Abercrombie & Fitch, get ready for another hailstorm aimed your way.
After being lambasted for refusing to stock larger sizes for women in their stores (and apologizing not once, but twice) and getting flak for CEO Mike Jeffries' inflammatory comments about who should shop in A&F stores, the American retailer is again being called out for a huge fumble.
Former Abercrombie employee Kjerstin Gruys wrote in Salon that she had to force herself to diet to fit into the company's clothes at work:
"I squeezed myself into the second-largest A&F women's size available — an 8 — and dieted to stay that size. It terrified me to know that if I gained weight and sized out of their women's clothes, I'd have to wear ill-fitting men's T-shirts and sweatshirts to work every day, as I'd seen other 'large' women do."
Gruys, who is now a sociologist, says that clothing retailers should end size inflation or "vanity sizing" - where retailers lower the labeled size of clothes without changing the measurements.
"Thus, this year’s size 8 may fit like last year’s size 10. Consumers presume (and retailers often affirm) that this is done to appease female customers’ size-conscious egos" she Gruys.
Jezebel notes that many clothing retailers, not just Abercrombrie & Fitch, ask their employees to "dress on brand," meaning they have to wear clothes purchased from the store.
"Just as J.Crew wants its employees to sport their quirky prep look and Aeropostale nudges their male staffers to don puka shell necklaces, A&F wanted everyone to wear the brand, from the store floors all the way up to corporate. The only catch? Abercrombie & Fitch is designed for (thin and pretty) preteens and high schoolers."
It remains to be seen if Abercrombie will start selling sizes XL and XXL for women but if they want to help boost their plummeting sales, they should reconsider their current stock.