I’ve noticed a trend: fall/winter fashion seems to be the same year after year. It consists of sweaters, jeans, boots, etc. The sweater styles may be different. But the basic pieces are always the same. Yet when spring and summer roll around, the fashion industry favors unexpected fabrics, cuts, and styles. People show more skin. Hem lines get higher. Sleeves become sleeveless. And people swap out their jeans for shorts and skirts. In college, I LOVED summer. Obviously it meant no school. It also meant laying by to pool all day and going downtown in Athens all night. I didn’t think about what to wear really – I grabbed one of my many dresses and slipped on some sandals. Out the door I went.
Now spring and summer give me a little anxiety. You see, I’m not feeling too confident in how I look right now. And I’m dreading spring and summer clothes because that inevitably means showing more skin. The skin I’m not comfortable in. To make things worse, I’ve been struggling to find things that fit.
Some Most stores don’t offer larg(er) sizes. Frustrating.
My friend Maddy wrote a blog post a few weeks back about how important it is to dress for your body type. And to choose pieces that you like and feel confident in, even if it means not wearing something that’s “on trend” right now. I totally agree with her. And I think its encouraging that bloggers aren’t just wearing what they think is fashionable (for the record: Madeline is gorgeous and can basically wear anything she wants).
I wanted to take Maddy’s comments a step further and talk about fashion and how it relates to girls with curves. Specifically, how hard it is to find pieces that I feel confident in that I actually like.
I’m in this awkward phase where I’m to small to really fit into most plus size clothes, but sometimes to big for regular clothes. So I straddle both hoping for the best. There are some stores – like Loft and Nordstrom – that I can fit into XL tops (sometimes even L if it’s a flowy top). Other stores like Madewell or Urban Outfitters – forget it.
I had a lightbulb moment a few days ago in the mall. I accidentally started browsing through a petite rack of clothes. Now I’m many things, but petite is NOT one of them. It got me thinking: the petite section at most stores is next to the regular women’s section. In many cases a sign is the only thing that distinguishes petite clothes vs regular clothes. Also, petite sections have the same clothes, just smaller sizes – same designers, same prints, etc.
This got me thinking:
1. why is the plus size section never near the regular women’s section? This assumes a plus size section exists. If it does, its on a different floor entirely. But in many smaller stores, it doesn’t exist at all.
2. Why does the plus size section have different clothes/styles/less variety than the regular or petites section?
Fact: the average woman in the US is a size 16/18 (Yes, we are an unhealthy country. Yes, this is problem. No, this is NOT what this post is about). It’s so disheartening to go into a store and find nothing that fits. Or to find that the clothing line doesn’t make an XL (but they do make an XS or XXS – seriously?!).
If anyone else is in a similar position, here are a few stores that cater to woman of more shapes and sizes:
- Ann Taylor
- Old Navy (tons of sizes online)
- Banana Republic
- Nordstrom (certain clothing brands such as Pleione, Gibson, B.P., Caslon, Lucky Brand, Bobeau, and Halogen. Nordstrom also has a plus-size department. Though in my local store, it was woefully small.)
- Macy’s (Style & Co, Alfani, and Lucky Brand to name a few – Macy’s also has a plus size department.)
Here are some of my favorite spring tops that make me feel confident when I wear them:
After all of this thinking (and cursing), I’ve come up with 3 conclusions:
- I need to get healthier. Duh. This will solve the awkward shopping problems. And it’s just good for me.
- The fashion industry needs to get its sh*t together. The plus-size market is a HUGE piece that the industry is essentially ignoring. WTF.
- I’m going to keep buying items that make me feel good. They may not be the trendiest pieces, but I feel confident in them. And at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
Do you have a similar problem when you shop? If you’re a curvy girl like me, what’s your favorite place to buy clothes? Let me know in the comments section!