The high cost of plus size

Happy Friday Everyone,

Today I read a blog post by “Grown and Curvy” about Target’s new plus-size collection.  She mentioned that although Target is carrying a variety of styles online, most are not carrying the line in stores.  This got me thinking, again, about how frustrating it is to be:

  1. Relinquished to shopping in the “woman’s section.”
  2. Having to go to a separate “Woman” store.
  3. Paying a premium

Sadly, I am speaking of Talbots, my absolute favorite line of clothing.  If you follow my personal Instagram account @CapeCodAtHeart You will see that literally 95% of my wardrobe comes from there.

Here’s the rub. First of all, the sizes are always separated either by walls or total stores.  That doesn’t seem fair.  Then, plus-sizes are ALWAYS more expensive.  Well, you think, “Maybe it costs more to manufacture due to the use of more fabric.” Yes, I considered that theory.  However, it is not true.  Here’s why.  I am currently wearing a 14WP in bottoms and a 12WP in tops.  Some times I’ll wear and XLP or regular XL.  It depends on the style.  Okay, so we have established I am probably in the Woman’s section, or store, most of the time.  Don’t let me lose you here.  This is very insightful.  So, regular petite sizes only go up to 16P but regular woman’s sizes go up to 18.  So, an 18 regular is too big for me.  Now, I have to either go to another store or move to the “Woman” section for bottoms.  A size 18 is larger than a woman size 14WP.  But I have to pay more because I am petite.  Then there is the sheer fact that a regular size 18 is also too big for me on top.  So, I have to again go to another section or store for a top.  And, pay more again.

Ugh.  So, now let’s say I tried on a blouse in the “Woman” section.  I tried the 12WP and it fits.  Great but a surcharge is placed on it.  Now, I go back to the regular sizes and the size 18 (remember petite only goes to 16P.) Guess what?  I’m swimming in the size 18.  Again, that too has more fabric.

So, in a nut shell, plus size women in certain size ranges pay a premium because of subtle sizing differences imposed by the retailers.  Then even larger size women don’t even have the choice to cross-over shop.  So I pose this question…. What about the woman who wears a size 0?  Why doesn’t she get a discount because far less material is needed?  No, she definitely won’t.

Retailers can also gauge size popularity by what is left at clearance time.  Isn’t it usually harder to find larger sizes on clearance?  It is for me.  I see lots of small sizes on the clearance rack.  Why?  Because we plus size women spend money to look good.  We may even pay full price since the odds of finding the item on sale or clearance is slim.

It is not just Talbots that does this.  I don’t want to single them out.  I’m still going to shop there all the time, I will also continue to pay a premium because I love the label.  I have loyal customer for over twenty years as a size 6.  At that time they didn’t even have plus sizes.

Oh and another thing.  Based on the location of the store, they may not even go as high as 16P or regular 18.  Their demographic analysis shows that women of “that” size don’t shop there.  Well they are wrong,  One Talbots store in Plymouth, MA didn’t go any higher than 14P (my size a couple of years ago). So I would pretty much have to buy online or get lucky if a larger size item was returned in the store.  There was a “special” rack for the larger sizes tucked into the back corner of the store.  Gosh, I’m kind of getting more annoyed as I write this.

Enjoy your weekend and Go Pats!  #DoYourJob #PatriotsNation.


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