Old Navy Tries to Justify Charging More for Plus-Size Women's Jeans


If you’re a plus-size woman buying jeans at Old Navy, you’ll pay more than your slender female friends or big-and-tall guy friends. And people are pissed.

Bloomberg reports that over the last week, a Change.org petition calling out the practice has racked up almost 55,000 signatures. Author Renee Posey writes:

Selling jeans to larger-sized men at the same cost as they sell to smaller men not only negates the cost of manufacture argument, but indicates that Old Navy is participating in both sexism and sizeism, directed only at women.
For example: Old Navy’s Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans cost $27 in a size 6. The same jeans in a size 26 cost $40. Alternatively, the men’s Slim-Fit Jean costs $25—no matter the size.

Well, now that Old Navy has a bunch of pissed-off plus-size shoppers on their hands, they’re trying to explain the markup. And ladies, they promise its because clothing your curves requires a special crack team of wizards skilled in the dark arts of butts. Here’s what they told Time:

Old Navy is proud to offer styles and apparel designed specifically for the plus size customer. For women, styles are not just larger sizes of other women’s items, they are created by a team of designers who are experts in creating the most flattering and on-trend plus styles, which includes curve-enhancing and curve-flattering elements such as four-way stretch materials and contoured waistbands, which most men’s garments do not include. This higher price point reflects the selection of unique fabrics and design elements.

A spokesperson also told Bloomberg that, “These clothes are specifically designed and manufactured to fit and flatter our valued customers. While we don’t make more money on our plus-size line, our plus-size clothes cost more because we invest more in them.” Larger men’s sizes don’t get the same level of attention, she added.

That may well be the case. But here’s what Old Navy’s not getting: Lane Bryant isn’t the only game in town anymore. When Old Navy first started selling plus sizes, the options out there were beyond dismal. They could churn out uninspired cardigans and culottes and yank even those from stores and relegate them to the website because shit, if you’re bigger than a size 16, it’s not like you can just waltz into any store in the mall.

And while it’s still no cakewalk (mmm, cake), the plus-size shopping experience has advanced by light-years in the last decade. There are fashionable options, tween options, flash-sale options, high-end, low-end, magazine recommendations. Lots of companies have realized there’s money to be made, and they’re finally chasing those dollars. You can’t act like you’re doing your plus-size customers some big favor by properly designing jeans and then charging extra for them. Not when we know that ModCloth, for instance, SOMEHOW manages to offer sizes XS through 4X all on the same product page at the same price. Get with the program, Old Navy.

Image via AP.

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