(Thinkstock) Manatee gray
In 2013, as far as we're concerned, the industry division between "straight" size (that's what they call sizes 0-14) and "plus" size (size 14+) in womenswear is pretty arbitrary—with the average American woman's dress size hovering around a 14, we'd be pretty hard-pressed to tell half the country, to their faces, that they belong in a specialty clothing section. After all, shouldn't the primary purpose of clothes be to, you know, clothe the customer? And not just make her feel labeled extraordinary by calling her "plus" every time she has to buy a T-shirt or something?
That said, sometimes clothing manufacturers go even further—and whether intentional or unintentional, this sort of thing happens with some frequency, we can't imagine how it manages to pass inspection.
The latest fiasco happened on the internet this week, when it was revealed that the same exact "Mossimo Women's Kimono Maxi" dress at Target—which comes in an array of colors—had different names for the grays. The "straight" size gray maxi dress was called "heather gray" and the "plus" size gray maxi dress was called—wait for it—"manatee gray." Yes, manatee, as in the giant (adorable) herbivorous mammal that are sometimes called sea cows.
Target shopper Susan Clemens tweeted the evidence:
For their part, Target calls this color scheme naming a complete oversight and claims that manatee gray is a colorway that's used in loads of other Target product ranges.
"We apologize for any discomfort this might have caused and are working to update the name of the dress to reflect Dark Heather Gray," a Target spokesperson said. "This was an unfortunate oversight and we'll take it into consideration moving forward."