When Eilis was about seven, as a plus sized kid, she saw some t-shirts and dresses she fell in love with while we were walking through a store. They were in the size an average seven year old might have been in – size 4 – 6x – but that was too small for Eilis. The clothes she wanted had Barbie on them, and unfortunately, clothes in sizes that fit her didn’t have Barbies on them. It was tough enough to find clothes in her size that wouldn’t cut too low on her chest or slit too high on her thigh. Kids clothes weren’t made for my kid. I was so sad for her.
Eilis is now 14. She is also 5’10” tall with size almost 14 in women’s shoes feet. Except, they don’t make most women’s shoes in a size 14. I can find shoes when I have to by ordering them from a specialty store (most of which charge an enormous premium – really? How much more material are you giving me that the shoes are $50 more a pair?).
We’ve been pretty lucky hitting stores like Journeys or Zumiez, where we’ve been able to snag Toms or Vans with a print that’s not too masculine or a solid that could work for a man or a woman. Today, we hit a brick wall. All the patterned shoes were definitely “guy” shoes, except one pair that she loved that they don’t make in her size. We went online to find a pair of Toms or Vans copycats in extended sizes for women, but we didn’t find anything she liked in that search either. She finally found a pair of shoes that were perfect – pastel background, hibiscus flowers in bright pink – perfect for a girl for summer. Oh, but wait. Hiding in the hibiscus flowers was – wait for it – Yoda. Not what she was expecting.
Please, shoe people of the world, make shoes that fit everyone. You wouldn’t have to make too many in these extended sizes, because apparently NO ONE else on the planet has this problem, or it would already be addressed.
I am, once again, sad for her. But more than that, I’m mad. Once again, our cookie cutter, one size fits all world is leaving my child in the dust. I hate when that happens.