A letter to Levi’s from the changing room

Dear Levi’s jeans,

My mother and I came into your store today to do some shopping, a thing that we do not do often. But today my mother wanted to treat herself and so decided to buy a pair of your famous, world celebrated jeans. We walked around looking for a style, make and quality of denim that was up to standard in my mother’s mind. She is the type of person who chooses quality over quantity. She had decided that she wanted a pair of dark blue or black  Levi’s jeans. Jeans that would last a life time. Jeans that promised to fit,  keep and hold their shape and stitching.

My mother is a hard-working woman, she runs a home and a school and in the late afternoons she works as a paramedic  and treats the elderly in our area. She carries the weight of the world in her hips. She is a big, tall, strong woman with hair that shines like the moon on the ocean, with a soft face and cool eyes that flash often with cat-like excitement. She is a woman, real in her curves and weight and place in the world. She is not a trend setter, or fashionista. She is a woman, a mother, a wife a teacher. She is a South African woman born and bred, through and through with hips and a soft belly and curves and folds, and dimples. She is a woman carrying the world.

In your Levi’s store you have sizes 28 to 34. This means that 34 is the biggest woman’s  size that you cater for. Dearest most well know Levi’s, I am a size 34. I am a fit, generally quite active, health conscious 26 year old South African woman. I do not have children or the responsibilities thereof, I do not have the weight of the world on my hips yet. I am still free of the heaviest burdens that the world has waiting for me. If my size is the biggest size that you have in your store and when I ask for bigger you point to the mens sizes or give me the customer service number, then what are you doing selling your clothing in a country where the majority of people are burdened with loads that attach themselves to bone and cover muscle. We are a big people, we are a heavy people. We are South African people. Not all of us can prance around in skinny jeans, light with weightless worries of the 1st world.

My mother hates shopping, she often has to buy men’s jeans. Is she not entitled to wear a pair of Levi’s jeans that promise to do for her what they do for me. Fit. She is entitled. You owe it to her, to women like her of a larger size, with a fuller figure and years on their hips.

She looks worried in the changing room. She is getting tired and uncomfortable. Same old story. Nothing for her that she can feel feminine in. This is not fair. This is not right. You promise to make jeans for the people, jeans for all shapes and sizes. Keep true to your words. Make jeans for my mother and mothers like her. Make jeans for women bigger than me, taller than me, heavier than me. Make jeans for South African women. You call yourself Levi’s South Africa, live up to the name you have chosen.

Thank you for your time.

Kind regards

Thola Antamu




2 thoughts on “A letter to Levi’s from the changing room

  1. This is so true! Levi’s cater for a very small percent of the market, and as this post says, they don’t put their money where their mouth is. My husband loves Levi’s jeans, in fact most of his jeans (90%) are Levi’s, but in recent years he has struggled to find the cut that he likes in the size that he wears. He is also a strong, tall, big South African man who also gets frustrated by not being able to find the jeans that he likes in your stores anymore. Maybe you should invest in the larger (pun on word) percentage of the population who don’t want to be hipsters or wear skinny jeans, or actually can’t because you don’t make them in the style or size for them to. Shooting yourself in the foot is what you are doing, nevermind the devastating impact your company has on countless people’s self-esteem because they don’t fit into what you advertise and are currently making available in your stock.
    Come on Lev’si!


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