Old Navy’s Size Yes? PLUS Women Weigh In!

Old Navy’s Size Yes? PLUS Women Have Their Say

Old Navy wants women to feel that every size is a Size Yes. 

The retailer launched its in-store Size Yes concept on October 1st within 30 of the 75 stores that now carry plus sizes. 

The concept stores offer all of Old Navy’s sizes in-store, with items in straight and plus sizes at the same price. Families and women can shop together in one place and find their size, at the retailer’s affordable prices.

Old Navy’s Size Yes? PLUS Women Weigh In!

YES! Nobody deserves to be charged more because of their body type and size.

Alison Partridge, vice president and general manager of plus and maternity at Old Navy told Instyle.com:

“As a brand, we stand for the democracy of style, and believe price parity is part of offering fashion for everyone. We are committed to continuing our work to narrow — and ultimately eliminate — price disparity, to offer all styles, in all sizes, all at the same price, across our fleet.”

Partridge added:

“Last year, we launched our now evergreen Size YES campaign with the message of ‘YES! This comes in your size. The campaign celebrates our inclusive sizing which is one of the broadest in the industry. We truly believe everyone deserves great style in their size that is easily accessible – whenever, wherever, however they want it.”

With more and more brands jumping on the “size-inclusive” train in an effort to accommodate the growing need for more plus-size apparel and get in on that profitable market, it seems that Old Navy is making an effort to create its own lane in this space.

While that sounds like an amazing body positive idea, we want to note that Old Navy’s size range is 00 – 30 and XS to 4X. Their concept stores will carry plus sizes up to size 28. You can find size 30 online.

We applaud Old Navy for making a move towards being size inclusive but we have to ask the question… 

If you want to create a body-positive environment that services everyone, why stop at a certain size?

Universal Standard offers sizes 00 to 40. eRetailer Curve Girl offers sizes S to 10X. eShakti offers sizes XS to 6X with the option to customize a garment by your measurements. All these companies are not large companies like Old Navy but they have managed to offer a broader size range at competitive prices.

More questions we feel prompted to ask…

  • If a company is providing clothing up to a certain size, does it feel right to call Size Yes? 
  • Are there limitations when a brand doesn’t go past a 28?

We reached out to three different sized women who work within the plus-size industry to hear what they thought of Size Yes:

How do you feel about Old Navy’s Size Yes In-store Concept?

Ho: I do appreciate that Old Navy is adding more sizes back into its stores and working towards a more inclusive experience. With that said, I am disappointed that it’s only rolling out to a very small percentage of stores. 

There aren’t any in my state that will be testing this setup. I hope that those near the Size Yes stores will buy enough for Old Navy to expand it to all stores. As of right now, it feels very much like a small test, instead of a huge initiative or shift in the business.

Black: I wasn’t familiar with Old Navy’s Size Yes campaign; when I looked it up, it apparently had been implemented over a year ago, but I hadn’t heard anything about it nor had I come across it in any stores, which leaves me questioning its effectiveness. 

It took way too much digging on the website to even puzzle out which locations offer plus sizes in store, and I was disappointed to see there’s only one location in all of New Jersey…out of 35 stores in the state. Also, I found it strange that it says “in every size” but only goes up to size 28, when Old Navy offers up to a size 30 online. So their messaging seems off as well. 

Coupled by the fact that it’s only available up to a size 28 in these extremely specific stores until November 16th; so what, women who wear plus sizes are just no longer important after that date?

Max-Dixon: The concept is pretty great for inclusivity. However, I truly hope it’s a genuine move and stays consistent. That it’s not just another click-bait idea that’s here today for marketing purposes and then gone tomorrow. With the plus-size apparel industry projected to be $30 billion in 2020, it’s obvious that plus size women’s dollars are important and size inclusivity means ALL women, ALL sizes.

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As a plus-size customer, do you prefer to shop in-store and if yes, do you prefer a dedicated plus-size area or to shop in the same space as straight size women?

Black: I’d prefer to shop in stores but that’s challenging to do, even living in New York City; there are very few options to shop in person. I hate how many companies I’ve heard insist that plus size women prefer to shop online; the majority of us do so because it’s pretty much our only option. 

When stores actually offer extended sizes in stores, they often under-advertise, so not as many plus-size people go in as they’ve been repeatedly told they’re not worthy of being in stores.

Ho: I prefer to shop in a dedicated plus-size area, unless the store could guarantee that all items would be available in all sizes. I want a shopping experience where I can go to the rack and find my size, and currently the only way to do that is to go to a special section. If Old Navy has all women’s items in all sizes, I’d happily shop on the same racks with smaller size customers. As it stands online with them, there are many styles not available in plus.

Max-Dixon: From a mom’s perspective, I’m likely to do more shopping for convenience in one store. For example, last night while I was shopping in Target for a jacket for my son, I passed the plus-size section and ended up buying a jumpsuit for myself. I certainly wasn’t there for the jumpsuit but they got my sale by having the section there and close to the checkout area. 

However, I would prefer a dedicated space in Old Navy for plus sizes. I hate chaos and foraging through things so I don’t want to look through straight sizes for my size. I’d actually prefer to go to a dedicated section making it easier to locate my size.

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How do you feel about ON considering only sizes 0 to 28 as Size Yes during this time when size inclusivity is a hot topic?

Max-Dixon:  If a company is going to launch a campaign representing inclusivity, then they need to stand behind it and offer all of their size range including their online size extensions. The great thing is we, as a plus community, can use our voices to impact change, because companies are finally ready to hear from us. Companies want to hear from us because they want us to invest in them, so when you see something you want to change in the industry, you just have to speak up.

Ho: I’m not sure why they would choose not to offer their full range up to a 30 in-stores as they do online, but overall I’m glad they’re making some sort of move to be more inclusive in their retail locations. There are very few places we can go these days to shop in-store, and I hope that this will be a successful test and more brands will follow suit. 

I do hope that they really ramp up their marketing for this initiative since these stores will likely dictate if expansion occurs in additional locations. We’re so conditioned as plus women that if a store won’t have our size in-store, we opt out of going inside. If the customer doesn’t know about the change, the brand will find it harder to prove that the investment was worth it. 

Black: Honestly, overall this concept leaves me disappointed and confused. Why would Old Navy only do this for such a limited time in such a limited amount of stores? Why not actually be inclusive and offer ALL sizes in ALL stores? They have the funding and the space to do this right, as does GAP and Banana Republic, yet we’re still left begging for them to do it right.

All three women bring up valid points and concerns. And it seems that Old Navy plans to keep Size Yes going and not just stop there. They have been major supporters of plus-size mannequins and using plus size models of different shapes and sizes in the past.

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Partridge told Glamour Magazine earlier this year:

“All women do all things, and that’s what putting a mannequin in your store really should represent. Whether you’re running a marathon, whether you’re a teacher, whether you’re at home with your children, you still have to get dressed every day.”

And she told InStyle:

“Size YES is integrated across all of our channels, from the size diversity in our models and influencer partners to the inclusion of plus-size mannequins in our stores.”

We just hope that diversity truly includes ALL women, including more women of color and women above a size 18 represented in their models AND influencers, especially women over a size 24.

If their goal is to make Size Yes truly size-inclusive, that means more than size 28 offered in-store.

Wouldn’t it be great of Old Navy expanded to a size 32 and then a 40, following Universal Standard’s way of thought? We shall see. 

The Size Yes in-store campaign ends on Saturday, November 16th. Click here to find the store nearest to you. 

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