New Look has been called out for selling similar items in its ‘curves’ and standard lines, that carry very different prices.
Twitter user Sarah Doherty shared photos of a grey aviator jacket with faux fur detailing, which is available in sizes 6-18 and is priced at £29.99, and a similar grey aviator jacket from the curves collection (sizes 18-32) priced at £54.99.
“This is colloquially known in the plus-size blogging world as a ‘fat tax’,” Doherty told HuffPost UK.
“So many brands think they’re being progressive by providing the same clothes for both their straight and plus-size collections, but then whack an extra charge on it, which undoes anything even remotely positive in their original intention.”
The two jackets are not identical, the smaller ‘Mink Suedette Faux Fur Collar Aviator Jacket’ is made from polyester and modacrylic with “a soft suedette finish”, while the ‘Curves Mink Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket’ is 100% polyester with “a soft faux shearling finish”.
But according to Doherty these differences don’t make up for the fact that someone in the curves size range does not have the option of purchasing the cheaper version.
What’s more, people who fit into the shop’s standard sizing (6-18) have the option of buying a ‘Mink Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket’ at £49.99 – that’s £5 cheaper than the original price of the curves version and it’s available in a variety of colours – an option not available in the plus-size range.
Doherty said the price disparity between clothes aimed at the plus-size market and those for ‘straight’ sizes is something she has frequently come up against, even in shops with plus-size ranges.
“If you’re over a size 20,” she adds. “There’s essentially nowhere to get something cheap in the same way people smaller can that could nip into Primark or H&M and be guaranteed to find something that doesn’t break the bank.”
Doherty says that “brands know you have very constrained options and they definitely take advantage of it.”
Naturally, Twitter was up in arms about this.
A New Look spokesperson told HuffPost UK they would not be commenting on the matter.
But Doherty hopes that by speaking up about issues such as this consumers can help drive the change.
“It would be great to see this changed and for there to be more options out there,” she said.