Clothing Stores Guaranteed To Make You Feel Fat

Once upon a time, going shopping for new clothes was a source of joy for me. I loved the euphoric feeling I would get from finding the perfect pair of jeans or t-shirt, and I would have no issues with the way a size medium shirt would hang on my average body frame.

Unfortunately, like Elizabeth Taylor’s pulse, those days are no longer. Now entering a clothing store sends me into a shame spiraling fugue. I feel judged by the starving and emotionally distant employees, and tremble when I have to (on occasion) tell them I would like something in a large. It’s usually met with a smirk and a response along the lines of, “i’ll have to check in the back. I’m not sure if we have any.” What’s worse is when they’ll suggest a larger size to you under the guise of being helpful. They stare at your body, assessing each of your unflattering curves and say something like, “You might need a size up.” These employees are drunk on the power of retail. And I’m their normal bodied sacrificial lamb.

Below are the following stores that will make you feel like a walrus. Their sizing is the rudest—sometimes it’s even European which is doubly rude—and the store employees are the big bullies on the fashion playground. When entering these places, make sure to wear your self-esteem vest: Size XXL.

American Apparel

With their bizarre jazzercise ensembles and crop tops, this store is only meant to be frequented by hipsters whose sole source of nutrition is through the comment section of Hipster Runoff (R.I.P. baby). Their meals comprise of a text message, a liked comment on a blog, and a line of coke for dessert. #dark. As for the employees, they’re usually young, thin, and wearing the scarlet letter “D” for “I sucked Dov Charney’s dick so I could push gold lamé bodysuits for minimum wage.” As Jezebel once put it, “American Apparel will make you look like a fat hooker.” Seriously. Their clothes don’t look good on anyone who likes to eat, which I’m guessing is the way AA likes it.

Opening Ceremony

The second I enter the intimidating doors of luxury hipster clothing haven Opening Ceremony, I magically gain ten pounds, develop five pimples, and lose six strands of my hair. To shop here is to test your self-esteem. Everyone who works here is teeny tiny, aloof, and dangerously edgy, and the sizing is a legitimate “fuck you” to anyone who’s not on the Mary-Kate meal plan. Things are shorter, narrower, and just smaller. They’re clothes for the powerful midget basically. That being said, the garments are all so precious and I would like to own the whole store.


A.P.C.’s design aesthetic seems to be inspired by malnourished sailor boys and self-conscious housewives which makes me equally obsessed and depressed. Vertical stripes adorn many of the men’s shirts, which as you may know makes you look fatter. As for the girls, there are a lot of 1950’s-style frocks (“Mommy is on quaaludes!”) that don’t do any favors for a woman’s “problem areas.” They may have back in the ’50s (women had fuller figures back then) but A.P.C. has modernized the style by making the dresses only look flattering on smaller frames. Bastards!


We can give a nice “thank you’ and “fuck you” to fashion designer Hedi Slimane for singlehandedly bringing anorexic boys back in vogue with his work as a designer at Dior. If you’re wondering why you’ve been sleeping with so many men lately who have bodies like your 12-year-old sister, you can look back to Slimane’s designs which advocated the heroin chicness of someone like Pete Doherty. As a result, men who were born with broad shoulders and thick arms were left behind in favor of a new male ideal. TC mark

image – A.P.C.

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Xxx

    wah wah

  • sal

    Pete Doherty's built like a brick shithouse.


    I've never heard of any of these stores, but whenever I go to Marshall's I feel just right.

    • Michael Koh

      AJ Wright's right for me!

  • Eggs

    Also abercrombie, hollister, etc., but who shops here anymore?

    • Julene

      High schoolers.

      • guest

        middle schoolers and grade schoolers*

  • Julene

    Opening Ceremony is not only for the tiny, but the short. As for AA–I swear by their underwear, but only when there's no mirror or cold-hearted South African men present.

  •!/nvvmxac danne rassle

    what's with the R.I.P ? did u pull a Gawker?

    • george brostanza

      hipster runoff will never die. Dude just keeps threatening blog suicide, but never actually does any damage. If anything, the threat just enables 20x the number of comments he would normally get. It works, so i guess he's somewhat of a genius in his “keeping his blog relevant” strategy.

  • Joseph Ernest Harper

    I thought vertical stripes made you look taller? Maybe not. What's the deal with American Apparel. Like, real nice looking plain tshirts and trousers. So plain. So nice. But then also the most garish items of all time. There is no middle ground.

    • jmbg

      Yeah, pretty sure it's wide horizontal stripes that make you look fat. Vertical stripes are slimming.

      • Barbara Kerr

        No, horizontal stripes are slimming because they're, you know, horizontal. Vertical stripes follow the curves of your lard – if you don't have any lard you're fine, but if you have, say, boobs, vertical stripes will wrap right around them, yelling to the world “hey lookee here boobies!!!”. Of course, that may be exactly what you want, but at 36E, I don't think mine need more attention.

      • Andy_possum

        NO! horizontal stripes draw the eye across creating width. vertical stripes draw the eye up and down creating length. how about you don't try and plug your breast size (WHO CARES?) and think before you wrongly correct someone on what is a basic fact of styling.

  • Andy



    ps. i love all of the stuff you write , i'm a big fan of your work :)

  • Fat Arse.

    I'm a size 2 and when I was trying on a black pair of AA famous Disco pants one of the male shop assistants said to the female assistant that he wouldn't be game enough to wear the disco pants I had on, just loud enough for me to hear him. Could have died right there and then on the spot. Shame cause I was about to buy them too.

    • Dree

      I would have taken that as a challenge!

  • Paintbymy

    americans are fat people. too many iced frappes at starbucks.

  • Andrew Colville

    I don't know if I really agree with this article–albeit, OC stuff does fit very, very small.

    To me, a size doesn't mean much more than “this will have a certain length and width.” I shop already knowing that I'll have to buy L or XL because of my height (6'4″), so I don't know if I'm exactly the target audience for this; however, if I have to size up, it's the designer's and/or manufacturer's fault for misrepresenting the size, not mine for being the size that I am.

    Also, who gives a shit what an employee thinks? 1) Their sole purpose is to serve you. 2) You have nothing to do with their life and they have nothing to do with yours. You shouldn't feel [negative emotion] because of a “you might need a size up” gesture.

  • Aria Sedehi

    good: These stores encourage us to lose fat
    bad: These stores encourage us to lose fat in the most unhealthy way possible (via coke and cigarettes)

  • george brostanza

    good: These stores encourage us to lose fat
    bad: These stores encourage us to lose fat in the most unhealthy way possible (via coke and cigarettes)

  • Guest

    The only excuse for not fitting in Dior Homme is that you've put on too much muscle, and then you can just move up to D&G.

  • Dan

    Just stop eating solid foods, ryan. Works for me.

  • Aja

    I love A.P.C., but you're right. Fitting in their clothes feels like an accomplishment. #sad

  • ian

    APC is vanity sized, why is it on this list?

  • guest

    every time i go to a store they only have mediums and large UGH it's so hard to find small clothes at cheap stores. why don't you shop at average places

  • Blabbby

    apc definitely has vanity sizing, plus they do a lot of potato sack dresses so i dont see why it's on this!

  • guest

    i have worked at both, am a size 6 pants, and still love food. i dont feel like i have to lose weight or that they want me to lose weight. sorry guys

  • catherine

    Dior even had Karl Lagerfeld drop weight to fit into their suits. Now that's clout.

  • Em

    do you recommend stores like Gap and Old Navy where a size 32 has been measured to actually be a 36? is that the type of clothing store that won't make you feel fat? I guess it's better to believe a lie than be confronted with an unsavory truth. And just fyi- European sizes run true- that's why high end designers regardless of origin use it- makes production and intl distribution consistent.

  • ProudlyPetite

    This is essentially just HUGE RED FLAG that somebody needs to work on their self esteem…

  • Lala

    i know how that feels. My hips are a 43 . When I looked at Hot Topic’s size chart , my hip size was unde PLUS SIZE ! and i’m not even fat. My waist is a 28 and my bust is a 37. Im not FAT at all & based on their size chart i’m plus sized :'(

    • cheryl

      but isnt hot topic for teenagers? maybe thats plus size for teenagers in the states?

    • Supervixenjen

      ummmm your hips are 43? yeah…that’s really really big. sorry to tell you…im a 34/36 in the hip area,and people think *I’m* big…average hip size for a healthy,in shape woman is 36. you are definetely plus sized,for teens or adults women. and yes I am a woman…I am 28.

      • Anonymous

        wow are you rude.

  • sherry bobbins

    never go to asia

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