Fashion Advice: Where has all the Plus Size Gone?

Dear Budget Fashionista,

What’s happening to large size fashion?  It’s becoming harder and harder to find “nice” brands of large size clothes, particularly at a bargain. Is this a trend? The new, West Coast “flagship” Bloomingdale’s opened in downtown San Francisco with NO women sizes above 14!  And the 14s are few and far between.  What’s the rationale?

 

Answer:

The shrinking size of plus size departments at your favorite stores has to do both with money and the “image” the store is trying to project. I’ve been told by “plus size experts” that, and I quote, “plus size women don’t like to spend any money on their clothes”.  Whether this is true or not is debatable, but what I do know is that many stores want to compete for the younger audience that worships starving celebs like Nicole Ritchie and feel that having stylish plus size collections would deter this customer from shopping at the store.  Therefore, many stores have not only removed or limited their plus size sections, but also their petite and Misses sections as well. Bloomingdales flag ship store in Manhattan, recently consolidated it’s contemporary (cheaper) misses collection to one floor- when it used to be spread among two and increased the size of it’s YES collection focusing on teens.

Another important thing to remember is that lines rarely diffuse down- meaning lines rarely start at the low priced budget level and then try to do a higher end line. Think of the most successful, budget friendly designer lines- Isaac Mizrahi at Target, H&M designers collections, Go International- all of them started off as very pricey high end collections.  The issue is, according to my friends in the fashion business,  that in order to have the fabulous budget plus size discount collections, you have to first support the higher end collections. These friends have a whole list of plus size lines that failed because plus size fashionistas didn’t go and buy them.  For example, DKNY had a wonderful plus size line that was carried at Bloomingdales and Saks, that no longer exists for many reasons, one being that it didn’t sell until it was on sale. Now, I think this is bit one sided because I also know that the stores put $0 marketing dollars behind their plus size departments (like they do their petite departments).

So what does this mean for the bargain plus size fashionista? Well.. if department stores aren’t buying the collections (for whatever reason), then there’s no overstock or left over pieces from a season to put on sale/clearance, and no deals to get.  Which is sad cause they’re some truly fabulous, albeit expensive, plus size designers out there like Monifc, Elena Miro, and Kiyonna, who should be carried in department stores nationwide.

My main advice would be to do what the petite size sisters did when Saks chucked it’s petite department- they got organized, wrote letters, and most importantly, when the department got reinstated, they went in and spent their money.  The latter is the most important thing. There’s also stores like Marianne’s, Ashley Stewart, and even Lane Bryant– which are great for budget weekend wear, but not the best quality.

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Comments

  1. says

    Although you may laugh at the HSN (Home Shopping Network) and the QVCs on your cable box, but they offer a wide array of plus-size clothing from casual to black tie. You can find high-end designers offering plus-sie clothing at reasonable prices. For example HSN (HSN.com) offers clothing by designers like Randolph Duke, ABS by Allen Schwartz, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Seven7 Jeans. QVC offers designers Alice Roi, Bradley Bayou, Dana Buchman, Pamela Dennis, and Marc Bouwer. Check them out!

  2. plus size supermodel says

    as a plus size model I would agree, the choices are very limited. I model for a more “mature” brand which I would never wear since I am only 27! Many designers think you are a sloppy fashionless sack or a menopausal granny if you shop plus size. Me, I am a very tall, muscular healthy woman, drawing attention wherever I go.

    wake up and smell the real women!

  3. jj says

    I think that there is a trend to push a lot of “special” sizes out of the stores in favor of turning over a lot of inexpesively made of-the-moment fashion.  I’m often surprised at the lack of quality in high priced department store goods and the speed at which they cycle from full price to the sale racks.  This trend seems to be pulling stores away from offering well fitting goods to those of us who fall outside standard sizing.

  4. Mandy says

    I’m not plus size myself, but my mother is, and so I am very familiar with the hassles of trying to find good quality, affordable AND stylish plus-size clothing.  Christmas shopping for my Mom was a nightmare—everything I could find was dowdy and unattractive.  My mom gets depressed when she goes shopping and all she sees are “granny-like” clothes.  She walks out of the store with the attitude that she’s not worth nice, stylish clothes.  If only there were more options that would help plus-size ladies feel more confident about themselves.

  5. TBF says

    FYI- torrid, which is great, isn’t a considered a “mid-priced” retailer, but more of a down market retailer. A mid priced retailer/brand would be more like Elisabeth by Liz Claiborne, Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren

  6. TBF says

    Again, and I’m by no means saying they’re right, in retail it’s virtually impossible to have a low end line without the higher end counterpart coming first. Pretty much all of Target’s major brands Mossimo, IM, etc started out as higher-end brands. If there are no higher end plus size brands, then there are no lower end brands.

    As far as the product placement, again, they want the younger audience…..

    I understand both sides of the debate

  7. Lizzie J. says

    You have to be very creative if you’re a plus size fashionista. Quality is the big difference. Because Lane Bryant can not compare to Dana Buchman. Lane Bryant is my staple, but I’ve also had luck with Macy’s (INC Woman & others), Baby Phat, SizeAppeal. For bargains, sign up for coupons from Lane Bryant (and don’t shop w/o them!) & don’t sleep on Target.
    Angela, for matching bra sets, check Nordstroms, Lane Bryant or Frederick’s of Hollywood.

  8. says

    Of course we won’t pay money when our options look like particularly un-hip Grandma-wear. Okay, point taken about DKNY not selling, but what’s Target’s excuse for shoving plus-sizes between the fitting rooms and maternity—and then using that area for their go-backs and other messes?

    Lane Bryant is often my only option, but I hate shopping there because they charge Macy’s prices but has Target or Wal-Mart quality.

    Aargh! How can retailers be so stupid?

  9. greenfairie says

    I’m a misses 14-16 and have been for several years.  It wasn’t hard finding clothes anywhere until the past year.  Now it’s easier to find a 00 petite at Banana Republic than a 16, and I’d been buying stuff there for years!  A Bloomies just opened nearby and it’s tough finding bigger sizes there too. Thankfully, I can wear size 10-12 tops.  I agree that home shopping t.v. is an underrated resource.  Also, Ann Taylor still has good stuff in upper misses sizes and the new Gap-owned chain Forth & Towne features clothes 0-20.

    The fashion industry has long had an obsession with capturing the youth market, even though the kids wander in, look at the more expensive stuff and either wait for a sale or truck on down to Charlotte Russe/Forever 21/Wet Seal, etc. and grab a cheaper knockoff.  Older women are the ones with the bucks to spend.  Go figure.

  10. vegasgirl says

    Out here in Las Vegas there is the mid priced Torrid, and the Lower Priced Rainbow, even 17 Again has low cost plus sized clothes. I have stopped shopping at the larger retailers for sometime now.

  11. MK says

    Thats messed up. They have always been messed up about plus size clothing. I mean, I’m in the younger teen range and i dont really prefer to shop at torrid too much! Its expensive and seems not to be worth it there. I personally like the junior/teen stuff thats in style and really trendy like abercrombie & fitch, hollister, american eagle, alloy, delias, wet seal, mandees, + a zillion other nice and sometimes CHEAP stuff you can get. I mean I can go into A & F and get the biggest size T shirt from clearance, but I’m sick of it being so hard for me to shop! I just want clothes that are in style,cater to young people, have good quality, good prices, and really good deals in clearance, UN-GRANNYISH & that cater to petite and tall sizes. I want a store that actually CARES. the dream store would have things for everybody—skinny, tall, short, fat, old, young, trendy, classic.Sometimes I think about opening a store or something in the future and seel things that are really nice and affordable and in many size options.

  12. Nancy says

    My size fluctuates between a 20 and a 24, and being petite I used to have an awful time finding suits and business clothes to fit me.  I used to get most of my wardrobe staples at August Max, but they went out of business last year.  Now I’m really stuck.

    Also, why is it so difficult to find a formal gown that doesn’t look like a mother of the bride dress?  I’m sure I’m not the only full-figured fashionista who cannot do strapless (not with a 42 H bust!) but occasionally needs a formal gown.  I had two events earlier this year and had one heck of a time finding something that didn’t make me look like I’m over 60 and ready for Medicare. 

    It’s sad to see the backwards steps the fashion industry is taking – it seems that just a few years back there was so much more to choose from in plus sizes and now it appears to be swinging back to the dowdy, frumpy “old lady wear” that was so prevalent 20 years ago.

  13. Kim says

    A previous poster mentioned that it’s easier to find a 00 at Banana Republic than a larger size. Well, surprise, this is actually an industry-wide problem. Vanity sizing has removed selection from the small end of the spectrum, leaving those of us who are destined to be sticks-and-skin in just as difficult a spot. I *used* to be a size 2 or 4 at Banana Republic, but the vanity sizing means those sizes no longer fit. So, I have to pick through the few size 00 pants there, or go to a “juniors” store like the Gap, where the quality is sub-par. I have a lot of sympathy for those on the other end of the spectrum – still perfectly normal sized people, who have the same problem. How on earth does it make sense to marketers at these companies to alienate half their audience by not providing quality clothes in their sizes?

  14. jennifer says

    I’m a size 14/16 shirt wise and an 18 for pants.  I’m 22.  And I agree with everything being said.  This is a huge problem for us bigger girls.  I like being thick and so does my fiance.  More meat to eat!  But when it comes to clothes, there are nothing but crappy options.  Lane Bryant is my go to store.. only because some clothes are actually *gasp* stylish for my size!  Quality wise.. crappy but you do what you have to. 

    I’m a recent college grad and start work this monday.. so i have very little money to start with.  I’ll shop at the Gap and old navy especially the outlets and online where they carry proper sizes.. old navy has some ok pieces.  But from recent experience.. sweaters have been the hardest to find.  You know something you can wash and wear a second time that doesn’t add 40 pounds or rolls.  All in all.. we shouldn’t be left to granny wear or garbage bags and cute accessories. 

    Torrid is a good place.. but a bit on the younger punkish style.  Being the complete non-nicole richie size means I have had to get creative with pieces and extremely picky.  *sigh*  what i wouldn’t kill for to have access to that DKNY plus size clothing?!!!!!  does she still make it available online?  I promise you all if i can make it into advertising..  I’ll do whatever in my power to get us access to prettier clothes.  I mean what 15 year old is really going to buy a couple hundred dollars on clothes ?  i never could have.  Women do.  We shop and we drop that money.  Market to us people.. don’t forget where you can draw in more money.. image is crap.. because you deter your real shoppers.  these stores want to stay in the ‘black’ try a new target audience.. try us!

  15. TBF says

    DKNY’s line was incredible..I have this short black knit dress that’s a size 0 (14/16) that is like heaven and I get so many complements on it still. I stole it from my mom who got it for like $25 on sale…

    But it’s the industry (entertainment, fashion, etc) and the industry thinks if you’re over a size 12, you can’t have style or that No one will really want to follow you and your style. Case in point- Mon’Que, the fabulous plus size comedienne, first Fat Chance Show was the highest rated show in the history of the Oxygen Network. They just couldn’t believe that people would want to watch plus size women being fabulous and beautiful.

    I’m going to give it you guys straight.. they (fashion, plus, etc) don’t want you to buy their stuff. Period. read the comments of Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, etc on fuller sized women and you get the point.

  16. Robin says

    Apparently, a lot of people don’t want me to buy their stuff. I don’t see myself reflected in advertising images, and never have.
      For instance, most footwear designers make it a point not to offer nice shoes in xwide widths, or wide-width/wide-calf boots. Women’s magazines don’t have anyone who looks like me on their covers, thereby indicating they’re not meant for me. Sometimes this is a good thing – cigarette and liquor ads don’t feature my type either. Even so, I need clothes, and don’t need cigarettes, liquor, or even fashion magazines.
        In this capitalist society of ours, where people are encouraged to spend, spend, spend, I’ve saved a fair amount of money over the years by being basically ignored.

  17. ME says

    High fashion is NOT a democracy!
    If you can’t make the effort to loose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, then you shouldn’t be wearing high fashion.

    End of story.

  18. Nancy says

    OK, I had to add a comment to ME’s post –

    I live a healthy lifestyle – I eat healthy and I exercise.  I “make the effort” on a daily basis.  The reasons I am full-figured (or “plush” size – saw that on a web site and loved it!!) are medical issues that make it extremely difficult for me to lose weight, which I will not discuss here. 

    Women of all sizes and shapes have the right to look their best and to purchase clothing which flatters their figures.  We all want to look good and feel good about ourselves.  Why should we only be able to do that if we wear something smaller than a size 12??  The only thing limiting my wardrobe should be my budget (which is why I read this blog!!  lol).

  19. TBF says

    You go Nancy…

    I totally agree.. I live a VERY healthy lifestyle (I haven’t had a piece of red meat in over 12 years). I workout at least 4 times a week, running at least 2 miles each time. I probably even have less body fat than most size 8s and definitely more muscle mass.

    But…

    I will never, ever be smaller than a size 10. Ever. That’s my fighting size and I was in college playing collegiate rugby 6 times a week.

    Also, being thin doesn’t mean your healthier than someone who is bigger than you. It just means you’re thinner..

    And what do you say to the petite or tall fashionistas who maybe thin, but still can’t find a decent, non-grandma dress?

  20. OCAKA says

    Really good posts. I’m sort of lucky because I live in Southern California and still have access to decent low-cost resources, namely the Saks outlet in Ontario (east of L.A.) They are one of a precious few Off Fifths that have Salon Z castoffs.
    I remember talking to a manager after full fashion was removed from the Orange, California, location, and she said the issue was that the clothes flew out of the main stores when they were reduced, leaving very little stock to be spread among the Off Fifth.
    Hence, they cut the door availability way down.
    Also, I have Talbots Woman for natural-fiber basics, such as wool crepe pieces, including dresses I can wear to my sorority meetings, etc.
    My personal style is more conservative/classic, not trend-driven.

  21. candace says

    Responsing to Posted by ME on December 17, 2006;  I am a very tall woman (6’ 3”) and if I were to diet to fit into a size 6, I would either be dead or nearly so which is decidedly UNHEALTHY!  Don’t judge so hurridly ….  Not everyone has the genes of Angelina Jolie.

  22. Heather says

    It is an absolutely repulsive failure of capitalism that stylish, professional, upper-middle class women who happen to wear a size 16-20 can’t find clothing that doesn’t make us look like our grandmothers (fyi: if I wanted to look like my granny, I’d just go steal her clothes).  Where else in America is there an audience of people just panting to go shopping who is so consistently ignored?  I hear a lot of blather about “the democratization of fashion”, but that is as far from the truth as you can get. One particularly repulsive example of this fashion falsity is Mizrahi’s Target line being marketed as “fashion for everyone”, even though that line is only maufactured in sizes up to 16/18. Evidently Mr. Mizrahi—along with many other designers and retailers—is too repulsed by my non-standard size to take my money.  Honestly, I’d rather his slogan read “fashion for everyone (except those I deem too fat to be worthy)”—at least the insult of being considered too stupid to see through such a transparent lie would be removed.

    I have written to various retailers, decrying the lack of selection.  In each and every case, I have recieved a patronizing, formulaic reply full of obvious lies (on more than one occasion, they actually protested that they have a wonderful plus sized collection.).  They just don’t care.  This leads me to the inescapable conclusion that my money is, in fact, not good enough for them.  Which is odd when you think about it, since you’d think they’d want us fatties to be able to cover our hideous bodies.

  23. Gina Reynolds says

    OKay There are bigger girls that look beautiful, they are supposed to be that size and they wear clothes that flatter. The problem is that there are some fashions that don’t cater to everyone. The red dress the model wears in that pic is awful it just emphasises that she is bigger. Im not saying fashion isn’t for big girls but we all have to accept reality and go for what suits us instead of what is in vogue!Think about the bohemian trend a while back,perfect for hiding flaws it was embraced for bigger girls when it just made them look bigger than they were. Skinny jeans are in right now and even though im a US size 8 i look horrible in them…they are for sticks and while nicole ritchie looks great in them i just have to accept thats not mmy body shape and move on, as much as i love them i gotta stick to the bootcut jeans.

  24. Heidi says

    I don’t know what kind of budget you work with, but I still find Lane Bryant to be way too expensive.
    Then again, I only make $9.00 an hour, and have a $30.00 an hour taste.
    I hate having to buy clothes at discount dept. stores, they are cheap, tacky, and usualy involve “mom jeans” and huge t-shirts with Tweety Bird on them. (Target being the only exception, and even then the clothes are still a bit off)
    I love Kyonnia, B&Lu, and others, for their amazing styles, but I cannot afford even some of their clearance stuff. Torrid is too “young”, UlaPopkin is too “old”. Lane Bryant is okay, though their quality is not the best, Old Navy is out, their shirts shrink up too short and widen out after the first wash (even if you line dry!!)and it is impossible to find non low-rise or non bootcut jeans there!
    If someone could find a way to make clothes similar to B&Lu et all. but charge even half the price those stores do, they would make BANK.

    As far as skinny jeans go, I am 5’ 6” 220 lbs a size 20 and I rock a pair of L.E.I. black skinny leg pants (cut just like skinny leg jeans but are black cotton) with longer close fitting shirts, and I get compliments!  I think it depends on how you wear them, the cut of the pant, and what you top them with.

    On that dress in the picture up yonder, I think that dress looks really hot on that woman!

  25. ThatGirlOverThereWithTheRavenHair says

    I think that dress could look better from behind, but from in front, it’s awesome! Seriously, I love fashion. I am a fashion nut! And in my opinion, the real key to being plus-size and fashionable is creativity and a full length mirror. There are all kinds of options if you look for them. I am 5’6” about…235 lbs or so…I’m working on losing weight at the moment, but I haven’t had any problems with my size in the past, except for a few issues with my mom when I was younger which I won’t go into. Anyway, my best friend(who is also plus-size) and I never had any money to go clothes shopping when we were in high school, and what we did is learn to make our own clothes, including patterns. The cool thing about that was that we were able to take patterns for smaller girls and enlarge them to fit us. Of course, I don’t have time to make all of my own clothes now, but what I do have time for is what we call “creative shopping.” She and I take one week out of every three months or so and shop every store we can think of that might carry our size. When we find stuff that is our size(that we don’t like, but costs under 10 bucks), instead of looking at a granny dress and despairing, we ask ourselves, what can we do to this dress to make it fashionable and wearable? We have the most fashionable clothes of any big girls we know because we use creativity to fix the fashion industry’s malfuntion in this area. My husband loves that we save so much money on clothes this way. He’s worried about me losing too much weight because I might decide to just buy everything my size, despite the cost! 😛

  26. MarianLibrarian says

    Yes, that comment by ME was really rude.  I’m 5’2” and nothing will ever make me any taller.  At the beginning of the thread, TBF mentioned that the same thing is happening to petites that is happening to plus sizes in the stores, esp dept stores.  If I had the coin, I used to be able to find work clothes at Petite Sophisticate and Marshall Field’s—both are gone! :(

    For anyone who has an outlet mall within driving distance, I suggest making the effort to get there a few times a year.  I can usually find a lot of great extended sizes (both ends of the spectrum) when I go and I stock up for the year on anything I think I will wear.  That’s been about my only salvation since PS and Field’s went away.

  27. pink lady says

    Well, iam from england and the clothes tht mainy young like are going dwn to size 6 and stoping at 14 which i find insalting as iam 16 and a size 18 in pants which is becuase of my wide hip ! i was outraged when i came apon the local department stores ( as you them )has made a hole new department for plus size, i know it ok but i feel imbrassed to walk over and look for trousers my gran wouldnt even wear it horrid ! well that all i have to say on tht xx pink lady xx

  28. Samantha says

    What a joke this has become. I just wish the same thing all of you do. Fashionable clothing in my size, 22, Heck I want it in all plus sizes so we can all be happy. Lane bryants clothing is pretty much trash. Kmart clothing with expensive price tags. I dont want to look like someones grandmother! Why dont designers realize we need even better clothing because we are fat! My money spends the same as a skinny womans. I do love sales and clearance as well, so maybe im part of the problem in their eyes because I don’t want to spend $145 on a pair of jeans. Usually the plus size areas of stores are so picked over by the time I get there (sometimes they have nothing to begin with and thats just sick.) I just want to look pretty and sexy like the next woman. Why do high end stores only carry skinny sizes? do they think they have more money than a fat person because they dont buy as much food? As ridiculous as that sounds, It almost sounds about right because you have to be already insane to think we
    would wear 95% of the items they are trying to sell us. When I was in high school I was a size 16-18. I had three outfits. I would change them up and try to get by. three pants, and like 4 or 5 shirts, did they think that was good for a low income high school teen? People treat us badly because of our weight. We don’t need it from the clothing companies as well. God Bless all of you.

  29. CJM says

    I feel everything you all have to say.  I am a 26 year old plus sized woman whose learned a few tricks.  Trick #1…if you’re busty like me 38J a good bra will do wonders for your figure and fit of clothes.  Therefore shop at figleaves.com or some other online purveyor of undergarments (normally british because those companies make the greatest range of bra sizes).  Keep your eyes open for old retailers doing a new thing in undergarments (jcpenney online now sells bras in my size at prices previously unheard of like 23 bucks for a Goddess bra).  Trick #2…when you see a good piece at a cut rate price in Off Fifth buy it…when Dana Buchman cashmere skirts hit 40 bucks buy two (happend to me).  If Lafayette 148 items are on sale spend some quality time with that rack.  Trick #3…only shop in Lane Braynt, Torrid, Ashley Stewart when there’s a major sale and the clothes are finally priced at what they are worth…my grandmother taught me to sew and it hurts my heart to see the poor quality they are peddling.  Trick #4…become friends with the salespeople at your local Filenes and Loehmanns. I live in the South where those stores are not as prevalent but if there’s one near you or in an area you travel to frequently (Atlanta, Triangle of NC), make a friend and she’ll call you when they get great pieces in your size or when they finally mark it down to your price (this worked wonders for my budget in grad school).  Trick #5…never, ever, ever compromise on fit because of the number in the shirt.  Cut the number out.  Trick #6…shop in your grandmother’s closet if she was similarly shaped.  My grandmother was also busty (she only had those ugly longlinne bras…thank God for Fantasie) and was very fashionable.  If I want a cute blazer, I stop in her closet first.  Trick #7…Be fiscally responsible.  DO not by cheap poorly fitting clothes (still struggling with this one) and guess what you’ll be able to actually pick up those two Dana Buchman skirts when they go in sale. It is possible to be stylish, plus sized, and not broke.  I just have to do a little more work (and spend a little more money) than my size 2 little sister.

  30. Joneen says

    As a 20 year old plus size student I must agree and disagree with you all. As most of you I as well love love love fashion…but I have come to terms that I’ve got to make due with what I’ve got.  Nordstroms ever so often has great things both in store and online.  In my eyes their prices are not that far off from Lane Bryant’s and it is very good quality. I don’t even bother going to Macy’s anymore, Dillars carries nice things as well, sometimes the places you least expect have something that might just happen to fit.  Sometimes you have to break out your box and just take the chance to shop online, if you dont like it when it gets to your house just ship it back!!

  31. Amanda says

    I am a 20 year old woman who’s “size” has ranged from 12 to 20. When I was fortunate enough to turn a tempoary position at a law firm into a career, I had no idea that obtaining a wardrobe would be more challenging then obtaining the experience necessary to become sucessful. Bottom line is: People judge you based on your apperance. Looks are not everything, but when you are in the real world, you have to look the part, as well as be the part! This was a problem for me because I have not needed to buy any nice clothes since I am so young, with limited budget, and my past jobs (bartending and waitressing) didn’t require a “professional attire”.  Where to start? This website! I just wanted to thank all of you for your comments, tips and suggestions. Sometimes I feel as though I am the only bigger woman in America by the way people treat me. Just to hear that all of my frustrations are validated, and I am not a grotesque, hideous beast is so comforting. I refuse to devote my life to conforming to others sick and twisted idea of beauty. No, I do not look like Paris Hilton, and why would I want to?

  32. MARIA says

    HELLOOOO!people people stop complaing and start DOING. IF IT BOTHERS YOU SO MUCH CHANGE IT MAKE A FUSS GET NOTICED.if your as angery as you say let SOMBODY KNOW. i don’t mean little to not know web site chat rooms or writing letters 2 deaf companys get out get up and DO. it may b hard but in the end its worth it, SO worth it. my suggution make NOISE, and lots of it, protest get on t.v. get support write books do SOMTHING. we need the help so if someone is brave enough. please. help.

  33. Amy says

    I have been plus-size for many years, and in the last year have lost 52 lbs—going from a size 22/24 to my current size which is misses 14/16 or XL on top and 18W on the bottom. I’m in the interesting position of navigating both the regular size world and plus sizes and have found some interesting things. What I’ve learned from years of plus size shopping is that we have to be democratic regarding where/how we shop. There IS stylish clothing available, you just have to look in unexpected places sometimes. Surprisingly, I’ve found many basic pieces in Wal-Mart’s Metro 7 line and find if you order online, it arrives in pristine condition without that “picked over” look and feel. JC Penney’s Bisou Bisou plus sizes are quite stylish and cutting edge and fit very nicely. If you dig enough @ Torrid there are great pieces to be had (and most made in the USA which is nice). Look beyond the art-teach vibe at J. Jill for awesome black knit basics. My favorite jeans are from a very small line called Svoboda—yes they’re expensive, but very worth it when you see/feel the difference in fit and fabric. They’re carried retail at Nordstrom or online—and they have an online outlet that marks way down—sign up for coupons too and you can get some smokin’ deals.
    I guess my point is don’t be discouraged and don’t play the victim. Find your own style and work it. Walk tall and proud and do not apologize for the size you are, whether it’s a 00 or a 24—we are as God made us!!
    P.S. To the ignorant, rude post from ME on 12.17.06—it’s “lose” weight, not “loose.” You may be skinny but you’re not very bright.
    End of story.

  34. anna says

    I agree with kim… Its really hard for skinnny people to find clothes that fit. To shop at old navy’s tees, I had to pick up girls size L because XS didn’t fit my body… Luckily girlish clothes are stylish this year… Us skinny people have a tough time too… So don’t be hatin on us (not that you were)

  35. Annie says

    All this is very relevant, but why is size 14 considered to be a “plus” size??
    I see so many plus sized shops and brands advertising size 14, yet someone who is size 14 can be very healthy!
    I’m a size 14, and my weight is within the BMI – i.e. I’m a healthy weight!!it is just the media and advertising industry that makes us healthy girls feel bad about ourselves. and it sucks.

  36. pliszkak says

    What makes me mad is that I am tall and plus size and I look normal but becuase I am tall and have a large frame—size 9 glove, size 10.5 shoe—I can’t get anything that looks good on me.  I have an hourglass shape not an apple shape , I just happene to be taller than most woman. If i was 5’4” I would be a size 12 and I woudl not be forced into plus sized stores when I am not really large.

  37. Ashlea says

    Lord & Taylor still has a very good plus-sized section, and a good petite section.  At least, the one near me does.  They also have very very good semi-annual sales.  My mother (who is plus-sized) recently got a whole load of Michael Kors clothing at 80% off there.  So, that’s good, right?

  38. Keisha says

    I know this is slightly off the subject but,who is the designer of the red dress shown in this blog.  I love it.

  39. says

    I need a good, nice peacoat for winter. Something modern, young and fun that isnt cheap and gross materials OR too many frills (hoods, toggles, etc.). I am in my late twenties and need something trendy for work. I wear a size 1x-2x and can’t find ANYTHING! HELP!

  40. says

    I need a good, nice peacoat for winter. Something modern, young and fun that isnt cheap and gross materials OR too many frills (hoods, toggles, etc.). I am in my late twenties and need something trendy for work. I wear a size 1x-2x and can’t find ANYTHING! HELP!

  41. April says

    I can’t stand the no fashion sense for us larger beauties. Are there No designers or financial backers to finance a huge and I said huge market, if it were out there it would be purchased and worn by many. And I”m talking good looking fashions to flatter the fuller bodies. Lane Bryant, they try but they help my granny. Wheres the cutting edge, I mean edgy clothing for the big the bold and beautiful?

  42. says

    Every one of my Plus Sized friends love to shop, and shop more than my “regular sized” friends. Personally, I rarely shop in department stores, or popular plus sized stores because I love color, I’m not afraid to show skin, and I don’t want to look 15 years older than what I am. Even the “designer” clothes (with the exception of a few like Jessica Simpson–whose line i LOVE) are just tacky. Every time I look on Macy’s website I want to slap Jay-z (rocawear) and Kimora (baby phat). Seriously: don’t make clothes that you wouldn’t be caught dead in, Kimora, and Jayz, I don’t want to wear cross color reminiscent clothing with a big tacky R.

    I rather shop online. Mainly, UK based stores because there clothes are way better.

  43. BeautyIsntANumber says

    First off, I’d like to say that I am yet another pissed off plus sized shopper. I am not only plus sized, but a petite 5’1 and 22-24WP in pants. I am only so large in tops due to my bust. I cannot even find my bra size in most “plus-sized” catering stores. I am a 48c-50c. Most don’t seem to consider them sizes and so I am stuck shopping for the “cheap” stuff at Target and when I can get it on sale at JCPenny, then I will go there. I am on a very tight clothes budget and have to get clothes that will last me several months to a year, if not longer. I am on SSI and can only budget about $200-$250 (maybe $300) for clothes and that includes the specialty shoes that I wear for my 6 1/2 extra-wide/double-wide feet which I cannot find at the in-store boutiques and so I have to shell out the money to get multi-functional shoes at Easy Spirit and/or other specialty store. I know I am getting off topic a little by complaining about shoes, but I am sick and tired about the lack of specialty clothing there is out there for everyone, whether it’s shoes, bras, etc.

    I am 22 and wish that there wasn’t so much “Grandma-ish” stuff out on the market of good and low-priced quality so I had clothes to wear when I wanted stuff to hang out and relax in/wear around campus. I also wish that the dress/office/formal attire didn’t appear to appeal to people over 30 (if not older), so I could actually find office work I like because I am currently doing clerical work in an office setting and need some stuff for that.

    I loathe Lane Bryant and don’t like the hype about how good it is. All the stuff I have bought there was a waste of money and fell apart in a week and the staff was horrid and would refuse to refund it and the manager wouldn’t deal with it. I was in no position to waste the money I did on that mid-ranged shite. In my opinion, it’s an over priced Target!

    I have some great tops that I got for a !steal! at The Women’s Dress Barn, about a year ago when they were having a sale for I believe 3 shirts for $10. They were solid colored and the one’s I got were black and navy, which were fine, but the only annoying thing was that they had that white “square” of fabric that is sewn in to cover the low-dipping v-necks and since those are so large they will stain easily. However, they and all the other tops I got there, except the two ugly rhinestone tops that I happily grew out of. Also, Women’s Dress Barn has a lot of lovely plus sized dresses and most of their clothing, even though what’s on the rack is what you get, is wonderful and even if you’re a teen who’s “skeptical” about trying a store like that which they might consider “old lady-ish”, I highly recommend it, especially for formal wear/dresses for prom, weddings, etc. for plus sizes or petites for a “!steal!”. I got a couple of good dresses on their dress sale which was also going on the same day as the shirt sale, buy two of a certain price range, (I think it was a total of $40 or more) and get 10% off. That sale included the prices they were already marked down to of about $25-$30 from the typical $30-$40+ per dress, in the low-end price, but still excellent quality ranges. If you want the best stuff from The Woman’s Dress Barn, however shop as soon as they get their new shipment in because that’s usually when the deals will be and the most items will be out that you may be interested in. Another tip, check their online catalog before you go to the store because they have one of those things where if you type in your zip code it will tell you which store has an item you are interested in currently has it in stock. Another thing to remember about The Woman’s Dress Barn doesn’t carry intimates (underwear and bras, PJ’s, robes, etc, but it does carry socks and knee-highs and tights, usually not in many patterns, but more like nylon stocking type that you might not be able to find in the sizes that you can pick up at CVS. Remember, The Woman’s Dress Barn and not its Dress Barn counterpart carries plus sizes. Both, however carry regular women’s sizes, though and I believe that’s 14 and under for the “regular” sizes and 14 and up for the “plus” sizes. Also, the Dress Barn caters to men and has other home goods, such as bedding. They also usually have outrageously good sales going on at least 5 times a month and on top of that have exceptionally low-prices everyday on most items, better than I have seen at most plus sized stores and if you have sensitive skin, like I do, to the point where you can only handle cotton/cotton-polyester mix(es) they have a larger assortment of that in plus sizes for low-cost/high-quality and all types of wear you could want, whether it’s formal or casual, their athletic/sweats selection, however isn’t so large and I would recommend not have as much of a recommendation for you, for I hardly wear them, except in winter sometimes. I don’t like to hide behind the bulkiness of them and am happy with my body.

    Remember, beauty isn’t a number. It isn’t defined by whether we are 5’10 and a starving size 0, 60lbs or less stick, but by who we are and all we do. We shouldn’t let anyone or anything, whether it be the fashion industry(ies), our friends, colleagues, the world that tells us big isn’t beautiful to stop us from flaunting what we have. We must remember for ourselves and show them, that behind the “plush” there are strong women, with strong bodies, hearts, minds, souls and spirits and that they cannot destroy us by telling us how they think we should be and that we are just as strong, if not stronger than what they try to make us view, see, hear and/or believe ever day about how wrong it is to love our wonderful curves. Stay strong and push past the hype and show them that we are more than what they see.

  44. heather says

    I shop at goodwill… I am serious, until these A-hole retailers make clothing that is nice and stylish for ALL women…I will not spend my money in a place where all I am able to buy is accesories, these people can go F—- themselfs!

    it’s just one more way that Fat girls are made to be the last bias in the world by a buch of abusive jack ass’s

  45. Sarah says

    Wow! Whats up with the comments above being formatted funny? Looks like your post doesnt accept apostrophes. Anyways I strongly agree with you…Monif C is the best of the best, and I wish more people knew about their store. :)

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