On Elastic Waistbands: Why Mango’s New Plus Size Line Is Disappointing

Mango, I’m extremely disappointed in you. I have never in my life yelled at a retailer like this! I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you!
Back in December, the brand announced a soon-to-be-launched plus size line they dubbed Violeta. The teaser image — featuring a very sexy Robyn Lawley, shot from behind in a gorgeous black dress — got our hopes up for great things. Fashion Gone Rogue recently posted the first look book images. It started out so well and then…
Is that an elastic f*$king waistband?!
Listen, I understand that plenty of straight size “jeggings” (god I hate that word) feature elastic waistbands. I understand they’re a necessary evil for some pants of that nature. But listen to me, Mango — and look at me when I’m talking to you, please! — no woman, plus size or otherwise, wants to show off the elastic waist
And yet, there it is! Styled with a paisley button-down tucked in, puckered, sad elastic waistband and all. Mango, my friends: That is a Lane Bryant look if I have ever seen one. And I used to work at Lane Bryant, so I can say that with authority.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with Lane Bryant, per se (it’s where “Real women shop!” or something), it’s just that Lane Bryant already exists. The whole reason plus size women got excited about the idea of a line launched by Mango is because they wanted something more stylish, more trend-driven than what’s on offer at the local shopping mall.
And that, Mango, is what it boils down to: I’ve been to your store. I’m not saying everything in there is a gem, but some of my favorite special occasion dresses are from you. Joan Smalls once complimented me while I was wearing one, and that means something. What Violeta currently offers (you can see all of it here, but fair warning, it’s in Turkish) is nothing close to those pieces that excited me so much in Mango’s straight sizes.
In the end, this all doesn’t matter that much, since Violeta won’t be available in the U.S. just yet. But what is the point of launching a plus size line if you’re just going to offer the same shapeless shift dresses and elastic f*$king waist-banded crap as everyone else?
If retailers plan on getting serious about offering plus size clothing, they need to stop throwing some baggy-ass T-shirts and boot-cut jeans into a corner and calling it a triumph. Maybe it’s harder to cut things correctly for plus-sized bodies, but I think it’s also pretty difficult to replicate those perfectly constructed crop tops from Balenciaga, and that hasn’t seemed to stop brands (a-hem) from trying.
So it’s a no from me, Mango. Hop back to that drawing board, maybe take a better look at that original image, and get back to us when you’ve got something better to offer.

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