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Entries in shopping (6)


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.


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! 



Poise in a Pinch: How to get top quality for bottom dollar shipped to your door

I've been thinking a lot about money prison budgets and cutting my heart out spending lately, and being poised on a pinch. You know why? Because until I reach that champagne life that Ne-yo was singing about, I have to stick to a financial plan to make me reach my goals. That means tightening up the belt every once in awhile. It means choosing to pay for a fence around my house over a New York shopping spree or trip to the Dominican Republic. It means less date nights and fancy dinners with my hubby...saying no to gala event invites, concerts, and cultural events… sad day.

I’m depressed now. I think I’ll pamper myself back to happy with a spa day, mani-pedi, or some bath products… ohhh wait. Those cost money. *rattles money prison bars threateningly*

Another sad consideration that affects the fashion budget is how much gas costs! No more all day mall crawling or boutique shopping with these prices unless you live in walking or biking distance, or have awesome public transportation. (<- What would you do with the bags??) Even thifters need to weigh their options between the savings on threads and the gas burned to get ‘em (great reason to carpool, but also great risk of having your amazing finds poached by the fashion frenemies that rode along).

It’s sounding like a real no-win situation here, but trust The Gathered Ladies to do a little digging and keep you posted on tips and tricks to stay glam and pampered while stacking paper… in a savings account. Let’s discuss some new ways to get your hands on hot, expensive, clothes for pennies on the dollar without even leaving your house!

Clothing Rentals

Let’s start with the basics. If you’re pressed to have just the right outfit for that special occasion or formal event, clothing rental is a great option.

Rent the Runway – The most well known of online clothing rental/retail sites, Rent the Runway allows a shopper to select designer clothing, jewelry, accessories, and other essential for a fraction of the retail price. Rentals are for a 4 or 8 day period, return shipping is included, and so is the cleaning and maintenance of the items. Prices vary by item and rental time. They’ll even ship 2 sizes at a time!

Pros: user-friendly website, expensive stuff for cheap, retail as well as rental, reputable, no regrets policy.

Cons: No plus sized selection. Only 1-2 days to return clothes, no shoes for rental, more for special occasions than ready-to-wear.

Gwynnie Bee – Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental site specifically serving sized 10-28 with great fashion. Shoppers subscribe to the site, pay a monthly fee, and maintain a virtual “closet” from GB’s curated collection composed on popular plus-sized fashion designers. The closet works like a Netflix queue. Monthly subscription fees range from 35$-159$ per month. Clothing comes 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, or 10 pieces at a time, with pre-paid return shipping and cleaning of clothes.

Pros: keep the clothes as long as you want, option to buy a rented piece, large sizes, personal style consultation, first month free

Cons: smaller collection, no smaller sizes

Bag Borrow or Steal – Made famous by the Sex and the City Movie, this handbag and accessories rental giant is still going strong. Their service is totally about making the best designer bags and accessories accessible. On their site, you can rent, buy, and even sell!

Pros: authenticity guaranteed, reputable, huge selection, designer shoes sold on the “private sale” part of the site, free standard shipping on all orders. Separate handbag cleaning service. You can sell authentic designer bags that you did not rent or buy on the site!

Cons: only sale bags rent for <100$, rental period is only 1 month. 

Box Subscription Services 

An even newer hot trend is box subscription. Users subscribe to these services and are sent boxes full of fashion, beauty products (full size and deluxe, or samples depending on the service), hair products, food, panties… even socks… monthly! The main difference between rental and subscription is that the fee is the only charge, and most of the time you have literally no control over what you’re sent. It’s like a mystery box full of girl power and ovarian glitter appears in your mailbox every month! For a really thorough inventory of different fashion and beauty subscription sites and reviews of their boxes, check out My Subscription Addiction. We’ll just cover some of our faves here to whet your appetite. 

Le Tote -  Le tote charges a monthly fee (49$) and works off of a queue like Gwynnie Bee, but the twist on this one is that you’re not in charge of it. Instead Le Tote allows you to create a profile to define your style. They curate a “tote” of 3 garments and 2 accessories from your “infinite closet” and ship them to you for free free free. Every tote is a surprise. Keep as long as you want. When you return the items (unless you want to buy), a new tote is sent!

Pros: keep clothes as long as you want, option to buy, no shopping required

Cons: no shopping required (?!), no plus size selection


Birchbox is one of the oldest and most popular beauty subscription boxes out there and has a great reputation for being able to introduce lovely ladies to their next favorite things.  I have friends who swear by this service, which sends 4-5 high end beauty samples and lifestyle samples (think tea, snack, candle). This box also has a 10$ monthly fee, the lowest we’ve heard of, so you know we had to include it in our poised in a pinch post!

Pros: high end products, no shopping required, super low cost.

Cons: sample size only 

Juniper markets itself as “the smarter way to manage your period”. We had to include this one for sheer ingenuity! Every month, subscribers receive their favorite brand of tampon shipped by mail, as many as needed. Along with the essentials to ward off Aunt Flo the monthly red bomber, Juniper thoughtfully and lovely packs deluxe pamper and comfort items (think gourmet honey, tea, chocolate covered pretzels, beauty samples… everything you didn’t know you required until this box started arriving). The fee? 28$ a month. Sold!

Pro: no period panic, no buying a multi-pack of tampons of which half are USELESS(!), no store embarrassment, discrete packaging, snacky-poos and treats to pamper yourself.

Cons: ummm?

So that’s all that I can pack in for today folks! (<--see what I did there?) Make sure to check out My Subscription Addiction for an even more comprehensive list of boxes to buy.

Want to share your box or rental review with us? Email or facebook to share and if we like it, we’ll share it! 



Weekend Fashion Mash-up (May 11, 2013): The perfect smokey eye 

Cheers to the weekend! It's Saturday and the perfect opportunity to rock some sexy weekend style. Check out the videos below for the sultry smokey eye. The first video is great for beginners and women with darker skin tones. The second video is a "dark clubbing smokey eye" and she uses a lot more products, which is better for ladies with advanced make-up skills. Watch both to master the technique.

Happy Mother's Day to all the gathered women who continue to give to their families and love their children! You deserve gifts! Daughters, did you forget your mother's day present? Shame on you! No worries, Macy's is having a 1 day sale TODAY both in store and online, so you have time! 

Here's a style inspiration that I would wear to rock the smokey eye!

 Have a hot outfit that will inspire others? Submit your 'fit to and if we like it, we'll share it.

 Do you and your friends have style when you go out and about? Submit your fierce pictures to and you may make our weekly Gathered Fashion Spread!


Weekend Fashion Mash-up (April 27, 2013): The perfect cat eye 

Cheers to the weekend! It's Saturday and the perfect opportunity to rock some sexy weekend style. Check out the videos below for the perfect cat eye. I really enjoyed the idea about using tape in the second link.

 Also, JCP is having a huge spring sale. They have some great items like denim jacket, printed pants in plus size,  floral pants and skirts all at great P.I.N.P prices! Happy Shopping :)

 Have a hot outfit that will inspire others? Submit your fit to and if we like it, we'll share it. Here's one from my closet:


A Gathered Event: Runway Boutique's Vintage Showcase & Fashion Show

If it's about style, we love it. So naturally, we were ecstatic to attend Runway Boutique's Vintage Showcase and Fashion Show. Los Angeles fashionistas, if you haven't shopped at Runway Boutique, you are seriously missing out on beautiful clothing, wonderful customer service, and engaging and exciting events. The ladies at Runway are bomb! I have shopped many-a-store as an admitted fashion addict, and this store is top-tier for the caliber of vintage fashion, contemporary pieces, custom accessories, and eclectic finds they stock. Trust me, Runway has been the cause of several near-accidents on La Brea Ave due to their catchy window and street displays, which showcase luxury items, print mixing, and mint-condition vintage finds. Yes... I’m guilty of illegal U-turns in a fit of fashion lust! Some of the best pieces in my closet have been supplied by this very store. Really, I can't lavish the compliments enough. Trust me. Shop here. You will thank me later.

As for the fashion show, I was no less impressed. The event was intimate, taking place in their store with its signature catwalk as the main stage. DJ Cannon Cody had heads bopping, and special guest Andrea Derujinsky featured famous artwork by her father Gleb Derujinsky. The iconic art was created from Gleb's time as a photographer at Harper's Bazaar (1950-1968). The clothes were dynamic, colorful, funky, artsy, sophisticated, and one of a kind. I have no idea how they find this stuff, but I'm happy I can buy it! If you’re not in LA, and you can’t buy it, then be inspired by it. Check out the slideshow*, event and lookbook pics, and their website for more style inspiration. You can also follow them on instagram @fashionfatima or twitter @rboutiquela for more Runway Boutique style and news.


Get the flash player here:

*Apologies for the "ungathered" slightly blurry slideshow pictures. There were unfortunate technical difficulties, and a diva had to downgrade to the andriod. I would have loved to capture the clothes brilliance in full force, but luckily we captured beautiful still shots below.