Old Navy: Your Favorite Sexist, Sizeist Retail Store?

On the Old Navy website, women’s plus-size bootcut jeans range from $30 to $50, while women’s regular bootcut jeans start at $22 and max out at $30. Credit: Consumerist

oldnavycombinedPic via Consumerist

Does it shock you that plus size shoppers at Old Navy pay more for a pair of jeans than their leaner counterparts? Some might say “meh” and chalk it up to the reasonable assumption that more fabric fairly equals higher costs.

But what if we were to say that Old Navy charges $12-$15 more for plus-sized jeans? And that “Women’s Plus” clothing are relegated to a separate section of the website? And that plus-sized men pay the same price for their plus-sized jeans, which are listed alongside goods fitting their skinnier brethren?

Shocking it may not be (after all, those of the zaftig persuasion are used to this kind of treatment), but shameful, sexist and sizeist do come to mind… at least they do to the minds of Renee Posey and 20,000 others at Change.org, who are petitioning Old Navy “to stop their discriminatory pricing practices and offer products at a fair cost to ALL people of size, not just men.”

As Posey explains it:

I was fine paying the extra money as a plus-sized woman, because, you know, more fabric equals higher cost of manufacture. 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.

This is entirely unfair and offensive on many levels. For a company like Old Navy, who claims to be inclusive and strives to provide affordable clothing for everyone, this practice completely undermines their mission.

So what’s America’s favorite sexist, sizeist retail store have to say in their defense?

Per the blog Consumerist, which reached out to a representative at Old Navy’s parent company Gap Inc, the reason is that “while men’s bigger sizes are merely larger versions of the same clothing, Old Navy puts in additional work behind the scenes for women’s clothing.”

“They are created by a team of designers who are experts in creating the most flattering and on-trend plus styles, 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.”

Posey is calling this “canned response” obfuscation, and has responded with some fighting words in an update to the petition that you can read and sign here.

Here’s what they’re asking for—are YOU in?

To:

Gap Inc.

I respectfully ask that you stop charging plus-sized women more for clothing than you do straight-sized women and men and “big” sized men. This overtly discriminatory pricing policy indicates sexism and sizeism on the part of Old Navy that is unfair to women of size and unacceptable to me as a consumer of Old Navy’s products. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

[Your name]