If you’ve been plus-size like me since you were a teenager, you know how much going shopping sucks with your straight-size friends.
You patiently go to their stores and watch them try on super cute clothes you can’t wear. Then they accompany you to Lane Bryant or Torrid. The only stores you could both enjoy would be shoe stores or Sephora.
In other words, it’s no fun.
It’s no fun to not be able to shop the same places as your straight-size friends and enjoy pulling clothes off the same racks in the same store.
That is starting to change.
Thankfully more and more merchants realize plus-size women have money—after all, we spend over $20 billion a year on plus-size clothing. And we want cute clothes. Most of all, we just want the opportunity to shop where our friends do, and some of them are stepping up to the plate. While these retailers don’t carry their new plus collections in their stores, it is definitely a good sign.
New York & Company (If you are my age, New York & Company was a staple at many malls in the 90s. I loved their clean and simple silhouettes, durable fabrics, and timeless patterns. However, by the time I hit college, I grew out of their XL size range. Even their “extended sizes” (to XXL) were cut too slim for me. Boo.
Imagine my delight when I saw their new collaboration with actress Eva Mendes to carry a new line in sizes up to an American 3X. I hurried over to check out the site (it’s only available online), but I was quickly disappointed. While the thirty-eight-piece collection isn’t bad, it’s not my aesthetic. It relies heavily on cheap materials like itchy polyester, velvet (yes, I am weird and hate velvet), and wrinkly rayon. And there were other details I didn’t like such as bell sleeves, shapeless swing dresses, and maxi-dresses for a fall/winter collection.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to check it out. My opinions are my own, and you might find it really cute. Most of the collection is 50% off as of this writing.
White House Black Market I always felt a twinge of envy walking by their stores. Black and white. Chic, timeless designs. Sign me up!
I moseyed on over to their collection of fifty-nine pieces and was again disappointed. While it was a larger offering than NY&CO, there was still a lot of reliance on polyester in their fabrics and the website wouldn’t break down the fabric percentages. That said, the jeans look particularly cute, and the blazers look nice – I particularly like the cropped black blazer. It’s worth a look!
Ann Taylor Loft This is the one I really want to see. I’ve always loved their classic style. When Chrissy Metz from This Is Us announced Ann Taylor would be carrying plus sizes starting in February 2018, I was foaming at the mouth and ready to whip out my credit card.
But I will wait and see what they have to offer. NY&CO wasn’t all that great. WHBM is a “meh” at best, so I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up too high.
It is about time more mainstream designers realize our money is just as good as anyone else’s. And if they want to snooze and miss a multibillion dollar industry, that’s their loss. I will check out the new collections, but I still prefer to support indie designers, and you should too!
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