but real talk, when I went to a physical Torrid location for the first time last year and every single thing I tried on looked good on me, and I had to actually choose between possible things, I was floored. Clothes cut for plus-sized ladies?? What magic??? I was like, is this how S-sized girls feel at the gap all the time?!
So yeah, pear-shaped plus-sized Uraraka in every universe.
Clothes shopping was always a bit of a touchy subject with Ochako. For one thing, there was the money. Even though her parents were sending her an allowance and always encouraged her to use it on herself, Ochako still felt guilty about it. It had been easier in middle school, when Ochako hadn't had very many close girl friends, and she could just brush off the trips to the mall or shops the other girls sometimes invited her to.
At UA, things were a lot different, because she really did want to spend time with Min and Toru, so it was harder to make excuses when they invited her shopping. Not to mention that they didn't just drop it when Ochako said she had some things she wanted to do Saturday afternoon, but asked when would be better for her instead.
"Oh, no!" Ochako had protested. "Don't change your plans just for me!"
"But we want you to come," Mina said, hands on her hips. "Hanging out is the whole point!"
"Well…" Ochako had felt awkward but pleased that they actually wanted her there and weren't just inviting her for politeness' sake. "On second though, Saturday's fine, then. Let's do it!"
"Yay!" Toru cheered, sweeping Ochako up into a big hug that made Ochako squeak with surprised because she hadn't seen it coming.
She could just tag along, Ochako reasoned with herself, just for fun. She'd have lunch and just window shop. A day out with the girls would be fun!
The other reason it was a touchy subject was the clothes themselves. Ochako's bust just didn't fit into the kind of clothes that were popular, much less her hips, and even trying on things just for fun made her feel awkward and out of place when things that looked cute on the other other girls made Ochako look like she was trying to squeeze back into her sixth grade uniform again.
"That's cute," Ochako ventured when they were standing in front of the window display of exactly one of those stores. It was cute enough on the size S mannequin, a pair of tiny blue shorts over heart-print leggings, coordinating with the heart design on the sheer, off-the-shoulder blouse. On Ochako it would have looked like putting Barbie clothes on a balloon animal.
"You think so?" Mina asked, tilting her head. Her voice obviously said she didn't think so, and Ochako blinked in surprise. "It's not my style at all, it's so impractical. Toru might look cute in it."
"No way!" Toru laughed, and Ochako couldn't read her expression obviously, but she had her jacket arms folded tight across her chest. "You could see half my butt in those shorts!"
"No, we couldn't!" Mina cracked up, and after a second Toru did too.
"It's not mine either," Ochako spoke up, blushing a little. She felt silly for saying the so in the first place, but it was the sort of auto-pilot thing she'd always have said to the other girls back in middle school, and they would have agreed with. "Its just, you know, trendy? And I do like the color…" Ochako trailed off, feeling like she was just making herself look sillier.
"You're from outside the city, right?" Mina asked. Ochako colored darker, and Mina put her hand to her mouth. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean it like an insult! What I meant was, I bet they didn't have a lot of different kinds of shops for girls' fashion and stuff, right?"
"Well, no," Ochako had to admit. They'd had one shopping street, and both girls' shops had looked just like this, cutesy pastels and pencil shirts and bow accessories, everything size S or M.
"Yeah, that makes sense," Toru chimed in, patting Ochako's shoulder. "Here there's lots of different kinds of shops, and they sure don't all look like this!"
"Thank goodness," Mina added, heartfelt. "Come on, let's go find a place with clothes we might actually fit into."
That was how Ochako found herself in a dressing room with half a dozen things, the patterns a little brighter, the sizes definitely more generous, but more importantly the cuts were entirely different. The dress she had on was still pastel blue, but its waist was higher and its skirt was flared, and Ochako was so surprised it looked actually cute on her that she stared at herself in the mirror for long enough that Toru knocked on the door.
"How's it look?" she called. Ochako opened the door and stood shyly while Mina and Toru oohed. "Oh good! I thought that color would look good. Try on the pink one next!"
"Ok," Ochako agreed, pulling the door shut. She looked at herself for another long moment in the mirror before shaking it off and pulling the dress back up over her head.
She was even more confused when the next dress looked good too, and the blouse, all of it working with her natural pear shape instead of just hanging straight down over it, making her look ridiculous. The jeans with the flowers embroidered on the pocket actually came up over her hips and buttoned without any hopping or sucking in.
"Hey, do you mind if I share?" Mina called. Ochako reached over and pushed the door open without looking, still looking in the mirror. Mina bustled in with an armful of things. "Thanks! The others are full. Oh, those are nice."
"Yeah…" Ochako said, distracted.
Mina paused, looking Ochako over. "Something wrong?"
"Oh! Oh, no," Ochako shook herself, smiling sheepishly. "This is going to sound so silly, but I'm just so surprised that I tried on a few things in a row and they all looked good. That's never happened before! Usually even if I need a dress for something I try on ten and pick the one that's the least terrible."
"Because the fits here are all meant for girls with actual curves," Mina snorted. "But that's great! Those jeans make your butt look great, by the way. The pocket placement is really good."
"The…what?" Ochako twisted to look. She'd never thought about the pockets on a pair of jeans in her life, always just relieved if she could find a pair that fit. "Does that matter?"
"Yeah, of course. The tiny pockets are meant to make girls with no butt look bigger, so if you already have a butt, you look like a cow. Same thing about the pockets being too low. Are you gonna get those?"
"Well…" Ochako looked up from the jeans at the other clothes she'd tried on. Honestly, she hadn't planned on buying anything, but maybe just one thing would be fine. "Maybe one? But they all look good! I've never had to make an actual choice before."
"Right? This place is dangerous!" Mina laughed. She was trying on a green shirt, eyeing it critically against her pink skin. "Me, on the other hand…"
"Not your color," Ochako agreed, laughing. "Hey, can you unbutton the back of this? I pulled this shirt over my head but now I can't get it back off the same way."
"Sure." Mina undid the back of the shirt, then made a noise when Ochako pulled it over her head. "Ochako! How old is that bra?"
"Oh!" Ochako covered her chest like she'd been caught naked, embarrassed. She'd forgotten about the state of the one she was wearing. "Quite, uh, a while…"
"The wire is poking out!" Mina scolded. "We'll go look at some right after this."
"Oh no, they're fine," Ochako protested. She always put off buying underwear forever because it was so expensive for something that nobody even saw. "Don't worry about it!"
"That is NOT fine, turn around." Mina manhandled Ochako by the shoulders, eyeing her critically after slapping her arms down out of the way. "It doesn't even fit you properly! And it really doesn't look that supportive."
"I hate shopping for them," Ochako said, which actually meant she hated spending the money on them and went for the cheapest version she could. Her mother only ever bought cloth sports bras for work, so Ochako honestly had never been taught to do it properly, and pushy saleswomen were too scary. Ochako had invested in some decent sports bras herself for under her hero costume, but that had just become one more excuse to let her daily ones get shabbier and shabbier.
"No good!" Mina flicked Ochako's forehead. "Since you have a chest, you need a good one! Doesn't your back hurt?"
"Sometimes?" Ochako blinked. "What's that got to do with my underwear?"
"Uh, everything, sweetie." Mina looked like she was trying not to laugh, but not in a mean way. She patted Ochako's shoulder. "The weight of them is pulling on your back muscles. And you're probably wearing the wrong size entirely. You're a hero, you have to take care of yourself! You wouldn't go out running in cheap sneakers, would you?"
"You're right," Ochako sighed, eyes flicking to the clothes she'd been trying on just earlier. She wouldn't have minded something new and cute, but bras probably were more important. "They're so expensive, though."
"It's the worst!" Mina agreed. "Here, help me decide on the rest of these."
In the end, Ochako decided on the jeans, reasoning that they were practical, and was hanging up the other things on the return bar when Toru snuck up behind her.
"You're putting that one back?" Toru asked about the pink knit dress Ochako's hand was lingering on. "It looked so cute on you! I liked that one the best."
"Me too," Ochako sighed. "But Mina's right, I have to get some new bras, and I wasn't planning on spending that much money today."
"You never spend anything on yourself," Toru scolded. Then she brightened suddenly, the sound of a handclap coming from the empty space in front of her. "Oh, do you want to put it in with mine? The dresses are buy one, half off another, but I'm only buying one, and Mina's only got shirts. That'll make yours really reasonable."
"I…yes, please," Ochako agreed. It really was a good deal that way. "Do you mind? We can even up over lunch."
"Yay!" Toru whisked the dress off the rack and bounced off to the register, looking like a really good impression of a store haunting with both her and Ochako's dress fluttering around her.
Both Mina and Toru were really helpful in the lingerie store too, Toru spotting a store with a good sale and Mina helping shoo off the persistent sales woman (Toru snuck up and borrowed the tape measure without her noticing). They were just so nice, and they wanted to help, and the whole day had been a little overwhelming. Ochako found to her mortification that she started to tear up suddenly while Mina was measuring her around the chest.
"Let's try 80? I'm not sure whether you're a D or an E." Mina looked up when Ochako let out a sniffle. "Are you ok? What's wrong?"
"I'm fine!" Ochako insisted, wiping her eyes. "It's nothing!" Mina gave her a skeptical look. "You're just being so nice to me. I didn't have close girl friends in middle school."
Mina snorted. "So far today I've called you a country bumpkin and made fun of your underwear. You really didn't have good friends if you think I'm doing it right."
"But you actually helped, though!" Ochako protested. "You helped me find a place that actually had my size instead of just laughing that I look silly in what everyone else wears. I never tried on things that made me look cute before."
"You are cute, though!" Mina protested. Ochako bit her lip, a new wave of tears welling up. "No, don't cry harder! What the heck!" Mina grabbed Ochako in a tight hug.
"I'm fine, really," Ochako insisted, chuckling wetly. "Thank you. I'm just happy, I promise."
"Let's get you fitted for a couple of these, and then get out of here," Mina said. She gave Ochako a last squeeze and then let her go. "What we really need are some milkshakes after this."
"Yes, please!" Ochako brightened up immediately.
"Hey," Toru said, pushing quickly back behind the curtain. She held up a fistful of bras in alarming patterns, half of them animal print, all of them lacy and low-cut. At least one had some fake fur. "I found some great stuff!"
"Toru!" Mina laughed while Ochako looked on in horror. "None of those are Ochako's style at all!"
"They're not for her, they're for me!" Toru said indignantly. "If you can't see the goods, you have to get fancier packaging!"
Up next is treelines!