LETS TALK: Design Elements in Plus Size Clothes that KILL ME.

Plus size woman Walking

Now, I do not know in what book or meeting it was decided that there are specific elements that have to be done ONLY for plus size fashion. I do not know where or WHY these elements run rampant in plus size designs, and frankly, it drives me mad. We do not see these elements in straight sizes to the degree that I see them in plus and it irks me. There are specific design elements in plus size clothes that drive me mad. 

I really want to say JUST STOP. But I cannot, because these elements work for quite a few plus size women, and if it rocks YOUR boat then hey, I am happy. But for me and a few others whom we have had colorful discussion with, I NEED MORE, I cannot, and I just want to scream at the designers sometimes…

So, here we go:

Design Elements in Plus Size Clothes that KILL ME.

Can I get a FULL Sleeve? STOP IT with the overkill of the three quarter sleeves. Seriously, do you know how hard it is to find a button up, jacket, tee, or dress whose sleeves are NOT three quarter? I DO love a three quarter sleeve, but I cannot have EVERY Jacket like this.

Having variety is awesome. And the extreme is something serious too. I either get a sleeveless or cap to a three quarter. Um. Hello. Which leads me to…

Give me Structure.

Coming from someone who lives for the Boho Luxe side of things, yes, I am asking for more structure. Can I have a plus size blazer with a button closure? Why must my really cool blazer NOT have buttons and tailoring? I mean, I know that I, 9 times out of 10 will need a little tailoring in my life, but at least give me the option of structure in the first place.

Stop it with the handkerchief, shark hemlines.

I love a great high low top. When infused with fashion, it is the coolest thing. But EVERY TOP? Come on now! Why or where was it decided that this was the only finish for tops? Give me a clean hemline or a standard button up option… no need to add length thinking I want to hide.

Sketch of a plus size woman
Photo by Jenn St Onge


ENOUGH with the elasticized tops.

You know those ones which have a reallllllly cute design then all of a sudden, here comes the funky band at the bottom of the blouse. I have contemplated a gazillion times cutting and cropping the blouse, BUT, aint nobody got time for that. AND then those tops that have that three-five inches of fabric that jettison out from the end of the elastic band? STOP IT.

STOP WATERING down the “plus size” version and STOP making “considerations” for the plus size woman.

Seriously. It is rude, frustrating, and irritating. Because most of the time, the finished product looks NOTHING like the original or the inspiration. The design loses it specialness, or no longer has an appeal.

An idea? Scale and fit the original the same! We actually said this to a brand this past week. It was freeing.

Out with the BOX tops.

Um, I do not know if you have been reading the news, but uh, we like to show off what we have, accentuate the girls, play up our assets, and rock fashion with an edge. While there is a place for this cut, NOT EVERYTHING should be this way.



Look. I love a good thigh. I like my legs and I am not afraid to show them. Seriously. It is funny how I will see a fashion forward or on trend item done in plus (which I get all geeked about), just like its straight size friend. THEN when it comes to the slit that was supposed to be mid-thigh? It is either gone or to the bottom of the knee. NOW, I have to cut the hem, create one on the seam, or sit in frustration.


Plus size woman with attitude

See Also
Plus Size Designer Label Rum and Coke Holiday Collection


Basically, the same elements in what makes a straight size garment fabulous, we’d like to see more in plus. NOW, do not get me wrong, I do love the changes that are and have happened. BUT, I do see a swing in the pendulum and I want to make sure you are aware of where the plus size woman is at.

We are now segmented shoppers. YES. You have your plus size discount/fast fashion/bargain shopper, your plus size contemporary designer shopper, your plus size missy shopper and your plus size designer shopper.

We now have different needs, trends, and price sensitivities (or not), tastes, lifestyles…

Basically, the plus size consumer of ten years ago is not the same as today. You can see this in the news, on TV, on Facebook, AND emerging in the newest marketing research and data!

I share these frustrations, especially in light of eloquii closing shop, but to let these designers, boutiques, retailers, and whomever else know that we are not a monolith of shoppers. We are now JUST as diverse and varied as our straight sized consumers and wish to be acknowledged as such.

What are some other design elements that you see that are OVERDONE? 

What kind of elements would you really like to see more of?

View Comments (710)
  • For me it’s can I have small size boobs please – you see i’m not bustily endowed – so whilst the rest of me may be plus-sized the bustline of me isn’t – but try and find something that doesn’t flap like a tent in a storm – i bought a stunning drop dead gorgeous igigi dress for my brothers wedding but the boobs puffed out and in the photos it looks like a sack

  • I was just talking about this with a friend… I hate those 2 for 1 shrug style tops with the fake front shirt! Then they sew on a necklace!! Like we are too lazy and stupid to layer AND accessorize. Drives me crazy.

  • Amen and Amen.  Esp to 3/4 sleeves.  And elastic in tops!!  My God – you nailed several of the issues.  I would like to add overuse of animal prints and cut outs on sleeves and/or back.  A little of that goes a lot way in a wardrobe. 

      • Lol every time i go shopping for clothes, i keep seeing the Large print, floral, or neon colors or pastels.. some are ok.. but im not the type that looks good in colors like neon orange, or neon yellow lol id love to see more jewel tone colors in the lighter scale myself.. and why not some of the designs they do for the smaller womens clothes in plus size? there are some design elements or patterns or the embrodiery that would look good in larger sizes i believe

        • Why oh why do so many plus size garments Have huge gaudy neon bright flowers? There is just no way to look stylish and sophisticated when you look as though you just rolled through a flower garden and everything stuck? Jewel tones with stylish cuts would be a nice alternative !

    • I agree. I filed a complaint with JC Penny once and their Retail Director called me to ask what the problem was. I said: I would like to find a bathing suit in a solid color – or just two solid colors. Why in the world do I, as a plus sized woman, have to look like a geometric clash of horrid colors that really don’t go together or like a tropical forest threw up on me? Why can’t I have a solid color bathing suit? Or dress? Or shirts and pants? Why do I have to dress garishly rather than choosing a nice print to go with a good solid color…like non-plus women get to do?

      He said that he hadn’t thought of that…and would pass that information on. I said, do that…because I would like to wear nice, elegant, solid color clothes with print accents that I get to choose for myself. He actually agreed.

  • “Can I get a FULL Sleeve? ” I could have stopped reading your article right there. Why the 3/4 sleeve on every damn thing? What is the reasoning? At one time did someone say 3/4 sleeves are flattering on plus size girls? When it is winter time, I’m freezing in my coat because none of my sleeves make it past my elbow–including sweaters. *grrrrr*

      • I don’t agree with it, but the rationale is that exposing part of the arm makes the fabric, and therefore the person wearing it, look smaller. I have broad shoulders and long arms, so I tolerate 3/4 sleeves because full length is usually just a touch too short for me – Worthington dress shirts at JCP are one value priced, work appropriate exception. So it’s men’s shirts or 3/4 sleeves for the most part. I would like to see the 3/4 sleeve a lot less!!! 🙂

  • I loved this post!  As a professional seamstress/fashion designer with an aesthetic of ‘real woman have curves’ I am always trying to create ideas into fashionable pieces for plus size women! Being plus sized myself, I couldn’t agree more with you!!

  • One of my biggest pet peeves are the crazy floral prints with random Parisian/Renaissance motifs  you see in some plus size garments.  Also flutter sleeves for EVERYTHING really bother me. And more variety in color.  I’ve been shopping for an evening dress and I swear it has been the hardest thing to find one that is NOT black, blue, brown or charcoal.  I want as much color as the next girl! 

  • Thanks Marie! i just can’t take any of it anymore. Why are the ankles on the skinny jeans not so skinny??? Makes it look like your wearing straight leg jeans. And like you said, why do they have to forego quality when the size is increased?  STRUCTURE, STRUCTURE AND MORE STRUCTURE. Why would a girl with a relatively small waist (in comparison to the hips) want to only wear tunic tops, tent dresses and unstructured blazers/jackets???? So what usually happens, is that I typically shop in misses regular and squeeze into the 14 and 16 because the plus size clothing (14W and 16W) seem substandard.

    • And with plus sized jeans – why must the waist ALWAYS be the same size as the hips?! I have a waist-line! I can’t ever find nice jeans because the waist is always too looby and they won’t stay up!

  • Wow Marie! I share so many of the same frustrations and I don’t even know where to start except to say that you are on point!!!!

  • I’m over crazy prints that are meant to mask imperfections…don’t get me wrong…I love prints but the insane geometric stuff out there is way too intense.

  • I have more of a problem with tops that are cut well in the bust but have tiny armholes, ugh.
    I also hate when skinny jeans are only made for hippy women. I’m an apple with an otherwise athletic build- large thighs & a tight butt. There is nothing worse than jeans that sag in the bum area! And I’m with you on showing a little thigh, I love to show off my legs 😉 But the worst offender by far is the shapeless blousy tops that instantly turn anyone into an unfashionable grandma.

  • How long do you have…I can go on forever.  But I’ll just hit my major fails!  I HATE motifs on plus size suits and clothes.  Be it flower, sailor or animal.  I do not want a big giraffe or cat on my clothes!  And just because I’m plus-size, does not mean that I’m 5’8 and taller.  Nor does it mean that I’m blessed with big breasts or big feet! I’m actually pretty shapely.  And cut the box tops and box tanks please.  And what’s with the 3/4 inch sleeves?  Is it really that difficult to make what you make in a straight size in plus?  You would think so by looking at Project Runway.  Designers lose their minds when they have to design for a plus size client!  I don’t get it…

    • LOL yes yes yes, I hate those graphics! I went to school for fashion design and everything was geared to the tiny ladies. In my pattern making class there were about 15 girls, 3 of us were “plus sized” so we had to stay after to make our “special” patterns. Everyone’s different but you can work with it!

  • I totally hate the drapey neck tops. I mean seriously!!! It’s on every top and dress. It is not always flattering and depending on the material it just adds too much bulk.

  • Oh my GOD, thank you.  I’m always so annoyed by those damn shapeless tops or the ones with the elastic at the bottom.  I’ve got a big chest so that just makes me a shapeless blob on top when nothing cinches under my bust.  Also: assuming all plus size women also have large butts and thighs.

    One of my BIGGEST pet peeves though, since I’m actually an “inbetween” size (14) and can generally find clothes at most major retailers:  I can’t stand when something like a woven top/jacket/swimsuit is available in a 14, but does not account for the fact that a larger woman may also have large breasts that need a little room/support.  I dropped a ton of cash on a bikini top that actually held my girls up rather than two triangles of spandex that just allowed them to droop ever-so-sadly towards my elbows.

    Thanks so much for this post, its basically a transcript what I shout whenever I walk into a Lane Bryant.  “I HAVE A WAIST, PEOPLE!!”

  • don’t manipulate me into a double sale with your tank top and cardi bullshit.  make me a fuckin sleeve…there are hundreds to choose from…80’s poof, 50’s poof, country poof, 70’s tight long sleeve like a leotard, add a hole for my thumb to go through, you can use any of these ideas…i’m full of them…i just go back in time and take all the shit I wish was in my size and put it on pinterest.  I am plus!  so can you!

  • I one hundred percent agree with everything! Just because I am curvy does NOT mean I want to go out dressed in a 3/4 sleeve floral sack! I am thankful that there now seems to be some designers that have gotten the hint and while there is some discrepancies between the “Normal” and “Plus size” versions, the margin is getting smaller. Unfortunately (being in Australia) that means ordering all of my clothes from the States because apparently the message hasn’t made it down here yet. Please keep promoting all of the beautiful Plus Size fashions that you do. Love your work! 

  • Man, I couldn’t agree more. I think the thing designers seem to forget, and it’s totally one of the things I said in my angry letter to Lucky, was that plus sizes are just bigger versions of straight sizes. Some of us have big boobs, or big stomachs, or big butts, or whatever. You can’t cut the clothes all the same way (for the 5’8″ hourglass) and expect them to work on all of us. We need as much diversity in fits and cuts as the straight sizes, and designers just can’t be bothered. As someone who is the OPPOSITE of an hourglass, I’ve paid my dues chopping off elastic bottoms, getting boxy shirts hemmed and taken in, and desperately hunting for jeans that won’t cut off my circulation while bagging miserably in the butt and hips. VARIETY. Is it really THAT hard? 

  • Flutter sleeves, bat sleeves, and cold shoulder 3/4 sleeves…who in the world said I needed all of this to hid my arms? I like normal fitted sleeves, whether it be long, short, or 3/4…just stop fluttering my sleeves!

  • i hear wut ur saying but I’m just so glad it isn’t what it was 20 -25 years ago…I’m 44 and there was only one plus size store in my city when i was a teen….and oh boy..everything looked like old lady clothes and something u would see on momma cass or a moo moo….I would cry when mom took me shopping…then she found a store in Toronto Canada..I lived an hr away…but u had no choice to pay for what u were getting…yes..I like nice clothes but its nice to be able to go into regular dept stores and get affordable stuff too. and I do prefer to shop savy anyhow. but there was a time it was almost impossible to even find a pair of jeans.

    • Well, you aren’t lying there.  And the main difference now is that teenage girls can at least buy clothes that look like the ones that their friends are wearing.  I had a super conservative style once I sized out of the trendy stores precisely b/c it was easier to go kind of preppy since no other stores wanted us in their clothes (which is still true).  
      It makes me happy now to see plus sized teens in cute clothes, even if their under size 14 friends have 100x more clothing options.
      And as a total clothes horse, there are enough options that I have many the size 4 or 6 coveting my clothes and outfits, and asking me where I got things b/c they love the way I dress.  I think it’s funny b/c I’m like 90% of the clothing sold is aimed at them so if they can’t put together a decent outfit, it is not for lack of options.

  • YES. I hate banded, shark-hemmed, and boxy tops! And structure! Could I get a dress that *isn’t* knit once and a while? And a jacket that buttons in an awesome way… preferably with enough tailoring so that my boobs don’t look like they’re at my waistline (reality check: I spend a lot of money on bras to make my girls stay up where they belong…give me some clothes that don’t make them look like they’re knee-length, mkay?). Thanks for this post, and for advocating for us all, Marie!

  • Thank you…I dislike how the assumption is that when you are over a 14 you turn into a shapeless blob.  I see plenty of women who can fit into size 8 jeans who have “figure flaws” yet they still have the option of tailored clothes.  
    I’ve finally found some places that give me tapered cuts and long sleeves, but yeah, I’m so with you on that 3/4 sleeve thing. It needs to be put to rest and I’m pretty sure women who shop in Misses don’t have to put up with it.
    Another thing that is amazing to me is that I can browse every plus size option in a store (online or brick and mortar) in just a few minutes, but when trying to help a friend who was looking for a dress, I was amazed that she had about 100 times more dresses to look through.  I really had no idea.  One of my favorite stores, that would be typical in terms of plus sized options will have about 2 1/2 pages of designs for each clothing type(dress, pants, tops, etc) if you wear a 14 or up.  If I go to the misses pages, they have about 40 pages worth of each clothes type.
    I don’t think there are 20 times more women who are under size 14…it reminds me of how a lot of makeup lines will have 5 shades of white and ‘black girl’ in their color options.

  • Scarf shirts. They are from the devil. Seriously those, shapeless baggy things are hideous, and NO ONE”s friend. I’m sure this is an issue only for short plus’s but I wish plus size hosiery meant wider as well as taller. How can a pair of pantyhose somehow mange to comb up to my boobs and still squeeze my thighs with a death grip? Lastly as a plus sized gal on the higher end of things, can I get some color? It’s like anyone wearing a 4x is doomed to black or navy. Even in the 1x came in reds and purples.

  • THIS. ALL of this. I could marry you for every. Single. Point. In this article. I would probably add the design element of “adding a super tacky rhinestone design to an otherwise perfectly respectable jacket, pair of jeans etc.”

    Can we just send this memo out to the stores?

  • Also, thanks for this. Until this, I would be looking at selections and wondering if people actually liked this stuff (elastic bottoms etc) and whether I was being too picky or demanding. I will often put an item back if I like everything…and then see an elasticized bottom. *sigh*

    I guess it just feels lazy to me, and I hate lazy fashion, especially in plus sizes, because that tells me that you don’t think I’m worth the brain power/tailoring/time.

    • You NAILED it on the head!!! “I guess it just feels lazy to me, and I hate lazy fashion, especially in plus sizes, because that tells me that you don’t think I’m worth the brain power/tailoring/time”

  • I hate that the Lane Bryant’s Lane Collection does not go up to 26/28. It’s just dumb. I would also like it if I could get jeans that do not have the stretchy stuff. The jeans that I get do not stay up on their own even with a belt, and it’s frustrating having to constantly pull up your pants throughout the day.

    • Jeans/Pants in general are a nightmare for me… they never stay up… must always use a belt… try find narrow belts  with low profile talk about a needle in a haystack….  they are pricey but I now only buy not your daughter’s jeans… they really do amazing things to your body… if you are tall have no waist like me (Igigi Oval) try their Sarah or Boot Cut jeans they have a higher waste…

      • I find the same, Marie. I have a pear shaped friend who LOVES stretch, but being more of an apple myself I do not like it. I’d rather have little to no stretch to keep my jeans from sliding around and shifting down my derriere. (Plus, I hate wearing belts.)

    • I don’t mind a wee bit of stretch, but I HATE it when every pair of plus-size jeans in the store looks like it was attacked by a possessed Bedazzler. I don’t need a sparkly butt, thank you.

  • Marie, I am rather new to your blog, as I have been checking it out over the last few months, but this is only my second post. Here’s something that drives ME bleeding nuts:

    Stores that do not put their plus-size lines in the stores, but have them only online. I have ordered items that I’ve seen on the website, only to get it home and find that the sleeves are too small, or the waist is too big, or etc,, etc., etc….Yeah, I’m talking about you, OLD NAVY!!!

    •  here’s what I recently found out about that online only stuff.; some retailer now request you get an authorization code before you return an item.

    • JJill…. love their clothes would shop the store out… but noooo to plus sizes… it is insulting and a really stupid retail mistake…

    • THANK you for coming back and welcome!!!! Yes, this is an issue, one that I really get and challenge these brands with! :/ ON is only one among many who resort to this… 

    • Coldwater Creek offers plus sizes online and in their stores…except 3X! I am very angry about this and refuse to shop there either online or in a store!!

    • … and Uniglo, bite my shiny, metal butt — how dare you represent your style as inclusive, but not even have your upper-range sizes, for men or women, in stores? It’s like we’re good enough for private fun, but you don’t want to be seen with us on the street.

      And, Old Navy? I bought your jeans because they were sturdy and cheap, but I had to pull them up every stinking time I walked anywhere — the fit was so wrong at the waist that the belt gapped at my waist, with the fabric two inches below. Having to handsew cinches in at the side=seam line wasn’t a cinch, I tell you what….

  • My issue with plus size clothing is the infamous preformed boob area! I fully understand that my large bust is not the norm. However let’s try and implementing some common sense into sizing for tops, dresses and lingerie. For example Lane Bryant often makes very cute babydolls. However I wear about a size 20 even if I go up to a size 26 28 the cup size built into the babydolls might be a DD at most. also tops our problem. I don’t understand how you can make a top with the empire waist and not leave enough room for breast. Awesome more times than not I see women wearing tops with a pre for movie. And the scene runs across the middle of their breasts. I know sometimes have a good bra will fix it but other times it’s just not cut big enough.

  • My bone to pick with retailers is the where they put the women’s clothing. For example, Macy’s. I love Macy’s with a bloody passion, but 9 times out of 10 it will be tucked behind the housewares or on the bottom floor by the bed/bath or on the very top floor around the corner from the kids’ department–in other words, far, FAR away from the “regular girl” clothes. It’s drives me batso crazy. It’s insulting. It’s rude. And the reward for that loooong walk is usually a few picked over clothes that are either cut funny or no plus-size woman could ever feel comfortable in. But one further for me: skinny jeans. Many of you here can pull them off, but I carry most of my weight in my treadmill-firmed legs, thankyouverymuch. They’re not pretty. We’re not all cut the same, but somehow, somewhere, someone is making the assumption that we’re all shaped like apples. 

    •  yup, what my sister and I call in the back, in the corner, in the dark. However lately I’ve noticed  a new trend which is to put it next to maternity wear. In fact Target has their plus sizes mixed it with maternity wear.

    • Interesting! As an actual apple shape, I find most plus-size clothes seem to be built for an hourglass shape. And plus size skinny jeans never fit. I keep ALL of my weight at my waist, so my legs are comparatively thin, and plus-size skinny jeans (well, all plus-size jeans, really) always have too much fabric. They’re like straight leg jeans on me. If they don’t fit me, and they don’t fit you, who in the hell are they being made for? I wish they’d get their acts together, and look at actual women instead of fit models. 

      • This issue actually brought me here today. This is an old thread and article, but my word!! Why are plus sized clothes made for strictly one body type? Who decided that everyone who’s plus sized has a flat belly and carries all her weight in her rear end?! Yay for you if you do, I think it’s easier to “hide” what you may want to, but for me, nothing fits. Grr!

    • Interesting… Apple shaped? I have found the same like @twitter-16600247:disqus most tend to be cut for hourglass… but more variety and options… yes! Skinny jeans? LOVE them coming from thick things over here! 🙂 

  • I know I must sound like an OLD record.. BUT… there is a VERY Under-served Plus Size shopper.. THE PETITE PLUS SIZED!

    Many Designers provide much option but for us shorties.. it is even more constrained.  
    I understand that we are not the majority and am asking for too much BUT.. having the on line stores offer their designs in stores is KEY for us!  WE come with a HUGE imagination by sheer FASHION WILL… My wearing a shirt as a dress or a Capri as a pant… WE EXIST.  
    Give us OPTIONS.. give us short torso dresses and/or designs.  
    I LOVE to support the many Plus Size designers that have finally flourished BUT as I peer the size charts to ‘guess’ on what will fit me best.. they still come up ‘short’.. or LONG to be exact.
    I too hate the ‘pads’ that are built in to blouses and shirts… They get twisted or move around and just not looking well.  I wind up becoming an expert at making a surgical incision to the panel and extracting these horrid pads!
    I also surely DO NOT want to put on anything that will age me older BUT can we get more form fitting designs but also tasteful for work wear?  When I am interested in buying an item I must be able to wear it to work AND feel my individuality and curves are also appeased.

    • I’m a fashion designer and just started a plus size collection. I’m 5’4 and make the samples to my sizes, it’s great to be able to provide clothing and handbags to ladies of the same stature as me. I think the easiest and best thing for us short curvy ladies are maxi skirts! I just sold this one, and just started making some circle skirts. We definitely need to emphasize and accentuate our beautiful bodies! 🙂

    • THANK YOU! At 5’3″, I have a hard time finding stuff that works for me…especially since I also have a small bust. Not every plus size girl is tall with big boobs.

    • Seriously! I am so sick of having to order clothes online and send most of them back, just because I am petite plus size and wanted the option of trying them on. (Also, I should add that before I became plus size, I had the same problem–many stores no longer carry their petite styles in the store, much less petite plus size.) And I have found no petite plus size tops or dresses or skirts anywhere. Anyone who knows of a good not-too-expensive source for those, please let me know! I am 5′ 1 1/2″ and have big boobs and a short torso, and generally wear a size 2x on top. All these tunics are way too long for me, but they seem to be the only things that fit…why not make them in petite plus sizes once in a while?

  • Sequins. Animal print. Cutesy patterned embroidery. Button down shirts that do not close properly over a bosom bigger than a C cup.

  • I guess for me, the glass is half full. Challenges? Yes. Progress? Yes, yes. Is there enough variety out there for me to make great picks and look great, everyday? Yes, yes, yes!

    I’m an Ulla Popken customer, stylist and blogger. I live in the sleekness of Matte Jersey and Viscose Spandex, http://www.ullapopken.com/product/matte+jersey+v-neck+tunic.do?sortby=ourPicks

    I love the sophisticated “WOW” of Ulla’s beaded tunics, http://www.ullapopken.com/product/ikat+nouveau+beaded+tunic.do?sortby=ourPicks&page=2

    Ulla’s jeggings and leggings rock! http://www.ullapopken.com/product/stretch+denim+jeggings.do?sortby=ourPicks

    Marie, thank you for giving everyone an outlet to express their feelings, you do that so well! But, it’s okay to be happy, too – right?

  • I’m sick and tired of overly embellished shirts–where you have the shark hemline you also usually have the waterfall of sequins and beads over a poorly screenprinted image of a flower on crappy, thin fabric. People, no amount of flowers or sequins will take away from the fact that I have a bigger butt than some ladies, and they hide the light of my majestic rack under an ugly, ugly basket. Is it too much to ask for a nicely fitted, plain shirt in a lovely solid color of fabric that will last more than one wash? Apparently so.

    I’m also sick of pants not being tailored to a woman’s body, but rather based off of a smaller size and drawn to scale. You end up with a giant handful of fabric in an area where I’m just not packing anything. I’m not even sure what a tailor can do to solve that business. I love that there are more designers who are taking these things to heart, but I also want these kinds of normal, classy clothes available to me at a price point I can afford and regularly available in a brick & mortar store so I can try things on without the back and forth of online returns. 

  • As a very tall BBW, almost 6′ and oval shaped… I must admit to loving the sharktail hems… my problem is length of tops, blouses etc… if they are under 32″ in length I look like… well I don’t know what to call it except BAD… so shark tails help elongate with less fabric… all of my weight is in my middle… finding tops that work to help hide my tummy and enhance my assets if next to impossible…

  • for some reason plus size pant designers have decided you are either petite or tall. The average size pant is always too long and the petite is always to short. I’m 5’3″ and it’s damn near impossible to not have to hem my jeans. And don’t they know this trend towards either empire waist or overblousened makes a girl look like she’s carrying twins, I just want a shirt that has a nice nipped waist, is it too much to ask.

  • I would like to find plus sized bras with smaller cups but still have a wide band with at least 5 hooks in the back.   The bras that are DD or above have this feature.  The wider band helps me with support as well as smoothing out some of the extra bulges and is more comfortable. My size varies between a large C or D cup.  All plus sized ladies do not have super sized breasts.

  • I’m so glad someone finally posted about this! I am soooo sick of banded tops, shapeless clothes and handkerchief hems. There’s nothing fashionable about those things to me at all!
    I am also sick of low rise everything. As a high waist and wide hip having woman it is nearly impossible for me to wear low rise bottoms. Then I see my fellow plus sized women squeezing themselves into low rise bottoms and it makes me sad
    It’s not flattering at all.

  • I’m with Dawn, at 5’10”, is it really too much to ask to get some length? I’m not talking about knee length mumus, but a nice tailored shirt that’s too short, waist in the wrong place, buttons in the wrong places, etc., is horrible! Cute girly t-shirts? No way, unless I want to get my picture on the People of Wal-Mart website. If they would only proportion the cut the same way they do for smaller sizes, it would work. When I shop online, the shirts, tops, jackets, etc. in the pictures are hip length, or even better, just at the top of the thigh, but if you read the description, they’re 28 inches long. No bueno for tall girls with tummies. Keep fighting the fight girl, you rock! 

  • I need wider sleeves and so many cute dresses out there are sleeveless, I do not care to show my fat arms.  Make a cute dress with a sleeve that is not too tight and does not roll up the arm.  Jeans….I am tall and fat, and have trouble finding jeans that fit in the thighs and do make me look like an elephant in  a leotard.  And what about some sparkle butts, this 48 year old tall, fat, big thighed girl wants some stylish sparkle on her rear too!  I do not like skinny jeans or leggings…..they are not becoming on a fat chick like me.  I just want to be able to get some stylish long jeans with thighs that fit.  HELP!

    • Amen on all the sleeve issues. Why is it we have to select between no sleeve, flutter sleeves or 3/4 sleeves? And if there are sleeves, they are Frankensleeves made for skinny gals. WTF? Size 12 sleeves sewn onto a size 20 dress? Do they not know that fat gals have fat arms? And some of us are older than 19, so some appreciation for more mature, yet still fashionable taste would be nice. As in, I have to ***work*** in these clothes, so make them professional, not looking like they belong in a nightclub. No more clingy fabrics.

  • I am tall and I hate how most plus size skirts and dresses come in short and wide, I happen to be tall and curvy I should still be able to find attractive well-fitting dresses and skirts especially form fitting skirts that highlight my curves

  • I would love the hems of my shirts to be longer in the front and not on my sides (handkerchief) hems, and high low hems, love them! but reverse them, give me more coverage in the front but show my cute tush. I agree no more 3/4 sleeves, so how about some awesome cap sleeves w/funk. 

  • I cant get over that boy short briefs arent long enough to go over the tummy. They are wider, but we need a longer rise so they wont ride down or roll. In general, many plus size garments arent made longer to go over our curves!

  • Oh my gosh! You took the words right out of my mouth! I’ve been sharing most of these pains with fellow fatshionistas for years! The banded bottom shirts really are the bane of my existence. My other major pet peeve is bedazzled jean pockets, you know those back pockets that are just entirely over done? I get all excited because I think I might have found a decent pair of skinnies only to flip them over and be overtaken by a giant buttoned flap, with sequins, glitter and decorative stitching. I dig detail, but sometimes they just get way too carried away!

    xxo, dee

  • So glad to know I’m not alone on this. I mean really it’s like some designers don’t put any true effort when it comes to us fuller ladies. Why do we have to settle when we are the ones spending our money. I don’t enjoy spending 100 and come out looking like 25.

  • Love this article & all the comments! Here’s my list: 1) horizontal stripes seem to be everywhere… Give me vertical stripes and I will buy the whole lot! 2) completely inconsistent sizing in the same store! (yes you LB!) 3) sleeveless dresses that require me to wear a shrug if I don’t want my armpit in someone’s face at work! It looks sloppy, give a girl a sleeve some of the time! 4) lack of tummy flattering cocktail dresses that are not wrap arounds! In order to compliment my shape, I usually have to risk baring my boobs in a wraparound that does not stay put!!

  • Why are all plus sized tops so damned long? I happen to have a fabulous ass and I’d like to be able to show it off in my jeans, please! And I am not a short person, I’m 5’8″. These tops must be dresses on short people!

  • I feel you on the banded bottom tops. They are the complete opposite of structure and make everyone look like a marshmallow. My big sleeve complaint is when they translate a short sleeve top from straight sizes to plus sizes, what was once a cute short sleeve is now one of those long short sleeves (maybe 1/3 sleeve?). Not cute or sexy.

    I’m basically echoing the “stop watering down the plus size version” sentiment. Don’t give me a higher neckline or modesty panel to cover my cleavage to instantly frumpify a sexy body. When you design a pencil skirt, make it hug the curves like it’s supposed to. Taper it down a little from the hips to the knee. We are not built like tree trunks that you can just wrap a tube of fabric around (I’m looking at you Calvin Klein, with your beautiful prints, yet poorly fitting skirts).

    Thank you for this post!

  • Can I get the spandex back so my clothes can have shape and not be a garbage bag?? And can I get a great cut dress blouse with full sleeves and French cuffs?? How about a tailored blazer that’s not zoot suit long and not bag of chips square. and, I need the tops to be in various lengths for height and hems no one length only. I am a diamond shaped so I need the room in the mid section but the tops that aren’t banded aren’t long enough and my roll leaks out unless I have on my spanx. And who said we don’t like solid colors or large print?? Since when don’t we like bright spring colors or colors on trend?? Does every sweater need to be a cowl neck?? What happened to a regular ribbed turtle neck that fits the neck and adds length?? Not every big girls waist is small with hour glass hips, some of are built like a beer mug and would like tone able to fit clothes that elude to a waist, can I get some decent belts that aren’t so uncomfortable and tacky?? I think that’s it…loL love this post!!!

  • Hey there, 

    Great points about the fashion features, especially those darned elastic tops. 
    I was really looking forward to learning more about the artist whose illustrations you used to make your points stick for this piece but no dice — the “sources” used for the images in this article are useless and downright insulting to the original illustrator. The non-credited links to an image file stored on Pinterest is NOT the same thing as crediting the artist or the original source of the image. Would you like it if someone re-posted your writing without your permission and without your byline? Probably not. Please, please, please: think twice before doing the same thing to hard-working illustrators & image creators, especially to folks creating images as awesome as these illustrations and when it’s as simple as using google to search by image to find the creator.  

    • Hello there.

      So the first image I found and shared where I got it and the name. The others, I shared the link of where it was shared from… Given that I could not find except from the link I used, which was in Google search.

      So please before you chastise me, please, please know that I also fill in image descriptions, alt text and all I can to support those who are creating amazing art. 🙂 if you happen to know who these are by, please share, and ill list their names and link them ….. I’m all for giving love and supporting others.

      • Hey, I know you were telling Corvaxlorax to provide info if they have it, but I saw your comment and wanted to say I found an image source for the illustrator for the second image after literally hunting all day to find it! I found this image earlier in the day and loved it so much I looked all over for the source. In your defence it was definitely difficult to find her stuff even when I had her name. The second illustration is called “This Body” by Jenn St Onge, 


        Hope this helps! 

        xxo, dee

  • I’m right there with Happymommytimes3.  I LOVE, Love, love a pencil skirt.  But I’m talking about real pencil skirts.  The kind that come down past the knee or almost to the calf.  What they call pencil skirts in retail are anything but.  Almost everything I’ve seen is nothing but an a-line mini skirt.  Don’t get me wrong, I like to show my legs, but not when I’m in the mood for pencil sexiness.  But I digress from the real topic. 

          I am a 6ft. tall Igigi oval(full bust/broad shoulders) unfortunately carrying the bulk of my weight in my lower belly.  I realise that my figure needs are a minority – even in the plus size world, but I am so tired of the pervasive rejection of the fashion industry.  AND, while I feel for ya my petite sisters, you can ALWAYS have something tailored in/down.  Whereas it’s next to impossible to add length to anything without the complete ruination of the look.   Even when I was a racehorse thin teenager I still had to wear a size 14 due to my frame.  Which in the 70’s,  left me little to choose from.  Now I’m in general a 2x(depending) and I am completely over having to buy a 4x to get the length I feel I need to look presentable.  And don’t even get me started about fashionable size 12 shoes.  All I can say is, once again thank God, for the stronger emergence of cross-dressers and their needs as I firmly believe I would either have to become a cobbler, or relegate myself to orthopedic grandma shoes. 

     Band bottom shirts are a heinous affront and not to mention, make one look pregnant.  I hate the deluge of 3/4 length sleeves, but I have come to accept them as a neccessary evil as the sleeves of a long sleeve top are NEVER long enough.  Thank God for masses of bracelets.  Please, for the love of all that’s good in this world, male them stop producing all those gawdawfull acid-trip and Minnie Pearl country prints.  There have been so many times when a garment’s style was almost perfect but the horrendous print made it disgusting.  When we ask for more color, that’s ABSOLUTELY not what we meant.  Stop calling it a “Kimono sleeve” just because a garment has full sleeves.  Enough with the cropped & capris.  They make shorter women’s legs look stubby and aren’t all that great for longer legs either. 

       I would love some clothing with some structure so I don’t have to depend completely on spandex for fit.  I haven’t worn jeans in 10 years.  And when I did I still had to wear men’s to get them right through the thigh and inseam.  Of course, having said all this, I realize that having an awesome wardrobe would almost be effortless if I were independently wealthy.   But why should my wallet have to be punished for the sake of style when a so-called average sized woman can shop to her heart’s content without breaking the bank.   Whewwwww!  Thanks for that and keep up the fabulous work representing us.

    • Thank you! I’m 6’2 with most of my weight in my bust & stomach. I would LOVE to find nice higher rise jeans, shape wear, & panties that fit this shape. I’m sick of leggings but hate the dreaded muffin top. I’d also love to find a supportive pretty bra that doesn’t cost 1/2 a paycheck to buy! And size 12 shoes are next to IMPOSSIBLE to find that aren’t wide width. Just cause I have big feet doesn’t mean I have big calves! Thankfully my tall skinny large footed daughters have less issues than I did at their age. I use to have to shove my feet in size 10 shoes & figure out how to wear cropped jeans that looked long. We’ve come a long way but still need to make strives!

    • I have a long butt and am 5’6″. I have had very few jeans that are right in the rise without the legs not only being too long, but fitted strangely. I’m pretty much giving up on jeans, they’ve become such a trial to wear, but then it’s either skirts or the laziest of the lazy, yoga pants.

  • what about sexy lingerie ? why we cannot use a kind of lingerie that  makes us feeling confident, sexy and proud of our body  also in different color a part from black? 
    why cannot we  wear  a super sexy corset  or a super sexy babydoll without feeling out of fashion ??! 

  • ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING BUTTERFLIES ON EVERYTHING PLUS SIZED!    And no, I do not want to wear a fucking Disney character or kittens or a wolf on my tee shirts.

  • ENOUGH with the rhinestones, studs, rivets, and overdone “bling” on EVERYTHING!!!! Don’t even get me started on lace. And… Could “designers” NOT add an extra piece of fabric at the bottom of every top?!?!?! I look at a top in the store, thinking it’s cute, then notice the extra seam 2-4 in from the bottom. Did they “forget” to make these items the correct length?

  • I think I might be the target buyer for the elastic hemmed bubble shirts…I have a big roll over my bellybutton (over the waistline of any pants I wear), so the bubble bottom on those keeps the fabric from sucking onto my skin, which I much prefer over having my roll highlighted by fabric stretched tight over it.

    But anyway, my pet peeve is the lack of proper-length shirts. There seems to be a large gap between one end of the spectrum (the short-length ones that let my belly roll fall out the bottom) and the other (the long tunic-length shirts that cover my butt and make me look like a little kid wearing mommy’s clothes). I want neither my flesh falling out of a top or my beautiful butt covered by one. I have an average-length torso, so why are the shirt lengths so wonky?

    Also, there have been way, way too many times when I’ve liked the shape of a piece of clothing, but have had it ruined by sequins or rhinestones. Or my second biggest clothing pet peeve, WORDS ACROSS THE BUTT. I’m all for being flirty and showing off my butt in cute panties, but WHY OH WHY does there need to be words on it? I can pretty much guarantee that anyone looking at my butt while I’m in panties is not looking there for the reading material.

  • Yes I hate the elasticized blouse and TARGET has that bad in their plus size section…..there are a few others like the jeans that are too big in the crotch area because they didn’t reformat the seat area or the same 3/4 length blazers with rouching on the sleeves….that is not hot….since I have been researching the plus size industry as a stylist and a designer and not just a consumer I have become utterly disgusted…..

    • Hi Cat,
      Where are you located? I am a plus size fit model. Maybe we should chat. Are you starting a line or do you work for someone currently?


  • This was so on target!  I’m 5′ 8 and I have to HEM almost every skirt I buy.  So ridiculous! Same goes for tops and jackets – I want tops and jackets that don’t hang down to mid-thigh – what is that about?!  I have never worn a tunic and never will.  ‘I’ve always liked tailored, structured clothing and yes, I have always been plus size.  I’ve spent more money at the tailor than I can count. I hope that someone is listening.

  • I’ve just been reading the comments and notice that many like the longer skirts!  I’ve found that the more upscale brands – like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Jones New York etc – do cut their skirts and dresses longer than the brands like Asos Curve and Torrid.  They can be pricey but you can catch really nice items on sale at the department stores – Macys has a sale almost every weekend and there are generally great markdowns later in the season.

  • I hate strange cut outs in shirts. Why do my shoulders have to be exposed? Can I have a complete shirt? Plus designers and retailers have been doing the weird cut outs in shirts for over 10 years now! I am aware that it may have “came back” into fashion during that time but, I am sure it’s ended and yet, I still see the damn cut outs. 

    Also, why do plus size jeans get weird embroidery, studs and embellishments that straight size jeans don’t get? That has been driving me crazy for the better part of a DECADE now. Can I just have whatever the straight size shopper has in MY SIZE? No changes please! 

  • i am tired of seeing floral patterns on everything..can we please have some regular clothes? everytime i go into a plus size section in every store it only has flowery patterns..im sorry i like some..but not on every piece of clothing i own. Give me the same looks as the regular sizes..instead they give me the frumpy elastic bottom flower pattern shirts..all in different colors. ugghh so frustrating!

    • I think so when people look at you they are distracted and made dizzy by your busy flower shirt and they won’t notice how heavy you are. Like some kind of weird camouflage.

  • I hate the ovesized patterns, Jeans that aren’t well fitting, crotches in pants that are too  long.  Basically, I dont want to  look like I am 60…and yes I agree that I want the same scale and fitting as what I have seen in smaller sizes. ugh! 

    • the crotch that looks like a clown or something! That drives me NUTS. And then when you sit it bunches up due to the seams and zipper etc. and looks like you have a giant penis. It’s so rude! Why on earth is the inseam so LONG?

  • My biggest pet peeve is not being able to find plus sizes in talls even in the plus size stores. I am 5’10” and have extra long legs so I’ve always needed to buy talls in pants and jeans. I hate ordering online, I want to try them on in the stores! It almost seems as if stores assume all plussize women are short. It’s so frustrating!

    • I can send you all my pants since I’m short and have to hem them all up myself! I seem to have no end of really long legged pants in plus sizes. Depends on what you mean by “short”, though. like if you mean 5 foot 4 or something, I’m shorter than that so that’s tall to me;)

    • Missy, you are right…. the plus size industry believes the AVERAGE height of a PLUS SIZE woman is 5’5″!! I can say this with certainty, since I am a plus size fit model. It is frustrating to me as well, since I am 5’8″. I fight hard for us plus size girls in all my fittings, but sometimes it’s a fight to the death. I say, “you can always make things shorter, but it difficult to make things grow in your closet!”. My suggestion to you is write letters and/or email the stores about your concerns. Address your letters to the CEO’s or PRESIDENTS or BUYERS or the retailers you frequent. They don’t like negative feedback since it directly affects their bonuses. They will take steps to improve and address your concerns. Get all your tall friends to do the same thing. I can tell you as a plus size insider, this does work!

      Good Luck!


      • Sorry ladies but the average height of a woman in the US is 5’4″-5’7″. I’m that average lady so I can usually get my pants right off the rack in the right length. But that being said, I do see a lot of petites and rarely any tall pants. I know many taller women who can’t buy clothes off the rack hardly anywhere. After 5’7″ it becomes a chore. One of my best friends is a BBW who is 6’3″ and she doesn’t even bother trying to get any pants off the rack anywhere. I can’t understand why they can’t accommodate at lest up to 5’9″-5’10” in all stores.

    • YES!! Finally!! I’m from Mexico, it’s a country of small girls (BUT also, the most of them are curvy or big…) , the average height is 5’4 or less, but I’m 5’10 and I’m a BIG Girl, I mean, I’m size 16-18, I have to go to the US to find “good” clothes, but now, I’ve been stucked in the same look since ever.. You know, 3/4 sleeve, SHORT pants, because I’m a 34-36 Inseam and even in the US (the southern parts) it’s difficult to find the long ones.
      I’ve visited Lane Bryant, Macy’s, and even bought online, but it’s always the same, and it’s frustrating, Because I want to dress elegant, nice, and feel beautiful, but I always look exactly the same 🙁
      Anyway, Yes, I’m agree with you, we need longer pants, There’s a online store for Large woman it’s called “Long Tall Sally” from UK, the clothes seem nice, but are a little bit pricey.

  • you hit the nail on the spot with this post for me Marie!
    I live in Singapore and the average size of a Singaporean girl is a UK size 6-8. 
    However there ARE us plus sized girls on this little island and many stores try to ‘accomodate’
    to our size but really, they’re not helping one bit! Long sleeves, flimsy fabrics, weird hemlines,
    bad tailoring – its really hard to find good clothing for my UK 18 size body so I usually stick to purchasing online, but even then, its slim pickings to find something of good quality that does not burn a huge hole in your wallet. Plus I don’t want to Only shop in one or two stores online..its very limiting. 
    I love styles in regular stores but I’d never see them on an outfit catered to my size! Plus I live in a hot & humid country, why do I have to suffer in uncomfortable layers of clothing because Im bigger? I think we need a lot more variations, choices, accessibility to what we have. 
    I AM thankful for access to brands online within the region (namely Australian, thats quite a distance though), I didn’t have these options a decade ago. But like you said, our niche market is expanding in so many ways and frankly it can be a really exciting time for plus size fashion if retailers and designers take into account what we would like to see. Just like regular fashionistas would like clothing of good quality and a diverse range of options, so do we! Fashion is ‘disposable’ as in constantly evolving so all fashion niche markets ought to take that into account.  Thank you for bringing this up! Its been a real sore point for me frankly, having to put up with shop owners dishing me their ugliest outfits in the most unflattering patterns just because I am not of the average local size. 

  • Pet peeve #1 I’m at a “plus-sized” specialty store and have to machete my way through a sea of flimsy thin t- shirting and shapeless 3/4 length sleeved smockery, only to find 1 craveable top – and it’s been sprinkled w/ nonsensical bugle beads or crystals. Apparently, to a plus sized woman shiny bits dancing across her bosom sku’s as pretty.

  • I am a petite and I find that plus sizes clothing designers assume that we are tall and have big boobs. Often times, I feel like I am a little girl playing dress up in her Mother’s clothes. I would prefer better tailoring and designers/manufacturers not assuming that I want to cover everything up. I wear a lot of mini skirts, cropped pants and 3/4 sleeves since they fit me better than clothing designed for average height women. I also have a good tailor.Truthfully, it is harder for me to find well fitting clothing due to my height than being a size 24. Having said that plus sizes have come a long way since the 70s. At least, there is better variety out there in price, quality and styles available. I dearly would have loved something like Torrid to have been around when I was a teenager.

  • I hate tie in the back. Why does plus size = maternity. I would like to see more tailored pieces, more nipped in at the waist. And high waisted bikinis <3

    • Freaking maternity stuff has more style than plus sized. When I was pregnant I was like, wow, look at all these awesome clothes! They fit me and they have neato panels and are so comfortable. I still wear maternity shirts sometimes just because they’re so dang comfy.

      • Me too! And I’ve never even been pregnant! Our JCPenney turned into an outlet years ago and I used to go out there like once a week to tear up the maternity department! Funny thing about it though…I NEVER saw a pregnant woman there. NEVER. Just plus sized women and average sized women (and some super skinnies too) that were smaller on top than they were in the hips. (Sizes ranged from XS to 4X) And the quality shocked me. For clothes that are only intended to be worn for a few months, they were beautifully made and regularly priced at about $15 to $30. The top outlet prices were usually no higher than $10 and since they never sold a lot of it, most ended up on a clearance rack that everything was a freaking $1.99! Oh, the delirium that ensued! Until the damned place closed!


        • Oh and I forgot… I was talking mostly of tops, but I got a number of pants and jeans as well. One pair was a dark denim trouser (office appropriate, in fact) without the belly panel but with a wide elastic band in a knit casing that a lot of non-maternity stores were carrying that year in all sizes. It was designed to be worn below the baby bump for support, or for the daring mother-to-be, let the bottom half of your pregnant gut show from below your midriff length top (Yech, pregnant ladies, PLEASE DON’T).

          But I digress. My point was that without the baby bump it fell right across the waist and even provided a – dare I say it – flattening effect that was not to be believed.

          Long story short, we had family photos done last Christmas and I grinned and beared (???) it when they took full body shots of us. But when those pictures came back, the absolute best ones of me were those same full body shots of my 26/28 body looking about four sizes smaller in my $2.99 JCPENNEY maternity jeans that I shortened myself.

          Yes. way.

  • I get the impression from many plus size designers and retailers that they think the majority of women who are plus size… are age 40 and above. Besides Torrid, I have a difficult time finding clothes that don’t make me look like I have aged 15 years. I am 27 and I want to dress like I am. 

    Another one is finding jeans that are sturdy enough for my thighs. You know? That inner thigh friction wears at  the inside of my jeans. 
    And I’ve came across some websites that have sexy plus size clothing and all of the dresses had the SAME silhouette. Tight, low v-neck, ruching over 80% of the dress, if not 100%, and just super short!  

    • And 40 isn’t even so old that you want to look like a grandma. 13 years from now you will be 40 — it isn’t very long! Trust me at 40 you will still be yourself and still want to be stylish.

  •   would like to thank you for this article. I have been upsetting those poor plus size store clerks for yrs now with my incessant bitching. I’m in-between 24-32 depends & petite & so beyond frustrated with pants!! Where is it written that the bigger the waist the bigger the pant leg??? By the time you get to a size 24 (& don’t even think about a 32) the legs are so wide they look like big billowing skirts on each leg. No one has legs this big.. I’ve looked!!  If I don’t want to wear leggings every damn day I have to, not only have the pants hemmed but have the legs taken in. I am hopeless with a needle & thread. I have to spend 2X on alterations than I did on buying it in the first place. Who has enough $ for this? Also may all the elastic bottomed shirts, & “bling” everything burn in hell for all of fashion eternity!!!  Thank u. U rock!

    • ROFL so true! The giant pant legs! And what’s with PLEATS???? Seriously are these clothes being designed by monkeys?

  • I am sick of everything being black. Give me color; give me texture; give me pattern!I It floors me to walk through the average sizes and see all these cute colors and patterns and then get to the Plus area and see black and black and ummm black

  • Oh yes! True words. My pet peeves are those gigantic matronly flower prints a grandma wouldn’t wear and clothes lacking form. I do not want to look like a giant flower blob!

  • One more thing…why isn’t plus size clothing affordable? Regular size clothing can be very affordable, but anything fashionable and cute for plus sizes is like $40 for a damn shirt. It’s annoying.

  • I’ve been following the comments here since the post was made. I see tall gals unable to find clothes, as a dead average height (5’6″) *I* can’t find clothes, petite gals unable to find clothes, busty gals unable to find clothes, less busty gals unable to find clothes, as a busty but moderately so (DDD and yes that’s moderate) *I* can’t find clothes. Some of us hate prints, some of us hate solids, some of us hate bright colors and some of us hate black. Some of us hate sleeveless, some of us hate 3/4 length sleeves etc etc…

    What I’m hearing is NO ONE can find plus size clothes that fit consistently in styles they like, colors they like, prints they like. Let’s not even talk about quality fabric and construction at a reasonable price point. Maybe if retailers stopped making clothes for imaginary women and provided well made clothes in a variety of styles (b/c that’s a big part of the problem, you go into LB (for example) and aside from a few pieces there’s only one style/look available. When i walk through the straight sizes to get to the teeny tiny plus size section at Macy’s I see, casual, formal, mature, youthful, you name it! styles in the under 18W racks) they’d see how quickly we bought it and realize that we’re real people, with real money to spend.

    I am just so sick of feeling thankful any time I find ANYTHING that fits me that I like!

  • WoW! Everything I ever wanted to say has been said…what a great place I have found, finally people who understand how hard it is to find unique/stylish/fashion forward plus size clothes! I love fashion and have given up hope years ago. The clothes I can afford are cheap and have one too many bows/lace/ties/..I don’t want loud old lady fashion on crappy fabric! I get so excited when I see new collections, but easily become broken hearted when I see that there largest size is 12. They are missing a huge market!!! How hard could it be to extend the sizes??? I love the nicholas k 2013 spring collection (actually each collection has something I want) but of course no sizes that come close to what I wear, and if there was, I am sure I could not afford anything!! I am so sad that the plus size market is so limited. I really wish I had learned to sew many years ago, I definitely see a huge opportunity being missed!

  • I hate a myriad of things in plus fashion! The over done, jumbo jewelry pieces that all seem to be beaded and clear, printed tees.. every season, and the heel on shoes sold in plus stores.. we can wear a heel higher than 2 inch, also the denim cuts and bland prints.. I’ve seen better prints and fabric quality at Wal-Mart. You’d think they’d put more effort into plus fashion seeing that the average woman is a size 14.

    • They’d have you believe size 8/10 is Plus Size. Used to be I wore a med /large as a teen (tall women tend to buy larger to get the length, especially sleeve length), which was about (then) a 12-14. Today a 14 is XL, and there wasn’t really a corresponding “XXL”, until you went to the Old Church Lady Department, downstairs in the basement. Behind the Water Heaters. On alternate Mondays and Wednesdays.

      And I’m with you on the embellishments. There ought to be a requirement that the straight-size sales staff must wear and model the crap they are marketing to larger women. That might cure the “designers” right there!

  • I hate that strips on blouses/tshirts always seem to go vertical instead of horizontal, we all know vertical makes you look bigger and as a heavy person I do not want to show off my fat belly, yet everything seems to be designed to do just that. I’m also very tired of the fake sizes. I have a 3x dress black dress (that never goes out of style) from 5 years ago, fits perfectly every time I put it on, so why when I go shopping do I have to shop for a 4 or 5x item. ugggg

    • Sure you mean that? Vertical = up and down. Horizontal = left and right.
      Horizontal stripes can make you look bigger; vertical can make you look smaller. Usually, anyway.

      • Well unless those vertical stripes sort of contour over your tummy, that can emphasize your roundness in that area, especially in a knit. (plus they say the subconscious eye measures the number of vertical stripes you require… informing the astounding number of inches the stripes claim….!

        (when I say “you” of course I don’t mean You, I mean the collective you…I mean “ya” … ALRIGHT! I MEAN “ME”!!! >runs away<)


  • Why does Lane Bryant, a plus size only store <carry shirts with horizontal stripes? Can the over 40 plus size woman get a neckline that doesn't have the girls falling out? I want cute, pretty age apprpriate clothes. Everybody targets the 20 somethings… I have more money to spend than they do and nothing I like to spend it on.

    • I don’t know what happened to your post (???) but as for Lane Bryant, I literally quit shopping there when the Brain Donor came up with that stupid Jeans Sizing Fiasco, remember? I don’t know if they still use it, but I get such a headache shopping there, that I avoid it. The closest ones to me are pretty far away, makes it easy to forget them! Since I NEVER try on in the store, there’s no way I’d be allowed to even buy them; the sales clerk wanted to get out her tape measure which felt not fun to me. Apparently they were not to allow anything out of the store that hadnt been personally fit by sales staff. Forget it!

  • NO MORE STRIPES ON THE BOTTOM OF A TOP!!! Overall stripes – OK. But how many times has a nice garment been ruined with a stripe at the bottom? Sure….like I really WANT to call attention to the widest part of my body.

    • Stripes make everyone look heavy and wide. Horizontal stripes should never exist in plus wear and hardly ever in smaller as well. They’re just pretty horrible.

    • Also needing re-thinking, an ombré type fabric, sometimes floral or other large print, where they put the paler area at your stomach, and the darkest section at your bust. Should be the opposite, might even be flattering if the eye was fooled with the darker section of the ombré or print landing on the tummy/hips, and drawing the eye to the bust. Then we could have a little fun saying, “hey, buddy, my eyes are up here!”

  • My peeves (sorry) are appliques and cropped pants everywhere. I’m only 5′ tall and do not need a cropped pant to make me look even shorter. And the legs are usually cut so full on crops. On a short, plus size woman it makes you look like a balloon on the bottom. Also, plus-size jean pockets. They seem to just add fabric to the middle seam and keep the back pockets the same distance away from the side seams as with regular sizes instead of relocating the pockets to where they belong. The end result being that the back pockets end up on the sides of your hips, making you look even wider. Really lazy design (or non-design).

    • I can wear them BUT I have a very long torso and am tallish. 90% of women just look short, boxy and frumpy. And even on my long butt, they’re just ok and are as you say, lazy.

    • On us six-footers, capris are proportioned all wrong… In order to get the bit below the knee to land there, let alone be long enough, we need to size up one or two sizes. Then of course the waist/bum area is too large. Other option, buy regular length plus size pants, and wear floods. Floods are not Crops or Capris!

  • I hate that most of the Plus Size clothing has some weird pattern or has a stroke of silver in the shirt. Basically they take a completely wearable and almost cute item an make it unwearable and non-professional. It seems as if they do not put as much care and consideration into the clothing as they would straight sizing pieces. Most of the patterns on plus sized clothing are inappropriate for the individual item that it is placed on. More than anything most of the pieces tend to be ill-fitting. I say hallelujahs when something fits great and does not have some God awful applique on it or some silver or gold shiny mess on it.

  • The band at the bottom cut is horrible and sometimes especially when you order something you don’t see it. I actually do make a cut up the side seam to make it less hip clinging and looser. Clothes that emphesize my hips are not my friend.

    Which brings me to my most hated trend. Peplums. A peplum can be cute on a plus girl but they put them on EVERYTHING and it has the same kind of issue that the above has: it can really emphesize your hips and not in a good way. With a bustier top, this is compensated for with the waist loving fit, but on pretty much anything else, it’s bad. Furthermore you can’t wear anything over it other than the teeniest bolero without making everything look big and baggy or lumpy. Please let this trend go back to the 80’s from whence it came!

  • [email protected][email protected] I have been saying this about the band at the bottom for the last 3 years. Why they think this is flattering is beyond me…. Why can’t the size be accurate, flattering… We are not pumpkins. We want clothes that doesn’t emphasize the troubled areas which on most plus size people are, the back of the arms, the stomach area, the hip and rear area. I mean really, let’s put rhinestone pockets on the jeans??? No, not good!!! Smooth, no bulge, no gathers or pleats…. Wake up designers, considering that over 40% of the women in this country are plus size….. you are missing revenue!!!!!

  • Ok, I have another gritch….I am trying to get “grown up” clothes to start work next week and all I find is sleeveless tanks (I know its summer but…) or 3/4 sleeves with the damn roll up and button sleeve. I hate those. I am good enough to have either a real short sleeve shirt or cap sleeves. I am not retiring and using my work clothes in different climates and I dont want the loop to crinkle when washed and catch on things as I walk by. I want pretty flowing shirts with sleeves.

    • Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for mentioning that horrific button sleeve that makes me INSANE when I see it on a top! It is a complete and utter deal-breaker for me. I could find the absolute outfit of my dreams and would walk away if I saw those on it. I like flowy (just not tent-like), feminine clothes (a crossbreed of jjill and April Cornell) that flare below the bustline (I have very small breasts but full hips, butt and thighs and I’m high-waisted too). I found a top at Marshall’s for a steal the other week, but when I saw those sleeves I lost it so badly that I swear that I almost shoved that metal wheeled display rack into the main aisle and wrenched it apart with my bare hands! Just thinking about it makes the blood rush to the top of my head! Those sleeves are just a design cop-out as far as I’m concerned. They don’t even make sense on 99% of the tops that have them. Peasant tops? Dress blouses? Tee shirts?! Where are cap sleeves, flutter sleeves, and attractive cuffs?

      When I fell in love with clothes in my early teens, it was the late 80’s. And I will admit to some bad decisions (as I said it was the 80’s) overall I still love a lot of what was going on in fashion then. As the clothes were cut a little fuller and I was in about a 16/18 at the time, I was still wearing XL in most major brands. My mom was willing to invest in better clothes for me since she couldn’t stand the junior stores smaller fit, shabby quality, and inappropriate styles, and she figured that once I stopped wearing them or outgrew them, she could wear them. So we used to zip down to King of Prussia or the Gallery in Center City Philadelphia and shop at the stores that our smaller suburb didn’t have (spoiler alert: this was the seed that grew a major clothes obsession) and I was able to obtain clothes that I could only dream about.

      The brands: Esprit, Benetton, Camp Beverly Hills, Pasta, AuCoton, Gap.

      The colors: Pastels and Brights tamed by plenty of neutrals.

      The styles: Hip, young, flowy, feminine without being matronly, funky without being outrageous. Plenty of great details when needed, simplicity when not.

      Nothing was a tent. Nothing fit like skin. Nothing was age inappropriate. Nothing overwhelmed the wearer. You were you – just in an interesting outfit or garment.

      You walked in a store and found twenty things you loved…LOVED…not liked, not thought I guess it’s okay, or maybe I can make it work… you LOVED it and loved wearing it.

      Every now and then I see something in a store with a teeny glimmer of possibility – a detail, a cut, a great design, a great idea and then the manufacturer decides to completely bungle the whole thing by reverting to all the cookie cutter rules that say a plus-size garment needs this fit, this finish, this ugly sleeve, this hideous neckline, etc. until it’s been completely ruined. No consideration of demographics, the body shape of any woman on this planet let alone a plus-size one, or even the overall aesthetics of the garment in and of itself.

      I come from an art background. I have a degree in illustration and a degree in graphic design. So most of this stuff makes me nuts just from a creative standpoint. I am certain that there are designers out there that have the knowledge and talent to create clothes for every shape and size in existence from petite XXS to tall 4X and beyond but I can imagine that their ideas don’t make it past the marketing executives that say they listen to consumers but never do. And when designers do manage to get approval on a design the end result is so bastardized as to be unrecognizable from the original idea. I know what it’s like to fight for your work against the decision-makers (who, by the way, have no understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish as they aren’t trained in any form of art or design) and never ever winning. I understand that manufacturing considerations must be made, but never taking into account the judgment of the person creating an item is like going to the dentist and having his accountant work on your teeth!

  • I’m with you on the three quarter sleeve tops. I live in in area that is cold and snowy in the winter and and long sleeve would be very nice in the cold. What is with the rare long sleeve blouse that can be found when a designer thinks plus size means short arms and narrow shoulders. the last long sleeve tops I bought I had to take in the body about 2 ” on each side in order to have a size that fit me in the shoulders.

    How about all the items that are horizontal stripes, which anyone talking about “fashion rules” say to avoid, and yet this what designers think flatter a plus size body.

    I’m with the others as well when it comes to elastic around the belly. Gee, let’s make a top that is going to accentuate the area that many plus sized women want to hide.

    Why does plus size also mean not tailored. Clothing is made in such a way that it actually makes you look 10 – 20 lbs. heavier. How about some darts or princess seams to give a little more shape. Being plus sized doesn’t mean we want to wear shapeless articles of clothing.

    How about making tops that are also long enough that they don’t end mid belly and cling so that they emphasize what we would like to cover?

    Why can’t plus size be given the same considerations as straight sized women. How about tasteful colors and not patterns that make one look like a billboard?

    How about plus sized departments in brick and mortar stores that are equally sized to the misses department? Or even better how about having a plus sized section in a brick and mortar store to begin with. After all there are just as many, if not more plus sized women than straight sized one.

    And one more gripe, for the online plus sized sites how about actually having a plus sized model wearing the clothes, so that we can see what it actually would look like on a larger body, rather than one that used to be considered a straight size, until designers decided to take what used to be a normal straight size and moved it into the plus sized section.

    To make matters worse, I have some items of clothing that were made 15 years ago that are larger by several inches than the clothing of the same size now. What’s up with the shrinking sizes?

  • I went to THREE different stores shopping for shorts last week and every plus size short was to the knee. I was actually insulted! Curvy women would like to show off their legs a little in the summer too! I don’t want to be left with my only option for shorts being something my grandmother would wear!

  • I feel towards the opposite end of the spectrum to this, I am a curvy girl, but plus size items are too large for me, even though they would suit my shape SO much better than regular clothing. I totally agree with your points, but feel they should make plus size items in regular sizes too, for those of us who are just the wrong shape for regular clothing!

    • I agree with you. My ideal size is would be a Missy 20 for my tops and Missy 22 for my bottoms. Sometimes it costs me more to have my clothes altered down to fit me than it does for the item itself. Even when I was thin I always needed waist taken in and hemming. But now that I am larger I have to practically have the entire outfit remade.

  • I would like to have jeans that fit correctly. Even though there are jeans available for us curvy girls, they still do not fit correctly. Many are made for women with smaller thighs, have no waistline, and for women who have a small butt. I would be nice to have some jeans that come up higher in the back and have contouring in the waist that will accommodate our tummy and thicker waistline. I have tried many different “curvy” cut jeans and the waists are always too small creating a muffin top. I have a couple of pair I bought last year but they look like granny jeans. How about some great fitting distressed denim.

  • You are right on the money, especially with the stupid bands on the bottom of every shirt, the lack of tailored pieces, and the stupid hemlines on everything. Designers have this idea that plus size fashion is about hiding so even when it does occur to them to use the same styles as their regular lines, they water it down and screw it up to the point where even though it’s your size, there is no earthly reason to buy it. Then they phase out their plus sizes and cry that the weren’t making money.

    I need jeans that fit well too. Actual curvy fit jeans that go past a size 20. Designers think that all very large women are one amorphous monolith. We actually come in shapes, just like small women, only larger ones. There are hourglasses and pears among us too. I also want natural fibers, wool, cotton, whatever, versus all this cheap polyester that they want an arm and a leg for. Often the fabric is what makes the so-called professional gear look crappy and unprofessional. You also don’t have to do ruching and shirring on everything. I like those design elements but I also need variety.

    Finally (and I can’t say this enough) STOP with all the excessive embellishment. Please, for the love of all that is holy. I don’t need baubles, beads, loud prints, decontextualized verbiage, fake necklaces, bells, whistles, goo-gaws and the kitchen sink on everything I own. Not even most of what I own. Embellishment shouldn’t be used indiscriminately and when the outfit warrants it, it needs to be done well and tastefully. Basically, stop being so TACKY!

  • This is such a good article. But soooo overdue. I’m 65 and have been a big girl all my life. 40 years ago I dropped 160 lbs to bring me down to a more manageable size. Currently I’m 5’6″, 180 lbs and typically a size 12-18, depending on … Well, you all know how that goes, what’s really frustrating is that, relatively speaking, the availability of larger size clothing has moved at the pace of a snail with arthritis!!! 40 years ago, I made my own clothes. Size 30 jumpers from Butterick patterns! If memory serves, Lane Bryant was in its infancy and I believe Penneys and Sears had a few larger sizes. I simply could not believe it when a category of larger clothing appeared unto itself. I thought life would really change,,especially with the magazine BBW!! Wow! Learned I wasn’t alone!! But here’s the thing… The quality and class of clothing has really changed little. Really little. What other industry do you know that’s made so few changes in such a long time? What other industry does NOT listen to its constituency?? What other industry ignores income potential in the same way as this industry???

    • I recall many (many) years ago, when Lane Bryant had clothes that fit my older sister, but the brightest color was navy blue. This was the late 60s maybe. Someone once called the slacks at that time for plus size women, “bullet proof polyester”. (!)

      Since then, they’ve graduated to more reasonable facsimile of “normal” women’s fabrics, styles, colors. Now that I’m shopping LB myself, I see they WAAAY overshot their mark. Plus, as someone else said here, the styles keep getting more and more “hoochie” and less sophisticate.

      Rather than drag down the business woman, to Club Kid level of class (by the way those skinnies are also wearing the total garbage being cranked out in China) why not elevate the spandex hooker look UP to where we are all wearing the classic sophisticate look, like warm grey flannel slacks, blazers, simple black dress… You get what I mean. There’s a place for spandex, and it’s on a dancer, WHILE DANCING!!!

      • One other thing I just want to strangle someone over is the TISSUE THIN FABRICS!! QVC recently referred to one of their offerings as Liquid Fabric… pretty much sums it up. I don’t mind a little drape, but really, I’m trying to camouflage a few lumps creases etc, not accentuate them!
        It makes me think of how they keep reducing the size of different products, from foodstuffs to cleaning products, etc. HELLOOOO????
        I’d much rather PAY MORE for the same or similar garment/shampoo/loaf of bread. WE GET IT!! Prices increase. But please don’t charge more PLUS reduce the product quality or yield.

        Oh, sorry, I did get a little carried away…
        Back to the fabric gripe:
        The kids call it Old Navy Syndrome. ON has neat clothes that are too cheap to wash more than a couple times, they say. CLOTHES ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DISPOSABLE!!! I guess they can buy a bunch of super inexpensive stuff at ON, wear a couple times, then buy a bunch more. Perfect in today’s economy, nd for kids.

        But why are clothes for “Grown-Ups” made this way? We finally have the disposable income, and can only find ridiculous sheer nighties for day wear??

  • Sorry. On ipad and I accidentally touched send… I wanted to finish with critiques about the actual fashions. I agree completely with just about every single complaint mentioned here, and want to add these points. 1). About the boxy tops, shirts, jackets… Really? Just about every single big gal knows that straight boxy lines not only are not flattering for most, they make us look bigger in a most unpleasant way. Fortunately most of us are finally celebrating our bigness rather than feeling ashamed! But we want to be out there maximizing what we have, not bastardizing our look! But give those tops some darts, curves, shapes. Although they’be improved somewhat, Chicos is a serious offender in this. Their store displays are filled with chic, shapely little jackets, until you look closer and see that all clothing on models are pinned in the back to provide shape!!! When you pull your own size of that great jacket on display, it looks like a square box! Stop it!!! 2). At the other end of the spectrum is the “hooker look”! Stop it!! Showing off curves and experiencing sexuality and sensuality and confidence does not have to be all about super loe, super tight, super gaudy, super bright, super leopard print, super anything printed, super stretchy, super sparkly, super meshy!!! How about super classy? there are certain principles of design that should work for any body type. We all have them memorized. A lot of classy dressing is about high quality fabric, superior construction,

  • and a sophisticated color palette. When I poke through plus sized racks, I practically need a Dramamine to keep my balance against the assault of dizzying patterns and colors, frills, ties, strings and all manner of fringe–all in an attempt to what??? Make us feel all costumey, party girlish? I honestly don’t know what the manufacturers are trying to do. Infantalize the large figured girl? 3) NO MORE ANIMALS, STUPID FLOWERS OR HEARTS!! Dear god. This occurs lots in t-shirts, casual clothes, loungewear and sleepwear! I won’t do it here, but it makes me want to swear out loud! I’ve always wondered if perhaps there are drunk, or mean, or passive aggressive designers out there that hate full figured women, so they design stuff with cows, pigs, horses, cats, puppies and stupid looking flowers smack dab in the front. On the chest. I didn’t even wear junk like this when I was a kid! Why are they offering it to me now? …. So manufacturers, listen to me… I will not wear stupid, I’ll fitting garments made out of cheap fabric that are constructed poorly–that cost another 30% more than “average” size clothing. And you know what, mr manufacturer, I’ve got money to spend. I’m a senior whose worked hard her whole life. I grew up with quality, and that’s what I want. Absent that,mi will hold in to the good clothes I’ve got and will not buy more of the junk you produce. There are more and more of us who are unwilling to be held hostage by stupid ideas. We will shop til,we drop to find the few good pieces out there. We are no longer willing to settle for being in that awful position of groveling with gratitude over a few morsels of something that, OMG, we can actually get pulled on a nd buttoned.

  • One more comment to those who remark that they don’t want to look like an old lady by wearing these awful clothes. I know none of those comments were made to offend, but let me say this about that… 🙂 I remember being a lot younger and thinking that being over 50 was going to be hell… Or that my life would be sort of over. Wrong. I’ve never felt younger, smarter, stronger, healthier, happier and sexier. I do work hard at it, but that’s what it takes to keep metabolism burning as one ages. I go to the gym 4 times a week, do 5 cardios a week, have a personal trainer, use TRX straps and other up and coming training techniques! I am not interested in wearing those damn old lade clothes any more than you younger gals do! At my age, you can still look attractive, even sexy, but going into full-on leopard print spandex isn’t the answer. (is it THE answer for ANY age woman???). You can never beat out and out CLASS. That’s what’s missing in the plus sized market! The age doesn’t matter. I’m 65 but most people guess me at 45-50 simply because I know how to find those occasional classy pieces, and I stand tall and wear my size 16’s with chin up, head held high. This is what the poorly designed clothing won’t allow–to hold your head up high. C’mon manufacturers and designers! Show some respect for us regardless of our age and size! We all want the same things whether a size 4 20 yr old or a size 16 65 year old!!!

  • AMEN to the whole 3/4 length sleeve thing! I’m also tired of the fact that 99% of plus size tops come with one of three necklines: round, V-neck, suplice. How about some COLLARS for a change? Remember those???? Collars used to be a way to draw the eye up to a woman’s face. Now everything might as well be a tee-shirt!

    I’m also sick of the over-sized tunic/big shirts that seem to make up 95% of what is available in tops for plus size women! I like to tuck my shirts into my skirts and pants and wear a belt to emphasize my waistline. When I try to tuck in the oversized tops, there is always a plethora of excess material that lumps up under my slacks/shirt just makes my hips look bigger. I can’t tell you how often I’ve resorted to cutting 4 or 5 inches off the tail of a big shirt/tunic just so I could wear it tucked in.

    I’m also totally frustrated by how few plus-sized garments are lined! The same manufacturer that makea a darling and well-tailored lined suit in a missy size will turn around and put out a plus-size version that isn’t even lined! It’s bad enough that they take the beautifully fitted misses’ jacket and revise the style for the plus sizes making it into an unfitted box – …but then they add insult to injury by leaving out the lining. AND they charge us MORE money for that lower quality piece of crap!

    I am sick to death of STRETCHY materials. Is it even possible to find women’s plus size slacks without elastane or lycra added to the material??? Chinos, Dockers, and blue jeans now ALL seem to have elastane or lycra or something stretchy added to the cotton. The dang things wind up stretching out so much by the end of the day that they practically fall off of me! And I know it isn’t me because I still have a pair of 10 year old cotton dockers that go on like a dream and fit well even if I wear them for two days in a row. Unfortunately they’re totally frayed at the bottom of the legs and have some stains that simply won’t wash out so I can’t wear them to work anymore. But I’d gladly pay three times what a pair of the new “elastane added” slacks cost for some that are 100% cotton!

  • I love the rest of this except for the “thigh” thing. I’m pear shaped and 5’8″ goddamn inches tall. I like to have enough room to bend over without my ass hanging out. I can never find skirts or dresses to wear to work because every single skirt is like a veil for my ass. It’s not even about not liking my thighs it’s about my work dress code- no more than three inches above the knee. And I love my party clothes but to be honest if I buy something too short to wear to work it sits in my closet for 6 months before I have an occasion where butt veils are appropriate wear.

    Also, I think a lot of the problem is plus sized clothes used to be so adamantly untrendy that now everything is super trendy. Some plus sized girls like subcultural fashion. Some of us prefer things we haven’t seen before. Some of us might want to wear all black because we like black. Some of us might want to wear gingham when the current trend is polka dots. I get really sick of the same 10 companies all carrying the same six items in their plus size section that are all so hypertrendy they bleed neon coral highlow v neck one shoulder with leggings all over you.

    Also- I HAVE A WAIST!!!!!! I LOOK BETTER WHEN I WEAR THINGS THAT ACCENTUATE MY WAIST! Seriously, I hate how everything in the plus size section is always “flowy” and “hides” your tummy. I hate shirts with ruffles on them that fall between the bustline and the hips. I guess apple shaped girls who I know really love stuff like this but it’s possible to have any body shape and be plus sized. My friends who are hourglass shaped have less trouble finding dresses that fit well, too, I guess.

  • OMG—Thank You!!! I almost hate to shop ( I said “almost”) for these very reasons. I don’t know how many times I have found the cutest, perfect matching top…then that screwed up elastic waist thing. Ugh!

  • I’m tall and have hips and a backside, so I wear plus size pants. Unfortunately, it seems that designers aren’t expecting a tall plus size woman, so when I try on pants, they all look like crops…

  • I find way more fashion forward garments for plus size women at boutiques on Instagram than in mainstream Plus size shops. I wear size 18 and I’m busty so finding tops for work that don’t reveal too much or make me look frumpy in my 5’8 frame has always been a challenge.

    Also, whenever I do want to show off my “I” cup and slim my 42 inch waist I catch hell finding the right foundations (strapless bras especially are almost non-existent in my size) Recently, I’ve started to seek out stores outside of the US that offer international shipping. Thank goodness for Google translate!

  • I wear a 16 but am 5′ 11″ and have long relatively thin legs!! I don’t want all of my pants to be huge and super wide and hide my best asset!

  • I’m a size 24 and I’m 6’1.5.” I personally want a three quarter sleeve because on me, it comes just to the elbow which is what I want from a short sleeve. My legs are hideious and bumbpy and veiny and always were from the time I was a relatively thing child. But I agree, there are no in betweens. Stores only have skinny jeans, or they only have wide leg jeans, none of which actually fit me because they don’t come in talls. Of course I have the added pain of beiing broke (thus not affording catalog ordering) and living in a town where none of the stores sell my size. i totally can relate with you clothing issues, but I also think I’m a bit worse for the wear.

  • Some great points made in the article and the comments as well! Plus size clothing has become such a popular, trendy industry to the point that it’s celebrated almost as much as regular fashion. But it is different in that in that a clothing item can’t compromise on comfort – we plus sizers want to look good and feel good too!

  • Artist/Designer; Den Coelho- Creates Couture fashion for women; he has a unique approach; He first interviews his “Model” (Client). takes down their wish list, he then lays out several sketches and consults with his clients before sending them up to his sewers. He selects fabrics from around the world;(This is where the tug of war begins.) You only get a half say in this, but do not fear, he has an eye for color and line position, he knows where every line is going to lay once the fabric is on and in motion, so when he says no! Listen. Although you can expect to drop some serious bucks on his design table: It is worth every penny: You can reach him anytime, even if he is in studio painting or at an opening, his policy is” Access to my clients ” One of his talents is making colors that normally would not mesh; work. The average wait for a Lot. (Meaning a weeks worth of business attire) is six to eight weeks. He prefers evening wear and wedding dresses; He jokingly says; ” The divorce outfits are ravishing”.

  • I am over the over-use of crazy printed fabric. Its on our dresses and shirts. Stop that! many of the patterns chosen aren’t flattering on furniture, why put it on a person.

    I recently saw a runway show of hanibal laguna. I don’t know what sizes he caters to, but he literally has a variety of dress designs for EVERY shape a woman comes in. broad shouldered and slim hipped? He’s got it. Curvy? he has that too. Even if you are barrel shaped, He has some dresses that will work with that body type and he could make his dresses from nothing sized to wow and maintain the lines, cut, and flow of the dress and it would look just as good on a big girl as it did on those runway folks.

  • I am small and curvy but with a large bust. I echo everyone else’s comments about the lack of structure in most tops, but I have to add this: I live in New England. It’s cold! Only in Mid-August would I realistically wear anything in chiffon..,,,but mainly: why is everything sleeveless?! I would love to find a 3/4 or long sleeve top! And – I’m sick of hearing that turtlenecks are a “no” for busty women…..yes, scoop and v-necks are very attractive…..for a night out where you don’t mind getting stares. I work in higher education, chiffon is NEVER appropriate, sleeveless is rarely appropriate, but what’s really inappropriate is a chiffon, sharktail hem, unstructured low v neck shirt (basically a tank top – let’s be honest) in the middle of a cold climate.

  • I’m a design student (and a curvy fashionista too!) and I am currently working on my senior collection which will be a plus size line. I would like to see more modern, cheerful garments much like what is carried at Ann Taylor/LOFT, Anthropologie, Kate Spade, Tori Burch, etc. The style here is structured yet feminine and I think it could be translated for larger sizes but many designers and brands are simply afraid (or worse – grossed out) by that thought. My line will be cheery and feminine with structure and intriguing style lines. None of that baggy, elastic B.S.! I want to see more of the same as everyone else here and I’m trying to do my part to make it happen.

  • I am almost 6ft and plus size and I have not found a store yet that carries decently cute plus size (Cato’s comes close)! I look at the racks in the regular sizes and find cute things that would look fine on a larger body…but NO! SO frustrating!!!! And why can’t I find a lite jacket in active wear or one that is not fuzzy! And please I want my large upper arms to be covered they get cold! GRRR!!

  • First of all, I just found (where have I been??) the Curvy Fashionista in the last week and my mind is BLOWN that there are more options than Penningtons, Additionelle and Lane Bryant…So EXCITED! Anyway, I would LOVE to be able to find tops that have a LONG torso…..everything is short..or they have the band at that bottom…I hate that!!! As a 6ft tall woman I need LENGTH!

  • Hello Ladies!
    I am an Apple shaped woman , an artist and looking to start my own clothing range dedicated to Apple shaped women as I am tired of not easily looking for dresses that suits me with a belly problem.
    I am not too big, a size US 12? And weirdly, I am an hourglass shape with a belly problem. So from the front., I look like an hour glass, but from side profile, I look pregnant.
    I love the humour here and the openness. I hope I can learn enough from you and come up with the perfect little black dress. 🙂
    I was planning to get my art printed onto fabric but I still haven;t found a manufacturer yet and I much rather create a better life for those who work with me hence why I am looking towards Indonesia rather than China as I am anti sweatshops.
    I look forward to getting to know your viewpoints and see the fashion you wear! 🙂

    • To Marie and Amanda,
      First if all, Marie, thank you so much for this blog! Women are women, and just because we have different figures, doesn’t mean that we want a different fashion style!
      To Amanda, wow, you just described my shape! I am SO tired of every empire waist or shift dress coming in a peasant style! I mean, I like the boho style, but sometimes I want to look more polished, with more of a classic style…but nope, anything that I would look good wearing, has to have the peasant style designs all over, with laces hanging down. Very frustrating!
      I cannot wear a plus size, due to my slim arms and hips, but need room in the bust and belly! The best of luck on your business endeavor!

  • My biggest issue is the necks on all of the plus sized shirts. Why are they so big? If you find a shirt that comes in a plus size and a straight size, the plus size shirt my be only 3 inches wider than the straight shirt, but the neck opening is twice a swide. WHY?!?! My head is not twice as big. My friend, who does not need a plus size, and I often try on the same shirt in our respective sizes. Her neckline looks fine, mine is often so big that my bra shows. What is that? Have you encountered this or is it just me?

  • I despise 3/4 sleeves. Give me full length, that I can push up IF I LIKE. My arms are heavy but look better with sleeveless or to the elbow or wrist. Cutting the arm in the middle of the upper or lower arm, is like skirts that hit at the widest part of the calf. It makes me feel fatter than I am be accentuating the bad parts and making me feel like I look like I outgrew my top/jacket

  • Recently i purchased plus size clothes for my sister. The segment in the women’s clothing market that continues to see the greatest growth will be the plus size women’s clothes lines.

    We are not simply talking quantity, but increased quality and fashion at the same time. The evolution in the market trading segment has been remarkable.

  • COMMENTS RE: Your post,”LETS TALK: Design Elements in Plus Size Clothes that KILL ME.”

    These are but a very few of the comments I wish to make on this subject. They come from the perspective of a life long 5” 8″ Apple whose size has increased overtime but whose proportions have remained the same (a concept that seems to escape the designers of plus-size clothing for women):

    -Plus-size tops are wide at the bottom. T-shirts, blouses, tunics, shirts, vests, blazers, coats… all are proportioned fuller at the bottom than their regular-size counterparts. This trend may flatter Pears but it makes Apples look like umbrellas.

    -Plus-size clothing is usually made from clingy fabric. Wearing soft clothing that drapes the body is the best way to accentuate every dimple, roll, and extra pound. Why don’t clothing producers see that? Why don’t customers refuse to purchase these ugly pieces? Fabric with enough weight to cause clothing to hand straight down the body, not fall into every crease and cranny, is more flattering for most uses.

    -Plus-size blouses rarely have collars. Yikes! Extra pounds add mass to body parts. Instead of disguising neck rolls, double chins, and upper back fat, designers seem to highlight them with low, scooped or rounded necklines… not only in the front, but all the way around. Medium to high shirt collars made from crisp, stand-up fabrics are next to impossible to find in the world of plus-size clothing.

    -Plus-size blouses with long sleeves have tabs. 1.) Tabs on long-sleeved blouses are designed to allow the sleeves to be rolled up; making the blouse from nicer, weightier, crisper fabric would eliminate non-rollable, wrinkly, floppy sleeves and allow sleeves, when turned up, to stay up on their own, creating a fresher look. 2.) Tabs on long-sleeved blouses are like arrows or flags which scream, “Old Lady Wearing Cheap Blouse.”

    Thanks for providing a space in which I have been able to vent a few of the frustrations I have encountered since moving into the world of Big and Beautiful.

  • huge armholes! Yes, I want more fabric for my upper arms, but the actual armhole does not need to be large too! And on sleeveless tops? Let me be able to not show my bra. Or even worse, part of the bra cup!

  • Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I know it was a few years ago, but I found it today when I searched on “Why do extra-large sized clothes have longer sleeves/legs?” This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I’m a little over 5’3″ (i.e. in the petite range) and currently wearing an 18, but I’ve been shopping the XL racks in the misses dept for many years now. And I’d like to know why designers think that when I get heavier, that my arms and legs grow, too. When the sleeves aren’t 3/4 length, they are always, always, always too long, and the pants are dragging on the floor! If you hold up two hangers of the same item, one in a 10 and one in a 16 or 18 (or a size M and an XL), you’ll see for yourself what I’m talking about. I’m from a long line of vertically-challenged women (although I was considered tall in my family because my mom was 4’9″!), and have always wanted to be taller. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I *WISH* I COULD GET TALLER BY GAINING WEIGHT! If that were the case, I’d be buying Oreos by the case!!! Unfortunately and very sadly, I’m still only 5’3″ despite my weight gain. Thank goodness I can sew, but I’ve gotta tell ya, I’m getting pretty sick of doing alterations on everything I buy.

    Speaking of sewing, that’s what I ended up doing for my wedding dress. When shopping for a dress, all I saw was strapless, sleeveless, spaghetti straps, sleeveless, strapless, etc., etc., etc., and there was no way I was showing my arms in all the photos to be taken of me that day!! These dresses are designed for those sweet young things in their 20’s who haven’t lived life yet like all of we ladies have – and they are NOT designed for a 2nd or 3rd wedding of someone in her 40’s or 50’s. So I started looking at photos and collected my ideas by buying several patterns that each incorporated a feature I liked: a soft draped neckline, fitted bodice that hits the waist (those empire waist tops/dresses just make you look pregnant), an A-line skirt and a sleeve that came to the elbow with a split cuff. I made the dress from Chinese silk I bought on eBay – NO LIE!, and my sister (maid of honor) made hers out of another piece of Chinese silk that I’d bought that coordinated with mine. And it was exactly what I wanted.

    Oh, and I too hate the elastic-waisted blouses and tab sleeves – I’ve actually removed them because they aggravated me so much.

  • Being short, and on the edge of average height pant length is important and the sleeves of blazers never fit properly, it’s like I can’t have boobs 38G and large arms and expect to find a structured blazer the will fit without deconstructing the whole thing.

  • I hate it when blouses or t-shirts get longer when in a larger size, it is absolutely not complementing my body.
    It’s also very hard to find really short mini skirts, my legs happen to be my second best asset (after my boobs) but it seems only Ashley Stewart is obtainable in Europe. We have to order them in America, but at least they are available!

  • Ruching, shark bite hems, empire waists on tops… I could go on for days. I’m tallish (5’10) and nothing is QUITE long enough either. Enough with ankle length everything!

    Empathizing with my fellow ladies of varying heights, I’d love to see more P (S), R, and T options with actual inseam selection (let us choose 27″, 29″, 31″, 33″, etc)

    • Apparently it’s perfectly reasonable for stores to stock 40 different sizes of men’s jeans to cover all the waist/inseam options, but heaven forbid women’s clothes have the same options. Hell, plus size women are lucky to find anything that’s a single actual size – they’re either some variety of multiple Xs with no clear way of figuring out what they mean, or they’re the 18/20 or 20/22 or 24/26 nonsense that means they don’t actually fit anyone properly.

  • Thick thighs? Well your calf is clearly the same width as your thigh. Let’s make it so you can fit four of them in the pants leg??? Or streamline the calf area? No problem, let me just tighten up the thigh are, so that they rip.

  • Rhinestones. Please, no more rhinestones. I’m sick of rhinestones on plus-size shirts. Plus-size clothes are notorious for it. I don’t need anymore attention to my massive boobs. Plus, they’re annoying. They pop off in the laundry and it makes the shirt look even worse.

    • Rhinestones, glitter, and/or screen printed with some gawdawful giant flower or butterfly. I like a little sparkle on occasion, but jesus, not every damn thing I own needs to leave a trail…

  • If pants fit my waist and butt, the legs are gigantic. Also leg hole openings on underwear and swimsuits are always huge, as are the arm hole openings on tank tops. I am also not a fan of all the cold shoulder tops, or anything with an uneven hemline.

  • Tops that don’t assume you’re a D-cup just because you’re a size 18 (or more) everywhere else.

    Better quality fabrics that don’t disintegrate in a year.

    Better prints and graphics- fewer giant brushstrokey flowers. No more goddamn Eiffel Towers (and I love the Eiffel Tower, architecturally-speaking!) and other tourist attractions.

    Fewer unnecessary embellishments (I’m looking at you, Lane Bryant!) That shirt was perfect until you bedazzled it or added a random decorative zipper. KNOW WHEN TO STOP!

  • This. I wish I didn’t have to wade through THIS when swimwear shopping. Gobs of extra material, horrid pattern, yucky color. Swimsuits are getting better, and I agree that it’s important to wear something you feel comfortable in. Still, every time I go to the pool I see a woman with a fuller figure wearing a suit that’s dragging down around her knees. I want to shake her and yell “You don’t have to wear a tent!!!”

  • The idea that as soon as you’re plus size you like Navy-inspired clothes and 50’s dresses. My favorite store brought in whole new line with extended sizes, but it’s all Sailor-prints, gold buttons and 50’s dresses that make you cute as a button! I don’t want to look like a cute little sailorgirl.
    They also stock a lot of cutesy ruffle-shirts and flowery blouses. We do not all want that!

    • The arm thing drives me crazy. I have a tiny rib cage (like a 30-32 band size in bras), sort of an in-between straight and plus-sized waist depending on the brand, and size 14 arms. If a shirt fits my arms, it also makes me look like I am in my 3rd trimester. Do not like.

  • Listen….enough wit the “baby girl” and any phrase that refers to this…. no sequins…rhinestones….or racerback tanks that drop below ya roll….enough of this shit….and 2 piece bathing suits without support in the boob area when your ddd+ enough of this shit…..

  • Sooo with you on the three quarter sleeve Especially on winter clothes!! I’m cold, I want long sleeves!!

    Also the boxy tunic. Great folks who suit that style but not all of us do. I’m short and made up of lots of curves a boxy tunic looks like a sack on me.

    I would like to add not enough space for boobs. My boobs never EVER fit the allotted space in empire line garments. I know there are fat women with the opposite problem so I’m not entirely sure what the solution is. But I would say that it is easier to nip and tuck clothes to make them smaller than it is to somehow magic more fabric out of nowhere.

  • Ugly buttons, ugly prints, weird hemlines, odd necklines….plus size clothing designers tend to throw in the weirdest details that don’t add any design value or attractiveness to the garment.

  • Dick pouches in plus size jeans. All of them. Always. And the general mismatched measurements in jeans that make t difficult for even an evenly portioned woman to find a great fit.

    • Yes! This is my biggest peave!!! I’m thick and hour glass and everything is evenly distributed lol I don’t have a huge stomach, or just junk in my trunk. I need hip room in my pants and a bigger breast well in my tops. I don’t need the extra pouch hanging down!

    • Lynn Barrett Lytle I appreciate the tip but $20 is a lot for pants for me. Currently I own one pair of $6 clearance jeans with blown out thighs because I can’t afford another pair and the thrift stores rarely has real jeans in my size.

    • Lindsay MacKenzie that’s so kind and generous of you and I truly appreciate it. I’m ok with thrift store shopping. Helps keep clothes out of landfills and from drowning other countries with our discarded fast fashion.
      Donating nice plus size clothing and/or funds to organizations like Dress for Success or women’s shelters in your area would be wonderful and touch many lives!

  • Here’s a thought – how about dispensing with this plus-size segregation altogether? I mean why do stores have to stock 100+ items for “regular” sizes, and only 10 items for “plus” sizes? Why can’t manufacturers make the same shirt/dress/pants in sizes XS-XXXL?
    And standardize the sizes FGS! I’m wearing everything from a 16 to a 22…WTH?!

    • I have no problem with a plus sized department. It’s a whole range on its own. It’s hard enough to find it, don’t want to make it harder. The skinny ladies have segregated sizes too, from girls to juniors, to misses/teens, to women’s, to plus size. Each covers about the same size range already (number-wise, definitely not stock-wise!).

    • Mary – i think my issue really is the lack of CHOICE. I live in a smaller city in Canada – walk into any Sears or Walmart here and there’s dozens of racks for regular sizes, two or three for plus. We don’t have the options for mail order due to the exchange rates and exorbitant shipping charges.

    • While we’re at it, could we *please* stop filling up the ‘plus size’ department with maternity clothes? (Yeah, I’m looking at you, Target.) Especially given that apparently all pregnant women at 5’3, weighed 98 pounds when they got pregnant, and are all just dying to show off their bellies with extra-tight t-shirts?

  • I hav been reading the article and all comments. I am a plus size fashion designer and whilst I agree with some of what u r saying I feel as a qualified designer and stylist I need to set some things straight here.
    When creating a garment many many design elements need to be considered and thought out.
    As designers we need to not only trust our design knowledge and gut but we need to consider the current trends and also the mass variety of women and body shapes and sizes that will wear the finished product.
    There r so many variables from size, age, shape, proportion and then u hav to consider all the previous feedback customers hav given u in the past that u value but can also be overwhelming.
    It is very difficult to balance all of this successfully and make a viable business out if it.
    Fortunately I am successful and love doing it .
    But don’t for a second think it’s a easy job and that u can just standardise everything just to suit ur individual taste. Life doesn’t work like that.
    I do take on and agree with some of ur comments and that article but I do feel the industry people need to be represented also and appreciate their hard work 🙂 💕

    • Are you here just to justify yourself? I haven’t read a single thing that says anyone thinks your job is simple and easy or anything derogatory towards a designer. I hear that women are tired of cartoon characters, glitter, and awkward cuts.

      Step back and don’t take this so personally. I don’t recognize your name and any designer with half a cup of self worth isn’t going to comment on a Facebook blog post where ladies share their frustrations just to defend themselves – again, take yourself out of the equation, stop making it about how hard you have it.

    • Not really representing, just defensively arguing for the status quo. Plenty of plus size designers are able to do all you say you can’t, our problem is access. It sounds like you might have some learning to do about your market, but are insisting it’s too hard. Lots of great women (and men) are doing it. They need to get their lines into stores, both brick and mortar and e-commerce via featured retailers, even if drop shipping.

    • U know nothing about me. My comments we neither negative nor complaining. U hav taking me in the wrong way.
      I am a person that is all about diversity and girl power.
      If u can’t see me for the great person I am then that on u .

    • Heidi Krukowski, she does have a small (very small) biz. But apparently no tailoring. It’s all draped tops (all but one is a solid color) and baggy pants, at least, as far back as I scrolled. So yes, she’s here to justify herself instead of expanding experience, and really listening to what people would purchase, and purchase expensively at that. Everyone starts small, what makes you big is looking and imparting these women’s feedback. Hopefully, you are aware, the reason you are getting pushback is because serve read your story for years from designers for sticks, or plus size designers who told us we should be happy above cares enough about use to throw curtain sized tunics on us. Perhaps your are new to this place, but this amazing page is literally and figuratively combating the stereotypes and blatent attitudes we get in fashion, that we are impossible to design for, so “deal with it”. Serve greats “your side”, for years. And thanks to great pages like this, we know it’s bunk. Plus size designers are studying with plus sized fashion, not scaling up an old Simplicity pattern. Several retailers are now offering varied plus sizes, you know, the things you say are impossible, by setting sub sizing. 20a may be a size 20 with a certain height and weight frame. Then 20b covers the next and so forth. Another retailer allows you to choose two different options with the same clothing size, because – surprise- there are many plus size like knee who aren’t triple Ds, so you can get a dress with a “full figured” cup with support, or the other option for a smaller chest.
      Belle Chemise is her place. So she’s telling the truth, she does make a few items… mostly the same item in different colors.

    • Or “u” you could listen to real world women and take into account the overarching themes. But to come here on the attack where we’ve been invited to air our complaints is horribly misguided.

      I used to work in fashion and I’m having a hard time believing you’re the success you say you are.

    • Please take note of the fact that this article is from 2013, and we are STILL having the same problems. I am by no means a designer, but I am a self-taught seamstress. Every time I make an article of clothing, I modify it to what my personal needs are (ie: POCKETS in my pants / dresses / skirts, design elements that are reflected on the back as well as the front, structure in items that make sense, WINTER TIME DRESSES, prints and colors that flatter). Without fail, I get compliments on said article of clothing, I’m asked where I got said item, and when they learn that I made it, I’m always asked how much I would charge to make one for them. If I, a mere self-taught seamstress, am getting this response on every single item of clothing that I make for myself, it seems to me that a designer would be able to take these points and run with them. It’s time for the fashion industry to wake up, unplug their ears, and actually listen to what we are saying rather than getting defensive saying “We are making what you guys are asking for” when in fact, no one is really making what we keep asking for.

    • I am also a clothing designer for all sizes but I specialize in plus. I love what I do. Three years ago I had a bad work accident that almost cost me the ability to do what I love and make a living. I have been out of the loop most of that time. I am not going to defend the shortcomings of the plus size design and manufacturing business. We all know how difficult this business is. There have been many “plus size”actresses, models, celebrities going into the design business, lately. Are they riding a gravy train? Maybe, why do the sizes end at 24? are the rest of us non-deserving? Hmm, I’m not sure where my spiel is heading, just wanted to acknowledge that I hear you. I am an indie designer and I do my best to accomendate what you, the client wants in one of my designs. I wish I can be all but I can’t. Indie designers have a lot more freedom with design and sewing to be able to tweek the pattern according to your needs. I am a one woman show, I do it all. I know many cannot afford some of the pricing but I hope you give the indie designers a chance at filling in some of the gaps. Anyway keep up with the critiques, they are very helpful, for me at least. 🙂

  • Stupid sleeves that roll up and have a snap tab to hold them there. Empire style cuts me right at the books and makes me look pregnant. No or useless pockes. Has anyone heard of an A-line skirt and know how to make it? I have big boobs and really skinny legs, I’d like to showcase the legs once in a while. And why not sleeves that cover? Would love to have sleeves that hit just above elbow.

  • Giant, gaping arm holes that expose weird side armpit fat! I’m a bigger woman with a larger bust, but they assume as you go up in size your arm hole needs to be as big as your neck hole!

    Also, stores that advertise for plus sizes, but when you physically go to the store, they only carry straight sizes at their location. “We can order it for you?” Grrr

  • How about just take the straight size clothes and make them larger proportionally. I really like that pair of pants over there, I just need one more inch in the waist. Don’t take that pair of pants and cut it into a monstrosity. Leave that top the exact way it is but cut it a little larger. I am between plus and misses sizes from time to time and it really frustrates me to not be able to find the same garment in plus sizes. It may be the same print, but it has an ugly design.

  • Trying on a t-shirt and I look like a sack of potatoes in a dress, because they think “OK, fat. We’ll add 6 more inches of fabric to the bottom.”
    Or the flipside. T-shirt is roomy, but is too short and doesn’t cover my spare tyre.
    WHY can’t they just get it right?!

  • I swear I’m the only person who has noticed plus size has went back to muumuus in gawdy floral print. Torrid looks like an old ladies store from the 80s, just 8x the price. (Worse, that junk is so thin now, that you need 2-3 muumuus not to be see through!)

  • Well I personally Love 3 quarter length sleeves. I wish I could find more blouses with that length. What I would like to see more of are short sleeves that come down closer to the elbow. (Can you tell I have issues with my arms? Lol)
    And I have quite a few full length sleeved, structured blazers. I think it depends on where you shop. If you’re going to the extra trendy shops/sites, that may be the issue. Try the good old boys like JC Penney, Macy’s and Sears.
    I think A-line dresses/skirts are really being overdone right now. Don’t get me wrong, they’re really cute, but as a big girl with big buns, they don’t work well on me. They’re always hiked up in the back. Could I have the hem line altered, yes, but I don’t wanna. I wish there were more straight dresses available, in the same cute prints as the a-lines. I also wish there were more straight skirts available……and not always the “painted on” pencil skirt versions.
    My biggest pet peeve though are the American brand bra sizing/styles. It’s so hard to find one my size (44H) that fits properly, is supportive, cute, and comfortable. Although Lane Bryant sells my size, they don’t fit me. I always have to order them online from specialty stores. And in addition, I hate that it’s pretty much impossible to find a swimsuit with support (underwire especially) that fits properly. This season Torrid offered many different styles with underwire, but even when I’d go up a size or two, the cups were still at least 2 sizes too small…..not to mention the fact that at that point, the rest of the top/suit was then too big.

  • Hemlines that are made for bigger women with no butts apparently. I can’t find a cute dress that isn’t Maxi that won’t have me arrested for showing the cookies, so I just sit and swelter.

    • I’m trying to figure out where they’re finding all these big women with flat asses. To get a pair of pants to go around my thighs and butt, it’s got 14 extra inches in the waistband gapping in the back.

    • Don’t get me started on the fact that I am in that weird height place where petite is too short, and avg length makes me look like a child wearing her mother’s clothes unless I am wearing heels.


    I wish retailers would stop putting our sections together like we wear the same type of clothes. I’ve never seen a size 2 on the same rack or in the same section as maternity clothes, but they think it’s okay to blend plus size and maternity clothes together. Target 🎯 is Notorious for doing this and I hate shopping there because it messes with my self esteem to be find a cute top, only to find out it’s maternity.

    I don’t have issues with women who are pregnant or expecting. I just think the clothes for maternity are cut in a certain way to allow a baby to grow, and plus size shouldn’t be cut the same way.

  • Those stupid t shirts with elastic bunched up on the sides. Shorts with giant legs. Tops with a ruffle all the way across the shoulders. I’m a regular D cup, plus bathing suits are always giant at the top.

    • The off shoulder trend has REALLY ticked me off this year! EVERY top is ruffled off the shoulder! Sir and ma’am, to wear those tops, I would need to purchase a custom strapless bra!! #38N

  • One modification I wish was consistent: I need to wear a good bra. If you expect a D+ customer to wear your garment, you better design the shoulders, back, armpits, etc to accommodate a bra. Nobody wants to see this mama of three flopping all over so she can rock a spaghetti strap sundress. 😳

  • I’m full busted and if I find a shirt or dress that fits that part of me I almost always have to adjust the neckline and waist. Same thing with shoes. Just the ball of my foot is wide, with a high arch,mane the heel is normal. But every pair of wide width shoes if fine in the ball and too wide in the heel.

  • Just because I have a larger upper arm doesn’t mean my lower arm is huge. The long sleeves are just as big as the arm holes. Same thing with pants. They make the lower leg as big as the thigh instead of tapering them off.

  • I hate it when designers think that just because you’re bigger that your big all over I’m 5″3′ and I’ve got skinny legs and are big in the middle, I’m an apple shape so it’s so hard to find clothes that fit properly

  • What gripes my butt is so many clothes for plus size have huge necklines that show off the bra strap, I have to pull the shoulder area back in place all the time. Plus size does not mean huge head that can’t fit a neck line over.

  • Finally….someone speaking on behalf of the true curvy fashionistas….thank you!!!!

    Some of the fashions for us are either so hideous that you can’t help but say ‘seriously?’ Or you get so damn frustrated that everything looks like a moo-moo and you leave everything on the floor of the dressing room and head for somewhere to have a sundae with all the fixins’

    Curvy women are sexy and we want a few good designers to just get it!!!!!

  • One of my biggest issues that pants always are so huge in front and no room in the back. I have wide hips with a big butt. My stomach is not huge yet pants don’t fit right. Then the crouch is so low to the point my legs are physically touching.

    I hate that all the designs in plus size are ugly and geared to make us hide. Umm hello, I wanna look good just like other women. Im just as confident. How hard is that?

  • The banded bottom has got to go. Size consistency would be nice. Sheer, cheap fabric that they want a mint for needs to be upgraded. Not ever plus size lady has wide feet, so maybe make those cute heel in a medium. Yes upper sleeves need to be paid attention to, every thing will fit and my arms look like they are in a sausage casing. We are not all hourglass shaped. Time for some new size models so everyone is included. #sizediversity

  • Yes, big floral prints. I like a floral print as much as the next girl, but come on. Also, some of the sizing. If I try on a 1x in one dress it may be too small. But if I try on a 2x in the same dress it looks like I’m wearing a huge mumu. Figure out sizes, people. And don’t forget the long length of all the skirts and dresses. I am not an 80 year old woman. I do not want or need to be covered from head to toe.

  • My two major frustrations: 1) sleeves that are too tight because apparently most designers think that a woman wearing a size 26 has size 14 arms. Also sleeve lenghth: anything above the elbow looks terrible on me and emphasises my arms, which are certainly my worst part. This is something no designer ever seems to think of. 2) Bras for plus-sized women who don’t have ginormous boobs and just plain bras that are sized correctly for plus-sizes. It seems that in plus-sizes, I’m an A cup, whereas in straight-sizes I’ve always been a perfect C. But designers just don’t make plus-size bras with a large band but normal cup sizes. I literally, this is not an exaggeration, don’t have a single bra that fits me right. I recently tried a bra that was touted as “for plus-sized women who need a large band but small cup” (that was their bloody claim!!!!) and I ordered it with my correct band size and in a A cup, the smallest they had. I was floating in it. I put it on my head and it was like a giant cloche hat, it was that ridiculous. Not every plus woman has big boobs. Why even use the standard cup letters if you’re not gonna stick to them? Why is a plus-size A a straight-size D? That infuriates me.

    • Ashley Carter I haven’t, because I live in Germany and we don’t have Lane Bryant here. The situation for plus-sized clothing is dismal over here. I have ordered bras from the US before and despite lots of measuring and even talking to the customer service reps while ordering, nothing has ever fit right. There are a few options for large bands/small cups from the US and I have tried about half a dozen (all those I can afford, basically) and none was quite right. (I also hate that this type of bra only comes in black, white and nude.) I have browsed Lany Bryant’s site in the past in the hopes of finding something, but I never really found my size there. Have you been successful at LB?

    • I have been successful at LB ordering online. I’m a 44B and most of their 44B bras are pretty true to size. Also, have you heard of sister sizing? If you can play around with the sizing to make it work for you, that might help. For example, I wear a 44C in Curvy Couture but then I add an extender (because a 46C is too big in the cup but the 44C is too tight in the band).

  • I’m a very busty lady, but have short arms. Trying to find a button up shirt is almost impossible! The arms are too long and shoulders too wide! Stop with the flowers, elastic bands on shirts and remember we want to be able to shop in ALL stores. Tired of our clothes costing more, too!! Feels like we are being discriminated against based on our size, NOT fair!!

  • Use to like Torrid but their designs are too goth for me also they charge $40 for a see through shirt that will fall apart after the first wash. The quality of their clothing is poor and overpriced- some items are cute but way overpriced

  • Why has no one mentioned fabric? One of the things that kills me is touching the fabric and it being that icky non breathing polyester. I don’t want the quality of fabric sacrificed just because it’s a plus item. In terms of actual styles, cut outs, shark bite hems, shirts that are too short when you get them over the boobs, and where are the button ups shirts that don’t gape and don’t look like a tent?

  • I know this may be because I’m short waisted, but I hate that many plus size designers make shirts so long. I don’t need long shirts and shirts that go past my hip make me look even bigger. I notice super long shirts with Ava and Viv. I’m like… Why??? Bigger doesn’t mean longer.

  • I HATE tops with a band at the bottom! I have a big belly so that looks like crap on my. Also, pants that are tight across my belly and have a gap in the back. Ugly prints. Or a cute perfect top that has a flowered skull on it.

  • I hate jumpsuits because some reason I have to have small thighs and be an F to fit my boobs in. No matter the brand. Those crazy designs on everything ruin it. You go to a basic section of a store and nothing is just basic.

  • I hate that designers think that just because I’m a big girl, I must be tall too. It can be very difficult to find pants and skirts that are the length I need or that will still look good after shortening.

  • 🤔 1- Bigger arm holes. 90% of the time I have to size up just for the arm to fit 😑 2- Ive tried on jeans in an 18 with the perfect length but were alil snug. Tried on a size 20 and the inseam lost 2 inches 😞 * Im 5’7* 3-More cotten, less polyester and rayon PLEASE 🙌🏾 4- Shorts are either midthigh or midcalf, knee length would be nice 5- More sleeves! Elbow or wrist length, cap n 3/4 are the devil. 6- LESS BIG FLORAL PRINTS, more edgy patterns

  • Ruching! What is it for? Why is it on everything over size 10? I have my own rolls thank you. Underwires that are made for people over 6ft tall. I’m only 5’4″ armpit bruise are a real thing. Hasn’t anyone shown bra designers their bruises? Should we send them photos?

    • I would suggest that you’re not wearing the correct bra fit. Try visiting a store or boutique that does bra fits and see if that helps. I used to share the same frustrations when I wore Lane Bryant beas, but since getting fitted and switching to Torrid, I don’t have that trouble anymore.

    • Amanda Yount-Bucher I have been fitted. I’m a 36FF with narrow shoulders and I am 5’4″. Panache is the only bras I can wear at this time. Even those, I have to be careful what style I get. Most plussize bras do not go below a 38 band size. The Panache bras are beautiful, delicate and have smaller wires, shoulders and ONLY two hooks. Lane Bryant ‘s bras are pretty but don’t fit.