Plus Size Fashion

Okay, BKs, here's a place to gripe and brainstorm for those of us who are plus-size.

I'm a tall plus-sized woman who gets frustrated with the fashion choices out there for plus size women.  I find that designers tend to design for one body type--short with really large breasts.  I'm 6'1" and only a C-cup, so I don't fit the mold.  Dresses are particularly frustrating.  I'm a bit long-waisted to begin with and I find that just about everything is designed with an empire waist which looks AWFUL on me.

I tend to need clothes with a bit of structure to look good and that can be hard to find.

Where do you find the clothes you love?  What would you like to see designers create?  Let's make our voices heard!


  • Mannnnnn, don't even get me started on this!!! What pisses me off the MOST is shirts. Tees & button down: big in the bust, big in the arms, fine most places except for LENGTH. Damn, you need to account for my big ole belly :(  Otherwise, my tee shirts look like belly shirts & my button downs stop just below my belt. Ugh. I need to lose weight.

    Soft surroundings has great skirts. Plus size and tall for some items.

  • I don't know how much I can't participate in the discussion, but I'm a very bottom heavy guy. Big butt, big thighs, but much slimmer calves and waist (32 inch). It makes buying jeans a pain, because what would fit my ass doesn't fit my waist, but what would fit my waist won't go over my thighs and butt.

    Recently I discovered Athletic Fit jeans, which been the best option so far.

    That's my clothing complaint for the day.
  • The thing that kills me about plus size fashion is the fabrics. Why do designers assume that larger women only want to wear the cheapest possible rayon and viscose? Where are our luxe fabrics?

    Like @SingingPhoenixD I like clothes with a bit of structure. I do NOT suit empire line tops or dresses.
  • @SingingPhoenixD As a member of the short/fat/big titty brigade, I still can't find clothes that are cut for me. Everything's too long, too small through the bust, and either I have spectacularly fat arms, or there's some serious sleeve issues going on out there.

    My personal aesthetic tends toward gothy and midcentury styles, but the Rockabilly Fatty is such a stereotype that I tend to shy away from clothes I actually like in favour of looking less like a cliche.

    All the love to Avenue Denim for making jeans that make my ass look great and don't gap at the waist.
  • Ooooooh, I'll chime in! 

    Lane Bryant is stupidly expensive. And they seem to think we just want to wear tents, nothing with any fit to it. I'm 5'8" and also not busy. I also not think I have overly long arms, but for some reason, just about everything I buy that's long-sleeved doesn't even reach my wrists. 

    I'm just thankful I don't have to dress up for work because TeeFury and Once Upon A Tee make big shirts and I can indulge my Doctor Who/Sherlock/Firefly obsessions and wear those to work. I've just about give up on finding anything cute. And I'm not huge, I wear a size 18. 

    I've has a little luck at OneStopPlus online, but they're also of the Omar The Tentmaker school of thinking. 
  • Oh, @DrSparkles I hear you on the length.  Finding shirts/blouses long enough that they'll stay tucked into pants and jeans can be a serious pain.  That 6"1' long-waisted thing again.

    @foodycatAlicia don't get me started about the fabrics.  I'm a sewer and a textiles person.  I hate the crappy fabrics they use with a fiery passion.  If I didn't work three jobs I'd make all of my own clothes and fix the problem myself, but I can't.  

    Lane Bryant is stupidly expensive.  Avenue used to make good clothes, but their quality has seriously headed south in my opinion.  I've gotten a couple of nice pieces from ModCloth, but other folks have said they had issues with their quality.  I've been hitting the clearance rack at Macy's a lot recently, but the selection is not all that great.
  • I've never been particularly into fashion for myself, but at least 75% of it is because they just don't make stuff that fits people who are as far off the mold as I am. I'm plus size by the numbers, but not by the build. Regular pants don't accommodate my ass or my long waist, shirts don't accommodate my shoulders (I just had to throw several button-down shirts in the donation bag), plus-size clothing is cut for the short and voluptuous and I don't have the bust to fill the shirts... so frustrating. We really need a clothing line for amazons - longer/wider lengths in the legs/arms/waist, more space in the seat and thigh and shoulders without being disproportionately large in other areas, cute shoes that don't stop at 10 normal...
  • @marared  Okay, I think you've just come up for the name for the clothing line we need to start: BK Amazons.

    So, I can pitch in on design and sample construction.  Where do we get our backers?  :-)
  • Looking nice as a plus size person is like slaying dragons. You're rarely going to get anything that fits off the rack. As a short person, everything is too long for me. I bought a pair of yoga pants from Lane Bryant and had to hem them! Who hems yoga pants? Brick and mortar stores like Lane Bryant and Catherines are okay if you catch a sale, but most of the deals are to be hand online. That means 75% of my clothes shopping is through the mail. Ashley Stewart is okay for fast fashion. Target's Ava and Viv line is actually fairly decent for basics. If you are a fashion gal as I try to be you need to hit the online shops. I like Jibiri, but often can't afford more than 1 piece a season. For shirts I've just discovered Foxcroft, but I haven't tried them yet. I know they are popular, but I don't like Mod Cloth. Most of their stuff is either too kitschy or 50's inspired for my taste. eShatki is okay but I seem to only buy summer dresses from them. Onestopplus is a good one. Just make sure you read the materials and the reviews. 

    I don't need larger sized shoes. I just need wide widths. Depending in the shoe an 8 - 8.5 wide fits perfectly, yet I often have to buy a size 9 because the shoe doesn't come in a wide width.

    Following plus sized bloggers has been a godsend. I'm a bit miffed that Elle didn't see fit to include any of these movers and shakers in their list of top influential bloggers.
  • @Milaxx - certainly not me! But I did cut 8" off the hems of my last pair of yoga pants with pinking shears.
  • @singingphoenixD - absolutely! And taking bets on how long it takes Amazon to sue us. ;)
  • Agreed on the cheesy fabrics! Even 100% cotton would be FINE. I used to be fashionable and had my own kind of Ralph Lauren/bohemian chic thing going. I loved skirts and dresses. In my forties I quit smoking and was, well, middleaged, and gained a lot of weight that seems very fond of me, since it doesn't budge. There are no skirts or dresses out there I like. I've gotten a couple of things from eshakti , otherwise I have to wear pants. I hate pants.

    I used to be able to find some things at the late, lamented Filene's Basement, now all shopping for clothes is done online. I can sometimes find something nice at One Stop Plus (Ello's is my favorite) or Ulla Popken. Joe Brown's has some cute things but the fabrics are weird.

    At home I live in leggings and oversized shirts. My workplace is very casual and I can wear jeans and oversized shirts. But I do like a summer dress or a nice bohemian style top. 
  • I miss Filene's Basement. 

    I find the Macy's plus department had old-lady clothes in nasty colors and fabrics. I don't want to wear pastels and I certainly don't want to wear pastel florals. I just want cute tops. I don't have to dress up for work, so I don't. But it would be nice to have a few more options. 

    I can't wait for the warmer weather. I have maxi dresses hanging in my closet that are just dying to be worn, but there's still snow on the ground here. Stoopid New England weather. 
  • marared said:
    @singingphoenixD - absolutely! And taking bets on how long it takes Amazon to sue us. ;)
    LOL!!  So true!
  • Lord & Taylor always has a lot of good stuff in their plus department, I find a lot of stuff there. And if you hit a sale, it's amazing. And I love Kohls!
  • Also, you know what's really great (although really expensive) is Coldwater Creek. I like a lot of their plus-sized stuff, it seems to be right for my body type.
  • My style has shifted as of late and I find myself shopping at Torrid more often than not, but I've also grown quite fond of Nordstrom's plus-sized selection. 
  • @OffToSeeHim - Coldwater Creek went out of business. 
  • @MajorBedhead, I got a catalog from them this morning - maybe nobody told them?   :-D
  • They're back? Awesome! I love their stuff. It's kind of classic, but not boring. Must go check them out online. They're a little expensive for what they sell, but they do sell nice things. 
  • I try to hit the sales and clearance tabs on the website. Sometimes you can get some great deals! There are some pillows in the current catalog that I want BAD. They're the one on the same page as the Goldfinch pillows, but they're the ones with the line of different colored birds on them.

    (Meandering off topic, as usual...)
  • I can not recommend highly enough

    They are only available on-line but it is a custom shop that is reasonable - watch for their sales - and you can customize EVERYTHING they make!  I wear 20 - 24 and am 5'10" I typically just order by size with some customization, but you can literally give your exact measurements.  The clothes are made overseas but everything I have bought comes quickly (15 days or so)  and is really fun.  I especially love that I don't see myself coming and going (like with some plus size gal's clothes).  Most dresses / skirts come with pockets and even if you don't do the full customize size you still order by both size and height.

    Check them out - read the description carefully so you are not surprised by a detail.  

    Also - check out a little pricey and not all the quality aligns with the price, but the formals are great and I love a good wrap dress. 

    I am a long time Lane B & Onesize - but these have my heart! 
  • I'm 5'2" and find most plus-size clothes are too long.  I feel like many stores assume that if you're over a size 14, you must be 8 feet tall, but still have a tiny waist, no possible way you can have something as abhorrent as a rounded belly.  I've bought capris more than once to wear as regular pants, and I can't remember the last time I successfully wore a button-down shirt for an entire day.  Most of my clothes come from Dayton's (Macy's to the rest of you), since they have a decent selection of designers in certain stores.  I find it works better to shop in the rich suburbs, since they're more likely to get the better labels. 

    I heard recently that Ralph Lauren is cancelling their plus-size line.  Does anyone know if there's any truth to this?

    We used to have Avenue up where I live, but they left a few years ago.  I bought all my sweaters there, and sorely miss them, but not enough to order online.  I'd like to take up on the Lord & Taylor and eshakti tips, though.  I've got a Nordstrom near me, which is hit or miss, mainly because of length issues.  I'm willing to spend some money for a good piece.

    For as outrageous as their prices can be, Lane Bryant does have some of the best plus-size intimates around.  I only shop there during sales, and don't bother with those Real Woman dollars that I can't figure the hell out.

  • I just ordered my first dress with eShakti. Here's hoping!

    Good luck - send a picture if you love it! If not - call me on the suggestion so I tamp down my exubrance! 
  • I like Boscov's - you do have to pick through the weird fabrics and questionable patterns but they've got good basics and most of their stores have more than 5 racks of plus sized stuff (I'm looking at you Land's End).

    Why do plus size clothes always seem feature one or more of:
    horizontal stripes
    boat necks
    cap sleeves
    long dangling ties on hemlines
    tabs on sleeves
    flimsy ruffles that will never look good again after the 1st wash unless you indenture yourself to your iron
    shiny glued crap which will start falling off the second you throw away the receipt

    I'd love to see someone making women's polo style shirts with the fabrics and colors men's shirts are made of.  Why do men get to corner the easy care, stain resistant, wrinkle free market? 

  • Cap sleeves are the debbil. I hates them. 

    Also, I don't want a band around the bottom of any shirt I own. Ever. 
  • I'm of the long & No waist plus-size variety. One of the best things about being Alaskan is that being casual is almost a requirement here. I've found some cute things at Nordy's, Talbot's & Land's End, sometimes HauteLook has some good choices. I'm typically in jeans & hoodies everyday (fortunately I don't look my age...). It really doesn't help that the dresses I want to wear do NOT work for me. I love a good shirtwaist, I feel huge in most empire waists. I would say the only exception are some really cute summer dresses I got at LE. As for jeans, I stick to the basics. Levi's 512s from Zappos. A lot of things I look at our either too young (Hello Torrid) or just too old (Coldwater Creek, spendy too), plus I have a major aversion to cheap and tacky. What's wrong with being preppy for life?
  • Freynika - I am 5'2" and a bit. I've just come to accept that all clothes will be too long on me. I made friends with a tailor. I can do a basic hem on pants. Anything past that I take and get altered. My bigger challenge is tops. I had to stop buying scoop tops because the necklines would be too wide. I looked like an extra from Flashdance.
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