Dear Lane Bryant:
I could be writing this to Charming Shoppes as a whole, I could also write a letter to Old Navy, or even Torrid. I have many things to say to all of them, as well as the seemingly endless list of stores that carry 00-14, 00-20, 00-whatever arbitrary size they choose to end at (as long as it’s a straight size. Don’t need no fats coming into their ~beautiful store~), but the bottom line is no one is as backhandedly spiteful to the fat chicks as you, Lane Bryant.
I’ve been wearing your clothing since I was eight. I’m 28 now. I don’t know that your halls ever housed a bastion of delicious style that women were scrambling to purchase, though there were a few times when some nice items could be unearthed. No matter how many people have contacted you to complain about the fact one 26/28 is stocked per style, no matter how vast the sea of 14/16s and 18/20s became on your inevitable clearance racks, you have not changed; your quiet defiance saying more about your true feelings towards fat women than your “real woman” ad campaigns ever could or would.
All of that has been said before, said well, and said by people better than me. The real complaint, for me, right now, has to do with what I saw when I went into your Niagara Falls Boulevard location last night. I saw a teal-and-navy chevron dress with a front-to-back bias cut. I was taken aback— I was not expecting to see something I’d like so much. I tried it on, and it fit well, which is another thing that I never would have thought. The material was a light jersey, very similar to what Old Navy would peddle on their website. I tried a few dolman-sleeve sweaters for work as well. Everything was similar cut and fabric quality to Old Navy. There’s not really a problem with that— Old Navy is relatively cheap material, but it’s affordable.
So, what’s my problem? The price for the dress was 79.95, and the sweater I’d thought about buying was 54.95. That is ridiculous. Before you even factor in New York’s sales tax, it’s about 135.00. For two items. Two items of dubious quality, no less. I had seen a “Reebok for Lane Bryant” or whatever athletic top as well, but before even trying it on, I checked the price. 59.95. Now, I can’t speak for others, but I would say I make a solidly middle-class wage, and for me, that is flat-out unaffordable.
Let’s play a game for a moment here. Let’s pretend Lane Bryant does not actually hate its clientele. Let’s pretend everything the media has to say about fat people is true. I’m not talking about health issues so much as socioeconomic issues. If fat people are truly lower on the money ladder, why is it that you choose to take sub-par clothing and price it on a much higher scale? The argument that there is a much smaller market, so the profit has to be higher per unit is bull. After all, according to the media, the number of fat people is just exploding.
My entire point of this now lengthy ramble is that I am sick of having prices hiked up simply because the company knows its customers do not have many other choices. I would absolutely love to shop at places other than Old Navy online, Lane Bryant, Avenue and so on. I don’t have a choice, though. I don’t know how else to get the attention of Charming Shoppes/Lane Bryant— Lord knows the emailing hasn’t done a thing. I honestly hope that people will see this and talk about it.
A Super-Annoyed Fat Chick