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Is There an Obesity Epidemic? Let’s Follow the Money.

June 25, 2014

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Fat Fashion

I went to my city’s only big, old-fashioned, self-contained shopping mall today. I had returns to make to Lane Bryant and Torrid — online orders that weren’t quite right. I also have two big conferences coming up and my credit card was burning a hole in my handbag.

It felt a little like walking into the Twilight Zone. There was a Hot Topic where Torrid used to be, and some kind of discount, straight-size, off-brand store where Lane Bryant used to be.

In other words, the only big shopping mall in my city now has exactly zero clothes, outside of the few things that Sears and JCPenney’s might carry, for women who wear more than a size 16 or so. And the Target down the street? It stopped carrying its largest size in store. Old Navy has a pretty wide selection of plus-sized clothes, going up to a size 30, but nothing over maybe an 18 or 20 in the store.

I keep hearing people lamenting about the obesity epidemic and going on and on about how practically everyone in the Western world is fat. One of the reasons why I doubt both of these statements (outside the fact that most of the people I see are not fat) is that retailers aren’t stupid. If fat was really spreading like wildfire, there would be more stores catering to those people and their credit cards, not fewer.

Another thing that occurred to me today during my frustrating bid to spend some money and look pretty next weekend in Las Vegas: there are people who NEVER get to go into a store and find their size. Like never, ever. Anyone who wears a size larger than a 28 or so can’t even ferret out the Lane Bryant that’s buried between the Apple store and the Coach store in the fancy outdoor mall on the outskirts of town. Their only choice is to buy online. That leaves out buying something on short notice and it makes returning clothes a pain in the ass.

I have a feeling that women on the other end of the spectrum have a similar problem. Very tall, slender women with size zero waists and 34 inch inseams are going to struggle, for instance. I think it’s kind of ironic that women built like waif-ish models probably struggle to find well-fitting clothes off the rack. In other words, I’m aware that having a hard time finding clothes in stores that fit well and are cute and don’t cost as much as a mortgage payment is not the sole territory of very fat women.

That said, I really think that Corporate Western World’s lack of desire to take fat people’s money is a good sign that everyone can take a breath and calm down about the obesity epidemic. (You can look at what JAMA has to say as well, if you want to get all scientific about it. A decade of stability does not an epidemic make.)

 

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2014 3:11 pm

    It really makes me wonder if *anyone* is finding clothes that actually fit them these days….and it’s not like tailors are easy to access like in previous generations (or sewing skills for most folks)

    • gingeroid permalink
      June 27, 2014 8:40 pm

      My highly accurate source of What Not to Wear says no. Every episode I’ve seen has Stacy and Clint telling their person to factor tailoring into their clothing budget because off-the-rack clothing works for very few people.

      • LittleBigGirl permalink
        June 27, 2014 10:23 pm

        I always had a fantasy of creating a clothing store that had in-house tailoring. I wanted to call it “All Sizes Beautiful,” and make and stock good quality “basic-wardrobe” clothing in every possible size. Not a realistic business model I’m sure, but it is the dream of this kind of store somehow existing that I am always working towards in the back of my head, one way or another. 😉

  2. George permalink
    June 25, 2014 4:13 pm

    There are plenty of stores that are catering to heavyweight people.

    Wal-Mart
    Big and Tall
    Macy’s
    Ashley Stewart
    Simplybe
    Avenue

    These are just off the top of my head that either SPECIALIZE in or Accommodate those sizes. Depending on where you live, yea there may not be as big of a niche for them but that is also based on population size. Coming from the suburbs of NYC I see nothing but these stores all over. Anecdotal evidence but just as much as yours.

    You also have to take into consideration at what size is just too big. You want to cater to the heavier people but that also ranges in sizes. A size 40 inch waist man and a 60 inch waist man getting pants…both are in a Larger category but at what point is it that you wish to find clothing for them? You can be fat but not be in the morbid obesity category.

    These companies may be carrying plus sizes but not to a range that others would fit. And if they become THAT big and it really is a niche…why SHOULD they.

    You catch 22 yourself here. If there is not an issue with obesity yet these companies are still making billions….why should they do anything different? If there is an issue, why should the companies specifically cater to bigger and bigger sizes?

    • lifeonfats permalink
      June 25, 2014 7:19 pm

      Boy did you really miss the point of this post.

      • George permalink
        June 25, 2014 8:19 pm

        Rather than using a blanket statement that adds nothing to the conversation, you could try and have a conversation. Doing things like that make you sound stand offish and someone that isn’t open to conversation.

        And what point did I miss? That being overweight doesn’t mean you are a size 26? that people can be overweight and still be a 16? That there are many factors to size and also to brick and mortar stores deciding whether or not to carry something isn’t an indicator of an issue? I’m open for discussion but you don’t seem to be.

    • vesta44 permalink
      June 26, 2014 1:49 am

      “You also have to take into consideration at what size is just too big. You want to cater to the heavier people but that also ranges in sizes. A size 40 inch waist man and a 60 inch waist man getting pants…both are in a Larger category but at what point is it that you wish to find clothing for them? You can be fat but not be in the morbid obesity category. “
      So, are you saying that if people are above a certain cut-off size point, they don’t deserve to be able to find clothing that fits? They should either wear tents or burlap bags? Or heaven forbid, go naked? People already bitch about having to look at clothed fat people, how much more would they scream if they had to look at naked fat people?
      Oh, and those stores you listed? They don’t exist in places like middle-of-nowhere Minnesota. I live 50 miles from St Cloud, 120 miles from Minneapolis, and 180 miles from Duluth or Rochester. Those cities are the only places where you can find any of those stores, other than Walmart. And while Walmart does carry tops in my size (5X), they’re usually sold out as soon as they’re put out on the shelves/racks. Walmart does not, however, carry pants that fit me – I have a 32″ inseam, and all of the pants they carry average between 28″ and 30″ (and stop at a size 26, I wear a 28Tall to 34Tall, depending on fabric and cut).
      I have to rely on online shopping to find clothing that sorta kinda maybe fits – and a lot of the time, I end up wearing that clothing until it’s rags because it’s so hard to find and so expensive when I do find it (I’m sorry, but $40 for one pair of slacks or one blouse is excessive – I worked in a garment factory, I know what it costs to make a blouse or a pair of pants and it’s not even 1/10 of what we’re charged for them).
      It’s not that designers can’t design clothing for fat people, they don’t want to sully their reputations by doing so, even if it will make tons of money for them. And retailers don’t want to see fat people in their stores either, even though they’ll set up a place for us online to give them our money (they just don’t want to have to look at us while they’re taking our money).

      • George permalink
        June 26, 2014 2:32 pm

        “So, are you saying that if people are above a certain cut-off size point, they don’t deserve to be able to find clothing that fits? They should either wear tents or burlap bags? Or heaven forbid, go naked?”

        You are projecting and at no point did I say any of that. Please do not claim false statements. I am saying at a certain point, there is no reason for a store, Which main purpose is to make money, to make such garments. There aren’t enough people at that specific size for them to feel justifiable to make clothes for. That has nothing to do with weight but size. Notice how i’m not saying fat or obese with this. This happens to extremely skinny people, extremely tall people. Those that are not of a “normal” (using in the case of a bell curve of sizes of people) will have difficulty.

        If you happen to be on the ends of this bell curve, yes it will be harder to find clothing. I was a size 60 inch waist. The only place I could go to was a big and tall male. $90 per pair of jeans minimum. That is expensive for a 20 year old boy at the time regardless of size. The difference is, I understood the reasoning as to why it was hard for me to find clothing. There are places that cater to extremes in sizes and it is easier and more COST EFFECTIVE for them to have non brick and mortar stores. Considering that it is a niche style of cloth shopping, this broadens their ability to reach more people.

        “And retailers don’t want to see fat people in their stores either, even though they’ll set up a place for us online to give them our money (they just don’t want to have to look at us while they’re taking our money).”

        With regards to this statement….minus a very few outwardly spoken CEO’s (A&F being one off hand that I can think of), none of them have said that at all. You are projecting again and how I read that reminds me of how I used to feel and why I felt that way. I had to look inside myself to realize why I was angry and thought this way and found out the problem resided in who I saw myself as.

        This may not be the case with you and I’m not going to tell you what to do but you may want to take a look at yourself and wonder why you think of these projections rather than being proactive. It is very pessimistic and personally i would hate to constantly think that way

        • LittleBigGirl permalink
          June 26, 2014 11:12 pm

          So how can plus sized – which according to the fashion industry is anything above a size 14 – be a ‘niche’ market…especially when we supposedly have an obesity epidemic?
          The point we try and make, again and again, is that the “bell curve” in this case is ridiculously narrow. I do not believe that business statistics would support the assumption so many seem to make that clothing stores making more sizes available would be cost-prohibitive. There is this pervasive idea that they would if they could, but obviously must have a good reason not to. No, no not really. That is what is so frustrating for us – it makes no damn sense even from a purely business standpoint. Businesses are choosing to exclude a significant portion of their potential client base. They aren’t just letting money walk out the door – they are preventing money from even coming in in the first place. If you run a business and you want to make money, you want as many customers and as many sales as possible. Period. If you want as many customers as you can get, you are responsible for creating a product that is appealing, usable and affordable to as many people as possible. When it comes to clothing, businesses are either horrible at business or (and here’s a more disconcerting thought) have a ingrained prejudice against a certain section of their demographic. If so, that is a damaging and discriminatory cultural bias that needs to be challenged.

          • George permalink
            June 27, 2014 8:11 am

            You are using a Black-or-White Logical Fallacy in your questioning here by saying it is either they are bad at business or are discriminating. This is not the case here and there are many factors in deciding whether or not a company will push forward with a decision.

            “So how can plus sized – which according to the fashion industry is anything above a size 14 – be a ‘niche’ market…especially when we supposedly have an obesity epidemic?”

            This does not say anything about the size of a person. Regardless of BMI talks (I disagree with BMI as a “fat factor” you need a skin fold caliper, Anthropometric weighing or an expensive DEXA scan to check proper fat levels), you can be obese and by a size 12. It depends on more factors than just weight. Height and how your body is shaped will effect your size.

            So if we use the general statistic 1/3 of the U.S being obese (argumentative but using just for this case), this does not say how many fit into the 14+ category. This only tells us that there are people that are big. It also doesn’t consider the scales after 14+. How many 14’s vs 26’s? That’s a big size difference in and of itself. That’s almost double their size chart as is. They would need to know the amount of people that fit each one of those sizes. You have many more people fitting into the 0-14 than you do the 14+ based on the statistics. So this does come into play when trying to decide whether or not they should be bringing in clothing sizes to these stores.

            This is where the online shopping DOES come into play. Rather than potentially losing money in stores, the company will make online sales. Those online sales give an opportunity for a few things

            1. Larger sized people a chance to buy clothes that they are looking for
            2. Create a data base of locations of where people will buy their clothing and can adapt to the store level.

            the 2nd one is something that many retail stores do. I have been a manager for 3 different retail chains and Each one of them has an online tracking process that will delegate how much of a size they will send to a store based on many factors including online sales in a radius of a store.

            Over the last 4 years their have been many more Plus sized online stores coming up. This let’s a company not only branch out to more people, it is more cost effective as well in the long run due to not having a brick and mortar store that limits clientele.

            While I am not dismissing that there are companies that do not with to have plus sized clothing in their store, to say that they are all against a plus sized group seems a bit superficial. There are many reasons for why companies to decide what they do. There are many business decisions that need to be made and in the end, they will only care about money and ROI for their stockholders. If it doesn’t make them enough money for the costs, they won’t do it.

            But my question is…if a company doesn’t want to sell plus sized clothing…why would you want to shop at their store anyway? If they don’t want to sell it, you shouldn’t have to support them by buying their clothing.

            • LittleBigGirl permalink
              June 27, 2014 3:33 pm

              In regards to your question – when you say “doesn’t want” are you talking about a company that literally would prefer not to but does anyway (I know of no such company), or are you suggesting that if a store that previously did not have larger sizes suddenly increased their size range I would want to boycott them on principle?
              Why would I give any money to a clothing store that did not carry my size? How *could* I? I am not buying from mainstream clothing stores *because they do not have my size* – I’m not boycotting them because of this fact. I have no reason to shop at a clothing store that has no clothing that fits me.

              While you may dismiss our suggestions of fat bias in the clothing industry as paranoid or simplistic, I remain unconvinced that the decision to only cater to a very small selection of body types is a sound business decision, nor do I believe it is a well-informed decision. I would be more likely to believe there is no bias if it could be shown that it is “just business.” I have no problem understanding a company that will put profit before customer satisfaction – I just have never encountered proof that companies ignoring larger clothing sizes is a direct example of that. Is there a report somewhere that shows how much a clothing company *saves* by only catering exclusively to specific sizes? Have they done a cost/risk analysis of adding plus sizes to their stock?

              Additionally, not making larger sizes *at all* is very different than making larger sizes and not stocking as many, or only having them online.

              I do not appreciate the migration from brick and mortar to online because we are talking about *clothes* – pretty much the embodiment of the concept of “try before you buy.” I want to be able to stand in a dressing room and decide to buy something. Larger sized customers are not able to do what smaller sized people can do very easily – make ‘impulse’ or emergency purchases of things we want to use the same day we purchase them.
              Say I have a job interview, and I suddenly find out I need to wear a uniform, and the uniform requires a piece of clothing that I don’t currently own. Or I’m on my way to a wedding and I soil or tear my outfit. If I am a smaller size I could just drop into my local mall or a walmart, target, etc. and grab up what I need at a decent price. If I am plus sized? Chances are far smaller that I will find what I need, and even if I do I will likely be paying far more for it.

              I have yet to hear a reasonable explanation for why my time, money and convenience are not, or should not be, given the same consideration as a smaller sized persons. I certainly have seen no statistics that suggest this oversight is good business.

          • George permalink
            June 27, 2014 4:01 pm

            I’m going to use this to reply so that the messages don’t get too small if you don’t mind. For your first paragraph…you are just expressing my point. If they don’t sell your size…Forget them..not worth your time.

            I am not dismissing your claims but rather saying that there are many other factors that you may not take into account. You used a black or white example and I simply gave you alternatives as to why.

            As for your next portion about sizes. 0-14 and then 14-26. That is almost DOUBLE the amount of sizes. That is double the amount of clothing they would be sending and double the amount of room they would need in the stores. Some places will have a select few at higher sizes (and extreme smaller sizes at that), but you can’t see why sending double the amount of clothing sizes can be costly?

            I suggest reading what Kale responded with. I will give you a small portion of what she said:

            “However I think one can easily say that there isn’t much of a profit generating market among very large sizes, despite a high percentage of obese people in the population. A woman of average height and relatively average proportions becomes obese likely still wearing the straight sizes at most vendors that stop at 14-18, especially as those sizes get larger as the years go by.
            Women who outsize clothing from plus size lines from companies are fairly few and far between. Designing not just for plus size women, but for women who are on the high end of plus size, is neither simple nor cheap and I imagine that’s in large part why many fashion forward companies wouldn’t want to bother. A woman who is 5’6 and 350lbs could carry more of her weight in her hips, her behind, her legs, her middle, etc. The same garment isn’t going to fit all those women, and even if it did it certainly wouldn’t be flattering, and non-flattering clothing isn’t fashion-forward.”

            Now you say that you don’t appreciate the changeover but that wasn’t meant for your appreciation. They did it for people that don’t have the time to shop or are not near a store that sells the clothing that they provide. It gives them a much broader clientele. I can see where there are negatives to it but they are focusing on the $$$.

            You make anecdotal evidence when you claim that smaller people have an easier time buying clothes. People are all different shapes and sizes. You are projecting there and it isn’t kind of you to assume just because they are smaller they have an easier time.

            That is the exact kind of talk that I thought this site was against. A lot of assumptions. It is upsetting to see that.

        • Kala permalink
          June 27, 2014 8:37 am

          I feel like no one is even reading George’s comments in full. He said something that didn’t tow the party line 100% so he’s getting shit upon.

          He never said plus size in general was a niche market. He said people who say on the “extreme ends of the bell curve” were a niche market. He cited himself at a younger age with a 60 inch circumference waist, but an 80lb very short woman with a 21 inch waist would also be an example. Men’s Big and Tall pants start at a 38 or 40 inch waist, women’s plus size starts closer to a 35 inch waist. You have a total 20 inches of circumference difference there, where 60 inches is very much so on the extreme niche market end.

          However I think one can easily say that there isn’t much of a profit generating market among very large sizes, despite a high percentage of obese people in the population. A woman of average height and relatively average proportions becomes obese likely still wearing the straight sizes at most vendors that stop at 14-18, especially as those sizes get larger as the years go by.

          Women who outsize clothing from plus size lines from companies are fairly few and far between. Designing not just for plus size women, but for women who are on the high end of plus size, is neither simple nor cheap and I imagine that’s in large part why many fashion forward companies wouldn’t want to bother. A woman who is 5’6 and 350lbs could carry more of her weight in her hips, her behind, her legs, her middle, etc. The same garment isn’t going to fit all those women, and even if it did it certainly wouldn’t be flattering, and non-flattering clothing isn’t fashion-forward.

          This whole article is kind of bewildering. Shaunta lives in Nevada I believe, which is on the relatively tame end of obesity rates in the USA. More likely than not, she stopped at a mall featuring mostly middle class white people, where the rates sit even lower than that total number. She could come over to where I live, I can guarantee that she’ll see oodles of obese folks of all ages and races almost anywhere she looks and a decent number of either plus size stores or stores that carry plus size lines.

          • George permalink
            June 27, 2014 9:01 am

            Thank you for understanding and describing my point in a different matter. Yes that is what I am saying. I appreciate the assistance.

            Thank you again

        • LittleBigGirl permalink
          June 27, 2014 5:31 pm

          By all means feel free to educate me on the difficulties faced by smaller people when they try to buy clothes. If you have a chance maybe you can share any blogs or articles you have encountered that were written by smaller sized people who feel marginalized in the fashion community to the extent that they feel activism is necessary. I will freely admit to being sarcastic here, but I am also being sincere – if you think I am ignoring the other side feel free to show it to me.
          Your insistence that everyone else has problems that are not being acknowledged here sounds suspiciously like derailing. Did you miss the “fatties” in this blogs name? If I was talking about a feminist issue, would you be chastising me about how men have problems to and I shouldn’t assume everything is easy for them? Yes they do but that’s not the point.
          Of course, sizism affects all sizes, just as fatphobia affects thin people as well as fat people and misogyny hurts men as well as women. But to say thin people suffer the way fat people do? No. They still belong to the privileged side of the equation. When I talk about fat problems often I make an effort to put them in thin context or in reference to thin people for several reasons. First, because I want to compare the experience of the marginalized to that of those who inhabit the status quo. Secondly, I don’t expect a thin person to understand fat experience. If they could based on personal experience, the problems in question wouldn’t be “fat” problems would they? I suppose that is what you are suggesting, that everyone has problems finding clothes, not just fat people? If that is the case, do you intend to light the torch and begin the Opression Olympics? A flawed system hurts everyone, but if it is hierarchical / a meritocracy, I tend to worry more about the people being crushed at the bottom instead of the blissfully ignorant cog sat atop the pyramid. I don’t see the merit in focusing on that individual, and I don’t see how doing so will facilitate fixing the flaws in the system.
          You see, I am not a size 12 but I can *reasonably assume* that someone who is will *not* face the difficulty *I* do when they clothes shop, because I know that many stores carry size 12. I am perfectly aware that people come in all shapes and sizes. Why don’t you go remind the clothing industry, because they clearly do not make their clothes for people “of all shapes and sizes” and I believe that is grossly unfair.
          Everyone makes assumptions about everyone else through the lens of their own experience. No one is without bias. I cannot speak to the experiences of someone smaller than me because I am not their size but 1) I can reasonably deduce unless and until I am corrected by them and 2) I am speaking of their experience in relation to *mine* and I have every right to compare those experiences.
          I notice you seem to have a habit of using individual comments as a microcosm to represent an entire community of very diverse people with very diverse life experiences. That is quite an interesting assumption. You have lamented several times now that things certain people say go against what you happen to think this site is “about.” I also notice that the comments you label as such also happen to be ones that disagree with your own comments. I think you would find your experience here much less “upsetting” if you left both the definition of this site’s ideals and identity, as well as it’s moderation, to the people who actually run this site.

      • Dizzyd permalink
        June 26, 2014 6:51 pm

        Then, as far as I’m concerned, they don’t get to have our money either! I’m not gonna spend my hard-earned money on a place that sniffs down its nose at me in disdain like I’m some piece of garbage. Forget that crap!

        • George permalink
          June 27, 2014 7:49 am

          As you should. If a company does not want your business then don’t shop there. Never said you should in the first place.

  3. vesta44 permalink
    June 25, 2014 4:35 pm

    There are times when I wish I didn’t live in the middle of nowhere – I would love to be able to pass my sewing knowledge on to other fat women. I’ve been sewing ever since I was 10 years old (I learned on a treadle machine), and I worked in 3 different garment factories, so I’ve learned a lot over the last 50 years. A lot of it has been shortcuts I learned through work in those garment factories, but most of it was learned through trial and error – making, ripping apart, remaking, more ripping apart, and finished, finally, clothing item.

    • gingeroid permalink
      June 27, 2014 8:32 pm

      I wish I had sewing skills. My repertoire includes putting a needle through my nail (luckily I missed any living finger bits), bending needles, failing to pin things evenly, crooked stitching, and giving up and using duct tape 🙂

  4. BBDee permalink
    June 25, 2014 4:54 pm

    and I found out in my recent car shopping experience, the clothing mfr’s are not the only ones not lining up to cash in on us fatsters. Bench seats, anyone? Hell, reasonable sized bucket seats are even hard to find!

    • LittleBigGirl permalink
      June 25, 2014 7:32 pm

      Have you noticed that they are stingy with the seat belts? You know, the things you need to save your life in the event of an accident? People shouldn’t need extenders – this is a safety issue. I think a car that doesn’t have seat belts that can fit everyone isn’t roadworthy. A yet I struggle in so many cars I get into. It is embarrassing – and terrifying. Do they basically think that we deserve to die if we can’t fit into a seat belt?

      • vesta44 permalink
        June 26, 2014 1:58 am

        Yeah, the seat belt thing is one of the first things I check when shopping for a new vehicle. I have a Kia Sedona minivan, and the seatbelt/shoulder harness is too short – I had to go online and get an extender – Kia doesn’t make them for their vehicles “because extenders aren’t safe” (so I was told by the dealership). I asked them which is safer – this fat bitch buckled up with an extender, or not buckled up at all? Funny how they didn’t have an answer for me.
        I don’t know about the newer vehicles, but my 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan’s seat belt fit just fine, as did the seat belt on my 2000 Ford Windstar. I didn’t need an extender with either of them (but I need one for my husband’s 2000 Ford F150 and his 2002 Buick LeSabre, both extenders came from the dealerships [Ford and GM]).

        • Dizzyd permalink
          June 26, 2014 6:55 pm

          It’s REALLY fun if you’re short. Unless you have some sort of doohickey that allows you to keep it off your neck, you have the choice of putting it under your arm and probably getting pulled over and told “you can’t do that ma’am, I don’t care if it’s choking you, you need to keep it on your neck” or hanging yourself every time you get in to drive.

        • Mich permalink
          June 27, 2014 1:41 am

          In Alberta, you’re allowed to put the shoulder part behind your back, since the shoulder part doesn’t actually hold you in the seat, the bit about your waist does. I’ve been doing this for years now, as I can’t stand been rubbed raw, and it makes the belt a little longer, since it’s not going around me on the top. I always have to have the seat at the furthest point forward, to a lot of the belt is just reaching the seat, not actually holding me in.

          They should plan for this.

        • George permalink
          June 27, 2014 9:32 am

          Many do not offer extenders due to the lack of testing done and can be held Liable if the extender malfunctions in a crash. Volvo will give an extender by request but you will have to sign a waiver saying that you understand that the seatbelt may not work at optimal potential using it.

          It is all due to the ability to sue a car company for having a “malfunction”. General Motors, Ford Motor and Daimler Chrysler provide seat belts that are of a much larger extent. I believe the are about 8 inches longer than the standard size seat belt. If you are looking for a car still and that is a main concern, i would check out their vehicles.

          NHTSA bases the size off of the 95% size man. That study was done in 1960 and could be interesting to see the size difference of a 95% male in 1960 vs now. If that size is bigger, then some adjustments most likely should be made.

  5. Len permalink
    June 25, 2014 10:18 pm

    Retailers might like some of that fat money but my regrettable experience is that most designers have little idea it exists – or no particular inclination to cater to it. I meet a lot of new designers and hardly any can be bothered designing for anybody over size 20. They all want to be glamour designers and have tall, thin models on the runway wearing their gear. I wish there was a bit more focus on plus sizes at the fashion schools!

    • gingeroid permalink
      June 27, 2014 8:47 pm

      When I see new lines that I’d be interested in, I write the designer(‘s staff) to ask them to include me in their business model. I think if more people reach out directly and say, “I’d love to give you money because I like your work. Have you considered producing a product for me?” it would give the designer some market insight. I just noticed one of the lines I wrote expanded their size range from 0-12 to 0-20. Still a size too small for me, but they definitely diversified their inventory from when I last checked.

  6. vesta44 permalink
    June 27, 2014 1:37 pm

    Re: seat belts and extenders – I think one of the reasons that auto manufacturers say the extenders aren’t safe is because, on my Sedona anyway, when I use the extender, the shoulder harness doesn’t lock up and keep my upper body from moving forward if I hit the brakes hard. My husband doesn’t need an extender and he’s always complaining about how his shoulder harness locks up all the time (even if I don’t hit the brakes – it locks up at random times and he has to unbuckle it and then buckle it again).
    From what I can tell, it’s because there’s a sensor in the seat belt/shoulder harness mechanism that knows how far the seat belt has been pulled out to be buckled. If it’s not pulled out far enough (as it wouldn’t be if you’re using an extender longer than a couple of inches, my extender is 12″ long because that’s the only one I could find that worked with Kia vehicles), it doesn’t lock to prevent forward movement of one’s body.
    As for keeping the shoulder harness part off my neck – I have a rack of doom and the shoulder harness refuses to stay in the middle of my chest, it persists in wanting to lay across my right breast and ends up crossing my throat as well. Since I don’t want to have a breast crushed by the shoulder harness or my neck damaged by it, I bought one of those metal clips used on seat belts to secure baby car seats – it’s shaped like this: [–] (the center bar is the width of the seat belt, and each piece has two bars that extend about 1/3 of the seat belt width). I put my seat belt on, put the shoulder harness where I want it to be, and then use that clip to hold the shoulder harness to the seat belt to keep the shoulder harness from sliding across my breast/throat. Here’s a link for the clip – http://www.amazon.com/Child-Seat-Belt-Locking-Clip/dp/B008R9R8HY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1403893988&sr=8-4&keywords=seat+belt+clip+for+baby+car+seats
    I can use it on my Sedona because my husband never drives my chickmobile (that’s what he calls all minivans…..lol). It makes the seat belt/shoulder harness fit me, but he would have to move/remove the clip if he wanted to use the seat belt.

    • Mich permalink
      June 28, 2014 12:05 pm

      Funny thing how shoulder straps did not exist at the beginning of seatbelts. Those were added for show later on (1970s?). My grandparents had a car like that, and they added the shoulder straps to the ceiling of the car, and rarely used them. They considered them a nuisance.

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