plus size prom dress

Abington, Massachusetts consignment store owner Kristen Harris warmed our collective hearts by mobilizing to find a plus size prom dress for a teenage girl she heard crying in her store’s fitting room, after realizing that the store didn’t stock any dresses in larger sizes.

Designer Diva Consignment is only about a month old, so the selection was limited and they didn’t have a single dress in a size 22. While most store owners would shrug and go on about their days, Harris wasn’t content to let that girl feel like she didn’t belong, and so she posted an appeal on her store’s Facebook page.

To the beautiful girl that was in my store today looking for a size 22 dress…I didn’t get your name before you left :( but I will not forget your face :) I’m sorry you were sad… but don’t be. I will find you your dream dress!!! Someone already brought one in & I’ll do everything in my power to get more. Please come back in & when you do the Dress is on Me :) I hope you see this or someone who knows her does.

The Huffington Post reports that the response has been “overwhelming.” Harris got in touch with the teen, and she plans to have a private fitting next week. It’s a lovely gesture, and I would imagine that the store now has quite a selection of plus size prom dresses.

Harris added one more appeal, asking for plus size clothing of all varieties:

P.S. while I have all your attention can I do a shout out to all the plus size ladies … please consider bringing your clothes in to consign. I don’t want anyone of any size ever walking in my store and feeling this way again. I want something there for everyone!! Thank you

If you live in the Abington area and have a plus size prom dress taking up space in your closet, get yourself over to Designer Diva Consignment. Or, if you live in any area (as you likely do) and have your prom dress of any size lying around, I can’t recommend taking it to a consignment or second hand store more highly. Those things are expensive and you’ll never wear them again, but some teen who can’t afford a full-priced one will be beside herself to find your gently used gown.

While this is a lovely, feel good story, it reminds me just how hard it can be to find adequate plus size clothing, and the feelings that come with going into a store and being told that they simply don’t carry things for you. I’m no longer plus size and sometimes I forget the unbelievable privilege I gained by something as arbitrary as losing weight, and the very real shame associated with being rejected by the entire clothing industry. Harris is right–no person should feel the way that girl felt, and the institutionalized body hatred that gives us “straight sized” versus “plus size” isn’t doing any good for anyone (including retailers, who miss out on a consumer group that shockingly wants to buy clothing). I hope that girl finds a dress that makes her feel comfortable and beautiful, and that more stores will follow Harris’ example and stock the full spectrum of sizes. Nobody should feel like their body isn’t deserving of something so simple as clothing.

Photo: ArtJazz/Shutterstock