The Problem With Shopping as a Plus Size Woman

I have a shopping addiction. Maybe not “Confessions of a Shopaholic” addiction, but I do love to shop. In person or online. Clothes or shoes. Make up or hair product. Purses or scarves. Whatever it is, I love to shop. I’d also like to think that I’m pretty aware of pricing, to make sure I’m not overspending on something I don’t need to overspend on. I might be an addict, but I’m also a little smart about it.

As a plus size woman, my choices are limited for clothing. I can’t go into every single store and expect to find clothing in my size. In fact, it’s very rare to walk into a clothing store and find clothing in my size. I do a lot more of my clothing shopping online (which sucks because I prefer to try things on) because I can generally find more options for my body type.

This weekend, however, I came across something that really bothered me. I might be over reacting – but then again, I might be. There might be someone else out there that feels the exact same way as I do. I want you to take a look at the two items of clothing below, and tell me what the difference is.

The price is the difference. The size is the difference. One is plus size, and one is “regular” size. But it’s also a little bit deceiving, because I looked at the size charts as well. The “regular” size, does carry XL and XXL. The difference between the XL and the 1X? An inch. The XXL and the 2X? Maybe 2 inches. But the price difference? $10.

I get that plus size clothing “requires more material” to make. That’s why with some of the other sites that I went to, I can kind of be okay with because they’re maybe a dollar or two difference.

Some examples:

Forever 21 – Boba Tea Regular $13.90
Forever 21 – Boba Tea Plus Size $16.90

Forever 21 – LA Gear Regular $22.90
Forever 21 – LA Gear Plus Size $24.90

Charlotte Russe – ACDC Regular – $18.99
Charlotte Russe – ACDC Plus Size – $21.99

But then there’s Laura, who has a $10 difference in one of their dresses.

How much can the “extra material” cost that they’re increasing our pricing by $10?

This bothered me today. Because then I got thinking even further. I have a favourite plus size clothing store – Torrid. I love it because it’s plus size, and the clothes are relatable for someone younger like myself. But the price points are so high. Additionelle? The price points are high. Any store that is solely plus sized – the prices are through the roof. And why? For 2 inches, 3 inches, 4 inches of extra material? In a “regular” store, if they’re using significantly less material for an XS or an XXS – why can’t that material go towards the XL or the XXL? Why can’t the price point balance out at the end?

It makes me angry because I have friends that can go to the mall and spend $30 and get three new shirts, and I can rarely get one for that price at the mall – not online – unless it’s Walmart and while I love my Walmart deals, don’t I deserve better quality than that?

Just because I’m a slightly larger individual, should my bank account be breaking? Should I be subject to shopping in the back of the store, or online, solely because I might require an XXL instead of a M or a L?

We exist. Plus size women (and men!) exist. You can’t not cater to us and expect that we will disappear. Embrace us. Make us feel “regular” like the rest of you. We don’t bite.

I don’t know how many others feel this way about the clothing situation as I do, but it really stemmed from Old Navy this weekend. I can get an XXL for one price, but for another price I can get practically the same size for $10 more. Can you explain why to me? Can anyone explain why to me? Other than “extra material” because in this case, they are practically the exact same shirt being sold for two different prices. It just doesn’t make sense.

Let me know your thoughts. Let me know your shopping experiences. I’m curious to know and to hear and to share in these experiences with everyone. Leave your comments below!


  • Donna Ruston

    Oh Sam, I am so glad you put this out there. I have always felt exactly the same way. My mom and I always complain that the ‘big girl’ sizes are always at the very back corner of the store or even on another floor. It is like they are shaming us.
    Also, the cost addition is appalling. I mean really, do people who are a ridiculous size 0 or 2 get a discount – NO.

    I love your blogs. You are doing a great job! So proud of you.

    • samanthahiscock

      I can usually deal with just a $1 or 2 more if it helps them sleep better at night but $10 difference for the exact same size just one is called “plus size”? I just couldn’t deal any more, Donna! Thanks for your support xo

  • Jenny

    Or, how about stores that o my sell their larger sizes online. Like, how dare a fat person enter our store?! We still want your money, but don’t come into the store.

  • Jackie

    This is a great post! Good on you for speaking, not only for yourself but for others who can’t, are scared or just don’t know how. I would make noise. I would start by emailing your favourite store, or better yet..use twitter and copy them on your post to show them your frustration. (Or maybe you already did that) For adding to the difficulty of shopping for plus sized individuals. Because you are 100% correct in what you said about making you feel “regular” (whatever that means in this society nowadays) and to embrace you! Keep up the good work!

    • samanthahiscock

      Thank you – I appreciate the support! I get that there are so many different angles to it and that businesses have overheard and whatnot, but sometimes I feel like certain size groups are being left out. This could probably even go for those individuals that are size XXS as well. We are people of all different shapes and sizes – and people need to embrace it so I felt like I had to speak up. So thank you for showing support. Xo

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