The Large Ladies of Lands’ End and L.L. Bean

The Large Ladies of Lands’ End and L.L. Bean

“I have been heavy and had much selecting.”
     –Gertrude Stein, Lifting Belly [1915 – 1917]

Because I am not satisfied by the limited palette of men’s clothes
especially in turtlenecks;
because I want a turtleneck in every shade without limitation and will wear
them;
because I want a turtleneck, traditional or mock, in every shade available,
not just in men’s;
because traditionally the palette for women’s clothes is far more vast and
specialized;
because I wear men’s XL and XXXL in women’s;
because Lands’ End and L.L. Bean are most accommodating and do not ask
questions;
because Lands’ End and L.L. Bean do not ask questions, but make assumptions;
because Lands’ End and L.L. Bean engage in marketing techniques to zero in
by choices;
I receive mail order catalogues from Lands’ End and L.L. Bean and get
promotionals online;
I see the large women, tall of stature, thick of thigh, wide of waist, high
of hip in awkward poses meant to be casual and camera-ready; they pose
before the camera and the large ladies who shop;
they look at me in their capris and scarves and long coats, car coats,
blouses, and yes turtlenecks;
they smile at me at their sport and work and play, displaying turtlenecks in
every shade:
Stone, Vermillion, Evening Spruce, Autumn Sunset, Brick Heather, Aubergine
Plum, Rich Red, Russet, Elderberry, True Navy, Twilight Purple, Plum Tart,
Ocean Tropic, Evening Blue, Teal Frost Heather, Eggshell, Sage, Soft Cherry,
Camel.

because I am not satisfied, I give thanks to the large ladies of Lands’ End
and L.L. Bean,
for being large, for living large, for buying large, and letting me live
large or XXXL too.

 

An excerpt from the forthcoming poetry collection Why Sing? by John Trause, publication date spring 2017, originally published in Paterson Literary Review issue 42.

–John J. Trause