Ah Veterans Day, the day where the masses pay homage to the sacrifice of American service members by way of free breakfast, half-off appetizers, discounts, oil changes, and oil massages. It’s the one time of year you, as a veteran, can throw caution to the wind.
While most choose to spend this day gorging on free food, Fabletics, the workout gear retailer launched by actress Kate Hudson, was betting that veterans would use their hard-earned money on yoga pants — but only applied the deal to those with the XY chromosome.
That’s right. Fabletics offered a 15 percent discount applicable only to male veterans, who we all know live and breathe for the fresh feel of a brand new pair of ass-sculpting yoga pants. The marketing gaffe was reminiscent of 1947. You know, the year before President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act into law.
Lisa Smith, an Air Force veteran, contacted the customer service chat function on the Fabletics website for clarification on the inexplicable deal. Instead, she was met with the underwhelming response that the “promo is only for men.”
“Diana,” the Fabletics rep, followed up with a note saying, “Yes I know it’s a big problem. I’m noting this concern of yours so that they will know not only men serve in the military.”
A Fabletics representative subsequently contacted Military Times to clarify the miscommunication that was conveyed.
“At Fabletics, we passionately stand behind our military. Whether you currently serve, or are a proud veteran: thank you,” the company wrote in an Instagram post. "The Fabletics community is built on a core principle: we take care of each other. And that principle means even more when it comes to taking care of members of the military — especially the many brave women in service who deserve a greater spotlight.
“Since 2015, we have offered a store discount to all active military and veterans. This discount is offered to all, in every branch of our military, regardless of gender. It deeply pains us to have learned a few of our representatives misunderstood our Military Discount policy, and miscommunicated our policy to a group of customers.”
The company also extended a note directly to Lisa Smith, thanking her for “not only making us aware of the situation, but also for providing an invaluable point of view.”
“To our military community: we will 100% ensure our discount is as accessible as possible. ... In the meantime, all military personnel are eligible for our discount in our 50+ stores across the U.S.”
Prior to the company-issued correction, I checked in with Marine Corps veteran and Observation Post editor J.D. Simkins just to erase any doubt about the common knowledge of women in uniform in the year of our lord 2020.
SS: First off, as both a veteran and a man, what’s your general stance on yoga pants?
JDS: As a fan of comfort, I’m fully supportive of anyone’s decision to wear them. However, I can say with certainty I’ve never purchased a pair for myself due to my perpetually inadequate leg build. It’s become obvious to me at this point in my life that no matter how many leg days I incorporate, I’m doomed to wander this planet with mediocre legs.
SS: There are a lot of camouflage options out there. Is there a pair that tickles your fancy?
JDS: I don’t think I want anything to tickle my fancy, but if I had to choose, I’d go with whatever best blends my stature into the surrounding environment.
SS: Do you think all demographics support the idea that women veterans would want 15 percent off yoga pants?
JDS: It’s honestly incredible how botched this promotion was. Did they intentionally set it up that way because they knew men would be the last to purchase them? So, the company loses no money while still getting to slap on a vet-friendly label? Who knows? It’s like a butcher shop offering a discount on meats, but only to members of PETA. Up the discount to 30 percent for women, apologize, and call it day.
SS: Moreover, do female vets even like discounts, or is it just men?
JDS: I don’t want to be friends with anyone who doesn’t like a good discount.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.
Jon Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.