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Wanted: A clothing line for the poor and the chunky
By Gloria Diaz
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Fort Wayne Reader
I was browsing one of the local dailies a few weeks ago and glanced at an article about fashions for plus-size women.
As a plus-size woman myself, Iím trying to lose weight so that I donít have to pay extra for plus-size clothing. I find it ironic that overweight women, who are generally less financially-well off than women who are slender, or who are at their normal weight, have to pay more for larger sizes. And not having a lot of money means you are going to choose foods that are filling, but not necessarily healthy. Ramen noodles go at 5 packages for $1.00, but protein costs considerably more, making the Atkins Diet an unaffordable option.
The picture accompanying the article showed a woman wearing a typical plus-size outfit: black pants, black shirt and a red cardigan. The cost? Well over $600. And that didnít include the necklace, which went for $150.
You want affordable outfits? You need to look elsewhere besides the mall. I found a basic little black dress, an Emanuel Ungaro, as a matter of fact, at the Queen of Angels rummage sale years ago. Since clothing was sold by the bag, and since I had three other items as well, the cost of the dress to me was $1.25. Not one hundred and twenty five dollars, but a buck twenty five. I LIVE for bargains like that, and finding deals such as the one I just described is a source of pride for me. I like clothes, and I like quality clothes, but I canít afford to buy Ralph Lauren (probably my favorite designer) at full price. Iíd rather catch garage sales (like where I picked up a RL Polo sweater for 25 cents) thrift or vintage clothing stores, or if I feel like splurging on a never-worn-by-anyone-else previously outfit, a low-cost retailer that happens to have a decent purchasing staff. Just because you donít have a lot of money doesnít mean you have to look cheap, or buy badly-fitting clothes.
And the day I have $700 to drop on an outfit, hopefully the clothes wonít scream ďprivileged fat lady with a high-paying job.Ē
Of course, if someone DID happen to have a high-paying job theyíd like to hire me for, I wouldnít turn it down. Iíd buy more protein, and maybe a gym membership. Then those Ralph Lauren clothes could be brand new, and perhaps in a smaller size than what Iím wearing now.
But Iíd probably still get giddy over whatever bargains I could scarf up, just because I could buy so much more. And I think thatís why women are into shopping the way men will never be. For women, shopping is the thrill of the hunt. Being able to find just the right outfit, or accessory at the right price (or better) is a high like no other. Of course, thereís the downside. Whenever I have money to blow, there wonít be anything that gets me revved up. Itís only when Iím down to my last $100 that I want to buy everything I see.
But then, thatís what credit cards are for.