Okay, here are the cards.

by Erin on June 27, 2006

size card

That's what they say on the front; there's also a back template that says "Confused by this card? Visit http://www.dressaday.com". I'll put up a little explanation about it in the next couple days.

You can download the front here, and the back here. They're both PDF files.

You can use this template with most Avery brand business cards but don't get the "clean edge" versions as those do not print front and back. (Remember, to print front and back, you have to turn the sheet over and run it through again …)

Sorry I wasn't able to make these in Hebrew, as one commenter asked. (Although anyone can download the template from the Avery site.)

I spent a little time last night looking for citations about the average size of the American woman, retail information, etc. This article was the most easily accessible online and had the clearest citations for some of the most-repeated pieces of information, such as "Since 1985, the average American woman has grown from a size 8 to a size 14!” It's not a feminist-theory publication, either — it's a marketing trends report from USC.

I also found some fairly off-putting stuff, like two Rocky Mountain News columnists (talking about a law in Argentina requiring stores to stock a full range of sizes) saying "Those empanada-chomping suburban women will get no sympathy from size-zero supermodels."

And how about "It's hard enough to produce regular sizes well, without being compelled to cut for people who often do not have the discretionary income to buy my products anyway," left in the comments here? There seems to be a logical disconnect: if so many women are over a size 14, they can't all be poor … in fact, the CIA World Factbook says only 12% of Americans are below the poverty line. And although women are disproportionately poor, not every plus-size woman is. (The ones I know are desperate to buy stylish clothes that fit!)

The last thing I want this to be, though, is a sneering war between the larger and the smaller (I got a couple of "friendly" emails assuming that must be plus-size for caring about this and telling me that if I just lost weight, I could shop in "regular" again. Well, not exactly — I wear between an 8 and a 12, depending on the store, so most stores stock sizes I could theoretically wear. It's just that I've got almost a ten-inch differential between my waist and my hips, plus I'm short-waisted, which are both hard to fit. If I lost weight, I would have the same problem, only between sizes 6 and 10 and not 8 and 12.)

I know it can be just as hard for people on the 0-2 end of the spectrum to find clothes, plus there's not as much sympathy. ("You're so skinny, you can wear anything!" Well, no — not if the chest gapes, the sleeves billow, and the waistband falls off your hips!) And god forbid you are bigger than a C-cup and a small size. You might as well write away for the Frederick's of Hollywood catalog and be done with it.

So write your size (whether it's larger or smaller than what's in the store) on the back of the card if you use them. If you would have bought a particular thing, write something like "blue sundress, $100" too. Make it as real as possible. Turn that vague size-14 statistic into real money, and show them that money walking out of the store. The stores won't know that they're not serving your needs unless you tell them.

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