I am and have always been a discount shopper. I love discount and thrift stores. I do not like paying full price for anything! I love bargains!
So I was quite thrilled to discover Steinmart when I moved to Texas. If they had them in California, there sure weren't any near me in West Los Angeles. I bought my discount clothing at Ross, or the local discount clothing stores on Venice Blvd., or at the Salvation Army.
Steinmart is a step up from Ross in that it is actually laid out and decorated like a nice department store. Ross, depending on the location, can just be one big mess. Steinmart actually has staff that you'll see cleaning up the displays and refolding the clothes you just messed up looking through things.
If there's one thing I don't love about Steinmart, it's that somehow, even its "youthful" attire seems a bit "old lady" to me. Perhaps it's the location I shop at. But, still, I've found lots of great stuff at Steinmart.
Tonight I was at Steinmart to get a few items of clothing I needed for the fall. Being currently obsessed with yoga clothing, especially because I am reviewing everything I can reasonably afford and find interesting, I decided to check out the yoga clothing offerings at Steinmart. (Isn't it great, that I can justify buying new yoga clothes because I need them to teach yoga and I also review my finds for the yoga clothing review section of my yoga website? Yes, it is a write-off!)
Steinmart's fitness apparel section is pretty small, however, at least at my location. It's usually a few racks next to the lingerie section. Today I was in luck, however, because these few racks were filled with yoga pants and a few tops. Hurrah! Some of the capri pants looked really awesome as well.
Oh wait...I can't find my size in half of the pants offered. I need an XL. (OK, I might be able to fit into a large, but then I'm going to be worried about looking like the proverbial plumber in the back.)
Finally! I found two nice yoga pants - at a huge discount off the "Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price" - in an XL. I also decided to try a yoga top. The yoga pants I got were about $25, and at least one of the brands was originally selling for $68. Not bad. But I wish I had been able to get some other styles.
Here is the problem, if you are a size 12 or up: Your options are limited, if not entirely null and void. I could only find a few XLs. The "awesome capris" did not come in an XL at all...at least Steinmart did not have it.
I wondered if perhaps the XLs were over in the Plus section, which is called Women's or something not obviously plus, even though the entire store is women's. So I wandered over there hoping to find a rack of workout clothing for larger women.
Nope. The plus-size section of Steinmart did not have any workout clothes whatsoever. There were plenty of knit and stretch pants, some of which could have been used for yoga or other types of workouts. But no stray XL yoga pants (or larger) over there. In fact, I was even more discouraged, because depending on the fit of the pant, I might go up to a 14T if I want something comfortable, but the plus section seemed to start at 16W. The "regular" section mostly seemed to stop at size 12. I am now stuck in this netherworld of normal and "plus" size simply because of my pear shape. Do clothing manufacturers not understand that a lot women actually have curves? Look at Kim Kardashian!
Once again, I am struck by the huge opportunity that yoga clothing manufacturers are missing. Yoga pants are not just for skinny people, and they are not just for yoga anymore. In fact, some of the pants I got tonight are so nice and comfortable, I'm planning on using them as just plain ole pants. The more I've done yoga, the more I like wearing comfy pants. I do wear jeans but they can be so darn uncomfortable! Yoga pants can be a great alternative, if they provide enough coverage so you don't have to worry about exposing yourself each time you bend over. Yoga clothing companies, please take note.