So here is the thing… I love what steps we are making in plus size fashion. There are more options for varying personal styles, budgets, aesthetics, and lifestyles. Change IS HAPPENING- WHEE! What does this mean?
While perusing through the comments last week and for the past few weeks, there were some common themes, concerns, thoughts, and comments that were raised that I HAVE TO ADDRESS. I was irritated, frustrated, saddened, conflicted, and intrigued…
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I was going to make my thoughts a FB post, but then as I started writing, I quickly realized that this was more than that and we needed to talk a bit more in depth.
With these new changes, as plus size shoppers and women, we MUST change, realize, and recognize a few things with these great changes…
So What Does this Mean? These Changes?
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- This means that there WILL be designers whose looks and aesthetics you do not love- AND this is OKAY. Variety is the spice of life. We no longer have to worry about walking around looking like each other.
- This means that there will be designers whose level of execution and quality may be more than what you Can afford or want to pay. Having better designers, more options is NOT a punishment to YOU the plus size woman… all this means is that we have designers in plus that are starting to rival the straight size ones.
- This means that if we want more, we have to support those who are giving it to us. If this means saving our pennies, shopping sample sales, waiting till clearance– then hey… do it! I DO! I even have a post about it here! But just like DVF, Theory, BCBG, Marc by Marc Jacobs, we now have Monif C, Jibri, CarmaKoma, and many others who cater to this CONTEMPORARY market.
- This means that there will be some styles and looks that ARE NOT FOR YOU. AND this is QUITE ALRIGHT. What you will see on the blog and ON THIS PAGE is the various styles appealing to various women. If it is not for you, this is fine, but be careful NOT TO broadly swipe your dislike for one as the standard for all things PLUS.
- This means that there will be some bloggers, plus size women, looks I rock, and styles shared that you may not understand, have thought you could NEVER play with, are shy to step out in, or could EVER be your cup of tea… Now that we have options, we can EXPERIMENT with looks and styles. SO rather than knocking the girl with the brass to step outside her box, look at how you could try something that you never thought you could rock.
This means that CHANGE is happening in the community and this is FABULOUS.
- We have plus size goth, sophisticated, edgy, rock star, diva, casual, laid back, boho, and insert whatever other personal style you identify with. THIS IS FABULOUS, because there are brands, designers, retailers, and companies who are catering to the various types of plus size women.
- This means that here, at The Curvy Fashionista, we are able to break new designers, new boutiques, new collections, different looks, different bloggers, and various aspects within the community that all deal with plus size fashion! Again, Variety is the spice of life 😀
I wanted to share this as this change is as much as a new learning process as is the change that is happening.
We must be careful about how and what we say and share because while things may not work for you there is someone it works for.
There is someone bold enough to test that out, there is someone reading your comments who will step back into her shell, hearing your comments.
We can definitely and I LOVE when we disagree, because we (especially ME) learn sooo much from the conversation. This has been brewing over the past few weeks as I read every single comment on Facebook and on here and I want to make sure we are all accountable and aware of what we say, how we say it and how we look at things…
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You hold me to a standard to deliver to you what you want, and I hear you and listen! I DO!
This is why I have brought on others to help give you more of what you email, comment, and inbox me with! I thank you for this! And I LOVE YOU FOR THIS!
Sorry for the long note, I had to address some of the things I have been seeing… I want us as a community to really move forward but in order to do that, we have to give it space, change and adapt, and welcome it!
What Say You? Do you Agree? Disagree? Let’s talk about this…
I totally agree with you, but I realize change is so difficult for some people, because they have to change all their perspectives… Not all can do that easily. And many people think there is right or wrong and cannot understand sharing is about giving different opinions respectfully. I honesty hope Italian plus size fashion will make some effort too, as brands still keep on conceiving plus size clothes only for older women and when they think of a younger collection they cut on sizes which feels bad for us plus size costumers…
😀 I adore you! I think you will be happy in a few months!
<3 why do you say so? Hope or you are referring to Marina Rinaldi?
Love this and everything you mentioned is so true. I don’t hate that everything is mostly bodycon and revealing but I i know that i’m very happy to see a ton of different designers out. If it’s different they will adjust to the market and hopefully make it work. But we all need variety, even if it’s not everybodies cup of tea. Some of these designers are going above and beyond and sometimes it just works, some are doing it simple and laid back and that is needed. We need more options. Love the post, and you kept it real!
Thank you madame!!! Thank you!
I think the only time I have a definitive dislike” for something is when a garment is labeled as career wear” but the style of it goes against many professional dress codes. That is not just something with plus-size clothing, it happens in all markets. Other than that I tend to say that something is not for me or to my personal taste. Everyone has their own personal style and should embrace it (except where a dress code is imposed – don’t want anyone getting fired lol).
Heheheh I know what you mean. In my former life, I used to be a manager, so when it comes to “dress codes” I am all over that! Have you seen my posts about wear to work options?
I don’t think so. Will need to go through your archives to check them out!
Here you go! http://thecurvyfashionista.mariedenee.com/tag/wear-to-work/
I so agree with that though, there is another site that is always posting the random stuff as office wear, and I’m thinking unless you work somewhere like a fashion office, or maybe even for yourself this stuff is not “career”.
I agree with you 100%. To grow, you have to grow with the different needs of all plus size individuals. I love your comment about not walking around looking like each other. I think that’s the point. I prefer to dress more modestly then alot of the fashions shown on your blog, but I still enjoy the variety and the insights of new and rising companies. I see more “mom and pop” online shops adding bigger sizes every day and it makes me happy!
You know, I am all over the place in my personal style, but knowing that there is an time of clothing that I havent seen made in plus… I feel sometimes, this is what I share?!?
Adore you and thank you for sharing!
It irks me to no end when people complain about the prices. Not every line is meant for every budget.
basically it is absurd when they compare fast fashion prices to designer prices… there is a difference in what you are going to buy! I only understand that when an expensive item has no quality, then it makes sense complaining.
Thank you for the love… maybe I should have said that… you are quite concise and on point!
PLus you get what you pay for sometimes. I love a good sale but if you’re gonna make an investment in something you have to pay up.
GREAT words! I’m the BARGAINISTA and have found high end pieces at MY budget… I try to support ALL forms of expression, be it clothing, shoes, jewelry and art.
I will continue to purchase items to express myself and will continue to trade, bargain and SAVE for pieces that have MY name written all over it.
Working on having a constructive opinion (written and/or spoken) and being a proacitve person of change. Truly hope others would follow suit and show support, understanding and acceptance…even in FASHION.
XOXOXO thank you kindly!!!!!!!
Brilliant post! You spoke to every aspect of this new era and did it eloquently 🙂
Here are my issues with what you’ve said here (and keep in mind, these are just my personal opinions): while I’m more than happy to see new plus size designers creating more trendy, youthful styles and read about haute couture designers finally creating plus size lines, it seems that’s *all* I see in new plus size designs. My personal style has nothing to do with trends and haute couture. And while I think it’s great for people who want to work those looks, it kind of sucks for me and others who are looking for more classic, timeless styles. Most of the places where I usually shop for clothes I like and can afford to wear seem to be creating fewer and fewer plus sizes, using cheaper fabrics. Some are getting rid of their more timeless styles in favor of more youthful, trendy looks, or erring on the side of uninspired, tent-like t-shirts and tunics that look almost like muumuus.
Also, a lot of times when I wait for sales and clearances, the size and color I want is gone, which is why I’ll often pay full price instead. That way, I stand a better chance of finding what I want, which is already tough enough in the plus size market.
My personal style has taken years of trial and error for me to figure out and define. I’m in my 40s and have been a fat woman for at least 25 of those years. I’ve tried the trends, checked out some haute couture styles, and eventually, after a lot of trial and error, figured out what styles both look best and make me feel the most like myself. Youthful trends and haute couture aren’t it. Again, for those who want to work those styles, I think it’s fantastic that there are more and more options becoming available and more plus size designers getting a clue and jumping on that train. But for me and others who prefer something different, I feel the options are getting harder and harder to find.
You know, it is interesting, cause at times when I do share the classic pieces, the commenters go IN on them!
I do share great classic pieces and items that are timeless, but they get overlooked… Like you, I love a great piece that is of great quality that will last me forever!!! I actually have done a few posts on this!!!
I am curious as to what you see as Haute Couture? Where do you like to shop?
The store that I feel reflects my personal style the closest is Anthropologie: vintage inspired, classic pieces with a little whimsy, something unexpected to them. I see hints of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s in their clothes, with ’60s and ’70s elements, too; although my preference is for the earlier eras. But sadly, no matter how many times I’ve written to Anthro and told them I’d single-handedly revive our national economy with how much money I’d spend if they just made clothes in plus sizes, Anthro has no plans to do so.
You think I’d be able to find reasonable alternatives at the Gap, ModCloth, eShakti and the like, but I’ve yet to find any items from the Gap and ModCloth that fit me well, even with ModCloth’s new plus sizes. eShakti is very hit or miss for me. Even when I get something custom sized from them using the measurements on their site, it never seems to fit quite right. I think I have only 2 tops in my closet from eShakti.
So I look for other options that kind of come close, but are not quite there. I used to rely a lot on Old Navy; not so much any more. JCPenney has the a.n.a. and Worthington clothing lines for both plus and straight sizes. A few years ago, a.n.a. had lot of cute items that fit my personal style, but not so much any more. Worthington sometimes comes close, but it’s usually pretty hit or miss for me. Same with Kohl’s. They had a clothing line called AB Studio for plus and straight sizes that I really liked. But after only a year, AB Studio was relegated to straight sizes only, and now I don’t think that line exists any more. Kohl’s other design line, Apt. 9, for both plus and straight sizes, sometimes comes close, but it’s very hit or miss.
I’ve found myself doing more shopping on QVC.com in the past 2 years. I have to look through a *lot* of more ‘matronly’ styles, but every once in a while, I’ll find something that works for me. I don’t love it like I love the stuff I see on Anthropologie’s site, but I have to make do with what I can find. I also have a few items from indie plus size designer LucieLu, although much like ModCloth, not all her designs are cut right for my body shape. I like a lot of what I see on LucieLu’s website, though. And the same for her business partner, B&Lu. I like a lot of what I see on their website (aside from some of the more trendy stuff), but I’ve learned from experience that not much of it is cut right for my body shape. I’ve found a few 4X items at B&Lu that fit me well, but only a very few. I also check out some of the UK and Aussie sites like ASOS, Evans, Debs and SimplyBe and will occasionally find something I like on those sites. Most of it’s too trendy for my taste, however, so their styles are not a large part of my wardrobe.
Haute couture, to me, includes all the high end designers – YSL, Versace, Chanel, Dior, and other designers like Guess, Hilfiger and the like who are trying to emulate haute couture, or at least a more “accessible” version of it. While I know Michael Kors and Calvin Klein aren’t considered haute couture by the fashion industry, I’ve always considered them in that group with Guess and others who are trying to create more “accessible” haute couture. They’re certainly not accessible to me, since their clothes have always been out of my price range and, until now, have never been available in my size. But much of what I see in Michael Kors’ plus size line is not representative of my style and, even on sale, is usually still out of my price range. I look at how some plus size bloggers like Nicolette Mason put themselves together, bloggers who are more devoted to high end style, and while they look fantastic, it’s just not me. I would never feel comfortable wearing pencil skirts and heels on a daily basis, like I see in so many of Nicolette’s outfit posts. And by ‘comfort,’ I mean physical comfort. I work in public education. With all the time I spend on my feet, heels are just not happening. Neither are pencil skirts. There’s just no comfortable way to sit in a pencil skirt for an extended period of time without showing parts of yourself that student eyes should just not see. And I feel the same way outside of work, too. If I go out for drinks with the intent to maybe meet a guy and spark some interest, if I’m feeling physically uncomfortable in a pencil skirt and heels (or some other piece of high end fashion that’s just not me), I’m not going to communicate that “hey, get to know me” vibe.
…Anyway, sorry for the long response, but I felt the need to be clear on my process of defining my personal style and that I don’t just summarily dismiss plus size retailers without giving them a chance. I’ve just found very few, so far, that really live up to my ideals.
XOXOXOXO Thank you soooo much for giving us your thoughts and for breaking it down! I will keep YOU in mind when fashioninig posts!
i left a long reply and had to go through a long disqus process to post when i got there it was deleted… so i’ll post it again later…. sigh fyi
ohhh noo! 🙁 I wanna read it!
YES. To all of this.
Thank you for this posting this topic! I agree with everything you’ve commented on above.What specifically stuck out for me was the comment you made about certain designers producing fashions that may cost a bit more than we want to pay. I’m one of those women who will go looking for the higher end pieces when my pocket allows it before anything else simply because of the quality and longevity of the garment. It makes me feel good that as a fuller figured woman, I too have options. I love the fact that as plus-sized women, we have the Marina Rinaldi’s, Anna Scholz’, and Michael Kors to name a few.
It saddens me that we’ve come to expect for high-end quality pieces to cost a lot when they’re from a DVF, Stella McCartney or Alice and Olivia, but we won’t give OUR plus-sized designers that same consideration. The quality that you get from a Marina Rinaldi piece rivals these designers in my opinion.
I’m just loving the fact that we have a wonderful community of women that come from all different walks of life and have impeccable senses of style. The rest of the world just needs to catch up!
Two snaps! The rest of the world just needs to catch up! 🙂 XOXOXO
I am a 51 year old, plus size woman. I love that this dialog is even happening. I have always been a big girl, teen and woman. Always. I’m okay with that and got my sense of fashion from my momma who was so frustrated with trying to find clothes for me in the “chubby” section of Montgomery Wards, Sears or whatever. I remember the days when all we had was Lane Bryant and those plus sizes in the back of the store or on the 3rd floor next to small appliances. I’m pleased that we finally have choices, high end, discount and haute couture. I personally like shopping at boutiques that carry plus sizes, but I shop where I know they carry my size. I don’t get angry anymore, I just shop where they cater to me and my size. Embrace this and be glad you didn’t have to wear what I had to or settle.
😀 Thank you sooo much Whitney for sharing! Girl! I am trying!!!!
I couldn’t agree more. To be honest, I love being able to say, “I don’t like that” and know that there are plenty of things available that I do like and can wear. When there were fewer choices, you had to just pick from what was available and that wasn’t much. Now there is just so much out there. Better for the consumer, and for retailers.
I mean…f o r reals though! I agree! Thank you !!!!
I’m another of the women here who has had a long experience as a plus size, and lived my youth in an era where there were very few fashion choices. Things are so incredibly different now. There are so many options! I spend most of my fashion comment time lamenting that I’m too old for the more avant guard offerings.
I still do, though, have thoughts about taste. If a look falls outside of what presents a woman as someone who practices good mental and physical self care, and suggests that she is limiting herself to only one definition of herself (that of sexual object) I’m going to object.
This conversation (about enjoying our selves and our bodies as we are without shame or self loathing) has been many years coming, and I want to enjoy every second of it. I do know that to participate properly, I need to say those things that lift us up as women, and to do it in such a way that it brings a smile, provokes a thought, or in some way encourages a woman to reach for her best self. That is what a really good friend does.
But a really good friend also answers honestly (but gently) if you ask her “does this outfit make my ass look big?”
Love your work girl! I wish you lived next door! 😀
Love you too Maragret! Thank you sooo much for the continued love and support! XOXOXOXO I know if we lived next door to each other, I have an idea we’d get into sooo much fun trouble! LOL
So glad you approached this topic. I am a 53 year old plus size consignment store owner. I have to have this convo almost daily with customers that are shopping for thrift store merchandise. I explain what and how we operate and tell them that this is just another alternative in the market I so wish more of us understood our own personal style. (This could be a whole other topic.) Because you can put a kick butt look together with a piece from Saks and a piece from Walmart. And the other pain for me is…just because they sell it in your size, doesn’t mean it’s for your body type. Okay, I thank you for letting me get that off my chest. Ladies, please support the plus size businesses in your area and abroad. Tell us what you want. If the owners are serious business owners that will gladly stock it!
WHOOP! Are you located in the US? Please make sure you submit your listing to the boutique directory!!! 😀
As women, we need to quit “shaming” each other. Stay at home vs. working mothers. Fat vs. thin. We don’t make others look bad slamming others! We’ve all done it, but when you make a conscious effort not to, you realize just how often you do. Next time you think that fat girl running looks like a slob, try telling yourself at least she’s moving her ass. Next time you see an enormous girl wearing something ill-fitting, focus on her shiny beautiful hair. And next time you see that skinny 6-foot tall blonde eating a salad, remind yourself that she’s carrying a lovely handbag. Everyone has a positive, and I’d love for more of us to focus on that. Tell you what, compliment one person a day, even if you don’t know her. It comes back to you, Karma’s just that way.
Gotta love Karma when it is good!! 😀
Amen! Plus size options are increasing in style quotient, which means we’re going to have to pay up. But it’s honestly the same problem as the straight sizes, the difference being that we’re still a smaller market and have less options at all price points :-/ However, a lot of stuff (especially at Nordstrom, if you shop the sales) is in a regular woman’s price range. You may have to make the choice of buying less per shopping trip, but I’d rather have 10 basic pieces that I love and supplement with cheapie trend pieces, than dozens of cheapie items and only one or two really nice things. I understand the budget struggle, I’m a recent graduate who is interning for a stipend while searching for part time work. But I really appreciate you showcasing so many different brands and styes. A lot of them aren’t for me personally, but I’ve found several brands that I plan to give my business to in the future.
Side note: If you don’t have access to many thrift stores in your area, Ebay can be a great source for finding plus size clothes. There’s a good amount of gently used pieces floating around out there. It takes a bit more time to browse, but you can find some gems!
Thank you for dropping those gems! I appreciate you!
Well said. I’m tired of reading all of the negative and blatantly RUDE comments from women, against women. We’ve been complaining for DECADES about not wanting “gramma clothes” and now that we have a great amount of variety and can wear that cute little dress (that wasn’t available in your size 5 years ago), women are shooting it down for all the reasons you listed. I feel like yelling, MAKE UP YOUR MIND! As for prices – it’ll always be that way. If you want quality, you have to pay for it. Many manufacturers and retailers didn’t offer plus size clothing simply because they needed to build larger machines to handle the cuts, more fabric, etc – and that ultimately meant upping retail prices to accommodate their costs. Its not rocket science.
BIGGGGGGGGG hugs to YOU
What is that stunning long jacket you are wearing? I want.
Its actually a dress love!!! 🙂 I rocked it over some shorts. It is from Shoxie.com!
I Love that I now have options, I love that I can now shop at H&M, Saks, Nordstrom, Target, Lane Bryant and the Gap. I love that I can now see Plus size women bloggers with style and Sass and can take their Ideas and turn them into things that work for me. Everyone is different and I that is what I truly love. Dillards is also a store that I have had great success with finding clothes.
🙂 Thank you!
I love this post! It saddens me on all my favourite FB pages to read the comments from women snidely slamming the plus size model pictured for wearing stripes, or going sleeveless because “no plus size woman looks good in that”.
So well said Marie- thanks for this article. Even though the offerings for plus and “straight” fashion are not yet proportionate, I think that there are many positive changes that everyone can be happy about- regardless of your size or style. I’m a designer who is not plus-sized myself, and I’ve been working toward understanding the needs of plus women from a fit and functionality perspective. But I too read comment threads, and at times it can get a little difficult to find the constructive feedback amongst the negativity. I’m proud to offer my designs up to a 3XL/16 as I work towards my goal of offering more inclusive sizing.
I love this article it sums me up ! Well written. I will try any outfit once and if its not right for me I’ll move on and know it will work for someone else to rock it. I try not to walk by something that i think isn’t me sometimes those are the things I end up taking home. I’m not wealthy so most of what I get is on sale clearance etc. Unless its something I’ve saved up for then game is on! Its about being open minded when we shop when we talk and when rock what we wear.
I agree wholeheartedly!! Another well written article! Thanks Marie-Denee. I think that we has women need to stop knocking each other down.. and instead support one another. Be positive Folks… It is wonderful to see that designers have finally understood that plus ladies want to wear more than sac dresses, muumuus, and matching polyester pant sets with pineapples embroidered all over. We want to be Sexy, trendy,classy, and fashionable. We want to be able show off our bodies in pencil skirts and crop tops and not be shamed into believing we have no right to wear those styles because we are too fat.. You know? I mean.. I don’t like Maxi dresses or skirts.. I don’t see myself buying or wearing one anytime in the future but I see other curvy ladies including Ms. Marie Denee wearing them.. and I think.. Man.. THEY LOOK AMAAAAZING!! They are totally rocking that Maxi! I don’t run around town screaming obscenities at plus ladies wearing maxi dresses because I don’t like maxi dresses. So,. why is ok to be nasty about what someone is wearing on Facebook or in a forum? I swear people don’t have any respect or manners these days. My Mama always said.. if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it all. and that is advice I follow everyday.. It is definitely important to support designers who are making fashionable plus size clothing but I will also admit that many of the designers are waay out of my budget.. and by waay.. I really mean waaaaaay. I will also say that have seen some to-die-for pieces recently that I think I am going to have to save up for because I REALLY want them… Truthfully I am a thrift store junkie at heart and I scour the racks and bins at thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets for some of my favorite clothes and shoes. We are all beautiful and deserve to be respected no matter what we wear or where we shop. 🙂 I hope I didn’t ramble too much.. lol