All The Rage

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Plus-size and nowhere to shop?

December 18, 2008 | 10:16 am

77961290 L.A. may be a town of excess, but it caters to the slightest of slight when it comes to fashion. A friend of mine once walked into Fred Segal and asked for a dress in a size 8 and the slip of a saleswoman smiled sadly and said: "Sorry. We don't carry a lot of large." Large? If a size 8 is considered a large here, imagine how a size 14 must feel. (Never mind the fact that a size 12 to 14 is actually the standard size for American women, according to a 2004 poll by SizeUSA.) And does that make a size 4 a medium?

I won't go on because writer Emili Vesilind is working on a feature about the size issue and the fashion industry for Image and I'll be sure to post a link when it lands online. But there's an interesting post on The Consumerist -- which I found, via Jezebel -- about a size 12 woman's encounter at a department store when she tried to find a party dress. In essence, the saleswoman told her that  most plus-size women are just scraping by and don't have busy social calenders. Here is an excerpt of the saleswoman's rationale:

"It's a demographic thing, ma'am. We do not carry plus sizes of formal wear or business suits. We find, demographically speaking, that most of our upscale clientele is smaller, so we have a really large petites department and just the basics for our plus-sized customers. It's nothing against you, ma'am. It's just demographics."

This is insulting on so many levels. All of which begs the question: Where do you find great plus-size clothes in this anorexic city?

-- Monica Corcoran

Photo: Getty Images