August 11, 2010

Shopping Woes

As strange as that may sound, that’s the case for me. Shopping and Woes? Shopping is supposed to be a ‘feel-good’ factor, right… Retail therapy?? If you want to even begin to comprehend my concerns or sentiments, you need to be above a certain size-range (or personally know such people). Ah, yes…Now you’re beginning to get it.

To whoever who says “size does not matter” – You gotta be kidding me! Have you tried shopping? For clothes? For footwear?? It’s a sad but true fact that many of the stores do not cater to ‘heavier’ or ‘bigger’ people (what those terms mean is completely subjective, I agree). Whenever I go shopping I face this problem (not like I am that huge) – whatever I like is not available in a size that fits me, and whatever is available in my size need not necessarily be to my liking. C’mon! What’s with these people? Can’t they make clothes and footwear for a wider size-range?

When I go shopping for (ready-made) clothes, the first thing I check is for size. What’s the point checking for prints or designs I like, only to find that they don’t have it in my size? Then comes the pain of trials. Yes, pain. Carry a few to the trial room and then see if it ‘fits’. If yes, good. If not, back to the racks. That’s part of shopping for anyone, you might say. But when you have fewer options, each rejection can be more disappointing. And the whole funda about sizes itself is boggling. I mean, they say S, M, L, XL, XXL, but by now you also know that one brand’s XL is L in another. So when you go for trial, thinking it fits you, you are surprised to note that that is not the case. Again, back to the racks. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a little particular about how a dress fits me either - it should not be tight. I mean, I see a lot of heavy women dress really awkardly – things bulging and bobbing… (*shudder*). I’d rather be never seen like that, thank you. And when I see women much heavier than me who’re pretty well-dressed, I think to myself  “where did SHE get clothes from?” and have this inexplicable urge to run upto them and ask “where do you shop?” ! (Of course, it’s just an urge, I really don’t do that!) Come to think of it, not finding dresses your size maybe a little motivational… to shed some weight (a silver lining in the dark cloud philosophy). But then, that’s not going to solve the problem entirely either.

I happened to visit aLL (Future Group’s answer to plus-size fashion). The variety was very limited, as must be the case with many such stores. (I agree that not all clothes look great on heavy people, but not all look bad either). It was actually funny. I first visited Pantaloons and tried on some kurtas. The size (XL) was pretty ok, but maybe the next size could be better. Since that’s all they had, I walked across to aLL (right opposite it). And the lowest size there was big for me. So, where does that leave me? In an ‘uncatered to’ between! If I were to really say, manufacturers are losing out on a huge opportunity (quite literally too) by leaving out a growing segment (the pun is hard to miss, huh?). It is plain to see that many people visit stores and leave them reluctantly only because they can’t find garments their size. And I’m surprised to note that all this while nobody has done anything about it. I’m not talking of opening ‘plus-sized’ stores that are poor cousins to stores who cater to ‘normal’ people. Only if all the Levis, Pepes, Wranglers, Provogues, Pantaloons, Fashion Bazaars and many more would just make/stock outfits in two-three bigger sizes, they’d see a significant difference in their sales. Happily for me, I did find a couple of kurtis that fit me in Lifestyle. (You see how they’re going to earn my loyalty now, can’t you?)

Footwear – ditto. Maybe, it gets worse than clothes. I walk into stores to see these small sandals and shoes that are meant for petite, nimble girls (or women). Hello? What about me? I have large feet (atleast compared to what women are ‘supposed’ to have) and shopping for footwear makes me feel like Big Foot! “I like this, but do you have a bigger size??”, I almost always plead to the salesman. “No”, pat comes the reply, with a sheepish grin. Sigh!

I’d always think to myself, if I were to EVER open a store that sold clothes or footwear, it would definitely have larger sizes. But I don’t see THAT happening. So here I am, waiting for someone out there to try.

(P.S. Believe it or not, people at the other end of the spectrum - those who are too thin, also have ‘shopping woes’. But, of course, I am not the apt person to comment!).

1 comment:

Sameera said...

Well written. It took me back to all the stores I have been to. Trail room. Back to racks. Trail room. Finally getting so bugged that you wear absolutely anything comfortable. =)

growing! Actually- a huge market segment. Hmm.. I wonder how people into this business can be so blind to this.