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

February 17, 2009

Review Revue: Nice Try, Old Navy

Filed under: Lingerie,Review Revue — Francesca @ 9:53 am

Francesca must admit to having a certain penchant for the Old Navy Womens-Plus collections. The clothes are usually not “for me,” but she appreciates that Old Navy has a place in the world. Francesca has purchased some items from them, in fact, on occasion. She is glad they exist. And even if they did take their plus-size clothing out of the  physical stores, enraging almost everyone, she’s glad that at least the clothes are still available online.

Recently, in an attempt to garner some positive publicity on fashion blogs, Old Navy sent a sale code to various fashion bloggers, including Francesca, which we could use to take $25 off any Old Navy item. The point was that we would then review the item on the blog.

In consultation with Manolo, Francesca took the offer, with the understanding that everything must be on the up-and-up with our readers, and that if she has received a discount on an Old Navy item, she must inform the readers in the review so that everyone knows what is going on.

However, Francesca did not want to spend too much of her own money just to get an item to review from Old Navy. For an Igigi dress or Stewies, yes of course, but spending money just because you get a discount is not really a bargain. We understand, yes?

OK. So Francesca decided to try buying a bra online. The $25 sale code offered an opportunity to experiment. Francesca is always preaching about the importance of buying a well-fitting bra. She usually buys hers in boutiques with professional fitters. Here was a chance to see how it would go, buying a bra from an online catalogue.

So she ordered a pretty bra and matching panties, whose cost, with shipping, came out to $33. Francesca was willing to lose $8 on the experiment, no problem.

The panties (which unfortunately are no longer available) were perfectly nice and wearable and pretty, etc. Good start.

The bra is also very pretty, and the quality is not too bad. However it was missing the padding inserts! The inserts were nowhere to be found!

And without the inserts, the bra did not fit correctly (though it seems to Francesca that it would have, with the inserts).

Francesca called Old Navy and we agreed that I would return the bra and they’d send me an identical exchange.

But the next day they sent me an email saying the bra was no longer available in my size in the color I wanted.

Sure, Francesca could return the bra AND panties and get new ones in a different color, or whatever.

But since the whole thing started because Old Navy was looking for $25 publicity, she decided to just consider the panties an $8 keeper and forget about the bra.

If anyone from Old Navy is reading this, it seems the coupon idea did not work out as well as you had hoped, in this case. Good try, though.


  1. Do people really like Old Navy? After having success dressing my toddler in some Old Navy hand-me-downs, I went ahead and ordered a couple of things from their site. They were so disgusing I could barely stand to have them against my skin. I’m no fashionista. Fashion Bug and Macy’s are my staples, but ON was several steps below even those. The fabrics were cheap and the cuts didn’t do anyone any favors. No wonder they had to take them out of the stores. No one would buy them if they could try them on first. I was very disappointed.

    Comment by Carrie — February 17, 2009 @ 10:15 am

  2. I stopped shopping at Old Navy when they pulled the plus sizes from the stores. If I’m too fat to come into the store to buy your clothes, then I’m not buying them online either.

    Comment by dr nic — February 17, 2009 @ 11:11 am

  3. I bought some pants from Old Navy. Since I know that size numbers have no meaning, I bought according to my measurements. The size that they said would fit me were almost eight inches too large in the waist.

    If you’re going to have sizing that lousy, you really need to offer free shipping on returns.

    Comment by Margo — February 17, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

  4. With so few plus sized clothing options in Canada, I tried to give ON online a shot but even there they can’t get it right. Apparently they won’t ship to Canada.

    Oh well. I guess they saved me the trouble of losing money on the shipping, exchange rate and shitty clothes.

    Comment by Ginger — February 17, 2009 @ 1:34 pm

  5. Old Navy does offer free shipping on returns. I’ve purchased many, many times from ON Online for staple items (camis and tees) and have never had any problem using the free return feature. I agree that ON’s fabrics aren’t the greatest but the prices reflect a much-less-than-couture quality.

    Comment by AmelieWannabe — February 17, 2009 @ 1:40 pm

  6. I used to really like Old Navy years and years ago when they were a really solid source of basic tees and camis and pants. Then they decided to be HIP and TRENDY and YOUTHFUL and all that, which as far as I can tell means producing a lot of very twee looking styles with too many ruffles, weirdly placed waistlines, and drawstrings where drawstrings have no business being. Sigh. I gave up on them once I started having to really HUNT to find a plain short sleeved v-neck tee.

    They’re also on my list of stores who think all women are A cups regardless of size, so…yeah. No.

    Comment by Evie — February 17, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

  7. Personally, I love Old Navy. I can wear their XL and XXL misses tops as long as I stay away from the “tiny” fit and look for more substantial fabrics (ie, not the tissue thin stuff). I also have an adorable lemon yellow raincoat from them that I love. I recently bought a simple 1x black dress online for 13 bucks that is fabulous- I wore to a swanky New Years party AND an inauguration ball. Pants I’ve had trouble with- I fit their misses size 18 jeans pretty well, but I’ve never found any other pants from them that fit correctly in either misses or women. Still though, I think their stuff is cute and definitely fits my budget.

    Comment by Irene — February 17, 2009 @ 3:15 pm

  8. A $25 coupon for a review? Could they be any cheaper?

    I don’t love OldNavy. They do have cute kids clothes sometimes though :-)

    Comment by Elisa — February 17, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

  9. I’ve had pretty great luck with Old Navy — I’ve obtained some cute blouses, tees, dresses and tanks there, and have a few pairs of their jeans (one of which I’m wearing now, actually.) As with any store, you just need to be selective, and focus on fit.

    Comment by La Petite Acadienne — February 17, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

  10. Since I can fit into the largest size they carry in stores, I do own a couple of tee shirts and turtlenecks from ON, as well as one pair of slouchy sweatpants for days when I’m doing the nastiest housework or lying around desperately unwell. IOW, I only go to them for very basic things that mostly won’t be seen outside the house, and then only when on a really great sale. Anything designed to be more fitted doesn’t fit me there.

    For the most part, ON is cheap and cheerful for a body type that isn’t mine on a tight budget. Because of that, I don’t generally shop there.

    Comment by Twistie — February 17, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

  11. Oh, Old Navy… I WANT to like it. I really really do. When I was in High School all the girls (except me) had the little logo t-shirts. Then, when I was in college, I finally moved to a place where Old Navy existed within a reasonable distance. I was so excited. I walked in and realized… it’s not that great. There were some cute things but every cute thing had something *wrong* about it. A strange ruffle here, an odd accidentally-on-purpose rip happening over there. Seriously, who wants their polo shirts to come pre-ripped? I throw my clothes out when they get ripped, personally.

    If I’m being honest, I have bought a few things from Old Navy. Quite a few. Mostly basics like camis, t-shirts, a sweater here and there. Never pants though, unlike their fit models, I have a butt. And hips. And thighs….

    Anyway, the lesson is that I enjoy Old Navy as a concept. I like the idea of a place where I can find cute, comfy, reasonably attractive clothes for short money. But the reality is that it’s not easy to find something there that fits all those criteria whether in their store or online, and it makes me sad.

    Comment by ChristianeF — February 17, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

  12. I love ON for basic tees, both short and long sleeved. I like the way their XXL knits fit me, and I’ve got good basics in lots of colors for layering and such. Plus a couple cute sweaters. Oh and the sleeves in the XXL are actually long enough for me, where if I bought a similar shirt in a plus 2X, the sleeves wouldn’t even reach my wrist. (But that is just a woe of being tall and fat.)

    Comment by AmazonPrincess — February 17, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

  13. Old Navy is dead to me after pulling plus sizes out of the stores. if I’m too fat to shop in person then they don’t need my money. I do far better at Macy’s anyway

    Comment by desmo — February 17, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

  14. Ditto to everyone on the basic tee/cami purchasing. I sometimes find a couple of other things, including a cute pink flower print cardigan (on-line it was $20+, in store it was under $10!) that’s actually long enough in the sleeve and body to be comfortable. Pants, no. Won’t even go there.

    Comment by Carol — February 18, 2009 @ 9:15 am

  15. There’s some irony, I think, in Old Navy’s choice to pull my clothes out of their stores. Instead of watching my size leave their racks with the same alacrity as the smaller sizes, they opted to keep them in their warehouses; after sitting around in boxes for weeks and weeks, eventually my size goes on sale because it’s not selling fast enough, and I get to purchase them for at or nearly at cost.

    Cute little sundress at the top price point (as it would have been sold on the rack): $30.00

    Same dress bought on sale after weeks of sitting in a warehouse: $4.00 (plus a nominal slow-boat shipping charge).

    I think this example just shows that discrimination against fat people is a poor choice if your goal is to fatten your bottom line.

    Comment by Erinn — February 18, 2009 @ 10:42 am

  16. I have bought tops at ON, and 2 pairs of jeans. The jeans: 1 was a pair of men’s jeans (because even their ‘wide leg’ women’s weren’t quite wide enough) and 1 was a pair of stretch low rise jeans – which are my current Skinny Jeans.

    The tops are very thin, but only nice for the hottest summer time or as the bottom layer in the coldest months. I never wear them alone though – so tissue thin.

    I stopped shopping there (in person) when I realized they NEVER have any air circulation in their dressing rooms – if I wanted to feel fat by sweating in the changing room, well, I still wouldn’t go to ON to do it. I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle anymore, and so I’ve never even looked online. Perhaps I will give it a looky-loo.

    Comment by De — February 19, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  17. I love Old Navy and used to shop at their stores but since they pulled it; I notice their materials are cheap! Four shirts that I brought now have holes in them. WTF?

    I haven’t brought any ON clothes since.

    Comment by Sophia — March 1, 2009 @ 12:08 am

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