Forever 21 to start plus size clothing line

Forever 21 has announced that they will launch a plus size clothing line beginning in May.

The Forever 21 plus-size line, called Faith 21, will feature items similar to other Forever 21 clothing, including flirty dresses, trendy tops, skirts, jeans and basics such as T-shirts, camisoles, tanks and leggings. The target customer is age 15 to 29. Junior plus sizes include XL, 1X and 2X. Prices will range from $3.80 to $29.80.

Alright. There are obvious issues with Forever 21 (see claims of sweat shop labor) and I take issue with Forever 21 having to create a special line of clothing (Faith 21? what does that even mean?) for sizes that represent the majority of women in the US. But, things like this mean more women, and particularly young women might actually be able to find clothing in mainstream stores that fit them.
Thanks to Jeff for the link

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85 Comments

  1. M0xieHart
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Word. Some of us find the Bible itself to be offensive and don’t want to hear about it when we go shopping.

  2. nattles_thing
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I give up. You’re all disgusting hypocrites.

  3. leshachikha
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Are all religious texts offensive on principle? Or is the Bible itself, specifically, the text you take offense to?
    While I’d agree that many interpretations of the Bible are offensive(hello Reverend Phelps of Westboro Baptist), I fail to see how, oh, the Unitarian Universalists and the Quakers use the Bible as a reactionary tool. The Bible is a document written to be interpreted. One can take much that is good from it, if one approaches it without the intention of condemning other people. Many progressive movements, in particular in the United States, were largely religious ones (abolition comes to mind). The Bible was a friend of the subjugated just as much it was a weapon of oppressors, particularly in race/class matters.

  4. anteup
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Yeah nothing about my sizing is average. I’m 6′ tall and pretty skinny for my height(135-140lbs), which is why I’ve got such a massive rib cage and bitty boobies. Basically the only thing average about me is my shoe size..

  5. RevolutionarilySpeaking
    Posted March 9, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    First off, Lucybell and Qantaqa, thank you so fricken much for the support. I was just telling my mom today, that out of all the friends I have, I don’t think any of them support me the way you Feministingers do, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    One other thing – I don’t know if this is a national chain or not, but there’s a plus size store in my town called The Avenue (www.avenue.com) that has seriously affordable clothes, coupons galore, and 25% off in the month you were born. They carry sizes 14-32 and they offer mostly professionalish, office casual sorts of stuff but definitely not frumpy. I think Jessica Simpson designs a line of jeans for them. They really do cater to a wide range of ages, and their clothing is cut nicely. And, they have prints that are actually flattering to larger women.
    And Lucy, a woman once told me of this place that custom makes bras in whatever pattern/color etc that you like. I will do some googling and find a way to put you in touch with them. They’re expensive, but they fit and are supposed to last five years or something like that.
    Oh oh oh! And everyone, try truejeans.com. Just trust me. Okay I’m done. And again, thanks everyone for the support. You’re an amazing group of people.

  6. M0xieHart
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    How am I a hypocrite? Seriously, way to respond maturely to dialogue.
    You know what? I *wouldn’t* want a feminist quote on a shopping bag, unless it was from Bluestocking’s or something, any more than I’d want a quote from John McCain or Barack Obama.

  7. M0xieHart
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    I view religion as a spectrum. On one end you have “harmless” cases like the Unitarians and Quakers and the other end you have the dangerous intolerant crazies. Either way, belief in something irrational and unproveable is dangerous. I’ll never take away anyone’s right to practice that belief but I’d rather not encounter it everywhere I turn.
    A Bible quote, however small and unobtrusive, has no place on a bag for a shop hoping to service a lot of different people of a lot of different faiths.
    Also, how Christlike is it to engage in sweatshop labor? Who Would Jesus Exploit?

  8. nattles_thing
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Why would you care? It’s on the bottom of your shopping bag. It’s easy to ignore. If it bothers you so much, don’t shop there.
    Stating generally that you find the bible “offensive” bothers me and I’m a fairly hardcore atheist. Some people find feminism “offensive.”

  9. Medusa
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Actually Lucy, I worked at Macy’s for a while. They carry maternity clothing.
    I agree with everyone that while it’s great that Forever 21 is increasing their sizing range, the sizes they already offer are kinda ridiculous and it probably will still be pretty difficult for a lot of women of size to be able to shop there.

  10. ikkin
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I’ve made it twenty-something years without my size offered at Forever 21. I guess I can go forever. I don’t need them to deign to my size.

  11. M0xieHart
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I *don’t* shop there because I think it’s hypocritical to spout off about your Christianity and then to abuse people and steal other people’s designs to make a profit.
    And if you find my views about the Bible offensive, then I suggest that you don’t go to my store–which I don’t even have. You see, there’s a difference between public and private.
    Clearly, you don’t get that the fact that it’s there at all is the problem. I’d be just as peeved if it were from the Koran or Bhagavad Gita or The God Delusion–Yes, I wouldn’t want something by Richard Dawkins on a shopping bag. People have a right to their views and a right to not be evangelized at every turn.

  12. M0xieHart
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Ugh, I wrote my response to you just before I went to bed and I forgot to add two important things;
    1. I would take issue with pretty much any religious OR atheist text. If I had a store I wouldn’t put a quote from Richard Dawkins on my bags because I can acknowledge that not everyone shares the same beliefs and that there really is a time and a place for spreading/sharing your beliefs.
    Also, while I can appreciate their literary value I find most religious texts offensive on principle. A lot of people take those stories about angel-raping literally.
    2. For every social movement that religion has aided there have been people using religion against said movements. For every sermon about abolition being immoral and unChristian there was a serman about slavery being Biblically mandated and approved.

  13. dirtyrottenfeminist.wordpress.com
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    As an atheist, *I* tire of fellow atheists who pander to religion as “harmless” and “giving people hope” and all that garbage. Religion is NOT harmless, and for every millimeter of good it does people on a personal level, it does a gallon of damage to ours and other societies.
    I will not budge on this. I think religion causes a lot of damage, and as an atheist I will never stop fighting it. Now, I do not agree with telling people they CANNOT practice a religion, but I hope for a world when people all come to their senses and religion is abolished/unneeded.
    Now, Forever 21 is in their legal right to print Bible verses on their bags. I am in my legal right to not shop there (which I do no) and to hold their opinion that they are attempting to shove their religion down their customer’s throats.
    If we feel ok about “mild” forms of religion, why not “mild” forms of sexism: anti-women jokes, sexist advertising, and printing girls’ t-shirt with “skanky brat” and the like aren’t TECHNICALLY harming anyone (like rape and domestic violence do) but they are part of the same problem.

  14. dirtyrottenfeminist.wordpress.com
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    A Muslim woman wearing a headscarf is far more in-your-face than a discrete bible-verse at the bottom of a shopping bag. Does that mean women can’t wear headscarfs?
    First of all, headscarves are cultural as well as religious. Secondly, I do not think women shouldn’t be NOT ALLOWED to wear headscarves. However, I do think it is an offensive, sexist, and obtrusive practice but they have every right to choose that for themselves. Do I disagree with their choice? Yes. Do I blame them for their choice? No. Do I think that Islam, along with every other religion, is damaging, sexist, useless, silly, and made-up? Of course. But I am not running around snatching headscarves off of women.
    Forever 21′s evangelizing is about as unobtrusive as possible. Most people don’t even notice the Bible verse. The most political thing I’ve ever seen in the store is a Barack Obama t-shirt, which is much more noticeable than a discrete Bible verse.
    But it is still that: evangelizing. That is my problem. Not that “oh it’s harmless” but the fact that they feel the need to evangelize to their customers in the first place is what is offensive.
    I’m an atheist. That doesn’t mean I have to be intolerant.
    How is it intolerant to choose NOT to shop at a store that CHOOSES to evangelize to its customers. Please explain.

  15. dirtyrottenfeminist.wordpress.com
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    THANK YOU.

  16. bad design hurts!
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    does that mean feminist statements have no place where people who aren’t feminist might read them? i don’t concur with your logic. if forever 21 is paying for the bags to be printed, what’s the problem?
    i’m pretty horrified that this level of outright hostility toward a group of people is allowed on this site….calling christianity “evil” or “a cult” would never be allowed about people of say, jewish faith, or people of color, or people with a disability, or different sexuality or gender presentation. *THIS* is hypocritical.

  17. bad design hurts!
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    heh heh heh, i have bought a few things at forever 21 before i knew about the sweatshops, and even though the clothes are my size, i think the store sucks. the clothes aren’t fitted well and are so poorly made that they fall apart almost immediately.
    i’ve been to lane bryant many times with my mom, and i think the clothes there are *far* nicer than forever 21, and for about the same amount of money. honestly, if they made clothes in a size 8-10 at lane bryant, i’d buy them. as it is, i try to shop at the limited or white house/black market when i can afford it, because the clothes are much better tailored for my figure (big boobs and butt, small waist)….those are pretty much the only places where i can buy pants that don’t show off my coin slot the moment i sit down. ***sigh***
    buying clothes sucks, no matter what size you are.

  18. M0xieHart
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    If you actually read my comments, you’d know that personally I’d prefer that businesses stick to “Have a nice day–please recycle.”
    And it sounds like you have fatwah envy, so don;t even try to play “You wouldn’t say that if you were—-” To some of us, *all* religion is a cult. And religion so isn’t the same as disability or race. You can choose religion, race and disability are traits that you can’t control. Gender presentation doesn’t hurt anyone, but religion hurts a person for every person it comforts.

  19. bad design hurts!
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    so if all religion is a cult, espousing propaganda, then why not object to *all* advertising?
    if you can’t see why it’s offensive to group all christians together with, say, jerry falwell, or communists with stalin, or vegetarians with PETA members, then i think you’re the one with “fatwa envy”, as you so delicately put it. holding every member of a group responsible for the actions of some…sounds like prejudice to me.
    oh, wait, there’s only one acceptable way to be a feminist. crap. i keep forgetting.

  20. nattles_thing
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Are your opinions so weak that you can’t stand being confronted with other opinions?
    Honestly, it might be a good thing. People need to have their views challenged.

  21. M0xieHart
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Wow, you love the drama. I didn’t know that MoxieHart was the leader of all feminists. Holy flying spaghetti monster, what power! Pesto be with you.
    bad design hurts, come back to me when you atcually reread my comments and stop reacting from an emotional place. Specifically, I recomend the one about religion being a spectrum. When you give your mind up to one illogical thing what more are you willing to believe in? How far will you go for faith but not logic?
    Seriously, we’ve been through this before in about 5 other threads, I don’t get why you’re all surprised.

  22. nattles_thing
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Getting your knickers into a twist over a nearly completely unnoticeably bible verse just seems like making a huge deal out of nothing. The store is Christian, and that’s what they are. I’m not even sure that a bible verse on the bottom of a shopping bag where most people never even notice it qualifies as evangelizing.
    There are good reasons to not shop at Forever 21. The bible verse isn’t one of them.

  23. danielle
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    I’d think it’s weird. There’s a lot better ways of going about things then putting sayings on shopping bags. Oh, and to me, I wouldn’t mind-I stated I’m against religion, so of course I’d despise a religious thing on my things. And considering this is a feminist blog, you’d think I wouldn’t mind a feminist saying, no?

  24. nattles_thing
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    I used to be just as hardline as you. I was thirteen. I grew out of it.

  25. danielle
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Because feminism and religion are totally the same thing.

  26. M0xieHart
    Posted March 10, 2009 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    No, I just think that there’s a time and place. I sell things on half.com and I’m an artist-crafter who sells her own work and I wouldn’t consider putting a quote from God Is Not Great or even a pro-science quote in my packaging because I don’t want to alienate people and I respect their right to believe what they want to without evangalizing. Did you ever stop and think that when I get a pair of panties that that’s all I really want? When I look at those bags all I really see is another way that I don’t fit into “mainstream” society. I don’t want to have to think about some verse from a collection of stories that some people believe.
    So if you want to shop there, do it. I don’t even see why you care what I do, it’s not like I’m preventing anyone or mandating the owners to remove the verse. I really don’t care enough about horribly designed cheap clothing.
    But I find it interesting that none of the Belief-Defenders on this thread has acknowledged the hypocrisy of being evangelical Christians but stealing other people’s designs and abusing their labor. You call me hypocritical, *that’s* fucking hypocritical! Christ, spare me from your followers.

  27. nattles_thing
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    There are similarities between religious belief systems and political belief systems. Often, the two are inextricably tied together. So yes, feminism and religion have a lot in common.

  28. danielle
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    But comparing people’s distaste for religion to people who are anti-feminism-I don’t think that’s valid. I see religion as something that’s used to control people, that is used much too often to excuse injustice and hatred. I don’t see feminism the same way. Feminism is more about freedom than control (unless we’re talking about a woman and her uterus). I don’t see feminism being used to justify bigotry. To me, the two are at odds. Do most people feel that way? Probably not. But that’s my view, I’m not advocating to take away the rights of religious people, and this is the view I have come to after a long time trying to find a belief system, and it never worked out, and I’m very happy with the result.

  29. dirtyrottenfeminist.wordpress.com
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    My knickers aren’t in a twist, thank you, and I fail to see how using such sexist, dismissive language helps you argue your point. If Forever 21 printing their bags with Bible verses was the only “harmless” religious evangelizing out there, than maybe I wouldn’t be aggravated. But it is one in a long line of businesses that feel the need to integrate religion, like Chick-fil-a, Hobby Lobby, and so on. And these “little” instances are all part of a bigger problem, to me which is religion in general.
    I am confused is to why you care so much about me choosing to not shop at Forever 21 because they are a Christian company. Do you work there or something? Because seriously, there is no reason for the rude and dismissive language and the assumptions made on your part.

  30. nattles_thing
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care whether or not you shop at Forever 21, and I don’t consider “knickers in a twist” to be particularly sexist.
    I do think it’s unnecessary to get as upset as you seem to be over something that harmless. Like I’ve said, there are many reasons not to shop at Forever 21 but I don’t think that’s one of them.
    Anyone with any kind of political views, particularly those that vary from the mainstream, needs to make an extra effort to understand that not everyone is the same. I also really dislike your attitude towards religion.

  31. Cicada Nymph
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    There is a lot of terrible shit in the bible. I get tired of the defense that it is “being interpreted wrong”. Do people sometimes stress certain parts and ignore others to push their own views? Yes. However, the bad shit is in there also. I don’t think religion has to be a bad thing but when you look at the time in which the bible was written and that only men wrote it, of course there is going to be sexist homophobic violent crap in there. For people who understand that and don’t take the bible literally on everything and find comfort and beauty in it, more power to them. However, don’t deny that the terrible parts are there. And don’t put bible quotes on a shopping bag. I don’t find it outrageously maddening, but when I want to read a biblical quote I will pick up the bible, go to church, etc. When I want to go shopping all I want is a shirt.

  32. M0xieHart
    Posted March 12, 2009 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Admittedly, I’ve never read the Bible all the way through. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do, especially since I eventually want to get my Master’s in English.
    But I’ve read passages and I can appreciate the translation as a beautiful piece of literature. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who take the offering your daughter to the crowd to rape in place of angels and the stoning disobediant daughters literally.
    And seriously, if I’m buying panties I *just* want panties. I don’t want a Watchtower with it.

  33. dirtyrottenfeminist.wordpress.com
    Posted March 13, 2009 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Well I guess it’s a good thing that I don’t give a damn what you think.

  34. Jeanette
    Posted March 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that handing out religious messages in what appears to be a secular clothing store is appropriate. As dirtyrottenfeminist said, no matter how subtle it is, the purpose is to convert people.
    IMO, there’s not much difference between the store printing a Christian bible verse on the bottom of their shopping bag and people standing on street corners giving out leaflets about being “saved”. But at least the people on the street corners are up front about what they are doing. The store doesn’t let you know until after you’ve spend your money there.

  35. DJ
    Posted May 13, 2009 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I just sent Forever 21 an email about this so called “plus” line. If you visit their website, check out their size chart & compare it to a real plus size store, like the Avenue or Lane Bryant. It’s a joke. Their 2x amounts to a size 16 at best. It’s hardly a “plus” in my book.
    It’s incredibly disappointing, because I see a lot of clothes I’d love to order.

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