But Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, a charity that raises awareness about obesity, said it was reasonable to charge more money for larger clothing.
“People should pay for the material/time required to manufacture sizes,” he said in an email. He added that many smaller people “felt they should have discounts and asked why they should subsidize” people who wear bigger sizes. “A Size 10 should pay for a Size 10.”
Ms. Wassell said that when she contacted New Look — which is owned by the investment company Brait SE and has 393 stores in the United Kingdom — to ask about the different prices, she was told that while “some products appear similar, they may be slightly different.”
However, the company said in a statement to The New York Times on Wednesday that it was reviewing the pricing structure of its plus-size collection “in a way which works best for our customers and our business.”
In one New Look store in South London, most shoppers said they wouldn’t have noticed the price differences if they hadn’t been highlighted in the news media.
“It’s not a huge price difference, but I guess it’s about the principle,” said Madeline Moll, who said she used to shop from the plus-size section when she was larger. “Dressing in bigger sizes can be a sensitive issue for women. It’s almost like the shops are trying to make a point by putting up the price. It’s like they are saying, ‘Lose some weight, love.’ And that’s just mean.”
New Look is not the only retailer to come under fire for pricing clothes according to size. In 2014, Old Navy was criticized for charging higher prices for plus-size clothing for women, but not for men.