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What Ever Happened to Plus-Size Line Pure Energy?

As fashionistas, we see the rise and fall of so many labels that play in the budget space. Just when we grow fond of a line we can get at Target or Walmart, it disappears into the fashion graveyard — along with the retailers who couldn’t make it like Wet Seal, 5-7-9 and Contempo Casuals.

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Target launches plus size line

Way back in 2009, Budget Fashionista reported on Target’s launch of plus-size line Pure Energy. The plus-size group was (and still is) under-represented in clothing retail, so it was big news to have a fun, flirty line for curvy girls available nationwide at Target.

According to the New York Times, Target tested Pure Energy in a small group of stores before rolling it out in all (then) 1,740 locations.

Here’s what we said about it then:

Target’s hopping on board the latest trend, stylish clothing for plus-size gals, with a new line from LA-based Pure Energy. We’re not sure why it’s taken so long for designers and retailers to appeal to the majority of female shoppers out there — most of us aren’t pencil thin — but Target’s new line is a sign of things to come for sure. This April, bigger women can look forward to Pure Energy tops, bottoms, dresses, and denim, designed just for them, at Target stores (and online). These items will be cheap, too, ranging from $16.99 to $29.99.

And this was official line on Pure Energy:

The Pure Energy collection features brightly colored, dip-dye and burnout tank tops, flowing floral skirts and maxi-style dresses, sophisticated nightlife pieces and a variety of in-style denim including skirts, capris and jeans.

The move made sense for Target, because — duh — plus-size ladies care as much as style as petite girls or tall girls or skinny girls.

And then Pure Energy ran out

But if you walk into a Target today, you won’t see a scrap of Pure Energy. The label is long dead and gone. So what happened? Well, we can’t say for sure, but we did have this to say about the line before it hit the shelves:

We’re not 100% sold on the new line, which includes tops with very thin, nearly see-through material, and white white shorts. We don’t guess that will be very flattering, but once the line launches later this spring and we can try it on in the dressing room, we’ll have a better idea.

Probably, Pure Energy didn’t wow Target shoppers like it should have. And it may have been the approach. Back in 2010, Pure Energy described its mission this way: Making fun, flirty, and flattering fashion available to young women size 14 and up. Pure Energy translates the latest trends into styles that compliment curvy bodies. 

I’m not sure how I feel about the “translating trends” part. But perhaps I’m reading too much into it…?

The Pure Energy timeline

Looking back now, nine years later, we can sort of reconstruct the Pure Energy timeline from what’s left of its online presence.

  • In March of 2009, Target announced the launch of the Pure Energy line.
  • In July of 2010, the Pure Energy twitter account stopped posting. The end was fairly abrupt, as the account went from posting multiple times daily to not posting at all.
  • In 2011 and 2012, the Pure Energy website remained stagnant, with no change to the images on the homepage.
  • By 2015, the website was gone and the domain was listed for sale.

Where to find Pure Energy today

Believe it or not, you can still buy Pure Energy pieces today on eBay, Thredup and Tradesy. Go searching and you’ll find fluttery tops and lots of dolman sleeves. Below are two picks currently available.

Did you shop Pure Energy at Target? Or can you share any details on why this fashion label died? Share your experience in the comments!

Pure Energy size chart?

I do get requests now and again for a Pure Energy size chart. I don’t have one — if you have one or know where to get it, drop me a note!

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Sunday 29th of March 2009

If Target is bringing clothes like the ones pictured above they can forget it.  I’d rather pay more for better looking clothes than less for the type of clothes they are showing above.  I usually shop at Lane Bryant and wish they had more competition because their lines are becoming more predictable now. Yes, they have had some plus-sizes, but now all would fit plus size women and they don’t oreder a hugh quantity.  Therefore I would usually fine a top in my size with no matching bottom or vice versa.  Then I would not buy anything at all or would search Target’s website to try and order it if it was something I really liked.

The Budget Fashionista

Wednesday 25th of March 2009

@mizwoochic touche…


Wednesday 25th of March 2009

Good to know.  I’m not liking what I see in the photo but I’ll definitely check it out. I’ve been consistently disappointed in the slim pickings (no pun…) in the stores and the way that Target’s very few plus sizes are crammed in a corner, next to maternity, crowded out by racks and racks of non-plus size sale things. It is like they don’t want the plus size dollar.

I agree with the comment below about Old Navy. They’re about to lose all my mail order business because they offer no basics and everything is baby dooll and sleeveless for spring/summer. Don’t get me started on tops with horrid banded bottoms. Hello? Plus Size? How about a nice 3/4 sleeve boatneck and a pretty tunic?


Tuesday 24th of March 2009

I applaud Target for wanting to provide their full figured customers with more choice but I’m not a fan of the clothing pictured above.  I actually think the plus size collections that Target already carries is a heck of a lot better than what’s pictured above.

Rocki White

Tuesday 24th of March 2009

That’s good for Target to expand their plus-size lines, because it is the place where I buy most of my basics—khakis and polos.

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