I have recently been becoming more of a fatshionista and it’s included several trips to a couple different locations of Lane Bryant. There are many clerks there who are great (including a some who have seen my blog on Jezebel and talk about it, which is actually really cool…). Of the limited selection of clothing stores in my style (and because I live far away from re/dress in NYC) they are probably my favorite store in terms of clothes. I do not like their models and we’ve talked about that here before. However on the last three trips I’ve noticed a trend in body shaming by the clerks.
In the first incident I was in line to pay, and a customer in front of me mentioned that she had thought about wearing Spanx but that they looked uncomfortable. So the clerk who was not checking people out launched into a diatribe to everyone in line about how she used to be against them, but then she wore them for a special occasion and now she won’t go out without them on. That’s her experience and that’s fine. But then she said “I can’t believe that I ever subjected people to all of my lumps and bumps before. I mean, who wants to see that?”. If you read this blog you know my feelings about Spanx and their marketing but this was just beyond the pale.
In My Head: Hold on there fat-store sales lady. Did you just try to sell us all something by trying to convince us that nobody wants to look at us, and that we are doing the public a disservice by not making ourselves into over-stuffed underwear-sausages?
Outloud: I think Spanx are uncomfortable and make me look like over-stuffed underwear sausage. And I prefer to see people’s lumps and bumps so there is at least one person who wants to look at that!
Several of the women in line laughed and we got checked out and on our way but I felt a little queasy handing money to a fat clerk, in a store that caters to fat women, who was selling using fat hate.
In the second incident I was attempting to buy a pair of pants when this happened:
Clerk: You don’t want those, you want these – they are way better.
Me: They look the same to me?
Clerk: They look the same, but you won’t because they have our Tighter Tummy Technology. They’ll pull in that problem area.
Me: I don’t consider my stomach to be a problem.
Clerk: Oh you know, we all have those flaws to mask.
Me: No. Some people choose to think of their bodies as flawed and that’s their right. I do not think my body is flawed.
Clerk: Stares at me like I am not speaking English
Me: I’ll just take these original pants thanks.
Clerk: (Still looking super confused) Ok?…
The last incident happened just yesterday. I was bra shopping and I saw a bra that was really pretty but it had a ton of runching on it and lace and I asked the clerk what you could wear it under so that it wouldn’t show.
Clerk: It doesn’t matter, it will distract people from looking at our stomachs.
Me: Goldfishing (opening and closing my mouth without being able to get sound out)
Her: That’s the trick. We need to get them to look at our face, chest, or feet so they don’t look at our stomach, legs or arms.
In My Head: Oh what in fat hell?! Who is this ‘we’ you’re talking about? Do you have a mouse in your pocket that has body image issues too?
Outloud: There are no parts of my body that I don’t want people to look at.
Her: Well…um… there you go then.
This trifecta of body hate really got me thinking. As a researcher you learn that one data point is nothing, two points just make a line, but three is the start of a trend.
So, are these clerks just trying to drag me down in their sea of body issues, or is Lane Bryant telling their associates to pour on the body hate to sell expensive shapewear and more expensive verions of pants?
To be clear, I’m not trying to tell anyone else how to live. I support women buying whatever shapewear they want. I support the clerk having whatever relationship she wants to have with her body. Where it goes off the rails for me is when she tries to make her experience “our” experience, subsequently trying to sell me something by assuming, or trying to convince me, that I hate my body.
My best friend graduated from NYU recently and Bill Clinton was the speaker. One of the things that he spoke about was that he felt it was a mistake that businesses had gone from caring more about their stakeholders to caring more about their stockholders. I fear that this is an example of that. Ye olde fat girl clothing store sees how much money the diet industry rakes in by trying to convince us to hate ourselves and our bodies and thinks “Hey, we can do that too, who cares if we contribute to a dangerous unhealthy culture of body hate, we’re gonna make a ton more money!”.
I don’t know if this kind of body shaming happens to thin women when they shop, but I personally feel that as a fat woman when I go into a store that caters to fat women, I should see models who look like me, be affirmed for who I am, and leave feeling fabulous about my body and the clothes I’ve just spent my money to put on that body. I’ve been “polite but firm” so far but the more this happens the less I’m going to be able to keep my inside voice in.
99 thoughts on “WTF Lane Bryant Clerks?”
I can tell you where this fat broad will not be shopping for clothes.
That’s right–Lane Bryant.
The thing is, unless you only shop online, you will pretty much encounter that anywhere. My issue with Lane Bryant is the fact that a lot of their tops have that damned ruching in the breast area so it always looks like you’re busting out of your shirt, AND they always gather the clothes on the mannekins so they look fitted when they aren’t.
Some fat women DO go in at the waist and might enjoy a tailored waist to go with the busting-out top. Hell, if you’re gonna Mae West it up, go all the way. I’m just sayin’.
I have a waist and MASSIVE HIPS!.. So of course I look fairly ridiculous in a lot of their clothing. >_<
When visiting Hilo, Hawaii, last year, I was in an open air market with all kinds of great stuff. I went up to rack of print halter top dresses and was looking at the various patterns. The booth clerk called over to me, “You’ll need an extra large.”
I looked at her, “goldfishing,” thinking to myself, “Did she actually just say that?” Then, I walked away. I should have said, “Is that how you appeal to customers? By calling our your sizing recommendations? Not very astute salesmanship on your part.”
Not only did I not buy anything, but next time I’m there, I’m going to go back and tell her just that.
The irony of this is that one of the things I love about at least the island of Hawaii is that people of all sizes are everywhere, and I mean everywhere. And they ain’t hidin’ nothin.’ Always been my kind of place.
If the fat people of Hawaii don’t bother hiding their fat, then wouldn’t it make sense that the clerk in your incident didn’t feel there was a reason to hide a size recommendation?
I’m with Maryjane. Plus, sizes vary by manufacturer. The clerk could have been used to selling to larger people and could tell which dress would fit you best or letting you know that the XL was in your range. Because I have had XLs from several different manufacturers and they are not all created equal.
In South Korea, if you even try to LOOK at clothing there and they don’t have your size, they’ll run up to you and start shouting, “No largee, largee!” while chasing you away. Now granted, this hasn’t happened to me but then I knew better than to really try to look at clothes over there because I’m well above the size of the average Korean woman but even women we would consider skinny over here would have trouble finding clothes there and interestingly, one Korean woman who grew up in Canada had issues as well not because she was heavy at all but because she’s taller and more broad shouldered. Koreans aren’t very large people at all. My husband actually fits in rather well there with his 5’6, 130-140 lb frame. That’s about the average size for Korean men and women over there are smaller so you can imagine how difficult it can be for a woman of size (or even any but the smallest sized woman from the US).
Well, I’ve heard “no largee largee” here in the states, too!
Wow. Definitely never had to deal with anything like that. The closest thing I get is suggestions to shop in the children’s or tween department (which in lingerie stores translates to “Get out”). I hear a lot of general fashion advice for how to look taller or “curvier,” but never directly from clerks.
I don’t know why a salesperson would think making a customer hate themselves would be a good strategy. Sure, you might be able to get an extra $30 out of them this round, but now they’re going to be filled with anxiety every time they step into your store.
Great post! Very interesting, especially because I used to be a Lane Bryant sales clerk. Like any retail lackey, we were required to push sales. Every week there was a different product to push and we got prizes (usually $5…seriously) for selling X amount of the product. Of course, the better you were at pushing the product, the more hours you were going to get. At $8 an hour, you take all the hours you can get.
I think your assessment of Lane Bryant telling their associates to push body shaming messages are correct. You always mention how much is spent annually on the diet industry…I wonder how much is spent per year on “slimming” clothing meant to hide our “flaws”? How much is spent to market those clothes? How often are sales associates told to push sales of restrictive, “slimming” clothing because retailers know that women that fall victim to body shaming will buy these clothes?
Also, shame on Lane Bryant for making such hideous swim suits. I was swim suit shopping at Marshall’s earlier today and there were tons of lovely, sexy suits, one piece and two pieces, from sizes 2 to 24. Lane Bryant’s suits look like something my grandmother would wear.
Man, but Lane Bryant pissed me off this year with their bathing suits! I literally went through every suit in the store and the ones that didn’t look like they belonged on a piece of furniture or a curtain rod were cut so damned low they belonged in the lingerie section! I mean, if I’m going to a family gathering at a lake or the beach I don’t really want the undercurve of my breasts out there for Uncle Milty or my 4 year old cousins to see:-p And yes, I did try various sizes to make sure I wasn’t wearing the wrong one, they were just cut very badly. It’s like their suits go from grandma to porn star with no inbetween:-/ I ended up buying a pretty little suit from Fashion Bug instead and at half the price:)
I don’t get why the bathing suits are all damned HALTERS. I’m a 38 DD, there is NO WAY I’m hanging these things from my neck. I spent 20 minutes trying on their stupid suits and had whiplash the next day. Awful.
How about a simple, sporty, speedo-esque racer back in decent colors!?
My experience with LB was a lot different than yours. I worked there in 04/ 05 and my manager always encouraged us to push sales, but do it in a positive way. Example of a sale tactic: a woman came in looking for an outfit to wear to a performance she was doing, it needed to be simple black pants and white shirt. I asked if there was a particular style she liked and she simply said “something that doesn’t make me look fat.” My response? “Why hide it when you can use it to your advantage!” 60 minutes and 7 purchased outfits later she thanked me for making her feel good about her size. All of our sales associates were trained to encourage people to be proud of their bodies and help them to find what they like and feel good in.
I’ve been to a few LB’s over the years and have noticed that some sales people encourage body shaming, but for the most part they are encouraging. If the body shaming trend to push sales if “slimming” items picks up I’ll be really disapointed.
To the part of the article about underwear sausage: my mom bought me spanx for my wedding and I noticed that they redistributed my fat in a way that made me look larger than I am and made my dress look odd, but I love them during “that” time of the month because the pressure they create severely reduces cramps (and I get HORRIBLE cramps). It’s an odd love/ hate relationship.
Did you see the whole hubbub about the Lane Bryant commercial that was not allowed to be air on TV because it was a fat woman in a bra?
Definitely found that interesting.
There used to be a Lane Bryant here. Then it closed. So if I get anything from there, it has to be from the internet and usually about all I get from there are bras which are hard enough to find because the girls are pretty big (I’m also a nursing mama so that definitely helps with the size increase).
Be interested to see what your take is on this commercial that has been pulled (though it is still showing because I saw it yesterday):
(shudder) Trigger warning, both in the content itself and the comments.
Didn’t even think of that but then I have seen that commercial SO many times now it never really sunk in other than I thought it was kind of sad for her to have to do all of that in her head over cheese cake. Cheese cake is one of those things I can take/leave because there are a lot of them out there I don’t like. I’m still debating about what I’m going to get when I finally go in to turn in my certificate for a free dessert from the hospital next month (you get one after you have a baby and then you have a year to use it). I would actually prefer to get the apple pie because it actually tastes really good but cheese cake, eh, just depends. I’m the same way with fudge, can’t eat it. Too rich for me.
The comments though don’t surprise me. *sigh*
“So, are these clerks just trying to drag me down in their sea of body issues, or is Lane Bryant telling their associates to pour on the body hate to sell expensive shapewear and more expensive version of pants?”
Ding ding ding, we have a winner.
I’ve heard the “tummy panel” LB spiel somewhere else on the internets, and each retelling sounds eerily similar. I’d say LB and its marketing department has been overtaken by shaper-tech modern girdle-ology.
(By the way, who thought we’d be going back to the days of whalebone and underwear that takes more than one person to don, but hey, this body-hating box of womanhood seems to be enamored of repeating old mistakes every other generation or so. Glad I still get to own land, at least.)
That is to say, the socialized body-hatred has a way of repeating itself…I’d hardly blame womanhood for that!
“I’d say LB and its marketing department has been overtaken by shaper-tech modern girdle-ology.”
It’s only been a year and a half since I quit Lane Bryant (I think it’s been EXACTLY a year and a half) and we didn’t have those tummy-slimming pants back then. The only slimming things we had were Spanx (which never sold, except for the occasional prom shopper or someone with a very very slinky dress) and a couple bras. I used to wear the Balconette, which has boning on the sides, but the boning would cut into me. So I switched to Victoria’s Secret and just let it all hang out. 🙂
Yes, I think thin women experience the same body bashing shopping experience. That’s why women who are a size 2 can hate their bodies and women who are a size 20 can love them. It’s all in our heads. Great blog!
I agree, my friend who is a size 0/2 (naturally skinny but strength trains her butt off!) is “hippy” or so said the woman at Express when she went to try on a gorgeous shape-showing dress. I wanted to say “yes, she is hippy in that she has hips!”. It was the weirdest thing to hear said to a skinny person. I am not “huge” but I am definitely bigger than a size 2 and it was awful to realize that no matter what size you are someone will always say something! The real lesson was that she didn’t even get phased by it. She is happy she is “hippy” since the rest of her is “little boyish” (her words…). Change your outlook/mind is really the way to go.
I quit shopping at Lane Bryant when they quit carrying tops beyond a 3X. They still carry pants to fit me, and panties that fit me, but they don’t carry tops that fit me and they don’t carry bras that fit me. If they’re only going to clothe half of my body, and shame me into the bargain, then they don’t need my money.
The last time I was there, I couldn’t get anyone to wait on me, and when I did ask for help, the attitude was “If I have to, I guess I’ll stop talking to my associates, which is WAY more important than helping a fat old lady like you.” I’m not their demographic, I’m not “young” and “hip”, I’m old (in their eyes, anyway) so they don’t think I should be shopping there. Just because I’m a grandmother doesn’t mean I have to dress like one, but if that’s the way they feel, I’ll go to Catherine’s and buy their younger stuff from the older staff who are willing to help me and not give me “attitude” while doing so (and they don’t use body-shaming language either, or haven’t when I’ve been in there).
FYI, Catherine’s, Lane Bryant, and Fashion Bug are all part of the same company.
Um, I should clarify that I’m not saying you shouldn’t shop there! But perhaps a well-worded email to corporate about your different experiences in each store would be appropriate.
Omg are we talking about the same store? One of the main reasons I almost never shop at LB (besides the fact that they don’t go high enough in sizes) is that their fashion seems to be stuck in the “working matron from the late 80s/early 90s” world. Bad prints, unflattering ‘dressy casual’ pants and tops, bad prints, unflattering necklines, bad prints, sloppy loungewear, no flowing skirts…and did I mention the bad prints?!? I’m talking colors in patterns that make you want to gouge your effin eyes out; those animal and polka dot prints that I swear have been designed by the fashion industry to punish fat women… If I had to make a list of words describing LB, “young” and “hip” would never come *close* to said list. Once in a blue moon I can find a funky tee with a neat design on it but it’s total russian roulette. I’m going to explore more online stores to heck with LB…I’ve heard good things about SWAK…
First, I love your inner monologue. Seriously, the snark you provide in it is a goldmine! I literally snorted when I read the, “Who is this ‘we’? Do you have a mouse in your pocket that has body image issues too?”
Second, I get that sales reps are pretty much pushed until they’re broken to shill the stuff, I just get tired of it.
My guess is that they are being instructed to suggestive sell, and that’s an easy way to do it – try to upsell, using the internalized insecurity of their customers. It’s endemic throughout the marketing world, and it’s getting worse as the economy lags. My suggestion? Firm courtesy, and if you’re feeling particularly open, you could actually request that they skip the ‘suggestive sell’, that you find it offensive. Bear in mind that the sales people are mostly just following instructions, in addition to that, they are probably being rewarded for sales tallies, and possibly being penalized (either directly or indirectly) for being the bottom person on the sales tallies.
If you choose to leave your potential purchases and walk away (always an option, and a good one!), make sure a manager knows why, in very clear terms.
I generally haven’t had an issue in our local Lane Bryant, but it doesn’t surprise me. I also don’t think it’s an issue that is relegated just to plus-size clothing and women. There are tummy control panels in “regular” sized jeans and multiple articles about dressing for your body in magazines that are aimed at smaller women. It’s part of the expectation that you have to dress to please the people around you.
Our mall has a store right beside our LB called Ashley Stewart/Stuart. Its clothing is trendy, cute, and plus-sized and it’s about 1/3 of the cost of LB clothing. I usually skip LB and shop there or at Macy’s.
“It’s part of the expectation that you have to dress to please the people around you”
This. This. THIS.
This…is something I have vowed never to do! ;-P
“I should see models who look like me, be affirmed for who I am, and leave feeling fabulous about my body”
I used to work in a plus size store that sold UK size 16 – 34. The model in the posters for the store? Size 14. I know, I was with her once when she was picking clothes.
As for feeling fabulous – when I worked at that store, we spent a ridiculous amount of training on how to “mask flaws”. So yeah, you can feel fabulous, just, y’know, only if you look the way you’re supposed to (yes, that was sarcasm).
My experience from working in a plus size store is that it is filled with as much b.s. as any other, but you’re just supposed to be grateful for it’s existence
I may have mentioned it here before but back a million years ago when I was a size 10, I used to model for art schools and thought that I might be able to do catalog modeling. I went to an agency where I was told I could model plus sizes. I was not upset by this but I was puzzled as 10 is not plus size. It still makes me wonder, why are not slender people modeling slim sizes, mid-size people modeling in between sizes, and plus size people modeling large sizes. Wouldn’t that…oh…I don’t know…make SENSE???
Oh yes, skinny girls get that shit too, although probably less often. As an eating disordered and very thin teenager, getting fitted for a bra was made significantly more traumatic by a sales woman who first looked me up and down and said, ‘We don’t have much in your size, dear. Women your size tend to go without,’ AND THEN sniffed and said, ‘Bit ONE-SIDED, aren’t we dear?’ as she wrapped the tape measure round me. THANK GOD for the lovely bra lady in the next shop, who sold me a bra, made me feel better, and along with the woman in the next cubicle buying a double J, told me precisely what a miserable git that M & S fitter was.
These are my thoughts on Lane Bryant. I don’t get that kind of attitude from Nordstron. The clothes cost more, but they (and the staff) are worth it.
Although I’ve never had a LB clerk say anything remotely body-related to me, I have always been annoyed at their lack of decent models. It’s really bad when you see something in 2 or 3X draped on a skinny woman in the catalog or on the website. Isn’t the point of modeling to display the clothing as it looks best?
As far as the clerks go, I would definitely write to LB’s corporate people. I don’t know if they are consciously telling their clerks to use a customer’s self-image to sell additional products or if it’s just personal ignorance, but some ‘awareness’ training is needed. As in, ‘You are personally aware that you are selling clothes in a store that has always catered to plus-size people, right?’
I’ve been buying all my clothes online from Old Navy. It’s a shame they took the plus size clothes out of the stores, but they go up to size 30 online and the clothes are more youthful and less expensive. I haven’t been a fan of Lane Bryant for a while now.
Check out Venus Envy on 30th and Fruth in Austin for awesome resale plus size clothes and friendly polite staff.
I find myself shopping less and less at regular Lane Bryant but I love their outlet stores. The prices are a little cheaper, they always have sales and they have more of the basic clothing pieces as opposed to the bling-bling the regular stores can’t seem to get enough of. The closest outlet to me is in Lancaster, PA and the salesclerks don’t try and push clothing on you.
ITA that the clerks are pushed to sell certain items that the stores are promoting. A couple of years ago they were having a buy one get one free bra sale. While I was checking out, the clerk mentioned the sale and I told her that I would gladly buy bras if they would carry my size. I wear a 48DDD in their cotton wirefree bras but have to go up to a 44H in their basic balconette. They have drastically reduced the DDD and up bras or only offer them online—I can’t buy bras without trying them on first, and that’s the next thing I told the clerk when she said they offer larger sizes online. Stores should not relegate extended sizes to online only—they are the sizes that sell out first!
I had something analogous happen to me a number of years ago in a Fashion Bug Plus store. I was having trouble finding pants that fit because I am 5’9″ and at the time at least, most of their clothes seemed to be geared to women who were between 5’2-5’6. When I told one of the salespeople that I was having trouble finding pants that fit, she said in a strange mutter, “That’s because you’re as tall as a man.”
Talk about body shaming! I have never gone back to any Fashion Bug -plus or not- since then. I think they may have gone out of business..(gee..can’t imagine why:P)
If Lane Bryant thinks it will sell more clothes through body shaming, it is in for a rude awakening. People who are shamed in any way in a store are not likely to go back. And the more people these people tell, the more people will take heed and not buy there.
Henceforth I will not be shopping at Lane Bryant..
And yet, I would be willing to bet my husband has never been told that the reason he can’t find clothes to wear is because he’s as small as a woman (he’s 5’6 and 130 lbs and usually has a very hard time finding both pants and shoes). Wow, that was rude. I have a friend who has the same problem finding pants only she’s closer to 6 feet tall. Clothing makers really do want you to fall within an extremely narrow range of normal, don’t they?
at 5’10 I have the same problem. Tell me why these clothing companies feel that tall or plus size women have crotches that start at their knees? Who is built like that? Please let me know. I wear 18-20 in most plus size stores but ding dang it it is so hard to find pants or shorts that have the points of interest in the right places.
I so feel your pain. As a short woman they seem to think that my legs must be in proportion to my ass so at 5’4 the petite pants are too long for me. Some day we’ll figure out how to clothe people of all sizes with dignity and style 🙂
When I was a size 2 and working in retail, I would stop by Lane Bryant just to remind myself why I was living on a skim milk cappucino and a bag of diet popcorn a day – because having to shop in this store full of sullen sales clerks and ugly clothes would be the Worst! Thing! Ever! It was obvious that this was where they sent the clothes that sane people couldn’t be convinced to wear, and the staff seemed to hate everyone who walked through the doors.
Now I eat like a normal healthy person, wear a size 16, and have walked into a Lane Bryant. And yes! Shopping there is the Worst! Thing! Ever! Except I now realize that there are other stores that sell pretty clothes in my size. The Torrid store in the Florida Mall has so many kick-ass dresses that I have to limit my trips there; it’s hazardous to my paycheck. Yeah, they sell Spanx, but they don’t push them like they’re Girdlehovah’s Witnesses trying to make new converts, the staff are helpful and cool, and I don’t leave feeling like I’m second rate because I wear a double digit size.
I love the term “Girdlehovah’s Witnesses trying to make new converts” so very much.
I love you. You’re remarkable. You’re beautiful. You are a role model for ALL women, no matter what body type. You speak your truth and you have no fear. Right on sister.
The last time I was in (buying a ridiculous amount of stuff, I should add, hooray for shopping sprees) it wasn’t that bad for me, but I did have a clerk tell me twice in a row that the dresses I was trying on were ‘slimming’. I wasn’t really sure how to respond at the time, so both times she said it I just ignored her and mentioned one of the features I was actually interested in. Another clerk seemed not to understand that my reservations about a shirt’s material had nothing to do with being afraid it woul show my stomach and everything to do with just having expected a dfferent kind of fabric.
To be honest, the ‘slimming’ comment annoyed me most. If offering an unsolicited comment/compliment, why not just go with, “That looks great!”? The assumptions that 1) I’m trying to look smaller than I actually am and 2) that wearing a certain outfit will fool people into thinking that I’m not fat, are ridiculous and a little bit insulting. Clerks, next time just tell me that I look amazing. Because I did.
I will say, one of my fat affirming moments happened in Lane Bryant years ago– maybe we need more of that clerk. I asked her if a (some clothing item or other) made me look fat. She said, “I figure, if you’re fat, you’re fat. Why try to hide it?” BEAUTIFUL! I think of it often as I shop, dress, and go around being the glorious, fat me.
You oughta send this to Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Hips and Curves, and about a half dozen or so online and real time stores. Not to shame them, but to inform, to encourage, to embrace, to celebrate and educate….but don’t just hit some low level manager (though that would be good for (y)our local stores) go global, corporate…medieval in a way 😉 Talk frankly, openly, tell them there is a dialog happening and they need to pay attention, as close attention as NBC’s Hero’s did to their fan fiction writers who they appear to have stolen ideas from but took out all the plot points and sent that show on fire screaming into the who gives a sh^t realm.
We should all, copy pasta and send this in droves.
I’ve had a similar conversation about Spanx with an Lane Bryant clerk, although not recently. I’ve actually been feeling more positive about LB lately; their clothes are significantly less hideous than they used to be, and the customer-service I’ve experienced lately has been exceptional and body-positive. I doubt the situations you describe reflect corporate policy so much as the way the majority of fat women feel about their bodies. Which is even sadder, when you think about it.
That is outrageously offensive. I can’t believe people would say those things at all, let alone in public. Thin people do receive their share body-shame but I think people who aren’t aware of these issue take it as a compliment. I am offended by people commenting on my body because it’s none of their business. It feels like an invasion of privacy. Even if someone is trying to say something nice I still feel like they are talking about my body as an object.
I wonder if sales people get those attitudes from fashion/shopping culture in general or from training/job-related influences. Probably both, but it really makes them sound like they are actually stupid. Unfortunate.
I wear knock-off Spanx with skirts… but mostly because 1) I get really chafed otherwise and 2) I ride a bike most days, and they’re pretty close to bike shorts (just wearable under a skirt…)
So, I’m with you about the whole marketing angle — but I’ll defend them as a practical kind of garment under some circumstances. (I get them a size up, so I’m pretty sure they’re not smoothing or shaping much of anything.)
As for your LB story: I had a similar experience with a t-shirt vendor near Battery Park in NYC a few years ago. My mom was visiting, and wanted to bring souvenirs back to my sisters. (My mom and I are both plus-sized, but my sisters are probably small/medium sizes). Anyway, my mom and I were looking at small- and medium-sized shirts, and the vendor interrupted us about three times saying, “oh, I HAVE EXTRA-LARGE”, as if we were too stupid to know what size we wear. When it became clear that he wasn’t going to back off, I glared at him and informed him that we were shopping for a gift. (As if I’d wear a crap souvenir t-shirt… not my style at all.)
My mother saw nothing rude about this vendor’s behavior. Just like she doesn’t see anything wrong with doctors shaming her about her weight (which has gone up as she’s been made progressively less mobile by other health conditions. How do they expect her to lose weight when she can’t move? And why is that the point???). I’d love for her to have a bit more awareness, and a lot less internalized shame.
Maybe it’s a regional thing. The LB sales clerks I’ve encountered have been fantastic.
I do disagree with LB’s choices in models and mannequins though. And the existence of Spanx.
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a couple years. If I’m fat, no amount of black, super-duper slimming fabric, or nifty colors is going to change that. I’m FAT. I have lumps, bumps and curves. If I’m going to accept my body the way it is (and I am), then I don’t need the super duper slimming fabric or black. Give me something that makes me feel great that highlights my best attributes and makes me feel fabulous. I find it amusing that whenever a show does a makeover of a plus sized woman they always equate looking great with looking slimmer…as if we can’t look fabulous at our own size.
I cannot agree more with your post. Being a 28/30, I cannot shop at Lane Bryant anymore since they stopped making their 28/30 clothing. I also find it interesting that their sizes have shrunk over the years. A 26 there used to fit me fine and started being snug without me having gotten bigger. And don’t get me started on their jean and pant sizing. It’s a hot mess.
And Laney’s is a bigger perpetrator of fat hate than any other plus sized store. Their affiliation with Spanx is living proof of that. They must invest a lot of money in polyester prints, because that’s what half of their store is…and that’s just lazy fashion on their part. Also, their quality is horrid. (http://perfectlycursedlife.com/?p=683)
By the way, I LOVE your blog. I get it in my inbox every day.
I’ve noticed that with Fashion Bug too that stuff that fit me before at a certain size no longer does. I find that very annoying.
I found your blog through a mention from Feministing. First of all, I just want to say: I admire you greatly for posting such positivity and spreading the idea that everyone’s experience is their own. HAES really intrigues me. I’ve been on a long journey myself of fatceptance after losing 80lbs and gaining it all back and then some.I am trying to get active again(for health this time) and find you to be an inspiration. We have a very similar frame and if one day I could even be half as active and fearless as you I would consider it a huge accomplishment. So props to you, my friend.
As far as this post goes, I’ve definitely been there. I live in Canada so have even fewer options for “plus size” clothing, ie, about 3 stores if I don’t want to comb through Walmart. Our major ones are Pennington’s and Additionelle(both owned by Reitmans – a straight sized store) which sell basically the same clothing, just at different price points. Any time you buy something without sleeves, sales people will suggest that you buy a shrug or bolero. Any time that you buy a dress, shapewear is suggested(though along with tights and accessories). I’ve never had a directly negative comment, but the implication is always there. If I wanted to buy a shrug, I would buy one. If I wanted to buy shapewear, they would be in my hands, hello! I know people are just doing their jobs, but frankly I find up-selling to be highly annoying wherever it happens.
I also kind of feel like Penningtons and Additionelle sell a majority of clothing with thin straps, no sleeves, or tubey-top cuts because covering arms seems to be a sensitive subject for most “plus size” women. Reitmans can bank on more sales by selling clothing that people feel they should heap more clothing onto. This has always really bothered me, because, yeah sometimes I do not want to show my arms so what other option is there if I can’t find a damn thing with short sleeves? Canada really has a long way to go with our “plus size” selections.
amen sistah, I live in Ontario and am so tired of these 3 stores. Reitmans plus size fits me best but they are so very limited in selection. I visit my friend in Florida every year and she happily takes me to her fav store Avenue. You can get cute, age appropriate clothing *43, and so many styles and colours to select from. Why cant we have stores like that?
Reitmans Plus is soooo limited. The Plus section of their stores is typically half of the back corner, with diminutive signage as not to advertise fat people may be inside!
Sometimes I like to shop at a store called Voluptuous(they only have a couple of stores in Ontario but I think you can shop online). But I am finding their sizing is also shrinking a bit and they are offering more junior plus options, which of course, do not fit me. They also stopped using realistic models recently, which saddens me.
You have no idea how many times I have thought about opening up a body positive clothing store. If someone could drum up the capital and try put out a reasonable non-polyester offering of clothes there would be almost no competition in Canada!
…and have you noticed how much of Lane Bryant’s stuff is polyester? I’m fat. I’m 52. I live in f’ing Texas, and I run at something like 115 degrees on a cool day. I personally feel much more comfortable- and attractive- with a few wrinkles than I do pouring out gallons of perspiration.
It makes shopping easier, doesn’t it – just omit the polyester stuff from consideration and choose from what’s left. I’m nowhere near Texas, but even in the northeastern US, the climate can get quite hot and humid this time of year.
I’m being a little sarcastic above, of course. I’d really rather have more items to choose from.
There just needs to be more options in clothing period. Polyester should have been thrown out once the 80’s ended.
I used to work at a retail store That Shall Not Be Named. We did not sell plus size in the store, but we did sell spanx-like garments.
Even though I believe in HAES, I felt pressured to participate in fat-shaming behavior while at work. Firstly, to make small talk with customers. I’m kind of shy, and I never knew how to chat with people. Saying something like “that belt is really slimming!” was a lazy way to connect. A parade of women came through the dressing rooms who hated their bodies and needed to be convinced that they looked good. I can only imagine that clerks at LB see a lot of self-hatred. Body hatred is a universal language among American women – even if we don’t agree with it, we can all speak it.
Secondly, the other women who worked in the store used fat-shaming CONSTANTLY, both with each other and with clients. Even though I still sometimes used fat-shaming language myself, I still became known among the other associates as someone who was “comfortable in her body”. This was because I took the radical position that I wasn’t interested in losing weight, just in being healthy – even though I was larger than many of the other women. More than one of the other women asked me enviously what the “secret” was to being so confident.
I really enjoyed reading this! I am so glad to have stumbled on your blog. It is the opposite of triggering for me; I leave feeling proud, capable, and empowered.
Earlier this year I visited a plus size boutique in Atlanta. I was struggling with body image after gaining weight and desperately needed new clothes. I went in hoping to find a few pieces that made me feel great. The person working said his wife opened the store when she had trouble finding stylish clothes that fit. “Perfect! This is exactly where I belong!” I thought. I picked out several items and started trying things on. I came out of the fitting room in a slinky dress that I was loving to show it to my shopping partner. Right away the employee asked me if I regularly wore shapeware. I explained that I didn’t and he explained that if I got the dress I would definitely want to invest in some Spanx-type product to smooth things out. Way to knock someone down, dude. I only wish I had been in a better place mentally that day in order to have the guts to point out his stupidity. Suffice it to say, I did not give them any money that day nor have I returned.
With so many plus-sized women frustrated by the plus-sized clothing offerings, I don’t understand why a company does not come to the rescue and grab up tons of business. Isn’t there a huge missed opportunity here for someone in the clothing industry? Make young, fashionable, sexy clothes, train your employees to be body positive, show us what the clothes are going to look like on our actual body types. My bank account would never recover!
There was an article in The Washington Post about this some years back. Designers do not want the business basically. They don’t want the stigma of catering to fat people. Yeah, nice huh? Even many stores that do carry plus sizes carry them online only. They’re more concerned about their reputation, it seems than about money. There’s still, unfortunately, a lot of negativity towards fat and no company wants to be associated with it and for sure, they don’t want fat people in their stores. Here’s an article on it that I found. I don’t think it’s quite the one I read in The Washington Post but it’s pretty close:
And it doesn’t matter how much money we’re willing to kick in, they’re more concerned about losing money down the line because they’re selling to everyone. It makes no sense to me but then I’m not a clothing designer.
That’s why I don’t shop at old Navy, even online. If you don’t want me in your store, you’re sure as hell not getting my money online.
You asked about thin women’s shopping experiences, and although I’m not thin, I’m not fat either so may be I can contribute too.
I don’t really get negative comments when I’m shopping for normal clothes, partly because I really rarely buy anything new and the salespeople at charity shops don’t tend to comment on my choices or my body. However, bras are the one thing I always buy new, and I’m often really irked after bra-shopping.
I have big boobs and a relatively thin waist, and the salespeople at bra shops always seem to use this as a selling point for any bra. “Look, this bra really makes your waist look skinny, you look so good.” And I usually comment: “Well, I don’t see why my waist needs to look thin. I don’t care if my waist looks fat, I just want a bra that feels comfortable.” And this leaves the salespeople amazed.
I’m not sure if this is a big-corporation “let’s shame their bodies” type of sales technique, though. I’ve noticed this happening in really small, independent, friendly bra stores as well. It’s just a given than women should want the “ideal” type of female body: big boobs and small waist. And even though I’m told that I fulfill this ideal (or at least will do so if I buy a specific bra!) it annoys the hell out of me.
And just in case there are UK readers: I think this especially goes for Bravissimo, which is supposed to cater to women with big boobs. A lot of their customers are fat, and so are a lot of their salespeople, which makes sense, because fat women often (not always of course) have big boobs. But their marketing material is full of rake-thin women with huge boobs, and this is the body ideal they really seem to glorify. I don’t see anything wrong with someone being rake-thin and having huge boobs, I just wish this wasn’t the one and only body type they seemingly cater to (when, in reality, this is not how the majority of their shoppers will look like). Just my 2 cents.
I had a similar LB experience. I was looking to buy pants and they no longer had normal sizes. They had shapes with sizes that run”smaller” with lower numbers. The clerk started by asking me which area was my “problem area”.
They got rid of that pretty quickly. I just want to say my problem area is the rack with these pants on it. I’m a size 6 red? WTF is that?
I like the different types of pants actually. I have big hips and waist and the blue ones seem to fit me so much better than any of the others. My girlfriend, on the other hand, has wide hips and a small waist, and the red ones are the first pants she doesn’t HAVE to wear a belt with because the waist is gigantic. No clue what the other color is for.
When I was introduced to them, I was asked about my body shape, not my problem area. This was totally reasonable to me and did not engender any shame. I felt like it was an attempt to recognize that women have differently shaped bodies. Now if they could figure out tops…
“The clerk started by asking me which area was my “problem area”.”
Ooh, I would LOVE to answer that question sometime!
“Well, the side of my left kneecap is always giving me grief, especially if I need to lie or sit with my knees bent for longer than 10 minutes or so. And I have tension neck that can be pretty problematic sometimes. Oh, and I grind my teeth together at night, which leaves my jaw joint painful and swollen. Yep, I’ve got plenty of problem areas all right. I’m so thrilled you can fix them with the right type of clothing!”
Hey, about 10 years ago, I went into a Gap and had an overly-pierced, pizza-faced sullen clerk tell me, “We don’t have anything in YOUR size.” I told her she was one bad breakup and a desk job away from being that size.
Ladies, if you have Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack nearby, they have NICE plus sized clothing (if the average size is 14, why aren’t the smaller sizes minuses?). Of course, it’s less expensive at the Rack. The point is, this is better quality than Lane Bryant: better materials, better construction and better fit. If LB went out of business, I wouldn’t shed any tears.
LOL Susan, too true. How people judge without knowing that it could be them under different circumstances.
While I understand being annoyed at a sullen, disapproving clerk, I feel as though I must point out that “overly pierced, pizza-faced” is also body-shaming. Piercings are personal and don’t affect anyone’s ability to be an effective sales clerk. And acne is, in some instances, an extremely difficult condition to treat. As a woman who spent many years being called “pizza-faced,” I’d like to remind you that it is very hurtful and judgmental. There are plenty of ways to describe that clerk that focus on her poor retail skills without shaming her body and appearance.
About LB, I have to admit I recently bought some pants (size 16) and they were AWESOME! Pants have long been the bane of my existence. At a size 16 and a tall-ish 5’8″, I read as chunky rather than obese (although I am technically obese according to the bullcrap BMI standards). BUT, I am also very pear shaped. My hips, butt and legs are more “plus-sized” than my very small chest. If I buy pants to fit my big bum and legs, the pantsmaker also assumes I have a large waist, so I get that tenty effect or the gap at the small of the back. LB pants are the only ones that haven’t done that. And the staff was very helpful where I was.
But that does suck about other peoples’ shaming experiences. I don’t doubt for a second that lots of the staff use shaming techniques. I tend to be a little more sympathetic toward women, as long as they aren’t downright insulting. After all, we are all breathing the air of body-hatred and it’s really hard to get to a place of acceptance in this fat-hating culture of ours.
I also read your other LB article about the models, and something weird struck me as I watched the winner and runner up videos. It was something I have noticed on a subconscious level about plus-sized models before but it really solidified this time. It seems that, according to our culture, “plus-sized” in models is only allowed to translate into “very large breasts, still small-ish waists and legs and arms.” It’s almost as if fat women are more acceptable as fat if they have huge breasts, but not huge anything else. If they do NOT have huge breasts, they should be extremely hourglass proportioned (still with ample breasts though!) Your friend was hourglass shaped, but the others had thinner arms and legs and larger chests, so “seemed” thinner to the eye.
Just to clarify I am not knocking large breasts at all! I am just pointing out what the companies seem to perpetuate. A small-breasted fat woman almost doesn’t exist, and she definitely can’t be too round or have her rolls in the wrong place! It also explains why I have found pants in the “plus-sized” departments that are still so skinny in the legs that I can’t even pull them up past my knees! “Size 16” my sweet arse! Or plus-sized pants that simply have no butt-room. Like they are saying, “okay you can be ‘plus-sized’ but it has to conform to only one KIND of plus-sized!”
Sorry, tl;dr! haha.
I don’t think that they’re specifically trying to make women feel bad about themselves to get them to purchase Spanx. You probably just ran into a string of clerks with low self-esteem. I’d say you shouldn’t keep your inside voice in. Maybe these clerks need to hear what you have to say. If you make up cards with your blog address on them you can even hand them out. But I think you’re dealing with individual clerks, not the whole company.
Maybe it’s because I live in a very hot climate, but the clerks at my local LB and Avenue stores don’t push the shapewear and the same old, dusty packages of Spanx are on the shelf each time I go into LB and at Avenue there’s no shortage of shapewear on the clearance rack.
I actually was shopping for a special occasion at a time when I was feeling very down about myself (I go through cycles of acceptence and self-loathing, as many women do) and I had a LB clerk actually talk me out of buying Spanx hosiery because they were expensive and the dress I was buying hosiery for looked just fine without shapewear. “If you really want to wear Spanx, buy the shorts and wear regular hose but honestly, you don’t need it in that dress and you’ll be more comfortable without it.” I’m so glad I didn’t buy those Spanx, because the day I wore that dress the first time we had a high of 90 degrees and the function was outside. I didn’t even wear hose.
I think boycotting LB (as Faycin said she would) is a terrible idea; they make gorgeous clothes for curvy women and they’re always making an effort to stay up to date on trends. With the sales and coupons they offer they’re much more reasonably priced than Torrid (I love Torrid but I go straight back to their clearance racks because everything else is out of range) and their clothes and bras are better looking and higher quality than Avenue, Fashion Bug or Catherines. Make your opinion known by writing letters about their choice of models and building the self-esteem of the clerks and who knows, maybe they’ll send you some of their $25 off coupon or some Real Woman dollars.
PS- and that clerk was the store manager, who happened to be ‘skinny’ by my standards (she’s probably about a size 14 because she’s very tall but she’s what you’d call lean.)
I sorta snarled at a clerk at Old Navy last time we were there. I even said out loud that it was obvious Old Navy didn’t want us seen in their stores. If my stupid husband hadn’t somehow lost a bunch of weight recently (sarcasm – it’s made him happy, and it was natural, not diet-induced, so it’s great. Would be nice if I could do it too, because I may be ok with how I am, it doesn’t mean I can’t see the advantages of being a little thinner, I just don’t want to live my life focused on my weight), we wouldn’t have gone in to buy him new cheap jeans and cheap t-shirts.
One advantage to the situation? Old Navy’s clothes tend to be SUPER cheap, in the quality department, so I don’t mind not shopping there. Last shirt I got there, right before they took out the plus sized clothes, was so thin, it developed little holes in less than a month.
I have to say, I love Lane Bryant because I can find plain, good-quality clothes there in my size. And the undies make me feel sexy, which is a new thing for me. And they have jeans that fit my waist, which is small relative to my hips.
However, the models they use…. I love that they aren’t “traditional” models but are closer to what I look like. I hate that they are still “perfect” in terms of being way less lumpy and bumpy than I am, and that I always have to wonder about ye olde Photoshoppe.
I’ve never had this kind of experience with their staff, but then I don’t usually engage in conversations with them other than asking where a certain product is in the store. I don’t need their help deciding what clothes I want.
I’ve never really thought of things in this light before. Thanks for opening my eyes about it! You seriously rock, girl!
Thank you so much!
I would first like to say that I do most of my shopping online because then I [don’t have to deal with sales clerks. I find that my own opinion is the one that truly matters, so why not cut out the middle man. Also on that note I live in Wyoming and styles that I like and want to fit into don’t necessarily have a place in the stores around here. I have never shopped Lane Bryant because from what I have seen their clothes are about hiding the fat, not flaunting the assets. My favorite online stores are Torrid.com, that tends to offer younger and trendier styles that accentuate the positive, and onestopplus.com, they have a group of plus size clothing companies for both men and women and a wide variety of styles. Honestly, Torrid recently joined the onestopplus group and I have had nothing but good stuff from them both. I also like Dress Barn-they only go up to a size 24, but they have some excellent sales people and the clothes are stylish and pretty. I would also like to say that the things the clerks said may not be all their own fault. The media and past ideals have been shoved down our throats for years now and , sadly, I have to say that I am not in love with the way I look myself, but I am working on trying to be healthier(not thinner). I will never be thin, it’s not in my bone structure or my genetics and while I could be more active and eat a little better, I believe that the weight loss will happen when I stop concentrating on getting thinnner and start concentrating on living a better quality lifestyle. I guess I feel sorry for the sales clerks for not being able to see past that superficial media BS and love themselves better. Oh, and I freaking HATE the feel of pants, skirts, dresses etc. with built in “tummy control” !!!
I went bra shopping with a friend once. First we went to Victoria’s Secret to look for bras in her size. Trying to be helpful, I was looking around at the different styles. When I tried to stop a salesclerk to ask a question, she ignored me. So did two others in the shop. They wouldn’t speak to me, they wouldn’t even make eye contact.
Seeing this happen, my friend (a size 10, but busty) informed the salesclerks that she thought their behavior was appalling and we went to Lane Bryant where the salesclerks were sweet and helpful.
Charged with this positive experience, I went back. This was when they were first introducing the ‘Right Fit’ jeans. I am 5’7″ and have very wide hips; yet the sales girl had me try on the yellow square type Right Fits, which are for people with NO hips. She said that they’d fit if I’d go up two sizes. When I informed her that the size I’d tried on was fine except not going around my hips, she ignored me.
On another shopping trip to Lane Bryant, I paid $28 for one cami while a friend who’d gone to H&M had paid $40 for a skirt, shirt, belt, and cami. None of them had been on sale. While it obviously takes more fabric to make a plus-sized item, this huge difference in price is ridiculous.
Thanks for being such an awesome writer and advocate! I am taking the article about knee pain for overweight persons to my doc when I go in for treatment after dislocating my patella.
“LB clerk: We need to get them to look at our face, chest, or feet so they don’t look at our stomach, legs or arms.”
Me after reading this: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAAAA! … ?? wait a minute now…Holy fat crap was she being serious?!?!?!? Oh God she *WAS*! Ooooh, now I feel nauseous…
I mean W…..T…..F?!?!? How did she come up with those visual restrictions? So nothing between the chest and feet is viable? And never mind who “we” is, who the hell is “them”?? A guy with a foot fetish?
Since finding this site I’ve gone from hating my belly to learning to love my tummy (I like calling it my tummy, makes me feel like I’m Winnie the Pooh) – I’m going to learn belly dancing and show it off and I’m going to find a man who wants to lap wine from my bellybutton…and he will get sooooo drunk lol! 😀
Next assignment: learning to love my “arm handles” – I used to call them bat wings but now I think I need something cuter and more positive…of course bat wings works if I just pretend I’m a superhero…
Body image indeed…
I am totally loving the idea of my extra arm tissue as some part of my superhero identity. I just have this image of me running around in spandex (which I don’t own but maybe I need some for this) a cape and holding my arms up in a muscle pose, flapping them around as a cackle maddly. I do so enjoy scaring people, and I’m so gosh darn good at it. 🙂
OMG… they aren’t gramma arms… they are my SUPERHERO WINGS!
BTW, I think this kind of thing does happen to thin women. Look at all the “slimming” jeans they sell — advertised by Stacey London. Those clothes MIGHT be targeted toward fat women, but they use very slim women in the ads. The same goes for those shaper shoes and so on. They get the same grief and wear the same Spanx.
Am happy to say that I have been to a few Lane Bryant stores and have been lucky enough to have not been insulted and have had some wonderful conversations. I have severe depression and anxiety and I have always enjoyed and felt very relaxed and welcomed when visiting these stores. A huge shout out to the wonderful Lane Bryant Clerks in Grand Rapids and Muskegon Michigan!!!
The worst part is a “plus sized” model is size 8-14….No advertising I have seen actually uses a plus size woman to model. I’ve never seen a size 26 model on any commercial not even the ones where they talk about all women being beautiful (dove maybe)… I see the models with flat tummies,no love handles,no stretch marks,no rolls under their bra strap (aka back fat) in their lingerie ads, and there’s just no way those women are bigger than a 10/12.
I work at a lane bryant and we would NEVER talk to our guest in such a distasteful manner. Sorry about how rude these people are.
I’ve never had body issues like some women, but when I see a woman who is clearly small and not happy with herself or her body, that’s a shame. I’m not ashamed of my body. Some women will never be happy just living. They always judge themselves, and some tend to judge everyone but themselves.
I used to work at Lane Bryant and for the reasons stated above I quit. I was a smaller size than the workers (I was a size 9 but I have very large breasts so I worked at the cacique side) and they ridiculed me for it. Both customers and workers hated me. I’d offer sweaters or jewelry to match their shirt or pants and they’d brush me off saying “skinny girls like you don’t understand.” I was not even mentioning weight just trying to provide a full outfit. I never offered the tummy tucker jeans unless asked and my manager always said to “sell them to those fat girls”
It is a terrible place to work and apparently a terrible place to shop. As a worker, the others belittle you whether you are big or small.
Go to Torrid. They’ve never shut the door on me
I had a baby last year and I have to say Lane Bryant has been a godsend. The baby weight has not come off, and I was sick of wearing my maternity clothes! I just bought some tops and a skirt there, and the salespeople were quite helpful (although I hate it when they push their credit cards.) I do agree with you about Spanx, they are ridiculously uncomfortable, no matter what size you are! I find it ironic that the CEO is a woman.
Not making your credit quotas on a consistent basis is grounds for being fired.
I would just like to point out I am very sorry for your negative experiences in Lane Bryant. I have worked for this company for 2 years now and I love it. I love to make everyone in my store feel as great as they can and I know my teammates feel the same.i just dont want you to think that all Lane Bryant team members are trying to sell you things and make you think of your body negatively. I for one am a size 12. I don’t fit into the clothes there. I have never been “belittled” as put in posts earlier. It is NOT a terrible place to work. I actually love my job so to see that people say not to work for this company is crazy. I have worked in two different stores and both have been pretty god experiences. If anyone has any questions or comments talk to customer service.
Listen, if you think that is bad imagine working there! If you aren’t dressed in what they call their 5 piece outfit you can be written up. If you want to embrace the “flaws” in your body and wear clothing to accentuate that, it is unacceptable. No sleeveless (because omg “ew!” amirite?). Women are expected to dress femininely (no androgyny, no butch). The fifth part of your outfit is makeup and jewelry.
I’m guessing those ladies are told those things or hear those sorts of comments all the time and they have to internalize it because it is the guidelines of how they have to be dressed. LB is not about celebrating all shapes and sizes, it’s about profiting off of fat women, by selling them overpriced, poor quality merchandise in thin woman styles. They are not about revolutionizing the market (perhaps at first, they gave that impression). They have the corner on the 14-28 market and they can charge you whatever they want (just put it on your LB Rewards Card).
I just wanted to say that I am a lane bryant sales associate and I personally loathe when women come into our store saying that they cant wear this or that because of their bodies. I am 5’8 and I wear a size 26/28. If i want to wear something skin tight, I am going to. I just wear things in an appropriate way. One time I walked into work abiding by dress code and my boss pulled me aside to tell me that my outfit was “lane bryant” because I wouldnt be inspiring anybody with my outfit. It was because I had chosen to wear flower print skinny jeans. I am 20 years old. I am going to wear whatever I think I look good in to work as long as it is appropriate. I was thoroughly offended by her comment. If you are going to say that to your employee, what are you going to say to a customer?
Also, the reason I stumbled on here was because I was looking up what sizes lane bryant models were, because a couple of my co workers and managers had suggested I try to get into it, I apparent wear LB clothes really well. I was disappointed when I realized that until I lose 6-8 dress sizes, that I wouldnt be considered for it. I wish LB catered to real plus size women.
I just want to let you know I’m a sales associate at Lane Bryant and we are not told to body shame. I try to let my customers know to buy something that makes them feel good about themselves and their body. The sales associates you dealt with need to learn a lesson in sales. I have never worked in sales before but I do know that doing what they did would not make sales
It’s such a shame to me that this happened to you, in multiple locations. I don’t know if it was the area, or if it was the same location, or even if it was just the clerks who you dealt with. I work for Lane Bryant, and I’m going to be incredibly honest. Today more so than in the past the organization is completely committed to redefining sexy, body acceptance, and empowerment!
I truly wished the experience was different so you wouldn’t have this negative feeling towards the brand. Hopefully you shop again and have a better experience.
Hi, I am sorry you had such an experience at Lane Bryant. Don’t take this as me saying I know more than you or that you are wrong but I was employed with Lane Bryant for 3 years as a sales associate and I can tell you that the company only promotes positive body image. I personally learned that fashion is not only for thin people and my body confidence is now through the roof. It is also my experience that plus size women are hardest on each other. I’ve had more plus size women make comments about my clothes or my size than any of my skinny friends. That may be the problem you are facing in your area but I just wanted to put it out there that the company itself does not condone or encourage body shaming or body hate.