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Attention, Designers: Here’s What Fat Women Want

Dear Designers and Department Stores,

In the interest of not sounding ungrateful, allow me to begin by thanking you for making clothes in my size. Being five feet, three inches tall and a size 18 can make for some difficult shopping, so thanks for at least trying. That being said ...

I notice that there seems to be an abundance of clothing on the plus-size clearance racks at my local department store. On the surface, this may not seem to be a bad thing, since we’re all looking for bargains these days. However, the reason for this is very easy to figure: the clothes are ugly and nobody wants to pay department store prices for ugly clothes.

Just because I’m size 18 doesn’t mean I will run to purchase that obnoxiously-colored floral dress simply because I can pull it over my triple-Ds. Nor do I have any desire to own a hoodie with a giant lily on the front. And no, I’m not interested in a polyester pant with an elastic waist. I can get jeans without an elastic waist, so why can’t you make dress pants without elastic?

Now, occasionally, there are some really cute things in the plus-size department. Which is good, because we like to be as fashionable as the size-6 girl across the way in the misses department. But, alas, you seem to forget a few things when creating these cute items in bigger sizes.

Plus-size women are, generally, large-chested, and going braless is not an option. A plus-size tank with a “built-in” bra and thin straps? Honestly, what are you thinking? Besides, spaghetti straps are horrid on large shoulders, even if they’re not plus-sized shoulders. I would love to wear empire-waist tops, as they would be figure-flattering; however, every time I try one on, the empire band sits squarely across the middle of my bosom instead of below it. Lower that band, will ya? I once found a super-cute empire tank that had wide straps and a lower band. I was thrilled when I tried it on ... until I turned to look at the back and saw my entire bra band was visible. Who in their right mind would design a low back on a size 18 shirt?

Finally, may I suggest that not all size-18 ladies are 6-feet tall with 36-inch inseams? Even jeans listed as “short” are often too long for my five-foot, three-inch body. I measured the last “short” jeans I bought and the inseam was 32 inches! And not only are the legs too long, the rise is way too long. Even low-rise jeans end up like mom jeans on me. I did, however, find some jeans at Old Navy that fit well. They’re “ultra-low-rise,” making me feel very hip and chic, but still 4 inches too long.

So, fashion designers, if you’re listening, please make us some cute clothes that will actually fit our bodies. Yeah, I know, I know ... just lose weight and you can buy whatever you want. Well, I’ve lost 40 pounds, and gone down two sizes, but until I’m a 6, please give me something cute to wear!

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