SAN FRANCISCO --
Old Navy is taking heat over the price of its women's plus-sized clothes. The trouble started when a customer noticed the retailer was charging more for the women's plus-sized line but not doing the same for men.
Old Navy shoppers will find the same price tag on a pair of regular size two jeans and size 18 jeans. The Old Navy plus-size line is only available online, and that's where customers are noticing a double-digit price difference. Men's clothing is consistent regardless of the size.
The outcry against Old Navy pricing practices started with New York resident Renee Posey. While shopping online, she realized that plus-sized pants were $12 to $15 more.
According to her Change.org petition, Posey says she was fine paying the extra money because she figured it accounted for the additional fabric, until she looked at the large men's sizes and saw the price never changed.
The petition, which now has more than 34,000 signatures, questions why women are forced to pay more when men are not.
Old Navy's parent company, GAP Inc., attributes the increased cost to a separate design team dedicated to the plus-size line.
The company's statement reads in part: "While we don't make more money on our plus-size line, our plus-size clothes cost more because we invest more in them."
Many of the people who signed Posey's Change.org petition don't buy that reasoning. Time will tell whether they continue to buy clothes at Old Navy.
From Huff Po:
All Renee Posey wanted was to buy some pants at OldNavy.com. Now, she’s talking with Old Navy executives to try and change the way the store sells and prices its plus-size line.
While perusing Old Navy’s website earlier this month, Posey, who works on a mental health crisis response team in New York state, discovered that the apparel brand was charging extra for plus-size women’s clothes, but not for plus-size men’s clothes. Some of the plus-size women's trousers were priced at $10 or more above their smaller counterparts. Men’s pants, in contrast, were all the same price, no matter the size.
“It absolutely struck a nerve with me,” Posey, 34, told The Huffington Post. “As a plus-size woman, I've always been fine paying more for clothing, but then when I saw the men weren’t paying more, that just doesn't hold water.”
With modest expectations, Posey posted a petition on customers started speaking out against what they saw as a double standard.. She figured that some friends would take notice and sign it. But in just over one week, the petition racked up nearly 100,000 signatures, and many
She had Old Navy’s attention.
Earlier this week, Posey hopped on a conference call with three senior executives from Old Navy and Gap, Old Navy's parent company. She tried to convince them to change their plus-size policies.
The company explained in a statement to HuffPost and other media outlets that it charges more for women’s plus-size clothes because of extra features -- stretch materials and contoured waistbands -- that aren’t added to menswear.
“These clothes are specifically designed and manufactured to fit and flatter our valued customers,” said Debbie Felix, a spokeswoman for Old Navy. “While we don’t make more money on our plus-size line, our plus-size clothes cost more because we invest more in them.”
Plus-size clothing is hardly a niche market. A large share of American women wear plus sizes -- generally size 14 or 16 and up. In the U.S., the average woman age 20 and over has a 37.5-inch waist, according to data released in 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Old Navy’s plus-size catalog begins at 37.75 inches.
The plight of the plus-size shopper is well-documented. According to a 2012 report from research firm NPD Group, the majority of plus-size women say they have problems locating the clothing styles they want, and that it’s hard to find garments that fit correctly. Some larger shoppers have described feeling limited to specialty shops, like Lane Bryant and Torrid, for all their clothes.
Recognizing this, mainstream fashion retailers for the past few years have been trying to accommodate more plus-size customers. Fast-fashion juggernaut H&M launched its plus-size line, H&M+, in 2012. Forever 21 added plus-size clothes under the F21+ moniker to cater to larger teens. Even Abercrombie & Fitch, long criticized for shunning bigger shoppers, has begun to sell some plus-size clothes. But the movement hasn’t spread enough to satisfy many plus-size shoppers who’ve long felt ostracized.
“Plus-size women want fashion,” said Posey. “But I think a lot of retailers are missing the mark.”
Plus-size clothes are often pricier than their smaller counterparts. Clothing companies have argued that the larger items require more fabric and need to accommodate a wide variety of body shapes, thus costing more money to make. Separate plus-size lines can allow for hiked prices, but some brands sell extended sizes without making the distinction. The Gap brand, for instance, offers some XXL women's clothing that could be considered plus-size for the same price as smaller garments.
“Producing a plus-size piece of women’s clothing is operationally more complex than simply making an article of clothing bigger,” said Margaret Bogenrief, the founder of boutique financial advisory firm ACM Partners, which offers retail consulting. “Patterns must be changed and machinery reset before the production line begins.”
An employee organizes clothing at an Old Navy Inc. store in Santa Monica, California, U.S. (Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Old Navy only carries plus-size clothes online -- the physical stores stopped carrying larger sizes in 2007 and have stopped accepting returns on plus-size clothes purchased at the website. Plus-sized clothes must be mailed back. Most regular-sized Old Navy clothes purchased online can be returned at a store.
Posey said that during the call, she asked Gap to start putting together a plan to address the concerns of customers who've communicated with her about what they want. They want Gap to re-evaluate its prices for the plus-size women’s line, Posey said she told Gap. They want to be able to return plus-size women’s merchandise bought online to stores. And they want a bigger selection of trendy pieces in the plus-size department.
But Posey hung up the phone dissatisfied, she said, because the executives didn’t promise any concrete changes.
“I appreciate that they’re trying to work with us,” Posey told HuffPost after the call. “That’s a good thing. But I really think they need to take some action.”
Old Navy declined to comment on the meeting with Posey.
Discouraged but not defeated, Posey plans to amp up the pressure. She’s encouraging her supporters to light up social media and borrow an Old Navy hashtag to make the statement: “Discrimination is not #OldNavyStyle.”
“I am in awe of the power that so many voices can have when they speak up in unison!” Posey wrote to supporters of her petition. “If we continue, if we keep talking about this and not letting up, Gap Inc., and through them, the rest of the industry, will have to listen.”
From Bass Lady:
Alert RHU! Be on the lookout for this crusty and her pocket rat:
From The Somking Gun:
Meet Theresa Tumbleson.
Police are on the lookout for the 35-year-old New Jerseyan, who allegedly allowed her small dog to urinate on 14 dresses and 11 pairs on pants at a clothing store.
According to investigators, Tumbleson and her pooch yesterday entered a Lane Bryant store in Toms River around 1 PM. The dog, cops report, proceeded to urinate on the garments, causing more than $2000 in damages.
As officers arrived at Lane Bryant, Tumbleson sped away in her Chevrolet Malibu, eventually running several red lights while being pursued by police. Due to the wet roadway and a fear that the pursuit could imperil others, cops discontinued the chase of Tumbleson, who is pictured above.
In addition to charges stemming from the Lane Bryant incident, Tumbleson will face counts for eluding police and obstruction when she is apprehended. Bail has already been set at $30,000 for the latter charges.
Victoria's Secret is under fire for an advertisement featuring models in skimpy lingerie, but it's not the photos causing controversy.
It's the words in the ad -- three small, but powerful words -- "the perfect body."
The ad features the same models you see in TV commercials, but the phrase is printed across the pictures.
Many say that sends a damaging message to women that everyone should look like the models.
"When someone looks at that, the tendency is to measure themselves against that ad," body image expert Sarah Maria said.
Critics started an online petition demanding Victoria's Secret change the words.
Victoria's Secret says the word "body" actually refers to a line of lingerie called "Body by Victoria."
It did not respond to the petition as of yet. However, the ad was still up on the company website on Thursday.
By author Lindsay Ferrier at Huff Po:
My daughter has officially entered the tween years -- and Halloween just got a hell of a lot more problematic.
In years past, her wishes to dress as a witch or mermaid or princess were pretty easy to fulfill. We went online, found a suitable girls' costume that would be warm enough for a chilly night of trick-or-treating, and ordered it. This year, though, the game has changed. Big time.
According to the costume manufacturers of America, once a girl child reaches double digits, it is officially time for the Halloween hoochification process to begin.
Got a wannabe tween Robin Hood on your hands? Your 11-year-old will have to steal a few more dollars from the rich if she wants pants for her costume.
Cleopatra is a great costume option for your girl -- at least until she hits the tween years. At that point, she'll have to settle for dressing as PharaHo.
You'll feel like you're throwing your 10-year-old to the wolves by buying her a tween Little Red Riding Hood costume. Hey. It's all about realism, people.
Yarrrrgh. Just. Yarrrgh.
While the child's Little Miss Muffet costume is totally adorable, the tween version will barely cover your girl's tuffet.
I've been writing about inappropriately sexy tween and teen Halloween costumes for years, but now that my daughter is actually old enough to wear some of them, the subject really hit home -- particularly when I began comparing the child and tween versions side by side.
I realize that the teen costumes are even worse -- but I have a much bigger issue with sexy tween costumes. Teenagers, after all, have a growing understanding of (and preoccupation with) their sexuality. I believe that it's normal for teen girls to want to experiment with dressing provocatively, and Halloween is a prime opportunity for them to try to get away with it. As a parent, I may not like it -- and you can bet I'll do all I can to stop it -- but I absolutely understand it.
Ten-, 11- and 12-year-old girls, on the other hand, have no real comprehension of the message they're sending when they put on a sexy Halloween costume. By wearing it, they become players in a game that they're absolutely not ready in any way to play. I don't know of a parent who'd disagree with me on this -- and yet -- the only reason these slutty tween costumes are available year after year is that PARENTS ARE BUYING THEM FOR THEIR DAUGHTERS.
So moms and dads, can we just all stop this right now? Can we make a personal pledge to JUST SAY NO when our daughters ask us to order the child's French Maid costume in a size 8/10?
Oh yes, people.
IT'S A THING.
Could we maybe even, if we're feeling especially brave, use the widespread availability of these costumes as an opportunity to talk to our daughters about why they might be inappropriate for girls, even though MacKenzie and Harper and Terpsichord are all wearing them this year?
Could we all maybe do that please?
I didn't think so.
Keep up with all Lindsay's posts b
A Manitoba store is getting negative attention for selling several First Nations costumes that mimic traditional aboriginal regalia and clothing. The backlash comes days after Wal-Mart was slammed for calling a section of its retail website "Fat Girl Costumes."
The Winnipeg store Spirit Halloween sells several First Nations costumes with names like "Reservation Royalty," “Pow Wow Princess" and "Pocahottie.” Accompanying the costumes are photos of women wearing skimpy outfits.
Greg Monks, a professor of anthropology at the University of Manitoba, said the costumes stereotype aboriginal women.
"To sell or wear the costumes seems highly culturally insensitive and inappropriate," he told CTV Winnipeg. "How many aboriginal women are missing and brutalized, and yet we're depicting them as sexually objectified people by these costumes."
Customer Tracy Clegg told CTV Winnipeg that not only are the costumes are insulting, they’re also inaccurate.
"Naturally, that's not how (First Nations) wear them when they are in suit. They aren't short and skimpy little outfits that they wear," she said.
But not everyone feels that the costumes are offensive. Kerry Hogan, owner of the local store Gags Unlimited, said that while the costume names are "tacky," the costumes are actually celebrating First Nations culture.
"If I want to wear a Native American headdress, I want to wear it because it's nice," he said.
An employee at Spirit Halloween said the costumes are meant to reflect aboriginal culture in a positive way.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart came under fire this week because a section of its website selling plus-sized Halloween costumes was labelled "Fat Girl Costumes."
The company apologized for the insulting label, noting that it was not clear how the wording ended up online. The label has since been removed.
Jamie Newransky is the manager of Sue's, a women's clothing store that sells apparel in sizes ranging from 12 to 24. Newransky said she tries her hardest to avoid using the label "Plus Size," because labels are hurtful.
"Using a label such as fat, is generally derogatory in our society and it doesn't have to be, but certainly here we don't ascribe to labels in general," she said.