An Open Letter to Melissa McCarthy from a Fellow Plus-Size Mom

Melissa McCarthyDear Melissa McCarthy,

Do you know what would be amazing? If I could walk into a typical clothing store, find a fun outfit I’d like to try on, grab my size from the rack, and then head to the dressing room.

However, I’m plus-sized, and that sort of scenario just doesn’t happen. I know you get it. I also know you are a busy mom like me (okay, you are probably a tad busier) so it’s got to drive you bananas to spend extra time you don’t really have to hunt down the possibility of a pea-sized plus section in a retail store. And THEN there’s the frustration of actually locating what is supposed to be an allocated plus-sized area and then discovering it has either been phased out or taken over by the maternity section.

I’m sure you know the one or two stores at the mall that carry our size and the choices are less than inspiring. It seems like every season the plus market makes a “fashion” choice for us and the next thing you know we’re stuck with elastic waist shirts and tent-like dresses. Who decided ANYONE needed to have elastic at the bottom of t-shirts? As far as the tent dresses; I get it. Larger bodies are harder to design for, but that doesn’t mean we are shapeless. If anything we have pretty awesome and curvy shapes. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t mind showing off my curves!

Shopping as a plus-sized woman is ridiculously challenging and because of that, my closet is a disaster. It’s filled with ill-fitting shirts, bad decision pants, and a couple of dresses that were the only thing I could find in a pinch. There are a few stores that have yielded some nice wardrobe outcomes, but the norm is poor selection and ridiculous prices.

I’ve heard that you want to bring some unity into clothing stores by offering a line of clothing in all sizes: regular through plus. I love this! Like you, I have fluctuated between many sizes in my life. I cheered when you told Women’s Wear Daily, “Just because you go above a size 12 doesn’t mean you lose your love of fashion.” And yet that is where many designers and retailers make the cut off for sizes. I’m so excited that you are embarking on a mission to create a line of clothes that will have sizes to fit all women. You said, “It’s a strange thing to stop at a certain size. Women don’t, so why should clothes?” YES!

Teaming up with Sunrise (the parent company of American Rag, Diane Gilman, People’s Liberation, Seven7 Jeans, and Superdry) to work on your clothing line sounds like a perfect fit. I can imagine there are many of us plus-sized moms celebrating this news. When it comes to clothing size, one recent survey revealed “more U.S. women report wearing a size 16 dress than those who wear a size 2 and size 0 combined.” It’s a brilliant and welcome move for a celebrity to combine their love of fashion with what is a clear void. Thank you for taking on this task.

Since this is December and wish lists are flowing freely from me right now, I thought I would create a wish list for you and your design team.

Melissa, please fill my closet with the following:

  • Classic button-down white shirt that will actually fit over big boobs and still maintain a feminine shape
  • Flattering tunics: different lengths offered for different heights
  • Flattering work pants
  • SKIRTS! a-line, midi, pencil
  • Daytime dresses (with sleeves)
  • Functional and fashionable swimwear

I am guessing most of your design work is locked in for your first line coming out in the Spring of 2015, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for 2016! I believe in you, Melissa.

Happy designing!

Image Credit: Pacific Coast News

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