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DEAR TORRID: A love/hate letter.
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.



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.

Dear Torrid,

I am a 28 year old with a good job. I spend lots of money on clothing, but I do not spend it at Torrid anymore. These are the reasons:

1) I am offended by your divaStyle Rewards program. Where most stores offer a free rewards system, Torrid asks for an initial investment to qualify to become a "diva". A "diva" receives a 5% discount. Considering that Torrid and Lane Bryant share a similar price point, I am saddened that you do not also share a similar attitude towards "coupons" and rewards. I am more likely to become a loyal customer at a company that seems to actually want my business.

divaStyle aside, I was visiting the site today and saw a "Dresses for $19.99!" proclamation. I clicked on the link, and there were two dresses listed.

2) As others have mentioned, I don't want to wear clothes that are essentially made of plastic.

3) Every single time I have ordered from Torrid, something has been removed from my cart after checkout. I realize that inventory (particularly during 50% off clearance sales) is difficult to control, but I can't help be skeptical of a company that cannot deliver what I have ordered, and may not bother to tell me about.

I appreciate you reading through all of these complaints/requests. I will be interested to see if our voices are heard.



Dear Torrid,

What happened to your fatter fat models...you know, the ones with bellies who I used to relate to? (I weigh ~300lbs) They weren't as fat as me, but they were fatter than any other "plus models" for popular clothing lines. You never put them in jeans, but I let that slide. In fact, seeing those hot fat models in hot fatshions is what reminded me that fat and fashion weren't mutually exclusive...and that a RETAILER recognized this. Not so much anymore. Even when I couldn't wear Torrid anymore, I still browsed for the fashion and to see hot fat girls near my size represent. I still had hope for Torrid then.

Also, promotion of your company using weight loss challenges/competitions is UNACCEPTABLE. See: http://www.bigfatblog.com/torrid-and-mtv-youve-got-such-pretty-face and http://community.livejournal.com/fatshionista/2806453.html

Dear Torrid,

I am a 17-year-old girl who weighs about 260 pounds and wears a size 20 or your size 2. My bra size is 44A. I would desperately love if you would research or do whatever you need to do to figure out how to properly fit fat girls who wear an A and make bras for them that are cute. This is seriously the only thing I want out of the fatshion world. I just want to wear a bra that fits and does not cost a million dollars. If you could do this, I would probably buy everything you had, since you would be the only place. This is a good opportunity for you!

Actually that said...you know very well that you have the corner on the fat teen girl market. I would love to be able to buy from you more often, but you've got to know that your prices are insane. Please, don't abuse your position as the only place for fat teen girls. I love that you have bigger bracelets and shoes, please keep that up and I will keep buying.

to sum up:
bras with A-cups that fit
prices that are less crazy

Thank you very much. (:
Lauren S.

P.S. I like all the neon stuff, 80's kind of thing, etc etc crazy things with leopard print. Please don't take them away. I'm a teenager, that's what I want to wear. I can't find it anywhere else in big sizes.


fire your buyer(s) & your website designer(s).


Quite often on Fridays, you will see sales posts labeled Pre-Pink Torrid. As in, before you switched from being plus size Hot Topic to a pink trendy place. Those items sell like woah. There is a reason for this.

I still own several of your original cotton spandex t-shirts that I got when you first opened. The quality was great, really thick and stretchy. Bring back high-quality t-shirts cut to fit plus size women. The "plus size" tops available through Hot Topic occasionally, really don't suffice.

Instead of modeling your styles after hoochie stores like Rainbow, consider being the plus sized H&M. Twilight teens and career women BOTH shop there because their clothes are actually well-styled and relatively hip. Just get with it. And consider some better manufacturing houses if you're going to keep your prices at this level.

I would happily buy it if it were there...

Dear Torrid,

Remember that time that I bought a pair of boots from you for $60, and then there were holes straight through the sole and in the heel in less than two weeks of wear? And remember how, after that, I called your customer service department and was told that this was NORMAL?!

Clearly, this shows that you aware of the extremely poor quality of your clothes and shoes. Why, then, would I ever even think to consider Torrid when weighing my purchasing decisions? I can say for sure that I will never ever ever buy a pair of shoes from you all again. And, like most people, I would also never buy a garment of yours at full price because the quality is so consistently orrific.

Here's to hoping that you care enough about the success of your business to take some of our suggestions to heart.


Dear Torrid,

I've been a customer since the pre-pink days and I am still a customer now. However, I have a lot of issues about your items/service now than ever before.

1. I love dresses, I really do, but I agree with everyone here about the lack of sleeves. Although I am scared that if you add sleeves you'll add another $10 to a $54 dress. If that is the case, forget it then.

2. Speaking of prices, I think you get the message: EVERYTHING YOU SELL IS OVERPRICED! Just in case you didn't read 99% of the comments in here.

3. Your return policy is absolutely ridiculous. WTF??? Can't you just let us return things via USPS like any normal online store?! I've actually stopped myself from buying stuff from you online because of this, and 9 times out of 10 your sizing is screwed up anyway...

4. The clearance items cannot be returned policy is also a joke.

5. I want feedback ratings option on your website. I hope that isn't too much to ask.

6. I understand you also cater to the "young" ones, but please think of your early customers when you just started, they're not gonna wear that new shit anymore. We've done the 80's and 90's, I don't want to do it again!

7. Your shrugs, boleros and cardigans shouldn't be $40, ok?

8. And yes, MORE SIZES UP TO 30/32!

Overall, I would buy more things from you if it weren't for the reasons I stated above.

The good things are the following:

1. I like your bra, the plunge one. It gives good support and seems durable so far.

2. I've never been to a Torrid with rude sales people. So that's a plus.

Dear Torrid,

Look, I understand why you're all neon and weird (someone's got to appease those teens!), but can you have more than one general style available? I don't miss the goth stuff, but that's because I can't stand to wear it anymore. But I truly miss the more retro dresses. Why can't you make a full on 1950's dress with a more modern print? I don't miss the cherry prints everywhere, but I miss the silhouettes found in the 20s-60s and I wish you'd bring them back.

I really think you'd get the biggest bang for your buck if you went more towards the H&M route. Though they have the neon nonsense, they also have clothes that older/more conservative/more fashion forward ladies like. And they stop at an undersized 16 in all of the stores around me. They use natural fibers and revamp older silhouettes! You can do it too!

Also, your pricing is ridiculous. For serious. I'm not going to pay nearly $70 for a dress made out of polyester when I can get almost the EXAAAACT same dress at Old Navy, in cotton, for $20-$30. Are you on glue? Why would I spend that much on something that has historically proven itself to be sized strangely that's in a lesser quality fabric? And because I have family in the industry, I can make a decent guess on how much your real cost per item is, and your profit margin is insane and just annoys me.

And please, can you use better materials? Though the denim pencil skirt I purchased a year ago is still amazing, its black cousin ripped on it's first outing. Have you ever worked an 8 hour shift with safety pins holding your skirt together to hide your vag? It isn't fun. And you can solve that problem by reinforcing the back seam!

Wishing you stopped with the tube tops/dresses,

PS-The ladies at the Irvine Spectrum store were very, very nice to me and one of them even complimented me on my Anthropologie hoodie. Please give them cookies.

The ladies at the Spectrum store are AMAZING. I've been to the Torrid in Westminster mall, and it was a very meh experience. But the ones at Spectrum have always been helpful!

My biggest gripe is the pricing. I ONLY buy from Torrid when stuff is on clearance. Even when I was making beacoup bucks in my corporate job I couldn't afford half the stuff there. Now that I'm out of work I can only lust after choice items hoping they go on clearance or better yet eBay!
My only other gripe is the inconsistency of the sizing. I can generally grab 5 tops all sized 4 and get 5 different fit/results. Boo!

I don't think I can say anything that hasn't already been said.

Here are my gripes:

Too expensive. I almost always have to shop the 50% clearance sales, because I can't afford it otherwise. And by this time, almost everything cute in a size 4 is gone.

PLEASE add more sleeves to your clothing. PLEASE.

Less halters! I've got giant boobs and anything with a halter just doesn't work!

Coupon program! I just got a coupon for $25 off $100 purchase, awesome- do more of that!

Cardigans should never have hook and eye closures!!! I've seen this on several of your styles and it just does not work.

I know Torrid tries to follow the trends [maybe] but I feel like a lot of the time they just end up failing.

dear torrid
bring back some more of the gothy edge clothing. i miss then. colors and retro and "stylish" are all good and dandy but some of still like to be hot and goth :) more skirts , less jeans!!! lower prices would be nice too since alot of us cant afford 50 dollars for a shirt.

Dear Torrid:

Just a small example of how you're super over priced
Capri Leggings for $6

Torrid Capri Leggings for $20

While I realize that Forever21 does not cater to those outside of your smaller sizes, the fact remains that given the option of buying a pair of black leggings, which are all prety much the same, despite what Lindsay Lohan may want you to believe... yours are significantly more. For a piece of black lycra/spandex. I mean, really. It doesn't cost that much to make them.

Seriously Torrid, seriously.

Dear Torrid,

1. Please sell more long sleeved options. Especially cardigans. Also, perhaps in colors other than grey, black, and brown? Maybe a nice yellow or green? Oh, and lower the price, too. I don't like paying $44 for ONE cardigan. Or, do the whole BOGO free thing more often. That's when I bought my cardigans previously, and I love them.

2. Your clothes are insanely overpriced. $24 for a basic camisole? Don't get me wrong, I like your camisoles, but dear lord, not for $24!

3. I love bright, obnoxious colors; however, I'm also a 17-year-old girl that just enjoys color. Please cater to those who don't like horribly bright colors on everything, too.

4. The DivaStyle discount is nice, but maybe you could raise the discount a little?

5. I'd love your Malia heel in those colors with a rounded toe. Pointed toes just don't work for me.

6. More casual dresses that don't cost $60! Also, more cotton.

7. Bigger sizes for the bigger fatshionistas among us.

8. It'd be nicer if your stores weren't so crowded, aisle wise. Whose genius idea was it to make the aisles smaller than most of your customers?



And when I say $24, I mean $16 camisoles. The tanks are $24. Still, insanely overpriced.

I agree about the tube and halter dresses. They are awful. Big women like me have boobs that require a bra (bras that, by the way, your store doesn't carry) and I can't wear a bra with a tube or halter top. Or, I can, but it will look trashy. What's wrong with simple and cute dresses that have real straps or sleeves? I've seen them in the past, would love to see them again.

I would also love to see more pants in petite lengths. I have NEVER bought pants at Torrid because ALL of them are too long.

And one more thing...
I've been trying to get a job at Torrid for a while now. I'm convinced you don't hire girls over a size 18. Of all my friends who have also applied, the only ones who got any luck even getting an interview were all size 18 and under. Us death fats shop there too, we should be able to work there as well. I'm particularly talking about the Antioch, CA Torrid.

And so I'm not completely negative, I will say I LOVE your 1/2 off clearance sale. In all honesty, it's the only time I can even afford to shop there. So more 1/2 off clearance sales!!

I've seen girls of all sizes working at Torrid. I am a size 24/26 and I was hired at Torrid and worked there for a time. It may be that the people in charge of hiring at that particular store may do things differently, or maybe your friends just didn't have the style and attitude or experience that they wanted.