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back to article Busts 4 Justice battles Bulgarian airbag tax

Enraged bearers of DD+ chesticles have launched a Facebook campaign aimed at shaming Marks & Spencer into dropping the ample Bulgarian airbag tax it imposes on well-endowed brassiere customers. In case you're not up to speed on the M&S bra scandal, the site explains: For too long now, M&S have got away with this criminally …

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Paris Hilton

"Criminally Unfair"? WTF?!

You want to buy something that's bigger than another product in the same range. It used more material to make. Why *shouldn't* it cost more? People don't complain that a large cake costs more than a small cake, but because the subject involves breasts, the PC brigade are going to say it's discriminating against the "Mammary Enhanced" to charge more.

Personally I have been worshipping at the Church of Many Pies for some time now, so my jeans might take 10 or 20 percent more material to make than a skinny bloke's. How is it unfair if the price reflects the extra raw materials used?

Paris, because her bras must be cheap...

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Flame

Way to be tolerant Matt! You win the humanitarian of the year award!

First off, I'm in reasonably good shape. That said, I have to buy XXLarge clothing because I'm rather tall. I have to pay extra for my shirts because of the size. Same with shoes usually. Idiots like you Matt, are NOT paying extra for your clothing because of obese people! While I despise people that won't take the time to shower or practice minimum personal hygiene, this is more an issue of people being idiots than their obesity. Perhaps instead of ostrasizing one more group, we should try to help them (the obese) or at least be tolerant. Fat people aren't fat just to piss you off, despite what your tiny little mind may laboriously think. While some are the lazy f%cks of the world, many are trapped in a cycle of depression. The only group I'm prejudiced against are the assholes of the world, and unfortunately it's not a minority group.

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Other clothing

I'm used to paying the extra for having three X's before the L on my shirts - why should booby holders be any different.

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Coat

Semi-predictable comment alert

May I be the first to suggest some kind of topless protest outside all M&S stores.

Perhaps utilising trampolines, purely to assist in getting media attention.

Radian - a self confessed breast enthusiast.

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Anonymous Coward

Matt the twat

At 6ft6 and 20st, I'd like to have a quiet chat with Matt.

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Coat

Isn't this all a bit of a...

...storm in a D-cup?

No coat. I have a brolly. Please don't hit me with it.

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Why bras?

A size 20 top uses more material than a size 10 top (or, for the male readership, a XL t-shirt is bigger than a M) but it all costs the same. Why then should a different argument apply with regards to bras for those who have a larger bust?

Though as my cup size isn't large enough to qualify for such discriminatory measures...

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Alert

if ignorance is bliss, Matt you must be in permanent orgasm!

Sorry Matt mate, I'm only 5' 10" but I walk about 45-50 miles a week, when you exercise a lot like I do, your muscles, especially your legs get very, very large indeed and although I wear a "medium" size shirt, I have to buy 42" trousers with a silly belt as my legs are too big to fit into the right size waist of 36-38", without splitting them when I sit down! A***hole!

So getting back on track, just 'cos I choose to go out and burn off calories, really make an effort to look after myself, walking in pointless circles mostly, I don't see why I should pay more, just as the well endowed ladies of our fair land have to through no fault of their own, should have to pay more for their "over-shoulder-boulder-holders"!

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(Written by Reg staff)

weighty issues

If I've rejected your comment it's because it's excessively rude. I know it's tempting, but please play nice.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Paris Hilton

this is shocking

I think these larger cup sizes should be subsidiesd by the tax payer this would encorage more ladies to have large fun bags.

I will boycot m&s from here on and should any topless campain take place I will certianly attend to offer my support

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Re: Why bras?

I read that this extra charge was for the expensive (frilly?) bras and that the cheap boulder holders were the same price.

Tops aren't all that difficult to make. They will tend to deform to fit the form underneath. However, Bras can't do this. They have to support your jugs from the get-go if you don't want them breaking your kneecaps in five years time. And that means they must fit well. Because a jug jumper that doesn't form fit for the larger lady makes it look like she's stashed a couple of boxes of wheaty flakes down the front.

Although this will get them noticed, it won't be the good form of notice.

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Coat

Cost of material is negligable

When you buy raw material by the truckload, the raw material cost is almost inconsequential. The deciding factor in the end is the extra labour involved in manufacturing larger items, although I don't see a couple of extra stitches from an industrial overlocker warranting a 2 quid surcharge. Unless you pay your factory workers 2 pounds for every half a minute worked, in which case I would definitely be interested in a position at your fine company.

Mine's the over-sized one with "FUBU" on the back.

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Engineering Effort

The extra £2 is, I expect, to cover the cost of all the extra engineering involved in order to keep the massive mammaries in place. The stress exerted on a bra to hold G cup wangers is considerably more than that required for a B cup dissapointment, and in the age of the blame culture where nothings ever the fault of the person to whom it happened, then you'd better make sure that the bigger baps don't break free, otherwise someones gonna be suing your arse.

To all those who think it's a tax against the gluttons, If M&S wanted to penalise the fat, then surely they would put the tax on the back measurement.

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Why is everyone bashing Matt?

Some of his points are perfectly valid, merely expressed in a bit of an extreme way.

I guess Sarah Bee explains why there arent more people visibly agreeing with him.

And to AC...

There are so many more difficulties people face in the world - like being a citizen in a 3rd world country and having your arms blown off by an invading regime, etc,... that sometimes its hard to take seriously anyone with these western greed 'disorders'.

I mean. wtf is the fuss about?? a bigger shirt takes more meterial. in what universe is it going to be priced exactly the same?. whether youre an in-shape tall humanitarian, or one of the pie-stuffing unshowering people who sits next to matt on the plane, how can you not see that the bigger one might cost more to produce!

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Re: Matt the twat

"At 6ft6 and 20st, I'd like to have a quiet chat with Matt."

Me too ... I'm about 5" shorter than you, but weigh about the same - 54" chest, 44" waist, and buying clothing can be a supreme pain in the backside. The "big and/or tall" angle is just another way of saying "add another fiver to the price".

Granted, I'm a bit of a pie-worshipper myself, but damn me if cycling 300-400 miles a week, plus hill-walking, during the summer doesn't play hob with my muscle mass. Like the AC above, I usually have to buy trousers a couple of sizes up so I can get the bloody things over my thighs, and the 'baggy' era was over sometime during the early 90s if I recall rightly.

Personally, I'd like to give those companies who claim that 38" waist is an XL a seriously good slapping, to say nothing of cycle clothing manufacturers (the Italians in particular) who think that 38" chest is XXL(!) - we're not all built like Tour de France riders you know, in the same way that not all IT types take up two chairs and have their own tides.

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Anonymous Coward

Yo Matt

Just because a bird had big jugs doesn't mean she is a bloater.

Also as a owner of two small nippers strangley the price goes down as the age goes up (Yes oh highstreet chain who also have a directory I mean you!) within a certain age range of course. Work that one out!

Oh and what about the school shoe tax! Oh yes, Black school shoes are more expensive than other colour shoes of the same style.

Please, why won't somebody think of the children! and my pocket.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Why is everyone bashing Matt?

Whether they did or didn't agree with him (and I've nixed maybe three comments in this thread, FYI), they were just being inflammatory and childish and I don't really fancy moderating that kind of fight. Just too messy.

And yes of course there are far far far far far more important issues, but a) surely this is part of a wider issue about profiteering, which I'm sure we'd all like to see less of whether we are fat or thin or have big tits or none, and b) I refer you to http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/14/6.

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Boffin

Free Market?

I would only like to point out that it is a free market, if these well endowed ladies dislike M&S's pricing policies then can I suggest that they go somewhere else to buy their undergarments? This would be the best way to express their distaste with the situation.

I personally have no problem with shops charging more for different sizes. But they should at least give all their reasons, just saying its all down to the amount of fabric used makes the whole thing sound a little stupid. I suppose if the fabric is very expensive (say fine lace or silk) then you could say having to use 50% more for a larger item might mean that costs are higher. I know historically that you paid for what you got in clothes, generally you paid a tailor an amount (which would generally be fixed) for his work plus the cost of the fabric - more fabric meant higher prices, it is only in modern times that we have ready made clothes available in a shop at a listed price.

However, there other reasons, if you consider that outsize sizes, both small and large (but more so for large - since you can only go so small), sell less than the more standard sizes then you pay a premium for buying something that sells less well.

As for airline seats I completely support increased pricing based on the total weight of passenger + luggage, why shouldn't very large people with a lot of luggage pay the same as I do with no luggage and who weighs rather less than they do? Having spent numerous flights stuck next to fat people, including one who couldn't fit into the seat without raising the armrest and thus crushing me, I can't see why they should be allowed to complain if anyone suggests they pay more. In just about every other aspect of life you pay for what you use. Would it be fair for me to complain that it costs me twice as much to fill my car with fuel as it does you and that everyone should pay the same to fill their cars up?

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Flame

Any excuse to pen an article about breasts :o)

I love people who get upset about things like these.. the sudden realisation that the world might not be quite as fair as you thought, that not everyone is the same, and that your piece of cake isn't always exactly the same size as the kid next to you.

M&S is a store, they sell a lot of things, amongst them clothes. In this case; bras. As far as the price of materials, 'construction' and assembly is concerned, they do not charge separate prices for all their sizes (AA bras might need less fabric than a B, but there might possibly be more females among us who fall into the B and C categories than into A, D and others, so an AA might cost more to buy in than a B or a C.

The actual 'price' of making these things in the first place probably varies between each size, and its probably not a linear variation. Now, it would not make any sense for M&S to price all their sizes differently, as it would just confuse the customer and possibly cost them more in administration than setting different prices would. In this case however, it seems that M&S has determined that the price of making bras with cup sizes above D's incurs a cost that makes it beneficial to them to operate with two prices. It has nothing to do with the person who's breasts are going into said bra, but everything to do with economy of scale (how much its costs for M&S to get the bra).

Besides, as a former skinny person and presently slightly round, I think more girls with smaller breasts should take to the streets and demand cheaper bras, as theirs costs less to make (presumably) and they should therefore not have to pay more for them. Then in stead of marking up bigger sized bras M&S could just reduce the price of the smaller sizes, and everyone would be happy.

Until someone realised that the kid next to them had gotten a slightly bigger slice of cake than themselves.

Now, to find out why I have to pay more for my +6 prescription glasses than my gf who has +0.25's. It's an outrage I tell you.

Anon, as I am presently at work, and should not be reading the reg ;o)

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Joke

In defence of Matt

So, am I the only one who thought he was just being a bit sarcastic? I've seen people who are supposedly great comedians make exactly the same comments, but unfortunately, text does not convey tone of voice. Surely his main point was that people whose clothes require more material to make should have to pay more for them and this has been rebuffed in two ways:

1) "Hah, you're wrong because I do pay more for my clothes." - Which just shows that his idea is already accepted and used in practice.

2) "Why should I pay more just because the item I want cost more to make?" - Which is a question which I think answers itself.

He's right about air travel and other public transport as well - if the cost of the ticket includes fuel, then someone like myself who is just over 10 stone is subsidising someone who weighs 20 stone as both pay the same price but one requires more energy to transport.

I also want a tax on people over 6ft to pay for all of those "mind your head" signs.

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Extra costs

Forget about material costs - larger items mean increased storage and shipping charges (by weight and size), lost sales because they're occupying shelf space that could be used for regular sizes - and XL items DO tend to have a long shelf life - they're always the ones left at the end of the sales.

To be honest, retailers should be commended for not doing away with these sizes altogether - never mind charging a small penalty so the rest of us don't have to subsidise the engorged - they'd be making more profit if they did.

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Happy

look is economies of scale

Because only a small percentage of women are in the market for a big bra, few bras are made, but the manufacturing set up cost is the same as for regular sizes (it's not about raw materials people).

It is also more difficult to provide the correct stock level to shops, unsold items adding to the cost though waste. However I have a solution.......

M&S should provide compulsory air bag enhancement procedures to increase the number of potential customers.

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@Sarah

OK. I read that. Very poetic but what is your point? That we might as well just fight about the smaller things for the sake of it? Fair enough.

The point I was making was at the second comment. And my point was to say lets not go overboard with the PC fat brigade, as sometimes it is difficult to see how stuffing your face warrants the description of being "trapped". Try begging at the traffic lights in mumbai, and then you'll know what being "trapped in a cycle of depression" is. No I havent done that myself, but spending time in these places just seeing has motivated me in to more charitable action (and I dont mean giving money at the lights) than I previously could be bothered with. I am just saying, that, there is no need to get into such a huff over people eating so much. Let them pay more, and take your anger, and find a more useful thing to protest against. Go on. There are plenty.

OK. Well. Id better don my full fire protective suit, and unplug the internet, and put a book against the phone socket to stop all the flaming bytes coming through.

XX

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Coat

RE: Steve

Shut it! Don't go giving that twit Darling any ideas or we'll be having Mind The Gap Announcement Tax on tube fares, Look Left At Pedestrian Crossings Tax added to road fund licences, and Gender Differentiation Tax added for pub toilet door signs!

/mine's the slim-and-sporty-no-need-for-additonal-charges mac!

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Paris Hilton

From another FB group comment

"but then again you are male and will never have to under go the sheer annoyance that is large bossoms."

Err... indeed, I am male, and I am not currently undergoing the sheer annoyance of having (to deal with) large bossoms (!), but i eventually plan on doing so ..

Paris, 'cos she too isn't undergoing said annoyance.

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Anonymous Coward

Could this

just be a simple case of supply and demand?

/AC so I can claim I was never here...

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Silver badge

Labour Costs

No, not the government (although it's true...)

The significant cost for many items is the cost of the labour to put it together, the cost of the extra 10% of materials for the larger size can be quite small. Look at the cost of kids' clothes compared to adults. Once you account for the VAT difference, the costs will be close.

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Anonymous Coward

More...

More material, more labour, more packaging, more weight (more transport costs) + Less sales = higher cost. That's the way it works in business, costs more to make, sells less therefore you sell it for more money. As for those shops that don't do it that way - that just means everyone else is paying for those "odd" sizes to be made and stocked - because you can bet your life that the company selling them isn't going, "Oh well, these ones cost us 50p more to make, and stock in stores, we'll take the hit" - No, they'll come up with an average price.

In conclusion, tough, you've got large breasts, you can't help it, so you want everyone to chip in and cover the extra costs - In that case, I want you to chip in for my larger sized shoes, in a narrow fitting, because they cost me more than a standard size + width does.

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what about the other way?

Surely women with a smaller chest should then get a tax rebate going by M&S way of doing things?

Why is it smaller clothing is never discounted, yet some retailers think its ok to charge more for larger sizes?

Look at bady clothes for christ's sake. They often cost as much (or more) than adult clothing.

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What's all the fuss?

I used to weigh a lot more than I do now, and all I ever got from other fat people were bullshit excuses about "glands" ort somesuch, all the while cramming vast quantities of cheap, fatty, processed food into their cavernous gobs and not doing anything that involved physical effort whatsoever... now, granted, there certainly are people in the world who are fat, and have genuine reason for it, but FROM MY EXPERIENCE, AS A FAT PERSON, the vast majority are just lazy, greedy bastards. I now weigh a svelte 16 stone (and I do look pretty slim these days) at 6'2". I have a tiny bit of a gut, which is steadily shrinking, and it's entirely down to getting off my fat arse and doing things, as well as eating proper food, not visiting mc-scum-alds 8 times a day!

Just to clarify, I weigh a little over twice the amount I lost. I have begun getting heavier due to putting muscle on (I went down to about 13 stone).

I would pay more for bigger clothes, as it is not only the material but the labour which is increased. Stop bitching, most certainly stop threatening (I'm 6'6 so do what I say... bullying twat), and just accept the fact bigger people generally sweat more and therefore are generally smellier than others. much less so for big muscley people, but definately big fat people.

Oh, just a quick note, at 6'6 and 20 stone, if you are fat, you will never catch him, or me, and most the most likely thing is you'll have a heart attack and die.

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Paris Hilton

Breastonomics

My God - and I was wondering whether we Brits could possibly think up anything else to bleat about? We're clearly world class when it comes to Victimology!

Hasn't it occurred to any of these buxom lovelies that, effectively, it's their lesser-endowed sisters that are actually subsidising the extra engineering and fabric for the bras they buy elsewhere?.

M&S are merely operating a more efficient market.

Paris? Because she's one of the real victims here..

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Boffin

I thought about this twice before posting

The extra material=more cost=stop whining line of thought held water until I thought about the possibility of my own size 13 shoes costing more. Now I see the other side of the issue.

BTW, it's NOT true. I wish it was. (sigh)

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Coat

Why is everyone bashing Matt?

Well mostly because he was stereotyping people and generally being insensitive. Not that he doesn't have a right to be an asshole if he wishes, but should expect to take some flak for it. Seems like the courts and prisons are full of skinny people too, so clearly it isn't the obese that are the scourge of the earth. And skinny people seem to harbor BO just as much if not more than most fat folks I've known. Nobody (well mostly) asks for the problems they have in this world, and we all have our own crosses to bear. It's just nice to not be a speed bump in the road of other people's lives. I'm sure no one could argue that if a piece of clothing costs more to make, for whatever reason, that it is totally unreasonable to set the price higher. But this point is kind of moot too, as most clothing mfrs and distributors are making pure profit on these things, which are likely made in a third-world country by a truly poverty-stricken person working in deplorable conditions and making pennies an hour.

This too could be called a depressive cycle. Is the misery of a person who overeats and is in poor health/feels bad all the time, but can't escape from this worse or better than the misery of an uneducated person born in poverty? I suppose you could say one is more 'self inflicted', but people do make mistakes, and our brains (souls?) are all wired differently too. Misery is misery. I suspect that Matt is miserable in his own way or he wouldn't feel the need to berate others for their failings. He too must be feeling a little trapped by life. The best we can aspire to if not alleviating others misery is at least not adding to it.

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Anonymous Coward

Bigger overheads????

Unless the wearer of the bra is doing a handstand at the time, shouldn't that be 'bigger underheads'?

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Stop

It's not just material costs!

The extra overheads include stocking and transport. "But wait!" you cry, "Don't they have to stock and transport smaller cups too?" Yes, but they're more common, so they sell quicker. A nonstandard or niche product won't sell quick, so waits on the shelf longer. Lower turnover means less units per square inch of shelf, which means that the product costs the retailer more.

Think yourself lucky, larger ladies, that they are making these available. I, as a shorter gent, find limited choice of trousers of appropriate length, particularly during sale season.

And remember this: M&S is a publicly listed company -- they have a duty to their shareholders to make as much money as possible. This means that they have two choices with unprofitable products: put the price up or drop it. They've chosen the option that is actually best for you.

So while I feel for anyone outside of the interquartile range of clothing dimensions, the problems of logistics can't be wished away by simply crying "discrimination".

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IT Angle

Sarah Bee

We all read the comments on the reg whilst we are supposed to be working, since its your job to read comments on the Reg do you get board and sneak off to fix a few computers on the sly?

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Production runs, not material costs and fat passengers

Speaking as one of the fat people, I'd like to point out that ordering *any* form of clothing, the larger sizes can cost more (in general, there are always exceptions). It's not material costs, it's production run size and market. It costs almost as much to do a small run of an unusually large/small size as it does to do a large run of a common size. Since the market for larger/smaller sizes is much smaller (smaller portion of the population) you generally only ever do small runs. In addition, smaller market, less competition, blah blah econ 101, higher prices. So what is the solution? Clearly the world needs to make DD+ breast size more common to increase the demand and lower the per-unit costs! This is a solution I think we can all get behind, including the back-injury specialists who would appreciate the extra business.

Since the thread has also devolved into comments on airline passengers, I'll also throw in the comment that I fully support the idea of a pay-per-weight scheme. Since most airlines now make people buy 2 seats if they are fat it would *lower* my flight costs. Hopefully it would also help curb the asshats who like to bring full sized bags and cram them into the overhead bins, which is one of my pet peeves. They have checked luggage for a reason.

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Paris Hilton

Put up show then!

So when's the topless potests in front of all M&S stores scheduled for? Surely that would be any eyeful of sorts.

All the busty blighty unfortunates will have my full ...er support. Ogletastic.

Paris, because even she can apply and protest to lower the prices for the not so well endowed!

Anonymous, since knife crimes are high & i dont want to be a victim.

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min
Flame

you know..

..the way i see it is this: a discussion about a 32F bra is NOT the same as a 58F(do they exist?) bra. so a girl who takes care of her physique, but has somehow manages to keep a pair of magnificent 'puppies' in the..er..pound should not have to pay any extra pounds to keep said puppies impounded. being of generous dimensions through good genetics should not really be punished (how can you help that?), but those of a less dignified physical grandeur ought to pay dearly..they make my insurance premiums higher through claims not to mention and generally make my life on public transport a hassle. i have no sympathy for them, depressed or otherwise.

the person who decided to nibble at every damn edible in sight should absolutely have to pay a surcharge. call me inhuman or whatever the hell you want to call it, but different sizes demand different prices. this philosophy is taken for granted in so many industries, why not in clothing? i am not going to bust my ass in the gym so that some lard arse can pick up the last tent off the shelves and wear it as a bandanna...

for all those of you 'tubbies' out there, feel free to contact me to have a chat..or a fight or whatever..i'll out run you to the sale rack any day!!

FTR, i am 6'3" and have thighs larger than normal so i have my fair share of surcharges to pay on clothing, especially footwear.

it is fair enough to poke fun at the issue through approaching it by way of bras, but i simply cannot see how having to use acres more cloth for huuuuge sized clothing means that two wholly different consumers get charged the same amount. the 'humanitarians' may think that this is even but i, being an evil satanist cowmonger think that 'different prices for different sizes' is actually a more reasonable concept.

yes, i just want to fight. i don't give a damn either way really...

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Coat

Clothing prices

Do you honestly believe that clothing prices are based off the costs for material and labor? If that was true, all the butt-ugly rhinestone-encrusted sweatshop-made "designer" clothes would cost 10 quid a piece, not 200 - 300 quid. We're not paying for the clothes, we're paying for the magic words written on them.

Mine's the one without the labels.

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Anonymous Coward

Extra large = Extra Cost

Seems like a golden opportunity for Durex to charge more for their "Extra-long condoms".

How many guy's ego would let them buy the cheaper 'normal' length ones?

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Heart

Sarah Bee...

...is amazing. I don't even remember what the article was about. :/

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Coat

Fine, I'll pay more for bigger clothing.....

But as a fatty....I demand that all of you twiggies pay more for the cost of the food that you eat. Because it is my lardity and overconsumption that brings down the per unit production costs of food.

Mine's the one that looks like a mainsail.

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Anonymous Coward

Ron (jermey ) Huges

Seems like a golden opportunity for Durex to charge more for their "Extra-long condoms".

How many guy's ego would let them buy the cheaper 'normal' length ones?

The ones that don't wont to get an STD or kid because the condom slid off.

Plus there are alot of cheap guys out there.

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basis of pricing

If the items were priced on a "cost plus (some reasonable profit margin)" basis then the arguments about amount of material, time of labor, etc. might make some sense.

But they're not, so it doesn't. It's based on "all the market will bear". Under that plan, the size line is just a convenient place to try and squeeze a few more dollars out of the customer.

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Boffin

Easy Profit

I myself happen [normally] to be a 36D , recently I took up jogging . This lead to two interesting things. 1 I lost an inch of back fat. This I discovered when I went to get a new sports bra and sensibly got fitted. The loss of an inch of back flab WITHOUT any change to the bust meant that I now was a 34DD [they don't look that impressive its just maths]

The second thing I discovered was that the most common Bra size is 36D and my new size 34DD according to the shop assistant. I know this lady is not a head of some marketing statistics company but she does have to restock shelves every day and gets to see first hand what sells out.

They are making a fortune out of this. Also the bras that are in smaller sizes compared to the larger size bras in M&S are not designed differently to offer "better" support. The are charging £2 for around 3 square inches of foam, cotton and a half inch of cheap wire.

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Paris Hilton

PH's wonder bras

It would be a wonder if she ever wears a bra (not counting bikini tops).

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Ed

RE: Matt

I think it is clear that Mr Matt was bullied by a fat kid in school....

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Happy

Boobies ;-)

'Nuff Said ;-)

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