sam cleasby blogger

When XL is not big enough


16? Give up all hope.  20? Get in the fucking sea.

I am clothes shopping for the party season at the minute and having to shop online as I don’t feel well enough to go out.  I hate internet clothes shopping as I know even in a shop, I can take 10 items into a changing room and not find anything that suits and so buying online when I can only look at a skinny model, lit beautifully in a studio and shot by a great photographer is far from ideal.

I am convinced nothing will fit me and so decided I had better check my sizing with this online store.  It turns out that their size XL is a 12.  A fucking 12!

blogger sam cleasby plus size

I’m XXL yo…

45% of UK women are a size 16 or over so why is it that so many shops are refusing to cater for the market?

I really don’t understand why some stores are just ignoring the needs of so many, even if you forget all about shitting on women’s self esteem, surely it is just good business sense to ensure you have products that almost half your market can use?

It does make me feel like crap when I realise that I am classed as abnormally large in the eyes of some.  I am a size 16 and cannot shop in some places as they just don’t have ranges in my size.  If you are larger than a 16, you are basically ignored!

Talking to the world of twitter, I can see it is not just me who is struggling with this.  Many companies are classing XL as either a 12 or a 14.  Lots of athletic wear simply do not go up to larger sizes meaning those who are gym bunnies or runners are really struggling to find appropriate training clothes.

I’m a big fan of Simply Be who do a range between sizes 12-32.  Their clothes aren’t your ‘typical’ plus size wear, in the past anything aimed at women a 16 and over have been old fashioned, frumpy or basically ugly tents.  Simply Be have an amazing range that is no different to any other great fashion store apart from that they actually fit!

It is simply shit business sense to alienate your market, so why do women’s fashion stores do it? Women are all different shapes and sizes so why leave out a big chunk of those women by not giving them the clothes they want to wear?

sam cleasby so bad ass parliament ibd blogger

You see it in store, there are always tons of size 6’s and 8’s left on the hangers whilst the bigger sizes fly out.  Does this not tell you something? They seem to stock far more of the smaller sizes when the statistics show that many women are larger, and get larger with age.  Where is the money? It is with older women in their 30’s and 40’s, who are more likely to be a size 12 or over.

This isn’t about fat vs thin.  We should cater for ALL women, whether they are a size 6 or a size 26 (and beyond!!!), this is about making a vast proportion of women feel shit about themselves because they can’t shop in the average store.

Let’s hope that shops start to realise this and begin to stock clothes for all.  And stop with the ridiculous sizing charts.  A size 12 should never be classed as Extra Large, ever.

And for the record, one size does not fit all.


Sam x

10 replies
  1. Stephie Simpson
    Stephie Simpson says:

    I know that struggle all to well. Summer last year I couldn’t find anything that made me feel pretty and finding out then that I was xx or larger was a devastating blow to my self esteem. I was well enough at the time to be able to start running (I say running more like crippled zombie hobble) and I managed to shift my weight but with that came pouchitis (and the new worry of what clothes can i wear with a bag) and I haven’t been able to exercise since June. I have managed to maintain and I’m now a 8/10 but I’m still classed as large. It’s so demoralising so I feel for you. One curvaceous woman I follow dawnie from inaity and the girl makes her own clothes and she looks fab! Just know that you are perfectly fine the way you are it’s society that’s messed up.

  2. Mandy Winter
    Mandy Winter says:

    Amen sister! I’m significantly bigger and I feel worthless in most clothes shops. Even my size 16 teenage daughter isn’t well catered for and the frustration is real when I’m trying to look for clothes which are fashionable for her. Simply Be is my saviour too, I love their Joe Browns collection, finally there are clothes that suit me and I don’t have to dress like a frumpy old woman. Sadly they’re a pricey treat for skint old me, but I do feel good in their clothes when I can get something.

  3. Donald
    Donald says:

    Hi Sam when I see you in different pictures that you have out there I sure don’t see you as fat at all I’m not sure where they get that idea .
    When I see models on tv or else where they are now only skin and bone this is not healthy when I see you you have according to me the very healthy beautifull figure with a raidient smile and great personality you can kick ass to many out there so don’t put yourself down look at yourself on those pictures an realize how pretty you look don’t change anything.

  4. Dave Pawson
    Dave Pawson says:

    Your logic is faultless Sam. Assuming the buyers and marketing types are not fruit cakes trying to take the shops under, there must be some reason a significant majority of UK women are not catered for?


  5. maureen
    maureen says:

    I struggled to find an appropriate dress when my son was married last summer. If you are above a size 10/12 they think you want matronly and all covered up. I am generally a size 16/18 in dresses, and what I finally ordered from a small bridal salon was a 3X!! The clothes are cute on that website…..but I’m in the US.


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