Torrid Has Rebranded to Be Just Another Plus Size Store That Sucks

Update: June 4th, 2020 – Torrid has since rebranded since this rebrand. You be the judge.

In my desperate attempt to land a job, I had an interview with Torrid. Torrid is one of the largest, most successful plus size stores on the market. I had worked for them in high school, when Tripp and Sourpuss were their most popular brands. The brand aged with me, retiring their baggy bondage pants to make room for skinny jeans while I let my asymmetrical haircut grow out. During the years I was learning to love myself, I spent plenty of “diva style” points behind those glass doors. Torrid and I have always, pretty much, been on the same page. Zipping up my black skater skirt and adjusting my spider necklace, I was feeling like a no-brainer to rejoin my fabulous fat counterparts behind the register.

Boy… was I in for a shocker.

During the interview, I was informed that Torrid is undergoing a session of rebranding. Only, instead of “growing up with the customer,” as they claim to do, they are completely silencing their alternative style. Of course, the manager didn’t tell it to me this way. She said, “We want someone to walk into our store and see what they see on the cover magazines.” I couldn’t help but complain in my head… isn’t this what Hollister’s requirements are? Responding to the confusion on my face, she continued to explain that Torrid is “still growing up with their costumers, who are now in the professional world. They’re getting jobs and growing up.” From the subtle hints during our fake-smiled happy talk, I know that when Torrid says “growing up,” they really mean taking their alternative side down.

Even though I spit out my best proud body positive campaign key words, I knew what was coming: my purple hair didn’t stand a chance within the new version of their brand. Hot Topic may be the parent store to Torrid, but the same dress code no longer applies. When I worked at Torrid during my high school days, back in 2008, I had bright pink hair down to my waist. The manager stated that the current rules were natural hair colors only. Here I was, thinking that the times were changing and becoming more accepting! How silly of me!

Christina Schmidt, Torrid model in 2005.

The manager kept repeating that their employees have to reflect their new image. To me, it sounded like a slightly warped version of an Abercrombie and Fitch interview — “you must be fat-girl-pretty but also not stand out too much.” I even attempted talking about big girl visibility, and how important it is that “fat girls not be PLUS SIZE fashion, because that would mean they are an extension of fashion. Fat girls need to be a part of fashion as a whole. Fat girls should wear designers, crop tops, belts on their waist and tight black dresses.” I could tell that my enthusiasm for fat girl visibility made this Torrid representative wary of hiring such a vivacious employee.

It’s obvious that I’m passionate about fashion and bringing big bodies within the spotlight. Torrid is “revolutionizing” their company to be another Forever21+, except they’re going to keep charging the same boutique prices. They’ll continue to sell their “Retro Chic” line, which will probably be the closest you can get to their signature bad ass look, but buying a Retro Chic dress will have you out $80 at the least. To quote my interviewer, “that kind of expression should be left at home.”

The new “I Am Torrid” campaign is gassed by the male gaze and modern blandness. It focuses on the “sexiness” of a curvy women. As seen in the image below, most of the images from their new campaign are in greyscale. Their new costumer only stands out with sex appeal, not with high fashion. As a person, who happens to have a fat body, I can proudly admit that I am tired of being sexualized and fetishized simply for having a “curvy” figure. Not only is that word terribly vague, but a fat body is more than its curves. Curvy women are more than how “sexy” they are. Lastly, sexy is more than just a sweater with a cut out for cleavage. Sexy is a mindset and it is an emotion, and I’ll be damned if another plus size retailer tries to sell me another “buy this because it’s sexy for a fat girl” campaign. What’s next? A campaign about how black is slimming?

I don’t want to dress like every other fat girl. For the same reasons, I don’t want to dress like every skinny or mid-sized girl. I don’t want to dress like anybody. I want to cultivate my own style, and for that, I need options. People have been shopping at Torrid BECAUSE it is a Hot Topic brand. They walk through the store specifically looking for tight-fitting jeans and loud, yet classy style. Torrid is taking a giant step away from that original aesthetic, and as much as they would like to believe that they are maturing WITH their loyal customers; they are alienating them and trading them in for ones with less pizzazz.

RIP Hot Topic’s Torrid. They are now just another alternative company being washed out by plain peplum dresses and black button-up shirts. This one is dedicated to another style that us fat bodies will only be able to find online.

ALTERNATIVES TO SHOPPING AT TORRID (mostly online shops, unfortunately):

ASOS (actual perfection)

Re/Dress (run by two very lovely ladies who work very hard)

Domino Dollhouse (intelligent designer and buyer, with truly original and statement pieces)

Mod Cloth (expensive but extensive, vintage inspired)

Fashion to Figure (shield your eyes from the shape wear and it’s gold and they have real stores!)

Simply Be (options from super alternative goth vibes to pretty girl does lunch date)

58 thoughts

  1. I used to do inventory for Torrid with a large inventory company (who shall remain nameless) and I have definitely noticed this. It’s really sad, to be honest, because when I was younger, I had always thought of Torrid as an alternative to the cookie-cutter styles that plus sized young women were forced into wearing thanks to fashion’s idea of their tastes. Now it just seems to think that all they want is that. It’s good to see, however, with the rise of online retailers and independent and DIY clothiers that things are A) more available and B) varied that women are having SOMEWHAT of a variety. Of course, it’s still nowhere near what you would find otherwise and that’s a damn shame. 😦 But still, keep fucking being yourself. This was a fantastic read.

    Another point I wanted to kind of share, and I know it’s kind of on the other side of the ballfield, so to speak, but as a larger gentleman, I have noticed that the stores that we have for us, we’ve seen some issues with pricing and selection as well (Although it seems that it’s more represented than with the female clothing world, sadly). T-shirts costing $40 and pants upwards of $80 for a simple pair of jeans that fit sometimes just presses my buttons the wrong way. It’s upsetting. I think their should be a group of us larger folks that gets together and creates a storefront or group of retailers that sells larger sized garments at standard prices and works with certain brands to create larger versions of clothing designs we like. I know as a music fan, band shirts are horrible to find in larger sizes.

    1. Pricing for larger size for any type of clothing has always been a very steep climb from straight sizing. My wallet definitely complains about it on the regular. I’ve tried to follow to keep up with men’s plus styling, but that seems to be one of the only go-tos for men. I agree! This needs changing!

      1. Thats a matter of opinion sweetie.What no one wants to see is someone who cant spell,maybe you should check yourself and stop saying hateful things to people ,at least until the day comes that you’re perfect,which I dont foresee happening.

  2. Thank you for the Re/Dress shout out! It’s after 1am and we just got home from doing inventory, so yes- We do work very hard! 🙂

    Also, since you mentioned masculine styles in plus, stay tuned to our site! We’re photographing our men’s styles in two weeks! ❤

    1. I love everything you gals do and I’m working my hardest to make it back out to Cleveland to in real life visit your store front. (As I think everyone should!) I’m also really excited to see the mens collection! I also heard rumors about some other great items coming your way, which I will be 100% sure to purchase. – Ingrid

  3. Maybe I am biased, considering I work for Torrid (not corporate or anything, literally bottom of the barrel), but I don’t agree with this completely.

    Personally, I think you might have just had a bad experience. Some of the districts are far more corporate-y than others, and they are strict with their employees. 4 of my co-workers have unnatural hair colors, including 2 managers, majority of us have visible tattoos and piercings, and seeing a lot of the inventory that comes in makes me not agree with this entirely.

    Now, you do make some good points… It’s overpriced, but I can look through Domino Dollhouse’s website and find a small handful of things that are affordable that aren’t accessories. For those of us that wear jeans, Torrid is probably the best place to walk into and out of with a pair of jeans in hand. Being a size 26 myself, I appreciate the fact that I can fit into Torrid’s clothing. I can’t necessarily say the same for ASOS or ModCloth.

    Every company has it’s faults, but I truly do not understand why so many fat girls hate on Torrid so much. Just because the models are “curvy” and not fat doesn’t make it bad. Have you looked at the models on ASOS’ website? I’m sure none of them go beyond a size 12. I would love to see a size 26 model featured on any of the aforementioned sites…wearing every piece for sale. Torrid kind of paved the way for a lot of these brands. In their beginnings, they were edgy, alternative, but still classy. It still rings true. We just recently received a black and white vertical striped pencil skirt. In the “laws of fashion,” anything form fitting over the belly with stripes is a huge no-no for a fat person.

    One of my co-workers rocks a pink undercut and came in on Black Friday wearing a red and black corset with a faux-leather biker jacket and faux-leather leggings. She always dresses like that… and her entire outfit was from Torrid. She received looks of disgust and awe from men and women of all ages. Keep in mind, it’s not just young people that shop at Torrid. We have a lot of older customers, too. Not everyone can pull off a holographic skirt with a bandeau bra and a neon-blazer.

    Torrid has it’s faults, but it also has it’s strong suits… and if you look at their most recent look book, it’s entirely in color. If there’s another Torrid in your city, check it out. Just my opinion though.

    1. True, some stores have not made the cross over yet. Most of the comments on our Tumblr that have been from employees of both Hot Topic and Torrid have stated that they have seen a change within their coworkers. One comment, from user “thequeendivafarrahflawless” wrote “Hot Topic has been systematically trying to reduce the amount of heavily modified employees they have for YEARS. Having worked management for that company I was witness to internal memos in probably 2003(?) expressing the need for hiring managers to “use good judgement in hiring quality employees with an image that reflects the family nature of Hot Topic” aka they have been re-branding themselves for years to make it “friendly enough for the target audiences grandparents”. All of this was stuff i heard while i was working for them. Ultimately in certain parts of the country many employe’s were pushed out because of surgical modifications”
      You might have a more lenient regional manager who is bending the rules for the sake of everyone’s happiness, or they haven’t switched you over yet. In my region, they have actually completely closed all the Torrid’s and rebuilt them, sans flaming heart and any color on the walls. They’re beige buildings with black writing. You’re lucky. And, when I first worked at Torrid, I was too. My manager was very accepting and I had learned later that our regional manager had recommended that I dye my hair a natural color verses the pink I had walked in with. A lot of these conversations are happening behind clothes doors, but that doesn’t mean they’re not happening.

      To address the pricing point, Torrid is selling at a high corporate level with specialized boutique prices. The quality of their clothes has always been comparable to Forever21, but the only bargains you’ll find would be the clearance section on a sale day. It’s not JUST that the clothes are expensive, it’s that they’re over priced for both the quality and the kind of buyer/seller Torrid is as a company. Domino Dollhouse IS a boutique shop. They cannot buy clothing in the same kind of bulk, so their mark up is different, and their clothes are more expensive because they are more unique pieces. Same goes for Re/dress. (I will also mention that both DD and Re/dress have models on the larger side of the spectrum.)

      1. I just have to say, my grandmother used to shop at Hot Topic for her weird pierced, dyed-hair, black-bondage-pants-wearing grandchildren, and she managed to escape unharmed (and in fact got a pretty big kick out of seeing all the “colorful employees”). It’s kind of shitty that they’re trying to tone down their look.

    2. I also work for Torrid(a new one that just recently opened up in my city), and I am a sales associate that makes just above minimum wage. There are some parts of this article I agree with, but I’m more on the side of your comment.

      I think Hot Topic Inc. has changed a lot since I first started shopping at Hot Topic and Torrid. I don’t really think it’s a bad thing though. I mean, fashion trends change. No, you don’t see Tripp pants in our stores anymore, although we sell some Tripp items online. I also don’t see a lot of people wearing Tripp pants anymore. Maybe it’s because I’m not in middle school anymore, but the whole “emo” style really went OUT of style. So yeah, no one really sells corsets and mini skirts with chains anymore except online, because it’s simply not fashion forward, even for the alternative community.

      Also, I have unnatural hair and a septum piercing and I work at Torrid, which I think speaks to the idea that they don’t like to hire modified people. Even saying that it depends what part of the country you’re in… I mean, I live in the bible belt, so I feel like my situation sort of contradicts that idea. My manager encourages us to express ourselves in our fashion(body mods included!), though obviously it is preferable to be wearing Torrid because it’s easier to literally sell the clothes off your body.

      We have boutique prices because you come in and are theoretically supposed to get a boutique experience. When you walk in the store, you’re greeted and asked about your shopping motivation. Additionally, we will bring the clothes back for you, we are supposed to address you by name, and we also check up on you and ask if you need additional sizes, etc. We will also bring suggestions for you to look at and try on. I have had no such experience at department stores, and DEFINITELY not at Forever 21. I don’t even think I’ve seen the same employee more than once at Forever 21, and the ones I have sort of shy away from customers in the plus section. I’ve never even seen a plus sized employee at Forever 21. I feel that the clothing from Torrid is of pretty decent quality, and I’d say higher quality than many other places, especially the denim. I’ve never had a zipper break or button come off from our jeans, but I cannot say the same about Forever 21 jeans.

      Overall, I feel like the author probably have had a poor experience with the particular store she applied at, and I’m really sorry she feels that way. I happen to love the company I work for, even if I can’t wear underground band tees to work, I still feel like I work for one of the more liberal stores in the mall sector.

      1. I (the author of this article) worked for Torrid for over a year, and had a very different experience. All the employees, including myself, made fun of the poor quality of our clothes. People returned things constantly because of tears, rips and other problems that shouldn’t have happened with the steep price. And, even though your store might try to give a “boutique experience”, the company at large buys the clothes at more of a bulk than a boutique store could. Yet, their mark up is higher?
        If the employees/sales associates in-store are the ones holding the weight of the experience, than they should be paid according and be making more than minimum wage. I was lucky, while I was working, to receive raises for good work and based on my sales, but I never made more than $9 an hour. (and this was just a few years ago)

        I actually feel like the stores that are closer to big, fast cities might have more strict rules. The stores are closer together, so District Managers and other higher-ups visit SUPER OFTEN, and the store always had to be prepared. Even in my area, though, Torrid’s have been knocked down and built somewhere else, and all the employees have since been replaced.

        I’ve interviewed at 4 separate Torrid stores. I’ve worked at two, in two different states. Every year, their interview gets more intense, with more strict rules. This one had too many trigger words, and my interviewer had said she was being flown all over the country to open up new Torrid stores. Her numbers of already opened stores were in the teens. It’s happening, alright.

  4. In maybe 2003/2004 I went to torrid and bought some awesome things, of course I would have wanted more but being 12/13 means you rely on parents for clothes and really, they weren’t into paying the prices. It literally was a hot topic for fat girls, it was amazing. But I went by the store a few years later, and it was a completely different store already. That was probably around 2005/2006. It was really disappointing for me, and still is. I’m sure at the time they still had SOME alternative clothes but really, it was all pretty much gone, in store, at least. This being said, I was confused that this was actually a recent article (I know bitchtopia is pretty new…but still). I thought they made a change like this YEARS ago! Unless it was just my local torrid and other places had the pleasure of having alternative clothes for years later….. Hot topic has changed, too, though. Everything is not how it was, and it sucks. OF COURSE THOUGH the torrid thing sucks worse. Now i’m just typing whatever I’m thinking…I should probably stop. (this is usually how my essays for school are…they make no sense and go on and on making no sense…….)

  5. This exact same thing happened to me… in 2004. I applied at the Torrid that was about to open in my local mall, and when I got the call for an interview they told me to dress ‘as if I was coming to work’. So I came to the interview in jeans, a white tank top and a rockabilly style button down shirt from I think Lucky 13 with cherries embroidered on it. I sat across from three tall fat girls, probably in their late 20’s, all wearing gaucho pants or capris, and was told that Torrid was going through a rebranding. They said they were trying to be a ‘plus size Charlotte Russe’ (this was before Forever 21). Not only did I think I was fucked out of a job because I was completely dressed wrong, but I was also pissed because I shopped at Torrid and I liked their clothes! I didn’t want to shop in plus size Charlotte Russe!
    I still found things I liked there, but they were harder to come by. And they never fit right either. The older I got, the less I was willing to put up with that bullshit. If I was going to spend good money on clothes, they needed to at least fit.
    I don’t think I’ve bought anything in Torrid for at least 3 years.
    I’m guilt of liking clothes from Forever 21 (peter pan collars, pleated skirts, blouses with cute prints, that kind of stuff), if they’d just offer more sizes in their regular stock (don’t talk to me about their half-assed plus size line), I’d be over the moon. Give me that and H&M carrying larger sizes and I don’t think I’d complain about clothes shopping ever again.

  6. This is news? Torrid re-branded and got rid of most of its awesome punk/goth stuff years ago. That sucks that you had such a bad experience, though, and I agree that I wish Torrid would stay true to its alternative roots instead of trying to be just another Forever 21.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve found some good old-school Torrid stuff on both ebay and fatshionxchange.

  7. 1. In American English, periods and commas go inside the quotation marks: “like this.”

    2. I agree with you entirely. I’m not plus-size, but I remember when I suddenly realized that not all the large girls and women around me were dressing like frumps any more, and it was because stores were finally realizing that they wanted the same kind of selection as everyone else–and made a pretty penny doing it.

    This is like when the SciFi channel decided to misspell their name as “Syfy” because “It has come to our attention that calling ourselves a science fiction channel associates us with NERDS! GROSS!” Torrid has come to the realization that they were *gaspclutchpearls* serving people who liked alternative fashion and being sex agents rather than sex objects. Way to insult your customer base, guys.

  8. I’m really sad that this article has to exist 😦 Bye, Torrid.
    Another site with cute plus-sized clothes is 🙂

  9. I both agree and disagree with you. I think fat acceptance has to start somewhere and if that’s “sexy” then I’m ok with that for now. Change takes time. I’m just glad society is having the conversation. Regarding Torrid, I’m not sure of your age, but I think they are growing up with their customer. I’m 45 now and was one of their first. I currently work in the music industry and have to stay “current” with trends but I couldn’t shop at torrid for a few years. It became a little too young and a little too punk for someone my age. I love being back as a customer. I love that they still have edgy pieces mixed in with more sophisticated styles as well. I’m rocking a skull t-shirt with skinny jeans & a smart blazer right now. All of it came from Torrid. And yeah, I feel sexy and I’m good with that.

    1. wow ok then. Im 39 and I wear Tripp bondage pants skull leggings, punk spiked jewlry and the same stuff I loved at 18, and I have no issue with it so no one else should either. and F what is too young or old for ANYones age. I find a few things I love at Torrid, I have their credit card and have to because no one else will give me credit. I was a gutter punk for years, ruined my credit, lived on the streets, and now Ive not changed& do not want 40 yr old ppl clothes, whatever that is. If a job isnt hiring me as is, Ill go elsewhere, and I hope Torrid gets more good things again. I miss buying Tripp on credit. SO expensive. I bought a pleather vest at Torrid a yr back, wear it daily and it is quality. Not a tear not a stain. Ive covered it in spikes and not a hole stretched. Some things there are quality and still cool. I never think of myself as fat until I try buying clothes and need a 3 xl. I think of myself as normal otherwise. I have pierced septum too, and tattoos done in basements, and scars, and who cares. Not I. Growing up with customers. please. new younger ppl come along everyday, and we older ones wear the same stuff IF we stay true to ourselves.

  10. I share your frustration at probably twice your age. I used to drive to Sacramento from San Francisco to go to the ONLY Torrid store in Northern California at the time. Back then (2003ish) they had all these fantastic vintage inspired rock-a-billy styles that made me smile. Back then when you were a size 28 you were doomed to Avenue or Lane Bryant. I spent 1000’s of dollars with them over the years. Move forward 10 years and I am a size 16. Torrid is not my only choice. Actually it isn’t a choice. They don’t cater to me any longer. I am 47, tattooed and wear nothing but dresses. When they changed their bags from flames to pink, was warning sign # 1. Then the models shrank to a size 14 instead of representing a variance of sizes. Final straw: when was the last time you saw a tattooed girl in an ad? I won’t even step in a store any longer. They have lost me as a customer. I do like all the companies you mentioned, but I would like to add one to the list. Eshakti (online only) All their dresses are vintage inspired, can be customized and aren’t insanely expensive. I believe they go up to a size 32 even.

    1. I know that this is 12 years too late, but in 2003 there was a huge, beautiful Torrid in Concord at the Sun Valley Mall (tucked away in the back corner of the mall, anyway) with a very rockabilly meets Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion sort of aesthetic happening, and the girls tried so hard to deliver a boutique experience. I haven’t been in that mall since 2006 and couldn’t afford much as I was a teenager, but it was the hidden fat girl MECCA of Contra Costa County at the time. Sorry you had to drive all the way to Sac.

    2. I totally agree with you their models are all barely larges and their underwear models are skinny with no stretch marks, flab or pudge to be seen! (when those are common REAL things for plus size women). At my local torrid they don’t have employees that stand out they only have plain hair, some lip piercings on a rare occasion and are told to cover tattoos. Same with their models. The new Torrid sells fake cookie cutter and trendy rather than real beautiful and unique.

    3. Age has nothing to do with anything.All my life I had to wear frumpy,granny clothes,even when I was 12yrs.old.I grew up heavy in the 1960s and 70s and b/c of that when I found Torrid at 50yrs old,I got what I wanted b/c they finally had badass clothes in my size,I wasnt gonna let my age stop me from wearing what I had longed to all my life.Unfortunately Torrid doesnt have hardly anything cool anymore,so the search starts again.

  11. Crazy how tree years after I left, this can make me so sad. Like hearing that an Ex is still a mean bitch, trying to make others as unhappy as she is. And it really was all down hill from when she decided she wasn’t pretty enough.

    Torrid’s descent started with their loyalty program “Divastyle.” When I started writing for their website in 2006, the messaging was “be youthful and fashionable, even in a larger size.” I’ve always been big for a girl, tall and heavy (willed it into being as a child so i wouldn’t feel vulnerable), so Torrid was a fashion godsend after spending my life having to wear old lady or mens clothes (though only mens jeans offered a low rise in the 90s).

    Torrid featured styles from Tripp to Baby Phat, awesome dresses to just t-shirts and jeans. We didn’t judge attractiveness or lifestyle choices. We just said that style and a vivacious attitude look good on everybody (and every body).

    Then Divastyle came in and the company shifted to the grotesque enablement of “buy clothes to look hot so you’ll be better than everyone else and get whatever you want because you want it.”

    And it’s really all such a lie. No matter what your size, the only people who are gonna look past your body and think you’re hot (with or without clothes on) are people who care more about your personality. At least, for a time, I could spread THIS message through Torrid.

  12. I currently work at Torrid and they keep telling me to change my style and how I dress They wanted “High Fashion”, the DM of my district keeps getting in my throat for wearing clothes literally off the runways. I think I dress pretty avant garde for the most part but they just want me to dress basic. I am now currently looking for a new job in the meantime.

  13. Ok, so I’m totally late to this party but I was very intrigued by this article. I worked for Torrid for 3 years between 2008-2011 in a big Los Angeles area mall and so I feel like I had a good grasp on his things worked for my district. When I was hired, I was a typical customer who used to shop at Hot Topic as a high schooler but was now in my early 20s and was ready to move on from the punky retro looks I used to rock. I had short bleached hair with blue pieces in it, some visible tattoos and a Marilyn piercing. I was actually shopping when I was approached by the district manager to apply for a job. She just happened to be in the store all the time bc it was the closest to her home store. When I started working there, there was a good mix of employees working, ranging from the wholesome trendy blonde girl to the super rockabilly girl with full sleeves and a chest piece. The clothes reflected this as well for a while as well but as the years went on, the more hot topic style clothing started disappearing and more trendy pieces started to replace it. The clientele started to change with it. We were told that the person who had been previously buying for the company was replaced and that the tone of the store would be changing to fit a more boutique image. More trendy and more UNIVERSAL. Now, a few years later, I still talk to my old coworkers when I go in to shop, we talk about the changes for the employees that are undergoing and it basically means that they want you to look more trendy and that means no t shirts, flip flops, it anything that the store doesn’t sell, basically. For me personally, I don’t find the quality lacking, I’ve never had an issues with the clothes ripping unexpectedly or a button breaking, so for me to pay $50 or $60 for a pair of jeans is worth it to me bc I’ll have them for years vs buying a pair from forever 21+ for $25 and having them split apart from the chub rub in a month. I don’t see the changes Torrid making as a bad thing, I just see it as a more universal store that speaks to the majority of shoppers vs a minority of alternitive and edgy customers, who are still being serviced to in the online store. Hot Topic has a lot of clothes that go up 3x online as well. You can’t blame a company for wanting to maximize profits by weeding out the weak selling clothing in a flailing economy.

  14. I’m sorry but I am currently employed by Torrid and I have purple and blue hair. My manager has obviously dyed red not natural hair. This proves that your hiring manager was not appropriately representing the company. Please don’t let your personal expierence deter other people.

  15. I started working at Torrid about 3 weeks ago, and have loved them ever since I discovered them when I was 15 four years ago. Although I do respect your opinion on their “re-branding”, I do think that maybe you should try to see the other side of your argument. I am one of those girls who enjoys summer dresses with a flower headband and some cute wedges, and for a long time, there wasn’t any place for me to shop and express myself fashionably. Torrid has become that place for me. Granted, I don’t believe it’s as dark as it used to be, and that may be your preferred way of dressing, but think about all those girls who grew up watching thin girls wear what they wanted while we were told to cover up and hide what we have. To be honest, I still think Torrid has that edgy side which is still a side of the store that I don’t even really go to, but I don’t think it’s fair for you to deface their name because they don’t answer only to your likes anymore.

    1. I can sympathize with you on that but I also have to say that, as someone who likes the rock and roll tomboy edgy style, they don’t really have that anymore, I agree a nice summer dress and wedges can be cute but so can studded shorts and combat boots. They should cater to both styles equally. Not one or the other. Same with their ages group, I would love a good long maxi skirt and a cropped jean jacket, but all I am finding is clothes that my sisters would where (I am in my late teens, they are in their late 20’s early 30’s). They went from multi-aged and grungy to older and girly. They are more cookie cutter and discriminatory as well. It is just a really big shame to see.

      1. I only found Torrid about 3 years ago when I’d been to every fat store on the planet and NONE of them carried a simple black dress. Then I found Torrid and never looked back. The store I shop at has a diverse set of regular employees with their own styles, a few who are heavily tattooed etc. I love that I can get stuff there that no one else carries, including edgier stuff. The hardcore grown-up punk scene is just not big enough to support a chain of stores that only sells hardcore punk in plus sizes. I think they have a great mix for those of us who like things a bit edgier and those who are just looking for current fashion. There are plenty of pieces that would fit into a punk wardrobe.
        I think it’s the most anti-punk thing ever to complain that this giant chain store doesn’t carry your punk clothing anymore. I mean, I guess it sucks but to create a whole post about it and act like you can never set foot in there again is rather dramatic.

  16. Awww what a bummer. We already have so few alternatives. Why would they get away from something that has obviously served them so well. Bad move, Torrid. I worry about you, Torrid. Please do not become another story selling my Grandma’s drapes in the shape of a dress.

  17. Beautifully said!!!! 😄 I loved torrid when it first opened. I thought FINALLY the style i love in my size! I used to spend almost my entire check in that store. I miss the old torrid!!! I fucking hate that it’s turning into a shit store!!!

  18. I literally didn’t recognize the store after the last remodel at my local mall. It looked just like claires icing or some forever 21 inspired store, I walked right past it! Even going on their website (I can’t buy online but I can always look right?) and trying to find cute clothes that work for my style (skulls, flannel, studs, pin-up, etc.), I was only able to find a few things that fit my look. Most everything there looked hardcore lawyer style professional, boring and extremely girly (nothing wrong with girly it just isn’t my thing). Even trying to find a dress to go to my prom in is hard as everything is either super plain, too tight, or is a normal day to day dress. Just a few years back for my Freshman year dance (I am a senior now) I was able to find a knee length flowy sequined dress that fit my body well, and now? Nothing. As a plus size 17 year old it is already hard enough finding things in my size (18/20), but then to make one of my only outlets completely change their style, including the outrageous prices (my family is very low income), it just completely baffles me and leaves me struggling even more to make my style come to life. It is disappointing that in a world where we preach so much about equality, that we can’t find better ways to serve our plus size and grunge lifestyles and communities.

  19. i use to work at a local torrid in 2008-2009. In that time everyone at our new store except a few others were VERY SKINNY women working in a PLUS SIZE store . Not only did I hear about how the customers felt threatened by these skinny women running the show but they were left scratching their heads as why a plus sized store would only hire skinny women. The manager was a grade one cu next Tuesday and made it very difficult to work with her You were given minimum wage and when raises come like no more than 25cents. Around that time they completely STOPPED the diva rewards program and just let us eat dirt.
    The diva rewards were for employees that sold over $299 plus tax to get a stipend of $25 increments depending on how many big sales u got. I can tell you this company doesn’t care about the people that run it. I had a very bad experience , not only with my manager but also I was not allowed to call out at all. I was told when I had a pneumonia and a doctors note if I did not come into work I would be REPLACED.
    Needless to say everyone I worked with always commented on the steep prices & how everything falls apart before the first wash.
    If torrid wants smooth sailing from everyone involved they’re smoking crack. And their new computer system and over the phone help is a joke . People hanging up on u while on hold for longer then 30 min
    With the people on the other end sounding like they’re in a different country. This would not surprise me as child labor is dirt cheap compared to America . If you believe your employer cares anything about u, u are mistaken. You are a number to corporate & you can be replaced very easily , so all the people saying they disagree , are either managers in disguise or people that are so programmed and easy to manipulate . I always wanted to work for hot topic as a kid. Working for their sister corp made me very unhappy. I was working my ass off while the key holders would talk and chat about everything under the sun and then be in the back on their phone.
    Find somewhere else to work torrid and hot topic suck badly

  20. I realize I’m waaaaaay behind on this, but am just now learning about this and am MASSIVELY disappointed. Your blog was the first to pop up when I Googled, “When did Torrid turn lame?” I was a larger girl through high school and college. I lost lingered around the 10-12s for a decade but have recently gained weight and am back to the size I was then. I was really looking forward to going there to try to find something cute but funky to wear out, so I went to the website to see what is in season. I kept checking to make sure I was in the right place.

    So, now that Torrid sucks, where CAN big girls get fun clothes? Just online? What a fucking joke that is…..I HATE buying clothes online. For me, and I imagine for most women, especially us bigger ones, you have to try clothes on before you buy….and when you order online, the sizes are all screwed up or don’t match what their charts say and even if they are your right size that doesn’t mean they look good or fall in the right places… can’t just hang them back up when they don’t fit either. You have to ship ’em back and hope the next size up or down will work, wait another week, so on and so forth. I’m sure you all know the horrors of buying clothes online.


  21. I was hired and promoted three times (currently a Store Manager) with purple hair.

    The brand is definitely more mainstream than it used to be, but there are still plenty of skulls everywhere and a lot of gorgeous gothic inspired items. The website carries Tripp items and shipping to a store is free.

  22. I have been shopping at torrid for years as well. Options used to be so limited if you wanted something without a skull on it. They wouldn’t have changed their brand if it wasn’t lucrative. I now drop some serious money there because I won’t buy anything with a skull on it. This customer is overjoyed they made the change. I find the clothes are cut better for a wider customer base as well, IMO. Also, FYI, I typically fit in size2 and AM a true plus size woman.

  23. Well…. Your loss is my gain I guess. In early 2000, the big fat me, then about 30+ year old couldn’t wear the toy things for little emo girls sold in Hot Topic/Torrid any more than I could wear those animal rubber bands for bracelets. I was no longer a little girl, you see. Fast forward to 2016/2017 and the stuff they sell is fun and interesting but grown up enough to where the now 50 year old me can actually wear much of it. I get to satisfy my geek side and yet still pass for an adult. Those amazing Doctor Who sweaters with every bit a grown up pattern – oh my! Terrified that a 50 year old wears the clothes from the store you thought was yours? Muahahahaaaahaaaahaaaa too bad for you. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am quite fond of Asos/SimpleBe and especially Modcloth (who knows what Walmart’s acquisition will do to them), but I sure love the new Torrid.

  24. I’m happy torrid has re-branded itself, I would have never worn trip pants and a Jack Skelington t shirt when i was in high school, or even now for that matter, torrid was just another successful goth store that i couldn’t shop at because i liked girly, feminine clothing. Which narrowed my choices of places to shop even more. I’m so happy that they sell my kind of clothing now, and from what i can tell they are still pretty punk in some ways, just not as out there and over the top goth like they used to be. in my opinion that’s a good thing, i haven’t seen someone dress like the old torrid style since maybe 2008. it was smart of them to evolve, the vast majority of young 20 somethings wear the style they sell nowadays. Torrid is my favorite store to shop at, it is now my go-to.

    1. Torrid didn’t need to re-brand – they had their Lovesick stores for those styles up till this Spring when they chose to close them down “temporarily” and further flower up Torrid.

  25. I loved this article! Came across it through google. Thanks for the alternatives at the bottom 🙂 it’d be nice to see an update on alternatives to torrid:)

  26. Oh no!! Thanks for your alternatives I will be checking them out.. torrid won’t get a dime from me

  27. Tomorrow, it will have been literally 6 years since this article was written. I came here to inform everyone that Torrid isnt JUST now frilly as f*ck, but they’ve now also gotten rid of their Torrid Insider Perks for everyone who doesn’t have their credit card or spend $200 a year. I used to be able to get 3 $10 rewards per year- For my Anniversary as an insider, my birthday month, and for the holidays, I think. It’s Cyber Monday today and I have no rewards at all. I last was able to get a sweater with said rewards last May. That’s it. I no longer have any incentive to shop with them. It was fun while it lasted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s