sizeRealities

I’m not a large person. I’m a size 12, which is the average size of women in this country. I’m in the middle range of the BMI for my height. However, according to the garment industry, normal sized women are considered “extra large.” Which is fine with me, I don’t care at all how other people categorize my body. Who frikking cares at what point my body falls on some made up size chart?

What I do care about is being able to try clothes on before I buy them. But, everywhere I try to shop in this city, all of the larger sizes are sold out. The only place I can even hope to find my size is online.

The other day I tried to shop at Black Fleece on Fillmore St. I had a store credit and I wanted to look at some things and try them on. But everything I wanted to try on was completely sold out in larger sizes.

I said to the sales people “Hmm, you’re always out of the larger sizes, why don’t you stock more of them?” They looked at me like I was crazy.

I really want to shop locally (even if you shop at an international brand you’re still helping support the salespeople) but I’m close to giving up on up shopping in local stores. For as long as I can remember, San Francisco stores have been selling out of larger sizes as smaller sizes clog the sales racks. They never seem to respond to the fact that they need to stock more larger sizes. I’m tired of it.

I’m done trying to support businesses that refuse to acknowledge the normal size of women. If local stores are unwilling to respond to the needs of their customers, then they deserve to lose my business and the business of every other normal sized woman in this town.

the author

Babe Scanlon is a writer living and working in San Francisco. She's worked as an archaeologist, computer game designer, agent at Agent Provocateur and hypnotherapist. She is controlling your mind at this very moment.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • culture_drone

    It’s my understanding that a lot of brands require that stores purchase clothing in “blocks” that includes a specific distribution of sizes from the manufacturer. So if they wanted more L/XL they’d end up with even more unsold small inventory.

    • eveb

      Would love to hear more about this!

      When I worked retail at an Indiana mall store (which was, admittedly, 21 years ago) that was not the case — we picked the number per size that we’d order. As you can imagine, (Indiana), we bought a lot more “Larges” than we did XSs.

      When I was editing Babe’s piece, I checked with a couple local and national stores and they, too confirmed (off the record) that they get to choose sizes ordered based on what they believe reflects their buying audience.

      But I am sure many places differ, so if you can give us more details on what you know, that would be fantastic!

      • culture_drone

        This is just scuttlebutt I’ve heard from a couple small boutiques and about specific brands so I could definitely be wrong.

  • culture_drone

    It’s my understanding that a lot of brands require that stores purchase clothing in “blocks” that includes a specific distribution of sizes from the manufacturer. So if they wanted more L/XL they’d end up with even more unsold small inventory.

    • eveb

      Would love to hear more about this!

      When I worked retail at an Indiana mall store (which was, admittedly, 21 years ago) that was not the case — we picked the number per size that we’d order. As you can imagine, (Indiana), we bought a lot more “Larges” than we did XSs.

      When I was editing Babe’s piece, I checked with a couple local and national stores and they, too confirmed (off the record) that they get to choose sizes ordered based on what they believe reflects their buying audience.

      But I am sure many places differ, so if you can give us more details on what you know, that would be fantastic!

      • culture_drone

        This is just scuttlebutt I’ve heard from a couple small boutiques and about specific brands so I could definitely be wrong.

  • 2of3jays

    I am a normally proportioned size 8 and recently tried on women’s Levi denim jackets at Costco where they were fully stocked in all sizes. I ended up in a size XL in order to be able to button the button at the hip and have it ride easily over my average hips, over a somewhat fitted tee shirt! ENOUGH ALREADY WITH THE CHILDREN’S SIZES AND THE HYPER TIGHT FITTING CLOTHES. WE ARE NOT ALL POLE DANCERS OR HOOKERS AND MANY OF US DON’T WANT TO DRESS LIKE ONE. THANK YOU.

  • 2of3jays

    I am a normally proportioned size 8 and recently tried on women’s Levi denim jackets at Costco where they were fully stocked in all sizes. I ended up in a size XL in order to be able to button the button at the hip and have it ride easily over my average hips, over a somewhat fitted tee shirt! ENOUGH ALREADY WITH THE CHILDREN’S SIZES AND THE HYPER TIGHT FITTING CLOTHES. WE ARE NOT ALL POLE DANCERS OR HOOKERS AND MANY OF US DON’T WANT TO DRESS LIKE ONE. THANK YOU.

  • 2of3jays

    PS – A great many stores are required to buy what the industry calls “pre-pack” which usually consists of 1 small 2 med 2 large and 1 XL or these days because of our more diverse nation that could have changed to 1 XS 2 S 2 M and 1 L. Of course what on earth a small is, is anyone’s guess these days of super tight, tiny children’s clothes for adult women. Don’t forget using less fabric is a big savings to the manufacturer….

  • 2of3jays

    PS – A great many stores are required to buy what the industry calls “pre-pack” which usually consists of 1 small 2 med 2 large and 1 XL or these days because of our more diverse nation that could have changed to 1 XS 2 S 2 M and 1 L. Of course what on earth a small is, is anyone’s guess these days of super tight, tiny children’s clothes for adult women. Don’t forget using less fabric is a big savings to the manufacturer….

  • Testing Weekend Watch comment

  • Testing Weekend Watch comment

  • I too am not a massive person yet struggle to find women’s clothes that fit my linebacker shoulders. I wear a size 8, 10, or 12, depending on who makes it. Currently, I shop at Joshua Simon in Noe Valley, with occasional hits on Mary’s Exchange (consignment), and Successories (tiny shop next to dry cleaners on 24th).That is it for local. Online I go with Modcloth. I simply want nothing to do with the stick-insect clothing emporiums. They are not for me, and I am not for them.

  • I too am not a massive person yet struggle to find women’s clothes that fit my linebacker shoulders. I wear a size 8, 10, or 12, depending on who makes it. Currently, I shop at Joshua Simon in Noe Valley, with occasional hits on Mary’s Exchange (consignment), and Successories (tiny shop next to dry cleaners on 24th).That is it for local. Online I go with Modcloth. I simply want nothing to do with the stick-insect clothing emporiums. They are not for me, and I am not for them.