Retail Meltdown

Friday night I had a meltdown in the dressing room of large and beautiful. I went to the store on a mission to find a few cute shirts for my trip and I was armed with a fantastic coupon that made me feel powerful and sure.  I scoured the store looking for something that would be equal parts flattering and forgiving. Something that covered the sure to happen bloated gut of injectable medication and yet not radiate a 2nd trimester belly look.

SO SO SO many cute tops. And they all made me looked knocked up.

I couldn’t find anything that floated over my gut without looking like I had a fit pregnancy magazine rolled into my purse.  And thus began my meltdown. Suddenly the dressing room was way too small, my feet started to smell and make me paranoid, the over head lights went onto full beam and I could feel perspiration in my hair.  Nothing fit. Not a damn fucking thing.

So I did what any large and beautiful girl would do, I sat down on the provided square meltdown stool and cried. You know that private, silent cry that sounds like you are gasping for air but really you are just constricting your throat muscles so that the guttural keening sound that is clamouring in your esophagus doesn’t escape?

I cried so hard and so quietly that my eyeballs hurt. My new ZFM’s (zits from medication) began to throb and the stress of it all made me sweat down my legs in a way that made me pause to make sure I wasn’t pissing my pants.

Thankfully I was left alone to get the first phase of the meltdown out of my system. I was able to find a not so funky kleenex in my purse and blot away the beads of sweat on my face. I was able to reassemble all of the cute and ill fitting clothes back on their hangers, pop open the dressing room door and announce to no one at all that “nothing was what I was looking for.”

Thank you very much. I will just be skulking out of your store and rushing to my car where I will once again visit the ugly cry.

And just an FYI- the parking lot cry alone in your car is now my favorite cry. I had the doors locked,  the radio turned to a sound muffling level, and plenty of unused napkin snot rags. Perfect conditions for getting it all out.

Sure, we could blame the meltdown on the wonky hormone situation in my body, we can blame it on stress, we can blame it on the size of my hips, but really I am going to place full blame on the current line at large and beautiful.

What the fuck, people? What is UP with all of the crazy tent shirts you are carrying now? Can’t I get a nice, tailored, button down/ Something with a little stretch, and maybe a little razzle-dazzle? And what is UP with all, and I do mean ALL, of the sleeves living in a 3/4 length world? And WHEN will you phase out the crop pant? I am a large and beautiful woman and I do not want any unnecessary attention drawn to the size of my voluptuous calves.

Shame on you large and beautiful. Shame.

When I came home GM & Mother were perched in the living room waiting to see my loot. They were very disappointed that a fashion show would not be happening. And I felt like such a loser for depriving them of the joy of seeing me look fabulous. heh.

Yesterday the panic continued. Holy Fuck- I have NOTHING to wear on my trip. Nothing. Well ok, maybe I could make do with some of the old t-shirts I have, but I wanted at least one fetching outfit to feel super cute in. And something tells me that it is just impossible to feel super cute in an over-sized purple t-shirt that is faded around the collar by the peroxide in my zit cream.

So I decided to do some research. Large and Beautiful certainly can not be the only game in town. I pulled out the phone book and scanned the list of retailers in the local malls. Then I saw it. Of Course!  Initials One Cent! Certainly they would have a plus sized section. I called them up and was told that the store located in the oldest mall in town actually dedicated their entire upstairs to plus sized chicas.


So once we got GM tucked in to bed Mother and I went forth in the name of large asses to Initial One Cent. And people, let me tell you, score!

Sure there were racks upon racks of old lady pants (you know the flat front, elastic back, tapered leg, denim-esque fabric style), but there is also a plus size line at Initial One Cent that was so very adorable. And did I mention there was a huuuuuuge sale going on?  There is way more in the store than is available on line and for the first time in ages I felt cute in a dressing room.

And the other women that were circulating the racks were so much fun. I don’t think I have had that much fun shopping in ages. We were helping each other out. Somehow, in a matter of ten minutes we all knew each other’s sizes and what we were shopping for. I was able to point an older woman towards the brown button downs and then a minute later a plus sized Mama with two adorable children in tow yelled out that she found me some sweaters. How kick ass are fat women?

I am so thrilled that I found some cute things and didn’t let the crush of large and beautiful bring me down. Yes I am larger than I want to me. I am larger than I was a year ago. But I am still me, I am still a girl that wants to look cute. I don’t want to be a wallflower in all black.  And I won’t be.


31 thoughts on “Retail Meltdown

  1. Way to go for turning that situation around! i’m so glad you found some cute stuff to wear up north.
    And screw L&B and their quarter-length sleeves (UGH!)–it sounds like you’ve found your new favorite store. 🙂
    Hoorah for comraderie!

  2. Rock on! I’m glad the shopping sojourn was a sweet success! Thanks, too, for the link; the Initials One Cent site has contributed very nicely to my ongoing quest to expand my “Retail Therapy” bookmark. Here’s to finding the retail haven that our hips deserve. And, for courage in the glare of flourescent lighting, for keep, keep, keepin’ on, here’s to you! xo.

  3. Screw Large and Beautiful and hooray for Initials One Cent (which I had no clue on the identity of until I clicked the link). I am sure you will look cute and fabulous!

  4. That was always one of my mama’s favorite stores. “Let’s go to One Cent’s” she’d say. Although, it was always the boys’ section for her – the woman is tiny, no lie.
    Anyway. Lord, I rode that roller coaster of emotion with you through the entire mf post. Whew. Hope your trip is fun!

  5. yeah, i’m so happy that you found some good stuff. and i love the visual of all you all helping each other ’round the racks. can’t wait to see new and improved Cali! [not that you used to be old and useless Cali, btw. i just enjoy the re-birth that some new clothes can give us.]

  6. I just went shopping with my friend last week, we both had dates and wanted something sexy and fitted. No lie, every single store we went into had rack after rack of flowy, breezy, loose-waisted tops that looked like freaking maternity clothes (mostly in prints that made my eyes water, sequins optional).

    I don’t think it’s an LB/plus-size conspiracy thing, I think fashion has just plain fallen on its face this year. And cushioned its landing by adding some rouching, apparently.

  7. I can’t stand going into Large & Beautiful. I feel old when I go there, because their styles are so not me, you know? T & I have been bitching about 3/4 sleeves for the last 3 years. Seriously, it seems that everyone has those damned things in spring and fall. And God forbid that you actually NEED something good looking that you want to wear more than once!

    Inicial One Cent is a great place to go. Just wish ours was as nice as some others we’ve seen. Our best luck lately has been Name Like Mine, but with a C.

  8. WHOA! i had no idea that you were going to take us all the way from the silent dressing room meltdown, to the alone-in-the-car parking lot cry (IS there any better place??? esp with fresh napkins for the tears?) i soooo didnt expect you to end up with cute clothes in the end!

    so – did GM enjoy the fashion show on saturday???

  9. I LOVE YOU. And let me tell you, I shuddered when I saw commercials this past spring and EVERYTHING was “empire” waistlines. The designers should be lined up, blindfolded, given their last cigarettes, and shot. Empire waistlines look good on NO ONE. Not even 20 year old waifs. NO ONE. Unless, of course, you are 6 months preggers… because those cuts cause you to look 6 months preggers whether you are or not. I’m thrilled to hear that you got out of it… the store… the slump… and found a place that fulfilled your needs. I love happy endings.

  10. I am so with you on hating this year’s trend of –come on, you know you want to look pregnant. Pregnancy fashion for all! Nothing feels worse than looking pregnant when you desperately want to be but aren’t.

    I haven’t been to Initials One Cent in a couple of years. On your recommendation, I can’t wait to get to the mall to give them another shot. There is NOTHING at my favorite stores this year.

  11. hey, I don’t know if you know about these plus size stores, called or avenue ever has shoes in size 12 AND jeans that fit amazingly well, and are quite long.. I am 6 ft 2 and sometimes i have to get the average length cause the tall is way to long for me, and i am always wondering what huge amazon is getting the tall cut, if i am 6 ft 2 and in the average range ( or I have freakishly short legs, which i don’t think is the case, ) there is also but that is pricy, but worth the splurge if you have a date, and need that one amazing dress to guarantee that there will be a second date, and torrid , well, it can be hit or miss, but sometimes the things are cute, always worth a peek.. there are lots more plus size stores, even lands end is making amazing cashmere sweaters and twinsets, in plus sizes now, guess retailers are being forced to realize that more than 25 PERCENT of their retail market are plus sized women who actually have real dollar in there wallets that they want to spend on jeans that make there fat arses look bootilicious !

  12. i hate the empire waist trend. when you’re a little on the fluffy side (like moi), you just look pregnant. ugh. unless you’re a size negative 1 and then maybe you’ll look cute in one. i just went to the one cent store today. great sale. no cute shirts for me but i got some undies.

  13. Yes, I always knew empire waist anything looked bad on my, and it has to be said, empire waist + pregnancy and fat + ‘fat people are really tall, too’ = How To Look Even Shorter And Fatter Than Before.

    And the 3/4 sleeve thing? People, I live in New England. It gets cold here. 3/4 sleeves in January? Not happening.

    Ah, the meltdown. It could have been worse, you could have been at work? Sorta? Mebbe not…

  14. I’m so glad you found some snazzy new clothes in the end. I haven’t been in Initials One Cent in ages – well, when they stopped carrying tall sizes in their stores. It might be worth it to check them out again, even if I do have to order online to get things long enough. I think the current fashion trends look hideous on just about everyone – empire waists are evil, evil I tell you. And 3/4 length sleeves should be banned. Never mind that most all regular size shirts already look 3/4 on me.

  15. Oh the change room meltdown….it can come on at any moment with out warning. You can be in a hopeful upbeat mood and then suddenly you are trying to sob and dislocate your shoulders to remove the too tight too hideous what was I thinking top off your body before the x-ray with lipstick shop girl forces her way in. Yesterday I was experiencing a very similar thing, I had spent way too much time on one leg trying on clothes I had hoped would change my life. I suddenly discovered that the countless sleaveless swing tops that made me look like a gorilla could be pulled down and transformed into skirts! Oh happy days….some times you can win!
    Best of luck…am thinking of you x


  16. Sorry for the rotten experience at L&B … two strikes and they’re out, right? I thought the post was heading for another meltdown and was so delighted that instead you had a great experience at IOC (I also had a really hard time figuring it out – but when I read the comments just now, I got it – I *love* that store and have found some of my best clothes there). Can’t wait to see the fabulousness.

  17. SOO glad you found some good looking clothes! I know the experience you are talking about. I have had a few dressing room meltdowns myself in this life! Have a great week my dear~

  18. What a result! What a turn around! Way to go!
    I HATE, HATE, HATE that cubicle meltdown thing. I usually add swearing and grumping to the crying and give up and go home, hence the fact that practically all the clothes in my wardrobe are ancient. Good on you for not letting their crappy clothing line defeat your large beautifulness!

  19. I can guarantee you that it was not you–it was the shirts. No woman ever, not even Karen Carpenter, would look thin in the currently popular empire-waisted shirts. I like Jane Austen as much as the next female, but empire-waisted anything will make ANYONE look pregnant. I think it is kind of fascinating that my whole life, the teenage girl mantra was the oppressive “Does this make me look fat?” and now they are all wearing the first item of clothing ever for which the answer is actually “yes.”

  20. You are always cute to me no matter what you wear. Hooray for the good retail therapy experience though. I agree with Joanna those empire shirts are hideous and a total mind fuck. Women all over NYC wore them all summer. Mostly not pregnant. But how could you tell, so then your giving up your seat to random women. Totally messed up.

  21. I so hate that feeling of hating how you look in clothes. I don’t get what’s up with the recent designs. They make absolutely everybody look pregnant. It’s so unfortunate.

  22. I can totally relte to the LB dressing room meltdown! t least you had privacy, no hovering oversolicitous salesperson trying to ruin good cry! I have been faithful reader for about 2 years. I am still hoping, JONESING for a password. Please? Hope your well and obviously looking snazzy!

  23. Gah! I hate the 3/4 sleeves! And why are the tops so short in length and made for a DDD up top?!

    I’ll have to check out initials one cent

    Happy trip 🙂

  24. Me, too! I went shopping at L&B with 1 year old daughter in tow, thinking I could find something nice (and quickly) since it is supposed to be my size. NOT A THING!!!! It took forever, I think I tried on everything in the store and returned home with nothing. I’ll try One Cent in the future!

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