On Saturday morning, I decided to go shopping for pants. Being 10 am the morning before Easter, I figured I'd avoid the lines and the crowds at Marshalls, a close-out department store.
I've a hard body to buy for: a rectangle with an apple belly and large boobs, I usually have to try on many things before I can find maybe one item that fits me nicely. Most of the times pants that fit my waist make my legs look like tree trunks and pants that fit my legs make my stomach look like a giant sack. Tops are worse: clothes that fit my chest make me look pregnant or else I'm popping out of my shirt (Something my husband doesn't mind but work might.)
I don't really like to shop at Department stores. I prefer stores that stock only larger sizes (my issues with them are another story). No offense against thin folks, but at least I know the entire store is catered to large bodies including my size. However, I usually can get one or two things at Marshalls if I hunt. My local venue has gotten worse as far as plus sizes go. They used to have a large section in the middle of the floor. Now they are pushed over to the side and are limited to two large racks, and a few smaller ones. Dresses are the only sizes that are integrated.
Some days I go there and find some good pieces. Other days I don't know why I bother.
I was semi-successful on Saturday as I managed to snag Lauren pants that fit me nicely, and a pair of loose yoga pants that for $20 were good enough. Together they were $60.
Remember this is the “discount” store.
On May 4th is the in NYC. Last year I spent about the same amount at Marshalls and bought home a much cheaper and better selection. This is a flea market. Selection is based on donation, not a department store which is theory should be serving their customer’s needs. And knowing that two-thirds of the population need plus sizes, I’m surprised that Marshall’s plus size selection has shrunk.
Marshalls was a hunt. A hope that a wild pair of pants would appear and fit me properly. My hunting ground was only a few feet but still not a lot wild pants to be found.
At the Flea, it's a gather. I go through stacks and stacks of pants, dresses, shirts, jackets and miscellaneous. My size is located all in the same place, often towering because there is so much selection. I stuff things to try on in my bag which becomes heavy in my arms while my follow shoppers dig around with me, being friendly, giving advice. No one seems upset when someone grabs an Igigi dress before you can. You feel great when a person tells you, “This doesn’t look good on me, maybe it will look good on you.”
I come home exhausted but in a good way. My spirits are high as I check out my new clothes (and some are brand new with tags). And as I model my new clothes, I feel confident and happy.
I never feel this way at any department store.