Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

November 28, 2007

A Word About Old Navy (now with a small update)

Filed under: The Fat's in the Fire — Francesca @ 4:17 pm

Back in July, in one of Francesca’s very earliest postings on this blog, she recommended items from Old Navy. There were murmurings in the comments that many Big Girls no longer buy clothing from Old Navy, because the chain decided no longer to sell plus-size clothing in their stores, only online.

The following comment was typical of the attitude I have seen much on the fat-blog-osphere:

I’m not sure I want to do business with a store that actually doesn’t want me to shop there in person.

I have been thinking about that ever since. Rolling it over in the frankly quite talented mind of the Francesca.

Francesca symapthizes with . . . nay, empathizes with . . . nay, has experienced the frustration of not being able to find clothing in her copious size in regular clothing stores. She is thinking how she would feel if Talbots were to close all their Women’s Petite departments, and, had she not already discovered the joys of online shopping, especially of the Talbots outlet, she would want to cry.

There is the social aspect of not being able to shop in the same stores as one’s friends. There is the logistical factor of no longer being able to try the clothing on before one buys, and of having to make trips to the post office instead of to the mall. And there is the psychological aspect of feeling betrayed and alone, being smacked with the fact that most people wear regular sizes and feeling the stores do not see us, that we are invisible.

However, Francesca keeps coming back to the same idea, which is, first of all, that she doubts very much that Old Navy’s decision is one for us to take personally. Francesca doubts very much that the Old Navy executives sat around the table and said “Fat chicks are ugly and we don’t want them in our stores. We’ll still make clothes for them, but they’ll have to do their purchasing from home, where they can keep the blinds down.”

No! Most likely the decision was a monetary one. Most likely, not enough Big Girls were going shopping in Old Navy stores, and retail space is extremely expensive. Perhaps they had not done a good job of marketing or advertising the big sizes; Francesca, for example, never knew that Old Navy sold plus-size clothing until she took this blogging job. Believe me, had Francesca known, she would have gone shopping there in a second, especially when she was younger. If Francesca did not know and therefore never set foot in Old Navy (literally, I went into the nearby Old Navy once in my life, with a skinny friend who was an Old Navy junkie), she can imagine that many, many other Big Girls also did not know. Probably most of the other Big Girls were in Lane Bryant and Talbots with Francesca. It is not that “Old Navy does not want me to shop there in person” but that this commenter wasn’t shopping there in person, or at least, not enough people like her were shopping there in person.

Francesca believes that the most likely reason for Old Navy selling plus sizes only online now is simply that they wanted to reserve their retail space for the customers who were providing the most money, and the fact is, most people do wear regular sizes. That is why they are called “regular,” and it is why being plus-size makes us different and creates a social situation for us that fills a whole fat-blog-osphere in the analysis.

Francesca posits that the best way to convince Old Navy to bring their plus-size clothes back into the physical stores is for us to buy more of their clothes, not less. You know that famous obesity epidemic? As more women need plus-size fashion, the way we can get retailers to cater to our needs is to show how much purchasing power we have.

Look, Francesca understands that some people do not wish to do business with stores whose main concern is so blatantly the bottom line. Old Navy made a financial decision that screwed us over, and people are pissed.

But frankly, all stores are looking only at the bottom line. Even when they are offering great service and great products and great perks and are really nice, the primary reason for all that, ultimately, is that they want you to keep spending your money on their products.

If the Talbot’s Woman departments in physical stores are not bringing in enough profit to make their existence worthwhile, Talbots will do the same thing as Old Navy. They do not sell plus-size clothes to help us. They are doing it for the money. Francesca knows that and still loves them because the clothes are fantastic and because they are investing in the Woman Petite niche market.

Think of all the online-only sites where you shop for plus-size clothing. How many of them will never turn enough profit to warrant opening a physical store? There are reasons that Sydney’s Closet is an online closet, not a physical storefront with racks and racks of items you can feel and touch before you buy, and full-time salespeople helping you out. Silhouettes, Igigi (clothes in stores, but not their own stores), Kiyonna (in stores, but not their own stores), Woman Within . . . how many of our readers have said “until I discovered online shopping, I never knew there were so many choices for big women”? It is because outside the internet, there aren’t so many choices, not compared to the choices of those who wear sizes 0-14. A chain or two, a few plus-size departments here and there within general-audience retailers, the occasional boutique which caters to plus-size women. We are a niche market and have the same volume of options as any other niche market such as tall women, short women, goth women, Sunday church women, “funky” Orthodox Jews, little people, whatever.

At the moment, catering to us in physical stores is simply not as profitable as catering to our skinny sisters, and that will not change unless many more poeple start wearing size 16 and up, or we Big Girls start waaaaay out-shopping our size 10 friends. Even online, we have fewer choices. So if Old Navy is still making the clothes, and they are available to us, why not take advantage?

Francesca is not saying that one should shop at any store where employees are rude, or whose company culture is unethical. Certainly if you are so upset that Old Navy pulled their plus-sizes from the stores that you never want to look at their stuff again, Francesca understands. There is no law which says you must remain loyal to them.

But Francesca believes that, barring unethical or outright rude behavior, the most important factor in deciding where to shop is your taste in clothing. If you love Old Navy clothes, then get them however and wherever you can. If you don’t love them, the physical stores wouldn’t help you anyway.

Remember: Dressing well is the best revenge.

UPDATE: Hello hello to the first several commenters! Francesca is not ashamed to admit she did not know of Old Navy’s plus-size line! It is not an indication of her expertise.  In fact, the very fact that even Francesca never knew of Old Navy’s plus-size line says little about Francesca and very very much indeed about Old Navy’s poor marketing of that line. She never knew any Big Girl who shopped there, which is, Francesca thinks, a possible indication of why they had to move it online. Of course, perhaps this is a regional thing. Francesca surmises that perhaps word-of-mouth reached critical tipping points in some places more than others. It is a mystery!


  1. You had no idea who sold young women’s fat girl clothing and yet you were qualified to blog about clothing for fat girls?

    Way to lower the bar, Francesca.

    Comment by Maria — November 28, 2007 @ 4:33 pm

  2. Maria, I hardly think that not knowing that Old Navy sold “fat girl clothing” should have disqualified Francesca from blogging about “clothing for fat girls.”

    Comment by Cat — November 28, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

  3. Back in July, in one of Francesca’s very earliest postings on this blog, she recommended items from Old Navy.

    How does this lead one to think that Francesca was unfamiliar with Old Navy?

    I might add that a likely reason for many fat women to feel that Old Navy yanking plus sizes from stores was a slap in the face is that we are figuratively slapped in the face all the time by the fashion industry. The slappers range from famous designers (I will not name Evil Names) to sneering store clerks. We might be paranoid, but quite often, they’re out to get us.

    Comment by Sniper — November 28, 2007 @ 5:47 pm

  4. Ah, never mind. I see what you’re talking about… but Francesca educated herself on the job, hardly an unusual situation.

    Comment by Sniper — November 28, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

  5. I think Old Navy did a bad job of advertising their plus-size line, since Francesca and I were both unaware of it.

    And yes, Francesca, you’re very right about the motivation of businesses and how to get their attention. If we take our dollars away, they won’t expand their footprint in our niche market. But if big girls en masse start ordering their plus-size line, Old Navy is more likely to see us as a profit-making segment of the market and do more to accomodate us.

    We vote with our pocketbooks. Not only will Old Navy cut back further if we refuse to spend money with them, they will be held up as a model to other companies that illustrates why it’s stupid to get into plus sizes if you want to make a profit.

    Comment by Twistie — November 28, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

  6. Slighty off topic but not quite – I wouldn’t shop in an Old Navy store anyways. All the ones in my area provide horrible shopping experiences. Clothing is strewn on the floor, the salespeople stand around and look at it and do nothing, and to top it off the only clothing that is offered is super-young, not even trendy, clothes meant to fit a body type that exists only in skin 12 year old girls.

    At first I thought it was an issue w/ a particular store, but every single one I’ve been to (in chicago north suburbs) is like this. Add that to the cheap feeling fabric and I’m not really a fan of the brand as a whole, so I don’t really trust ordering their extra sizes from online.

    Has anyone had better experiences, or actually ordered their plus sizes from there?

    Comment by RachelH — November 28, 2007 @ 5:52 pm

  7. I’m also surprised that you didn’t know that Old Navy had a plus line. Well, maybe not. I get the feeling that if Old Navy had ever bothered to really publicize the existence of their plus line AND put at least the basics from the line in EVERY store, not just a fraction of them, then it would have been more successful. I am loathe to buy clothes online because I can’t try them on without buying them first. It’s too much of a hassle to have to potentially return a bunch of stuff each time I order online. Finding a good fit at any size is hard enough, but I think chubby girls have it harder than “regular” size women.

    Comment by caitlin — November 28, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

  8. Francesca, the fact that I can’t try things on before buying them and normally have to pick out 20 items before finding one that fits and has the right cut and shape is the reason I cannot buy clothes online. I’m sure many (if not most) of your readers have this same problem.

    This isn’t just a matter of taking a few things to the post office when they arrive and don’t fit. It’s a matter of taking EVERYTHING I BUY back to the post office to return because they fit and looked awful. What mail-order company is going to want to do business with me again?

    How are we to shop at all if all the stores close down their plus-sized lines and take them to the internet? Voting with our purses and talking openly about why we do so is the only way to send a message. Stores shut down their plus-sized sections constantly, and profitability is only one of them. If profit was a motive then every store would want to cash in on the supposed ‘obesity crisis’.

    Sorry, I do see the message that they send when they send us back to our homes and away from their storefronts. The message was loud and clear when Jenny Craig posted this sign in front of Torrid: “Do you want to end up shopping here?”

    They want a certain kind of clientele, one that does not tend to be obese. Yes, there’s racism involved. Since they can’t discriminate openly by tailing and intimidation, or by having store ladies shoo the riff-raff out, they have to discriminate by subtler means.

    Old Navy is not in any kind of financial crunch, and their stores are huge. I don’t buy the argument.

    I know this is what you’ve been reading on other blogs that you’re responding to, but it’s depressing to see the “hand of the market” defense of corporations anywhere. It just rings so false.

    Comment by jennhi — November 28, 2007 @ 6:13 pm

  9. The nice thing about Old Navy is that if you order something online, you can return it to any Old Navy store.

    I’m not annoyed at Old Navy for taking plus sizes out of the stores, since few stores had plus size departments in the first place. What annoys me are fat girl stores that put their clothing racks so close together that fat girls cannot fit between the racks. Way to know your target demographics.

    Comment by Leslie — November 28, 2007 @ 6:20 pm

  10. Leslie-
    Your comment made Francesca laugh out loud. Cry, and laugh at the same time. It is too true!

    Comment by Francesca — November 28, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

  11. And Rubiatonta wonders why, when Saks was going to phase out their petites section in brick-and-mortar stores, they were convinced to reverse their decision, those of us who are at the other end of the spectrum are expected to shut up, shop on line and like it.

    I have as much disposable income as the next girl, and I’m not willing to spend it with any retailer who is not going to take me seriously as a customer. That means interesting clothing lines, standardized sizing, a range of styles that flatter various larger body types, and simple return policies. That’s why I shop at Nordstrom, Lane Bryant, and Macy Woman almost exclusively. Old Navy is tat, and not worth weeping over.

    Comment by Rubiatonta — November 28, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

  12. I discovered the Old Navy plus size line at a store in Charleston SC, went loooking for the section in the bigger of two Old Navy stores in Columbia SC (I live in a small town & have to drive a bit to get to any ‘real’ shopping) and found a sales clerk there who insisted that Old Navy did not have plus sizes. And who appeared horrified at the very idea. Yeah, Old Navy did a bad job with this one.

    Having said that, my bigger gripe is that even in the nice department stores like Macy’s, the ‘Women’s’ department is either buried in a downstairs back corner behind the china or upstairs near the bedding and nowhere near the other women’s departments. One can’t help but feel they’re saying, “Yeah, we want your money, but, you know, can’t have you mixing with the regular folk.”.

    Comment by Phyllis — November 28, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

  13. Yanno, when Old Navy had the plus line in a fairly limited number of their stores (i.e., I would have had to have driven over an hour to get to the nearest one that carried the line–there is one about 5 minutes from my house that did not carry the line), they did not stock my size. Since going online-only, they now carry up to size 30 and 4x–which is what I wear. So, really, this seems like an improvement to me.

    Comment by Natalie — November 28, 2007 @ 8:15 pm

  14. Another thing to remember is that Old Navy’s “Normal” clothing almost always go up to a 20 or an XXL. I know that isn’t as much as many people need, but it does give those between a 14 and 20 someplace to shop with friends (especially relevant to the High school and college demographic I always see at Old Navy). It would be great if they had plus in every store, but I’d like to reward them for their expansion beyond the sizes available at Gap, (16 in-stores), Banana Republic (I’ve never seen higher than a 14), and Express (nothing over 12, I believe). When I was younger I loved that ON had stylish, casual clothing up to my size. Most high schoolers can’t wear the more adult, sophisticated styles from Lane Bryant or afford much from Nordstroms or Saks! And Torrid has expanded, but they still aren’t quite the preppy style!

    Comment by CJ — November 28, 2007 @ 9:21 pm

  15. I have to say, I never shopped in ON. I went in an Old Navy about 10 years ago (I think) in a mall in Denver, and there was no plus-sized anything in there. In fact, I only found one rack that had a size 14 on it. Of course I didn’t go back in one. It’s not like you ever see big women in their weird commercials.

    I think it’s an endless loop, is the problem. No one carries plus sizes because we don’t shop there because they don’t carry plus sizes because… etc. And a lot of it IS the advertising. I can’t recall ever going by an Ann Taylor Loft and seeing a larger woman work in there, or anything over a size 4 on the mannequins, or any plus sizes in their ads. I’ll shop places that put larger models in the ads, so I actually know they carry something worth going to look at. And it’s beyond annoying to see an add touting plus sized clothes with a skinny or even average-size model. That’s just going to make me think they either don’t carry enough of a selection to make it worth it, they don’t care if they carry plus sizes, or they’re one of those annoying stores that have decided anything over a size 8 is PLUS.

    Comment by Mo — November 28, 2007 @ 9:42 pm

  16. ok i am a 45 year old that LOVES shopping at ON for fun trendy clothing. i can fit into their xxl tops, but only their plus size bottoms. so i am forced to order the bottoms online. i will say that i find most of their plus lines are so frumpy and not at all like the “regular sizes”. the plus line has ugly colors and just doesnt fit well at all.

    Comment by vicki — November 28, 2007 @ 10:03 pm

  17. I’ve had great luck with ON plus size tops and sweaters. I can’t wear the bottoms because even the long inseam at 34 inches is too short (curses!).

    I remember first going to an old navy about ten years ago and remembering it was really shabby and cheap. They have GREATLY improved things. It isn’t the best quality stuff in the world, but for quick solutions that aren’t too expensive it’s a good deal. I recently started my first “real” job. I had no money, however, with which to buy the work-appropriate-but-not-too-frumpy superfantastic clothes….so I bought mix and match pieces from Old Navy and they have worked out wonderfully. There are also frequent sales.

    Comment by teteatete — November 28, 2007 @ 10:26 pm

  18. Vicki, I totally agree about the quality of the plus designs versus their regular line. I was so excited when ON started carrying plus as I’d been shopping there for a long time for the XLs, XXLs and bottoms up to 20s. My local store got a plus department but I rarely found anything in there that I liked the look of and when I did the fit was poor. Therefore I ended up sticking to their larger regular sizes (I could still fit into their 20 curvy jeans back then). Now I’ve gained a bit of weight and there bottoms don’t fit but luckily many of their tops still do.

    I think their plus sized line was poorly designed and poorly marketed so of course it failed. There are plenty of plus sized women out here (nation’s getting fatter and all that!) so if a retail outlet is willing to put a quality line on the shelves and back it up with some advertising, I’d be willing to bet they’d do just fine. My hunch is that ON didn’t want to advertise too much that it would be selling Plus clothes because it was afraid it would allienate some of its thinner customers who might not like the fact that the fat girl could get the same top that they have.

    No real way to know for us though I guess but I know I won’t be buying much of their online plus line because I worry the quality will be equivelent to what was in the stores and like Jennhi I have a terrible time with finding things that flatter my shape and absolutely have to try things on to be successful.


    Comment by kimocean — November 28, 2007 @ 11:04 pm

  19. Yes, Old Navy carries up to a 20 in some of their bottoms, but only some. I wear a size 20 and I always have a hard time finding their dress pants and shorts in my size. They usually go up to 16, sometimes 18. It’s almost more frustrating to go there and find that some things are in my size – but not others – than not to be able to shop there at all.

    I absolutely can’t stand online shopping. I don’t have the money to invest in buying a bunch of things that won’t end up fitting. The way my body is, it’s way more likely that stuff *won’t* look good than that it will. I probably end up putting back at least 75% of what I try on. That’s a lot of money to invest in purchases online, and frankly, I don’t have it. Returning stuff is way too much of a hassle and it’s also annoying to wait for the money to be credited back to my account. If I try things on in the store, I don’t have to pay for them first…

    If the average woman in the U.S. is a size 14 (the last figure I remember hearing), would it not be to Old Navy’s financial advantage to carry at least some plus sizes in their stores? Like I said, they still carry up to 20 in some jeans, and they still carry an XXL in tops, so they must be making enough money to keep selling at least the smaller end of plus sizes. That’s why I don’t quite buy the financial argument.

    I know *plenty* of women who are plus size, who would love to find a better selection at Old Navy, and who would spend even more money there if ON carried their sizes.

    Maybe instead of speaking with our dollars online, we could all send letters to Old Navy? It might not make any difference, but you never know.

    Comment by Merideth — November 28, 2007 @ 11:08 pm

  20. “… some of its thinner customers who might not like the fact that the fat girl could get the same top that they have.”

    I can’t speak for every thin woman in the world, but for myself, this thought is something that would have never entered my mind in a million years. Why on earth would anybody care about such a thing?

    Incidentally, when I go to stores like The Limited, I usually have to ask them to check for my size (2 petite) in the back — I can never find it out on the racks. Apparently it’s a less popular size, so they don’t keep it out front. And I have yet to find a store that stocks my husband’s pant size (29X36). I have to order his jeans online from the Gap, and have his trousers custom made or tailored.

    Comment by Cat — November 28, 2007 @ 11:27 pm

  21. I ADMIT! It was a long time before I figured out that old navy had women’s sizes. But they were hidden! In the back of the store! where no one could see them!!!


    hey FAT GIRLS! you need the WALK!


    Comment by EvilScienceChick — November 28, 2007 @ 11:37 pm

  22. “… some of its thinner customers who might not like the fact that the fat girl could get the same top that they have.”

    The thing that bugs me about ON plus line, is that, for the exception of few items, like jeans or plain shirts, they didn’t offer the same things as the rest of the store. It would have been nice to be able to get the same blazer or sweater the regular line had in a larger size. Having unique items is nice, but I never understood why they couldn’t make the same things for all lines, just in larger sizes, like Macy’s does.

    Comment by Lesley — November 29, 2007 @ 12:11 am

  23. FWIW, Gap and Old Navy (same company) ARE having financial difficulties these days, so anything they can do to maximize sales in the store fronts is going to be done…and if that means moving out the racks of plus-sizes in the limited number of stores that sold them to make room for more $5 kids tees, that’s what they’re gonna do.

    I’ve known for a long time that ON had plus sizes, but they never had them in Canada, so I never bothered going in…and none of the locations near me in the US had the plus size line.

    It’s hardly news, however, that a company with both an online and a storefront operation would have limited (or no) plus-sized stock in the stores – Avenue is a perfect example. A significant percentage of the items available on line aren’t available instore…which is frustrating, given that they don’t ship to Canada…

    Comment by Canadian Chick — November 29, 2007 @ 12:11 am

  24. When ON took the plus section out of stores, I gave up on them, never to shop there again.

    That boycot lasted about 3 weeks, and then I was back to forking over my money to them. The fact of the matter is that they sell cute/trendy AFFORDABLE clothes, and that’s what I need. I’d love to be able to order $100 dresses from Sizeappeal or Igigi, but with my budget I have to stick to ON’s $30-40 dresses and $20 shirts instead. Plus, the fact that you can return online purchases in the store is a huge, huge plus. I wouldn’t be shopping there nearly as much if I had to mail back everything that I didn’t want or didn’t fit. Also, their $5 shipping doesn’t hurt.

    Besides, I’ve been through this with ON before – waaaay back when the store was still fairly new, (or at least new where I am) they used to have plus sizes. This was probably like 1994-ish. I remember very clearly one particular dress that I had during my freshman year in HS that was from ON plus, and I loved it to death. I wore it all the time…then one day I went in the store and the whole section was gone. A dozen or so years later, it was back…and then gone again. So maybe this means that around 2019 we’ll be able to shop in-store again?

    Comment by Amy — November 29, 2007 @ 1:27 am

  25. I had heard that they had a plus size line, but I thought it was like the Loch Ness Monster… A rare sighting was possible. The problem with ON is not the availability, but the quality. Every time I went into the store everything looked like picked over remains of a third-hand army surplus store. Nothing but cheap junk. No thanks. You can get shirts for under $20 at Macy’s too, if you shop the sales, that aren’t going to disintegrate after the second washing. Frankly I’m amazed ON has been in business as long as it has.

    Comment by Idalin — November 29, 2007 @ 10:20 am

  26. One store I’m not hearing about is Coldwater Creek. They have size 0 to 3x and DON’T segregrate the plus size from the “regular” sizes. Every outfit is available is all of those sizes (mostly…) and hung on the rack together… I appreciate it because I know if I see something I like, I don’t have to ask if it’s available in a “big girl” size. I have fit problems because I have small boobs (B cups) for my size and a large belly but slender thighs. Does this make me an apple or a pear? If the waist fits, there are acres of left over fabric in the chest and the butt. So I really need to try on anything that has a tailored look. I appreciate stores like Coldwater Creek that let me have the same clothes as the “regular” people without increasing my price…..

    Comment by Jennie — November 29, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

  27. Ok, I admit to boycotting them when they eliminated plus in the stores too. The stores near me DID carry the plus line, and I DID shop there, a lot. And their jeans fit me better than LB’s or Avenue’s.

    I got over my boycott when my favorite Old Navy jeans got a big hole in the ass, and ordered a few shirts and a dress, because hey, $5 shipping. Love the dress, shirts were both a little too big, but not horrible.

    Therefore, I’m going to side with Francesca on this one. I’m going to hope that shopping online makes them start carrying the clothes in stores again.

    Comment by GoingLoopy — November 29, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

  28. Jennie-
    You are correct that the lack of Coldwater Creek posts here has been a glaring omission! They have superfantastic clothes in 3X! (Though not ALL of their items come in plus sizes. However the ones that do are superfantastic.) Thank you for pointing that out. Francesca will correct this ASAP!

    Comment by Francesca — November 29, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

  29. Old Navy was not then, and is not now on my radar. I cannot speak for Francesca, but just as you don’t need a restaurant critic to review the local McDonalds, you do not need Manolo for the Big Girl to review Old Navy.

    Comment by Plumcake — November 29, 2007 @ 1:58 pm

  30. Good post, Francesca!

    I’ve known they had the line for a looong time, but since the tops (which I fit into their regular size range) fit so badly, I haven’t felt like ordering blah clothes from online only to pay shipping to me and back to them just for the chance to try them on. If the quality were higher and the sizing more consistent, it would be a different story.

    But really, what I love this post for, is the link to the where I might just blow a week’s pay on super fantastic hats. I’ve wondered where to get them for oh so long. I’m sad that the funky Orthodox site isn’t plus-size, because those are some darling skirts.

    Comment by Sara — November 29, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

  31. Plumcake, I think that’s an unfair comparison. Old Navy is/was an option for many people. I am in my mid-20s and appreciate being able to find clothes that are stylish for someone my age. Coldwater Creek and Talbots are not for my age demographic. We all know of women who try to dress younger than their age- I believe a common description for this is “mutton dressed as lamb.” So what’s the inverse- when a young woman dresses like and older one? That’s why stores like Old Navy (despite their infuriating online-only policy), Torrid, and even Lane Bryant are important.

    Comment by caitlin — November 29, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

  32. This has been a good discussion and I tend to agree that your taste and style should dictate your options. On the other hand, I live in a large metro area and have options, so my view may not apply to people who live in smaller cities.

    I only have one Old Navy plus item — a strapless dress that I ordered online. Personally, I’m more irritated that Gap Inc., because of its desire to boost the faltering main brand and ON, decided to kill Forth & Towne, which was aimed at my demographic (40+). I’m one of those “tweeners” who can fit at the end of misses and beginning of plus.

    Right now, I’m decently served. I am a Talbots Woman customer, can find decent stuff at Nordstrom Encore and Bloomingdale’s Shop for Women, and adore Saks’ Salon Z — when on sale or at the outlet in Ontario, Calif.

    Comment by OCCaliAKA — November 29, 2007 @ 5:32 pm

  33. I think the plus line would have done much better if it was actually advertised. All they really had to do was put a plus girl in their commercials and that would be it! I really like Old Navy clothes and the plus dresses fit me perfectly (I have ginormo boobs, and they always have enough space for them)!

    Comment by Jabri — November 29, 2007 @ 7:20 pm

  34. I was so excited when I found out that Old Navy was going to offer plus-size clothing. I wondered which of the four Old Navy stores within 20 minutes driving would have the plus-size clothes (I live in an affluent county and if I have to drive more than 15 minutes to find something, I am Not Amused).

    The only store in the Kansas City metro area that had the plus-size clothes was 45 minutes away by highway and in an area of town where people aren’t spending very much money.

    Do I think that they marketed poorly? Heck yeah. I would probably have ditched LB and be wearing all ON if they had offered plus-size in my area. Left such a poor taste in my mouth that I still can’t bring myself to give them another try.

    Comment by Christy — November 30, 2007 @ 12:27 am

  35. I like Old Navy’s tops and sweaters, the jeans never fit right. And I agree with Francesa, poor marketing led to the demise of the in-store plus sizes. Not to mention that most of it wasn’t that hot and nothing I would wear.

    Comment by jen — November 30, 2007 @ 1:31 pm

  36. Luckily enough I can still shop in-store for ON. BUT I do not like that they have relegated the plus sizes to on-line, when you are of a larger size you just have to try stuff on. Some of my small friends just buy and do not try. I don’t have that luxury. I like ON cause there is trendy stuff there that does not break the bank. Another question that I have been pondering is where are some good indie plus size designers that make trendy clothes? Not Monif C, Svoboda, Trentacosta, they are waayyyyy to expensive, for what they are (esp Monif C, but I digress)?

    Comment by Misalexis — December 2, 2007 @ 10:26 am

  37. Great post!

    Comment by Opticians — May 18, 2010 @ 6:14 am

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