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DEAR TORRID: A love/hate letter.
Fats: TWO WHOLE CAKES
theoryofgravity wrote in fatshionista
Hi folks! Recently your mods received a missive from Torrid's newish representation on LJ, torrid_inc, asking about promotional opportunities in fatshionista. That's not going to happen, not least because we're trying to be stricter than ever with any kind of promo posting (and any flexibility on the subject historically has only been extended to support small, fat-owned and/or fat-friendly businesses). BUT, it did occur to me that this is a great opportunity to make our multitude of voices and opinions heard to a major US plus-size manufacturer, and to do so in a space and environment controlled by us, and not by some third party organizing a focus group.

So this here is an open letter to Torrid. If you've got a Torrid-related opinion, be it props or grievance, please share it in comments below. This will likely be a crazy jumble of contradictory statements from lots of people, and that's okay. Companies still listen, and as frustrated as we often are by limited or undesireable plus-size "options", this is a chance to speak up. We know Torrid's listening, so let's tell them something.

My contribution is dress-related, unsurprisingly:

Dear Torrid,

I hate your tube dresses and halters and your prints occasionally make me retch. Please bring back appropriately-sized Stop Staring! dresses, or another variety of retro-styled, well-made, predictably-fitting dresses.

Also, please learn from past mistakes and don't ever pull this shit again.

Cheers,
theoryofgravity

PS: Your cardigans are RIDICULOUSLY OVERPRICED.

Your turn.

ETA: To clarify the series of events here - Torrid emails the mods asking to do promotions in fatshionista. The mods say NO. I, individual mod, think that it might be interesting and useful for everyone involved to make a post inviting members to share their feelings about Torrid, since we now know Torrid is taking notice of goings-on in fatshionista. This big SHARING CIRCLE may even have measureable benefits for us as consumers if Torrid sees fit to take our suggestions to heart. Everybody wins.


This is not about their clothes so I hope it's OK...

Dear Torrid,

There are a lot of customers from Belgium (me included), France, The Netherlands,... who order from your site. So far we can only get the items shipped by Global Express. I know it's the only way to track the package but those packages are also taxed and in Belgium it takes A LOT of times for the customes to process them (for the moment up to 3 weeks). Could you please also offer UPS or FEDEX?

Thanks!

Valerie

true for Israel as well. $100 order, $250 in taxes!!!

Dear Torrid,

You prices are waaaay to high for the quality of your items. I don't like that I have to mend EVERY SINGLE ITEM I purchase from your store AFTER ONE WASH.

Thanks,
Chris

As a seamstress, I agree with this. The quality on some things are atrocious.

Dear Torrid:
I hate your shiny metalic screen prints, stupid "I love boys" and the like t-shirt phrases and over-priced Lane Bryant rip-offs. Please bring back old Torrid styles - I miss the Diesel dress!
Also your website is WCAG non-compliant, violating the ADA 503 compliance.
Also when did Torrid turn into a giant fuzzy pink pillow with which to smother fatties wanting alternative fashion?

No love,
Etana

stupid "I love boys"

Oh my God, YES! Make them stop!

(Deleted comment)
I look forward to member responses to this.

My only contribution would be that shipping to Australia is ridiculously expensive, therefore I won't buy from Torrid. I might have if this wasn't the case.

THIS.

I left the U.S. the same year Torrid opened its doors, so I never even heard of it until I joined this community last year. Now that I know about it, the shipping to the UK automatically pushes it out of my budget, even on their clearance items. Like spookygal wrote above, if they were to offer UPS and/or FedEx I'd be willing to bet I'd finally be able to afford to shop there, if I ever saw something I wanted bad enough.

(Deleted comment)
I'd say 170 locations in about 8 years is some pretty serious expanding. They can't just open up a million stores all at once, it's not cost effective, but I imagine they are planning to continue to expand.

ps. I agree about the quality of the clothing being low. I also cannot stand all of the synthetic fibers. Everyone seems to be being pretty negative, but I guess that's expected when you're offering feedback to a company.

(Deleted comment)
Dear Torrid --

I also would like to see more vintage-inspired dresses, skirts, and tops. I would especially like these if they did not have puffy sleeves. I mean, a puffy sleeve here and there is fine, but there's just so many of them, and I really can't do puffy sleeves any more, as I'm both too old and too busty to feel awesome in puffy sleeves. Further, I would like more things made of cotton or other natural fibers, or at least from cotton blends -- a lot of times, I find pieces I love at your stores, only to realize they're 100% synthetic. I think most of your clothes cost enough that they should be made of something that at least breathes a little. I live in a part of Texas that is both hot and humid most of the year. My capacity for synthetics is limited.

Additionally, I would buy clothes more frequently at Torrid if the clearance policy weren't so harsh. Because Torrid sizing is not 100% consistent, I can't risk ordering clearance items that I can't return, so I often don't buy items I would otherwise buy. Even if there were a limited return policy (clearance items may only be returned for merchandise, or may only be returned within 14 days), I would be much more likely to make purchases. And, I believe that your promotions could be more awesome. The discounts I receive from Lane Bryant and Avenue are much better than the discounts offered by Torrid. Lane Bryant routinely offers $25 off of a $75 purchase, and Avenue offers coupons for 25%-40% off a single item.

I will add, though, the employees at the Barton Creek store in Austin are always incredibly friendly and helpful. Gold stars for all of them.

Thanks for listening,
Carly

Further, I would like more things made of cotton or other natural fibers, or at least from cotton blends -- a lot of times, I find pieces I love at your stores, only to realize they're 100% synthetic. I think most of your clothes cost enough that they should be made of something that at least breathes a little.

THIS TIMES A MILLION. Drives me crazy.

(Deleted comment)
dear Torrid,

Shipping to australia is ridiculously expensive. I'm sure starting the postage at $40 is just your way of selling more merchandise, however the way the postage increases with additions of such things as earrings and socks to the order doesn't add up. I understand O/S postage can be difficult, but I'm happy to wait for my order to be processed and be charged an appropriate shipping price then.

bring back old torrid!!! My favourite items of clothing are pieces pre-pink. A black waitress dress (with pink trim go figure), a bowling shirt. The retro/punk lines you had going under the Torrid label were awesome!!! I pretty much don't ever order from Torrid anymore, shipping and the lack of what I consider to be alternative styling.

Also, please bring back the combat boots you had several years ago - vinyl with lacing and a zip up the side, not platform but still a bit of a chunky sole/heel. Mine have finally bitten the dust and no amount of black gaff will save them. I will make an order if they come back!

Thanks.

Dear Torrid,

Please listen to therasca1queen as she knows what she is talking about. Shipping costs to Australia suck. Bring back pre Pink Torrid. Get more retro inspired gear. Get less of the teeny bopper style crap.

Thanks

Dear Torrid,

I know it's common enough practice in the plus-size clothing industry, but people don't end at size 24. I'm just about sized out of your clothes, which makes me sad. Please make more sizes.

I like some of the current stuff, and I miss some of the old Torrid stuff, so a combination, perhaps? Alternative clothes that can be used in office-wear-type situations, as well?

Thanks,
Karen

I AM sized out of their clothes, and there are some of them I'd love to buy. Larger sizes for the win! Do it!

(Deleted comment)
Dear Torrid,

I refuse to shop in your stores or on your web site. When you first opened I was thrilled. I went to your store as soon as it opened and dropped a sizable wad of cash on several items for myself and my daughter. We were so excited to find things in our sizes that were cool and fun.

But for a while now all your merchandise has turned to crap. It is poorly made, falls apart after one wash, is WAY over-priced for what you are getting and, as my daughter said, seems to be designed to make us all look like tramps. There used to be a mix of items - things that I could wear out or to work and younger stuff for the younger set. The clothing for us older folks is completely gone and what is left is pretty awful. My 17 year old daughter should be your ideal target demographic but she refuses to wear anything from your store.

How about selling some clothes people actually WANT to wear? I know. What concept.


Dear Torrid,

Would you be interested in increasing your size range up by one or two sizes? Because I would be interested in buying clothes from you, but it's been about 7 years since I fit in a 26, and 2 years since I was able to fit into any of your tops.

Though please keep in mind that even though I would buy things, it would be sparingly because your prices are OUTRAGEOUS.

Also, many women who shop for you are no longer in high school. Please bring a more sophisticated and/or not glittery and childish line.

Dear Torrid,

Please bring back at least SOME of the retro/goth/punk styles you founded the store on. I realize that going more mainstream means you can sell to more consumers, but with going ENTIRELY mainstream, you lost what made you so great in the first place. Torrid was somewhere I could go and get fun, funky, retro styles without having to spend days and days thrifting to find something in my size, or spending hundreds of dollars to have something custom made. I miss the waitress dresses, the bowling shirts, the Tripp, the Morbid Threads. You don't have to shut that aspect off to appeal to a more mainstream customer.

My second complaint is the quality of your stuff vs the price. I am all about paying full price for something I really want, however, when I get it home, and it shrinks (unwearably so) after one dry cleaning, or falls apart, the forty bucks I paid for one top, seems a little excessive. Now, on the other hand, if you want to continue to make it shoddy, then lower the prices. I would be WAY more likely to purchase something I know isn't going to last if it's only 15 bucks.

My last point is - HAVE A SALE OR COUPONE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. NOt a "clearance sale" where all that's there to pick over is a bunch of crap no one else wanted...but a REAL sale, or a Lane Bryant / Avenue / Fashionbug / everyone else on the planet type coupon where you get say - 25 off 75, or $10 off ANY purchase, or something along those lines.

Since your stores are few and far between, most of us have to drive a ways to get to one...I would be WAY more likely to make the drive if there was a good sale, or coupon, or you just lowered your prices likE EVERY other retailer in the country is doing right now.

Sincerely,

A Cute Fat Chick who Loves to Shop!
Angyl


"Please bring back at least SOME of the retro/goth/punk styles you founded the store on."

this times A MILLION!

more Tripp, more Lipservice (!!!), more Lucky 13, etc.
I can't tell you how many compliments I get on my "pre-pink" Torrid clothes.

I will give you this: you do boots rights. thank you.

Dear Torrid,

I rarely shop in your stores or website any more. Your clothes are ridiculously overpriced for the quality. I refuse to pay $28 for a cotton t-shirt. I might pay $10 to $15, but why pay $28 when I can find cute graphic tees at Old Navy for $10, and sometimes two for $15?

If I do visit your stores or website, it's only to peruse the sales and clearance items. But with your ridiculous 'no returns' policy on clearance items and wonky sizing, I haven't bought anything in over a year. Why would I purchase a clearance item online that I can't return and doesn't fit? Why is it that I can purchase one item in a size 3 and have it fit, yet purchase another similar item in the same size and find that it's either too large or far too small?

This could be remedied by including garment sizes for each item on your website. Or, better yet, getting rid of your ridiculous no returns policy on clearance items. If I'm not mistaken, the whole point of putting items on clearance is to sell them quickly. I'm sure you'd have many more online shoppers if they were guaranteed less buyer's remorse and could return clearance items...thereby creating a larger market for clearance items and selling them more quickly. It really doesn't take a marketing degree to figure that out.

Come on, Torrid people. Use your brains. I know you have them. They're just in hiding.

With extreme dislike,
Thirties

Dear Torrid -

I completely agree with everyone who has written saying bring back pre-pink more punky/gothy/retro stuff. I wrote to Torrid when they first changed asking why and they said they didn't have many people buying that stuff. I couldn't understand that because when I joined fatshionista there were many people I saw posting OOTDs and probably more who don't post that are into those styles. I'd love to see real plus (not junior) size Stop Staring (or similarly styled) dresses.
Your prices are way too high for the quality of the product and I would like echo some posts above and say please offer more things in cotton or cotton-blend because I too, have seen something I like only to not buy it because its 100% synthetic.
Also, in regards to your pricing, I really only buy from you when you have 50% off clearance sales because to be honest, that's really all I feel your clothing is worth. Even some of the regular clearance prices are way too high for the quality of the item.

Thanks,
Sarah

Edited at 2009-05-13 02:23 pm (UTC)

If you look at my closet, my whole wardrobe was like allllll Torrid, from my dickie's work shirts to my Skeleton Sailor top. They really really pissed me off when they went all pink and preppy/slutty whatever the hell the style they are pulling off now.

I own a Stop Staring dress from there that is so beautiful I wept almost when I saw it. (or it could have been the booze)

I'm glad it's not just me.

Hi folks! Recently your mods received a missive from Torrid's newish representation on LJ, [info]torrid_inc, asking about promotional opportunities in [info]fatshionista. That's not going to happen, not least because we're trying to be stricter than ever with any kind of promo posting (and any flexibility on the subject historically has only been extended to support small, fat-owned and/or fat-friendly businesses).

Is this all "omg, you didn't support us so we're going to demonize you?"

...am I missing something?

Either you are or I am. What about the quoted passage is demonizing?

(Deleted comment)
Dear Torrid,
I often feel like I'm too damn old to shop with you. I'm only 26. Quit with the "I LIKE BOYS!" and similarly obnoxious t-shirts already. (And what about your customer base that likes girls? I'm just saying.)
No love,
Lindsey

The only time I've been in a Torrid, I felt too old, and I was 22!