I’ve written here about the clothing fat fee before. This refers to the manufacturer/seller’s justification that since such vast quantities of fabric are required to hide the enormous girth of an overweight person from sight, they can charge more money for those sizes. I have always felt that charging by the size was a ridiculous and unscrupulous practice based solely on a seller’s ability to use acceptable discrimination as a way to better line their pockets.
I wasn’t expecting to still have to pay the fat fee after having struggled and sweated off seventy pounds.
Like a lot of women, I’m a top-down weight loser, meaning that my fat cells tend to shrink first in my face, then my collar and chest area, then my waist, while my stomach and thighs hold more stubbornly onto their fat stores and remain disproportionally bigger for a longer time. As such, I’m now wearing about a women’s standard size XL or 12 on my top half, while my bottom half is about three sizes larger at an 18. Yes, this makes dresses very difficult, but that’s another post.
A while back I purchased a geeky t-shirt for myself as a weight loss reward from a website that uses a particularly high pressure sales tactic of only offering their limited edition shirts at a certain price for a 24 hour period, then raising it by about seven dollars if you miss out. That’s not what I have a problem with. I have a problem with the fact that they charge one price for sizes small through extra-large, then raise the price by a dollar for every size larger than that.
The one shirt I have from them is what they call a women’s 3XL. When I first ordered it four months ago and it arrived, I was dismayed to find that the largest women’s size they carried looked to me like doll clothing. It took me losing about twenty or thirty more pounds before I can now wear it comfortably. This means that their largest size available for women, what they call a 3XL, is actually about a size twelve, what most manufacturers consider a large, or extra large. And they charge more money for it.
So, apparently a size twelve is such a gigantic size that it requires several dollars extra worth of fabric to cover.
Yes, I get that it’s only a few dollars. No, that is not the point.
The point is that there is no reasonable or possible justification to charge more money for what is in fact one of the most common sizes worn by American women. There is no reason for this, none whatsoever, other than the fact that the sellers know that they can get away with it. Since they are charging the most money for the size that is probably ordered the most often, they’re probably making a fairly good profit by charging the fat fee to people who, in this case, are not even fat.
Right now I’m mostly annoyed because they’re running a sale on a print that I desperately want, and I’m struggling with myself over whether or not I can in good conscience continue to support retailers who do this. If I decide not to, it’s going to eliminate a LOT of places for me to shop. Most retailers, particularly for things like t-shirts, charge a fat fee of some sort. I’m honestly not sure what to do.
|In case you're curious, this gorgeous Dark Crystal t-shirt print is the one causing my conundrum. Cool, huh?|
Update: I sent this clothing seller a link to my blog and expressed my dismay to them at the small sizes for which they are deciding to levy fat fees on customers. This was their response:
"Thanks for contacting us! The reason the larger tees cost more to buy is because they cost more to make. It's not meant to be an insult. I apologize if it is taken that way. Congrats on the weight loss :) Please let me know if you have any further questions."