In November 2014, it was revealed at that popular fashion retailer, Old Navy, charges $12-$15 more for women’s plus size jeans than women’s straight sized jeans. This fact was not the same for men’s clothing. The company defended this claim by stating their women’s plus size clothing required more expensive fabrics and materials.
You can read more about Old Navy’s plus size mark up here.
Today is was announced that retailer Hot Topic had teamed up with BBC America’s Orphan Black to launch a collection inspired by the hit series’ main characters – Sarah, Alison, Casima, and Helena. At first I was really excited, Orphan Black is a great series and each of the women have their own unique style that I admire. I quickly visited HotTopic.com to see the collection and was pleasantly surprised that they were having a pre-sale with discounted prices!
I clicked on a few items, including Sarah’s iconic pleather jacket which will be sold for $49.50, but can be pre-ordered at $37.13. When selecting a size, the options go up to 3x, but every plus sizer knows that a straight size store including large sizes usually means the cut and fit will be horrendous.
A few hours later I saw, via Instagram, that plus size retailer Torrid (owned by HotTopic) will also be selling the new Orphan Black collection!
Eager, I jumped at the opportunity to pre-order items I wanted… unfortunately, the same “Sarah pleather jacket” is being sold for $108.50 with no pre-sale discounted price. Additionally, it looks like Torrid will not be carrying any of the accessories – meaning we’re stuck with the one-size-fits-none necklaces, bracelets, and even a RING.
The sad fact is quality and affordable plus size fashion is rare, regardless of the US’s obesity issue and the average American women size being 14. Only recently have retails stores dedicated to plus size women even become accessable thanks to stores like Torrid, or the more well-known Lane Bryant, and Australia’s City Chic – a retailer that only in since late 2014 has begun making it’s way into US malls. Luckily, over the past few years major stores for young women (Forever 21, H&M, and Wet Seal) have expanded into the plus size arena. Even Target teamed up with AVA + VIV earlier this year to release a line approved by well-known plus size bloggers.
Unfortunately, as plus sizes are still not available everywhere, specialty stores and collections are free to jack up prices because they know their customers’ options are limited.