This is just a small selection of Avenue’s upcoming fall lines. While the company clears over 100 stores from the nation, it is still going online. Oddly, I’ve purchased from Avenue.com more than once, but my only experience with the walk-in store was for its closing sale. All going out of business situations are strange, but the Minnesotan experience especially so, as evidently other stores that closed earlier then sent their remaining stock to the remaining Minnesota location.
The size 26 and size 28 jeans DO NOT fit me. In Old Navy, I’m roughly a 24, and in Lane Bryant, a solid 28. Avenue is always a stab in the dark. I’m actually completely unclear on whose body those jeans were meant to fit – certainly not mine. There was also a lot of winter gear, some last season looks, and a few comfy/cute shirts. I ended up putting back almost as much as I picked up – I had walked in only needing shoes. Predictably, the shoes were picked over, in part because they are and always have been Avenue’s best offering, in much the same way that Lane Bryant’s best offering is its bras.
Most of what I picked up involved tunics and loose shirts – nothing that I really associated with the smooth professional look that draws me onto the Avenue online looks. It has taught me two things, as I did see things in the store that repulsed me that I had admired online:
- Avenue desperately needs to start using actual plus size women as their models. The market supports this practice – despite claims otherwise, clothing really does sell better when modeled on women who look like their own target market. If it doesn’t sell better, it’s because THE CLOTHING LOOKS BAD.
- They also need to start talking up their shoe shop – they offer super wide widths and have gotten women normally excluded from the ranks of the calf boot included. This is a strength. Play to it.
I’m unclear whether Avenue is wholly a catalog only business now, or if they still have some retail locations open. If they are doing retail somewhere, I strongly encourage fellow fatshionistas to post pictures of themselves in their actual clothing – there was so much good, but so much bad, and it took a lot of work to sort through that I wouldn’t have to do if the company actually used plus-size women as models.
Oh, and as a blogger that runs a specialized search engine – QUIT USING BLACKHAT SEO! It’s really obnoxious the number of times Avenue has popped up first on a search I did, only for it to lead… nowhere. To an item that wasn’t there. That’s obnoxious and reflects poorly on the company.