Back story: (Skip this if you know what's what) This past summer I walked into a Target store and lost my shit over a gorgeous collection of clothing by Tara Jarmon. Lovely boutique like clothing from Target's GO International collection. However, the plus sized section was still filled with Teflon oxfords, pants with too much crotch cloth and other womanly wide fashion sins. I left deflated and pissed, came home and wrote Ticked at Target. A blog called Slave to Target picked up on the article and sent more than 2,000 readers my way. Most of which were feeling much the same way about Target's sad sack plus clothing.
Amazingly, Target's plus sized buyers contacted me! And one of these lovely employees sent me a batch of samples, then another batch after I requested some different sizes, to give a test run. I've been dreading writing up the review because the buyer has been so darned nice I don't want to ruin the good vibes with my smartass mouth. But here goes...
I opened the package up with a group of girlfriends, all of us ranging from just on the fringe of plus sized to well into the curvy way. Here's what we thought.
Ok, you're getting there Target. We've moved away from granny pants and golf shirts and for that we thank you. Everything that you sent our way to check out was wearable and current. Trendy enough that we felt you recognized that just because our booties bounced we didn't need bedazzled tee shirts. But, while the clothing was cute there weren't enough aaahs, ooohs and ohmygods as we see in the regular gals GO International stuff. We want what you gave, but more of the unique boutique stuff to mix in with it as well.
Target mentioned that they had been working on the plus gals fit. We noticed this in two distinct areas. Firstly, they seemed to be going with a junior plus sized fit. Slightly smaller but with more of a fitted look. Carol normally wears a regular 16/18 and she found the 18W jeans fit her perfectly. Secondly, there is a vast improvement in overall tailoring. Buh bye oddly placed breast darts, hello nicely curved tee shirt collars.
Trend: Again, we felt that all of these were trendy enough to make us feel like we were current. We know this because it took us awhile to figure out how to wear a tunic top (low slung belt) and we couldn't figure out if one of the items was a top or a dress (it was an extra long top). But once we had it down and wore it out, we got lots of compliments and felt like we got pulled out of our fashion ruts.
What They Sent
Nailed this one! The fabric was light and drapey. Not stiff and bulky. There were no sidesaddle pockets or awkwardly jutting back pockets. The color was an evenly faded gray with no odd bleach marks. Perfect. We hold out hope that some nice funky vintage fitted tees in our size will be going with these pants.
U-Neck and Booby Scrunch Shirts
The jury was split on these. We had a hard time getting past the fabric to be honest. It was a thinner clingy jersey and anyone with back fat knows this ain't your friend. We figured out that if we wore a cami under the U-neck it took away from the cling nicely. When we washed this shirt it shrunk up in length and became not a tunic but an extra long tee. The other shirt had that odd booby gathering that is supposed to mimic the Pamela Anderson my lovely breasts are causing the buttons to pop open look. It was lame and unflattering.
(This looks far cuter in person than in this picture) This had us confused, till we realized we needed to make like SNL's Gap Girls and cinch it. If you gain weight in your tummy this would rock out over some skinny jeans. But for those of us that were hippy it took some figure'n to wear this one. The big butt samplers decided they liked it best worn over a straight short skirt. We liked it!
Target sent a pair of bootcut and a pair of "skinny" jeans. The fit was very nice on both. The bootcut flared out where it was supposed to and the jeans were worn in enough that they had a nice drape. But we would call the "skinny" jeans, just plain old straightcut. What we all decided was awful were the bleach effects. The jeans have these horizontal bleach marks right under the tummy. Like someone came up behind you and wiped their bleachy fingers across your groin area. This is bad Target. This looks like our fatness has rubbed off the dye where the jeans crease. There were also some odd vertical bleach striping that was obvious, fake and random. So good job on fit, bad job on fading.
Lastly, the pockets. We were split on this one. For some the retro stitching brought back memories of Jordache jeans and Junior High. For others it was like a neon sign pointing towards our tushies. The request was for you to check out Blue Cult's butt lifter jeans and note the monochromatic stitching (still with a retro feel) and flattering back pockets. Can we have a plus sized version? Also, Walmart seems to be getting a flattering fit with their plus sized Faded Glory brand. For the love of God don't copy their overdone embellishments. But the fit seems to work on all of us.
So thank you Target for updating your basics. Nice to have some foundation clothing that doesn't look like it should be worn by a 70's Sears catalog model. Not in love with the smaller sized fitting, but do like that the stuff is actually fitted to our bodies better. And try to keep us awake by sneaking in a few boutique pieces now and again. Thanks for the freebies! I'm also open to reviewing a twin sized quilt for my son, any kitchen appliances and size 4 diapers. Keep on keeping on.
(PS - Don't forget to comment on any Mom O Matic story up until this Friday. Include your size, and write your email in the blogger box and I'll pick some folks to share the Target booty with.)