A 10-year old boy wrote the Gap asking for sequin shirts — and then this happened

Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy
Contributing Writer
(Photo: Gap)

Kids are currently going crazy for tops embellished with sequins that reverse and switch up the graphic. And on a recent trip to the Gap, Sarah Tuttle’s son scoured the store in Seattle, Washington — in both the boys and girls sections — for a tee without cold-shoulder cutouts. When he came up empty, his mother tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “There was a lot of, ‘But why don’t they have this!’” 

Tuttle detailed her family’s shopping experience in a series of tweets that went viral over the weekend:

But instead of letting her 10-year-old wallow in despair over the shopping fail, she inspired him to take action. “We talked about if he was the only person who might have been affected by this,” she recalls, noting that this led him to express interest in writing a letter to the San Francisco, Calif.-based company. 

“I had hoped for it to be a lesson in working to make the world a better place by speaking up,” she shares.

In his email sent to the Gap customer service account, Zachary wrote,

“Dear Gap, When I was shopping with my sister yesterday at the Gap outlet, I saw you had a bunch of really cool reversible sequin shirts. But they all had weird cuts that were clearly meant for girls. My favorite was the tiger, but it had cutout shoulders. I looked in the boys section and saw absolutely no reversible sequin shirts. Can you please make boys reversible sequin shirts? They are really fun to slip and make designs in, and they look sparkly and spectacular.”

However, in Tuttle’s opinion, the initial experience “didn’t exactly go as planned.”

A customer service consultant named Patricia wrote back to Zachary,

“Thank you for your email regarding the really cool sequin shirts. At this time, Gap.com doesn’t offer this style in boy styles, however it’s a great idea! I am sure they would be very popular. I apologize for any disappointment this may cause. Customer comments like yours are essential to our business and I would like to thank you, and your Mom, again for reaching out. Feedback from our valued customers help provide us with a better perspective on how we might change and expand to meet your needs in the future.”

Tuttle says her son was disappointed by the reply he received from the retailer, however neither she nor Zachary were surprised. “Like, that’s an email you write because you just have to get through a list. And it seems like an easy opportunity to have a moment of good customer service, rather than indifference,” she says. 

For Tuttle, who also has a young daughter, the problem is bigger than just her son’s inability to get the latest and greatest shiny shirt. “The idea that a clothing store needs to be separated by gender just seems tired,” she says. “I think for clothes, it is especially confining for boys, men, and folks who are non-binary….I know if a boy in [my four-year old daughter’s class] showed up in a princess dress, he’d get a lot more grief than she does showing up in a superhero shirt [she got from the boy’s department].”

But it seems like Zachary’s letter — and Tuttle’s tweets — did help move the dial, at least when it comes to the fate of flippy sequin shirts.

A spokesperson for Gap tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “What’s so exciting is that beginning this week, we will have a limited offering of boys flippy tees featuring an assortment of graphics and sequin treatments in select stores that helps complement every boy’s personal style. We are planning to get in touch with Zachary today and send along a package of these special tees. At Gap, we champion individuality and empower our customers to be their most authentic self.”

And in the meantime, plenty of other stores are selling sequin shirts for boys like Zara, H&M, Mango, and more.

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