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Plus-Size Old Navy

What a big story!

Old Navy is going to start a plus-size clothing line. The only caveat: sizes haven't been defined. But given that some stores currently stock up to an 18/20, chances are good they're looking to compete with Torrid which goes up to 26.

Old Navy will introduce plus-size fall fashions for women in new, dedicated in-store boutiques at 55 locations, as well as on the Internet, Old Navy President Jenny J. Ming said. While Old Navy historically has offered some women's clothes in larger sizes, the new line will include more fashion-oriented clothing that is targeted toward a younger customer.

Nice to see. [Via siamesemeg]

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marleigh June 7th, 2004 | Link | It's nice to see that Gap
It's nice to see that Gap Inc. is catering to plus sizes at Old Navy, however, there are two things that still frustrate me. The fact that The Gap manufactures its clothes up to a size 20, but refuses to stock anything over a 16, and the fact that Banana Republic doesn't even manufacture anything above a (very small cut) 16. Old Navy is Gap Inc's low end brand. I'd like to see plus sizes or even 18s and 20s in The Gap and Banana Republic. I think it's somewhat insulting that Gap Inc doesn't find me or my size 18 ass worthy enough to wear its higher-end clothing.
keever June 7th, 2004 | Link | You took the words right out
You took the words right out of my mouth, marleigh. The message I take away from their sizing and stocking decisions is that it's okay if I mix in amongst the ON-shopping rabble, they'll deign to serve me at their mid-price level but only via my mailman, and they just don't want my fat ass wearing their "nice" stuff at all. It's a huge missed opportunity for them, because I ooh and aah at Banana Republic all the time, but it's only my skinny friends going to the register. Yeah, I'm angry -- I guess it's time to write another letter to customer service!
michelle June 7th, 2004 | Link | I find Old Navy much more
I find Old Navy much more affordable, and I like that the stores have all the lines together, baby through adult. I haven't liked anything at Gap since the mid 90's or so. If the Old Navy line is sucessful, and it may be very sucessful, Gap will follow suit.
Natalie June 7th, 2004 | Link | I feel slightly less guilty
I feel slightly less guilty about buying a purse (which I love) at the Gap now. I told the salesgirl that it was probably the first thing I'd bought there in 15 years because they don't carry my size, and she was all, "We carry up to a size 20 on the website!" and I was all, "Does my fat ass look like it'll fit into a size 20?" Personally, I can't wait for Old Navy to have stuff that's in my size (I suspect the t-shirts and non-blouse tops will fit me, but the pants/skirts won't) because I'm freaking TIRED of Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug.
Dreama June 7th, 2004 | Link | While I like the fact that
While I like the fact that they're finally acknowledging the larger size market that has heretofore been unserved within the Gap, Inc. system, the idea of giving money to them so that they can pay for more obnoxious Old Navy advertising turns my stomach. I'll stick with catalog shopping.
Kaylen June 7th, 2004 | Link | I have my fingers crossed
I have my fingers crossed Old Navy's plus sized apparel will make it into Canada. I had no idea the Gap made clothes up to size 20! I often buy pants at the Gap because their 16 is as big as all my plus size 18 pants -- plus they don't seem to sell very well so I'm always getting $70 pants for $20 on the clearance rack. I think the problem is that Gap doesn't market their larger sizes, so people who could wear them don't even venture into their stores. I'd love to see them stock all their sizes and let people know about it!
april June 7th, 2004 | Link | I have really mixed feelings
I have really mixed feelings about Old Navy. It's a cheap way to get fun, trendy clothes (being on the low end of plus sizes, I can shop in their current line). But I have to agree with marleigh that it's frustrating to see their "higher end" line not even consider plus sizes (not that I really want to shop at a store named after an offensive slang term for 3rd world colonies ;)). How does everyone else feel about companies (like Gap Inc) that get bad press for their "sweatshop" manufacturing practices? Personally, I think it's disappointing that us fat folk don't have as many choices if we want to vote with our dollars on issues like that.
EmilyH June 8th, 2004 | Link | I like the Old Navy clothes,
I like the Old Navy clothes, but hardly any of their stuff fits me, and the stuff that does fit isn't my style. I can wear XL in most brands. It would be nice if they had more stuff that fit better. I haven't shopped at Gap or Banana Republic since I was in high school.
jportnick June 8th, 2004 | Link | I'm pleased with this
I'm pleased with this development, but annoyed that the Gap and Banana Republic haven't followed suit. I noticed a few months back an ad in the San Francisco paper for Gap Maternity wear, featuring a photograph of a pregnant woman. It struck me that they're interested in selling clothes to fat women only if we're fat temporarily; if that's your non-pregnant body then forget about it. I hope, I truly hope, that the reason Gap only carries size 20's on their website and not in the stores is that they don't want to be seen showing clothing that large. I really, really hope that's not the case.
ajoyce June 8th, 2004 | Link | A couple of years ago, Bitch
A couple of years ago, Bitch magazine did a story about a woman, size 16, who wrote to Gap and J. Crew to ask them about the paucity of clothing available in her size, and why (in the case of Gap) she could only find her size on the Web and not in the stores. She received only perfunctory "we care about your business and are looking into it" form letters in return, and never heard from them again. Why else would companies either refuse to offer larger sizes or only have them available by mail order, other than the idea that having fat people (often of, gasp, color) in their stores or wearing their stuff will give them a "low class" image amongst the thin "upper class" (white, WASPy looking even if not factually WASP) shoppers who have most of the money out there? I can see no other possible explanation. Some might say the solution is to boycott such companies, but if they don't offer stuff in our sizes, how can we boycott? Instead, I suggest an appropriate plan of action for such companies might be a "reverse boycott." We should absolutely insist on going into their stores, taking our sweet time browsing, and buy whatever it is they DO sell that we can wear, like accessories. Make them realize they can't turn their stores into havens for the binge-and-barf crowd. What are they gonna do then, hire bodyguards to keep the fat people out? It'll drive them stark raving mad, I'll tell you.
blissing June 8th, 2004 | Link | The owners of the Gap are
The owners of the Gap are also old growth redwood loggers. I've heard my smaller friends complain about the small sizing at Banana Republic stores. I will do my best not to shop at Old Navy, but like others have said, I'm tired of LB! They just opened a Catherine's here, and it's not my style at all.
Venus June 8th, 2004 | Link | Currently they go up to size
Currently they go up to size 20. But is it just me? I don't like their clothes. A lot of it looks like its been washed too often, or something. Blech. I like Eddie Bauer much better, if only I could afford their stuff!
Venus June 8th, 2004 | Link | I just finished reading all
I just finished reading all the know this is really a twist. All the years when I was really fat, I LOVED shopping at Roaman's and LB. I really came to like their stuff, esp. the flashy, jazzy dresses (the price was too high though!) Now that I've lost a lot of weight, I hate the stores I have to shop in (Gap, BR, etc) TOO expensive!! And I dont like the styling either! I really came to like the flashy stuff LB and Roaman's sells for bigger women. I don't know where to find that in smaller sizes.
annalaeriu June 8th, 2004 | Link | I think BR and Gap sell what
I think BR and Gap sell what will make them money. They don't carry my size (I'm 5'4, which makes me petite and they don't carry 0P in their stores only on-line)in the store -- they pander to the great middle. The smaller sizes tend to run quite large too, I don't know if this carries over to the sizes as they get larger. A 0 at BR is a 2-4 at Walmart and somewhere in the 30's in European sizes. It's just business, cold blooded and impersonal they will do whatever makes them money. Same thing goes for insurance if they start charging by BMI I'd pay more because satistically someone with my BMI (
jportnick June 8th, 2004 | Link | Andee! Reverse boycotting?
Andee! Reverse boycotting? It's an idea whose time has come. I'm off to The Gap now, won't be back for a loooong while.
Micki June 8th, 2004 | Link | Sunday I bought something at
Sunday I bought something at Lane Bryant for the first time. The sales clerks were wonderful and the dressing room was huge! I usually shop at Target and Fred Meyer (a Portland-based chain with stores in Washington state where I live), but decided to treat myself since one of my daughters is graduating from high school this week. I also bought the book Figure It Out, which has fashion tips for average to large women. In it, I saw a nude picture of beautiful fat model which alone was worth the price of the book.
siamesemeg June 8th, 2004 | Link | Yup. They're pretty all bad.
Yup. They're pretty all bad. I sort of hate shopping anywhere for anything, but I have consumer needs and I get them filled as mindfully and carefully as I can. I've also logged time and effort lobbying The Gap to do this, and will celebrate this new development at Old Navy, as I continue to write and call and complain. Expand my choices, dammit! ps. Paul - thanks so much for the link! But it should probably read "Via siamesemeg" since there is another "Meg" here at BFB. -sm
paul June 8th, 2004 | Link | Woops! Sorry, Meg. and Meg.
Woops! Sorry, Meg. and Meg.
siamesemeg June 8th, 2004 | Link | Oops, that was "pretty MUCH
Oops, that was "pretty MUCH all bad..." Thanks, Paul!
Venus June 9th, 2004 | Link | Micki, isn't LB great?
Micki, isn't LB great? Prices are a bit high (like most mall type stores), but the salesstaff ARE really wonderful. They have always struck me as being down to earth, friendly, talkative. I want that in people who wait on me. Its not that way in the skinny stores, I don't know why!
Missa June 9th, 2004 | Link | The reverse boycott idea is
The reverse boycott idea is an interesting one. Perhaps we should go to the stores who only stock our sizes online and ask for them to order an item for us, so we can try it on. I for one, HATE to shop online because I just can never guess how something will look on me. I insist on seeing it on my body before spending my money on it. I want to let them know that i WOULD give their company my money if they would accommodate my needs the way they accommodate everybody else's

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