Old Navy's BODEQUALITY Launch Is Erasing the Divide Between Straight and "Plus" Sizing

If you’ve ever shopped at a store in person or online (sooo, that’s pretty much everybody?!), it’s apparent that many shoppers are left out when it comes to finding clothes for all bodies. Even if customers looking for larger sizes do find something, many times, it’s in a totally different section, leading to a feeling of exclusion and alienation. Well, Old Navy heard this feedback loud and clear, and with all the info the retailer gathered, it announced on Wednesday a new, better way forward called BODEQUALITY.

What does this mean exactly? Though Old Navy previously offered plus sizing, starting on August 20, all clothing will be available in a wider range of sizes (0-30 and XS-4X) and will be sold at the same. Exact. Price. This is major because many stores don’t offer the same styles in plus or extended sizes that they do for straight sizes. And if they do, the pieces can be more expensive, which just further alienates and excludes people just wanting to buy a cute new floral dress or comfortable jeans that they deserve!

“The average size woman in America is a 16 or 18, and more than half of women wear plus sizes,” said Alison Partridge Stickney, Head of Women’s and Maternity Merchandising at Old Navy. “And yet, all you have to do is go to your local mall or shop on your favorite sites to realize they don’t have nearly the choice that say a woman that’s a size six or a medium can can shop from.”

Stickney says the goal of BODEQUALITY was turning a frustrating, dismal shopping experience to one filled with joy and feelings of inclusion. (Also, SNL favorite and Shrill actress Aidy Bryant will be starring in a television campaign on Aug. 20 announcing the new initiative, FYI.)

The in-store experience is getting a makeover as well so that sizes 0-28 will be merchandised together, and the mannequins will also be featured in sizes four, 12, and 18. Online, the site is doing away with the separation of “women’s” and “women’s plus” webpages, instead combining its offerings into one section that includes sizes 00-30. Users will also be able to toggle between models in sizes four, 12, and 18 so they can better see how items will fit on themselves.

“We want all women to see themselves in the mannequins and in the marketing imagery,” says Emily Bibik, BODEQUALITY Customer Lead. “That way every time they walk by an Old Navy or go to Old Navy.com, it’s not just I know I’ll be able to find my size, it’s I feel like this brand represents who I am. And that’s really important.”

And just because Old Navy has expanded and reimagined its sizing doesn’t mean the fit is compromised. In preparation, the team behind the BODEQUALITY launch ran fit clinics, interviewed hundreds of women to listen to their concerns and suggestions, and used body scanning technology that would help them ensure that all the clothing would be consistent in quality.

The key takeaway though, is that it’s not necessarily a “launch” but more of a permanent redesign. “It’s not a month, it’s not a season,” says Stickney. “This is the way we will be from this day forward. But we hope it’s more than that; we hope it actually starts a bit of a revolution in the industry.”

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