Thursday, June 07, 2007
My mom and sister came to visit us this last weekend. We had three days together to go shopping, hang out, etc. My mom has had gastric bypass surgery and has lost significant weight. So now we can't just go to Lane Bryant like we used to, we have to go to stores that carry her new skinny sizes also. Old Navy seems like the perfect compromise since our local store has started carrying plus sizes as well.
First let me just say how excited I was when our local Old Navy started carrying plus sizes... oh a couple of years ago I guess. Granted, the section is small, but they usually had some cute stuff and reasonable prices. It's so hard to find this combination anywhere. Lane Bryant has super-cute stuff, but they are pretty expensive. Wal-mart has the great prices, but their plus sizes are not that trendy. But Old Navy has both great clothes at great prices... perfect! Right? Wrong...
We entered the store, and I made a beeline for the plus size section. I found that it was now only one "cubicle" instead of two like it used to be, and half of that was filled with flip-flops! Hmm... well, I started looking around anyway, and soon noticed that most of the merchandise appeared to be on clearance. Well, that's kinda cool... I looked at a few things, but most of it was stuff I already had or wasn't really interested in. I left the section to go see what my mom was up to and sort of wandered around the store. I found myself again in the vicinity of the plus size section and noticed a sign I had not noticed before. It said (paraphrase) "Beginning this summer, Women's Plus Sizes will only be available online!"
*Gasp* What!? That stinks! Well, that explains why the section is now so small and why everything is on clearance. Then I was struck with a thought so insidious it made me almost ill. I felt like Old Navy was saying to US (those of who wear plus sizes) "Go home and shop because we don't want to have to look at you and we don't want our 'pretty' customers to be uncomfortable because they have to look at you, too. So stay home and shop online... because we still want your money, we just don't want to look at you."
Then, I started thinking some more... my husband can shop at Old Navy... in the store, not just online. He's also "pleasantly plump" but they carry his sizes at Old Navy. This makes me think that Old Navy must be run by a bunch of Old Frat Boys with beer guts. "Hey Fellas! Come shop at Old Navy because we've got YOUR size and a bunch of hot chicks! That's right... no need to worry about running into the fat chicks at Old Navy... only hot, skinny girls here."
I'm probably over-reacting, but this type of consumer relation gets under my skin. I don't plan to be the size I am now forever, but chances are good that I will always be a "plus" size, even if it's a smaller plus size. I think I should have the chance to wear cute clothes at affordable prices just like my skinny counterparts without having to shop online... you can't try anything on that way. Hopefully, Old Navy will find that they are missing out on a large (no pun intended) segment of the market and bring the plus sizes back to the store... until then you'll find me at the Lane Bryant just down the way.