Large is the New Medium?

I went to TJ Maxx yesterday to shop for a solid-colored shirt for an upcoming Zoom interview. I haven’t always been overweight. In fact, I was a toothpick the entire time I worked at the Maxx, way back when I was in college.

So I don’t know if anything has changed or if I was just never aware of the lack of inventory available to the heavy. Didn’t there use to be a whole department in plus sizes? Now it’s like an afterthought.

Unfortunately, because of COVID, fitting rooms were closed, which further complicated my situation. I basically had to guess at what was going to look passable on me.

Please understand, I’m not looking for pity, I’ve pitied myself enough over the last year. What I’m trying to do is illustrate the difficulty of finding reasonable clothing for someone my size and pondering why it’s such a struggle.

If 50 percent of American women are overweight, doesn’t it seem like it should be easier for us to find clothes that fit? I think the average size has risen to 14. It seems like there should be more of a selection for those of us slightly above that average.

Has it always been the case that clothes in larger sizes are harder to find? I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention back in the day when I was the skinny, surly little brat behind the jewelry counter. But it seems to me that there were whole aisles of plus size clothing.

Add to this the fact that I am 5’1. I’m a subcategory of a subcategory. Somehow simultaneously petite and plus. Though personally, I don’t consider myself petite; just short. Whatever you want to call it, it makes it hard to find clothes that work for me.

Am I doing something about my plight? Yes. I’ve rejoined face-to-face Weight Watchers (now called WW) meetings with my mother-in-law. It’s only been two weeks, and I’ve lost almost 10 pounds. I know I can do this. It’s just going to take time and more self-compassion than I’ve had in the past. Also, more biking.

But I still think there ought to be more of a selection in the plus size department. There’s plenty of us out there.

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