Thursday, April 15, 2010

Note to Target, Kohl's, Penney's, et al

Today's Won't You Be My Neighbor post is brought to you by Kathleen Basi of One of the first things I was drawn to on Kate's blog was her section entitled Why I Write, which I could relate to a thousand times over. Right then and there, I knew we'd be friends. She's a mother, a writer, a wife, and a woman of faith who will both challenge you and inspire you with her words. Today, however, she has something to get off her chest (pardon the terrible pun; that's all my doing)...

Note to Target, Kohl’s, Penney’s, et al:

Seriously, people. Who are you making clothes for? Because—news flash—it’s NOT ME. At the age of twelve, I began developing curves. Being a tomboy at heart, this was hardly a welcome development. While my waist stayed little, I quickly progressed from nice, inoffensive little training bras to Bali and Playtex underwires. You know, the ones with FOUR hooks? Yes, folks, I wear old lady bras. I have no choice. By the time I was thirteen, the attendant at the movie theater thought I was old enough to see rated R movies.

And that was BEFORE I became a nursing mom. They say you go up two cup sizes when you start lactating. Imagine what happens to someone who already wears a 38D!

Right now, small-chested women everywhere are thinking, Man, quit whining! I’d love to have that problem! Let me tell you: no, you wouldn’t. Because big chested women cannot buy fun, stylish clothes.

I hate shopping for clothes. At any given moment, I can think of about fifty-three better uses of my time. Things like organizing my computer desk or picking dandelions. But every so often I achieve temporary self-delusion and decide it might be fun to go buy some cute, stylish clothes. You know, something other than event T-shirts (size XL, of course) and the nasty sweats that didn’t even fit me when I bought them on clearance fifteen years ago.

I walk into the Mall and my breath catches on the pretty, feminine things that grace the store windows. Things with low-cut necklines, empire waists and teeny-tiny bodice cups, crisscrossed by bias tape. Things with adorable little ties beneath the breasts. Things with elastic puckers or big frills all over the bodice. Things like this:

and this

(Penney’s and Kohl’s, respectively)

Things you most definitely cannot wear a support bra underneath!

Then, amid all the clutter, I spy a dress style that really might just look good on me. Fingers trembling with anticipation, I run for the nearest dressing room, only to find that—big surprise—it’s not made with enough room for a big chest. By the time I find a size big enough for my top half, it’s two sizes too big for my waist.

Would you like to know what they do sell that fits a figure like mine?



This is why my wardrobe consists of solid-color tees and whatever I can find to (sort of) go with them.

In fact, when I Google “clothes for big-chested women,” the results go straight to CJ Banks’ “Clothing for Large Women.” Obviously, no clothing manufacturer has ever seen a woman with a big chest and a small waist. (Except Dolly Parton and Jessica Simpson. But we’re not going there.)

And I know it’s not just my body type that retailers make no effort to accommodate. How is fair that women of one or two body types have a zillion styles to choose from, while the rest of us have resign ourselves to looking like a) a floozy or b) a shapeless blob?

Because really—and now I am being serious—hardly anybody looks good in the styles that are out there: short tops and low-cut jeans meant to show skin (which usually exposes itself in rolls); halter tops, strapless dresses, and so on. I sing a lot of weddings, and out of the hundreds of women I’ve seen in bridal party attire, there have been probably a dozen who actually looked good in a strapless dress. But what choice do they have? That’s all that’s in the stores.

Readers, I know that someone out there has found the nugget among all the fools gold. Please, pretty please, tell me where to shop? Plllleeeeeze?

In the meantime, Target, Kohl’s, Penney’s et al—news flash! Whoever finally decides to dress real women—we’ll be loyal to you forever.

Please leave comments (and suggestions!) for Kate below! If you have a neighbor visiting you this week, be sure to snag the banner at the top of this post and link up!

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