I own a clothing company and run a store that sells clothing for all women.
Our set sizes are XXS-6X, but I always make sure to say “and beyond” – because I do not stop at those. Every piece of clothing I make (yes – I make it myself. With my hands. In my store. In my studio in the back. Behind a curtain.) can be customized. This means you can simply choose to change the length of a hem or type of sleeve, the inseam of a pant, or the height of a waistband. Or you can get the entire thing custom made to your measurements.
Oh, and nothing costs over $100.
I’m not trying to be the next hippest, coolest, young designer. I’m not trying to design the most ground breaking and innovative dress you’ve ever seen. Instead – I’m trying to change every woman’s shopping experience. And with that – her feelings about her body. And with that – the world around her.
If someone walks into my store without knowing about it beforehand – it takes them a minute to comprehend. You can change any piece of clothing in here. You won’t hurt my feelings. Sometimes they exclaim, “what a great idea!” and take a business card on the way out.
I’m “straight size”. I wear a size medium or large and I’m 5’9. My body is proportionate – hour glass. It’s easy to dress. I can go to any store and find something that fits me with no alterations.
That is not the case for the majority of women.
Really. The majority.
Boutiques like mine – small, cute, bright, and cheerful – located in hip NYC neighborhoods don’t ever carry plus size clothing. Most don’t carry over a size 8 or 10. I’d fit into their large. Or extra large. Are you petite? Carry your weight in your mid section? Have a large bust? Have wide hips? Forget all that, too.
But the women I just finished describing, that typically can’t shop in boutiques, trust me already. If they know what my store is about and therefore sought it out – I’m already on their side in their mind. Plus-size women see my brand like a shining unicorn – something they didn’t think existed – because it didn’t. They gladly grab every 3X and 4X in the place – because they can’t anywhere else. (Off the same rack as the XS. For the same price.) They see my studio and love that they can create whatever they want. And they shop. And they smile. And they trust me.
But the women who pop in accidentally, the ones who look like me – they don’t trust me. They don’t like that they are a “large.” They’ve been told their whole life that that’s not good enough. Don’t get me wrong – women sized above a large have it 1000000 times harder. And they’ve been told much worse than “you could probably go down a size.”
But it’s the women who pretend to be okay with their bodies…who know their size exists in this store, but they won’t grab it. Who wear a size XL…but insist on trying a medium first. The women who shrink back when I suggest I measure them quickly so they know exactly what to grab. They’re the ones who don’t trust me.
Please, trust me.
I don’t care what number I read off of my pink measuring tape once I wrap it around you. It doesn’t matter one bit to me if it’s in the 20s, 40s, or 60s. I just want to know. I just need to know. I just need to measure and cut and sew and hand you a garment that will truly fit and will help you get past the road block you have put up in front of you.
So trust me. I promise I have clothes for you. And if they aren’t exactly what you want in the store – I will make them. You aren’t putting me out. And it won’t cost you a fortune. I want you to feel better, to take a breath, and to remind yourself that you’re worth it.
Because you are.