We often have new customers that come into the store already knowing that we carry all sizes (what the industry would label as straight sizes and plus sizes) and will ask…’Where is your plus size section?’ ‘Everywhere’ is always my response. Here’s why…
When we started out 18 years ago, we only carried plus sizes as it was an under-served niche market that I was part of (it still is, and I still am). When we moved into our much larger current location we decided that we would expand into all sizes (B cup and up – Small and up) because of customer demand.
Some of our loyal customers were upset that they had lost their ‘safe’ place to shop (their words, not mine), but I have always felt that we as women should not be separated by something as trivial as our size. You can only shop there, I will only shop here. What a strange concept – no, are we not all the same, some bigger, some smaller, some taller, some shorter. I have met many size 2 customers that have just as many body issues, if not more, than her fellow size 22 shopper. So why can we not all shop at the same place, with sales associates and fitters that are all different shapes and sizes? Why can it not be a ‘safe’ place where women of all sizes embrace each other and their differences and want the best for each other? I know I may be dreaming of an unattainable utopia, but at least we can try. We all have hang ups, we all have self doubt and body issues, let’s have that be what brings us together and not separate us.
Oh yes, back to my ‘everywhere’ response – if you fall into the plus size category, you can probably relate to my major pet peeve of a lot of stores (not all, some are becoming more enlightened) that carry both straight and plus. Our square footage of clothing selection (whether it is 2 racks or 20) is almost always in the very back, dark corner, next to the maternity section… our punishment for liking cake, theirs for having sex!
I wanted to create an environment that two friends could come in and shop together, and not have to divide and conquer when they hit our front door. Plus sizes are mixed in with straight sizes, B’s with G’s, 32’s with 42’s. If you see an item that you like, there is a pretty good chance that there will be a Medium and a 2X on the rack together.
No, not everything comes in your size. Yes, you may be disappointed that this cute little number doesn’t come in your size, but your friend might also be disappointed that that even cuter little number only comes in plus. It goes both ways But we do our very best to have a great selection of styles that come in a full range of sizes (S – 3/4X). So you and your friend can hit the fitting rooms together, try on the same style item, compare notes and have a fun experience without the barrier of size (or department store floors) separating you.
Now, on our website we do have a handy “Shop Plus” section. Click the button on the top bar and all the items available in plus sizes are presented to you. Items in these pages are available all over the website as well mixed in with those “straight” sizes, just as they are in our store. We’ve just saved you a few clicks so you know you’ll find your size!
So in answer to the question, our plus section is everywhere; and no, we will never have a separate ‘plus size section’ in-store because I don’t believe that we should segregate each other based on panty size!