Quick Hit: Requests!

Published January 12, 2012 by Fat Heffalump

Just a quickie this morning my dears.

I am meeting with some folk from Target Australia head office this afternoon to talk about plus-sized clothing and specifically their Moda range.

I have asked this question on Twitter and started the #Targetplus hashtag so that I can aggregate the responses into a useful list for the folk at Target.  I thought I would pop it up here for those of you non-tweeps and for anyone that needs a little more than 140 characters.

What would you like to see in plus-sized clothing from a major retailer like Target?

Now, I do ask that you keep your responses short and sweet as I don’t want to overwhelm these folks just yet.  A few dot points would be the best format.

For example, mine are:

  • A range of basics including maternity, underwear, swimwear and exercise wear to at least size 26.
  • The same fashion trends as offered in straight sizes.
  • A prominent, proud, well-presented location in store.
  • More bra options for larger plus-sizes.

Leave your answers in the comments, I’ll compile them up and share them with the folk at Target Australia.

48 comments on “Quick Hit: Requests!

  • the same trends as are offered to straight-sized girls
    sexy clothing
    comparable prices (why do 2″ extra fabric cost $40 more???)
    sexy underthings

  • I don’t live in Australia, but my local target in Colorado doesn’t bupkis for plus sizes- just jeans & ts & sweats. I want to see beautiful trendy clothes, for work and going out. They have that in the maternity section and even for kids, why not for plus sizes? Please feel free to delete this comment for irrelevancy, but I just had to vent.

  • I’m tired of companies thinking fat girls are all tall and curvy. I’m 5’7″, and NOT curvy. I have no hips/ass, and I’m low-waisted. Finding clothing that fits “right” is next to impossible. My advice: don’t assume that all fat girls are hourglass figures and tall, just bigger than “normal”.

    • Thanks! I thought I was the only one with no hips or ass haha. But you make an excellent point, and it’d be amazing to have things fit for once, especially pants. Even if it were just a few items offered in a straight cut or something, I’d be happy.

    • That’s what I wanted to say, too. I have a big belly, no hips, and hardly any boobs. I’d like clothes cut for my shape, and I’d like to see those clothes modeled by someone with my shape. Seeing plus-sized clothes on the typical plus-size model is no different than seeing the clothes on a skinny mannequin in the store. It doesn’t help me see how they’ll fit.

  • More stuff suitable for teens! All the bigger size clothes look like something you would pretty much see in an old ladies closet, which isn’t fair. 😦

    • Haha, I was thinking “more stuff suitable for old people!” Around me, all the stores I can shop in are so trendy, but there is hardly anything nice that can be worn to the office. I think we should trade places. 😀

  • This one may seem silly but LOOSE SLEEVES! I hate when a shirt fits the rest of me but is too tight in the arms. Also, I personally like the longer cut shirts. Maybe it’s my age, but I don’t feel like it’s sexy when my shirt rides up and exposes my midriff, I feel that it looks sloppy. I also like natural fabrics rather than polyester and lycra. Sorry if that’s too many things–you can submit it to them one at a time! 🙂

  • Would appreciate larger sized clothing that is fashionable, not dowdy or with an assumption that larger women are bingo hall inhabitants. It would be great if they became the first clothing store to stock plus size bras with smaller cup sizes – not all of us have large breasts but do have broad backs – need size 24 with C cup – it doesn’t exist. More tops with long or 3/4 length sleeves please.

  • -More office/career options. I see mostly casual clothes only at my local Target which is nice, but I don’t see the inexpensive office wear that I see in the straight size section like long-sleeve and short-sleeve button-downs, blazers, skirts, etc.
    -Panties/PJs/etc. that are just as cool as the ones in straight sizes. All I see next to the cute, funky straight size undies and PJs are these matronly garments and…shapewear.
    -All the cool pantyhose/tights that I see in straight sizes instead of just settling for boring black and nude plain ones in size D and up.
    -More jeans and pants options in larger sizes and cut more accurately, most of the jeans in my closet are 18-20 but I have to squeeze into a 24 in most of Target’s jeans. What gives?!

  • Oh, they have some very pretty plus size bras…if you think that plus sizes stop at 22. I saw that you were meeting the Target people today and had a look at their online store, and I was ready to buy some of that cute lingerie, until every drop-down size menu stopped at 22, and in some cases 20. It’s not even like making bigger size bras and knickers takes up meters of extra fabric, because it’s mostly stretch fabric it’s only a few cm per size, and undies don’t require any special tailoring. Instead, I’m looking at OneStopPlus, LaurenSilva and Evans UK despite the high postage costs and risks of not trying on the garment, just to get something nice in my size.

    Smaller cups with larger band sizes too, not every fat woman has a glorious rack of doom. 🙂 And please don’t have the sizing weirdness of the bras at BigW: I fit just fine into a 24D in the “sensible granny bra” offerings but in the cute lacy/moulded bras they have, a 24D band is way too small and you could seriously fit another set of my boobs in the cups. WTF.

  • I personally love longer cut tops too. I’d also like to see pretty boho style dresses, geometric prints and more skirts. My local Target only stock pants or skirts cut above the knees in the plus-sizes which I personally wouldn’t wear. Please stress to them no nanna floral prints!!! Thanks for this Kath. It’s great someone in a store like Target is actually taking an interest.

  • CLOTHES: A range of clothing to at least 28/30. Stylish dresses that aren’t painfully short (because they’re ‘juniors.’ A better fit model – everything I get from Target GAPES in the neck and arms. It’s obvious the fit model was too small, and they kept sizing up the proportions to the point where the arm and neckholes are absurdly large.

    Better materials. I know it’s supposed to be affordable, and I appreciate it, but I’d like more cotton and better jersey and a whole lot less polyester and rayon (which tends to pill after a single wash).

    Focus on simple, classic styles, like we’d find in the straight size section. Trendy, but only if it has a superb fit (since a lot of trendy styles are designed for bodies that are nowhere near plus).

    Basics, like underwear and leggings, would be very much appreciated. My only other option right now is Lane Bryant and, hello, too pricey! I know Target could get a lot of good business by expanding their plus size underwear options.

    STORE: A better ratio of store real estate than currently exists, which from Target US appears to be something like 7 (straight size) to 1 (plus size).

    WEBSITE: It would be nice if there was a place on the site for people who buy the clothes to upload pictures of themselves wearing the clothes. Only one other site I frequent does this — ChicStar — and it’s very useful. Free modeling! And it provides us plus-people with a variety of shapes to compare the fit/look to. A size 26 on bottom looks very different if she is 6 feet tall as opposed to 5 feet tall, or if she carries her weight below the waist or above, and so on.

  • A range of basic – tights, plain camis and t-shirts, exercise clothes and pants – that are available all year round. Summer clothes that are not polyester. Short sleeves that are not cap/flutter sleeves but actually cover the upper arm. Basically, a similar range to the straight sizes.

    I agree with the comment above that there’s something strange about the fit of a lot of garments – really big arm/head holes then tight sleeves. Maybe a larger fit model and less sizing up?

  • Pants for tall plus sized ladies. In my area I can’t be tall and fat at the same time, tired of pants that hit at the ankle. Gets cold in the winter like that.

  • A variety of colours that are NOT ugly, seriously, no more freakin lime green. It doesn’t sell, so why keep producing it?
    Better prints/patterns on the dresses, put some through into it, if it wouldn’t be used in ‘normal’ sizing, don’t use it in plus sizing. Brights and colours are great, but quit with the ugly patterns!
    Whoever they’re modelling the clothing on, it’s not working and using supposed ‘plus size models’, yeah right. They’re about a 12-14, most women who are buying the clothes are 18-20 minimum.

  • Lovelies can I ask please that we keep this to things we DO want to see for this post, not things we DON’T want to see.

    I’m trying to collect a list of positive additions that can be made.

    The question is what DO you want to see from a major retailer in plus-size clothing.


  • Oh yes, the huge armholes on many tops, jackets and dresses, combined, bizarrely, with too-tight arms. They usually come down to my waist.

    Target, I have a proposition for you. I am a pretty good dressmaker and pattern drafter. I will SHOW YOU how to draft a pattern for plus size garments to avoid this arm problem if you like. I understand your patternmakers are probably using fancy CAD software like Optitex, but I’m pretty sure this technique can be incorporated into that. It’s frustrating that professional designers and drafters don’t take the time to figure this out. :/

  • I want to see plenty of plain black clothes!!! In all sizes, no frills, no embellishments, just good strong basic black clothes for work which will match everything. Maternity bras with large back AND cup sizes. And more 3/4 or below the elbow sleeves, on v-neck and round neck t-shirty items. Wish Wish Wish!

  • -More natural fibres, or at least less polyester.

    -What I’d love to see in their autumn/winter range (I know, I’m getting ahead of the season here) is a selection of coats in classics styles – trench coats, swing coats – and in wearable neutral colours such as grey.

    -A selection of T-shirts which are longer in the waist (not everyone is a ‘short fatty’)

    -Decent quality basics, especially basic workwear (‘tailored’ pants, skirts, blouses and jackets) and exercise wear.

    -Plus-size sports bras that go up to a 26.

    -More on-trend fashion clothing.

    -Less print fabrics that wouldn’t be used in the straight-size range but are seen as perfectly acceptable for plus size gear.

    -Consistent sizing and with clothing patterns which have been properly drafted for fat bodies.

  • There are a couple of things in particular right now that I need but can’t buy at Target (nor the vast majority of Australian retailers) that I want/need.
    Plus size maternity bras up to a size 24/26
    Plus size maternity clothes up to a size 24/26

    In store I cannot find anything in target in the maternity range that is over an 18 so even if it was just a small range that would be fantastic-a pair of jeans, pair of black pants, black dress and a couple of styles of tshirt would be excellent.
    Also nursing tank tops in plus sizes.

  • Hi! I’m a longtime lurker and I love your site! Though I don’t live in Australia,I have to say as a plus size girl in the States, that I would love the Target in my neck of the woods to have swim suits in other colors other than black, brown or navy and (any other) patterns other floral. Maybe some sexy one piece retro style swimsuits that I’ve seen other places and for tankinis some actual boyshorts or bikini bottoms instead of the skirted dealies that are common. Also, leggings! They are such a staple and I would love to see them in a variety of colors/styles to jazz up an outfit.

  • I don’t know if I’m too late for the party, but I thought I’d offer my comments anyway. I live in the U.S. and used to shop Target very regularly for plus size clothes. Then, about 4 years ago, Target U.S. plus sizes started to change. They didn’t have as much variety as they used to, the quality of fabrics and cuts of garments started getting worse. The plus size department started getting smaller, taken over by maternity and clearance racks. Then Target U.S. introduced its trendy, youth-oriented plus size line, “Pure Energy,” with 1-2-3-4 sizing. While it’s great for plus size teens and young adults who like trendy clothing, I wasn’t seeing the same effort put into plus size clothes for the rest of us. While Target U.S. brands like Merona and Mossimo were adding adorable, work-appropriate and casual tops, jackets, dresses and skirts to their straight size line, all we were getting from them in the plus sizes were shapeless, cheaply made t-shirts, sweatshirts and khakis. I’ve seen a larger selection of pajamas in some Target U.S. stores than plus sizes.

    With that in mind, what I’d LOVE to see in Target U.S. stores are plus size versions of the adorable tops, jackets, dresses and skirts from their Merona and Mossimo brands. I hate finding an adorable chiffon ruffle blouse in Merona’s straight size line, and not be able to find the same item in my size – plus size. I also agree with what Tabatha wrote above – that not all fat bodies are shaped like hourglass or pear shapes. Like Tabatha, I’m short-waisted, don’t have much hips, thighs or butt to speak of, and have a bigger tum and big boobs. I think it would be great if Target (and many other plus size retailers) took into account that not all fat people are shaped the same way and offered a bigger variety of cuts to fit a bigger variety of shapes. Variety, quality, quantity and visibility – that’s what I want. Basically, the same thing people who wear smaller sizes generally take for granted.

  • Cotton tops
    Viscose/spandex work pants (no sagging and long-wearing)
    smooth cup, wide strap bras with COLOUR choices (ezibuy/sara has the perfect fit balconette but in boring colours).

  • Target sizes seem to run too small, IMO. A size 26 would fit me in, say, Autograph or even Best and Less, but a Target 26 is more like a 24. Also, OFFICE WEAR! PLEASE! More fashion, less tents. More pants, and even would love to see sizes up to 28 or 30!

  • Thank you everyone for your replies – especially those right on point for what I needed.

    Feel free to add any more (remember – things you DO want to see, keep it concise), I’ll be passing this on to the Target folks in the next day or so.

    And I will also blog about the afternoon when I have a little more time.

  • Agree with all of the above on the ‘what we would like to see’ (big YAY! to you Kath, for doing this 😉 ). Personally [and my mum too!], I would like to see a set of classic set basic pieces, in some nice colours [not all black, brown, etc], both casual and work/office appropriate, available all year round, complemented by the ‘on-trend’/ this seasons colours stuff. To please make available a range of long and short sleeve tops, pants for both the tall and the height-challenged, and pieces that are both t-shirt style and those with collars [ie polo shirts – which mum is desperate for!]

    Please also tell them that their square-necked, short-sleeve t-shirts with the cool colours and foil-accented patterns are just darn COOL! [i now have at least 6!]

    Finally, to please make all their pieces available in sizes at least 26-30, and to make them affordable – there is a huge market out there for nice, colourful, not-hessian-bag-looking, affordable clothes in the larger sizes.

    Thanks again, Kath for taking this to tar-jay ;p and good on them for at least being willing to listen 🙂

  • …oh my, SO many changes I would make, not only to Target but to the Lane Bryants out there as well. But you want to hear what I want, so ok… More solid colors, jeans with NO stitching on the pockets. T-shirts with 3/4 length sleeves. ALL the tops to include an option for 3/4 length sleeves. (sorry, but not all of us are so out and proud about our arm fat.) Man style jammie pants, the nice lightweight, soft ones that flow with you. Undies, undies and more undies. There needs to be revolution in this industry everywhere. Thanks for the help!

  • I actually agree with all of your points, as well as many of the other points posted here, but I would change the requested size range so it stops around 30 (ideally higher but since not even many plus-sized-focused lines that I know of go that high I don’t hold out much hope that Target would). As a person who can’t fit in anything below a 28 these days, I’m getting really tired of not being able to find even basic things in my size

  • I’m also in the U.S., and have very seldom found anything worth buying in the plus size section of Target, despite lots of looking. I love Target for housewares and lots of other things, but not clothing. My biggest “want” would be higher quality. The things I’ve seen tend to be very thin cotton that shrinks or wears out quickly, and too much stiff polyester. I’d love to see jeans in a range of styles, including ones that hit your natural waist rather than hip huggers which do NOT work for me. I am curvy but I still have a waist, and to get pants that fit my thighs, I have to go up to a size that then has a boxy waist that is not adjustable :-(. Target could learn a lot from Kohl’s, which sells great attractive plus size clothing, underthings and lingerie that are good quality at reasonable prices.

    Target: I have money and I want to spend it at your store. Please stock quality plus size clothes in the same range of options you offer thinner customers. Thank you for caring enough to ask for our suggestions 🙂 !

  • Here’s what I’m not seeing in the U.S. market, if this data would be useful. I buy most of this stuff online, but I would prefer to see it in major retail stores so I can try it on. I spend a lot of time on my feet and I do a very physical job while needing to maintain a neat and businesslike appearance.

    Crisp black jeans without any decorations or shiny hardware and without muffin tops. Please cut them like office trousers.

    Tuxedo blouses that can be worn in or out in more colors than basic black and white. I like the low band collars and Y-necks on tuxedo blouses; collars with points are fussy and mandarin collars bug me in the neck. Buttons and tabs for keeping the sleeves neatly rolled up are nice. Also, no breast pockets because they are useless for large-breasted women!

    Speaking of pockets–a tunic blouse with patch pockets low down in front would be very useful in my line of work. I have found ONE catalog that carries these in women’s sizes.

    Please keep in mind that just scaling up missy sizes won’t work. Many–probably most–fat women need bigger armholes and more fabric in the arms.

    Also keep in mind that women don’t necessarily wear business blouses with jackets on top. Please show me opaque shirts. My bra is my business, not the world’s. A nice linen blend would be ideal, but opaque cotton will do.

    Can I please have clear true red? Not chili pepper, not mulberry, not rumba red, not wine. RED. And not goofy red plaid either. R.E.D. RED.

  • 1. Office clothes. YES FAT WOMEN HAVE JOBS.
    2. The same things they sell to thin women, just in larger sizes.

    Yes I know it was said up-screen but it bears repeating, on both counts.

    As an added bonus, how about what NOT to have, like NOT the endless racks of ridiculous tent like clothing with bright, child like designs on the front that make you look like you’re some sort of moron, because clearly, if you’re fat, you don’t care what you look like any way, so why not wear a tent with sparkles and some design a two year old could have drawn? This is my impression of half the clothing in the “women’s” section anywhere.

  • Even an intern-level marketing person would be able to look at what does sell (and sell out) in what sizes, and base future stock on that data. The reason why the clearance rack is full of shapeless baggy knits with ugly patterns in size 12-14 is that they’re NOT what the buyers are seeking. We have many more options for plus size these days (even if not as many as anyone would like!) and Target needs to recognize that they need to stay competitive to get a piece of the very profitable plus-size pie. The trends for smaller size clothes are the same trends for plus size, but if a certain line isn’t selling they need to see why. Does it go to a large enough size? Is it as stylish as similar smaller clothes? Is it cut badly so that it only fits a narrow range of plus size bodies? In the U.S., the higher end sizes of trendy clothes always sell out first. Perhaps that’s a hint to stock more size 3-4X and fewer of the 1X that end up clogging the clearance rack.

    My biggest challenge is well-cut professional clothes. I’m not wearing polyester pajamas to work. Cotton buttoned workshirts, suits, slacks, etc. The office basics are always hard to find, because they always want to put sequins or ruffles or some such nonsense on them. I don’t need a lot of froofrahrah to “distract” from my body. I just need office wear that will mix and match and wear well. Large band bras with some sex appeal instead of cover would be fantastic and would earn a customer for life.

  • Sadly the fashion trends for “skinny” women (from 00-12) don’t translate well with plus sizes, which is why you get a “tent with sparkles” on it. With a smaller size or different fabric choice, it looks right, but the thing with fashion is past a certain size, you can’t just expand the clothing and make it look right, or like skinny girls, just different. For larger clothing different adjustments in design or pattern need to be made. Torrid does this perfectly, but target just take the small sized clothing (which doesn’t look super great to begin with) and makes it bigger. What has to happen is new trends need to be made for plus size women and plus size bodies. The trend for skinny girls right now is blousy/billowy tops and skinny bottoms. This doesn’t translate well for ladies who are busty, hippy or anything above an 8 really. Plus size lines expand this trend and you get horrible sack clothing and oddly shaped skinny jeans (if you have a curvy body type, skinny jeans aren’t super great, leggings are a much better option). I would love to see blouses that are taken in at the sides to create a nice waist-line (something ignored in plus clothing) and nice, tapered boot cut jeans, or an even straight leg with white seams (to lengthen the look of the leg). Or cute, blousy A-line tops to wear over leggings instead of the circus tend no-shape tops. Again, I think to problem is that plus sizes try to follow the skinny trends, which doesn’t work because we’re not working with a skinny frame. Clothing needs to suit the body type, not us trying to force ourselves into what doesn’t fit or look good.
    —Also, the reason plus size costs extra isn’t 2 inches of fabric. The extra fabric is allotted for in price when you get beyond a size 4 (like sizes 00-12 have the same price). Once you go larger than those parameters your working with a great deal more fabric than was budgeted for, you also have to make adjustments for different measurements (why torrid is more expensive than target) and proportions, resulting in something more personal and requiring more labour hours.

  • 1. Natural fabrics – cotton, silk, linen, suede, leather, cashmere.
    2. Beautiful colors and color combos. Multi, but not garish.
    3. Pretty, supportive bras in a wide selection of fabrics and colors.
    4. Panties with wider crotch areas.

  • A suggestion for retailers who are having trouble selling scaled-up skinny clothes to fat women: Please take a look at some of the fashions from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, when women were expected to look pulled together and also encouraged to have, or mimic, generous curves. Obviously we can’t sail out the door in umpteen layers of clothing over a corset. However, the designers of walking dresses, “costumes,” “tailor” suits, and so forth knew a lot about making large expanses of cloth look good.

    Another suggestion, from further back in the 19th century: Consider the combination paletot and chest protector. A chest protector is basically a shrug that buttons. The paletot is an A-line, generally hip-length jacket that may have no fabric under the arms, or long fancy tabs of cloth, or interesting contrast pieces. The front decor and the hems also vary. (If you didn’t already know, shawl fronts were in style almost exactly 150 years ago!) The paletot is worn in cool weather, and to make up for the gaps under the arms, the coordinating shrug goes underneath in winter. Nowadays we could mix and match the paletot and shrug through all four seasons.

  • PLEASE – everyone, back to topic, which is my request:

    A few dot point statements of what you DO want to see in plus-size clothing options.

    Look at my example in the post – that’s what I need from you.

  • Full disclosure: I sit firmly in the lower end of the straight sizes so I may miss the mark but this is just from my own observations when shopping in Target in Sydney.

    1. More plus size bras in a bigger range of sizes and colours and sexiness

    2. More natural fabrics

    3. More ‘plain’ basics that are well cut – I see a lot of awful prints and ruffles and all of that business but I imagine it would be kinda hard to find just a plain black cotton tshirt that fits well.

  • UK lass here, so I’m not 100% sure about the items sold in the area, but I do know what I would generally love to see in larger sizes and usually don’t.

    – more fashionable, colourful and fun hosiery and leggings sold in larger sizes that fit around hips and bum and don’t threaten to fall down!
    – blouses with cuts for larger upper arms and more generous bosoms (to prevent that dreaded gaping syndrome) – I can’t remember the last time I tried on a blouse that fitted my chest and arms decently without cutting off circulation to my fingers – and I’m at the smaller end of the plus size spectrum, so I absolutely dread to think what it’s like for others.
    – more prominent displays, or inclusion with the rest of the clothes (No small and hidden two racks at the back of the shop thank you very much, it always makes me feel dirty somehow, and needlessly ashamed – I hate the way the plus sizes are segregated.)

  • -Underwear at all, but especially inexpensive panties that aren’t cut up to our collarbones.

    -More pants with a no-gap waistband or something similar, so that those of us with hips wider than our waist don’t have a ginormous gap at the back.

  • – Attractive basics. Blouses of several styles and colors, neutral colored slacks, office appropriate skirts and dresses of all lengths, professional jackets and coats, all in sizes up to 4x.

    – Workout wear that is able to withstand a badass fat lady workout. Shorts, shirts, and pants of sturdy and lightweight materials, again, all in sizes up to 4x/30.

    – Jeans with a variety of cuts, up to size 30, and made with sturdy fabric to withstand inner thigh friction


  • Advertising that includes women of all sizes and ages all thin women aren’t young and all fat women aren’t over 50

  • more cotton /wool fibre clothing with actual shape …hate polyester garish prints
    in country areas a bigger range would be better……not the city reject stuff

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