Open Letter to Plus Size Clothing Stores

Nikki Blonsky Petite Plus Size Fashion
While I'm not plus size, I have many friends who are so I shop at a lot of plus size stores. Since I've been blogging, I've started visiting plus size shops, online and in-store, more because I want to investigate the quality of the clothing I'm posting about. I've noticed some unfortunate habits of plus size clothing makers, and I've heard a lot of plus size women complain.

The most noticeable is that much of the plus size clothing is made for women who are six feet tall. Even the juniors cuts tend to be really tall. The sleeves are long. The legs are long. The skirts are long. The low rise pants come up to the bust line of many average height women. This doesn't make sense. Most of the plus size women I know are 5 foot 5 inches or shorter. Plus size petites in clothing stores are hard to find, and they shouldn't be.

Wide width shoe makers assume wide means big. Since many plus size women are short, they often have smaller feet. Not all plus size women wear a wide width shoe, but those that wear a small wide width will have trouble finding one in any size smaller than a nine. It should also be noted that any size women from a 2 to a 22 with a small, wide foot will have trouble finding a shoe that fits, which really shouldn't be such a problem.

The worst assumption of plus size clothing makers is that plus size women only shop online, and never need to try anything on. The more curves a girl has, no matter what size she is, the more difficult she is to fit. This means she needs to try things on. So, stores with great plus size lines (Old Navy, I am talking to you) need to carry those lines in the stores.

Plus size clothing makers, you are on notice. Start making some clothing for women of every height, not just the super tall and large footed. And carry the clothing in the stores so these women can try it on and have fun shopping with all their friends who wear all different sizes. Women just want to look fabulous. Don't make it so difficult.

Nikki Blonsky, a great, stylish example of petite plus size, wearing last year's version of this IGIGI dress.


Unknown said…
My sentiments exactly!
Anonymous said…
You hit the nail on the head! People need to design for PLUS size, not GIANT size. But i think things are better now, for plus sizes than ever before.
Anonymous said…
Although I have found some great deals online. (ie.. swimsuits and lingerie at I definately agree - we need more choices in the stores. And guess what not all plus size woman have a DD+ bust size either. My other pet peeve is the "secret" sizing. Why must Lane Bryant change the sizing on jeans so you need a salesperson with a measuring tape to tell you what size jeans you want to buy.
Anonymous said…
I like the color of the dress...
Anonymous said…
This Plus size girl is 6'1" NOTHING is long enough!!!!
Anonymous said…
I was so happy to read this! I have been raging for years that I'm forced to dress in clothes that don't fit correctly or try to fashion my own... I'm a lousy seamstress. I have given up on the shopping dates with my girlfriends. It's difficult for me to watch them try on 20 fabulous things in a row that all look amazing on them and I'd kill to wear and know at the same time in the back of my mind that they simply don't make my size. I've lost 40lbs so far in an effort to fit more clothing styles but I'm still a 16 and only 5'3.
Anonymous said…
Well, I just read this article today, being size 22 and 5' 1", even the few petite items I find are still long on me, that's a matter that will never change I suppose. It is still hard to find stores with plus sizes that aren't online still, and its now Sept 2012, 4 yrs after this article was written. Sad that not much has changed. We have a few more stores, but sadly I can't afford some of them, and I have to figure out all the sizes because there is now 0 and 1, 2, 3, triangles and squares and all kinds of stuff that just do not make sense, why change the size, it really doesn't make me feel any better with the number changed like that, lol. I figure it will not change, so I will have to change... my weight anyway. ;)
Anonymous said…
Well....I don´t agree. There isnt a top that is long enough for me. Just about everything stops at the middle of my belly. Not nice at all, and I am not a giant...if you are short at least you can cut it off...I cant even buy it.

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