Over the past 3-decades that the plus size trend has truly been defined, it was never described as fashionable. It was always laden with neutral color basics and housed in an upstairs corner in the department store or relegated to the basement near the washers and dryers.
However, things they are a changing! In 2014 the Full Figured Fashion Week took over the runways and designers started slowly embracing the notion of adding their labels to plus size clothing.
The improvement in plus size clothing should not come as a surprise considering the demographics; in 1985 the average woman wore a size 8, today she wears a 12.
If you Google plus size clothing you will get pages and pages of options – Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Talbot’s, Ashley Stewart, Jessica London, Ulla Popken, Burlington Coat Factory, Rainbow Shops, JC Penney, Dress Barn, Forever 21, Kohl’s, Dillard’s, Roamans, Rue21, Full Beauty, Avenue, the list is endless!
But then how do you navigate the size options? As always, begin with knowing your measurements. Get out your trusty tape measure and measure it all!
Confusion abounds when it comes to the plus size numbers. Some stores use numbers only and some use numbers combined with ‘x’.
Check out the following diagrams to help you navigate how to measure and where you might fit in the spectrum.
Now that you are armed with your numbers, you are ready to shop by category. I recommend you sign up for two stores whose plus size department is robust, carries designer names as well as private label and actually has staff to help you. Lord & Taylor is one of my favorite stores for plus size. The store is always neat, tidy, well stocked, with knowledgeable sales associates.
Check out some of the plus size designers they carry:
Adrianna Papell, Ann Cole, Calvin Klein, Carmen Marc Valvo, DKNY, Eileen Fisher, Ellen Tracy, Ivanka Trump, Jones NY, Karen Kane, Michael Kors, Melissa McCarthy, Nic and Zoe, Nipon Boutique, Vince Camuto and more.
Which designer appeals to you, is the best fit for you, uses the best color palettes for you, and the best patterns for you? That is for you to decide – start by perusing online by store, by label. No doubt something will float to the top for you, as you will certainly see a difference in flavor from Betsy Johnson to Oscar De La Renta! Once you zero in on a look for you and a size for you then you can start to feel like you rule your own kingdom. You are in control of your costume and you can shop, try and buy exactly what you want. No more just popping into the mall and picking up the first thing you find in a 2X and scurrying to the register because you think it is the last one on the planet! Keep perusing, keep shopping, keep trying on, keep styling yourself until you hit a spot-on flattering, joyful, happy place – then proceed to the register!
Need help navigating the plus size world? Reach out to me – we’ll tackle it together! Free Consult