Fashion, You've Got to Be Kidding Me

Your Daily Giggle, Plus a Lesson in How Not to Appeal to Your Core Customer

Shapeling H. forwarded me an e-mail from JMS this morning, with the following graphic:


Seriously, y’all, the fat girl store is having a TENT SALE. Once again, we find a marketing department for a plus-size store sorely in need of a common sense consultant. I could not make this shit up if I tried. 

(Having said that, they do have some good deals on bras.)

40 thoughts on “Your Daily Giggle, Plus a Lesson in How Not to Appeal to Your Core Customer”

  1. Oh that’s rich! I have noticed a few years back when it was in style that when a fat girl garment comes in a COW print is called PONY print. Only sizes 14+ were PONY print while everything else was COW.

    I have an outfit in silver that I picked up from a plus size store. I wore it to a party and my douche bag ex boyfriend said I looked like a BAKED POTATO!

    I actually laughed at that, though. I still have the outfit and I wear it when it gets cold enough.

  2. Ugh, I’m angry now. I clicked on the link and *finally* found a site that sells bras in my size, and affordably too! (I’m down to two; try finding bras in a band size over 50!)
    Only when I went to checkout do I find that the [dirty name of your choice] store doesn’t ship outside the US! Hello, put that on the home page of your site!!!

  3. I just found that kinda funny, but mostly cause I usually refer to those stores something like “I’m going to Akbar’ The Tentmaker’!” due to the CRAP selection. Most of it IS tent.

  4. Vidya, have you tried bra extenders? I only wear sports bras (good support without underwire) but although I can fit into their [Shockabsorber] largest cup size, the back size doesn’t quite go up far enough. So I order the biggest size then get a bra extender. Gives me the extra couple of inches I need. You could I assume, if you needed to, hook two extenders together to make the back larger still (although I imagine you can’t do this too many times before you’re likely to have issues with the proportions of the whole bra).

  5. Did anyone see Ruby (on Style Network) last Sunday? She talks very frankly about the problems with buying plus sized clothing that doesn’t look like “old lady wear”, which is soooo true. Lane Bryant does a fairly good job, but so many of their things have super short sleeves, which I refuse to wear. Her friend made a good comment: “what, once you get to a certain size they start punishing you? you can only buy ugly things?”

  6. First of all, I love this blog a have been a regular reader for over a year now. You guys are smart, funny, and–above all–refreshingly sane in a world gone increasingly mad. It’s a worthy battle that you’re waging, and you should know how much it helps to have such a logical, articulate reality check when the pressures of our self-hating culture start to make us feel like WE’RE the crazy ones. So keep it up!

    Also, I don’t know if you’ve seen this in the latest New Yorker, but it made me laugh out loud, and moved me to make this, my first post to Shapely Prose.

    Happy New Year!

  7. TicklishFatChick, I have shoes that the Pretty Pear has dubbed “baked potato shoes.” (ILU Colleen! xoxoxo) I should totally wear them with a silver dress!

    Anyway, I feel the same way about DRESS BARN WOMAN. I always feel like when I open the door*, it is going to make a MOOOO noise like those old Fisher Price farm play sets.

    *There’s a DBW a half block from my work, so I am kind of a captive audience there.

  8. I showed this to my husband, and he was immediately reminded of a pair of jeans he once owned that were “Zeppelin” brand. I don’t think I ever saw him wear them.

    Also, I can’t see DRESS BARN WOMAN without thinking of the Spinal Tap song lyric, “Sex Farm woman”.

    (Plowin’ through your bean field! Pokin’ your hay!)

  9. But that tent has slimming vertical stripes. Doesn’t that make it flattering? *snerk*

    Those are excellent prices on bras, though. I wonder if my credit card can stand another charge.

  10. Oh, poop, I figured you guys would be on top of that (hey, it’s the holidays, cut a girl some slack)! Anyway, I’m glad you highlighted it; it gave me a good laugh. I found the closing admonition, “[e]very person is beautiful on the inside, provided that they are also extremely attractive on the outside.” Words to live by. Or not.

    And B.S.A.G., I have exactly the same response to Dress Barn Woman!

    “Scratching in your hen house
    Sniffing at your feedbag
    Slipping out your back door
    Leaving my spray.”

  11. I’m glad everyone got a lol out of that — I had to read it twice when I saw it in my inbox to make sure it really said what I thought it said.

  12. Fair Warning: JMS is owned by Hanes, which has the WORST. CUSTOMER. SERVICE. EVER. (“Yes, I know we charged your credit card two weeks ago, and the website says your order shipped two weeks ago, but it didn’t really. It shipped this morning…Yes, I know the CSR you spoke to last week promised your order had already shipped, but it didn’t, really. It did ship today, though….I’m sorry, I know you’ve been through this before and been promised shipping dates that never happened, but my computer says your order shipped today. Yes, I’m positive…I’m sorry, I don’t know why people keep telling you that your order has shipped when it hasn’t. But I swear it shipped today.” And so on and so forth until I finally had to DEMAND my money back – they didn’t want to give it to me because my order had “already shipped,” dontcha know. Be warned.

  13. @ Vidya – being Canadian, I feel your pain. There are a number of sites I love that don’t ship outside the USA.

    Learning the hard way to avoid tears and frustration, the first thing I do is check their shipping policies or FAQ to determine if it’s worth actually checking out the site further.

  14. @Vidya my problem with bras is that, as a fat girl, I wear the surprisingly small band size of 34 (or 36, depending on cut). The “regular” girl stores don’t carry cup sizes big enough for me, but the plus size stores don’t carry band sizes small enough.

    I recently received an LB catalog in the mail, and several of the dresses and nighties reminded me of my grandmother, in a weirdly awesome way.

  15. Well, poop, I found out they don’t sell their own bras past a DDD cup. All they had are Goddess and Glamorize in my size, two lables that never ever fit me well.

    Sometimes it’s not that they’re selling tents, it’s that they can’t be arsed to get tents that are big enough.

  16. Perhaps we should start a second-shipping service….. you order it, have it sent to our US address… and for a small fee we ship it internationally. Kind of a pain but maybe worth it?


  17. @Christine–that’s why I only order stuff from places that give me a tracking number. Well, not that specifically; there was this one time I ordered a bunch of fabric from some website and they took my money but they never, ever acknowledged my order in any way, and when I went to email them about it their customer service email was bouncing. Oddly enough when I filed a complaint with Paypal they were damn quick to give me my money back. Probably didn’t want a negative rating so they could sucker in the next person who might not do anything about it.

  18. Is this an example of taking an image and owning it?

    Maybe it’s anti-establishment, rage-against-the-machine, guerrilla marketing? (In that case, it might border on brilliant.)

  19. I laughed out loud and cited you on my blog about laughing and taking care of yourself,

    Love your blog! Put it in my blog reader!

  20. Shopping for bras is horrible! I’m not fat, but I do share a lot of your pain; I have a Rack of Doom that makes bra shopping even worse than jeans shopping. My tiny sister just pops into Victoria’s Secret and picks up whatever cute, lacy, frilly thing that’s on sale, but nooooo, apparently busty girls can’t buy cute things.

    @ EL Solo Mio–I haven’t seen this show yet (but I’d like to) but I can only imagine how difficult it must be. I have a hard enough time finding things that fit well that don’t cost over $50 per bra and look like something my grandmother would wear. I mean, I love my grandma dearly, but I’m 21 dammit!

    And LOL at the ad. Oh dear. I think marketers just like to mess with us. One of my friends commented that a lot of McDonalds commercials show black people talking in “slang” and wearing headphones with cheesy hip-hop, while white people are always with their aryan kids in the minivan. He was all, “Am I not allowed to buy my Big Mac in a minivan? Are black people the only ones who buy ipods?” So out of touch, but I’ll bet they make a lot more money than I do…

  21. Was it a misguided example of ‘reclaiming’ vocabulary? That is honestly the only reason I can think of for them going with it; some clueless marketer somewhere sitting there and going “Ooh, I know, let’s reclaim the tent. That will be humorous and effective.”. Eesh.

  22. Wow — count me in on the mental Spinal Tap/Dress Barn Woman association. I also shout “Bed Bath and Beyoooooooooond” in my brain, with lots of reverberation on it.

  23. I saw that and giggled because, having looked at what they pass off as fashion, “tent” veers towards truth in advertising. You can still get lots of re-labeled mumus at JMS!

  24. She talks very frankly about the problems with buying plus sized clothing that doesn’t look like “old lady wear”, which is soooo true.

    A bit mean to old women, don’t you think?

    Why do old women have to look bad? Why is ugly clothing called “old lady” wear anyway?

    You’ll be an old woman someday. You’ll see.

  25. There is exactly one bra on that entire site in my size. A fugly-ass, non-underwire, not-on-sale bra at that.

    Apparently you’re only allowed to have giant boobs if you have a coordinating large back size. I guess it’s just a physical anomaly to dare to have a smaller back with the rack of doom. And since I’m a physical anomaly, how dare I expect to be able to buy something cute and supportive without forking over the equivalent of what some people spend on a week’s worth of gasoline.

    Sure, have a special section for A cups, but not the other end of the spectrum. The rest of the fashion world is catered to people with small boobs, why should “just my size” be any different?

    Just my size…unless that size is 34G.

    I guess that concludes my semi-weekly rant against the lingerie industry.

  26. I just laughed at the ad.


    I lurve JMS for their stretch jeans- and reasonably priced tee shirt type clothes.

    I am not one to be taken too seriously on this matter though- because I dig the fact that the jeans have my initials on the button (JMS). For the longest time, I had some co-workers convinced I had custom jeans made.

  27. Bra shopping is hell. I’m a 44H or I, depending on who I buy from. No matter what brand I buy, though, I’m always a 44 because 42’s pinch too much.

    Guess where I’m limited to? Lane Bryant, Roaman’s, or selling my first born for a fancy, industrial grade bra from the fancy bra shops.

    And the best part is that I know my size because I measured it myself. I haven’t steered myself wrong yet.

  28. @dana….wow! this is great i have never heard of this site. I adore u now. i have only been reading Shapely Prose for about a month now and have found quite a few great tips on here. thank you for sharing this.

  29. LouLou, the Canadian version of Lucky, has a whole section for plus-size-it unfortunately is sponsored entirely by Addition-Elle, but there is a list of plus-size retailers that are in, or ship to Canada.

  30. ChloeMireille, it could be worse. You could lose LB and Roaman’s as options and be relegated to ONLY having the fancy-shmancy first-born priced bras. That’s where I am. It sucks.

    I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Lane Bryant’s bras. Granted, I was recently shown to, but I miss being able to go in and try it on and buy it (cheaply) instead of ordering, waiting and hoping it fits.


    I guess my comment above did not, in fact, conclude my rant. I don’t think my rant on this topic will ever end.

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