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Is this a 'fat tax'? Clothing chain blasted for charging extra on plus sizes

Shoppers are blasting this retailer for charging higher prices for plus-size items.
/ Source: TODAY

A popular clothing store is under fire for charging higher prices for plus-sized items.

New Look, a British fast-fashion retailer with locations around the world, is facing criticism on social media after Twitter user Sarah Doherty noticed that a plus-sized jacket at the store costs nearly twice as much as a similar, straight-sized jacket.

She posted side-by-side photos of two gray bomber jackets to demonstrate the significant difference in cost: the smaller jacket costs about $39, while the plus-size one rings in, full price, at about $72.

New Look

It’s important to note that these two jackets aren’t exactly the same, and they are “made of two different materials,” a spokesperson for New Look told TODAY Style in an email.

They also have different names on New Look’s website: the left one is called the "mink suedette faux fur collar aviator jacket," while the other is called the "curves mink faux shearling aviator jacket."

But the two jackets look pretty much identical, and a plus-sized shopper who wanted a jacket in that exact style would have no choice but to buy the more expensive one — as many people pointed out on social media.

“How dare you! £25 more because I'm fat,” one woman wrote on Twitter.

Another user said the higher price was the equivalent of charging a “fat tax” for curvier shoppers.

Not all of New Look’s plus-sized clothes cost more than their straight-sized equivalents, a search through the retailer’s website revealed. It’s often hard to draw comparisons between the plus and non-plus collections because many straight-sized items aren’t available in plus sizes, and vice versa.

But when the same exact item appears in both the straight and plus sections, the larger item often costs a few dollars more.

This burgundy flared sleeve wrap front top retails for about $24, while the identical blouse in the “Curves” category has a list price of about $26 (though it’s currently on sale for $20).

New Look

The listed price of this plus-sized, striped T-shirt is $20, compared to $17 for smaller sizes.

New Look

And this floral, satin top costs $26 for straight-sized shoppers, versus $30 for plus-size shoppers (though it’s on sale right now for $23).

New Look

These price differences may seem small, but many shoppers wonder why there’s any difference at all, especially when clothing options are already limited for curvier shoppers.

New Look declined to comment on why so many items in the curvy section are slightly more expensive than their straight-sized equivalents. A New Look spokesperson did tell TODAY Style that a cheaper, plus-size version of the smaller, gray bomber jacket could be coming in the future.

In the meantime, plus-sized shoppers wanting to rock that look may be stuck with a higher price tag.