Loft Drops Plus Sizes Because Only Thin Women Need Clothes. Oh, Wait

by Valerie Williams
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty

Loft is going to stop selling plus size clothing later this year because apparently they didn’t get the memo that larger bodies need clothing too

The average American woman is a size 16-18, according to a recent study. So isn’t it curious that most clothing retailers continue to refer to women above a 14 as “plus size” in the first place? Instead of just.. a size? A size that tons of American women actually wear? That bullshit aside, not enough companies carry a variety (or.. anything) of options in larger sizes, leaving women who take those sizes without much to pick from. Now, the options are about to be even worse as Loft announces their decision to stop producing their plus size line. Needless to say, women are pretty pissed at the news.

It appears that the brand hasn’t really made a formal announcement preferring to quietly reply to customers on social media who began to notice a dwindling supply of items in larger sizes. Their reply to one: “Unfortunately, due to ongoing business challenges, we have had to make some difficult decisions, which does impact our plus collection. Come fall, our size offering will be 00-18/XXS-XXL. We sincerely apologize for any disappointment.”

So interesting that they felt the need to keep this info kinda quiet, clearly grasping that their upcoming lack of inclusivity wouldn’t be met with cheers. After all, when they started their plus size line just three years ago, they seemed pretty happy to share the news publicly. “Our mission is to provide women with great fashion to live confidently,” said Gary Muto, president and CEO of Loft’s parent company Ascena brands, when the line came out. “Adding Plus to our overall offering is a natural evolution for Loft.”

Cool. So it’s time to… devolve? I guess?

This person makes an excellent point — what if a clothing store just got rid of any other size because it wasn’t selling as well? Like medium or small? TBH, when I shop at most women’s clothing stores, I feel like the clearance rack is full of size 0 and 00. Why can clothing manufacturers continue to churn out tiny sizes that seem to have a surplus at most stores (just my observation) but can’t manage to keep plus sizes on the racks? Stop making 00 since it seems there’s always extras of those when I shop. If we’re really worried about costs here. Eye roll.

And she should be pissed. Things have improved marginally in recent years with availability of women’s plus-size clothing. I have a female relative who has been plus size most of her life and I vividly remember being a kid and hearing her complain that all that was available to her was muumuus in crazy floral prints or stretch pants. Plus size clothing has come a long way over the years but is still FAR from being as available, trendy, and affordable as the offerings for sizes 0-14ish. Which is why Loft deciding to stop producing larger sizes is such a blow to literally half the market.

In another social media reply on their Instagram page, Loft confirmed the move was “due to challenges brought on by COVID-19.” So… what is it about COVID that it’s now harder to manufacture and sell a size 20 but the size 2 is still ok? The move is not a smart one, especially now as people’s bodies and clothing sizes are changing as tons of us have had huge routine disruption and stress brought on by the last year. What kind of message does it send to eliminate larger sizes from a popular women’s clothing brand? All bodies are beautiful and normal and deserve a wide variety of clothing options. Loft is majorly missing the mark here and only time will tell if their clearly unpopular decision is one they’ll come to regret.