Dear Ann Taylor and Related Retail Chains:
As a consumer and woman in the workforce, I do my best to present myself in both a professional and attractive way on a daily basis. In today's marketplace, a plethera of ladies' fashion is offered at all price points and styles.
What is lacking? The plus-size market. True, there are stores dedicated to the plus-size consumer. However, for those of us who prefer the styles carried by stores such as yours, we are given no options.
Over the years, you have expanded your lines to include tall, petite, and more recently in the case of Ann Taylor, maternity wear. But plus size remains untouched.
I'm sure the obvious data indicating that the average size of the American woman is now 14 has not escaped your research? So what stops you from creating this line? Do you think larger women don't have money to spend? Lane Bryant is still in business, so that negates that theory. Or is it the more likely but unspoken reality...you don't want your clothes on fat women.
This is the common reality...look at the fashion industry in general. Fashion models are never bigger than a size 0 or 2, with a height of over 5'8''. PLUS-SIZE fashion models are between a size 10 and a size 12. OK, except that those sizes ARE NOT considered plus size!
I've sent you letters before. I receive the standard form letter back explaining nothing really. So I'm left with the conclusion that Ann Taylor and the like are also among the supporters of the only acceptable discrimination left in this country...the prejudice of body size.
I hope that one day in the near future, your buyers and research departments will consider that a woman's desire to be fashionable and attractive does not diminish with a larger dress size. Until that time, I regret to inform you that your earnings potential is not nearly what it could be due to your narrowminded attitude.
Kara Barrick, plus-sized consumer