This was devastating to me on a personal level for many reasons. Number one, as I mentioned, I don't dress up. This meant I literally had nothing that I could wear to work. I would have to purchase an entirely new wardrobe. Not only would I have to purchase a new wardrobe, but Chris would have to as well because he is a substitute teacher and the dress code would apply to him too. Financially, this was a huge burden for me. Since Chris's work is sporadic and unpredictable, we are on an extremely tight budget. We barely get by and often live paycheck to paycheck. Spending a fortune on new clothes was not something we had planned or saved for. To make matters worse, this happened over summer break when Chris was completely out of work, so we were already trying to stretch my salary to the max.
Number two, we live in a rural area of Eastern Kentucky, and there aren't a lot of options for plus size clothing around us. Many department type stores refuse to cater to plus size women, or if they do carry larger sizes, they tend to level off at about a size 18-20. I have to drive an hour to the nearest bigger city area to even find a store that carries sizes big enough for me, and even then I only have two options: Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug. Now, even Fashion Bug is dead, and my only option is Lane Bryant, which is not a cost friendly place.
Number three, I'd rather undergo a medical procedure without anesthesia than feel the way I feel during and after clothes shopping. There is no way to describe in words quite how it feels thinking that you are so fat and disgusting that the only inexpensive bottoms you can find in your size are elastic waist, polyester grandma pants. I'm 32 years old; I shouldn't have to dress like a grandma. I hate walking around in stores with puffy red eyes from crying, so stressed and frustrated because I have no control over the fact that I have to have these dressy clothes to wear to work but can't find any that will fit me. It makes me feel less than human.
I knew it was pointless to buy traditional dressy type trouser pants like those I could get at Lane Bryant because my thighs rub together when I walk. I am very hard on bottoms because of it. Those type of pants wouldn't have lasted a month before they would've developed worn out holes in the thigh area. I knew this from experience, and I simply couldn't afford to pay so much for pants that would just wear out in a month. After hours of trying things on, I lucked out and found one pair of khaki colored denim bootcut pants at fashion bug that would fit me and that looked nice, but that was it.
As a last ditch effort, I went to JC Penny to look at their "plus size" section. I found a line of Worthington brand trousers that were made out of a denim-like material in chocolate and navy. It was thinner than regular denim, but I hoped it would work. Of course, they didn't have them in a size 24, but I was able to find them on their website. I had them shipped to me and hoped against hope they would fit. They did, sort of. They are extremely uncomfortable, and for whatever reason the chocolate pair fits much more tightly than the navy pair. The waist bands on them both dig into my stomach all day long, but what other choice did I have?
All last year, I rotated those three pairs of pants. I did so much laundry that it was ridiculous. I would wear the khaki pair from Fashion Bug 3 days a week because they were thicker and sturdier and the Worthington pairs one time a week each. By the end of the year, the khaki pair gave up the ghost and ripped through the thigh because it had become so worn. I've been looking for a similar pair to replace them ever since, but no luck. They finally loosened up the dress code at work and let us have casual Fridays to wear jeans, which helped. I've also been wearing jeans occasionally at work on days that aren't specified as casual days, for which I'm sure I'll eventually get in trouble, but it has become a bit of a necessity. I still have the two pairs of Worthington pants, and a cheap pair of thin material khakis that I randomly found at Walmart, but I know that I am going to have to break down and go clothes shopping again soon. I get upset just thinking about it.
I just wish that stores would take plus size women into consideration. I know there are a lot of us, and we have to have clothes just like "regular" sized women do, so why do so few stores carry clothes that we can wear? How is that even an acceptable practice? Don't we deserve to be able to go into a store and buy something off the rack that fits us well and looks nice? I think so, but apparently most retailers do not. =(