I shopped at Fashion Bug when I was much younger and somewhat thinner. I remember in particular a pair of L.A. Blues jeans that even by yesterday’s standards were utterly unfashionable: they had tapered legs and no back pockets.
I discovered Fashion Bug about several years ago when I realized it still existed in my area; the locations with which I was familiar had closed. I had shopped at Lane Bryant, but their clothing is very expensive and not especially designed for plus-size women. When I grew two large to wear Lane Bryant’s clothes comfortably (their limit is 28), I began shopping at Fashion Bug (limit is 32). I appreciated that I could find affordable clothing that was relatively attractive and comfortable on my large body.
Today, I am unhappy. I received a coupon in the mail that lured me into the store. The circular included “plus-size” models dressed in attractive clothing. I hoped to find similarly attractive clothing that suited my body.
So much for the “perfect fit” your clothing claims to have. While I found plenty of pretty clothes, none of them fit me. It appears that your designers do not live in the real world. Plus-size women do not just add fat all over; it is deposited on the inside and outside of their thighs, around their hips, below their middles, above their middles, in their breasts, on their upper arms, around their necks. As a result, as clothing sizes increase, the designs and cuts of clothes need to change.
Case in point: I have large breasts and a large “pouch” below my middle. While surplice necklines flatter my bust, the empire waists on your shirts are too short. They come to slightly below the middle of my bust. In other words, the tops aren’t cut full enough. Other shirts are cut too narrow, so they “fit like a glove” around my torso. They cling to the rolls of cellulite across my middle and around my sides. If they fit around my middle and my bust, invariably they’re too short and my pouch sticks out. Not attractive.
Second case in point: Because of my “pouch,” it is an extreme challenge to find pants that fit my legs and around my waist. It is as if your designers forget about those of us women – and I’ve seen lots of them – who carry extra weight around their middle. Also, what is the reason for carrying “low rise” jeans for plus-size women? We want pants that fit around our waists, not cut into the fat around our lower abdomens.
The Gitano line of bottoms that Fashion Bug carries are cute, but from what I can tell after hours of searching the racks, the largest size the brand offers is 26. What happened to those of us who wear 28, 30, or 32? Do you think we just disappear into the woodwork? As we grow larger, do we no longer desire or deserve to wear cute bottoms? The result of those hours of searching and coming up empty? Gitano pronounced with a hard “G” sounds a lot like “Gitmo,” which is appropriate, considering those empty searches were torturous.
I commend you for carrying skorts or scooters in your stores. The inner shorts makes it easier to avoid the chafing that comes from generous thighs rubbing together. However, the skorts/scooters available are cut too short. The fat above and behind our knees and the varicose veins along our legs are not something we want the world to see. The additional benefit of longer skirts is the coverage of the backs of our legs when we sit down, so it lessens the chance of our skin adhering to warm chairs on hot summer days and nights.
I could complain about the too small bras and panties that you carry (what size bra do you think women who wear 30/32-size shirts wear? I mean, really!) or the “wide” shoes that are only marginally wider than the “medium” shoes, but I fear this letter is long enough.
Dorrit, as chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Charming Shoppes, you should know that Fashion Bug is no longer charming.