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Where have all the plus sizes gone?

Posted Feb 11 2013 11:00am

I was absolutely devastated yesterday to find the the Nordstrom I frequent most, at The Grove in Los Angeles, has done away with its Encore department (plus sizes). It is the closest location to my office as well as my home and its wonderfully convenient being at the heart of a large shopping center with eateries and movies, etc. 


They are rennovating it, by the way. Updating it. Modernizing it. And the fatties don't fit in, I guess. 

It took me back to their Santa Monica store opening. I'd been looking forward to it. I love the shopping area in Santa Monica -- Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place. The Nordstrom there is lovely. Well laid out and clean. Beautiful. And they opted to not include an Encore department from ground zero. 

At the time, I spoke to the store manager, whom I actually know personally, and she seemed disappointed. I appreciated her empathy but what could she do? What could I do? 

It also makes me think about the Bloomingdale's in Beverly Center. In fact, the Macy's in that mall as well. Neither have plus departments. The Lane Bryant in the mall by my house has closed.

Saks Fifth Avenue has a lovely plus department. But you'll never believe where they keep it -- basement of the men's store. Good luck finding it if you don't know where to look. They do that to hide us. We're not meant to shop with the mainstream beautiful people. It's like being five and coming home to tell your mom the cool kids made fun of you at school today.

All of these locales have one thing in common, I guess - they are all part of larger, affluent shopping areas. It has me worried. What beloved shopping conglomerate will be next? 

NordBloom It's becoming increasingly hard to find clothes in person (online offers a bevvy of choices) and even harder to find quality clothes in person. I've said it before - being heavy does not supress my desire to look good. I happen to have - I think - pretty good taste in clothes. I know what looks good on me and what doesn't and I seldom deviate.  I wear a lot of black, a lot of long tops and sweaters. Actually, my taste is pretty narrow and in fact, simple, so it should be even easier to find clothes. 

I have a soft spot in my heart for Nordstrom. Not only because I worked there for a short time post-college, but also because they really kick ass in customer service and you won't find anything in their Encore department that looks like "fat lady clothes." So it just made me sad to go shopping for a dress and come home with lip gloss. 

I imagine that department stores want to compete for a younger demographic with a more desperate pocketbook. These are the people who really need/want to look "in." They worship the skinny celebs and are accutely more aware of Marc Jacobs and Zac Posen - moreso than my generation was in its teens and twenties. The stores assume someone in my position is too depressed to spend the money. Which is strange because designers like Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Tadashi Shoji, Nine West Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren all make lovely plus lines. 

You could think about this in circles. It will make you dizzy. It kinda reminds me of the Hanukkah decoration dilemma I wrote about in December. Keep taking our stuff out of the stores, guys. When we're all solely shopping online for our clothes, we'll start buying everything there for convenience - shoes, purses, accesories. And maybe that's the goal - to keep us out of sight and out of mind. But I don't think the economy could sustain it.

Nabai All I know is, I saw a link to Navabi today on The Curvy Fashionista and I'm prepared to go big or go home on that site. They have some FABULOUS fashion (Isolde Roth - YES!). Right up my alley, in fact. With a reasonable S&H/return policy I can stand. ;) 

If you'd like to join me in my wallow and let Nordstrom know how much they're failing right now, you can contact them Monday-Friday,  8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time, here: 

1700 7th Ave. Ste. 1500 
Seattle WA 98101

Colin Johnson, VP Business Communications --

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