Are you a Plus Size Fashionista with curves who is between a size 10 and 16? Are you sized out of many designers and too small for plus size? Are you frustrated when you go into a store looking for your size, to find it is either out of stock or never in stock?
Finding these sizes can be extremely frustrating when trying to shop either the contemporary or the missy departments. When the average size woman is a size 14 or higher, why can’t we find fashion- forward clothing like our slimmer straight sized friends? So what is a curvy girl to do?
Do your homework! Yes, it is time consuming and it can be frustrating, but patience is our only virtue! However, do not fret, I being a curvy woman (size 16+) in retail have some tips to assist you with your curvy endeavors!
1. BE POSITIVE AND TAKE YOUR TIME
Shopping for that special outfit can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. When embarking on this endeavor, bring with you a positive and optimistic mind and your experience will be a better. Knowing that there are limited designers and retailers who cater to you and your curves will help set the pace and tone when shopping!
2. NEVER JUDGE AN ITEM ON THE HANGER- TRY IT ON!
Many treasures are never found when you judge an item on its hanger. If it has piqued your interest, try it on! Do not knock it until you rock it!
3. ALWAYS INVEST IN QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Investing in quality pieces will enhance your wardrobe, enabling the foundations of your wardrobe to last longer. Because you have curves, certain fabrics and cuts need to drape (hang and fall) in certain places.
It is better to have two basic blouses that do not pucker or pull and look fabulous than ten tops you are constantly pulling or tugging at! And honestly, doesn’t it feel good when you have on an outfit that feels perfect? When you look amazing, you feel amazing too!
4. ALWAYS INVEST IN WHAT FITS NOW- NOT LATER WHEN YOU “LOSE THE WEIGHT”
Ladies, I have been working in retail for about ten years, and it never fails that I hear women excuse their purchase because they are going to lose weight. This only sets you up for failure and frustration! Then when we do not lose the weight, we are left with a closet full of clothes that we wish we could wear (with the tags still on) – too embarrassed or proud to return the merchandise. (I have done this a time or two)
Should you be one who loses the weight, take your items to a tailor! This leads me to the next tip!
5. LOVE THY TAILOR!
Have you ever seen a woman whose outfit looks impeccable! Pants hit at the perfect length and the waist fits her perfectly. Chances are that she has been to the tailor. Using a tailor allows you to tweak your purchases to feel tailor made for you and your curves.
Do your jeans or pants gap at the waist but the pants fit perfectly elsewhere? Take them to a tailor. Is the inseam too long for your legs, get them shortened! Are the sleeves too long? Does the blouse fit across the chest but baggy in the waist? Take them to a tailor? Get my drift? Nothing feels better when an item is altered to fit YOU and YOUR amazing curves.
6. NOT EVERY DESIGNER WILL WORK FOR YOUR AMAZING CURVES
Each designer creates clothes with a certain muse or inspiration in mind. While some manage to capture the silhouette of a curvy client, not all keep her in mind, and that is okay. As you shop around for clothing, keep in mind those who cater and those who do not.
For example, I know I cannot wear Theory (although I love their look), but I do know that I can go to Elie Tahari for a similar look! Elie Tahari designs manage to fit my thick thighs and ample bum and carries up to a 16 and XL!
The only way I was able to know about this designer was by trying them on! Yes, I pay a little bit more for their pieces, but the fit and fashion is so sharp and last forever- when you care for them!
7. MAKE FRIENDS WITH YOUR SALES ASSOCIATE!
Now that you have found a retailer and designer that cater to your curves and tastes, make friends with the sales associate who helped you! Why? As long as it took you to find these items, how amazing would it be to have someone ‘on the inside’ to notify you about sales, new deliveries, trends, and exclusives? This move will ensure your shopping trips to be fruitful, pleasant, and fun!
Now that we have gotten the basics down, when are we going shopping?
Keep it Curvy.Confident.Chic.
I am the Editor in Chic of The Curvy Fashionista. Often goofy. Forever emo. Always a Virgo. You can find me somewhere grooving to 90s R&B.