I have a husband who is happy to tell me when clothes are not complimentary on me. Some might find this distressing. I do not. The man has good fashion sense. He knows what I want to look like. He knows when I look good.
When he's had an episode (as husband's will) of being a complete and utter jackass (unrelated to the above topic), so much so that he is too embarrassed to either acknowledge or apologize, he finds another way to do it. (For the record, this happens less than once a year so there's no need to worry about my marital health) Yesterday he decided that we needed to buy some clothes for me that I looked good in. He knows how I hate doing this. He agreed to browse racks, stand by the fitting room and "be there" the whole time. (this will give you some indication of what a jackass he was last week.)
Here are some things he learned about shopping in women's clothing stores.
There is a subtle difference between "Ladies" clothing and "Women's" clothing. Ladies clothing runs from size 4-12 (18 if you're lucky) Women's clothing runs from 18 and up.
His wife is a woman.
Designer clothing outlets (american outfitters, old navy, calvin klein, etc) NEVER carry Women's clothing. In fact, in the outlet mall where we were shopping, there are exactly 4 stores that do.
This did not prevent him from walking into every single designer store looking for "plus" sizes. I refused to join him after receiving two "what the hell do you think you'll find in here?" stares.
You do not yell "Honey, WHAT SIZE ARE YOU?" across the store floor, no matter how nice the help has been.
Younger sales clerks are surprised and delighted when seeing a husband take interest in his wife's clothes. They help him and join his banter and smile a lot. As do nearby customers.
Older sales clerks are surprised and not at all delighted by the same events. In fact, they will ignore him likes he's a girl in a used car lot, and when he actually looks at the clothing in the racks, you will see them checking to make sure his hands are clean.
These older clerks appear to be convinced that said wife is being squashed under the power of a controlling obnoxious man and will presume to know what his wife should wear better than he does, saying to him "let me just go pull a few things from the racks for you" without hearing what will and will not work.
When his wife suggests to the clerk that the 3/4 length sleeve clingy sweater will not work for her for several reasons (one being that her workplace is occasionally 75 degrees or higher), she smugly looks at her and says "I'm wearing it and it looks fine on me."
His wife has enough self control to NOT say "well, yes, if by working you mean I can see the entire contour of your ample belly,"
End of lessons. Further thoughts.
Looking around while shopping it became clear that many Plus Size women do not mind clothes that are loud, sparkly, and show every curve and roll that they have.
I am not one of those women. I will not be wearing a see-through tunic that gently gathers right below my girth to accent it's breadth. And really? I don't need to try it on to discover that.
Clerks who suggest that the reason they are unable to find something I like because I don't like the right things should be punched in the head. Hard. More. Than. Once.
If you are (or know) one of these clerks, might I suggest a simple and polite "I'm not really sure what you're looking for. Feel free to look around."
Two hours and 3 shirts later I was actually more anxious and annoyed than I was when he was acting like a jackass. I just wasn't anxious and annoyed by HIM. Well played, husband, well played.