Paris/Italy as a Plus-Sized female?

Old Sep 15th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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well, october,

I'm sensing that she's tad [over] sensitive - at least in France/Italy she won't be able to understand the rude remarks!

not much you can do about this, I reckon.

regards, ann

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Old Sep 15th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Ann (and others!) are right - there probably won't be as much shopping for you in France, but I don't think you'll be on the receiving end of many dirty looks/comments. And Oct, you can't control everything around you and your family, but I don't see her getting more comments than at home. I live in Germany, and when we go out, we see just as many large people here as in the US. You might want to keep her away from some of those bistro and cafe chairs, though (the little round ones). Many are unsteady and definitely look a bit too weak!
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Old Sep 15th, 2007, 02:59 PM
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I needed a pair of comfortable shoes last summer when we were in Spain and my supposed comfort shoes were killing me. I am a 9.5 shoe and wanted Geox sneakers. The woman in the store was very nice but because my feet were too big for the ladies, I ended up with a pair of men's sneakers!! They were still cute and my feet felt better. Just thought it was funny. As for clothes, I'm a US size 8 and I still have trouble finding things that fit in Paris and Italy.
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Old Sep 15th, 2007, 04:07 PM
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I am in the same situation as Sally30 - I am a US size 6 to 8, and when we were in Rome, everything seemed too small! My daughter, who was living in Rome for a year, wears a US size zero in pants, and she had no problem finding lots of things to buy.
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Old Sep 15th, 2007, 05:16 PM
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If you are rudely treated by salespeople in Italian stores, chances are it's not because of your size. My Italian frineds always comment to me how nice and helpful salespeople in the US are compared to those in Italy. This behhavior is beginning to change.

FYI, I am plus size in clothing and shoes. I've made at least 20 trips to Italy since the early '80s and gave up shopping for clothing and shoes long ago--difficult/impossible to find the size and expensive to boot. And I've never noticed a size-related rude comments.
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Old Sep 15th, 2007, 06:50 PM
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octoberinparis, regarding your MIL - my experience has been to place the final decision on fellow travelers, then no blame for me - it was their "informed" decision.

I express every concern I have; share all info positive & negative; express my upmost concern that they are delighted with this trip so I want it to be their decision; are they sure this sounds good to them; if it doesn't sound good to them, maybe they will like the next trip better, etc. This way I or the trip planner am/is relieved of all responsibility for their happiness - except for everyone being a kind & gracious fellow traveler, of course. It should not be necessary to address a trip in this manner with logical mature adults, but sometimes not all of us are such!

I also always explain to everyone that we travel with - we are not all attached at the hip; we will all need our own space from time to time; we are not expected to do something we will not like just to please others, etc. I think that makes it easier when someone does not want to do what the majority want - no hard feelings; no guilty feelings.

Good luck, Julie
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Old Sep 16th, 2007, 01:22 AM
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There is a store in Paris which specializes in large sizes :
La Pompadour
32 bis Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9
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Old Sep 17th, 2007, 06:40 PM
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I stayed at the Hotel Giardino in Rome two years ago and seem to remember that the bathroom shower was just fine. There is a great little restaurant down the narrow walkway across the street from the hotel called Restaurant Santa Christina. It was so good, we ate there three days in a row.

If you are worried about needing to purchase clothes because the airlines have lost your luggage, put half of your clothes in the suitcase of your travel companion and one outfit in your carryon. This way you will have at least some clothes.

I also have trouble finding clothes to purchase so I just stick to purses, scarves, jewelry, etc. I have just resigned myself to the fact that I can't compete with those French women and their sense of style.
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Old Sep 17th, 2007, 08:41 PM
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I just think you're inviting a head-banger if you want to shop for nice clothes in large sizes in Europe. You'll certainly fit just fine into the shower stall, no issues there. But myself, I'd prefer to be seeing the sights, not hassling around shopping for clothes, that you likely will not find.
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Old Sep 17th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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I just have to jump in here and ask where French women with big feet shop. I wear a 10/11 shoe in the US and have a hard enough time finding decent 11s here. But I know handfuls of women with similar shoe sizes, even short women. Surely, there are plenty of European women with larger feet too, right?

Sarge, I'm not sure how old your daughter is, or her style, but she should be able to find plenty of clothes that fit in stores like H&M and Zara. Those might be fun shops for her, especially if you don't live near a U.S. city that has them. I travelled with a friend who was about a 10/12 in clothes, and she bought lots of stuff in France at those types of stores.
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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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I am studying in Rome for the semester and I would also like to know if anyone is aware of any stores that sells size 11 shoes in Italy.
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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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This thread is making me feel better!

My husband is 6 ft tall and about 200 lbs. Pretty normal for an American I think. He wears size 13EEE shoes... He has a lot of trouble shopping for clothes in europe where the XL is more like a small running American L and he has been literally laughed at many times when we ask for size 48 shoes...He was pretty horrified to find his pants size here is 54 - just when he was getting used to having gone from a 38 to a 40 around his 50th birthday. Fortunately, he's a man and pretty handsome so his feelings weren't too hurt...

So it's not just women...

My 2 daughters are tiny - petite, around 5' and 100 lbs. They do have big feet - like their Dad (they hate this!) but seem to find shoes OK. They have real trouble buying pants in Switzerland where the women can be pretty big. They send back to the US for any pants...

They are big shoppers and have shopped all over Europe - they found some shopkeepers in Rome less than friendly (really not very nice actually - practically treated them like thieves) and they had specifically dressed up to shop so they would be treated OK. Of course, there were a few very lovely, helpful attendants and those stores got our business...Not a lot of size 12 there though.

I used to be petite. I guess now I'd just call myself short and definitely no longer thin. I find women in Europe really thin (a lot of them smoke and drink coffee and don't eat much at all) and the clothes cut very narrow. I have found a few German lines that fit me well and I actually like better than what I found in the US. I often worry that all these skinny people think I'm "fat" but honestly no one seems to notice but me.

I can't imagine anyone would look at you funny or be rude because of your body. More likely they just don't get a lot of requests for your clothing size (which horrifyingly is called your "Grosse" in German!!)

One piece of advice if I may - it's not as customary to touch things and hold them up to yourself all over Europe like in the US. Notice if other shoppers are before you do...

Have fun and hope you enjoy your trip - stick to jewelry - so much more satisfying and easy to pack
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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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I've had rather the opposite shopping experience in Europe it seems. Aside from the year after I got married (way too many fast food meals, LOL!), I've been a size 2-4 for several years. Here in the US, I rank clothes shopping right up there with torture... Trying to find fashionable slacks/jeans that aren't extreme low riders and trendy tops that don't bare the midriff is difficult and frustrating. In Germany, Italy, and Greece at least, I've had a lot more luck finding clothes in my size that are cute and fashionable, yet don't show parts best left covered. I have run into a few snooty salespersons, but far more of them have been really helpful and knowledgable about styles that work with my height and proportion (long torso, short legs). Many of the outfits that I love the most were handpicked by European salesladies and are things I <i>never</i> would have thought would work for me. So... if the only thing stopping anyone is intimidation, I heartily suggest giving clothes shopping a try in Europe - it's like a lesson, but you leave with new clothes instead of homework
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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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My daughter tried some items in Gallerie Lafayette that were supposedly &quot;her size&quot; - however, the French woman's body type is very different from most American females. She came out of the dressing room laughing about how she couldn't even get her arms into the sleeves. I have seen some larger sized French women but usually they are the elderly and wearing what my own grandmother wore in the late 40s. I have been in Paris with a larger sized woman, and I don't recall anyone even giving her a second glance. Splurge on things that don't require &quot;sizes&quot; - jewelry or handbags or the fabulous scarves sold on the streets. Throw one of those scarves over your shoulder and sashay along the Seine with pride.
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Old Sep 28th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Just wanted to add a little story about buying shoes in Paris - my same daughter is 5'8&quot; and needs a wide shoe. We were in a shop selling speciality sandals where the salesgirl spoke no English. Nothing was fitting my daughter's foot, so, with a great deal of laughter on oth sides, the sales girl made a universal sign of snipping with scissors along the outside of my daughter's foot. Needless to say we weren't able to spend any money there.
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Old Sep 29th, 2007, 03:51 PM
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Hi all
I am a 6'3&quot; woman, well over 200 lbs. I wear size 12 shoes and am delighted to tell you that there is a great store I can recommend. &quot;Louis Big Shoes&quot; He is a delightful fellow. They close for siesta so time your visit. there is even a website. Trust me that there are many more shoes in the store (very small) than on the web site. I am heading back in November and that will be my first 'shop stop'

I have never been treated rudely in Italy. It is all about attitude girl. Stick your shoulders back, put a smile on and have fun.
France...another story.
Good luck
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 07:46 PM
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I wear a size 10 here in the US. Sometimes, I wear a wide also. I bought a pair of Geox in Rome on Via Nazionale. I thought I was going to need a 41. I tried on a bunch of 41s in some that had narrow toes, then I found a pair of boots that were not as narrow in the toe and they were too big in 41s so then, I tried them in a 40 and that is the pair I bought. I have a horrible time buying shoes in the States, and I was surprised I was able to buy a pair in Italy.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 08:04 PM
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My 2 tall slim daughters both wear a size 11 shoe &amp; looked all over France &amp; Italy for shoes with no luck. The sales people were very nice but still no shoes. I read that the one thing Paris Hilton hates about her body is her size 11 feet. I'll bet she could tell us exactly where to find a large selection of great, but expensive, shoes in France &amp; Italy.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2007, 10:17 PM
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 02:38 AM
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Do you have a link to the Louis Big Shoes site? I can't seem to find it.
I wear a size 11.5 and have a heck of a time finding nice shoes, anywhere!
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