Old Navy Is Making Some Major Changes to Its Plus-Size Section — and Honestly It Should Be the Norm

The brand is making a slew of other body-positive changes as part of its new BODEQUALITY initiative.

Old-Navy-Body-Inclusivity-Campaign-Embed-1-ON_BODEQUALITY_HERO SHOT
Photo: Courtesy of Old Navy

Shopping for clothes as a plus-size person can be exhausting. Not only can it be tricky to find trendy pieces that fit bigger bodies, but even in 2021, the plus-size section in stores may be relegated to its own secluded corner. Whether intentional or not, this could potentially make shoppers feel exiled during what should be an enjoyable experience.

And — in case you weren't aware — plus-size customers have often paid higher prices for garments than their straight-sized counterparts. (Insert eye roll here.) For example, Business Insider reported in 2019 how Target's website listed the same pair of women's wide-leg lounge pajama pants for straight and plus sizes at two different prices. The straight-sized pants cost $20 whereas the plus-sized pants cost $22 at the time.

To combat these disparities, retailer Old Navy has launched a new campaign called BODEQUALITY, which promises to promote true size-inclusivity across the brand's 1200 stores. For starters, the company has pledged to make all women's styles available in every size (0 to 30 and XS to 4X) — a transition that's been years in the making.

Courtesy of Old Navy

"We saw an opportunity to meaningfully change the women's shopping experience by making it more inclusive regardless of size," Nancy Green, President, and CEO of Old Navy said in a statement Wednesday. "BODEQUALITY is not a one-time campaign, but a full transformation of our business in service to our customers based on years of working closely with them to research their needs." (

To bring this initiative to life, Old Navy teamed up with Susan Sokoloski, M.D., a fit activist and academic expert at the University of Oregon, to reinvent its fit process and size standards. Not only did Old Navy administer body scans of 389 women to create digital avatars based on real bodies, but the brand also ran fit clinics with models in sizes 20 to 28 to revamp the way the industry scales up smaller sizes. To ensure the fit consistency of every style, Old Navy meticulously checked the body lengths of dresses, tops, and outwear, as well as denim waistband pitch and ankle tapers. (

Not only that, but as part of the new campaign, Old Navy will also stop marking up plus-size clothing, so every style comes in every size with no price difference. This is a huge pivot for the brand who found itself in hot water back in 2014 for up charging more for plus-size women's clothing. In a statement shared with the Today Show at the time, the store defended itself by saying that the higher price point reflected the "selection of unique fabrics and design elements" that go into creating plus-size clothing.

Courtesy of Old Navy

This notion of jacking up the prices for plus-size consumers isn't anything new. In fact, as plus-size fashion blogger Alysse Dalessandro Santiago told Business Insider in 2019, retailers are "charging more for those garments under the guise that, 'Okay, well, you're bigger so it takes more material.'" A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, also found that the average American woman wears size 16 to size 18, which equated to a plus-size 20.

Fast forward to today, however, and Old Navy is making even more changes that go beyond the much-needed price parity. The brand is also doing away with the dreaded plus-size section in stores, so sizes 00 to 30 will also be merged together both in stores and online. They'll also start featuring models and mannequins who are sizes 4, 12, and 18.

Finally, to make their online shopping experience more inclusive, Old Navy shoppers will also be able to select models of all different shapes and sizes to find what body type represents them the most.

Old Navy Launches BODEQUALITY - Store
Courtesy of Old Navy

Having a major retailer like Old Navy completely reimagine the plus-size shopping experience is beyond refreshing. Now let's hope that more brands follow suit.

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