If you’re over a size 14, then you know how hard it is to find stylish clothing at an affordable prices. Why so many designers and retailers think that all plus-size women want to wear frumpy flower-covered polyester separates, I don’t know. The few stores that carry plus sizes relegate the department to the back corner as if they are ashamed of catering to a bigger clientele. The entire department may have five racks, which are flanked by mostly hideous items made of polyester, rayon and spandex.Some shopping expeditions can feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. You dig and dig until at last you find the diamond in the rough, a stylish garment made of, gasp cotton! And that’s on a good day.
You can pretty much count on one hand the number of stores that carry plus sizes exclusively: Lane Bryant, Torrid, Ashley Stewart and Avenue are the most recognized. Though these stores have some of the most fashion-forward options available, their selection is still lacking. I find it frustrating that thin women have hundreds of stores to choose from, but we curvy girls are lucky to have ten. When you’ve exasperated after visiting all the stores in your area (trying to find the right outfit) and you still come up empty handed, it’s time to turn to the Internet.
Most plus-size women are forced to shop the Internet for clothing, as the options are more stylish and abundant. The downside is you can’t touch it or try it on and you have to pay for shipping. But, the upside is some places, such as Old Navy, offer free returns. And a simple search can turn up dozens of coupon codes. Sign up for emails and receive sale offers in your inbox. When I get that Torrid email that says, “50% off clearance!” I can’t click the mouse fast enough.
Know your style but don’t know where to start? For the fashionista who loves celebrity inspired frocks and fashion forward looks, places like Torrid, Miss Phit, Evans and B & Lu are tops on the list. For those of you who enjoy a classic trouser and a great blouse there’s the more stylishly conservative Lane Bryant, Avenue and Kiyonna. Like edgy tees, halter tops and skinny jeans? Head over to Old Navy, Alloy and Macy’s for affordable looks. If quality is more important to you than price, check out Monif C., Nordstrom and Anna Scholz. Vintage lovers should browse Re-Dress NYC and Viva La Vintage. Urban inspired looks more your thing? Then you can’t go wrong with Baby Phat, Apple Bottoms, and Dr. Jays. I love my Apple Bottoms jeans. They hug my curves in all the right places. Have a wedding or cocktail party coming up? Igigi and Edressme have red carpet ready styles.
Being plus size doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Shop the Internet for the biggest selection and great deals. But, don’t forget about your area’s brick-and-mortar stores. They still have some great finds you just have to dig a little deeper for them. Most of all keep that confidence girl and flaunt those curves!
The 10 best web sites to shop for stylish plus-size clothing.
1. Torrid www.torrid.com
2. B & lu www.bandlu.com
3. Evans of London www.evans.co.uk
4. Macy’s www.macys.com
5. Miss Phit www.missphit.com
6. Lane Bryant www.lanebryant.com
7. Kiyonna www.kiyonna.com
8. Monif C www.monifc.com
9. Igigi www.igigi.com
10. Old Navy www.oldnavy.com
What I love right now: This dress from Torrid is right on trend. (pictured above) The high waist and A-line silhouette make this dress flattering on any shape. Jennifer Hudson wore a similar dress to an awards show. This dress will definitely turn heads.Read Also