October 02, 2005

Retail is all wet

Today, today, today.

Today Jon picked up his new glasses. While he was doing that I went over to Sarah's and I visited with Zoey. I was so happy to see them both. Afterwards Jon and I headed up to 57th Street.

We bought water shoes at Niketown for our trip to Jamaica. This is a funny story actually, or maybe not. But I had to ask four different sales people for the water shoes because only the fourth one knew where they were. The other three sales reps I asked weren't even aware of the fact that Niketown carried them. But I knew. I remembered 8 years ago, the last time I was there, seeing water shoes. They only had men's which didn't bother me at all because I fit comfortably into a man's size 7.

Then we walked and we walked all the way over the H&M by Bloomingdales. H&M was an absolute zoo. Shopping there is worse than shopping at Century 21. The clothes are either stuffed so tightly that you can't thumb through the racks or they are strewn about sloppily making it impossible to find your size in something that you might actually like. And on top of that there was a line waiting to try on clothes. Then we went into Bloomingdale's and by the time we got to the part of the store that had clothes in my sizes (Women's 14 - 24 is carefully hidden downstairs by the exit to the subway) it was closing time. The sales people were applying pressure on our backs with their fierce eyes to get the heck out of there so they could wrap things up and call it quits so there was no satisfaction shopping there (as usual. I don't know why I keep going back to Bloomie's. I never have a good experience there).

It really is disgusting how department stores hide the section for larger-sized women. Honestly, size 14 is not so much bigger than size 10. But Bloomingdale's isn't the only offender. At Macy's on 34th Street, I think you have to go to the 9th floor for larger sizes and at Lord & Taylors at 5th and 38th, one has to ride the escalators all the way to the 8th floor which is one above lingerie. I mean, it's great that designers are finally embracing the fact that most women in this country are size 12 or larger, but still. How are we supposed to stop feeling the body shame that leads most of us to either depression, anorexia, bulemia or suicide if stores hide away our clothes in some hard-to-reach section of the store? Isn't there shame in having to ride that escalator so high up? At Macy's you have to actually ride the antiquated wooden escalator to get to their women's section. Why don't the stores just incorporate the larger sizes into the regular run of clothes in the regular clothing section? Then we could feel just like everyone else.

If retailers don't have room, they could just replace all the size 0's and 1's that don't sell and fill those spaces up with the larger-sized clothing. Honestly. How many women do the department stores think are a size 0? Raise your hand if you're less than a size 2/4. Yeah. That's what I thought. It looks like about 1 out of every 20 women or so. Pretty much the rest of us are size 10 or 12 and above.

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