While Ann Taylor isn't on my top retail list anyway (I was resigned to buying boots from them in the past since no one else seemed to sell non-ugly, extended calf boots under $150. Now, more brands have realized that larger-calved women aren't necessarily obese and have deemed these boots worth carrying) I still take issue over their decision to stop carrying size 16 in stores. I no longer wear a size 16 so this doesn't even affect me directly, but citing "low demand" is utter bullshit.
Size 16 is the worst. Size14 sucks too because it's plus and regular at the same time but at least it's generally available at regular chains (not 10-and-under boutiques) while plus size stores really cater to the 18+ crowd. 16s don't comfortably belong to either. And you're made to feel like a freak because J. Crew, Banana Republic and the like won't sell it in their stores but concede to peddling it online. J. Crew is cruel enough to have a special separate (but not equal) section just for Size 16. Seriously? Can you imagine size 0 being segregated from the rest of the clothes? Not in store where it might taint the normal merchandise, but online where no one can see you shop.
I hate non-cited statistics (I work with data all day–sourcing, people) like 70% of American women are size 12 or larger because it's kind of depressing (though less stupid than the constant insistence that Marilyn Monroe was a 14, that's delusional. The woman would probably be a (still too beefy for some) 6 or 8 by today's standards. We need Snopes to disprove this nonsense. Oh dang, they already did). How could it possibly be good for business to neglect over half of the population by refusing to sell what they wear?
This isn't couture, no fear of diluting the brand with frumpkins, it's Ann freakin' Taylor. Have you seen the average office lady?
In other news, Forever 21 has gone the other direction and just launched a plus-size line called Faith 21. Really, it’s three extra sizes: XL, 1X and 2X. Granted, a Forever 21 XL like an M anyplace else.
Image from Teri's Paper Doll Scans