If you follow me on Twitter (@bec2point0), you’ve likely seen one of my recent rants about the lack of availability of cute, functional, plus-sized athletic wear. When I tell you it’s slim pickins, I promise you, I’m not lying. If you are an athlete of the plus-size variety (guess what, retailers? WE EXIST!), I know you feel me.
Finding any sort of workout clothes in a size 3X is a challenge. And if you want it to be cute? Even more so. And if you’d like to not have to sell a vital organ to afford them? Be prepared to do some hard looking!
Hint: Don’t bother looking in a certain fruity sounding yoga wear proprietor. Their largest size is a 12.
And sadly, they are not alone. I’ve visited several sites that carry size ‘XL’, but if you read the fine print, that XL is equal to a 12.
Size 12 is not extra large, kids. It’s just not. According to this Jezebel article from last June, the average American woman wears a size 14. So calling your size 12 items ‘extra large’ is both rude, and inaccurate.
Being thin has not been synonymous with being an athlete for quite some time. Go to your local walking track. Go to any ‘fun run’. Go to your local Zumba studio. And look. What you will see is women of ALL shapes and sizes getting their workout on.
Sadly, what you will probably also see is that the larger women rarely have anything remotely equivalent in cuteness to the adorable outfits that the smaller women are wearing.
So, what is the message I’m to take from this? That if larger women want to exercise, they shouldn’t bother looking for cute workout clothes? Should we just pull on a baggy men’s t-shirt and stretchy pants and sweat to the oldies in our living rooms as to not offend the general population with our jiggling?
I say screw that. (And I say it a lot. And usually I replace the word screw with its much more colorful, starts with F, buddy).
Wake up, retailers. There are plenty of curvy, plus-size women that want to buy athletic wear. We’ve got boobs, and hips and disposable income.
BUT… this is not just a rant. After numerous angry twitter venting sessions, I decided to get off my sizeable ass and start really looking. And because we fathletes have to stick together, I will now share with you the fruits of my searching.
Lola Get Active – I ordered this adorable top a couple of weeks ago. It’s stylish, well-made and is available up to a size 22/24. (P.S. It’s also on sale right now!) This site has many more great items, and I will definitely be giving them more of my business.
Bare Plus – This is the plus size of the house for Bare Essentials. While this site is primarily lingerie, they do have a workout section. Yes, even on the plus side. Lots of sports bra selection for us busty girls, but some cute tops as well. Including this one, which I bought and am currently in love with.
JCP – I’ll be honest, the stuff on the JCP website leans a bit more towards ‘sportswear’ than true ‘activewear’, but there are some performance items. Their prices are very reasonable, and if you have a local store, you can have it shipped there for FREE. I like free.
Old Navy – I’ll be honest. I haven’t ordered anything from ON. Yet. Most of their tops are of the sleeveless variety and it’s COLD where I am. But believe you me, I will be just as soon as it warms up. I can’t speak to their quality, but their prices are good. I’m going to guess this is a ‘you get what you pay for’ situation. As in, it will be cute and functional, but it’s not going to last forever. But you know what? For $24.94, it doesn’t have to.
So, curvy friends, don’t despair. Cute activewear for larger women is not just a myth. You can find it! And if you find it, please support it. Speak with your wallet. It’s really the only thing corporations listen to.
And as for those companies that call their size 12 an ‘XL’, and the ones who cap their sizes below that of the average American woman? I can promise them this. Once all of this working out pays off, and I am a woman of ‘average’ size, they will still not see a dime of my money. Because no. And screw that.
Do you have any great recs for places to shop for plus-size activewear? Please share! Bec really likes to shop. A lot. Like, it’s a problem.