Happy New Year my Beautiful sisters! We’re almost a month into a brand new year and it is said that 13 is a lucky number. I say, let’s channel that energy into our shopping and looking fabulous all year round.
As someone who is a size 26/28, I know that it can be frustrating to shop for fabulous pieces because some retailers, boutiques and designers don’t offer clothing past a size 22/24. Hence the title “Forgotten Woman”, which is the name I thought of when thinking of myself and others who feel excluded from these businesses when it comes to shopping. We feel forgotten and passed over. Just because we are above a size 24 does not mean we don’t want to look fabulous too. Well, all is not lost. Here’s some tips to help make your shopping experience a better one and yes, even at some of those retailers who only go up to a size 22. You’d be surprised.
Tip #1: Know your measurements and carry a tape measure in your purse while shopping.
|Torrid Luxe Jeans|
Sizing is all over the place in the world of plus size fashion. For example, I wear a 28 in jeans. However, in Lane Bryant, I cannot fit into their 28s. At Avenue, I wear a 26. At Old Navy, I wear a 30. I never thought I’d fit into a pair of jeans at Torrid because their denim brand typically runs small and only goes up to a 26 with some jeans going up to 28 (online only). Then one day, the salesgirl convinced me to try on a pair of their Torrid Luxe jeans in a 26. THEY FIT. She explained that the fabric was more than 5% spandex (the norm in jeans) and there was more width in the knee area.
|ASOS Pencil Skirt, $31.57|
Tip #2: Know your fabrics and what works well for your body type.
When you’re a plus size woman, I believe it’s important to know about fabric. I love to feel fabric and will stand there in the store, stretching it and seeing if it is a workable fabric. Fabrics like jersey, lycra, spandex, and polyester have stretch. Always check to see if an item contains spandex in it because that will increase the stretch factor.
|Old Navy 3/4 Sleeve Striped Dress|
XXL, on sale for $12.97
I have heard that some of Old Navy’s clothing in XXL will accommodate someone who is a 22/24 or even a 26/28, depending on the stretch. So it pays to look at fabric content. Don’t dismiss it just because of the size.
Tip #3: Know your body type and what silhouettes look best for your body type.
|Igigi item pg showing body types|
Tip #4: Try on clothing, if you can.
I know it’s a pain in the butt to try on clothing and a lot of us don’t even want to go there. But honestly, it’s worth it. Just because something looks good on a hanger does not mean it will look good on you.
Just make sure you wear clothing and shoes that you can easily slip on and off. If you are going dress shopping, bring your shapewear with you and wear the bra you plan to wear with the dress. Shapewear and the right bra will make a difference in how the dress will look on you in the dressing room.
Tip #5: Read reviews on websites for items you like.
To me, one of the greatest things created in the retail world (or any website for that matter) are customer reviews. You can find out a lot of information on fit and how an item holds up by reading the reviews. My favorite ones are on Old Navy. Those customers really let you know how fit are and don’t hold back. I also rely a lot on word of mouth as well. If you visit retailer’s Facebook pages, you can see comments posted by customers. I also joined a few plus size shopping related groups on Facebook where women share their opinions on clothing they have bought.
Tip: #6: Invest in some must-have pieces to keep in your closet.
|Bow Stretch Belt|
Lane Bryant Outlet
I hope these tips will inspire you to get out there and explore your style. You should never let your size hold you back from expressing yourself through fashion. We all want to look fabulous in our own way. And when you look good, you feel good too. It's a new year so let's have a new shopping attitude. Happy shopping!