A former Texan political candidate says he was humiliated while trying to get a suit.
Last year, Sam Hatton ran as a Democrat for the Texas House District 71 seat. Unfortunately, the rural community organizer from Abilene, Texas lost to Republican incumbent Stan Lambert, according to Abilene Reporter News. Even worse, that was the second time he’d lost to Lambert. But now, Hatton is making the news for a much more personal struggle.
Standing at 6 feet and 2 inches and weighing 350 lbs, Sam Hatton jokes that he’s a real-life teddy bear. But, Hatton wasn’t so happy when he visited suit retailer Indochino, according to Queerty.
Hatton is preparing to marry his fiancé Jake Lanehart in September after they first met in September of 2014. To prepare for that, the two decided to look into getting custom-made suits.
As Sam Hatton explained in a Facebook post, “As a fat person, I’ve learned to plan. I cannot stand pitying looks or being given any reason to look more out of place in a world that isn’t made for me. It’s something I’ve learned to do from being embarrassed a few too many times. The booth at the diner is too small or you accidentally catch a belt loop on the door frame for the millionth fucking time. I wake up in the world as someone who has to prove they aren’t a clown. It is exhausting.”
He added, “So I researched and planned. I read fashion blogs by overweight men who endorsed Indochino. I read and reread Indochino’s site and several times entered in my measurements and got very excited. I was going to get to share the same unfettered experience with my partner.”
After driving three hours to the closest Indochino store in Dallas, an employee of the retailer, which makes custom-fit suits, told him he wouldn’t fit their standard measurements.
“Jake and I wait our turn,” he continued. “He was scheduled first. When our very kind associate, obviously trying to think of a way to say something uncomfortable said, ‘…so long as you fit within our measurements.’ She tried her hardest to look at both of us but everyone knew what was about to happen. I was crestfallen.”
“She kindly measured Jake first. I want to emphasize how kind this person was. She obviously wanted to make me feel as human as possible. I can’t say how much I appreciate that. Then she measured me.” Hatton explained. “Shoulders, broad, good. Neck, good. Arms, good. Waist. ‘Sir, I’m so sorry but you’re just a few inches out of our standard measurements. My system won’t allow me to fit you.’”
Sam Hatton then shared that he expressed how “embarrassing and hurtful” the experience was. He also told the employee that the site did not state that he wouldn’t fit.
“I made sure to indicate that my complaint wasn’t with her, but her employer’s system. She, without prompting agreed that it was awful, I could see the human concern in her eyes and indicated that she would work hard to make sure someone who could do something knew what happened.”
He added, “She also gave me the name and number of a good tailor. She asked if she could have him reach out. I consented.”
After getting Jake measured for a suit, picking out all the fabrics, accessories, etc., the couple paid “just over $500” and left. When asked by Jake if he wanted lunch, Sam responded that he wanted to be taken to somewhere private. Jake found a parking structure and left to give Sam some alone time.
“I didn’t just cry, I wailed. For 20 minutes, in a dark parking structure, I mourned my dignity. I can’t describe it as anything other than loss,” he shared. “For those of you who don’t know how it feels, I really do envy you. After I was sure I was finished, I checked my phone. I had a missed call from a tailor. The woman at the store hadn’t wasted any time. She really is a good person. I was seen as a person by her that day, not an obstacle.”
Though, there was a silver lining to the story. An expensive one.
“I’ll be getting a custom suit,” said Sam. “It cost about three times what we paid for my partner’s. Don’t get me wrong, it is worth every penny. It’s a completely custom suit made by a small business owner. The point is, that day, there wasn’t just an emotional premium for being fat, there was a $1000 fee.
Despite that expensive silver lining, Sam Hatton says the moment haunts him.
“I am reminded every day that I live in a world that isn’t made for me. When I was a little younger, seeking out queer relationships drew that reality to an even finer point. Fat people are people. We aren’t a joke. We aren’t clowns.”
“And yes, we’ve tried fucking keto,” he concluded.
Since posting his story to Facebook, it has been shared over 11k times and has garnered over 2.7k comments. Many of those comments come from people who share similar experiences or say they can relate to Sam Hatton’s struggle.
As for Indochino, they shared that they will update their website so customers are aware of their restrictions in the future.