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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,
Like many others have expressed already, I would love to see more of the things you carried when you first opened. Your 'Edge' section consists mainly of corset tops (which I love) and strappy pants. It should incorporate more styles, like dresses, cardigans, etc. that are more alternative, not just flat out weird. Sticking a skull on something does not make me want to buy it. Nor does draping a chain on a sleeve.

I would also like to see more simple items. For example, the only black skirt that is plain in the pencil skirt. Almost all your other skirts have some sort of embellishment or pleat or ruffle. Sometimes I just want a plain piece. And at a reasonable price. I mostly shop with gift cards now since most of your items are so overpriced.

Lastly, I do love the concept of your store and will continue to support it. I just hope you take into consideration all your customers needs and wants.

Thank you,

Dear Torrid,

I am generally happy with the clothing I have purchased at your store. I personally would not continue to shop at Torrid if you returned to the pre-pink offerings as that is not my style, but I do wish pre-pink quality clothing could be incorporated so as to accommodate different needs.

I appreciate the fact that you carry jeans in short inseams, please carry more! I am happy to pay more for on trend, good quality clothing. I must echo the need for more natural fibers and structured pieces. Overall, please improve quality and be more on trend and I will give you more of my $.

so this is where all the requests are coming from.


I have never bought anything from your store, and honestly, I don't plan to anytime soon. A combination of shoddy quality (more cotton, please) plus waaaaaay too high prices doesn't really give me any incentive to give you my money. Your stuff also isn't my style at all, and I wish you would look into selling more classy, elegant things as opposed to pre-teen junk that rarely looks good on anyone older than 15.

Edited at 2009-05-13 08:32 pm (UTC)

P.S. Torrid...

I know that the low rise, and super low rise are going by the wayside...and in come the "Classic", "mid" and "high" rises, but there are still those of us out there who NEED low and super low rise.

I don't ask for much, but carry at least one brand, even one I can at least get on line, that is LOW, not "labeled as low, but really mid" like your "Torrid" brand low rise jeans are.

You used to carry the Dickies low rise boot cut...which are jeans cut from Gods themselves. You discontinued them.

Then you brought in the Cavaricci low rise boot cut, which came in a close 2nd...I own FIVE PAIR...paid full price...Now, all you have is the Torrid low rise, which really aren't low...more like mid rise...and the fabric is all wrong. HATE them.

Please, bring my Dickies back. I miss them. I NEED them!

fyi Dickies inseam denim are coming back this summer!!

Dear Torrid,

I would love to shop in your store more. However, there are a few things I'd like to see:

1) More shirts with longer sleeves. Even 3/4 sleeves would be nice. Cap sleeves and me don't get along.

2) Longer skirts. Not talking about ankle length, but take some of those adorable plaid and pin striped skirts and make them knee length or a touch longer. The ones you currently stock are WAY too short.


Dear Torrid,

I have a nice shopping budget that will grow exponentially over the next few years. It currently allows me to shop at places ranging from DEB to Saks and everywhere in between. I like nice clothes and I like fun clothes and I demand value. I long ago dismissed you as a regular vendor. I’m 30 years old and am far too old for anything that you make. I want to look hip and professional- and like I care about my appearance. Your ‘professional’ clothing looks cheap and young and your ‘trendy’ pieces fall apart instantly. Anything truly great sells out quickly in your stores and shopping online leads to great disappointment—poor sizing, costly shipping, an annoyingly slow website, and a draconian return policy for clearance items make it a pointless and infuriating experience.

I don’t expect a $10 shirt bought on your clearance rack to last me for 5 years. However, I do expect it to last through a washing. When I purchased a vest in the fall, it lasted 4 wearings before 2 buttons popped off (and I wore it unbuttoned). Your underwire bra lasted a dozen wearings before the underwire popped out (and I hand washed it). Your button-down shirt came apart at the seams around the shoulder- a place that doesn’t even get stretched.

I love Torrid clothing but I will continue to shop for it at places like Fatshionista and eBay, places where I can find the high-quality, all ages clothing that you were once known for. I will pay for quality and fashion- I just want the opportunity to do so.

Until then, I will continue to shop at places that value my business. I’ll go to Nordstrom, Svoboda, and my local boutiques to find beautifully-fitting denim. I’ll head to department and specialty stores for fun bras in my size that are made to last. I’ll visit Saks and even Old Navy to find dresses that are fun, flirty, and of a quality that is expected for the price. I will shop through European, Canadian, Australian, and any other countries’ stores to find the pieces that I lust for. You give me great ideas but I will not give you any more of my money.

This is not my $.02 but, rather, my platinum card speaking.


Dear Torrid,

I wish you were still "Hot Topic for fat chicks" like you used to be with funky goth, industrial, and rockabilly clothes. I wish you didn't sell thin, shapeless t-shirts that 1) don't hide the BRA that most fat gals need to wear for comfort, and 2) make us look like we're wearing sacks. I wish that instead of carrying all empire waist/babydoll/dropped waist items, you would carry SOME of those things for the apple-shaped gals, and SOME things that actually emphasize the waist for more hourglass-shaped gals. I wish your basics weren't priced at $50 or more so I have to wait for 1/2 off sales and hope a piece I want doesn't sell out in my size. I wish you didn't rely on the colors hot pink and teal and grey for so may seasonal lines because the 80s were ugly back then and they're ugly now.

I wish I could still get plus-sized Illig skirts from you. I wish I could get Stop Staring dresses from you. I wish I could get the kind of bad-assed jewelery you used to carry instead of things that look like the Claire's clearance rack. I wish I could get plus-sized striped tights and thigh-highs for fat legs. I wish I could get underpants that don't have cute shit all over them and remind me of stuff that is in my mom's rag bag from when I was 9. I wish I could get really awesome, functional garter belts.

I wish I could get a well-curated range of things that aren't just shapeless knockoffs of whatever is in Forever 21. Knock off someone interesting at least - what about plus-sized knockoffs of Anthropologie?

I wish I didn't have to mend most of your cardigans and shrugs under the arm after one or two washings. I wish your dresses had sleeves. I wish the quality of your materials matched your price point, or vice versa.

I wish I could get a bikini from you that was not a "tankini" but an actual bikini, with an underwire bra top sized for cups above B/C. I wish I could get bikinis that mimicked some of the cool styles that Target has, for example, but sized for my body (their 2X tops have no underwire and are a B cup so my boobs pop out under the band.)

I would like to spend a lot of money with you. I wish there was something I wanted to spend money on more often.

Oh: and I hate the "Divastyle" program. I hate that it re-sets once a year. I hate that, last time I did a web order, I went through all kinds of gyrations trying to get your website to recognize my Divastyle account number (including having to finally phone for help), only to find that apparently one of my shopping trips a few months previously had not been credited to my "Divastyle account" and thus I did not get that big ol' 5% discount. I discussed this concern with the customer service rep on the phone who told me that in order to get credit, I'd have to mail in my receipts and then wait 2-4 weeks for a response... by which time the order I was about to place would probably be half sold out. What's wrong with collecting stamps like Hot Topic does, or sending me coupons like Lane Bryant does?

Hey Torrid!

You used to have amazing clothes, and I used to to order all the time. Being in Canada, that wasn't cheap, but it was worth it! Your stuff was edgy and alternative and nothing like the ugly polyester garbage that was available everywhere else. I have some great stuff from 6 to 10 years ago. Most notably Tripp, Junkfood, and other clothes, some 97% cotton underwear, and Anarchic shoes. Most all of which are still in great condition.

What happened?

The last time I shopped in your store you had nothing much I liked. I tried a bunch of stuff on, most of it was badly made, and overpriced. Of the things I did buy - a shirt and some underwear, the shirt started to fall apart as soon as I wore it - the underwear is still great though... So keep going with that, but could it not be $13/pair???

Go back to being great, alternative, and interesting, please!!!!

Torrid why don't you have a store in NYC? There are lots of fatties here - we support several independently owned fattie stores, why not your big ass chain one. Seriously. Open in NYC.

Also why does your website take forever to load anything?

(Deleted comment)
Also, if you mimic what Anthropologie stores have, I would never shop anywhere else. This is not a lie.

Dear Torrid,

I'd like to see some classic and retro pieces in your stores and online. I also want pieces that are trendy but not trashy. Like Urban Outfitters, H&M, Anthropologie, Forever21. I want things like that, made in my size for a plus-sized body. I don't want bright, overly patterned one shoulder bare shirts that scream "I have low self esteem and are overcompensating".

I used to go to your store and spend $200 on one trip. Some stuff for my mom and some stuff for me. Now I can barely spend any money at your store because it just isn't cute anymore.

And about your prices -- I'm OK with investing a good chunk of change in something that is quality. I'm also okay with spending a small amount of money on a trendy piece that will fall apart. You need to start by creating a high price section and a low price section.

In the high price section, you can keep your premium denim, dresses, well-made blouses, things made of anything but polyester.

In the low price section, you can polyester it up if you want. You want it to look good still, but we aren't concerned with it lasting a long time. Trendy pieces that people will buy because Torrid will have a monopoly on the market. There is no Forever21 plus-size equivalent. Look how excited everyone was for Faith21 -- but it didn't really pan out. The sizes only went up to a 16 and the items fit oddly.

Also your return policy is ridiculous. Your clearance items aren't cheap enough for me to risk buying online and not being able to return them. Either make them CHEAP, cheap enough that I can afford to donate it to charity if it doesn't fit, or make them returnable. It's just that simple.


Dear Torrid,

~Shipping to Canada is wayyyy too expensive even if I buy tons of clearance items. $40 minimum? That's disgusting!
~I, too, experience the wonky sizing. 3x fits me in one shirt and then hangs off me in another. Fix that.
~If you notice the same ol' thing not selling in the clearance, maybe consider bringing the price WAYYY down and it might get snatched up.
~Please get bigger sizes in your jeans. SuperSized Fatties 26+ wanna wear jeans too, ya'know?
~Better Quality clothes pls!!!!! I can't express that enough.
~Less crazy neon colors/spandex/glitter and more casual but cute clothes that can withstand more than 1 wash.
~I think you should specify which shirts are made for fatties with HUGE boobs and which are made for us normal or smaller chested girls. I'm not 16 anymore and I don't get cheap thrills from flashing everyone when I lean over.
Thanks for reading,

Dear Torrid,

Just because I'm large doesn't mean I like to show off my chest. I feel like too much of what you, and other plus-size retailers, carry is extremely low cut. Some people like to dress both modestly and stylishly.

- Me, again.

playboy merchandise? i mean, really?!