Could a fatty spend $150K on clothes if she wanted to?

So, yesterday, as the whole world was boggling over how Sarah Palin managed to spend $150,000 on clothes and accessories, I read this Slate piece, in which Nina Shen Rastogi goes on a pretend shopping spree at Saks and tries to do it herself. (In fact, she managed to, though $63,000 of that was jewelry.) And one of my first thoughts was, “I couldn’t do that if I wanted to, because they wouldn’t have enough stuff in my size.” Granted, Shen Rastogi was shopping “as” Sarah Palin, who obviously has no trouble finding things that fit at department stores. But it got me thinking.

So of course, being a fan of the online window-shopping, I had to determine just how much I could spend on high-end designer fat clothes if I were really trying. I didn’t limit myself, as Shen Rastogi did, to stuff that would actually be Palin-appropriate. (If I had, we’d have a much shorter list and lower number here). I just painstakingly went through everything available (online) in my size at the stores where Palin ran up the infamous bills — Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, and Barney’s — and picked out every single thing I would buy if neither money nor closet space were an object. I don’t know where the fuck I’m going to wear a dozen different evening dresses, but they’re pretty, and since I have unlimited funds in this fantasy, I probably also have loads of charity events and opera openings and whatnot to attend. 

I restricted myself to stuff I, personally, would wear — at least in theory. (I know some of the Anna Scholz stuff would look like ass on me because it’s too long-geared, for instance, but the shape is otherwise right for me. Unfortunately, a wide selection of plus petites is just as much a fantasy as having the money to afford all this.) Also, I could have run up a much bigger tab by really splurging on shoes and handbags, but the whole point is that I’m trying to see what I could get in terms of plus-size clothing. So I limited myself to 3 pairs of shoes and 3 bags at each store. I didn’t look at jewelry at all, so we can just pretend I spent $63,000 on that, too. 

Here’s the list:


Alice & Trixie Gwen kimono top, $350

Ellen Tracy silk charmeuse tank, $258

Lafayette 148 Johanna silk blouse, $219 (on sale)

Anne Klein silk blouse, $128 (on sale)

Lafayette 148 merino tank, $198

Ellen Tracy cashmere sweater, $338

Lafayette 148 merino turtleneck, $248

Ellen Tracy raffia mosaic jacket, $688

Tadashi chiffon party dress, $375

Tadashi shutter-pleated silk gown, $495

Alice and Trixie Cassandra dress, $415

Tadashi beaded silk gown, $495

James petite bootcut jeans, $207

Chetta B. silk crepe pants, $365

Magaschoni pinstripe pants, $390

Lafayette 148 herringbone skirt, $398

Magaschoni silk taffeta skirt, $465

Magaschoni merino pleat skirt, $325

Lafayette 148 Brinn silk skirt, $238.90 (on sale)

Jimmy Choo peep-toe slingbacks, $740

Ann Demeulemeester ankle boots, $995

Jonathan Kelsey ankle boots, $940

Valentino bow clutch, $895 (I have one kinda like this that I got for $6.99 during a Torrid half-off clearance sale; I’m sure they’re practically identical)

Chloe large Joan bucket bag, $1,670

Prada Vitello Mordore’a shoulder bag, $2,795

Total: $13, 720.90



Anna Scholz cashmere wrap cardigan, $800

Johnny Was embroidered tunic, $210

XCVI Hepburn jacket, $130

Melissa Masse Parker print dress, $225, and long leggings, $150 ($150 for FUCKING LEGGINGS?!? Wait, sorry, my inner Sarah Palin would not say that.)

Johnny Was empire waist silk blouse, $180

Another Johnny Was embroidered tunic, $218

Johnny Was blouse, $218, and tank, $48

Gayla Bentley ballet-neck dress, $250 and obi sash, $25 (we’ll pretend this wouldn’t be a mile too long for me)

Anna Scholz bird dress, $585

Melissa Masse shift dress, $275

NM oversized jacket, $315

Gayla Bentley sash dress, $190

Gayla Bentley tie shirtdress, $190

Gayla Bentley ruched collar coat, $475

Tenille White wrap dress, $525

Tenille White silk dupioni top, $550, and pants, $375

Gayla Bentley obi sash blouse, $185, and crepe pants, $185

Gayla Bentley floral-neck blouse, $450

Valentino bow bootie, $795

Christian Louboutin hidden platform bootie, $825

Christian Louboutin striped satin d’Orsay, $865

Bottega Veneta origami tote, $3,950

Tod’s Revered Picolla shoulder bag, $1,665

Leiber Humble the Penguin minaudier, $4,295

Total: $18, 741



Harari kimono top, $288

Sutton studio velour jacket, $228

Tadashi long cap-sleeve dress, $428

Tadashi beaded X-front dress, $488

Tadashi cap sleeve lace-bodice dress, $370

Sutton Studio bi-stretch cap sleeve dress, $149 (sale)

Lauren paisley jacket, $209

Jones NY dot jacquard jacket, $239

Eileen Fisher short wool jacket, $378

Anne Klein leather jacket, $329, mockneck top, $75, and ombre skirt, $119

Jones NY chintz trousers, $129

Lauren velvet skirt, $159, and long cardigan, $259

Sutton Studio wing collar jacket, $189, and pencil skirt, $95.99 (sale)

Sutton Studio notched-collar jacket, $165.99, and pencil skirt, $117.99 (sale)

Sutton Studio cashmere shrug neck sweater, $178.99

Anne Klein long funnelneck top, $65

Calvin Klein double-layer top, $88

Nanette Lepore corset booties, $395

Kate Spade Georgia pumps, $328

Stuart Weitzman Gigi pumps, $298

Mulberry large poppy drawstring bag, $1,795

Burberry trench belt leather tote, $1,795

Zac Posen trillium pleated leather tote, $1,450

Total: $10, 314.97


Oh wait, Barney’s doesn’t seem to carry plus sizes at all (at least not online). Which means I’m not buying shoes or bags there, either.

Total: $0


Add $63K in imaginary jewelry, and it’s $105,776.87, still well short of Palin’s and Shen Rostagi’s bills. 

What have we learned from all this? Well, first, I’m pretty sure I got a hell of a lot more clothes than Palin did for the money, because there’s no such thing as a multi-thousand-dollar suit for fat chicks (at least, not at those stores). If a fat woman were running for office at that level, she’d still be in suits that cost under $1,000, ’cause that’s all that’s out there. Some of the career wear for fatties is very well made and plenty expensive, but if you buy the only argument in support of Palin here — that women of her stature are expected to dress a certain way, and it costs that kind of money — then a fat woman who aspired to be a woman of Palin’s stature and look the part would be shit outta luck. 

And of course, it goes without saying that a woman who wears over a size 24 is already shit outta luck. Everything I’m saying here about upper-class fat women being shut out of dressing like their peers goes quadruple for fat women who are sized out of high-end department stores. 

Also, is Tadashi really the only fucking designer making plus-size evening wear? (What happened to Carmen Marc Valvo’s plus line?) There are loads of dresses that cost over $1,000 in Saks’s straight size section, and some a lot more than that, but only one over $500 in “Salon Z.” Again, if fat women want to move in the circles where women blow a couple thou on a dress for one night, we don’t even have the option of dressing to the same level. We’ve got to show up to our charity events and opera openings in gowns that don’t cost much more than the average bridesmaid’s dress. 

Now, real-world me is perfectly happy about this, since I’d like someone to shoot me if I ever think there’s a good reason to spend more than $500 on a dress. But fantasy-world me is pissed. I have all this pretend money, and I can’t even look the part, because someone decided that fat women don’t deserve fancy clothes. I mean, of course, with all that pretend money, I could hire a pretend tailor to make whatever I wanted, which is probably exactly what fat women who are loaded do. And of course, pretend bespoke is way more awesome than pretend off-the-rack anyway. But the point is, a fat woman could not spend $150,000 on clothes at those four department stores if she wanted to. (I didn’t actually do the math, but I bet if you added up every item available in plus sizes, you wouldn’t hit $150,000.) And in an abstract, will-never-fucking-affect-me way, that really blows.

71 thoughts on “Could a fatty spend $150K on clothes if she wanted to?”

  1. I’d like someone to shoot me if I ever think there’s a good reason to spend more than $500 on a dress

    Guess you don’t go for the whole over the top bridal dress thing…

    I had a lovely dressmaker who made me a beautiful dress for my wedding that fitted me perfectly and I felt like a prices. Sure is cost $1000 but I felt like a million dollars. The irony is that my dress still cost only a third of the typical price paid by my smaller friends who bought their gowns “off-the-rack” at the traditional upmarket bridal stores that would never cater for someone like me.

  2. Actually, if I had that kind of money and my kind of body, I’d be wearing custom suits, not off-the-rack.

  3. You have really good taste. I would totally trust you to shop for a new wardrobe for me.
    That being said, I am a bargain basement shopper. I generally don’t pay anything over $30 for anything unless it’s something I can’t live without. (I got an awesome 60s vintage coat today for $40, but I would not have been able to go on living without buying it. [In my size! Vintage! What!?] I would have turned into a little puddle with eyeballs outside of the store.)
    Most of the stuff you posted was nice, but I think I have a pretty kick ass wardrobe for someone my age and my size, all from sale racks and thrift stores. I can’t imagine paying that much money for empire wasted shirts and skirts that you could get for 1/10 of the price elsewhere (I know, not real silk or wev).

  4. To the Valvo question: I think it may depend on what Saks’ buyers want to order. Saks basically is the only consistent game in town when it comes to high-end plus gear, in my view (although I live in Southern California and they removed the Salon Z from the South Coast Plaza store). I can’t give NM that much credit because they don’t offer their plus items in store.

    Having said that, I get my Saks Salon Z stuff from the Off Fifth outlets.

  5. Either Neiman’s or Bloomie’s briefly sold a plus-size Burberry wool coat, which was absolutely gorgeous. That might have put a wee little dent in your budget.

    It’s an interesting exercise. I feel like, if I tried, I could spend $150,000 on a plus-size wardrobe, only buying things I love, but I would have to hit a lot of stores, and include a lot of shoes, handbags, jewelry and accessories.

    This does really help put in perspective how much fucking money that is, though. Oh, and it makes me want that Anna Scholz cashmere sweater, damn it all.

  6. Some of those evening dresses are fairly reasonably priced for an night out rubbing shoulders with the elite, I’m surprised.

    Of course, as you said, I wouldn’t be able to spend a single imaginary dollar on clothes. I suppose if I were dressing for political success I’d probably get everything tailored, and I’d probably buy a helluva lot of silk just because I could. Probably I’d also have the money to commission clothes from designers who wanted to be seen on Capitol Hill.

  7. it goes without saying that a woman who wears over a size 24 is already shit outta luck. Everything I’m saying here about upper-class fat women being shut out of dressing like their peers goes quadruple for fat women who are sized out of high-end department stores.

    Oh yeah. Speaking as someone who is wearing a Silhouettes 6x top with my Making It Big HR slacks? HELL, yes.

    I’ve read that when Oprah as above size 16, designers would see her wearing one of her dresses, call to ask her size, and discover it was a size they didn’t make. Her wardrobe people would buy an 8 and a 16 and REMAKE the dresses to fit her.

    Part of why I’ve stayed in the non-suit / business casual part of the software biz is that I can wear off-the-rack. I have one blazer in my size, but if I wanted a suit, it’d have to be made for my body. Tailoring an off-the-rack wouldn’t work. We’re talking bespoke.

  8. You have great taste in clothing. If I had $150,000 to spend at these stores I’d end up with pretty much the same stuff.

    And I’m totally with you on the $150 for fucking leggings? bit.

    That is INSANE

    $9.99 thank you very much

  9. I think I love you, Kate. When you’re done with that pretend tailor, send him over here, and he can hook my four-year-old daughter up with a pretend cobbler. Because her calves are already too big for girls’ boots made by reputable companies (Clarks and Start Rite, among others).

  10. And of course the problem only gets worse if you don’t look good in/enjoy wearing black.

    After all, black clothes make us look smaller, and help us do the Treehorn thing.

    It’s become a point of honor with me not to buy anything in black if it’s going to be near my face. I look much, much better in a lot of other colors and I refuse to wear black simply to look properly ashamed of my size.

    But a lot of those black tops, dresses, and sweaters would totally get closet space from me if they came in cherry red, sapphire or turquoise blue, mustard yellow, or orange. Oh, or purple. Hell, even chocolate brown or a nice medium grey would do!

    Black is great for women who look great in black, but we need to get over the idea that it’s universally flattering to all large (let alone all period) women.

    Did I mention I woke up late from a nap I shouldn’t have taken and I’m grumpy right now? Because that may be contributing just a tiny, eensy tidge to the grumptastic response.

    And over $200.00 for a pair of jeans is…is…words fail me at the inanity.


  11. I had a similar moment when I was in DC for a convention and my fiance and I were browsing through this designer store. The clothes were so beautiful and it made me so sad none of them would possibly fit me. It was kind of silly, because I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to pay $420 for a sweater dress even if it did come in my size, but still.

  12. When I read teen fashion magazines, back when I was a teen, I never entered the contests that were a trip to New York or some other shopping mecca with a thousand dollar or more clothing shopping spree because I knew that even though I might enjoy the trip, I’d never find clothes that fit me in those high class stores.

    Besides, I always lived in small towns. Where would I wear all that high end stuff to anyway?

  13. Unfortunately, a wide selection of plus petites is just as much a fantasy as having the money to afford all this.)

    Hah! I buy most of my clothes at Land’s End and Avenue. The only “expensive” store I can think of that sells plus petites is Talbot’s… so when I read this story, I immediately tried to think of a way to spend $150,000 at Talbot’s. Not really possible, unless you buy several dozen of each item – or buy a franchise.

    Then I thought about paying off the house, buying an electric car, going on a trip to Europe… sigh.

  14. those Louboutin peep-toe heels make me cry tears of joy. I know I wouldn’t get more than 4 feet in them, but who the fuck needs to walk when you have babies on your feet like that?!

  15. Man, for $219 that silk blouse better be made with the silk of silkworms fed on human lactation, spun into thread consisting of fifteen individual and continuous unbroken silk fibers a mile long, and hand-woven and sewn by fairies in the woods somewhere.

  16. Why are any of those clothes so expensive? I mean, they are made of the same crap wal-mart clothes are made of. I was expecting lots of natural fibers– cotton, silk, cashmere, wool.

    Those leggings are made of freakin’ rayon. Why are you paying $150 for them?

  17. I don’t think I could blow that much in that short of time, and I’m really good at blowing money. Then again, I’ve never had a chance to try so maybe I’d surprise myself.

    I could, however, use that 150k for a HOME. Sigh.

  18. As a morbidly obese woman who worked overseas in sales for a large defense contractor in the 1990s, finding quality clothing used to elude me. I finally had a three piece suit made for me.

    The broader issue is: How many large women actually exist in the upper eschelon of society? I can tell you that very few women larger than a size large exist even in the C-List circles in which I socialized.

    As difficult as it is being an obese woman in middle America, it is even more forbidden to be obese (or average-looking or show your actual age) for women at higher socio-economic levels. They are the women who can afford designer clothes and there is extreme prejudice against those women to be overweight. It’s no surprise that designer plus sizes don’t exist. There’s no market for them.

  19. I haven’t shopped in the high end stores, ever. But I did have a rich friend with a major high end clothing fetish, so I did wind up in Neiman more than one might expect, at the beginning of this decade. And I had trouble finding one thing that would fit a big and tall guy in the entire store. The maximum size was a 48″ waist for a few items and significantly smaller than that on most items.

    In the land of high end clothing, the fat man doesn’t exist… except at Rochester.

    Of course things may have changed in the last few years. I haven’t checked.

  20. As someone who wears sizes 22-32 depending on the cut, finding evening clothes can be very difficult. Luckily, the last time I had to wear something very formal was my senior prom (my dress was made). That was back in 1993. So it’s been a while. I wouldn’t know where to start if I had a fancy event to go to. Oh sure, there’s Woman Within and Roaman’s, but their formal clothes are hideous. It’s like if The Golden Girls designed their eveningwear.

  21. Did you check Nordstroms? That’s where my sister and I usually take our Mom, since the sales staff treats her well even tho she’s 5’2″ and somewhere in the 270+lbs range… It’s higher end than Bloomies in a lot of ways too. The larger sizes are fairly biased towards casual clothing, but you *can* get suits and some nice dresses.

    Still, if Mom ever needed something truly smashing, we wouldn’t be looking at a store… we’d be hunting down a really good tailor or seamstress.

  22. I could spend a couple thou at Peggy Lutz ( Let’s say the $680 kimono jacket with a $1200 evening gown?

    If I were in Palin’s shoes I would invest in several Peggy Lutz dresses and pair them with more structured jackets and excellent jewelry.

  23. im all about quantity over quality. i would buy an entire Forever21 store and then somehow connect it to the back of my house.

    or i could buy a house.

    either way.

    Kelly Turner

  24. My Thoughts On Clothing – hell, getting a uniform in my size this month has been a drama. Did you know it’s physically impossible for me to have the measurements I do? Trufax – the uniform people told me so. *sigh*

    I think if someone gave me 150,000 and told me I couldn’t spent it on a house (or on tuition), I’d spend it on books. And bookshelves. And journal subscriptions. And then more books. And then maybe endow a library. Yeah, a 24 hour library that would hold all my books.

    Or something.


  25. I’d pay off our mortgage. Or buy oil stocks, or water rights, or something. Plus a shiny new copper saucier pan and a good roasting pan. Then give amazon a pile of money for books.

    Maybe some perfumes. I like perfumes, which is a bit silly since I live in jeans and turtlenecks or t-shirts depending upon the season.

    And a spare pair of glasses. My current ones are pretty new, within a year; but spares are always nice when you are as blind as I am.

  26. I’d pay off my student loans. 150k would actually cover it. (That’s my dividing line between “lots of money” and “holy shit, what a fucking lot of money.” If Palin had spent 100k on clothes, I’m not sure I’d care. Thanks, law school.)

  27. Now, real-world me is perfectly happy about this, since I’d like someone to shoot me if I ever think there’s a good reason to spend more than $500 on a dress.

    I’ve always thought that the main justification for spending $1000+ on a dress is that you’re worth it, or you deserve it, or you’re entitled to the best, or that it’s your money and you’re entitled to do what you want with it. And we already know that plenty of designers think that fat women shouldn’t wear their clothes at all. I wonder if there are any tailors who refuse to make clothes for fat people?

  28. Well, to be fair, the $150,000 wasn’t all on her. It also included clothes and accessories for her family. I bet it wouldn’t be nearly as much of a stretch to outfit a plus-sized family (two adults and 4-5 children) at those stores for that much money. That doesn’t stop it from being an excessive amount of money, though.

  29. I just try and find something that catches somewhere and buy a couple of whatever it is…mostly (black) pants and t-shirts. Then close my eyes and shudder as I pay TOP dollar for shoddy workmanship and cheap material in ugly colours.

  30. Not in Canada. And most of it would go to shipping/taxes/duty if bought online.

    I guess I could have $150,000 worth of things custom-made. That I could deal with, because at least it would all fit me, not the fictional fatty with 12-foot legs and arms, no tits, and no waist who appears to inhabit the current design template of many plus-sized designers. And none of it would have to involve huge floral patterns.

    So count me in if anyone’s got a spare $150,000 to devote to my cause.

    Anyway, lately, I’ve had problems attempting to THROW MONEY at various stores for clothing. I ended up buying like, a skirt and a jacket, online from JCPenney. That’s all I could find. I’m miserable about the clothing situation, really.

  31. Not in the UK – but I’d sure have fun trying! Actually, in a perverse kind of way you probably would have more luck blowing the money over here. Not from the point of view of choice but simply because top end plus size clothes are so fucking expensive here the money simply wouldn’t go as far.

    Don’t all the posh couture houses make to order? I’m sure Christian Lacroix or Jean Paul Gaultier could knock you up a mindblowingly expensive evening dress or two. And Gaultier’s dressed Velvet D’amour – he’s hardly going to say no, is he?

  32. It’s kinda funny that Sarah Palin looks *exactly* the same with the expensive gear.

    Anyway, your story reminded me of an experience with a ‘designer’.

    I moved OS for work, and I wanted just one evening gown. I went to a designer store in the city I was living in. One aparently FAR more salubrious than I had thought (or suffering delusions of, anyway.)

    There were single ‘samples’ of each design on the racks, in a tiny size, but theoretically customers could choose and the dress would be made to fit. BUT – because I was ‘a little bit larger’ (what a shockingly clumsy euphemism, ha!, I’m fat, and it doesn’t choke me to say it!), the sales assistant (at size 0) was at pains to whisper at me, faux-discretely, that some of the dresses were ABSOLUTELY OFF LIMITS to me. The designer would NOT produce them in larger sizes as they would not look appropriate. (Her words, wonder what he actually said, bet it wasn’t that mild!)

    I was supposed to indicate which dresses I was interested in and a house model (lurking out the back, presumably), put the dress on and paraded it before me. Not the most reliable guide for what I might look like in it.

    Didn’t actually end up getting a dress anywhere. I think I found the experience at this place both a bit scaring, and insulting, and chose NOT to part with any money.

  33. I second buffpuff’s comment. The options for UK women at reasonable or even only mildly mind-boggling prices are lamentable.

    I’ve been to look at the Peggy Lutz website and I am in love – with a designer who makes great clothes and shows them on beautiful women of all sizes and ages, and with a particular velvet coat. But there is no option to have it shipped outside of the USA or Canada! If I weren’t supposed to be working now I would be sucking my thumb and sulking.

  34. I don’t know why they didn’t have some things made to order, for that ridiculous budget. Sarah Palin may indeed be able to walk into any store and find things nominally in her size — but have a look at some of those infamous photos of her in her overpriced togs. A lot of those jackets don’t fit her very well — shoulders pulling, weird lines. That shopping was done damn quickly, without much of a plan, and probably without her in the dressing room. Poorly planned, poorly executed, and she certainly doesn’t look like a hundred thousand dollars.

  35. How timely for me. I was just thinking how I have another out of town conference next week for work and instead of worrying about the work to be done, I am worried about how I’m going to fit my chunky ass into something other than jeans and a hoodie and how lame that is. I went shopping yesterday and I can’t help but feel like I’m going to look cheap in my Gap pants and Payless shoes (seriously, when will spiffy women’s shoes start coming in 11.5?) while the thin, DC elite are going to be dressed to the hilt. What a stupid distraction.

  36. Between Saks, Needless Markup, and Bloomies, I “spent” 10,704.63. And I’d say about 4K of that was on shoes.

    I don’t know if I should be depressed or proud of myself.

  37. Along these lines, buying clothes is one of the few times i want to diet…just to fit into clothes i can’t buy. i think i need to buy a sewing machine. that would be a better use of my money then funding companies who won’t cater to me!

  38. Yes! Lots of designer purses and shoes, serious bling and tons of well made custom clothes in very high quality fabric.

  39. Dude… run that bill up some more and get your purchases TAILORED! You spend that much and you want it to look perfect on you!

  40. To be completely fair, the $150 K was on clothes for the entire family. I’m betting Sarah’s share was somewhere around 1/3 to 1/2 of the total, or $50-$75K. So your $42K is almost in the ballpark!

    And by the way, dahling, you look faaaaaaaabulous in your new wardrobe. :-)

  41. As other commenters mentioned above, I think this shopping experience highlighted a very interesting class difference: it’s apparently taboo to be overweight and upper class, for the most part. And I find it curious, as a bargain basement shopper, to note that there are cheaper versions of most of the stuff on that list, and that many of those items were seriously lacking in the natural fibers department.

    Lesson learned: should I ever become wealthy, it’s going to be all about the tailoring.

  42. I could spend $150,000 on clothing if someone wanted to give me that kind of money for it. I wouldn’t restrict myself to those stores though, and I would have SOOO much clothing. But I could do it.
    (if anyone doubts that, I will gladly accept $150,000 from you to buy clothing with, to prove it.)

  43. Payless shoes (seriously, when will spiffy women’s shoes start coming in 11.5

    No freakin’ joke, Yorke! Heaven forbid women with ginormous feet have fabulous shoes….

  44. Am I the only one that thought the fact that the $4000 penguin purse was named “The Humble Penguin” was hilarious? Yeah? Ok.

  45. Palin did not spend all that money on her clothing. She wears the clothes once, but they are not her property. They are later given to charity. And please don’t tell me you believe Senators Obama, McCain, Clinton, or Biden spend any less on their attire. ):

  46. See… that is what I have been saying….
    Upscale plus-size is a highly non-existent fashion segment and one that I would love to make a dent in.
    My solvency, because of my day job is kind of schizophrenic. But my taste runs to the couture and pricey. I own the Lauren and the Sunny Choi, and Louben and even (sort of ) plus size Vivienne Westwood ( the Anglomania range goes up to a 50 Euro which is like a 16), Escada ( goes up to German 48), Marina Rinaldi and Ferre Forma.
    But really you could not rake up 150,000 USD (about 75k GBPs ) if you bought one of each of everything they stock at the plus size department at HARRODS, which is probably one of the most extensive brick and mortar ones in the world.
    And that pisses me off…
    The thing is I am also a designer and a fashion student and that is where the problem starts.
    At the fashion schools, I used to be at the fashion design program at San Diego Mesa College and I am transferring into Kensington and Chelsea College here in London with a view towards Anna Scholtz’s alma mater Central St. Martin’s, they hardly have any plus size dress forms to work on. In my old school there was one size 16 and one size 18 for the whole department ( that is retail size 12 and 14). When we were learning fashion illustration and sketching, they FORCED us to draw very thin and tall women under the premise that “that was the FASHION figure”. The teacher used to tell us “size 18 is NOT fashion”. I WEAR A SIZE 18!!!! How did she think that made me feel?
    Since they are not teaching people how to THINK and design for anything other than very thin women, it is only a natural consequence that there is a complete lack of designers that are capable of designing for plus.
    My aim is to design an upscale, contemporary plus size line which is even more non existent.
    I mean, young , trendy, high-quality, AND plus? Where?
    I am thinking plus size Marc by Marc Jacobs, or plus DV

  47. I was going to say DVF but it did not let me finish…
    And bloody Barney’s ( like Harvey Nichols and Selfridges and most Bloomingdale’s) does not carry anything over a size 12.
    They piss me off.
    Nordstrom’s is doing a little better though.
    Now there is plus Juicy Couture, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Rachel Pally..
    But still, you kept my interest throughout the post … this is one of those things I am SUPER interested in…
    Fashion is what makes me tick… :-)
    Big Hugs,

  48. Bergdorf Goodman has very nice fancy plus-size clothing (I used to work for a college president who wore a size 26).

    Madeline Albright wore a size 22 when she was Secretary of State. She had her evening wear custom made, or so I heard.

  49. Madeline Albright wore a size 22 when she was Secretary of State. She had her evening wear custom made, or so I heard.

    Really? I would totally have pegged her as smaller. It’s funny how often those distorted pictures of size we have in our heads crop up, isn’t it?

  50. Albright said that that was her clothing size in an interview with the plus-size fashion magazine that is now defunct–was it called Mode?

    Bergdorf Goodman doesn’t have plus sizes on their website any more! I don’t know if that means they’ve stopped selling them, or if they just aren’t on the website (very little of Saks’s Salon Z stuff is on the website, because according to them, plus-size buyers prefer to try clothing on in person since the sizes vary even more widely from manufacturer to manufacturer than the misses/juniors sizes do).

    H’m. I wonder where my former boss is buying her clothes now?

  51. Wow, apparently I’m bigger than I thought! I looked at the size chart, and with a 27 inch waist barely anything is even available in my size… geeez. :S

    Apparently, unless you’re a size 4, Saks wants you to be a nudist. Seriously, one dress I looked at was available in 0 and 4…

    I racked up $25000 before I got bored. I gave up feeling fat and poor! HAHA.

    Seriously though, that $150 000 was for her whole family, hair makeup, clothes, etc. Not too hard at all.

  52. I’ve gotten used to compromising on everyday clothes, but yes, it is frustrating to not even have the option to buy something great — short of having it made, which is not in the cards financially.

    I worked with a woman at pretty much the same level in the company as me and almost exactly the same shape (short, circular, size 24-ish). She always had great clothes, and they FIT, which mine often don’t, quite, so once we got to know each other, I asked her where she shopped.

    Turned out she had everything made — from underwear up. She’d inherited serious bucks in her teens, and hadn’t shopped retail for clothes in years. Sigh.

  53. One of the things that occured to me as I read your posts was to wonder if all the money that supposedly was spent on Palin and her family actually was spent on clothes. Could the Republican Party be funneling money they spend on something else through Sarah Palin? I know you focused on being a plus sized woman, but even if she were big, they would make clothes tailored to fit her and they still could not spend that much. So where did that money really go? Oh, and BTW, does she get to keep the jewelry and other expensive goodies if she loses?

  54. Milla said: Since they are not teaching people how to THINK and design for anything other than very thin women, it is only a natural consequence that there is a complete lack of designers that are capable of designing for plus.
    My aim is to design an upscale, contemporary plus size line which is even more non existent.
    You do it, Milla! You are my hero. Ever since I went searching for a nice dress and then a belt -which I had to make, since we could hardly find anything that worked, I have been dreaming about creating a line of clothes so pretty and cool and fierce that even skinny girls crave them. I especially crave really pretty workout clothes. Fun casual stuff. Belts, boots, suspenders, you name it. Milla, do it for us all!

  55. “Payless shoes (seriously, when will spiffy women’s shoes start coming in 11.5”

    “No freakin’ joke, Yorke! Heaven forbid women with ginormous feet have fabulous shoes….”

    And transwomen, too.

  56. Marjorie Gubelmann is the ONLY visible social type that I can think of in a ‘larger’ size (I don’t want to get a link caught in the Spam filter, but she is VERY easy to google).
    Vogue, et al, even trot her out on occasion for a nonsense dressing at every size story.
    And what is she, 16? 18?

  57. To be fair, Salon Z and the 12-16 misses sizes are available in a much bigger variety at the brick-and-mortar Saks than they are online.

    (That said I don’t have a ton of luck shopping in person and I’m a size freaking 14, but part of it is that whole in-between issue and it still beats the hell out of >24.)

    Apropos of pretty much nothing, hippy butty curvy inbetweenies should check out Jag “Lucy” jeans at $79 rack rate. At Bloomingdales b&m, and at Nordstrom online where I ordered three more pairs this morning, because I’m terrified lest they go away. I’ve never been happier with a new pair of jeans; they look as good as that rare pair of jeans that fit well but constrict a little bit for your own good, but they don’t even do that — they’re like butta.

  58. I have the same problem with clothing, but I have found a few places online that carry *some* pieces in my style AND size.

    Here’s a partial list:

    I’ll have to dig through my bookmarks to find more but I know there are a few more.

    Now granted, many of the items I find either look strange on my body type, or the arms are too big, etc. but I do usually have good luck with finding at least one piece from each site, or more if I am willing to look at EVERY item they carry to find something truly exceptional.

  59. You can get super-fabulous shoes in larger sizes (okay, so I haven’t managed a pair of Louboutins yet, but…). You do have to go online for them. I’ve had good luck with and

    I wear a 12, so I feel your pain, whoever posted about the 11.5. I haven’t bought a pair of shoes in a b&m in YEARS.

  60. I just can’t even imagine that individual clothing items are worth more than $200 tops. I mean sure I can allow for some nice materials, fabric and design .. but FFS why would anyone pay more for most of those items in your list?

    *User note I may possibly be missing the “fashion gene”.

  61. Oh and the Humble The Penguin Minaudier is extremely cute. However for that price I can possibly purchase a live penguin and its habitat. :)

  62. Okay. I understand fantasy shopping, truly I do. BUT. Imagine this: If I live to be one hundred years old, and if my spending on all wearables continues to be $500-$750 per year , I will “only” be spending $50,000 to $75,000 IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.

    Just sayin’.

    On the other hand, a web photo of Obama with his feet up on a desk, showing the holes in the bottom of his shoes “before they were resoled for the third time”

  63. Although I don’t have 150k to spend on clothes, I do have enough to shop at stores like saks and neimans. And maybe you can find some things online, but there is -no- selection whatsoever in stores- and equally, I’ve never encountered a worker willing to entertain ordering anything larger than a size 10. It is disappointing, because it falls right back into that cycle of you can’t be ‘attractive’ unless you’re ‘thin’- I HAVE the non-imaginary money to spend on these things, I want to buy them, and you wont sell it to me in my size?

  64. I saw a video at abcnews where Palin said it was for her entire family, as slythwolf said, and she also said they were just “borrowing” the clothing. She didn’t outright say they would be giving it back, but she implied it. I wonder if that is true? I am just wondering what the republican party would do with all of those clothes if they did give them back? you can’t return them if you’ve worn them, and I can’t imagine that they would keep them.. anyone know if that is the case?

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