Ranty’s Machine

I originally posted this on my own blog

I received an email the other day from a reader named Alice – whose daughter a chubby teen – had her first real brush with the unbearable fatness of being.

My daughter received so many clothes during the holidays and decided to sort through and sell a bunch of them to our local Plato’s Closet. I don’t know if you are familiar with them [I am and more about that in minute], but they are consignment store which features trendy clothing for teens and 20somethings. I dropped her off and ran some errands. When I picked her up an hour later she sat on bench next to the door clutching the bags she brought with them and sobbing. Snarky, it broke my heart to see her like this and best I can tell one of the salespeople rather dismissively picked through her items and then stated they were too large for sale. Now my daughter is a size 12 who shops at Hollister, American Eagle and pretty much every other trendy store in the mall and I know she takes excellent care of her things. I am at a loss as to what to say to her and very angry. Any thoughts?

I emailed Alice and we spoke on the phone briefly. I was pissed too. I then got the number of her store and I gave the manager the business end of Snarky’s salty tongue – respectfully of course.

My own dealings with Plato’s Closet have been mixed at best. As an inbetweenie, (ranging from 12s to 16s and standing 5’0.75″) my closet houses jeans and tops from some of the retailers mentioned in the email and I’m a grown ass woman so I know I take care of my stuff. I have had perfectly au current – for them anyway – things picked over as though they were trash and watched as the salesclerk grew increasingly annoyed at having to handle all those fatty articles of clothing, as though she could catch teh fatz merely but touching my size 14s.

The first time it happened, I’ll admit, I was thrown for a loop. Normally, when confronted with a clear case of -ism asshatry I tend to immediately put the person responsible in check. But there was this overwhelming feeling of shame coupled with a slow drumbeat of you’re not good enough which caught me off guard.

Do my tears surprise you, Sir? Yes, even strong Snarkys cry.

When I told my friend Barbie about my experience she snatched the bag from me and an hour later came back to my place armed with an empty reusable Home Depot bag and a check for $129.04.

Same stuff. Different, thinner, whiter seller.

This of course pissed me the fuck off. I immediately wrote a scorching email detailing my experience and received NO response. I called the store and requested to speak to someone who could explain the inconsistency of their buying policy, which is not TRANSPARENT and requires far too much interpretation from folks who clearly have lots of knapsacks to unpack.

Having said that, I sent Barbie in there armed with my fatty clothes about five more times and each time she returned with a wad of cash and an empty bag. But in case you don’t have a thin, conventionally attractive white upper middle class friend handy here’s what you do:

DON’T FUCKING SHOP THERE.

It’s not worth the sanity points to try to do outreach with the company as they don’t seem to think their policies are inconsistent or if they are, they don’t seem to think there is anything problematic with that.

To Alice’s daughter:

As much as you’ve been hurt by someone else’s flaming lack of fucking decency, I believe in channeling that energy into something made of chicken fried awesome. Like, for example, donating those fabulous designer duds to a women’s shelter since they are always, always, always hurting for non shitty clothing in sizes 10 and up. That’s what I do now with mine.

I don’t mean to be snarky, but do shelters and community closets seriously think the only people strutting into their establishments are going to be size 6 and 8? C’mon now.

But I digress.

My heart has been broken a million times and in a million different ways by the cruelty of others and the only thing that comforts me in those raw ouchie times is thinking about all that is awesome and amazing about me and cling to it.

There, you got a rant out of me! You win!

Also, thanks to Alice for letting me use a portion of her email, because I have like been pestering her about it for nearly a week.

181 thoughts on “Ranty’s Machine

  1. That’s totally unacceptable and utterly transparent. It makes me angry just thinking about the experiences you both had. I doubt I would have shopped there in the first place, but I surely won’t now. Ugh. Just, ugh.

  2. I had the same experience as Alice’s daughter, only the clothes I was trying to sell were size 8-10. The salesperson snottily informed me that they were “presently only buying size 6 and smaller” — while eying me as if were the very embodiment of the ‘obesity epidemic’. I’ve never shopped there since.

  3. Wow, that is awful! And what a terrible business model! It takes some work to find things that fit ANYONE in a resale shop–why wouldn’t they want the biggest possible range?

    Happy to help if anyone in the Chicago area is hard up for cash and needs the services of a decoy white girl.

    Thanks Snarkys for sharing a bit of all that is awesome and amazing about you with your loyal Internet comrades.

  4. Snarky,

    You done good.

    It sucks hard core being a teenager anyhow with out some size-ist salesperson hating on you.

    Helping Alice and her daughter is truly a kind-hearted thing.

    And sharing with us…not too shabby either.

    Thanks.

  5. I’d never heard of Plato’s closet before. I suspect they will only take clothing they expect to be able to sell. I don’t know where the girl in the story is located, but around here (San Francisco) consignment shops seem to have a very specific clientele. The kind of women who would never dream of letting themselves become a *gasp* double digit size. The stores could take size 10’s or 14’s but the odds are good they’d be sitting there for a while. Big girls usually don’t go to those places because of the reasonable expectation that we won’t find anything there that fits us. Much better to donate to Goodwill, or any other thrift shop. Your plus sized sisters will thank you.

  6. OMG Snarky, your experience is truly shocking! WTH! Really, it’s so obvious that the woman handling your clothes when you went in there has some serious issues.

    When I lived in Olympia, WA a Plato’s Closet opened up near me. I never did go in there to check it out – I didn’t realize it was for teens-early 20s (I was 32 @ the time). What’s B.S. is, like Alice’s daughter, I was “plus size” as a teen, so it’s not like there never has been/isn’t currently a market for trendy, larger-than-a-size 12 clothing.

    I have also noticed at Goodwills it is hard to find decent choices in the “womens” department. Either “teh fattiez” are keeping their clothes or they are getting snapped up right away.

    There is no reason that woman should have been so brutal to Alice’s daughter. I don’t think there will be much repercussion against Plato’s Closet – people tout American Apparel as being SO great, but they don’t make anything that will fit me (nor does Vicky’s)… “image” is everthing it seems.

  7. I have heard of Plato’s Closet and one beauty of not being an inbetween fatty but just a “plain out no mistaking it” fatty is I knew better than to think Plato’s Closet would every cater to someone whose size started with a 2 and had another number following it.

    As much as we’ve all had an experience like April’s daughter- each time I hear a story like that… it eats me up inside and reopens a wound that was long time closed.

    And I can’t even get started on you white friend being able to sell the same clothes you couldn’t except to say: been there. been there.

    Great post!

  8. Much better to donate to Goodwill, or any other thrift shop. Your plus sized sisters will thank you.

    It’s absolutely true that places that accept clothing donations can always use plus-size clothes — places like Dress for Success and The Cinderella Project are also worth considering for business clothes and formal wear, respectively — so if your goal is just to get rid of the clothes, donating them is a great option. But if someone wants to sell her clothes, she should be able to do that even with dark skin and a size 14 butt, yes? When Snarky’s Machine walks out empty-handed and a white, thin friend walks out with $129 for the same clothes, that’s a big freakin’ problem.

  9. I have had good luck selling clothes on EBay, but it takes:
    Photographing the stuff
    Writing descriptions
    Answering questions about it
    Packing it up
    Mailing it

    … and so on. Not to mention that shipping is expensive.

    Re: buying secondhand stuff, I have occasionally found stuff that fits me at Value Village. I DO consistently see stuff through size 24 there.

  10. That is really, unbelievably effed up. Great Post, Snarky’s. Also, thanks for doing the “experiment” with your friend Barbie. I’ve never been to Plato’s Closet, but there are a few of them near me and I’ve heard tale that they don’t cater to people larger than junior 8s and the staff are snobby (although I don’t know what kind of trip one must be on to think working in a used clothing store makes you better than anyone else).

  11. I’ve never been to Plato’s, but the resale shop I use takes exactly the opposite approach. “Oh, we only take designer labels,” the woman says, and then looks at a garment and adds eagerly, “except if they’re plus sizes! We can never get enough of those!”

  12. Had that experience at a Buffalo Exchange in Denver – took in 3 bins of clothing, including spendy gothwear, had 3 articles accepted. I was moving out of state so most of the rest went to Goodwill but I kept the more expensive pieces and have… watched them sit in a bin in my closet. I’m unwilling to have another stupid resale experience, but also unwilling to give stuff away that cost me hundreds of dollars and that should, in my world, translate to at least a few bucks back. We do clothing swaps among my group of friends pretty regularly but I tend to put in about 4x as much stuff as I get back because I’m the biggest among us. We did one where we recruited for more plus-sized people but then the biggest women who came felt screwed (I’m a size 16/18 inbetweeenie with a bunch of 12/14 stuff to get rid of.)

    I should photograph it and put it all on LJ but that is fraught with issues of time, capacity, and the FAIL that selling on many communities has turned into.

  13. I really can’t believe the differences in your experience and your best friend’s experience. Although I’m not sure why I’m surprised anymore.

    And what’s funny is I’m a size six at a whopping five foot tall and I definitely have trouble finding stuff in my size. I know I’m not large, but having difficulty finding something in my size that correlates to my height makes me feel like a freak during most shopping experiences.

    Thankfully this website is helping me realize that it’s not me that’s the problem.

  14. Snarky, this is fucking ridiculous. I’ve had similarly bad experiences at Buffalo Exchange, which seems to refuse to buy past a junior size 9, but I’m white and a bit taller than you are, so I imagine I probably had it easier.

    If anyone lives in Boston, I’ve had very good luck as an inbetweenie at Poor Little Rich Girl. In fact, they actually appreciate the fact that I bring in clothing above a size 8. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of other sellers in my size range, so my shopping selection is limited, but I sell probably 90% of what I’ve brought in.

  15. This is absolutely out-fucking-rageous.

    I went along with my friend last year to a Plato’s Closet, since she was moving and wanted to travel light. So on the way to get tacos, we stopped in with her bags. The people behind the counter (who clearly were disgusted looking at us) picked through her clothes and on the spot said that her stuff was “styled too old.” Thing is, it was just Gap jeans and sweaters and crap like that – basics. Now, she was 35; I was 33.

    I turned around and saw racks and racks of the same jeans. In sizes 00-6, mind you, but the same damn stuff. She could have been like, “Sorry, but as you can see, we’re sort of overloaded with jeans now. Thanks anyway.” I suspected at the time that there was an undercurrent of sizism to the whole thing; the company does cater to younger people, so I assumed it was a legal maneuver around saying, “We don’t want your fat-assed size 14 jeans.”

    I remember being really embarrassed. They weren’t my clothes, but my friend and I both hover around a 12-14, and so I felt insulted not only for her, but for myself as well.

    Snarky, thanks for writing this. Your experience was outrageous, and you sharing it makes me feel a little less crazy.

  16. I’d like to suggest the livejournal community fatshionistas to anyone who’s looking for a place to re-sell their plus or in-betweenie clothing. It does carry the problem of photographing, etc etc your product, but it’s a lovely environment.

  17. Normally I have some sort of witty, snarky, or some sort of response.

    This time, I got nothin. I’m just sitting here making this face: D:

    Un-fucking-believable. Because fatties don’t deserve to have nice things at cheap prices. Nobody would ever want to shop there anymore if they let the fatties in.

  18. I turned around and saw racks and racks of the same jeans. In sizes 00-6, mind you, but the same damn stuff. She could have been like, “Sorry, but as you can see, we’re sort of overloaded with jeans now. Thanks anyway.” I suspected at the time that there was an undercurrent of sizism to the whole thing; the company does cater to younger people, so I assumed it was a legal maneuver around saying, “We don’t want your fat-assed size 14 jeans.”

    Yeah, I had the exact same experience there too. Seeing like items on their racks with the only notable different being the size (and worse some of the ones on the rack where in far worse condition than the items I brought in) was really kind of annoying.

    The problem with establishments like this is without consistency it’s fairly easy to get away with abuses because when it’s called to their attention they can always point to some nebulous standard you didn’t realize existed.

    The best model for reselling is one similar to larger chain music shops. The standards are clear, consistent and generally not left to the employee discretion.

    Also, I tend to run my little “experiments” often enough that I tend to be more surprised when they don’t yield the results of my Plato’s experiment.

  19. I’d love to be able to shop at second-hand stores more often… but it is the RARE occasion that I am able to find anything in size 22/24 at all at the second-hand shops. I guess its no wonder why.

  20. I have complained directly to Buffalo Exchange about their sizing issues, including putting size 8 garments in the “L” section, and stores that don’t have XL markers on their racks. They were somewhat responsive at the corporate level though they complained about not getting enough plus-sized garments to make an XL section. I pointed out to them that they often have calls out on their website for particular kinds of clothes based on season or on what is selling in a particular market, and thus it should be no trouble at all for them to put a call out for more plus sizes. I also pointed out that when I see a store without XL markers, it tells me that they don’t want my clothes and don’t bring them in.

    (My selling FAIL happened after this conversation, unfortunately, so apparently the winds of change had not yet come to the Capitol Hill BE in Denver.)

    However, I’m pleased to say that the BE in Berkeley has XL sizing rings on many racks, and I have found 16/18 pants and skirts there though the pickings are slimmer (no pun intended) than the smaller sizes. I’ve seen bottoms up to a 24 or larger. I have considered taking things there but I know I still won’t get even 30% of what I paid for, say, a $100 dress so I’m reluctant.

    I also had an infamous run-in with Crossroads in the Haight, documented on the LJ Fatshionista, where the employees disdainfully told me they “didn’t get any customers in who were interested in plus sizes” and I wrote management. They told me that the Crossroads in Berkeley (what is it with Berkeley?) has a plus section though I’ve never gotten in there to see it for myself.

    Anyway, writing the Corporate Overlords sometimes gets at least some lip service back.

    I’m not sure, hsofia, what you’re suggesting re: Craigslist? I wasn’t aware there was much of a used clothing market there? It also has the same issues with photographing, measuring, describing, etc. that eBay and LJ selling has. :-/

  21. This is why when I lived in Brooklyn I couldn’t shop at the “cool” thrift shops, such as Buffalo Exchange or Beacon’s Closet (is it related to Plato’s Closet?). Their sizes seemed to stop at 10. Also, the staff at Beacon’s Closet were incredibly annoying and elitist. It was frustrating to see my thin roommate come home with great buys and be able to sell her stuff at these places.

    I did read in some woman’s magazine that a thrift store called Redress is supposed to carry a larger range of sizes but I have yet to check it out. Let’s hope so! Everyone deserves to be able to dress how they wish!

    Also, I agree with Kate about donating to women’s organizations because, again, everyone deserves nice clothes.

  22. I’ve had similar experiences with consignment shops, but only of a certain variety – the hip, young, urban ones. I a non-plus-sized friend of mine excitedly took me to her favorite consigment shop in Santa Cruz, knowing how I love clothes, and they had NOTHING over a size 14.

    I definitely agree with the “don’t fucking shop there” sentiment, but don’t forget to TELL THEM you won’t be fucking shopping there. Otherwise, they’ll remain convinced that plus size women aren’t a customer base they should be concerned about.

    Also, Snarky: it would be totally awesome if you and your white friend could document the consignment store racism via some kind of undercover journalistic expose, with like videos of each of you bringing in the same shit. And then put it on TV. Or YouTube. It would be all like that ABC expose from a few years back on whether white people are more likely to report white kids or black kids committing vandalism (I’m sure you know what they “discovered”).

  23. Thrift and secondhand stores won’t take plus sizes. (Especially non-white plus sizes, apparently.)

    Fat people can’t find much of anything in their sizes, or assume the store doesn’t cater to them without even entering (I do not go into a store unless I know it’s got my size).

    Fat people don’t try to sell their clothes to these stores.

    Stores have no plus sizes. And won’t take any (because *gasp* it would ruin their image to have the fatty fat fatties walking around! Like… oh shoot, who was the chain store who wouldn’t hire fat people? Abercrombie?)

    It’s a circle and it’s vicious alright.

    I was going to do a clothing purge soon and get rid of some stuff I don’t or can’t wear, though right now I’m planning on sending it to a relief organization in Haiti, since in these kinds of crises donations rarely take into account plus sized humans.

    DRST

  24. Sick. I’m so sorry, Snarky, and I’m sorry Alice’s daughter. The only time I was able to sell plus-sized clothes at Buffalo Exchange is when the sales person was plus-sized herself!

  25. I did read in some woman’s magazine that a thrift store called Redress is supposed to carry a larger range of sizes but I have yet to check it out. Let’s hope so! Everyone deserves to be able to dress how they wish!

    I was actually just going to mention that Re/Dress is fantastic if you’re in Brooklyn — it’s all plus sizes, lots of vintage, and the owner and staff are extremely fat friendly. (They even hosted our NYC launch of Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere.) I haven’t sold anything there, so I don’t know what kind of money you get, but they do buy, and they aren’t snobs.

    So now it’s just about getting someplace like that in every other city and town.

  26. I’ve actually had similar buying experiences at retail stores. One very hip store near where I live (also near a major university) only buys one or two pairs of designer jeans in a size 31 or 32 (10-14 depending on brand and cut), which means that they sell out almost immediately. When I asked why, I was told that if they buy more than a couple pairs, too many end up on the sale rack.

    Um, you mean the sale rack that is currently filled with jeans in sizes 25 and 26? So they’re willing to overstock teeny sizes, but not average ones? Makes no sense to me and seems like a poor business model.

    I may be in school for religion/politics, but I’ve always had a bit of a desire in the back of my mind to open a boutique that caters to a much broader range of sizes than most do. Drives me nuts that most boutique clothing stores stop at a size 10 – often because of the designers themselves – so even if I can get the clothing on, nothing will zip over my boobs.

  27. So where is the plus-sized consignment shop? Shouldn’t large cities have them? Or at least more plus-sized items in thrift stores? If 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese (thanks for that statistic, NPR [I thought you at least would question the Fat = Bad hegemony] [Et tu, Robert Siegel?]) what are they all doing with their clothes that are a season old/too small/too big? You would think that with the Obesity Epidemic Booga Booga Booga we’d have a dearth of lightly-worn plus-size clothes, but apparently they vanish into thin air when their owners are done with them.

  28. I just sent an email to their corporate address, though I’m sure absolutely nothing will come of it:

    “To whom it may concern:

    I was previously a big fan of the Plato’s Closet concept, because I feel that it encourages “recycling” of clothing, provides women and girls with inexpensive options that allow them to dress in style, and helps teenagers to contribute to their own clothing purchases by making decisions about which items they are willing to consign. However, upon reading an account of two women’s experiences at Plato’s Closet, I can tell you that I will never shop in one again until I hear that its business practices have changed. Please note in particular the part of this account where a thin white woman was able to easily consign the very same lot of clothing that an average-size African-American woman had just attempted–WITHOUT SUCCESS–to sell to the same store. This is nothing short of appalling.

    Even if you are unwilling to examine what appears to be ingrained racism and anti-fat sentiment at your stores, please consider the fact that the average woman is a size 12 or 14–1 to 4 sizes above the largest size typically accepted at Plato’s Closet. Although teenagers are somewhat thinner on average, this still translates to millions of teens who would be spending money in your stores if they were allowed to sell their own clothing there and if, therefore, there was anything in the store that fit them. This is at the very least a terrible business and customer service strategy.

    I will no longer be shopping in your stores, and I hope you lose a lot of other customers over these outrageous policies as well.

    Sincerely,
    [etc.]”

  29. Oh, and it goes without saying that I am so sorry for what Alice’s daughter, you (as well as the other folks in the thread who have run into inexplicably snobby, anti-fat, racist, or otherwise terrible policies), experienced at these shit-ass stores.

  30. :( absolutely appalling. I’m with Fat Chick:

    As much as we’ve all had an experience like April’s daughter- each time I hear a story like that… it eats me up inside and reopens a wound that was long time closed.

  31. Elusis, it sounds like we’re in the same area. I’ve been quite lucky at Thrift Town, on 17th and Mission. I wear a 2X or 20/22 (depending on the manufacturer) and have found some really great things–my favorite black shirt came from there. It was Old Navy, which I usually avoid because they don’t sell plus sizes in their stores, only online. But for $3.99, well who could resist? Other finds: a navy linen Ralph Lauren blazer, a 100% wool cardigan, quite a few Charter Club things. Like other places, the larger the size, the more limited the selection. But the size 18 section was surprisingly well stocked. I noticed it because…so close and yet so far since I take a 20/22.

  32. In Seattle, the Buffalo Exchange in the University District is pretty good. I just bought a pair of size 24 jeans there and tried on a few different dresses and skirts (none of which fit, but it was cut more than size). I haven’t tried selling clothes there, because I’m lucky enough to be able to donate them, but they have to be buying them. I’ve always found something to try on there.

    But the the Goodwill in the U-District is terrible for plus sized stuff. It’s so hit or miss.

    Also, both stories are appalling. Those employees should be ashamed.

  33. So I have nothing to add clothing-wise, but I do have a somewhat similar story about a couple of couches we tried to donate once.

    These couches were old, very comfy, and a little bit dirty, as we got them second hand from The Husband’s parents when we first moved out of home, so we wouldn’t be sitting on the floor.

    When we were able to afford to buy ourselves new couches, we decided to get rid of the old ones by donating them to the Salvation Army, assuming that someone out there, like us, would rather have old couches than sit on the floor.

    They showed up, inspected our couches, and refused to take them. I was literally gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe that an organisation like that couldn’t find someone who would be delighted to have our couches. Seriously, who turns down donations?!?

    Yeah. This was years ago and it still irritates the shit out of me. Can you tell?

  34. Something to think about if you have expensive clothes but don’t want to eBay them yourself is to work with a Trading Assistant. It was immensely helpful for me.

  35. Sorry but not surprised to hear of your resale snubs. Our Value Village stores usually have a decent selection of double digit and plus size clothes but the Goodwill’s are ridiculous in quantity and what they consider large and x large. The BE here isn’t too bad although I’ve not tried to sell anything to them. We’re lucky to a have great resale shop, Savvy Plus, where the lowest size is 12. I went in once when I weighed less and had a clerk tell me in a kindly way that there probably wasn’t anything that would fit me-I still chuckle at that one.

  36. how appalling.

    i must confess that i’ve never understood sizing in the US — what the hell is size 00, anyway? isn’t that for infants?

  37. I had a really similar experience at a consignment shop near where I live (and they are not around anymore wonder why) same thing with a thinner. whiter. seller. I was actually asked if my clothing was stolen because it was some business casual stuff I didn’t need anymore and was department store type stuff.

    After I went home and cried rather than standing and screaming at the lady I did this:
    “As much as you’ve been hurt by someone else’s flaming lack of fucking decency, I believe in channeling that energy into something made of chicken fried awesome.”

    And donated everything to a local womens shelter and felt way better. And I told everyone I talked to not to go there and lo and behold 6 months later they were gone.

  38. @Elusis I would love to look at what you’re offering D: I used to be into the sort of trendy-chic Goth lot, but due to gaining weight and other issues, I’ve been without some of my favorite articles of clothing and having had to deny myself certain things I want because to get them in larger sizes seems to mean they double in price.
    Please feel free to email me if you ever see this message!

    And as for the problem, I have had the same one at a Wet Seal store. Two years ago, I bought over $100 in there walking in on my first try (half of it was in skinny jeans) because I was an XL junior then, instead of my current 2X-and-above. I went back recently, because one of the pairs of skinny jeans I bought ripped. I went in and asked them where their simple, plain skinnies were and got the worst look. And this was the day after Christmas! I was wearing a pair of skinnies I had bought there and went to try on a new, replacement pair, only to find the sizes seemed to have shrunk about a whole size. I was devastated because I couldn’t buy the jeans I really wanted, and at what was a really good discount price due to the time I went. I mean, these were so tight, you could see the cellulite. The ones I were wearing when I left were much smoother and much comfier, and /thicker/, mine you, than those paper thin jeans they were trying to sell.
    I’ve always been an in-betweeny, but I’ve been closer to a plus size of late, and I’m cool with that, but you don’t realize how fucked up and shitty it is finding even basic essentials like jeans until you go out and try to get them.

  39. Um. I don’t even know what to say. Until I read this post I’ve just been thinking … I don’t know what. I’m a size 14 and I notice there’s nothing good on the ra)cks at the cool recycled / vintage shops (and often not even the not-so-cool shops. I guess up until this moment I never, ever thought they wouldn’t be accepting larger sizes. I thought fat people just didn’t dress well or vintage or punk – the way I *want* to dress but can’t bring myself to. I am just now realizing how these experiences have shaped me as a very frumpy dresser.

    And now I feel like crying.

    Snarky – this was such a good post, and good on ya! This is also a timely post, as Saturday we have a new recycled shop with trendy sensibilities opening up just a few blocks away. Big news as I live in a small town. I was planning on attending the opening and now I’m not sure how I’m going to conduct myself if I see thin clothes only.

    I am really going to have to read and re-read these comments and think things over.

  40. That is NUTS. Both of those experiences are absolutely in-frickin-furiating! I don’t even know if we have one here in Austin, but I’ll definitely avoid it if I ever see it.

    I’ve had okay luck at the Buffalo Exchange here, the buyers have all been really friendly & never distasteful when I brought things in (we just moved, so I’ve been there about three times in the last two weeks – and will probably go again within the next week. all kinds of clutter to get rid of!). Their selection is a bit wonky – sometimes there are plus size clothes, sometimes not. Admittedly, I’m an inbetweenie (about 5’1″ and anything from an eight to a fourteen), and also white, so my experiences are probably very colored by those two things.

  41. spacedcowgirl-your letter rocks! It is really appalling that this young girl had such an excluding and humiliating experience.

    Kate, thanks for the link to Re/Dress!!! It’s nice to see that they are affiliated with so many charitable organizations. I always try to donate old clothing, either through local churches, or the school I work out but if I clean out my closet this spring, I’ll be sure to bring it to Re/Dress to donate! I didn’t know they were exclusively plus-size. They are located in such a nice area of Brooklyn where I would love to live one day. I will definitely be checking them out soon! I love pretty vintage things.

    Also, this is off topic, but I just want to say that I fucking love this beautiful blog and the amazing women who contribute to it. I’ve just started reading it at the end of December and it’s given me the perspective I’ve been looking for. Though god knows I still have to work on my FA, I have never felt so empowered, and dare I say it, confident, despite not fitting into *conventional sizes*. So much written here resonates with how I’ve felt all my adult life, not knowing that others felt this way as well. So, thank you! <3

  42. @Kelly, I always figured that people are more likely to gain weight than lose weight (since it does happen to most people as we age), and that’s why there is so much more clothing in smaller sizes in consignment stores. I still don’t know what to make of it, since I’m a 12-ish, and most of the clothing I bring in to several consignment/secondhand stores around here (besides Buffalo Exchange) is accepted.

  43. Oh, I also wanted to say that there is one place I have felt comfortable shopping for clothing and not like I was just trying to find ANYTHING that fit (often the case now, because I used to (and will try not to anymore) try to shop at Banana Republic, H&M, Zara (ha!).

    Anytime I’ve been in the UK, I feel much more comfortable shopping. I suppose it’s been a while and I was quite a bit thinner the last time I was in London, but still a size 12-14 (American). I was just so amazed at the variety of sizes in stylish, more tailored like clothes! My absolute favorite pair of jeans I got there and wore them till they fell apart. Why can’t other countries follow suit?

  44. This is my WTF moment of the week. I mean, really.

    An Aside: I just wanted to say “thank you” to all of the folks on this thread who are describing being “in betweenies.” This is a phrase that I had never heard until today, and it’s so nice to have someone to sympathize with! I’m experiencing health problems that have caused my weight to be very unstable, so I totally understand the frustration of being a 12/14/16 and not being able to find anything fashionable in my size.

    That said, screw those stores. We should set up an exchange of our own on the Intarwebs.

  45. These couches were old, very comfy, and a little bit dirty… They showed up, inspected our couches, and refused to take them. I was literally gobsmacked. I couldn’t believe that an organisation like that couldn’t find someone who would be delighted to have our couches. Seriously, who turns down donations?!?

    People who don’t think they’ll be able to re-sell nasty old couches, and who need the store floor space for goods they can sell. Poor people want clean clothing and furniture too, even the ones who can’t afford to be very picky about style.

    Any charity will tell you that one of their largest problems is dealing with the terrible, terrible things that people give away on the someone-will-be-grateful logic. I’ve seen it myself in computer donation drives — sorry, but not even students at impoverished inner-city schools want your Pentium Pro. Worse yet, the junk donations actually wind up COSTING the charity. Someone’s got to spend time sorting it out and hauling it to the trash, and often enough, you have to pay money to dispose of electronics or large articles like furniture.

    If it’s truly not good enough for you to have and use (as opposed to you don’t like it any more, or you’re allowing yourself the luxury of an upgrade), it’s not good enough to give to someone else, either.

  46. @randomquorum – it costs them a lot of money to haul out furniture. And then they have to store it, and then if no one one is willing to buy it or take it they have to dump it (costs more $). Other thing I’ve seen time and time again is that a lot of times people don’t have vehicles for getting large pieces of furniture from store to home. So that makes it harder to get rid of, too. My suggestion would have been to Freecycle it or give it away via Craigslist. In that way, no middle person has to take a risk – if there’s someone out there who wants it and can collect it, then they’ll find you.

  47. I agree. Gently worn stuff (whether it be clothing or couches) is the worst condition a donated item should be in. My school does a textile recycle, where you can bring unwearable/unusable clothing items that an organization then cleans and uses to make other things. Also, there are various events here in New York to recycle old electronics safely.

    Couches are harder to deal with, but the free stuff section of Craigslist works wonders.

  48. @Emma B and @hsofia – yes, that’s true, and Emma’s point is excellent. I feel a little embarrassed now!

    Although in this instance, the couches were fine. In fact, I miss their comfiness, although I’m glad to be rid of the vibrant yellow (so not me!). I actually ended up passing them on to my little sister when she moved out of home, and I believe that she eventually passed them on to her partner’s brother! So they’re probably still out there somewhere…

    It was just a bit of a shock that they were turned down – we thought we were doing a nice thing by donating the couches, and would be able to help someone out by doing so.

    I guess my privilege showed itself here though, and I’m sorry if I offended anyone!

  49. I would definitely boycott the store. Especially after not changing their ways; or not even having the decency to apologize. Hmmm. But then again, even if they did apologize I would still boycott them. What they are doing is not right.

  50. Holy crap. Okay, never shopping there ever, ever again. Not that there’s ever really a good selection for my 14/16 self and now I guess I know why. Also emailing this to everyone I know who shops there. Just…WTF people?!

  51. This just confirms it: Snarky, you are a GODDESS!!!! I bet you float 3 inches above the ground, don’t you? You only walk with feet touching so the rest of us won’t feel badly.
    I donate my clothes to places like PARCA, Out of the Closet, and Goodwill. I will have to start donating to shelters, as well. I will avoid Plato’s Closet like the plague it is, and tell all my friends to do the same.

  52. @randomquorum: Mr. Twistie and I have tried multiple times to donate perfectly good (read clean, in good repair, useful things; not total shit) to Goodwill and the Salvation Army on several occasions only to be informed our stuff wasn’t good enough. Now we take them straight to St. Vincent De Paul. They’ve only turned down one or two things that had bigger problems than we initially realized.

    My advice if you’ve still got the couches? Clean them and check with your local St VDP. If they won’t go for them, Craig’s List or Freecycle.

    Topic: This makes me even more glad than I was before that there’s an actual plus-size consignment store in my town. It’s called All the More to Love, and I’ve gotten some great stuff there. My fave was a purple tie-dye big shirt and drawstring pants. I almost never wore the two pieces together, since at 5’2″ I kind of looked like a hippie dumpling in the combo, but I wore the two pieces separately for yonks. The pants finally had their last gasp last summer, but the shirt is still in good enough shape to wear in public over skinny pants or a cute skirt.

    I’ve got a few goodies I’ll probably take over there as soon as I get over this damn cold I’ve been fighting all year. Sniffle.

  53. LoopyLoo – Me too. Except the line wasn’t even that polite, it was “We aren’t going to be able to sell anything this…big”. Delivered with a visible sneer. I am fairly certain that one can in fact sell clothes in a size 8 in San Francisco.

  54. Thanks for the apology, randomquorum, because having grown up in a family where people tried to palm off grubby crap to us all the time as “charity”, I was frankly offended. I don’t have great memories of the expectation of being grateful for being the alternative to the local dump.

    Seriously, giving to charity is great, but at least donate clean items in good working order. It might cost you $20 bucks to get the items professionally cleaned – that’s $20 bucks charities aren’t able waste on getting things to a decent enough state to pass on.

    BTW, this is why many charities will not accept used mattresses. You have no idea what’s gone into those things, and they’re impossible to clean properly.

  55. Snarkysmachine. I will forever now see you in my mind’s eye wearing a glittering glowing cape and a full Superheroes outfit . You are deserving of this and more for many reasons illustrated in the post above. (Stands) Bra-vah! More! More!
    Great Stuff.

  56. Secret handshake, Trix.

    We used to groan every time we came home to discover yet another bag of clothes and toys on the step. Most of the time there was very little we could use in it, and sometimes it was just plain garbage. The thought may count, but my family wished people would think about how we had to spend gas money to get rid of the stuff.

  57. DRST — My experiences with charity shops has been positive.

    I did a clothing purge last year, and sold some to Re-Dress (I live in Brooklyn). They took some items, and that was good, but they unaccountably left some really good stuff. Although puzzled, I figured they have a sense of what their customer base wants and what they will pay, so I was not offended.

    I took the rest to a thrift shop in Manhattan where I have donated and shopped for YEARS. They do EXCELLENT recordkeeping so, as I was going through each individual item being donated so they could put a price on it (for my tax sheets), I noted some ladies listening in. The guy behind the counter was totally professional friendly. I had some Dana Buchman, Eileen Fisher, etc. in PLUS SIZES!!! I also had some run-of-the-mill stuff. They looked excited. One of them asked the person behind the counter when the items would be for sale.

    I wasn’t thrilled to be giving some of them away instead of selling them, but time pressures made the decision absolutely unavoidable. HOWEVER, they gave me decent and very realistic valuation on the items.

    For those of you in New York, the Thrift Shop is St George’s Thrift Shop just next to Gramercy Park (in the basement of a church). I forget whether it is 22nd or 23d st in Manhattan, but it is just East of Park Avenue South and at the north end of Gramercy Park. GREAT stuff to buy and a great place to give. They support a soup kitchen and the work of the church with the proceeds.

    After reading this, I will also check out the LiveJournal community next time I have something to sell.

    Regards,

    –Andy–

  58. On the topic of donation rather than re-selling, I’ve never had anything turned down for donation! Maybe because I’m donating size 24-28 in a rural town, apparently the fattest shire in my state? I was trying to make myself clean out my wardrobe a few things at a time, and every week donated one or two items to the Lifeline op-shop (they run a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline in Australia). The volunteers in the shop would look out for me, because the things I donated would always be sold by the time I came in the next week. Every single time. It felt great to know those clothes that were bothering me were making someone else happy.

  59. I am such a dork!!!

    I’m sitting here reading, being gobsmacked at the realization that these same couple of resale stores everyone is talking about must be chains, and for some reason I never even though chain resale stores existed.

    And I thought about the one really good resale buying experience I had at a store in my town, and how I needed a fall coat so badly but couldn’t afford new, so I braved the usually-skinny resale world and found one at this resale shop and literally cried in the car on the way home because I was so happy that they’d had a jacket and it was big enough to fit me, since I had always avoided resale stores precisely because they never had anything big enough.

    And then I finally put the two together, and went to see if it was part of a chain, and it’s a plus-sized chain, y’all. Or at least if it’s not a chain, several resale stores around the country have converged on the same name. Try looking for a Queen’s Closet – I found about 4-5 in different states just in the first google page results.

  60. I just want to encourage you all to twitter, facebook and otherwise share this post and call out Plato’s Closet. We used to shop at their Once Upon a Child stores a lot until I figured out it was a thousand zillion times cheaper to get stuff at the thrift store still they were a good place to stop if I knew my kid needed a white dress shirt and I didn’t want to run all over town looking for one. Now I think I may just (gasp!) pay retail because until they address this appropriately, I don’t want to give them anymore of my money.

  61. OMG! Not only has that happened to me, it happened to my husband AT Plato’s Closet. My husband is 6’2″ and a grown man and he was taken aback by their size issues.

    We both worked at Gap Inc., Direct (Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy’s online headquarters) so we had tons of great merchandise that we were cleaning out of our closets seasonally. He took his jeans, pull-overs, etc. there, all great condition (because he’s an adult) size XL, XXL and they told him “we don’t take clothes of a certain size.” You mean to tell me there are no teenage boys who wear a XL? With the whole baggy clothes look being in at the time? REALLY? This was before the super-tight Zack Efron look. I couldn’t believe it.

    I’ve gone in there with my name brand/designer items and was treated rudely and then told, “we don’t take these sizes here, you can go over to our other store for women and maternity.” Um, Maternity? These are size 16/18 clothes, not maternity you ***ch. I’m 5’9″, a plus model so my stuff is on point, but that’s not the point – why do they have to be such douches?

    These are women with issues folks, serious issues…

  62. each time I hear a story like that… it eats me up inside and reopens a wound that was long time closed.

    Very often this has been my reaction, but this morning, I got pissed off. That’s it! Sick of the world kicking people. So, what, your white skinny friend legitimizes objectively the same size clothing? WTF? Seriously, how is this a fucking case by case basis proposition? They either sell that size or they fucking don’t.

    If I go on a fat woman rampage, screaming through the streets demanding we start considering Results Typical, will I keep my head in the news at eleven?

  63. I used to help run an underground anarchist punk bar (it’s closed now, sadly) , and we brought new furniture in constantly, at least on a bi-weekly basis. Even the most trashiest and ugliest stuff we would take, especially since couches never survived more than two or three months in that place, anyway.

    The again, in the city in which I live, it’s normal to just put out your old furniture on the street. Somebody will without a doubt take it, and I have in fact not payed for a single item in my fully-furnished flat (and I have nice things!) And no, I’m not recommending that, since it will probably just clutter ut the streets in cities without this particular recycling culture, but if you want to give your old stuff away, you could put up notes in supermarkets, cafés and such or, if you live in a fairly big city, check you if you have any DIY places that would take it.

  64. Just saying: Alice is fabulous. Snarky is fabulous. Plato’s Closet should be ashamed.

    I’ll look into donating clothes to local shelters. I tend to donate mine to a great local resale shop (Brown Elephant in Chicago) and their money goes to Howard Brown, an LGBT health institute that rocks. They sell stuff at Goodwill prices, and they often don’t have nearly enough plus-size clothing (I wear 18-20 now, and recently gave away a lot of 14-16). Plus, I get a tax write-off…not that it’s made a difference yet, but maybe it will someday if I make more than peanuts! And it’s good for the soul.

  65. When I was the traditional broke college student (up until a few months ago), I went shopping at similar stores near my school. I always had problems finding sizes 10+ because, you know, most women aren’t above a size 8. Come on! It didn’t help that I would end up going with my “skinny” friends and they would always come out with multiple items while I came out with nothing but being pissed.
    Do we not need clothes? In general, college students tend to be above a size 8, so I would think that those near a college would want clothes that would fit them.
    I now donate my clothes to a homeless shelter, and though I don’t get money from it, people who need clothes are getting them.

  66. Like Kelly upthread, I hadn’t even CONSIDERED that shops would be turning away plus sized clothes. Plus-sized thrifting has always been sparse and annoying, but I always put that off to:

    1) People who wear plus sizes hold onto their clothing for much longer, because it was hard to find. As a result, less of it makes it to thrift stores.

    2) There is very little good plus sized clothing available at retail, so expecting good stuff to filter into the thrift stores is overly optimistic. Hey, my local Value Village mostly has matronly floral-covered fugly stuff in the higher-sized racks.

    3) When good plus sized clothing does somehow hit the thrift stores, it gets snatched up IMMEDIATELY. Lord knows when I find something nice, I just about go flying to the cash register screaming “MINE MINE MINE” like a plump seagull.

    …the thought that this is a purposeful clothing rejection makes me feel sick to my stomach. And then it pisses me off. And then it makes me want to find all these jackasses and YELL AT THEM. A lot.

    @Kelly: I thought fat people just didn’t dress well or vintage or punk – the way I *want* to dress but can’t bring myself to. I am just now realizing how these experiences have shaped me as a very frumpy dresser.

    We are sisters in futile frump, we are. I spent SO many years convinced that I was doomed to beige and black, completely incapable of dressing awesomely because of my size, because I had no way of knowing where or how to get awesome punk-goth-geek stuff. I went from dressing like my mom, to dressing like a MAN, because I thought the only ‘cool’ clothing that could fit me was found in the guy sections of stores. I avoided many stores because I had the mistaken impression that ‘nothing would fit me’. Turns out that plenty would fit me. I had just spent so long getting burned, that I didn’t dare try any longer.

    I STILL don’t feel like I’ve got a place with the rest of the Fatshionistas. My sense of style is… not atrophied, but late-blooming. My resources have finally opened up, but I’m still COMPLETELY IN LOVE with having bright-colored t-shirts and bright-colored hoodies, and I dare not post a picture of my outfits that make me feel fab because they lack in belts/style/WTFever else. Apparently t-shirts aren’t FASHION. Harumph. (My impression may be entirely wrong, but some “ugh t-shirts aren’t stylish” commentary I got one day has… turned me off considerably. I am completely open to having my perceptions adjusted!)

  67. I’m just always a little amazed by this. Since statistics now tell us that 67% of Americans are now overweight, you would think that it would be in the financial best interests of a store to stock items for the majority of their patrons.

    I know, they will probably say that they don’t have patrons that large, and I say, if you offer it, they will come…and buy, and tell their friends.

    I have had a similar experience with selling books…I read romance novels, and taking them to my used book seller often gets disdain…until I go to the more mainstream one. Again…romance is the best selling of the genre fiction categories, but it keeps getting pushed farther and farther to the back of the store.

  68. Lord knows when I find something nice, I just about go flying to the cash register screaming “MINE MINE MINE” like a plump seagull.

    *helpless giggling*

  69. Spinsterwitch, since you can apparently be a size six and overweight, according to the New and Improved BMI, I’m not sure we can use Obesity Epidemic BOOGA BOOGA stats to judge marketshare. Mainly because they’re fucking insane.

    Grafton – It’s going in my calendar. RAAAAAWWWWWRRRR!

  70. “I was actually asked if my clothing was stolen.”

    I shouldn’t be surprised anymore at what people think are acceptable things to say to others. But I am every time. And perhaps it’s mean spirited of me, but when you said they had closed down, it did my mean little heart good.

  71. Lampdevil –

    Everything you said times one hundred. I am in the same boat. You can email me your t-shirt Fatshion by the way. I will support you like the delicate, fledgling fat little eaglet you are.

  72. Since the average woman is a size 12, is it possible that plato’s closet wasn’t buying because there is an existing overstock of that size? Can any of this be explained by supply/demand? Companies that build policy around discrimination lose market share and won’t last forever. Also, I’m not sure if I’m reading it correctly, but did Barbie go back to the same store and deal with the same person?

  73. Grafton – It’s going in my calendar. RAAAAAWWWWWRRRR!

    I can’t wait! When is it?

    I imagine fat women everywhere going out to eat large hearty meals in public, flipping the bird and waving their bits at anybody who glares at them, responding with irritation and sarcasm to anyone who says some dumb thing about it, then going to the shops and picking out everything in the store they like and taking it up to the counter to say, “Got this in my size? How about this? You ignorant fuckers! I’m average! (or less above average percentage-wise than a size 6 is below, or whatever the case may be).”

    And whatever other forms of ontological terrorism you can think up…

    Clearly Global Fat Woman Rampage Day needs to be planned, so we can arrange stipends for poorer fat women to celebrate, and so everybody can call in fat at work.

  74. Since the average woman is a size 12, is it possible that plato’s closet wasn’t buying because there is an existing overstock of that size? Can any of this be explained by supply/demand? Companies that build policy around discrimination lose market share and won’t last forever. Also, I’m not sure if I’m reading it correctly, but did Barbie go back to the same store and deal with the same person?

    It could be explained in a variety of ways, but since I’m all about some Occam’s Razor, I’m going to go with the simplest explanation – racism, sizeism and good old classism.

    Look, I live in a state with a pop of 600k and we have ONE PC. So just how many people do you think work in this place?

  75. My local Plato’s Closet turned down my size 18 Lane Bryant clothes & told me they don’t carry that brand. They were happy to take my designer samples that were XL or 18 (yes, larger sized samples exist, I was shocked). I looked around the store to see if I wanted store credit, but they didn’t carry anything above a large in the Women’s clothing. I assume they bought the samples because they looked smaller.

  76. I’ve been lurking happily for months now, but decided to finally comment on this post.

    The same thing happened to me about 4 years ago when I was a sophomore in college. I was trying to sell back 16’s or maybe 18’s, new never been worn clothes from Gap and Old Navy, and the sales girl spat out “we don’t take these sizes” so rudely that I ended up in tears in the parking lot. I’m a pretty tough girl, and I’m usually happy with myself, but to this day that’s been one of the cruelist, most humiliating “fat” related experiences of my life. And every single time I see a commercial for/pass by a Plato’s Closet I think of it.

    I think there’s just something about clothes shopping that make us normally happy fatty’s more susceptable to humilation/shame.

  77. EmeraldCat: I live just a hop, skip, and a big leap from Beacon’s Closet, and while I have never sold anything to them (or tried to), my friend had a very shitty experience there. She moved twice; the first time, she took stuff, sold most of it, and made money. The second time, about a year and a half later, the woman picked through her stuff like it was infested and offered her something like a dollar for one expensive sweater. She then told her that they would be happy to take all the rest of her clothes to “donate.” My friend told her that she could keep the dollar and that she would donate the clothes to people in need herself, as she had a feeling that if she donated them through the store, they would end up being donated into the store’s inventory.

    After reading the OP about this Plato’s Closet place, I can say I would sooner wear a set of stitched together dish towels then ever buy anything from them (should I never stumble across one).

    Alice’s daughter: If you happen to end up reading this, I hope you understand that the problem is with them and not with you. It is hard to be confronted with such disgusting sizeism at any age, but when you are in the teen-ish period of life…it can be a self-esteem killer. (((internet hugs if you want them)))

    Snarky, the story you have shared makes my skin crawl. I second whomever upthread suggested that one of the major news outlets snap you up for investigative journalism. Too many people out there are cloaked by their privilege (myself included, though I am constantly on the look out these days), and don’t believe this kind of thing really goes on. Thank you for telling us about your experience, even though we all would rather it never happened in the first place :(

  78. I had basically the same experience with both the Monroeville, PA and Ross Park, PA Plato’s Closets. It’s been hard for me to go back, but they do often have my size in nice items for good prices. I just won’t sell things there, because they won’t buy from me. :(

  79. I vote for making Global Fat Woman Rampage Day a weekly event. Really. I need this. Or at a least a name for the crazy I inflict on others at least once a week.

  80. Oh come on, who are you kidding? You fatties don’t have the energy to rampage for a day! Maybe you could have the Global Fat Woman Rampage Minute, followed by donuts and orange crush.

    My name is Rickey and I was banned by Snarky. Also I am a tool.

  81. Ooh, look, a troll. Special.

    Anyway, this is just appalling and stupid…I have in the past attempted to shop and/or sell clothes at PC, but the lack of double-digit sizes wasn’t exactly conducive to that. Could it be because they turn down brand fucking new Abercrombie cords in a size 12, for example? Business model fail.

    Along those lines, though, I looked at their website, and it seems that each store is an individually owned franchise, so it might be useful to sent any letters of displeasure to local stores as well as to the corporate office.

  82. I only ever went to Plato’s Closet once. My ex-gf loved Plato’s Closet; she’s 5’2″ on a good day, and a size nothing. Tiny little skinny woman. She told me I absolutely HAD to go shopping with her sometime, and dragged me off to Plato’s Closet with her. I felt incredibly out of place, got dirty looks from the salespeople for contaminating their precious secondhand store with my death fatz (mind you, I’m an inbetweenie, and was probably wearing a 12/14 at the time), and could find not one. single. thing. that fit me there. She was so perplexed when we left. I had to remind her, that in the fashion world, I don’t exist. Boutique stores are for people like her, not people like me. I don’t think she ever quite understood why I didn’t like going clothes shopping with her…because she could, and did, shop at all the trendy stores while I just wandered around and looked at accessories, because those were the only things I had a prayer of ever fitting into.

  83. Rickey, I haven’t been reading the comment threads much. Are you someone we know who is using sarcasm for humour? Or did you slip through moderation so that we could bash upon your ignorance?

  84. Heh. Y’all are faster with the keyboard than I am.
    In which case, let me just say. I’m leaving the frakkin’ babies alone. In honor of rampage, I’m moving to Troll Souffle. Douchebags of the world, SAUTE.

  85. I want my Rampage Donuts with Diet Coke, thankyouverymuch.

    Haven’t you heard? It’s the fattie drink of choice!!

  86. Really, I think Rickey must be a closet FA supporter who’s been nice enough to volunteer himself as a practice target for testing the efficacy of the Rampage.

    And iced tea for me, please!

  87. I don’t know killedbyllamas… Rickey’s got that stock insults thing going on, and, well, going after that kind of target ends up being like shooting fish in a barrel. Sure, the explosions are fun at first, but it isn’t long before you’re bored with the complete lack of challenge and your fish is all in little bits, anyway.

    Besides, Rickey’s not so much a troll as an insect in a troll suit. C’mon, Encyclopedia Dramatica?

    I’ll take coffee with cream as my Rampage drink of choice, thanks!

  88. Renatus, true, he was very boring. That was pretty much the cleverest response I could come up with, and it instantly vaporized the barrel. I totally did not notice the Encyclopedia Dramatica, though, which explains it.

  89. I support the Orange Crush part of the douchehound’s plan! Mmm, artificial orange. (Did you know that they’ve been taking it out of the fountain machines of most fast food places around here? Ferserious! McDonalds has even stopped providing their questionable-but-delicious ‘orange drink’! This makes me a sad appliance.)

    I am all for rampaging. I’m GOOD at rampaging. BRING ON THE RAMPAGE!!!

  90. Rickey – you are everything we all secretly dream of – help us out of our torment you wonderfully hilarious, witty and gentlemanly dreamboat. If only we all had Rickey to ourselves….

    For an hour, in a darkened room, with sharpened pointy things.

  91. Snarky, your experiment is an excellent one. I’ve never tried to resell clothing at a consignment shop, but it seems like posters here who have share the same frustrations. So here’s a thought: why not document the experiments?

    Seriously. Someone oughta fire up a WordPress site and take pictures of the clothes, the attempted seller, etc. Would they buy from a caucasian fatty? A black fatty? Any fatty at all?

  92. If y’all need any help on the Fat Woman Rampage, I’ll be happy to go over to my local medical center, which is normally very good about the HAES thing. I got a H1N1 vaccine today. it was part of the mass immunization clinic, which meant we just stood in line, showed our card, and then proceeded over to the nurse station. When I got there, I asked to get my shot on the right arm instead of the left. The nurse said “You’re pregnant”. I said, very matter of factly, “No, I’m fat”. Both nurse and I were in-betweenies, I’m in the size 12-14 range. I do carry my weight in my belly, but you would think that a nurse of all people would know that a 40something large woman with a belly is not necessarily pregnant. Epic fail.

  93. I had a similar experience at a consignment shop for adult women. They didn’t have “high demand for plus-sized clothes” customers. Hum, if ya never carry them- than how to do expect to have high-demand! Well, in that case my local “Dress for Success” was happy to see the size 24 suits and outfits. And, in the end, I liked to see the clothes go to them.
    From what I have heard all Plato’s Closets are similar to this experience. We all know why they do it..Fat scares them. And fat scares the girls and the girl’s moms who shop there. Even though we know that most teenagers are not sized 4 & 6 (or if they are, they shouldn’t be!) The only answer is to not shop there!

  94. Emsy, great idea! Even better…open our own consignment shop for hard-to-find sizes. Under 4, over 12, talls and petites, thats it!

  95. @ Lampdevil – for just a split second there I thought “ferserious” was some SAT word with which I was unfamiliar. “The removal of Orange Crush from fast food soda fountains is a ferserious scandal!” Or maybe a Dickens character. Either way, I was highly-amused, so thanks!

    Also wanted to fourth or fifth the Re/Dress love. I live about two blocks away and as a result of this thread just went and used up all my store credit and then some. Purple legwarmers!

  96. @FatTatGirl: I also prefer Diet Coke with my baby-flavored donuts. It’s still my post-ED beverage of choice (I guess a lifetime of dieting might be the explanation for that), and it cancels out the calories, don’tchaknow!

  97. @ Amy: People come in all different shapes and sizes, as you very well know. I’m a happy and proud size 12 (wouldn’t trade my ‘girls’ for the world), but I have a younger sister who’s a size 2, and it’s entirely natural. She eats just fine and is an athlete, like me. I take after my mom (tall and curvy). She takes after my dad (short and petite). To say some teenagers shouldn’t be a size 4 or 6, although I think I know where you’re coming from, is kind of offensive.

  98. Last summer I advertised a ‘Plus-Size Closet Sale’ on Craigslist. I rounded up everything I couldn’t wear (mostly 18/20 – 22/24), wrote a good ad with lots of buzzwords (Coldwater Creek! Suede Pants!) hung everything on hanging racks in my family room, and made appointments for women to come shop.

    I got about a dozen shoppers total, spending anywhere from $20 (lowest) to $200 (highest) and I made just over $400 total. I didn’t price anything individually, I just told the women to pull everything they wanted and I’d make them a deal on the lot. My ‘closet sale’ culminated in a 2-day yardsale for all my other junk, where I sold 80% of what was left. Most of what was left (not much, really) went to Goodwill, with just a few nicer pieces held back for next summer’s yardsale.

  99. Christine, I LOVE the idea of a ‘plus size closet sale’ and may try it myself.

    Here’s a big F-U to Plato’s Closet. If I ever pass by your store, I’ll make sure to keep on walking.

    There’s a consignment store chain in California, and I think they also have stores in Oregon and Washington, called Buffalo Exchange. On three separate occasions, I’ve tried to sell my good clothes to them (ladies’ size 16-18 pants & jeans, and women’s size 18-20 tops), and all 3 times, my clothes were rejected. The only thing they ever bought from me were a $50 pair of Puma sneakers for $14. I’ve boycotted the Buffalo for years for this reason (rejection of clothes; not for lack of paying a reasonable price for a good pair of known label shoes), and prefer to give my clothes to women’s shelters and the DARE program.

  100. most teenagers are not sized 4 & 6 (or if they are, they shouldn’t be!)

    Wha?! Plenty of my friends in high school were in the 4-6 range and were perfectly healthy and normal teenagers.

  101. Yeah, I don’t understand the “most teenagers are not sized 4 & 6 (or if they are, they shouldn’t be!)” statement, either. There are lots of grown-ass women (like my mother!) who wear those size clothes, so it kind of goes to follow that they were at one time … teenagers.

  102. I find it helpful to keep muttering under my breath when shopping with friends: It is not my job to fit your clothing. It is your clothing’s job to fit me.

    Rinse and repeat…

  103. I’m an inbetweenie. I haven’t had a lot of experience selling back clothes, but I wanted to give another good-store-with-all-sizes shout-out: Second Glance in Corvallis, Oregon. I was focused on my own sizes, of course, but they had stuff too big for me as well as too small.

  104. Ok, so I’m checking out their website now, and their site says from 0 to 16, although it doesn’t specify what subsection that falls under.

    Then under their “Most Wanted” section, there’s the brands that they look for. Out of all the brands there, only about 3 or 4 sells “plus sized” (read, NOT) clothing. So we already know the deal. They don’t want the business of fatties.

  105. Not much consolation to a teen, perhaps, but someday soon she may understand that folks who look down on another person’s size are folks not worth of the energy required to raise a middle finger. And young women who receive the gift of too many new clothes to keep at one time can surely find ways to take revenge…by living well. You don’t have to love this fucked up planet to love your own life. Feel pity for the petty minds that have such poverty of thought and spirit and pleasure…how empty they must feel to judge another based on size.

  106. On Global Fat Woman Rampage Day, I *will* finally speak out against my co-workers who are constantly bashing a fat co-worker behind her back. I always miss one beat too many thinking about how to tell them to stop it, or I’m simply afraid to speak up. :|

    On topic – I simply don’t go thrifting, ever, because I’m afraid it’ll be an exercise in futility that’ll just depress me.

    YellowValkyrie, way upthread, you said:
    but don’t forget to TELL THEM you won’t be fucking shopping there. Otherwise, they’ll remain convinced that plus size women aren’t a customer base they should be concerned about.

    I’m sort of wondering how to go about that. I wear EU size 43 shoes, and women’s shoes tend to stop at 41 or 42. Sometimes I run into the situation where a brand does *make* shoes in my size but stores here simply won’t stock them (which is fucking weird considering that the Dutch are among the world’s tallest people and taller people tend to have slightly bigger feet). I’ve tried asking store employees why but their responses are generally rude and not at all emphatic. I can tell them “Well, FINE, I hope you realize that your response has just lost you a customer”, but they’re not getting my money anyway because they don’t cater to my size, so why would they care?

  107. @lucizoe, sorry to have confused you! The English language is delightfully malleable, and I like squishing it around for entertaining effect. You make a very good point, “ferserious”, when glanced at quickly, DOES have a Dickensian tinge to it…

    No orange beverage?! ‘Tis a ferserious scandal, indeed! *faint*

    This thread has inspired me to check out any local consignment shops that I can find. I want to survey their inventory range! I did spend some time at one over on the west side of the city, and they did have a plus-sized section… I’ll have to check if they’re even still open. It was a nice little spot.

  108. Snarky, as I see it, it’s not that Plato’s Closet wouldn’t take your clothes because of their size (or yours), it’s that they wouldn’t take their clothes from you. After all, you had multiple experiences where the clothes were just fine when a white woman brought them in, but not acceptable when you did.

    Which means they aren’t doing business with people of color.

    Which is kind of a civil rights problem, them being a public accommodation and all, and the Constitution forbidding discrimination in public accommodations.

    Forget writing letters to corporate HQ (or, rather, don’t; it’s a good way to prove that you’ve asked for redress and made them aware of the issue). Get in touch with someone who knows something about civil rights enforcement. That could be a local consumer-protection agency, a local civil rights group, a local law school (and don’t forget law libraries!), the state attorney general’s office, or the US Attorney’s office. Even one of those local-news “5 On Your Side” type of reporters. Document, document, document.

    Make it a big embarrassment for them, as well as a PR nightmare. Fat discrimination they can handwave, but racial discrimination makes for bad business.

  109. @Stacey Stardust, fellow Dutch woman here, with European shoesize 44: yeah, the best I can hope for in most shoe shops are brightly coloured sneakers. There are a few shops that have women’s shoes above size 42, like Caland Schoenen in Rotterdam, but those are very expensive

  110. Yeah, I don’t understand the “most teenagers are not sized 4 & 6 (or if they are, they shouldn’t be!)” statement, either. There are lots of grown-ass women (like my mother!) who wear those size clothes, so it kind of goes to follow that they were at one time … teenagers.

    Yep. I’m another one. If I eat a generally balanced diet when I’m hungry, stop eating when I’m full, and do some fun exercise a couple of times a week, my weight is stable and puts me at a size 4/6 (at 5 feet tall, age 31). My hips have grown since I was a teenager, so actually I wore a smaller size back then. We do exist, and for many of us, this is exactly the size we should be.

  111. And topic? These PC experiences are appalling. I’m glad I’ve never set foot in one of them. I certainly never will, although I’m kind of curious to know if they’d buy clothes from a short, large-breasted, kind of nerdy woman who, due to Latina heritage, looks “almost normal” (comment from very, very white former co-worker known for putting his foot in his mouth).

  112. Someone may have already mentioned this, but just in case:

    Suited for Change (similar to Dress for Success) in DC has a monthly boutique sale, which is open to the public-proceeds go to support their mission. I have yet to attend one, but they may have a decent selection.

  113. FWIW, I initially read Amy’s “Even though we know that most teenagers are not sized 4 & 6 (or if they are, they shouldn’t be!)” as meaning:

    “Even though we know that teenagers should come in a wide range of sizes, and if the vast majority of teenagers really were sized 4&6, that would probably mean that a number of those 4’s and 6’s were artificially holding down their weight.”

    Of course, she very well may have meant it exactly the way previous posters read it. Now that I see what others commented in response, it does sound a lot more like, “Teenagers ought not be thin,” which is no good.

  114. Going back to the refused couch issue: at least here in the UK, there is a real problem in selling second hand upholstered furniture, even if in good condition, because fireproofing legislation has tightened up so much in recent years that second hand furniture sellers or those supplying furniture for refuges etc are actually breaking the law if they pass on older items that don’t comply with modern guidelines. Therefore the only legal option here is to give it way via Freecycle or similar. Maybe this is also a factor in the US, although I completely agree with the “if it’s not good enough to keep, it’s not good enough to give” principle.

    And Snarky, I am really sorry about your experience.

  115. lampdevil – on the “I’m not fitting in with the fatshonistas” thing, neither am I. I have cargo and cotton pants to wear to work, I wear jeans all the time otherwise (except when I’m in my sweatpants or my jammies), and last spring was the closest I got to being in tune with fashion trends, because polo shirts were apparently “in” for women. I bought – no lie – 7 of them, to supplement the 4 I already had. That’s enough for me to wear a different one each day of the week in warm weather and not have to do laundry. This is what constitutes fashion planning in my life. Which is what I want, since my goals are to be 1) comfortable and b) neat.

    I’m all for the fatties of the world buying awesome clothes, looking fabulous, dressing to the tens, and I give full-throated support to demanding better clothing options for people of larger sizes. However, my personal clothing choices are mine, and I won’t be made to feel guilty that I don’t dress up more, whether by female coworkers who give me the cold glares over my wardrobe, or some internalized pressure that tries to make me feel like a failure as an FA advocate because I like my cargos and polo shirts*.

    DRST
    * – I imagine the judgmental voice in my head is looking for new options now that the body shaming line of attack is no longer so foolproof, so now it’s shifted gears to shaming me for not being a good enough fat person. *headdesk*

  116. Thanks Snarky, I’ve been feeling particularly awful about clothes lately. Hours and hours and hours of scouring websites looking for something and then it comes and doesn’t actually fit or remotely match their sizing charts, and lately I’ve been feeling it’s me that’s wrong and not the clothes.

    That and I have to walk by stupid Brooks Brothers every morning and see their itty bitty mannequins sporting clothing I wouldn’t have been able to fit in when I was 10, let alone now.

    Also, I can get you a toe by 3 o’clock. With nail polish.

  117. The only time I waver on my commitment to non dieting and body acceptance is when I go clothes shopping. It’s a huge trigger for me. Its there whether or not there are shallow asshats working and/or shopping in the store. Its the one time I really start judging my body, and second guessing my choice to not try and change it.

    It hurts to know that some people actually are as judgmental and bigoted as we fear them to be.

  118. @DRST – There’s always some way we can be letting someone down, eh? (Pardon my while I snort and roll my eyes. Stupid voice in the back of our heads.) We CAN preach for the virtues of exercise and accessible fashiony clothes in plus sizes, while we choose not to indulge in them ourselves. And that’s a good thing to remember. I think I’d better write it down somewhere, so I can remind myself…

    I DO sort of try to indulge in being Fashion-y, though. It’s just that I’ve got an odd sense of what constitutes “fashionable”, which is likely a vestigial leftover of dressing like a skater dude. I’m more of a subdued skater chick. Which I don’t see much of in the Fatshionista group, which makes me hesitant to post. Most of what I see there is waaaay dressier than I get. It’s NICE, but it’s not me.

  119. @DRST – I’m with you on the clothing issue, which means that some of my friends are always trying to get me to dress more trendy or different/get a different haircut/wear makeup/whatever. Most of the time, I just don’t care. I view it as a choice issue.

  120. Annimal and DRST –

    I definitely lean towards the comfortable end spectrum of clothing, though it is often perceived as stylish by others, when it’s generally been my experience that being really stylish often involves being really uncomfortable all day long.

  121. @Stacia — Yep, that’s definitely a trigger for me. I also don’t like the look of harsh fluorescent lighting, either.

    I just went to Macy’s last night looking for some sales, in fact. And it WAS triggering, although I was lucky enough to come out with an acceptable black denim jacket. But might I add that the overall quality of clothes — fabric, construction, etc. — seems as low as I can ever remember it right now. Department store stuff seems as cheaply made as discount store goods, and discount store stuff feels as disposable as Kleenex. I suspect that, in the recession, retailers are really killing it in manufacturing costs to hit a certain price point of mark-off-ability, and still keep their margins.

  122. I’m ready to learn how to sew. I even bought the sewing machine. I thought that that would be a way to have fashionable, comfortable clothes, and when it doesn’t fit, I’ll KNOW that the clothing, not my body, is the problem.

    But. Or And. I was naive. There’s still sizing to contend with, in the patterns: harder to find patterns for plus sizes, apparently. And I’m years away from knowing how to do much of anything, so resizing or adjusting a pattern just isn’t something that’s realistic.

    Still, in terms of long term goals, I have this hope that if I manage to actually learn to do this, in the long run, I’ll have fewer of those triggering shopping moments, more control over what I wear, and a cooler wardrobe.

  123. I always forget to say something when I hit “submit comment” …

    So: Duly noted to never darken the doorstep of Plato’s Closet! Done, and done. I never even heard of them before, and now they will not hear of me. Unless I one day happen upon such a store, get full of piss and walk in to say loudly, “Do you have anything in a … size 14?” I’m sure a shudder would pass through the room at the mention of such unpleasantness. Tee hee hee hee.

    Btw, I think Plato’s Closet is a dumb name for a store anyway. Plato?!? Wouldn’t he just be roaming around in toga robes? Why would he represent size-5 Abercrombie jeans?

  124. LivingTheQuestions – I have been sewing seriously for some time. I sew daily. And I am no slouch to sewing but making garments for myself has been challenging. I almost always succeed in sewing for my kids but when it comes to me… the body-hate starts in and I can’t bring myself to wear what I make. Right now I’m finishing a rockabilly mini-shift dress and so far – it fits! (Will I have the balls to wear it when I’m done is another question).

    A couple things to say about sewing:

    1. The pattern industry is actually way more standardized than the RTW (ready-to-wear) industry. When a pattern says a 38″ waist it really means it. Now, every body is different and especially fat bodies; so yeah, sewing for yourself if you’re not a fit model is actually rather tricky.

    2. Fit and alteration are hard if you want an exacting fit. Obviously the less complex a garment and the less fitted the silhouette, the skills in fitting yourself aren’t challenged as much. I’m sure we’ve all seen the crafster tutorials where you just slash and tie t-shirts; that involves less skill than making a shirtwaist dress for example.

    2. The online sewing groups I’ve been in are mostly female; they also are the least body-shaming group of females I’ve met. To sew for oneself one has to know one’s body and, in large part, this seems to help foster healthier attitudes.

    3. White, slender, young, (mid-to-upper class) women still win most of the blog views and sewing contests I’ve seen. This kind of makes me crazy but, oh well.

    I hope I’m not derailing the conversation here… Since it is about fatshion I hope I’m not.

  125. @Kelly – *head nodding off* I have to say, my mom and her friends would sew a lot for each other, which I thought was interesting. I used to think it was just more interesting (or motivating) to sew for someone else, but who knows. They didn’t wear body conscious clothing, though.

  126. Yep. I’m another one. If I eat a generally balanced diet when I’m hungry, stop eating when I’m full, and do some fun exercise a couple of times a week, my weight is stable and puts me at a size 4/6 (at 5 feet tall, age 31).

    Same here. If I do the above, I’m generally around a 2–although with “size deflation”, that would have been a size 6 thirty years ago. But it’s awful to see people who’s setpoint is far higher trying to starve themselves down to that weight.

  127. hsofia, I thought you wrote “nodding off”, like my post was soooo boring! Which I know I can do, so, ha ha.

    Weirdly I think I am more motivated to sew for others; I feel like I usually know what someone else will like.

  128. Snarky: I definitely lean towards the comfortable end spectrum of clothing, though it is often perceived as stylish by others, when it’s generally been my experience that being really stylish often involves being really uncomfortable all day long.

    The great Quentin Crisp made a remark to the effect that fashion is what you adopt</i< when you don't know who you are, and style is what you develop when you figure it out.

    This probably explains how you came to be stylish, and Quentin Crisp’s hats.

  129. Snarky: I definitely lean towards the comfortable end spectrum of clothing, though it is often perceived as stylish by others, when it’s generally been my experience that being really stylish often involves being really uncomfortable all day long.

    The great Quentin Crisp made a remark to the effect that fashion is what you adopt when you don’t know who you are, and style is what you develop when you figure it out.

    This probably explains how you came to be stylish, and Quentin Crisp’s hats.

    Sorry, I was compelled to fix my italics-failure.

  130. @ Kelly, thank you, thank you for the dose of realism. Maybe best to learn to sew for the fun of it, and keep advocating for ready-to-wear clothes in plus sizes… if I ever get good enough to go off the ready-to-wear grid, and if that is what gives me joy, then that will be that moment.

    That, of course, means not leaving the party in this moment. I’m going to have to keep shopping. Sigh.

  131. I wished I had the patience for sewing. The only thing I ever made that I could actually wear in public was a pencil skirt from my childhood Star Wars rebel insignia sheets. I wore that thing until one day if finally jump off my body screaming and was last seen diving into a pile of rags.

  132. Yeah, I would love to be good enough at sewing to make my own stuff. Especially since I basically want the same three pieces of clothing in 6000 different fabrics. But I am many many many hours away from being able to make anything for myself without it creating a huge amount of mess and waste (of time and money). A project for the future, methinks.

  133. Of course this post is HORRIFYING, so I’ll get that out of the way. HORRIFYING. GAH!
    But I read through all the comments and didn’t see this brought up, so I thought I’d rant. I’m a size 12 adult, in general, but of course that means I own between a size 10 and size 16. I buy all of my stuff from thrift stores because I’m stingy and I find name brands at Salvation Army (Old Navy, New York and Co, Banana Republic, etc.) for 1/2 off on Wednesdays. I never have a problem with Salvation Army in my area (Harrisburg, PA) and they have a relatively large plus sized section. BUT I have a huge problem with Goodwill because they charge more for plus sizes, and start plus sizes at a size Large! WHY DO THEY CHARGE MORE? All the items were donated, so they can’t argue that it is a material cost… I no longer shop at Goodwill, or donate there. I’ve never had a problem donating to Salvation Army because I just hand them a box or bag full of stuff and they say thank you.

  134. BUT I have a huge problem with Goodwill because they charge more for plus sizes, and start plus sizes at a size Large! WHY DO THEY CHARGE MORE? All the items were donated, so they can’t argue that it is a material cost…

    Because they can get more. Their thrift stores do not exist to provide people with a source of cheaply priced goods. The thrift stores generate funds for job-training for undereducated and disabled people.

    I’m not really saying it’s cool for them to charge more for plus sized stuff. Just, well, their pricing isn’t ever about material cost, all the stuff is free to them.

  135. They could accomplish the same goal of earning money by charging more for new or name brand clothing, which does not discriminate against anyone as that would be a matter of personal preference.

  136. They could accomplish the same goal of earning money by charging more for new and name brand clothing. That does not discriminate against anyone and still helps those who need it.

  137. Mine does that. I don’t know if they charge more for plus sizes. I know that some of the Goodwill stores in town are more expensive than others. There’s one that’s hard to get to and seems to charge half what the biggest one does.

    I am not keen to donate to Goodwill, because I think their CEOs are paid far more than is justified in the context of a non-profit. I give my stuff to the ARC instead. I don’t have women’s clothing to give away but my neurologically-disordered-or-mentally-ill-people’s group has been collecting stuff to give to the women’s shelter lately. I think that’s probably the best place for all your really nice things. They have a harder time getting donations, too, since they don’t just have drop-off spots and they have security issues (I have to make an appointment to drop things off).

  138. I despised Plato’s Closet, and this just gives me more reason. To me a lot of the problems arise when you have a perfect storm of shitty factors- they are often run by super young women, sometimes as young as 15/16, who are usually very into fashion and name brands, and as we all know the fashion industry, especially the name brand teen/young adult industry, isn’t generally very diverse in terms of size. So you go in there and these bored unto death that they have to like, serve customers, ew! young women are running the whole show, and there is usually only two of them in there, I’m never sure if either is a manager or if anyone is in charge, and they just kind of seem to decide on a whim what something is worth. I’ve been there three times and twice I’ve seen them hatefully tell a late 20’s looking, maybe early 30’s looking woman “these are totally out of style, we can’t take any of them” and then when the woman leaves they have loudly made fun of how out of date, out of touch, ridiculous, whatever she it. I’ve had to wait while one girl finished sending a text message before she’d check me out. Another girl was trying on clothes while she was working and locked herself in one of the two dressing rooms for oh.. 25 minutes. It feels like being in high school again, and I hate that at the age of 26 such young women- girls, really- can make me feel so damn insecure. The whole thing is awful.

    I will say however, that I wear junior sizes ranging from 10-13, and I’ve never had trouble finding clothes there, and it seemed like a good half the rack was 14-18. Of course, this is still juniors, so it’s not a very good range, but that’s been my experience. I’m with the other commenters on here that you should report it as discriminatory, threaten to sue, or stage a protest with big inflammatory signs right outside their store.

  139. This happened to me once in my college days where I tried to sell my clothes to Plato’s closet and they accepted one single tshirt out of the lot because my clothes were “outside of our store policy size range”.

  140. WOW. I’ve never heard of Plato’s Closet but if I ever end up living by one, I will be sure never to go there, and I will tell everyone I know to do the same.

    My foot acquainted Rickey’s ass with the curb. Godspeed, cheesy troll! – LOVE IT.

  141. Btw, I think Plato’s Closet is a dumb name for a store anyway. Plato?!? Wouldn’t he just be roaming around in toga robes? Why would he represent size-5 Abercrombie jeans?

    I’m sure it’s a reference to Platonic Ideals, the perfect form of something that the real thing is merely a pale imitation of. But my Platonic ideal of a consignment shop is one that isn’t sizeist and racist, so, fail!

  142. I’m sure it’s a reference to Platonic Ideals, the perfect form of something that the real thing is merely a pale imitation of. But my Platonic ideal of a consignment shop is one that isn’t sizeist and racist, so, fail!

    Somehow I doubt they were thinking that deeply when they named the chain. Just a hunch.

  143. I have Plans for when I next get employed. I’m going to write up a letter which reads something like this:

    Dear Fashion Chain Store Manager,

    Hi. You don’t know me, but I’m female, and I earn [amount1] per annum. I have a disposable income of [amount2] per annum. Unfortunately, while I’m sure you’d love to take at least some of this excess money off my hands, I won’t be spending any of it in your store. You see, I’m also a size 22 – 24, and your store doesn’t stock anything which fits me.

    If you, or your head office, would like to contact me regarding opportunities for obtaining some of my money, I’m contactable at [details].

    Sincerely

    [my name]

    ~~

    I’ll then print up about two or three dozen of those, and check out each and every fashion chain store at the nearest large mall to where I’m living to see whether there’s anything in any of them which would fit me, and if there isn’t, I’ll just hand a copy of the letter on to the manager of the shop. I figure it’ll be a nice quiet way of spending a Saturday or two. Maybe if enough of us do something similar, we’ll be able to make the point that yes, we’re out here, and yes, we actually have money to spend, and oh yes, we would like to be able to spend it on clothes buuuuuut

    If nothing else, it’s a nicely passive-aggressive way of getting my own back at snotty sales assistants who say things like “we don’t have anything in your size” (with the standard unsaid “you horrible bloated elephantine cow!” implied in their tone).

  144. Back to the gently worn and well-intentioned couch issue, bless your heart! I’m glad it was not wasted and that your sister got some good use out of it.

    But there are some people who do not have the sense God gave them. Or who just try to cheat.

    Before I became a Junior League dropout, I had to abide by the JL thrift shop rules, which were that we had to donate $100 worth of clothes (by thrift shop prices) to the thrift shop every year. Which was fine. It was a voluntary association and nobody made me join. Well, actually, my landlady made me join, but that’s a different story.

    But what amazed me was the crap members tried to donate. They didn’t get away with it, of course. You couldn’t donate stuff that was torn or stained. Honestly. If it wasn’t good enough for them to wear, what made them think poor people would want it?

    Not to mention that the JL thrift shop was a great place to shop for anyone. (Silk Michael Kors suit for $12? Oh yes.) The purpose of the shop was to 1. give those with modest means a place to buy nice clothes and 2. a way to raise money to fund JL projects. Who’s going to pay for crappy clothes?

    My donating philosophy now is if I wouldn’t wear something in its current state, it goes into the rag bag. If it’s OK to wear but I don’t want it any more, then it goes to Goodwill.

  145. I sew a lot, and for decades now,
    but I started when I was 14 because I refused to wear kids clothes any more and I couldn’t find anything adult to fit me. So I was wanting to do my own stuff RIGHT AWAY.

    My advice is to use your own stuff as a pattern: something you have where you like the fit. You don’t even have to like all of it; use 2 or 3 garments at once and Dr. Frankenstein the good parts together.
    Use something SIMPLE. One of the first things I made on my own was a big smock in woven (non-stretchy) fabric that I cut from an over-sized tee-shirt, made longer, added pockets, and wore as a dress.
    Use the cheapest fabric you can find. Be prepared to make mistakes and rework stuff (adding extra fabric if some thing’s too small, et c). Use big stitches that are easy to take out.
    When that simple garment with lots of corrections has reached the point where it works, take it apart, use it as a pattern and make it in a fabric you like. Try a different variation when you do it again (shorter sleeves, longer length, a different style of neckline based on another item you own and like).
    It’s ok to make mistakes. Make a lot of them. Every single one will teach you something.
    I hope this is helpful to would-be sewers out there and not ~too~ derailing.
    Good luck!

  146. I’ve never heard of Plato’s Closet, so I went to the website to check out the nearest locations to me (I live in NYC). Apparently, the stores in Jersey are in places I’ve never even heard of, and according to Wiki – 98%+ white demographics in those towns. Them seeing a minority would be a first, even a *GASP* fat minority, like me. Being a size 18/20, I have no interest whatsoever in that store and if I come across it, I’ll fuck around with the sales people a bit, rofl. I’ll stick to shopping at Jersey Garden’s FTF (Fashion To Figure), kthnxbai,

  147. @ Meg Thornton – It might be particularly helpful to include a list of items you might have bought that very day if they were avaliable in your size, with prices, and address that part to the store manager, who probably gets commission in one form or another. If it was me, because I am mean-spirited when I’m annoyed, I might even include an estimated total commission lost that day.

  148. I had an issue with a Plato’s closet once, too. But it wasn’t the sizes (or at least they didn’t say that), it was my mom’s stuff and they said it was too mature. Which was BS, it was pretty basic stuff, a lot with the tags still on it. Of course, I was fatter then than I am now, so that could have biased the idiots behind the counter.

    I sell to Re/Dress now. The money isn’t fantastic, but it’s not terrible. They’ll give you more in store credit than they will in cash and they’ll donate whatever you don’t sell if you want them to. And if you ask nicely they’ll tell you why they didn’t want certain items (ex: one shirt I tried to sell had some pilling on it, they were already overrun with denim skirts, that sort of thing…nothing mean).

  149. Wow. I had been wearing down on Plato’s Closet for a while, but this seals it. I’ve brought lots of very nice clothes in and had them rejected for “condition” issues when they were in a lot better shape-and I wear between 6 and 14 depending on the day of the week and the phase of the moon and the brand. What was almost a tearer for me was the day I went in with a LOT of very nice formal gowns, only worn ONCE, in great condition except for one had a very minor repair near the hem that was invisible unless you looked at it from two inches away because I’m a damn good seamstress. The salesgirl informed me in a very snotty tone that long dresses weren’t “in style” any more and the items were in “poor condition.” (Meanwhile, one dress I bought there had the zipper coming out, fer God’s sake.) The next week, I came back and they had a whole rack of floor-length evening gowns, which was when I realized I had committed the cardinal sin of wearing my Goth-y clothes rather than looking like a “normal” person. Well, the way Snarky’s was treated seals it-I had done a considerable amount of business with them in the past, but never again. BTW, I took my formal dresses to the Repeat Boutique in Ft. Collins, and they took all of them (and they are *very* picky about what they take RE: condition) with thanks.

    Elusis, I’m sorry to hear that about the Buffalo Exchange in Denver, as I had shopped there a couple of times, and really liked it. When did you last go there? Because when I went there on the 5th of January, they did have XL markers on at least a couple of the racks- I was eying a beautiful corset that was probably at least a size 16 or 18, and there were several really cool large-size dresses. My brother is friends with the manager (he lives right down the street from the store), so I think I might talk to him and have him put a bug in her ear about taking nicer plus-size stuff- I know I’ve definitely seen some WAY ugly small size stuff, so why not take cool plus-size?

  150. Wow, sorry to double-post but I am seconding what Kelly said about sewing your own stuff. I’ve been sewing seriously for about a year now, because even though I am “normal” sized, I have a very hard-to-fit body-wide ribcae + smallish boobs= very hard to find tops that fit right around the bust. Simplicity and McCall’s both have gorgeous plus-size patterns by Khalia Ali, and Butterick has a line from Connie Crawford called “today’s fit” that is absolutely great and easy as pie to fit to any shape or size of person. My mom is an 18/20 and she’s made several gorgeous garments for herself from plus-size patterns. Also, sizes 18-26 are considered “plus size”, not 12-16 (as I have been snottily told I am “plus size” in several boutique and mall stores), so the sizing is a LOT more realistic than RTW sizing. I’m not going to lie and say sewing is super-easy and a monkey could do it, but neither is it the incredibly difficult, almost superhuman feat many people tend to think it is. Start out with simple things like loose dresses and elastic or drawstring-waist skirts, and work your way up to tailored tops and business suits. Honestly, if you can follow directions and use a pair of scissors, you can sew. I was blessed enough to have my mom to teach me how to sew, but I realize that many people aren’t that lucky. In that case, I recommend online groups like Stitcher’s Guild (http://artisanssquare.com/sg/index.php), one of the most supportive and accepting groups I’ve ever had the privilege to be in on the Internet. They’ll help you A LOT, and if you ever have a question they’re more than willing to answer questions like how to make a dart or whatever. If you want to join, look me up-I’m Silly Seamstress on there. Sewing can give you what no store can (unless you’re mondo rich and can afford custom-made items, which I don’t think the majority of us can)-beautiful, unique clothes for a reasonable price that fit you very well and are *exactly* what you want.

  151. My former roomie had the same experience a few years ago. Great stuff. Gap, Old Navy, etc. Sizes maybe 8-12? She herself was maybe an 18 at that point, and got told her stuff was “too old.” It was maybe five-year old stuff, but in good taste and fantastic condition. But they wouldn’t take any of it. She was pissed, and the stuff want to Goodwill. Better there anyway, where it can do some good. Still.

    Meanwhile, I keep getting discount mailers from Express. EXPRESS. Um, hello Express? I’m about 220. And I’ve never. Even. Set Foot. In an Express. EVAH.

    Sometimes I wish I lived somewhere warm enough to go naked.

    P.S. Thanks to whoever mentioned Haiti. I’ve got an Act of Kindness project coming up for a class and have been thinking a lot about how to help Haiti. Clothes are a great idea!

  152. Putting aside the fat prejudice, Plato’s Closet policies just sound like bad business decisions. For many larger teens, it is a real struggle to find fashionable clothes – I’m sure there is plenty of money to be made for a business that recycles plus-sized popular clothing.

  153. I haven’t been able to access this site for a while because it was blocked at work (unblocked now, yay!) and I didn’t have Internet access at home until this month. So I’m still catching up on my reading.

    1) Snarky, this is a great post. My heart goes out to Alice’s daughter and I get all stabby when I think of how badly she was treated. (Also, I’m really enjoying all your posts.)

    2) Kate, FJ and SM…I love the new-look site. Its lovely. :-)

    3) One of my closest friends has a gf named Rickey (spelled like that too) and she is toxic. I wish Snarky could come over here to kick her ass to the curb too.

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