I spent a wonderful long weekend in Manhattan with the opportunity for retail aerobics (shopping), facials, hair appointments – or in other words, female fun stuff.

Well I thought I was a female until I visited a branch of a nationwide department store, which I feel has always offered very high quality as well as a very extensive selection of clothing in larger sizes, I felt a cold chill go down my spine as I fruitlessly wondered around looking for the “women’s sizes.” They couldn’t have succumb to the chicanery of other department stores, hiding the plus sizes behind a pile of rocks, just to the right of the loading dock.

Turns out, it couldn’t have been more of a slap in the face than if they were trying really hard to insult women of size… “go through the MEN’S STORE, and you’ll see it.” No they didn’t hide it in maternity, another common practice, this let me know that there were WOMEN (defined from size 2 to 16), MEN, and OTHER (women over size 16). Funny, my money is green, I get my hair cut at Gil Ferrer’s on the Upper East Side, facials at Mario Badescu, but apparently I’m not female enough when it comes to clothing, since I wear over a size 14. Uhm.

Now every woman that shops for clothing sizes that are more than 14 or 16 knows that their sizes are often hidden in strange locations in stores. Better stores usually place larger sizes in the women’s department and gather all the sizes together. You might have a Coldwater Creek store near us and were surprised and delighted to find sizes 2-24 on the same rack and in the same style, with the same choices.

If we all know this, let’s demand size parity! I did find one article about this, by Marta Hummel of the News Record,
Greensboro, North Carolina, titled Plus Size Frustration describing conditions worse than what I experienced. But it was the only article I could find – let’s rally the troops, and get some good looking, fairly priced clothes in the women’s department. We can start by taking this survey about plus sized clothing.

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