A friend forwarded some old ads to me, she knows I love that stuff, and there was one for Lane Bryant’s Chubbies clothing. Oh what memories that brings back. Twice a year my mom would take me downtown to Lane Bryant (I can’t remember where the store was) to the Chubby Department – yes they called it the Chubby Department – and we’d buy school clothes for fall/winter and spring/summer. The Chubby Department was in the basement, of course, and back in the corner where I suppose we were suppose to hide from the normal folks. It was truly the only place in town you could get clothes for “chubby-size” children – “for girls and teens too chubby to fit into regular sizes.” They should have called it the “Aren’t You Ashamed To Be Seen In Public” section.
I do have to say the clothes were really nice though. They tried to have fashions that were up-to-date and even colorful despite the fact I was always told to wear dark clothes and vertical stripes. I remember a jumpsuit I got there – yep a jumpsuit – well it wasn’t actually a suit because it was short like the popular culottes of the day. And it was yellow and orange. My mom tried to talk me out of it but I refused to give in, I wanted this outfit and it was one of my favorites. I never took much to the brown, black, and navy blue world the chubby section tried to shove me into. I like colors. I love to wear greens and pinks. Today I have on a bright yellow shirt. Screw the fashion police I think people should wear what they are happiest in, although I’ve seen some photos of Walmart shoppers who I believe should rethink their choices.
Oh and the best part of the Lane Bryant experience was when you paid for your purchases they had a pneumatic (I think that’s the right word) tube at the checkout desk and they would put your payment into a container and it would suck it up and whisk it off to someplace far away from the Corner of Shame in the basement. I loved to watch that and then wait for the tube to spit out the receipt. I always wanted to stick my hand on there and find out what it felt like which is why my mom watched me like a hawk — she knew if I got the chance I’d be shoving staplers and safety pins and whatever I could get my hands on up that tube. And, if I had the chance today, I’d still do it. Shhh, don’t tell.