Charming Charlie Plus Size Collection Fail


I have been a fan of Charming Charlie since the beginning. I remember walking into a store for the first time, and being overwhelmed by the assortment of handbags, jewelry, and other accessories that they sold there. And all sorted by color. It was almost too much to handle, I had to leave empty-handed and come back more prepared for the shopping heaven that I found. True Story.

It quickly became my number one place to shop. Whenever I needed a new pair of earrings, off to Charming Charlie I went. Whenever I needed a new handbag, you’d find me in Charming Charlie, trying to pick which style and color I should purchase the bag in.

I’m still obsessed with the rose-gold handbag I purchased last season, and I get compliments on it where ever I go. And, I know this might sound ridiculous, when people ask me where I purchased my earrings, or necklace, or bag, I feel a sense of pride when I say, “Charming Charlie.” People who are unfamiliar with this brand are always surprised to find great quality products for such low costs.

As you can probably tell, I am beyond obsessed with Charming Charlie. However, it hasn’t been all butterfly and rainbows. Notice, I haven’t mentioned anything about their clothing. Not because I don’t think they’re cute…because they are. Charming Charlie is great for keeping up with the latest fashion trends and styles. The only problem was, they didn’t have them available for me. Their clothes only went up to a size XL, which for me, as a plus size woman, was not going to work. Bummer right? Although not too happy about this, I was able to push past the fact that Charming Charlie would not be my go-to destination for clothing. They still had other amazing products that I could choose from.

Imagine my excitement when it was announced that Charming Charlie would now be selling plus sizes! I literally screamed and did a happy dance. Finally! Finally Charming Charlie would be there for me, just as I have been for them all these years. Finally I can walk into a store, and shop for a new outfit, head to toe, without having to make stop elsewhere for a dress in my size.

First thing I did was visit their website to view their plus size collection. And I liked what I saw…especially the Garden Cross Cold Shoulder top, super cute! I was a little disappointed that there were only 23 plus size items, compared to the 195 standard size items available. But hey, it’s still new right?

Well, that disappointment turned into devastation. While leaving the door to visit my local Charming Charlie store, my mom stopped me. She asked, “are you sure its not online only?” My heart literally dropped. No! While browsing the website, there was no mention of their plus size collection being online only. Plus, the brand who’s mission statement is to, “help every woman, everywhere, find her fabulous,” should now have their plus size collection in all their stores. Right?

Wrong! After speaking to their customer services chat online, I was told that their plus size collection was only available in “some stores,” and that I need to inquire with the store directly to find out their availability. So that’s what I did, I called my local store to see if they had the collection.

The person I spoke to seemed completely oblivious. She stated that there had been no mention of their plus size collection being available in their store, and she had no idea if or when they would come at all.

At this point I was really starting to become disheartened. It felt like Charming Charlie was starting to let me down. But I still held on to the possibility that maybe it was just this specific store that didn’t have the plus size collection available.

So I decided to call their corporate customer service line. The person I spoke to was very friendly, but she too seemed very aloof to whether or not their plus size collection was sold in stores. With some trepidation, her response to my question was, “Yes. Our plus size collection is sold online and in stores.” I wanted to make sure that I understood her correctly. I asked if they were available in all stores…, to which her answer was, “Yes. It is sold online and in all stores.” This completely contradicted what I was told when calling my local store…so who was wrong, retail or corporate? By this point, not only am I extremely disappointed, I’m starting to feel the whiplash — are they sold in stores or not!? On a mission, I decide to call all the stores in my area, asking them all the same question: do you sell your new plus size collection in your store, and if not, when? They all answered the same way: No. We do not sell plus sizes. No idea if we ever will.

Now I’m mad. How could there be this big of a miscommunication? I’ve had 3 different sources (from Charming Charlie), give me 3 different answers. Again, disheartened, and maybe a little mad, I called Charming Charlie’s corporate customer service line yet again, this time speaking to a different person. I asked him the same question, “is your plus size collection available in stores, or online only?” Again, he had no clue of the answer, if fact, I was placed on hold while he took a minute to search for the answer. Finally, I received a response that made more sense. “No, Charming Charlie’s Plus Size Collection is not sold in stores anywhere, it is online only.” It should not have been so difficult for me to find this answer. Again, it is not listed anywhere on their website that plus sizes are available online only.

I know there will be those reading this, asking why am I so upset? Stores didn’t have plus sizes before, nothing has changed. Here’s what changed, my expectations. Before, I expected not to find plus sizes in their stores, because plus sizes weren’t available at all. I just nodded my head and moved on. Once Charming Charlie announced this new collection, my expectations changed. Another reason this bothered me is because I am a woman of my word. What I say, I mean. And I expect the same from others. Especially brands who say their main mission is to “help every woman, everywhere, find her fabulous.” Every woman, everywhere! Although this mission statement sounds great, it is flawed, because it’s not true. Charming Charlie does not help every woman, everywhere. I am a woman just like any other. I deserve to find my fabulous just like everyone else. If Charming Charlie is going to continue to sell plus sizes, I expect them to hold true to their word. Make plus sizes available to every woman, in every store…and not just online.

By no means am I now anti-Charming Charlie. No, again, I love their products, and I will recommend them to anyone looking for a new pair of earrings. However, I now realize, that Charming Charlie is not there for me, as I am for them. They do not wear me with pride, as I do for them. I hope this will change. Until then, I will continue browsing through their selection of handbags and jewelry, yet with a heavy heart know that this is yet another brand who doesn’t value me as a paying customer.

Click below if you agree:

We believe in you @CharmingCharlie ! We want you to do better, because we DESERVE better! #PlusSize #ccstyle Click To Tweet


Maya is owner of Pink Caboodle, specializing in Fashion and Body Positivity.

  1. Girl I totally feel your frustration! The worst thing is not getting a straight forward answer. And though things are changing in the industry for plus size some retailers just aren’t representing us even if they say they are. It is disheartening. I’m struggling with a local boutique who wanted to have clothes for ALL women but have seriously slacked on that front. Here’s to a perfect world where we can all shop wherever, in store or online, for all the same trendy pieces!

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