Go Ahead, Try it On

Title (as given to the record by the creator):  Go Ahead, Try it On
Date(s) of creation:  October, 1994
Creator / author / publisher:  FaT GiRL, Max, Raquel, Selena, Syndee
Physical description:  Three zine pages with typed text and display ads.
Reference #:  FG1-044-046-Clothing
Links: [ PDF ]

Go Ahead, Try it On

Clothes in the Bay area 

by Raquel and Max 

Ample Annie 
717 Pacific Ave. 
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 
(408) 425-3838

This is a fantastic used clothing store for fat women. They’ve got a variety of stuff, mostly femmy, but it’s worth checking out no matter who you are. The woman who owns it is fat, and has fat-liberation stuff up on the walls. It’s the only used clothing store for fat women I have ever seen. (Max)

Audrey Jones 
Broadway Shopping Plaza 
(Next to Emporium) 
Walnut Creek, CA 
(510) 943-6488
Hours: M-F 10-9, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 1-6

A more expensive mall store; I don’t rec­ommend them for everyday wear, but if you’re looking for Danskin products (leo­tards, leggings, big tee’s) or formal party wear, this is a great store to check out. They only go to size 24, but I’ve found their t-shirts and tights to be a little bigger (I wear a large 28). Another girlie-girl store, sorry Butch … (Raquel)

Harper Greer 
580 4th Street 
San Francisco, CA 94107 
(415) 543-4066
Hours: M-Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-5, sizes 14- 26

Only if you come into some real money should you even walk by this store, but on the chance this happens, and you’re look­ing for the coolest in corporate wear, check out this husband-and-wife-owned opera­tion. They use only the best fabrics in beautiful, long-lasting designs made specifically to fit fatties. One day, when I thought I was gonna have to tow the cor­porate line, I went there to get a maroon houndstooth job. Yes, it was half my monthly pay, yes that was back before they took my credit cards, but let me tell you honey, it rocked! Last time I was there they had sales racks upstairs with some good stuff too. (Raquel) 

1696 Valencia (@Mission) 
San Francisco, CA 
(415) 282-1243

Men’s work clothing,flannels up to 6x, long & short underwear, jeans up to 60 some­thing, overalls up to 50 something, jackets, boots, etc. Really nice, friendly, family-­owned, non-chain kinda atmosphere. Pricey, but really high-quality stuff. (Max)

California Big & Tall 
822 Mission 
San Francisco, CA 
(415) 494-4484

Fancy men’s clothes (suits, jackets, shirts, pants) at prices WAY below retail. Most of it is, of course, still expensive by my standards, but you can find some really nice shirts for around $15 occasionally, and they’re always having huge sales.The guys who work there are REALLY help­ful, and could care less that I’m a crazy butch dyke. (Max)

280 Metro Center, 65 Colma Blvd. Colma, CA 
(415) 992-5350

Their women’s big section was pretty dismal, and only went up to size 24, but I got two great pair of Levi’s (one green, one purple, size 54/30) in the men’s sec­tion for really cheap. I think it’s the kind of store where you never know what they’re gonna have-it’s mostly overstocks and irregulars. (Max)

Says Who 
3903 Piedmont Avenue 
Oakland, CA 94611 
(510) 547-5181
Hours: M-W 10-6, Th 10-7, Fri. & Sat. 10-6, Sun 12-4, sizes 34-52

Says Who carries a small and expensive, though high-quality, line of their own knitwear. They also specialize in big batik prints (I got a really cool shirt with stars, moons and alien space crafts in miracu­lous shades of purple). They also carry overalls (sometimes) and girlie denim jackets up to 5X. If you can stand the haughty sales staff, you have a wad o’ money to spend, and you like femmy clothes, Says Who is definitely worth checking out. (Raquel) 

Seams to Fit
6527 Telegraph Avenue 
Oakland, CA 94609 
(510) 428-9463
Hours: M-F 11-6, Sat. 10-6, Sun. 12-4

Seams to Fit is the sister store to Says Who (see above) in Oakland. Specializing in large size consignments, they carry both formal and informal clothing. Like any used clothing store, the selection can go from being very bad to very good, so it’s best just to check them out every so often for deals. It’s a great place to sell your duds, you can get cash or credit (good at either Seams to Fit or Says Who). Besides used clothing, they also sell sec­onds from Says Who; used shoes (size 10 and up only) and new bras (though they’re not racy enough for me). (Raquel)

Sister Sister Ladies Plus Size Fashion 
660 3rd Street 
San Francisco, CA 94107 
(415) 243-4392
Hours: M-Sat. 10-5:J0, Closed Sunday, sizes 14-26, up to 3x

Located in the Six Sixty Factory Outlet Center at Third & Townsend, this store is a real gem for femmes. On one particu­lar shopping spree, I started in the East Bay at Seams to Fit, buying this great long cotton print dress. I then came to Sister Sister, where she had the same dress ( different print) for half price. I learned my lesson, start in the city and work your way East. Like any factory out­let, some days it’s all kitsch and other lucky days, PAYDIRT! (Raquel)

Sizes Unlimited 
941 Market 
San Francisco, CA 
(415) 543-6436

Well, it’s not true that they’re unlimited (sizes 16-32), but they do go bigger than most of the fat women’s stores I’ve checked out. Like every fat women’s clothing chain store I’ve been to, their stuff is relatively poorly made, and costs too much. They do have some good sales though, and have a higher cotton/poly­ester ratio than most other places. (Max)

We Be Bop 
1903 Fillmore Street 
San Francisco, CA 94115 
(415) 771-7294
Hours: M-F 11-7, Sat. 10-7, Sun. 12-6 

This store carries sizes up to 3x. And, they always have a sale rack of gorgeous dresses, shirts and slacks in their signa­ture hand-batiked prints for $15. Many of the clothes you find in other “plus” stores actually come from We Be Bop, so check ’em out before you go mall-hop­ping, not after. (Raquel)

Mail-Order Catalogs

by Selena, Syndee, Max and Raquel

Back to Basics II for plus sizes, 
Back to Basics, 
The Catalog Company 
1107 West Main St. #201 
Durham, NC 27701 

This is a small (7 pages) catalog of simple cotton and cotton-blend clothes and under­rwear. Bike shorts, leggings, t-shirts, tights, socks, underwear, t-shirt dresses. Prices look pretty good: underwear $2-3, leg­gings $29, for example. Lives up to its name in carrying basics only, nothing very interesting. Sizes 1x-4x. (Selena) 

FSA Plus Women 
60 Laurel Haven 
Fairview, NC 28730 
1 (800) 628-5525 

This company has some very nice clothes. Sizes depend on what you are buying. Pants, skirts and shorts go from XL (44-46 hips) to 6x (68-70 hips). Stirrups and leg­ging sizes are the same. Tops go from Ix (34-36 bust) to 8x (58-60 bust), dresses and a-line taps are the same. **This company will also do custom orders. There is a one-time $10 pattern fee and prices range from $25 on up. (Syndee) 

Gotcha Covered 
PO Box 40443 
Downey, CA 90241 

This company sells pants, t-shirts, and whatever else they can find to throw in. Sizes go from XL (which fits hips 48-50) to 5XL (which fits hips 64-66). For most stuff prices range between $15-$45. (Syndee) 

It’s A Secret Plus
PO Box 5001
Englewood, CO 80155- 5001 

This company sells some very sexy lingerie; they also sell a variety of books, lotions and other fun stuff. Sizes range from lx (which fits hips 40-44) through 6x (which fits hips 56-59). Prices average about $35 for most stuff. The catalog costs $3 to order. (Syndee)

JC Penney catalog 
1 (800) 222-6161 

You probably won’t find most of this stuff in a JC Penney store, but their catalog has lots of great large-sized clothing in the men’s sections­, jeans, overalls, cover­alls, dress pants, t-shirts, work shirts and dress shirts. Pants go up to W54, sometimes W56, shirts up to 5X. (Max) 

Lane Bryant Catalog 
1 (800) 477-7070 

Though they use thin models and have a predilection for polyester, I got some hot lace bras for me, and some well-construct­ed sports bras for my non-girl girlfriend from this catalogue. I also got a nice house dress (oooh, one can never have too many of those) to wear during my weekly Saturday morning cooking show marathons. (Raquel) 

Lillian Lavergne Designs 
7401 Lunar Dr. 
Austin, TX 78745 
1 (800) 416-0063 

This company makes slips and camisoles. Their sizes range from xs (2-4) to 10x (50-52). Prices average around $40. They will send you a swatch sample of the material they use. Note: you might try calling them and seeing if they will do custom orders. (Syndee) 

Making It Big 
“Natural Fiber Clothing for Large and Supersize Women 32-72 +” 
PO Box 2704 
Petaluma, CA 94953-2704 

This is a great catalog, with lots of inter­esting clothes in their own colors, in sizes 32-72+. I wear a small in their sizes, which is a good sign. The main problem for me is that their prices are kind of high. Dresses run $68-$90, pants and tops around $50. I guess that’s not really so much these days, but it’s a lot for me. They are strong on nice non ­tacky career-woman clothes and also casual stuff. I wish they had more tai­lored-type clothes, too, but I don’t mean to complain too much, cause overall I think they’re cool. (Selena) 

PO Box 1117 
Santa Maria, CA 93456 
1 (800)462-4447 

This company sells lingerie. Yum is my response. Sizes range from XL (which fits hips 41-44) to 4x (which fits hips 50- 53). Prices average about $45-$50. Call for the catalog. (Syndee) 

Original Jo’s 
8766 Wicklow Lane 
Dublin, CA 94568-1149 
1 (800) 352-9156 

This company just makes t-shirts. The shirts are decorated with sayings or pic­tures and sizes go from 1x to 8x. Prices start out at $15 and go to $26. (Syndee) 

Peggy Lutz Design 
PO Box 170665 
SF, CA 94117 

This is a catalog of supersize (48-76/5x-10x) clothing (knit basics and business wear) direct from the manufacturer. The clothes are interesting, dramatic, and upscale. Prices run $60-$180. My only nit to pick with them is that I found the format of unbound catalog pages to be con­fusing. (Selena) 

Women’s sizes 14W-26W 
340 Poplar Street 
Hanover, PA 17333-0069 

This is one of those catalogs full of skinny women wearing clothes that are too big for them. It’s more mainstream and trendy than the other catalogs I’ve reviewed, and it’s not all natural fibers (gasp!). Their prices are in the same general range as the others- $40-150. Things I like about this catalog are their reasonably wide range of styles, and their good selection of bras. (Selena) 

The Smart Saver 
PO Box 105 
Wasco, lL 60183-0105 

They have pretty good bras in here and they go about 48DD on most of them. Average price is about $15. I and my mom get most of our stuff from here as we can not find our sizes in the department stores. (Syndee). 

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