I’m so very lucky that I even have those limited options. However, if you wear straight sizes, there are over fifteen stores that carry your size! Of the three places I have available, New Look has a tiny curve section that goes up to a 24 only, despite carrying up to a 28 online. Bon Marche isn’t exactly aimed at the more fashion forward younger audience, they only sell up to a size 24, and their trousers only go up to a 31 inch inside leg. Which is nowhere near long enough for me at 5’11”.
At the time of writing this article Yours Clothing hasn’t actually opened yet, so I can’t pass comment on what they are carrying in store, but I am absolutely thrilled we are getting a physical store from them! So, if you are above a size 24 in Grimsby, Yours are your only option if you want to try anything on, whereas a size 12 can go into any store other than Yours and try on clothing.
This dress took 2 months to arrive and was the only thing I kept from this order, because I couldn’t try things on and had to rely on online shopping.
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If you see a plus size design that you love, and you don’t wear plus sizes, the chances are you can find something incredibly similar in one of the hundreds of retailers available to you. A quick google, an eBay hunt, I’m certain you could find something similar with a few clicks.
I did a shout out on social media and between all the plus size bloggers I know, we could come up with about 15 different brands that had physical stores and sold plus sizes. That includes stores like New Look who have a small plus size section within their store, and indy brands that only have one location in the whole country like Topsy Curvy. It also includes brands that aren’t size inclusive, and too many of these stores only carry up to a size 24, if they even do that. To be really generous I’ve even included the likes of Primark, who do up to a size 20, and supermarkets.
Fifteen total companies that a plus size person can go into and try things on.
I started to make a list of straight size brands and before I’d even asked anyone to add to to it I was at well over forty different brands that have physical stores that people who aren’t plus size can go and try clothes on in. Not including the countless independent boutiques and stores that are all over this country that seem to only carry a size 6-16.
Everything I’m wearing here I ordered online and just had to cross my fingers would fit me.
When I plan a shopping trip, I know that I’m probably going to have just three stores I can visit, if I’m super lucky. Whereas my straight size friends can wander into any of the stores we encounter and try something on (barring any of the few dedicated plus size stores). But hey, even Simply Be sell from a size 6 these days!
So, no, I won’t fight for you to be able to buy the plus size designs you love, when you already have hundreds of options I don’t have. Plus size fashion usually ends up being behind straight size fashion anyway; so if we have it now, you probably could have had it a few years ago. No, I won’t tell the few plus size brands that actually sell clothing that fits me that they should cater for you too. It’s incredibly rare to see a straight size person telling a fashion brand that they should be more size inclusive, so why would I want my beloved plus size brands to spend less time on the clothes that fit me and make them for you as well, when you already have so much? It feels like you’ve got a whole pizza to yourself, and I’ve got a single slice, and you still want half of mine anyway.
I wasn’t sure about this dress till I saw another tall plus size blogger wear it because I couldn’t go and try it on!
In an ideal world, every brand would sell every size, they’d sell maternity and petite and tall and wide fit and more, but sadly that isn’t the case. Why should plus size folks be asking our stores to sell your size when so many straight size people won’t ask their brands the same for us? When Topshop sell anything that will fit a fat person, I’ll consider asking Yours to start including straight sizes too. One day we’d love to see every size in every store, but until I can pop into more than a couple of stores in a high street of hundreds, I’m sticking to my fight for more plus sizes.