Friday Fatshion: Seriously, Screw Old Navy

It was bad enough that they banished fatties from their stores last spring. But now, as Colleen reports, they’re sending plus-sized customers coupons they can’t even use, because they’re only good in-store. And when you write to complain that fatties can’t use your goddamned coupons, because they can’t shop in your goddamned stores anymore, the response is pretty much, “Tough shitsky.”

Charming.

I’ve followed through on my promise not to give Old Navy a dime since they moved the plus sizes out of stores, but I totally understand why some people haven’t been able to stand on principle there. There’s simply not very much available in real plus sizes at that price point; it’s all well and good to rhapsodize about Igigi and Kiyonna and Svoboda, but if you’re a size 26 and you don’t have loads of disposable income, they’re not very helpful. Even Lane Bryant’s pricey for basics. Old Navy does provide something really valuable to the plus-size market: fashionable clothes at affordable prices.

Problem is, that’s the ONLY FUCKING THING they’re providing, and you have to jump through hoops to get it. Such as only shopping online, and thus having to deal with their inconsistent sizing after you’ve already paid for an item, instead of in a dressing room. Such as paying more for plus-sized clothes than straight-sized people have to pay for the same damn thing. (Don’t even give me the “more fabric” argument. Unless you’re going to charge on a sliding scale from size 0 on up, that doesn’t hold water. Average it out just like you do for your straight size range, assholes. No one will notice they’re paying 50 cents more.) Such as getting coupons they can’t use, ’cause oops, sorry, those are only for the people who can shop in our stores! And heck no, we won’t send you an online coupon instead — why would we do that?

The bastards have fat people over a barrel, and they know it. I’m still not even comfortable suggesting that people boycott Old Navy, ’cause like I said, I know they have stuff that people over size 20 literally can’t get anywhere else for that price. But MAN, their total lack of regard for their plus-sized customers infuriates me, and I would really love it if both fatties and skinnies alike would stop rewarding such assholishness with more money.

If I had any doubts that my decision to quit shopping there back in April was justified, they’ve certainly been laid to rest now. In fact, I’m officially done with The Gap, Banana Republic, and Piperlime now, too. (Guess what, guys — not all the people who are pissed off at your treatment of fat customers are too fat to shop in your stores! And even fat people wear shoes!) I’d boycott Forth & Towne, too, except oops! They already sent that one down the tubes all on their own, by A) only positioning it as an old lady Gap, instead of saying, “Psst, we’ve got some really cute — if conservative — career wear available at the mall up to size 20!”; B) not having an online shopping option at all; and C) using fit models from Neptune.

Bottom line, if they don’t think their plus-sized customers deserve the same prices, discounts, and respect as their thin ones, they definitely don’t need my money.

70 thoughts on “Friday Fatshion: Seriously, Screw Old Navy

  1. I got the same damned coupon, and had the same reaction. I want to boycott them (not just for their anti-fat chick BS, but also for their sweatshop track record), but they do fill a niche, as you say.

    Curse you, Old Navy!! Curse you and your reasonably-priced bootylicious velveteen pants!

  2. This is where I thank Bast for Savvy Plus, the kind of store every city should have. Thanks to them, I never need bother with the likes of ON.

    They don’t want our business. They have no problem being a Big Guy’s Brand, because Big Guys have that football-player image that “redeems” them in the eyes of thinner men, but they don’t want to be a Fat Girl’s Brand. Because then the skinny rich girls who spend $1000 a month on clothes won’t buy their shit because it’s got Fat Cooties all over it. That’s what they’re thinking.

    Problem is, ON is not Banana Republic or even Gap. It’s not a yuppie brand in the first place. They’re not going to make it a yuppie brand by keeping fat chicks out of their stores. If they want to be a yuppie brand, they need yuppie quality. ON is what you buy to get something cheap and disposable. They’re making a huge mistake, and it’s going to be a very expensive one for them.

  3. A-holes. Their online customer service sucks hairy ones too. I bought a pair of pants online using their “size chart” and I had about 4 inches of ease in the waist. I said so in my customer rating review thing they send you after you purchase something. The customer service department responded with “you can bring the pants into a store and if they’re deemed defective you can return them” I was like wtf – how will you deem them defective? Why not just say “bring them in, we can exchange!” instead of treating me like a criminal. A-hole.

  4. By the time you pay for shipping to get it and again to return it, you could have bought the Lane Bryant version. My sister in law shops at Old Navy but she gets her own revenge by searching out free shipping and discount codes online before ordering. Then again, she’s pretty socially conscious. I’ll have to search out sweatshop info on them to get her in on the boycott :-)

  5. :[ GRRRRRR…
    This is a pet peeve of mine. It’s like plus-size folks are reduced to shopping in some kind of Online Fat Ghetto. Out of sight, at all costs. Meh.

  6. I too got the coupon and emailed to complain – I have yet to receive a response.

    Curse the fact that their fucking jeans fit better than LB’s. Seriously, THAT is what made me end my boycott. The fact that LB’s “Right Fit” jeans make my ass look droopy. (If LB would shorten the pockets one inch, I would buy them. Or bring back the goddamn Venezia Supreme line, which fit me like I was their fit model. Rawr.)

    I will say, though, that ON changed their jeans too, and I don’t like them as much as the OLD kind. Sadly, I liked the old kind so much that mine were worn out and had a big hole in the crotchal area.

    Depending on whether I get a satisfactory response to my complaint (which I’m guessing won’t happen) – I’ll have to go back to boycotting.

    Droopy ass, here I come.

  7. Man. Old Navy pissed me off to no end when they took the plus section out of the store. ON was my go-to place for something cute for a last-minute date. And now, these people want me to look at the clothes and GUESS as to what will look good on me? As opposed to, say, letting me try it on like everyone else? I’m callin bullshit on this one.

    That’s ok. My mom works for the Lane Bryant. I ALWAYS get a discount there. :-D

  8. Old Navy drives me mental…so do a lot of other places. Here is a letter I wrote to Lululemon (amazing clothes, with small minds). O wrote it in a moment of absolute desperation. The response was assinine, and actually hilarious because I managed to totally piss them off by circulating the letter to everyone I knew!

    Dear Lululemon

    Many months ago, I composed an email and sent it to you inquiring as to whyyou do not carry your women’s line in sizes larger than size 12, and suggesting that perhaps there was a greater market for larger sizes than you think. I received a reply which bothered me tremendously, however at the time I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was so offensive to me. Was it the fact that you just refused to see the need to carry larger sizes and were rather insulting regarding the fact, or was it the suggestion that I purchase
    the men’s clothing that is offered in larger sizes. This past weekend I purchased a yoga mat from your store, and a friend tried several styles of pants. It was while she was trying on the pants that the reason your response bothered me so much revealed itself.

    As much as Lululemon touts equality, fitness, health (both mentally and physically), it is sexist. Yes, Lululemon you have fallen into the sexist trap of men being able to range in sizes from xs – xxl. However, women must fall into the very small category of size 2-12. Well-touted facts such as
    over 50% of women are now a size 12 or larger are all over the newspapers, magazines and television. However, companies such as Lululemon insist on ignoring the statistics and excluding that portion of the population from
    being able to purchase clothing from their company. Do you realize that this means that Lululemon is potentially losing over a 100% increase in sales in this department due to the very large population of women they are alienating
    with sizing?

    Now please do not insult me further by replying again that I can purchase the men’s line carried in larger sizes. We can all agree that regardless of size a man’s body is still quite different from a woman’s body. We should also be able to agree that regardless of size, a woman’s body still remains
    in its basic shape e.g. hourglass, chest and hip measurements similar, with a smaller waistline. Mostly, we should be able to agree that this way of thinking is extremely sexist. Why should my size be available in the men’s
    line and not the women’s? The insinuation is that it is okay for men to be in the larger size category (although most men in this size range would also be considered, overweight, or obese by today’s standards and use of the BMI) and that women in the larger size range are not acceptable.

    This leads me to my final point. As a larger, active woman, I am hard pressed to find quality work out clothes. I cannot be the only woman of a larger size (based on the statistics) that is healthy, working out regularly, and in need of yoga gear.

    I leave you with a quote from your website “Our vision is to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness”. IF this truly is your vision, you have an opportunity here to do something great and good why not take the chance and expand your target market!

  9. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been to an Old Navy with a plus-size section to start with. I mean, I think I saw one display of tops in the big flagship store downtown? But otherwise I always just assumed that their range went up to 20 and that’s it. I feel a little bit like people are upset at them for taking away something they’d never really provided in the first place…but if there’s one thing that’s true of Old Navy, it’s that selection is vastly inconsistent across stores regardless of size range, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this was inconsistent as well.

  10. Kimu, my experience is the same. I never saw an Old Navy store with anything in it bigger than maybe a 14. Which is good, I guess, on a personal level — I can’t miss what I never had.

  11. Sheenie, good for you! American Apparel pulls the same kind of BS — larger women get to buy “unisex” clothing only, like we’re just asexual blobs, not real women.

  12. Luckily, I can and will shop other places, though where I’m going to find jeans that fit again confuses me a bit. Still, I’ll take one for the team.

    (…She says, as though having to shop more is tantamount to martyrdom…)

  13. I stopped buying jeans at Old Navy, even though they fit me OK, because they RIP after about six or eight months. Seriously, I’ve taken my boyfriend jeans-shopping twice in under a year of dating because my damn jeans ripped on me. Second time, I went to an outlet mall and tried on about 10 different brands of jeans, and ended up buying the Gap jeans. They don’t feel like the butt and inside thighs are going to rip on me. (Does ON just not take into account the fact that the vast majority of women in existence have thighs that rub together?) (Also, the Gap jeans are exactly the right length.)

    Now that the Gap has moved up a LOT in price (seriously — Gap jeans were like $30 when I was in high school, which was perhaps ten years ago, and they’re $65-85 now), does ON want to be the new Gap? Because they need things that don’t SUCK in quality to do that.

    Oh, and, of course, being douchehounds about the plus-size stuff and coupons is a BIG thumbs-down.

  14. Meowser, exactly. The kind of woman who is too snobby to shop in a store that sells plus sized clothes is not going to touch Old Navy clothes with a ten foot pole. Which makes this a really, really stupid move on ONs part.

  15. I’ll be surprised if my email gets a response from customer service. My real goal in posting my email on my blog was to get the attention of their affiliate manager, who will probably be more likely to notice and care than a first level customer service person.

    Someone at that company is thinking about how to make money off the plus size market. They’re just not doing it the right way.

    I don’t delude myself into thinking that I can drive the shopping habits of any real number of consumers but I think we can all collectively make a point – stop. fucking. us. over.

    I have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars at Old Navy over the past few years because I honestly LIKE the style of their clothes. And when I was unemployed, it was just about all I could afford. Given that I’m on the large end of what most stores sell in plus sizes, I don’t have a tremendous number of options for cheap, trendy clothes from a retailer that I know and trust.

    This isn’t about a dumb coupon. Everything at that store goes on sale eventually and if you’re a cardholder, you get all kinds of coupons anyway.

    It’s more about being THOUGHTFUL of how they’re treating their customers. Some stores, like LB, have special sales that are only online or only in the store but in that case, you have the OPTION to participate in either, You can buy the same stuff in the store or online, it’s just a matter of whether you have online access or if there’s a store nearby.

    In this case, they didn’t think to offer the same deal for their online-only customers. Hello?

    This was more to get their attention and show them that we notice this stuff and it’s disappointing. I’m not having a tantrum over a coupon, I’m saying “Hey, this sucks. Wanna not do that in the future?”

    Anyway!

    My reader base is really different in the size acceptance area and it’s interesting to see the difference between the comments here and the ones on my blog. I’m waiting for the first “How dare you!”

  16. I’ve always disliked Old Navy. Most of the stores seem geared towards middle school girls, though everytime I am in the store I don’t see girls, I see women shopping. I am not sure where their in-store fashion comes from, but generally it’s not my type of thing. I WON’T buy online unless I know it fits,.

    They offer hundreds of size XS, S, and zeros. The same sizes you find left over in the clearance section. I must ask their inventory managers what sort of profit they think they’re making carrying sizes that small that ALL end up in the clearance sections. When I do check the clearance sections, there are NEVER sizes over medium on decent items. What type of logic is that? Carrying a variety of xs and small items won’t make women lose weight to fit it them. Don’t they wonder why the larger sizes are all gone? Shouldn’t they stock and plan accordingly for that customer base? Of course not, then women feel bad for looking for a size L or XL in store and encountering only S and XS.

  17. That brings me to another question. MOST of the time out shopping sales or clearance sections in stores I find mostly smaller sizes than larger. Does that mean that skinny women don’t shop or does that mean the majority of women purchasing full price items and sales items are size L and XL? Hmm….

  18. Meowser, you have such a way with words. Fat Girl Cooties indeed. That’s exactly what ON thinks (that plus-sized women shopping in the store would somehow “bring down” a brand that is not exactly highbrow to start with) and everyone knows it. They do everything but admit it in so many words.

    However… at least their prices are so low that you can sort of see where they made a conscious choice to short-shrift customer service in favor of value. Lululemon is fucking EXPENSIVE and I am absolutely floored by their response to Kimu. Why again should anyone of any size shop there if this is their excuse for “customer service”? If I want to buy men’s workout clothes that don’t fit and look sloppy because the brand doesn’t come in plus, I’ll go to… hey, wait a minute… OLD NAVY. Not a company where fit and quality should really be paramount given the prices.

    I have a like/loathe relationship with American Apparel. I want to like it, but It is run by a fairly distasteful man who doesn’t seem to bother hiding his preference for 20-year-old women who look like preteens. I am not optimistic that they will EVER carry larger sizes for that reason (and even if you normally fit an XL or something, AA’s stuff is cut ludicrously small so you’re out of luck). Once again larger men are A-OK though. Too bad it’s so hard to find sweatshop-free USA-made garments that don’t also come with a dose of sexism and sizeism.

  19. I’ve been boycotting Old Navy and its affiliate stores since they banished plus-sizes to the obscurity of online shopping. And, like Kate, I can fit into the larger end of the sizes they still offer in the shop.

    I don’t think Old Navy’s exclusion of plus-size clothing is an attack on fat people as much as it is an issue of class. Lower-income people are disproportionately fatter (you can write books on the why of it all) and I think Old Navy wanted to upscale its image. Unfortunately, this came at the expense of all fat people, regardless of how much money they make.

  20. Ha, good luck “upscaling” your image when your stores have all the ambience of a Wal-Mart that has just been ransacked, and no 3 pairs of jeans labeled with the same size are actually the same width or length. Actually you’re lucky if both legs are the same length in any given pair. :)

    You may be right about their reasoning, and that is even more gross than just not liking fat women as such.

  21. “Hey, those of you who received this coupon should inform the Consumerist. They have a good track record of getting noticed by companies.”

    My issue with the Consumerist is that I’ve found them to be wildly, wildly anti-fat 99 percent of the time. I have a sneaking suspicion that they’d take it on only to spin it into a TEH FATTIES WILL DESTROY mission. And I can only imagine the clusterfuck the comments would morph into within 2.3 seconds.

  22. Eh for filling a niche, the very same sweatshops that crank out Old Navy gear also crank out Wal-Mart clothing. For basic stuff and no moral high road, the “evil blue box” is a few dollars cheaper. It’s not like any store really pays their employees a living wage, and I could use those extra $2 to buy necessities.

  23. Sorry for the double post, but spacedcowgirl, American Apparel does a great deal of union busting in their US shops to keep their employees wages from rising to meet the cost of living. Just because the employees are making what crackpot economists consider to be a “livable wage” doesn’t mean that they aren’t being starved to death for corporate profits.

  24. I just did some price comparisons on Oldnavy.com and LaneBryant.com, and really, there’s not that much of a price difference. Maybe $5-$10 MAX. In fact, much of their careerwear (sweaters, slacks, blouses) cost the EXACT same amount.

    I say boycott away.

  25. If ON is using sweatshop labor, that’s why sizes are so inconsistent, even with the same item/size/brand. Those people are paid so little for the amount of work they have to do that they don’t give a rat’s ass if they do a good job making the item of clothing, all they care about is getting a lot of them made so they get paid their pittance.
    Since my first real, full-time job as an adult was in a garment factory, I know whereof I speak (in 1972, I was making $1.65 an hour, and had to do shoulders, sleeves, and side seams on 40 blouses an hour to make quota). I could do it, but the quality wasn’t up to what I could have done had quota been just a bit lower. And as much as I pride myself on doing a job well, you can’t do a good job when a supervisor is standing over you telling you to hurry up, do more, do more, faster, faster. And we weren’t sewing for cheap-ass companies either, I’m talking Day’s, Jantzen, White Stag, and Sears.
    I could never shop at ON anyway, they never carried anything big enough to fit me (I checked a couple of times, about 5 years ago, no size 28/30 anywhere).
    And I’ve noticed that every time I shop the clearance racks (at Catherine’s and LB), there’s nothing in my size (or very little), but there’s plenty in my size full price. When you wear a 4X/5X in tops and 26/28 in pants, you’d think there would be a lot to choose from, but there must be a hell of a lot of women out there that wear the same sizes I do and they beat me to all the bargains…..lol

  26. spacedcowgirl, I have the same opinion of American Apparel. Luckily, a friend of mine recently pointed out TrendyBlanks.com, where one can get a lot of their stuff wholesale. Yeah, I’m still paying the company, but at least I’m not doing it at the nutcase markup prices and I don’t have to look at the horribly staged freaky model pics.

  27. Not to derail a good bashing when it is deserved (and it so is), but I was just getting ready for a date and thinking how goddamned lucky I am that I am high enough on the hierarchy of needs to be upset by this.

  28. I agree with your reasoning for not calling for a boycott – but I am going to stop shopping there. I wear a size 6 or so, and I can get cheap clothes elsewhere, and I am seriously pissed off that Old Navy is being such assholes. I suggest that other people with thin privilege do so as well (if they can), and let ON know why they are losing our business.

  29. Kate, you are sadly right. Almost all of my clothes came from Old Navy. I could find jeans that fit me, and their basics – v-neck long-sleeved tops, camisoles, plain sweaters – were right up my alley. And I’m a student, so I appreciated that I could afford the darn clothes.

    When they pulled their plus-size line from stores, I wrote an indignant email and started boycotting. And my wardrobe has definitely suffered. There are really very few other places for me to shop on a student budget – I’m on a graduate stipend, which is better than I was doing in undergrad, but I still have very little disposable income for clothes. A $40 pair of Right Fit jeans is a definite splurge. So I’m wearing stuff that is falling apart because I can’t afford the stuff at Igigi and Kiyonna. I’m aware that I’ve made my choice, and I really don’t blame anyone else for choosing to continue shopping at Old Navy. There are times when I’m tempted to hop over and get some stuff so I don’t look like a hobo… but I don’t want to give them another cent.

    On that note, if anybody has size 22 khakis or some 14/16 tops they’re looking to get rid of… ;)

  30. Look, y’all, Old Navy does not think about Fat Girl Cooties. Nor are they trying to be the Gap (why would they? They’re OWNED by the Gap).

    Old Navy is a low-end retailer selling to the middle of the bell curve. I’m sure they’ve done pretty extensive research to see what sizes exactly bring them as much of that bell curve as possible at the lowest cost to them (and I’m willing to bet they don’t expect to sell those XS and S’s to adult women — that’s going to those bell curve customers in ages 10-16). It’s the same reason their “normal” sizes go up to 20, and it’s the same reason it’s near impossible to dress a skinny guy there.

    The Gap as a whole is in shitty shape financially, and I have no doubt that moving the (as Kate noted in her original Old Navy post months ago) poorly advertised and poorly distributed Old Navy plus sizes online-only is a cost-saving measure which impacts a relatively small number of consumers who (again as Kate noted months ago) kind of have their backs against the wall at this price point. Given the poor in-store distribution of those clothes in the first place, they’re probably just collapsing down on the outlet through which they received more plus-size sales in the first place. It’s shitty, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think it’s malicious.

  31. I can’t shop online at Old Navy from Canada anyway :P
    The past few months my solution for affordable plus-sized clothing has come from eBay! A few stores to check out include:

    http://stores.ebay.ca/Shop-Hollywood-Diva-Online

    http://stores.ebay.ca/the-foxy-kitten

    http://stores.ebay.ca/Marcies-Plus-Sizes-Plus

    http://stores.ebay.ca/LuLus-Plus-Size-Clothing-Store

    That’s just a few… I think I have a bit of a *problem*. All the workers at the post office know me by name…

  32. It’s shitty, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think it’s malicious.

    Kimu, I don’t think it’s malicious, either. I think it’s short-sighted and bad business. And I think that kind of short-sightedness (see also my comments about Forth & Towne) is why Gap, Inc. is in the shitter.

    I should also note that I was a MASSIVELY loyal Gap brands customer for years and years. And I don’t think the idea that ON is now trying to be The Gap is too far off, because I think the quality of all their brands has gone downhill in the last few years, so that Banana Republic is what Gap used to be and Gap is what ON used to be, quality-wise… and ON is, as others have said, roughly Wal-Mart quality now. And the prices just don’t match up with that blatant drop in quality across the board.

  33. I called the local store tonight about the coupon. I was told I could order in store and receive the 20% off. Well the sales associate told me that “If you lose some weight you could shop in store and not have to order plus size online.” I was floored. The manager said there was not much he could do. It was my word againest hers. I contacted corporate who were stunned. They offered me a $30 gift card, and nothing else. I am done with this store.

  34. Shennie try Lucy for good workout wear. I fit their XL and I am a 20W bottom 2X top usually. Also their pants come in 3 lengths
    Lucy.com

  35. Word.

    iBought this pair of jeans this one time and the fly ALWAYS comes down. The problem is that the jeans are good so I can’t throw them away due to conscious, or give them away due to good conscious. I also don’t care enough about them to bring them to a cobbler, or haberdashery, or whatever service flys need. screw old navy, their jeans, and rock on kate harding.

  36. Holy crap, Krista. And you didn’t break her nose or her manager’s nose? You showed admirable restraint.

    They think it’s so easy. Just lose some weight. Just give up a few donuts here and there and take an extra walk around the block. Easy. Why would anybody be fat? Don’t those dumb fatties know anything?

    I so want to cast spells on all of them. Boom, 100 more pounds that they can’t get rid of no matter how many walks they take or how many donuts they sacrifice. Then maybe they’ll get it.

  37. I am so peeved at the Gap for closing down Forth & Towne before its time! If they’d given it another year, and let people order online forgodssakes, they could have made millions. Unfortunately, I have to buy my kids pants at the Gap (online) because they’re the only place that has any selection worth looking at the pluses that fit my daughter and the slims that fit my son. But if they keep on making asinine decisions, they’ll put themselves out of business with no help from me. Which would actually suck.

    I’m also officially furious with Coldwater Creek for severely cutting back the number of dresses they offer in a size 18 or larger. I used to love shopping their Web site; now it’s an exercise in pure frustration.

  38. for what it’s worth, I think the key to the clearance size skew is that the s and xs people are shopping at different stores, because at most of the places I go, “small” is definitely the smallest section of the clearance racks.

    Of course, I usually shop at stores marketing to 16-year-olds, since adult clothes tend to make me look like I am a kid playing dress-up.
    (Graduation grows ever nearer, and I fear that once I enter the real world I will have to suck it up and buy the ludicrously padded push-up bras that are practically the only thing that come in a 32A –except for training bras, of course– so I can wear dress shirts. But dammit I don’t want to! Can’t we all have clothes that fit our bodies the way they are? At least hemming is relatively painless for your basic dress pants)

    Mostly I think it is a natural law that the sale clothes you like the best are the ones least likely to be left in your size. So, I can buy a $10 skirt that is cute but likely to fall off if I break into a jog, or I can buy a $10 skirt that fits and is also hideous? Guess I’ll just go home and do laundry…

  39. My own feelings about Old Navy are hugely conflicted so I was grateful to Manolo for the Big Girl who just recently had a post that offers a different perspective on the whole situation.

    Viola!

  40. I’ve been a loyal Old Navy customer since their plus line came out a couple of years ago, but I have to say … their clothes really are sucking. I have a pair of their jeans from around 2004 and the fit is so perfect that I can’t bring myself to throw them out even though they have huge rips in embarrassing places. I have last year’s and this year’s sweaters that I love, but they all pill up or shrink or both. I have basic tanks (from the women’s side; I’m an in-betweenie in their tops) that fit me wonderfully if the straps didn’t stretch and quit staying up after six or ten washes. I have a pair of jeans in the new Diva Cut that fit me beautifully and I would wear constantly if I weren’t afraid that they’d disintegrate — I have a pair of jeans in the old cut that say “just below waist” on the label but fit at my navel. In fact, no two pairs of their jeans fit me alike.

    Sorry to vent a bit, but it’s just all coming at me — I like their clothes, they look cute, and I’d wear the hell out of them, but they are so poorly made that apparently hell comes after two dozen wash cycles — I have reached the frustration point that only comes when you’ve shopped at a store so much and so long that you could model them a catalogue from what’s currently in your closet, and it’s all falling apart at once.

    I’m very close to bagging it all, sending it to Goodwill, and canceling my ON credit card. I hate playing “what’s clean and not falling apart” when I get dressed in the morning, but I still have to wear SOMETHING.

    Do Levi’s come in any plus sizes? How are Lane Bryant’s dress pants? (I had a pair of black LB pants that fit me like they were made for me. Then I lost 20 pounds.) Where do you girls get sweaters?

  41. Lane Bryant’s dress pants come in different cuts (like the Houston, the Chelsea, and so on), so just a bit of trial and error can help you find a pair that fits well on you. A word of warning though, don’t put them in the dryer (yeah. I needed something to wear RIGHT THEN.) because they will shrink. I also get my sweaters from the LB, although they also have really great and affordable stuff at the Ashley Stewart as well (20$ for a sweater? Sweet!)

    Not so sure about the plus sized Levi’s though. Jeans aren’t really my friend.

  42. I called the local store tonight about the coupon. I was told I could order in store and receive the 20% off. Well the sales associate told me that “If you lose some weight you could shop in store and not have to order plus size online.” I was floored. The manager said there was not much he could do. It was my word againest hers. I contacted corporate who were stunned. They offered me a $30 gift card, and nothing else. I am done with this store.

    HO LY SHIT.
    eff those assholes. I’m done too.

  43. Nomie, why don’t you check out the Fatshionista community on Livejournal? Every Friday people put up Fat Girl clothes for sale and I bet you’d be able to find some cute clothes that fit you for a relatively cheap price.

    In another note, f–k ON. As an expat in the UK, ON was one of the shops that I loved checking out for clothes whenever I was visiting home. I’m a size 20 and I’ve got the money so buh-bye. I think I’ll drop them a line and let them know why. I suggest anyone else who can does the same.

  44. Buffy: The clearance rack skew is caused because their “XS” does NOT flatter or even suit most “XS” people. It’s cut for someone who is flat chested, but should be wearing a S or a M otherwise. The pants are also incredibly skewed.

    It’s also demographics. Take Target, for example. I live in a small town. If I go into the Target, I probably will find a maximum of 3 things that are available in an XS or a 1, andthey generally will be the tighter, sluttier things available. If I take the 30 minute drive to the nearby city, everything will be available in XS. Also, the local rural target has a huge sign for their plus sized section, whilst the city one does not. Which pisses me off to no end.

    Well the sales associate told me that “If you lose some weight you could shop in store and not have to order plus size online.” I was floored. The manager said there was not much he could do.

    W…T…F… And WHY wasn’t that sales associate fired???

    Banana Republic is a joke. Their clothes are unaffordable, although they are one of the FEW stores that stock grown-up clothes in a size below a 4. And I kind of need grown up clothes, and not the slutty crap one finds in the juniors department.

    F–k Gap Inc.

  45. Levi’s make several styles in plus sizes up to 24W. I have never bought from Coldwater Creek, but get their catalogs & am planning to buy a couple of tops soon. I was impressed with the fact that almost everything in the catalog does come in plus sizes & they do not charge more for the larger sizes.

    BTW, I love my LB Rightfit jeans. I have one Halloween tee from Old Navy, a misses’ size XXL, which is much too big actually. About all I can say is that it only cost me $5. I admit to living in jeans & the majority of my shirts these days come from Cafepress. I am an older Nerd girl & no fashion maven.

    One thing I do want to mention is that, while I have overall had good luck with clothes I have purchased from Junonia, I got one chambray shirt which is quite disappointing…it shrinks quite a bit & the colors around the color (it is the chambray blue which looks like faded denim) fade & streak in weird colors, with a kind of yellowish streak.

    As for Old Navy, I seriously doubt that they will get any more money from me.

  46. Thanks for chiming in about the Levi’s, Patsy — I meant to answer that question.

    Like so many other places, Levi’s Stores don’t have much going on in the way of plus sizes, in my experience. But the online store does have two cuts available in plus, and I am a HUGE fan of the relaxed bootcuts, which were my favorite jeans ever before the right fits. On me, they fit very much like right fit reds, with a slightly lower rise/bigger waist. And the denim is quite a bit nicer.

    Oh, I think Kohl’s sells plus-size Levi’s, too.

  47. Vexaster, I’ve always wondered whether tiny people could shop at ON at all… I wear a large in their shirts, and if I’m a large, then there’s no way that someone who’s actually extra small wouldn’t be swimming in an extra small. Nice to know they’re sizing out people on both ends of the spectrum — way to serve your customer base, Old Navy.

    Also nice to know that relegating plus sizes to online is actually their way of solving the obesity crisis. What a story, Krista.

  48. I have not really shopped at Old Navy, and was thinking about doing an on-line order. All of this commentary made me realize it is not worth it. I have a limited budget, and Target (which is a good source for basics), LB, Torrid, and Catherine’s work for me. I have found nice stuff at Department stores, and was pleasantly surprised the last time I went to Macy’s. They have a line of clothes that is a decent price alongside the $80-200 stuff.

    Now I really want to go shopping!

  49. Thanks, Patsy and Kate.

    I’ll have to find a Lane Bryant and see about the Right Fits, too. (I’m either a Blue 5 or a Red 6, depending on which waist measurement they’re talking about — natural waist? where I like jeans to hit? where the jeans actually hit? — so I’ll have to go try on a few pairs.)

  50. Ummm, here’s a little something that’s been peeving me for years. If such ginormous percentage of the population is overweight/plus size/misses/pick your own eufemism (I prefer comfy) someone puleeze tell me, why is it that the clothing manufacturers/stores are geared to the teeny weeny?

  51. “Nomie, why don’t you check out the Fatshionista community on Livejournal? Every Friday people put up Fat Girl clothes for sale and I bet you’d be able to find some cute clothes that fit you for a relatively cheap price.”

    inbetweenies also has sales posts (not just on fridays) which might have 14-16 tops, too, so good to check both (some people cross-post, some not.)

  52. I’m not quite big enough for ON’s plus department, but I wouldn’t trust online shopping even if I were. In one recent trip, I tried on an XXL top that fit perfectly, an L that was a little too big and an XL that was way too small. They were all different styles, but come on! Don’t expect people to buy online if they already know your in-store sizes are wildly inconsistent!

  53. I’m not willing to call it quits on Old Navy yet. I may fluctuate through 3 different size there (16/18/20 in straight sizes) depending upon the wacky cut they’ve decided to use, but I’m just not ready. I personally can’t get up in arms about the plus line moving to the web for one major reason: I found that their size model was incredibly different than my own. Not once could I find anything in the puls size that fit, because it assumed that my stomach was far far larger than it is. Plus I’m sorry, but I saw way too many damned trapeze shirts in the Plus line that I think look hideous on everyone, no matter their size.

    They’ve gone through growing pains. . .and they’re going to experience them again shortly with Todd Oldham having been employed to re-design just about everying. Mind you I really dislike some of his combinations of color, but I am at least glad they hired him and not that twit Mizrahi who has churned out a bunch of crap since I was about 13 and paying attention to fashion.

  54. I almost caved today. I started my boycott of Old Navy as soon as I heard about plus sizes (I’m a size 12). But I desperately need new jeans, and I went in today and found a good pair for a good price. There was a long line, and I didn’t want to stand in it, so I decided to wait. But I’m tempted! Help!

  55. I’ve never ever shopped at any of those stores due to their issues with not using child labour and then charging stupid prices for it (ie. GAP Kids) and I’m not going to start now. At least up here in Canada I have a few options, but I dig the plus size at Target when I’m in the US. Torrid is fun online as well.

  56. Another vote in favor of plus-size Levi’s. They too are gulity of my obligatory stopped-manufacturing-in-the-USA complaint that I always have to flog, but they have come a LONG way since about 10 years ago when the only plus-size style was a medium-wash tapered mom jean. They make a stretch boot cut that is really super flattering. I have owned it in 4 different plus sizes over the years. I don’t know what is available this season, but in the past I have gotten a very dark uniform rinse and another one that was like a faded ringspun denim. I actually need another pair so I hope they haven’t screwed around with the style too much. They fit me much better than the Gap brands–midrise instead of buttcrack low, appear to be cut for an actual grownup woman, the “bootcut” does not actually mean skintight to the knee followed by an exaggerated 25″ flare, etc. These are really my favorite jeans. It is possible they only go up to 24W, though. I have seen them at Kohl’s, JCPenney, and Sears, and they are often on sale in the $29.99 price range or thereabouts. So not exactly cheap cheap, but reasonable and they really do look great and wear well IME.

    On the subject of inexpensive jeans, you might also try their Levi Strauss line that is sold in places like Meijer and (maybe… I am not sure they carry the plus sizes) Target. Probably Wal-mart too. Riders is another brand sold in discount stores that sometimes has decent-looking styles. Honestly I think these lines are better made than Old Navy and certainly no more expensive. My straight-size friend was complaining about the bizarre way that Gap recut their Boyfriend Jean and asked me where I got the ones I was wearing. When I said “Meijer” she was pretty excited to try them because if they fit well, it would sure beat paying twice as much for saggy, ill-fitting Gap jeans.

  57. Dani, by the way, thanks for the TrendyBlanks.com link! I was not aware of that site. At first glance their prices DEFINITELY appear tons better than AA retail. And if I am paying for the “ambience” of their stores, then no thanks. I guess the stores are attractive, but they make me so uncomfortable I just want to run right back out the door.

    And on the subject of whether ON did this “on purpose,” I agree with Kate… I think it is mostly an issue of mismanagement. They decided to launch a plus line but it seemed like they didn’t want to put any money whatsoever into it. They squeezed it in the way back of the stores so that even if you went in the store, there is no reason you would necessarily know it was there. From what I understand they did not really advertise or publicize the new department at all… I certainly never knew it was there until it was already on the way out. So yes, primarily mismanagement, but I wouldn’t doubt in the least if the hush-hush wasn’t also, at least in small part, due to their desire not to be trumpeting “NOW IN PLUS!” and potentially alienating customers who would care that fat girls could wear the same clothes they could. I still maintain that there was a class/image concern on the part of management that played into the almost secretive nature of the in-store plus sections. Regarding them not wanting to be Gap, I’m not sure about that; these days everyone knows that all 3 stores are owned by the same company, so perhaps they wouldn’t want even their “low-end” brand dragging down the overall company image. Anyway, I think they mostly bungled things but I think there was also a little of wanting to have their cake and eat it too… get money out of plus size consumers without having anyone other than the plus size consumers know that they could shop in their stores. The “lose weight and buy regular sizes” comment is absolutely astounding.

    Aaand in another unrelated comment, thinking of how they carry Levi’s at Sears reminded me that I think Sears, Penney’s, and Kohl’s (maybe try their web sites if your local store is poorly stocked) are still the best places to get work basics in plus at good prices. You could go broke trying to put together a work wardrobe at LB without some serious sale watching. Anyway I just wanted to mention that because until I started shopping there again recently, I wouldn’t necessarily have though Sears would have anything up-to-date in terms of professional wear, so maybe other people are overlooking them too.

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  59. I came online tonight shopping for jeans and my search brought me here..And I’m glad it did. I didn’t realize how many other women were feeling the same as I do. As for Old Navy, the quality of their clothes has become like Walmart. So, I stopped buying there.They don’t last long. I bought a couple of of the Demin lite stretch jeansfrom the Avenue and I love them. they are light and very comfortable. They come in short,Average and tall and they were $39.50. It’s hard to find good quality plus size clothes and eveb harder to find plus jeans.

    www. theAvenue.com
    http://www.fashionbug.com

  60. if you have a Goodys where you live, they have really cute plus size stuff, especially in the juniors plus section, and the prices are lower than old navy usually, everything is on sale all the time, they have a big sale probably 3 out of every 4 saturdays

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