Faith 21, the new “plus-size” line from Forever 21, is out.
The bad news: The goods pretty much range from “meh” to “WTF?” (I realize I’m like 20 years older than the target market here, but still: Not a dress, not a dress, not a dress. I would consider buying this AS A SHIRT.)
The good/bad news: It probably won’t fit you anyway.
When I first heard about Faith 21, I noted that they only planned to go up to a junior 2X, which is not so much “adding a plus-size line” as “expanding our range of sizes all the way up to roughly a standard XL!” Now, having seen the size chart, I can say it’s even worse than I thought:
Are you fucking kidding me? For the record, I often wear the smallest plus size available in actual plus size stores, and I can still wear some straight XLs, at least on top. (My ass is pretty consistently an 18W these days, but in tops and dresses with full skirts, I’m usually a 14W.) And my measurements are 43-38-48. Ergo, I am pretty much sized out of this line. The only other ostensibly plus-size line I know of in which I wear a 3X is Stop Staring, which is well known for running — as Fillyjonk puts it — “criminally small.”
As I said before, this is great for true in-betweenies, who often really are screwed when it comes to finding clothes that fit. But it’s not so great that this is being heralded as a “plus-size” line when it’s anything but. It’s bad enough that “junior plus” sizes further confuse the issue of what a “2X” (etc.) is to begin with, but when your junior “2X” is more like a usual junior “1x,” which is already like a plain old “X” (edited to fix arithmetic fail), who the fuck are you trying to kid? And what the fuck is the point? You are setting yourself up to fail, when all those girls who wear a Torrid 2X and were stoked to be able to go to (a few) Forever 21 stores with their friends find out that they still can’t wear your shit, and even if they could, they’d need to carry all of their weight somewhere other than their thighs in order to pull half of it off. (Unless, of course, they’re rocking massive body confidence, which would be fantastic — but I’m thinking that segment of the teenaged fat girl market is pretty damn limited.)
Between designs that are only meant for basically thin girls with bellies, sizing that still excludes a great deal of the junior plus market, and the decision to only offer the line in a handful of bricks-and-mortar stores, I give Faith 21 about 3 months before it folds, the company sends out a press release saying “the market just wasn’t there,” and Forever 21 once again becomes a Thin Girls Only store. Awesome work, guys. Just terrific.