It’s with a distinct sense of loss that I’ve seen Fashion Bug shutting down stores in major markets in my area. First, it was in Frogtown in Saint Paul – I can’t blame them. Frogtown had to make life rough. Then it was in Seward, and again, I can’t blame them. I’m moving out of Seward for some of the same reasons that the store closed down, most likely – the neighborhood has many problems that makes it an unsafe location for a women-focused retail business. I can only guess as to other Fashion Bug locations around the country, especially since their target market seems to be one tax bracket down from Lane Bryant.
Sadly, the last year or so had pushed me away from FB despite its longstanding status as a favorite plus stop of mine. There is the dreaded splashy print, of course, but last year the stores I walked into had an abundance of the equally dreaded tiny-print: you know, the kind that great great grandma wore when she could no longer distinguish her preferences in wallpaper from her preferences in clothing? Yeah, that kind. All over the place. So on my last run ever to the Seward, Minneapolis store, I snagged a fabulous silky tank and pin-striped pants…that I have yet to have occasion to wear. I’m totally making up an occasion this week, dammit.
I’m sad, but it looks like the business nationally is sticking around – which is great news for me, since they’re still my first choice for plus size jeans.
I don’t know why the Zana-Di brand goes so undiscussed on other fashion blogs; I suspect that it’s because of Fashion Bug’s slightly out-of-sight status for those in the middle-to-upper-middle class markets. If you’ve passed one by and you’re hunting for jeans, it’s worth the risk and time to stop in. FB was arguably the first plus clothier to go past size 26 in its offerings (up to a 34) and while I don’t always like what it offers – it seems to be aging its offerings with its core market a little bit – there is always an air of respect for the customer and a careful attunement to what customers actually want to buy, rather than a push of dubious trends free of consideration for multiple body types.
Also, I don’t know if it’s a ringing endorsement, but the only clothing I’ve ever had stolen by someone not related to me was a pair of Zana Di chop pocket jeans – right out of the dryer in my apartment complex. While my bets are on the kleptomaniacal schizophrenic that lived on the 4th floor, there’s also a reasonable chance it was one of the many female neighbors that had admired the jeans while I wore them.