Macy’s: Way To Blow It

So on Sunday I’m walking in the mall again and armed with my camera phone, I stopped in at Macy’s. I head for the lingerie department where I try to find some sexy things. It’s not easy.

Entering the lingerie department one is bombarded — nay, assaulted — by a panorama of cotton pastel pj’s. Easter egg shades of lime, pink and baby blue are on racks, walls, and folded on table tops. Jammies, jammies everywhere. You might argue that it’s spring and that the rest of the mall is displaying their shorts, sandals and gauzy cotton skirts. Yes, you are right about that. But if we’re supposed to be catching spring fever, why cotton pj’s with long sleeves and and pajama bottoms?

Oh, and how do you defend so much retail space devoted to slippers?

Yes, that’s a giant wall of fuzzy slippers.

And just in case this isn’t enough to cover the tootsies of the entire town, let’s add another rack of fuzzy slippers.

Fuzzy slippers and cozy cotton just don’t scream ‘spring has sprung’ to me.

But I keep on looking for sexy lingerie. It has to be here somewhere, right?

Ah, there, hidden around a corner, like a porn mag stuffed into a pocket, something entices…

It’s the Jezebel line of lingerie!

My heart goes pitter-pat, and not from my earlier walking either. But then my heart is broken…

The lingerie is incredibly small. Incredibly. A size large is so small that I cannot imagine sticking even both breasts in it — not if I want to include the rest of my torso. I’m not even sure the girls would, if they could, fit if put in by themselves. It’s tiny lingerie.

Aghast, I ask the lingerie department saleswomen if I am crazy.

“Hello,” I say, “I have a question about the Jezebel line…”

“Sure, how can I help you?” says the woman who is near my age and size (OK, she’s smaller in the chest and larger about and below the waist, but still, she’s a real sized woman.)

“Is this for kids? I mean it’s so tiny…”

“Well,” she begins, her eyes darting about (fearful of a supervisor no doubt), “it’s made for smaller women…”

“Smaller women? You mean like some race of human I have not ever heard of? Because it’s frighteningly small… And with those styles, it can’t be for kids — can it?!” I ask panicked that I’m supposed to put a 10 year old in such provocative panties and bustiers.

She blushes and replies as best she can under the circumstances (retail supervisors at department stores are notorious for watching staff at any given moment — do well, get a Frango; do poorly, get written up), “Well, it’s made for younger… er, smaller, um, like for Junior customers.”

Junior my ass is what I am thinking. I know of no 16 year old who could fit in this stuff — big boobs or no. But I can’t terrify this poor clerk and say this to her. So I nod and go on my way.

On my way out I pass through the children’s department. There on a 4-way is a collection of swimsuits (spring, remember?). I impulsively grab two bikinis, a size 7 and a size 12, and head back to intimates…

There I find the hidden corner of small smalls, and hold the size 7 child’s swimsuit up to the size Large women’s lingerie top, comparing (under) bustline to (under) bustline. Both garments have Lycra or other stretch so it’s a fair comparison. Held snugly, with enough tension to line the garments up and compare them I made my discovery: The size 7 is almost an inch and a half smaller. A full grown woman is supposed to be, at most, just 1 and 1/2 inches larger than a little girl who wears a size 7?

I swallow hard. I’m stunned. Hands shaking, I do the same with the size 12 …

Holy crap, it’s one inch larger!

The size 12 little girl’s swimsuit is one fucking inch larger than a woman’s size Large.

(Across the bust anyway — I didn’t dare do any more measuring. And I had no desire to even think about Panties vs. Swimsuit Bottoms.)

At this point I’m not sure if I’m gonna faint or not. I mean all my worst fears have been confirmed. OK, my worst fear is to be locked up for being crazy. And this proves I’m not crazy. The momentary elation & a sense of victory immediately vanish as I realize this is all a conspiracy. This miniature sizing doesn’t happen by accident. Even the occasional idiot who gets into buying has to get this OK’d by someone else… This is all about hatred of female bodies. And poor marketing.

By this time, hubby’s called and come to meet me (I’m way past my pick-up time and we need to get dinner started). He finds me hot & sweaty, fixated & obsessed, in the lingerie department. At first he thinks this is normal for his lingerie crazed wife, but he quickly discovers this is a different sort of frenzy; I am not in rapture and about to whine for a purchase. Far from it.

Hubby proceeds to try and calm me down by saying how, “everybody knows that women are trying to be pre-pubescent teens.” Like that’s gonna calm me down.

“I’m somebody, and I’m not. Take a look around you — see anyone here looking like that?” I snap back at him.

Properly chagrined, hubby follows in tow as I once again head for the nice sales lady.

“I know you can’t say anything standing here — I used to work for Field’s so I know your position — but I just thought you’d like to know this… I just took swimsuits from the kid’s department and measured them against the Jezebel lingerie. The kid’s sizes are larger. Just so you can tell ladies who exit the fitting room with that look of fear and self-hatred on their faces that it’s not them. They are fine. The lingerie is in itself insanely small.”

She smiled. She beamed and looked radiant actually.

Then hubby says, “Or in case some one’s looking for stripped underwear sets like these, you can have them try the kids department.”

We all laughed (hubby rescues himself from yet another hole he dug for himself with his cleverness).

Back to my point.

I hear all the time from department store buyers and retail shop owners that they don’t carry sexy lingerie because their customers don’t want it. They hold up their small sales figures as proof that, “Those looks just don’t sell here.”

Well, number one, it can’t sell if it doesn’t exist. Number two, it can’t sell if it’s not offered in the same sizes as their customers.

Macy’s has just proven that their small sales figures are due to their small inventory selection and sizes. Way to self-prophetize rather than profitize.

In Macy’s defence, Jezebel sizes their garments. But why-o-why stock inventory that isn’t going to work for your demographic? Why didn’t Macy’s select sexier styles in the sizes their customers wear? If Jezebel doesn’t make those sizes find another lingerie line. That’s pretty simple.

Macy’s makes fatal, not femme fatale, decisions — and they should be held accountable:

First, they hide what little sexy lingerie they do offer.

Second, the only stock they carry is for exceedingly tiny anorexic women who will visit the fitting room and then purge their stomachs out of self-loathing because even this stuff won’t fit them without pinching, binding or restricting breathing.

So, here’s an idea Macy’s: Buy sexy lingerie in the sizes your customers wear and prominently display it. (Replace that wall of fuzzy slippers why don’t you.)

Should you be a miniature person, Bare Necessities sells Jezebel Lingerie. (Don’t blame me if your purchase arrives and is suitably sized for your 8 year old rather than yourself. You’ve been warned.)

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