It's shocking how limited the plus-size formal selection is at Nordstrom

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

Imagine going to a major department store to look for a gown for homecoming only to find like five options. That was the sad reality for a 17-year-old in Brea, Calif.

Sofia went to Nordstrom, assuming a chain store would have a large selection in her size, but she was sorely disappointed when she saw only a handful of plus-size gowns in the formalwear department.

She expressed her dismay on Twitter. “[I]t’s unfortunate that a big brand like Nordstrom’s plus size formal dress section is this small compared to ‘regular’ sizes,” Sofia captioned two photos. In one photo, you can see an entire floor of formal dresses. In the other, she focuses on a rack of about 10 dresses, in, at most, five different styles.

“I was so upset because I wanted to get a dress for my homecoming and I obviously couldn’t find one I liked,” Sofia tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

The company responded to Sofia’s post, saying, “We’re sorry you’re disappointed. We’d like to help connect you with the store manager, can you let us know which location you visited?”

In an additional statement to Yahoo, Holly Thrasher, Nordstrom’s VP and divisional merchandise manager for women’s apparel, says, “We have varying levels of formalwear in plus sizes in our stores.” However, she added, “We know there’s an opportunity to have a more robust plus-size formalwear selection in some of our stores.” She pointed out that it’s contingent on who’s shopping and when. “It depends most on customer demand and time of year. We’re working on it!” Thrasher promised.

Nordstrom has mad a major effort to expand the sizes it has available in stores across the country. Last month, the company launched an initiative to encourage the designers it sells to offer more sizes. “Nordstrom is asking its customers’ favorite brands to fill the gaps in sizing and expand their size ranges by adding more zeros, 2’s, 14’s, 16’s and 18’s,” a press release read.

Nordstrom has seen success in its denim department through this year. And, with the opening of a new store in Century City, Calif., it’s making a lot of changes to be more size-inclusive. “Mannequins in varying sizes — rather the typical size 2 – will bring the story to life to create what the retailer hopes is a more inclusive shopping experience in the denim department of its newest store,” the statement added. And that’s not all. “For Spring 2018, the initiative will evolve even further with extended sizes from a total of 60 brands and inclusive sizing in-store experiences in 15 stores. The retailer is not eliminating its existing plus-size or petite departments; rather it is working toward filling the gaps in sizes and integrating all sizes together on the selling floor.”

Clearly, there’s still work to be done — but it’s a start.

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