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Who: TBF heads to Brooklyn to check out the classic and trendy plus size brand Ashley Stewart’s new flagship store.
What We Say: Back in the day, Ashley Stewart was the spot to shop at if you were plus size and wanted fashionable on trend clothes that would flatter rather than hide your body. It was one of the few lifestyle brands that catered to the woman with a little meat on her bones. You would go there for your church clothes, work clothes, and weekend clothes. They’ve always managed to provide the curvy plus size woman with on trend and classic pieces at an affordable price, although quality was always an issue.
We thought Ashley Stewart’s new look was much brighter and more welcoming. If you’ve ever been to one of their retail spaces you know their old look was kind of a snooze with elevator music and dark, dim, unflattering lighting. The store was always jammed packed with clothes that even the savviest shopper would feel overwhelmed. Well, all that has changed. The new store layout is easy to navigate through with bright lighting, bold colorful signage, and blood pumping top 40 hits on heavy rotation.
The brand wants to make sure that they are appealing to every woman since they’re known target market is African Americans and Latino’s. We had a chance to chat with Ashley’s Stewart President Steve Newman about the new direction of the brand. Mr. Newman made it clear that Ashley Stewart wants to maintain a fashion inspired brand that is offering plus size women on trend clothing at an affordable price. The new fashion will include designs that cater to the young trendy hipster as well as the classic sophisticate woman within the age range of 25-45.
We know Ashley Stewart as catering to sizes 14-24. Mr. Newman let us know that since last year, Ashley Stewart has added size 12 to their brand due to overwhelming requests. In addition to the size 12, they also offer extended sizes online that go up to a size 32. The selection is limited, but they do plan to add more to the extended size collection throughout the year. There was an overwhelming response to their fall denim mainly due to the evolution of jeggings. They sold countless pairs and will continue to offer trendy and classic denim that is truly made to fit a plus size woman’s curves. Although the brand is doing a new look, you’ll be happy to know that the affordable prices will not change. For all the plus women who love a good deal, you will still be able to score some chic styles at Ashley Stewart with many pieces priced under $100.
While we are all for affordable clothing we were concerned about the fabrics being used. As we were allowed to try on a few items we noticed that a number of pieces were polyester (can a curvy girl get a break from stretch fabrics?) with stretch. The styles that were made of cotton seemed like they were 1-ply and very sheer. You would have to wear a slip under the dresses and a tank with a few tops. We felt, it gets entirely too hot in the summer to be worrying about wearing a slip under a dress, especially if we have to put on our Spanx. Nevertheless, we thought the new styles were of the moment trends. We particularly liked a super cute linen jumpsuit, the floppy hats, and bright colored cut out shoulder tops. We also liked the myriad of wrapped dresses in bright colors, cool white denim, and the fun and flirty vacation gear.
Ashley Stewart is also known for having great jewelry. Skinny girls have been spotted numerous times picking up bold necklaces and shoulder skimming earrings. Now, their accessories section is bigger than ever. They’ve also included more bras and panty sets as well as shapers. We must say that it was a blast checking out the new flagship store and being able to see a plus size brand realize that they need to get with the times and notice that the new plus size woman wants her fashion just like everyone else, fierce.
Note: For attending this event, I received an Ashley Stewart outfit, accessories, undergarments, and a coupon.