Plus-size women may be used to paying more for a pair of pants compared to women who buy regular sizes, but one shopper got more than a little peeved when she discovered that clothing retailer Old Navy charges plus-size women more for a pair of jeans than men the same size.
Take the Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans for women. A pair up to size 20 retails for about $35 while the “women’s plus” version costs $10 extra. That wouldn’t have been a problem for Renee Posey, except she noticed that men who buy a plus-size version of jeans don’t pay more. The Men’s Slim-Fit Jeans all run about $30 no matter the size, not to mention that bigger sizes aren’t separated from regular sizes in another section like they are with women’s. (On the site, you’ll see that “Women’s Plus” makes up its own category, while “Women” features all the regular sizes.)
“I was fine paying the extra money as a plus-sized woman, because, you know, more fabric equals higher cost of manufacture,” Posey says in a Change.org petition she started recently against the retailer. “However, 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.”
A rep for Old Navy responded to the petition, chalking up the higher prices to differences in design and manufacturing.
“They are created by a team of designers who are experts in creating the most flattering and on-trend plus styles,” the rep told Consumerist in an email, “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.”
Still, Posey claims you’ll find the same design elements in the regular women’s line, which makes you wonder if there might be something else influencing this price difference.
Despite Old Navy’s response, Posey’s petition has already nabbed more than 24,000 supporters. Retailers, take note.