Sunday, June 10, 2012

Availability of Sizes

I've been thinking a lot about something that has bothered me.

Victoria's Secret stopped selling size XL panties in their stores awhile ago. Briefs are the only kind that are available in an XL in stores. When I saw this, I thought: "well, that sucks..." but I figured I'd just order online if it was really a problem. Instead, I think I've decided to just not shop there. I am not sure if I am being silly about it.

I thought maybe the size just wasn't selling. I don't think that's the case though. I mean they're still selling one style of panties in their stores for those who wear XL. It is the style that covers the most and comes in the least amount of colors/fabrics.

I know it's often the case that a store won't cater to certain sizes. Usually larger sizes but not limited to them. I would imagine finding very small sizes may be difficult as well. I can't speak to that myself because I have never dealt with that. But I've seen some of my friends struggle with finding something that fit them and ultimately having to resort to the children's section.

What messages do we get from this? For me, I'm seeing:
If you're a larger woman then you need to cover your body as much as possible or just shop online and don't come in our stores.

If you are a very small woman then your body isn't that of a woman. You're like a child so go to that section.

I realize I am using the noun "woman". I am not doing this to say that men or those who choose neither noun do not face issues when it comes to sizes. However, I've only ever had experience as a woman and in stores that cater to what a women is perceived to be.

Both of these messages suck, to be quite honest. Maybe some women prefer shopping online so it won't be a problem. But what if they don't? What if they can't find and/or afford stores that cater to their size? And not everyone is capable of making their own clothing. So they're left with trying to fit in what is available. Ultimately they are given the above messages. Their bodies aren't normal so their bodies won't be represented or catered too.

It's obvious how detrimental this message can be. Not everyone is able to say "society is fucked up, not me and my body".

I usually like to end my posts with something positive. I don't like complaining and not offering a solution. But quite honestly I don't know the solution. The most helpful thing I've found is to have and promote a body positive attitude for all body types. That includes not catering to campaigns that say something like "real woman have curves". I'm also always on the search for stores that sell a larger variety of sizes and when I find some I tell others about them.

Those things probably seem small but if the majority of the messages we receive are not body positive then I think any small thing to counter that is important and worth while.


  1. Thank you for this post! I used to be a size 30 and could only shop online for clothes, even plus size stores did not carry my size. Now I am a size 18 and though I can shop anywhere, I have mixed feelings because my money wasn't good enough for them when I was bigger, but now it is? If you could post your favorite body friendly places I will happily shop there. I currently shop clearance racks and goodwill currently for lack of better ideas.

    Thanks again!!

  2. Hi Michele,

    I am glad you enjoyed this post. :)

    As for places, I made this list awhile ago:
    I am not sure if you are on Fetlife but I have the list there as well and it has more stores that others have recommended to me. My username there is zepp_.

    Keep in mind I have not shopped at all of the places listed. A lot of them are stores that I have shopped at but even more are recommendations and suggestions I've seen on other blogs.