Anything Over Size 10 Is “Plus Size” At Forever 21

I guess it serves me right for trying to buy denim at Forever 21. But what can I say? I needed new jeans and was trying to be thrifty. Last week Annika, Intern Carli, Intern Lauren, and I hit up the ginormous new Forever 21 in Times Square after work and explored its many cavernous floors. We were looking at duds in one section of one floor when we noticed all the clothes were large-ish; then somebody realized we were in the plus-size section. We headed to the floor below and I told Annika I wanted to check out the jeans. I had to grab a sales associate, though, because the sizes only went up to 10 and I needed something bigger. “Over size 10 will be upstairs in the left-hand corner,” the saleslady told me. “You mean in the plus-size section?” I asked. She nodded. I know a lot of 12-year-old girls shop at Forever 21 and they fit into a size-4 like butter. But grown women like myself also shop there. For that reason, labeling anything over a size 10 “plus-size” and sticking it in a tiny section of the store is a terrible idea. Because it’s not plus size; it’s normal. The average American woman is 162 lbss and a size 14.

On the one hand, it’s great that Forever 21 has Faith 21, their line of “plus-size” clothes. At least they’re trying to be considerate (assuming all the stores carry these clothes, which I’m not sure they do). But on the other hand, why the hell would a retailer want to alienate millions of average American women by saying “you’re too big to shop the majority of our clothes”?

(On a related note, I hate how different retailers use different sizing. I’m probably an XL at Forever 21 but more like a medium at Target. Annoying!)

Anyway, back to my jeans: I ended up buying a pair at Gap in a size 14 from the same stack as a size 2 and a size 16. I wasn’t as thrifty, but at least I gave money to a store that doesn’t require its customers to be twiglets.