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Friday
Dec132013

Back to Basics: Where to Shop for Curves that Pop! 

Oooh, where does she shop though? Happy Friday Fashionistas! On this special Friday I want to share something special for all my women size 14+. Whether you go by "curvy", "full figured", "plus sized", "thick", "rubenesque" or some other even more obscure moniker, what we all have in common is a certain set of unique shopping challenges.

via http://fatgirlvintagestyle.tumblr.com/

Honestly, if you wear any specialty size (including petite for the small packages out there) the fashion retailers are not really there for you. (A visit to any mall anywhere will confirm this.) By special request, we here at TGL want to address where a woman wearing larger sizes can go to find wonderful fashion. Why? Because we love our followers, and we love to see gathered ladies of all sizes express themselves and be free to rock! (Not to mention, there's a special place in my heart for my thick sisters- we are one, ya'll!) 

Rule #1: There are A LOT of options for plus size shoppers, you've just got to train your eye. 

It's less about there being no options, than about learning to ignore the junk and zero in on what you're looking for. There are plenty of brick and mortar stores out there that have been selling plus size for decades:

 

  • Department stores (Macy's, Nordstrom, Dillard's, etc.)
  • Plus Size Chains (Lane Bryant, Ashley Stewart, Torrid, Forever 21, Dress Barn, Cache, etc)
  • Discount outlets (TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Ross <-- DO NOT DISCOUNT THESE BARGAIN SHOPPERS!!!)
  • Specialty boutiques (There is a huge searchable database of plus size boutiques located on the curvy fashionista website, here.) 
  • Consignment Shops and Thrift Stores (Buffalo Exchange, Good Will, etc.)

 

My point here is, don't discount these stores! There are a lot of wonderful fashion pieces to be found in these places, but the kinds of shoppers who do best in this arena have to be willing:

 

  • To visit these stores regularly.
  • To ignore all the items in the wrong sizes and zero in on the size you wear. Sometimes this means actively digging around, hunting, and going through racks and racks of "skinny" clothes. Can be depressing because you often come up empty handed or with only a few things.  
  • To try on items in the store. 
  • Visit a lot of stores and spend time out and about. This means driving around, burning gas, etc. 
  • To develop a good sense of style and an "eye" for putting together outfits. Often when you shop in these stores you find literally one piece at a time. You have to use your own creativity and imagination to actually know whether what you are looking at will fit with your wardrobe and look good with things that you already own. Less mannequins to lead the way! If you don't have a sharp sense of what you are looking for, this can be frustrating or intimidating. 

 

Which is why I'm not going to focus on those stores. I want to point the way to a easier, more fun way of shopping. A way that is so integrated into the things that you already spend time on, that you can't fail to make a go of it. It is also (in my opinion) consistently cheaper than visiting brick and mortar stores. Yes, I am talking about THE INTERNETS! 

Rule #2: Girls with curves cannot afford to omit online shopping from their arsenal of fashion acquisition! It is an essential element to a complete wardrobe. 

The best thing about online shopping is that it eliminates much of the work of the brick and mortar stores. Also it allows you to self-select the clothes you see, and visit more stores sitting at your desk with a latte and fuzzy slippers on than you could ever do charging around a mall or zipping all around town visiting boutiques. So often, when you are out shopping and looking for something in particular, you are at the mercy of what store's buyer has chosen to stock that store in. Looking for a black pencil skirt, size 18? Well, if Lane Bryant's buyer isn't putting out business separates that season, or if she only decided to stock the store with 2 skirts and you're the 3rd customer, you're out of luck. Online shopping eliminates all those issues. Yay! 

Have I convinced you yet? Are you asking where where where? Great, now I can point you in the right direction.. 

I don't really have a reason for including this photo. She's just hot and I want you to be super stoked about shopping online.

 Rule #3: Every woman should be acquainted with Marie Denee, The Curvy Fashionista, top blogger and plus size maven of style. She is your guide to learning the world of plus size fashion, designers, bloggers, and shopping. 

Marie's blog is my everything. It would be ridiculously unfair of me if I didn't give you a huge shove in her direction. Her blog is a nexus of the plus size fashion world, and an empowering place to visit. In fact, she's written an awesome primer of her own about skilled shopping for curvies, and I'm linking it here and check out this top ten list here. I'd be remiss not to include them! 

As for the websites that I, Danni of The Gathered Lady can personally vouch for (I bought stuff), here goes: 

 

  • One Stop Plus - one stop fashion mall stocked with only 14+. Great sales. Includes lingerie and swimwear.
  • Macy's - self-explanatory. Has a dedicated plus size section. Great sales. 
  • Monif C. - best swimsuits in the business. Originator of the convertible dress. Amazing cocktail dresses. 
  • Asos - british fashion outlet gone big in the US! Excellent fashion forward outfits. 
  • Kiyonna - their cocktail dresses and evening wear are tops. 
  • Simply Be - let me just say you gotta love those Brits. You're plus sized? Keep calm and carry on. To Simple Be. 
  • Carma Koma - Love sophistcated black, leaether, and grey palettes? This danish fashion retailer is for you! 
  • Igigi -  Igigi is an OG in plus size fashion known for their amazing (and expensive) gowns and formal wear. This sight is more a lookey-lou and a thrill than a regular visit. 
  • Voluptuous Vixen  - this is my favorite boutique in New Orleans, but wouldn't you know, they have online shopping? Now you can be down.
  • Jibri - Jibri is actually an etsy store, but the clothes are so HOT that it is fast becoming a fashion-forward establishment! Don't miss out! 

Well, what did I miss? Send in your suggestions on facebook or in the comments section below, and we'll add them! 

 

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