I’ve been overweight most of my adult life. Thirteen hit me like a mac truck and I’ve been heavy since then. I was “normal” weight in college, but that was because I walked constantly and the food was awful. I’m most comfortable at what’s considered overweight, but not horribly so, for my height. That’s my “natural” weight.

But this winter I put on a lot of weight. I can speculate why, but I won’t. The end result is the same, regardless: I’m heavier than I’ve ever been and none of my summer or spring clothes fit.

So I just tried shopping at LLBean. They have great clothes, clothes that would look fantastic on me. I love their drapy linen — perfect for a fat mom in the summer heat, done in nice neutral earth tones. Roll-up leg convertible pants, really sharp linen pullovers, crisp big shirts for wearing over tees. They don’t offer them in “Women’s” size.

What’s more, I’m a little pissed that they are charging me $5-$10 more for an item just for being big. I strongly suspect it doesn’t cost that much more in fabric — the variations in men’s clothing is much greater. It’s just a shame tax.

Sadly, it’s one I’m willing to pay.

I don’t like anything Lane Bryant has to offer — it’s all unnatural fibers in unnatural colors, much of it way way too hip for my toned-down wardrobe. (I like my clothes to be very understated — I figure my personality makes enough of an impact.) J.Jill has some nice stuff, though it’s a little older and frankly more sophisticated than I like to dress — more matronly upper east side than young mom in a Boston playground. Junonia is okay but I haven’t been thrilled with the quality — I’m hard hard hard on clothes. Always have been.

My friend J — a talented seamstress and generous friend — has offered to help me make my own. I bought tencel/linen fabric in anticipation of that. But is it too much to ask that even us fat chicks get nice, natural-fiber clothes in colors that don’t hearken back to worst of the 1980s?


If I were an entrepreneur, I’d start a company that sold nice, classic, high quality, very basic clothes for overweight women. Anyone? Anyone?

Categories: motherhood, my bod, weight
  1. April 17, 2008 at 1:30 am

    This is actually why I don’t shop at L.L. Bean. It’s almost predictive: if I see something in the catalog I like, they won’t offer it in my size.

    I haven’t had your negative experience with Junonia; their stuff works well for me but I can’t use it to make up my wardrobe since it’s expensive.

    Land’s End is usually not so bad, they have a large selection, but I don’t know about their fiber options. They might not meet your quality standards, either, since I’m wearing stuff out after 3 or 4 years.

  2. April 18, 2008 at 12:29 am

    As long as they sell talls.

    Eddie Bauer and Lands End are two more you might try. I’ve had pretty good luck with LE Overstocks, and 97% of my other stuff is EB.

  3. April 18, 2008 at 12:31 am

    Also, with EB, I don’t bother with Plus–I just buy XXL Talls. They’re plenty generous. (Until someone fries them in the dryer. 🙂

  4. April 18, 2008 at 12:34 am

    I just looked and EB has ripstop pants and shorts. IME the pants and shorts are cut more curvy–smaller in the waist, which sucks for me, but would probably fit you well.

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