Well - those days are O-V-E-R! I am overweight and I am plus size. BIG MAMMA! I stay away from the mall these days, because along with my mall rage (yes, that is similar to road rage, just not in a car), there just aren't many options at the mall for big girls. Macy's, JC Penny, and Filenes all have plus sections, but they are very limited and usually very ugly. Evidently, they feel that if you are chubby you must want to dress like a grandma. I personally don't like Lane Bryant. I mean, when you look at their clothes online and even on the rack, they look fashionable and all, but NOTHING in there fits me. Maybe I have a weird body, I don't know. But I've found that Lane Bryant apparently feels that if you are plus size that you must also be pushing 7 feet tall. Even their "short" jeans are damn near a boob covering unitard on me. I am on the shorter side at 5'4 - but come on. They just aren't proportioned right. The crotch should not be able to be pulled up so high that I can get the waist to rest on my tatas (and not hurt my lady business in the process). In my early years of being a fatty, I found one pair of jeans at LB that was semi tolerable. They were too long in the leg, so I had to cut the 6 inches of excess material off, but the crotch to waist ratio was pretty on point. The main problem that I had with these jeans was that the waist was way too big. I had to double the waist over in the back and put my belt on extra tight so that the world couldn't see my whole ass crack when ever I bent or sat down. (Yeah, I'm part of this rare breed of females that doesn't like her ass crack on display, I know I'm weird.) Anyway, even with these major flaws, these crappy ass jeans became my favorite pair. How is that possible, you ask?? Well, when you spend hour after aggravating hour stomping around the mall and spending $45.00 for a pair of jeans that you can get over your ass and don't double as a full body denim bra, you just settle. I believed that this is just how it is for me now that I am heavy. This is as good as it gets. For years I felt that way. Then I gained more weight, one day I was trying to shove myself into my "favorite" jeans and when pulling them up, I used the belt loops for extra tug and I ripped them off! haha! These belt loops were essential to these jeans as I needed them to keep my bum from being exposed through the gaping pucker at the waist. What was I to do? I went back to LB to try and get my hands on another pair of these "perfect" ill fitting jeans. After searching all over the store for them, a sales woman tells me that this style of LB jean had been discontinued. WTF. My only assumption was that all of the giants wrote and complained to LB that the minuscule crotch to waist ratio was a problem for them and LB complied with their demands and stopped making them.
My desperation led me to Walmart, Target, Marshalls, TJ Maxx and occasionally Old Navy. Which surprisingly were all more "shorter plus size woman" friendly. Target is more hit or miss, but I have found a few pairs of work pants there that actually fit me, with no alterations (on clearance at that). This is when I realized that just because you are plus size that does not mean that your clothing should be ill fitting. I decided to scour the web and see what I could find online. I felt this was a risky move because I couldn't try the clothing on beforehand. But in my experience, most places allow you to return for free if need be.
Levis.com actually has some REALLY good fitting jeans. I was totally surprised. A friend had told me about their new line of Curve ID jeans. I was super excited. I went on their site and unfortunately after taking their whole "FIND YOUR CURVE" survey, I found that I am considered a "Supreme Curve" but they didn't have those jeans in my size. GRRRRRRRR. Ho hum... guess I am an Ultra Mega Curvy. BUT they do have a plus size section and I have purchased a few pairs of jeans that fit GREAT! I also found a few pairs of these same jeans at AJ Wright when they were going out of business for under $10.00.
DorothyPerkins.com has AWESOME clothes!! They have all sizes! And pretty much whatever you see in itty bitty sizes they have in plus size as well. But please be aware, that just because something is made in your size, that does not mean it will look fab on you. So make sure that you purchase what will compliment your figure. Dorothy Perkins is in the UK, so shipping is a little higher. But they often have great sales and occasionally offer free shipping to the US.
Torrid.com is another site I like. I actually have not purchased anything from them, but I often pa-rouse their site and I see that they have a lot of trendy wear to offer plus size ladies.
Eloquii.com is a plus size line put out by the Limited. I actually just stumbled upon this one today. I cannot vouch for fit or timely delivery, haha! But I like a lot of what I see on their site. I also like that there is a shop by shape option. You pick your body type and it will show you everything that will compliment your figure. That is awesome!!
Here are some tips for the plus size woman:
- Wear clothing that accentuates what you love and masks what you don't.
- Avoid overly tight clothing - it is uncomfortable and unattractive. It puts all of your dents, dimples and rolls on display and makes you look sloppy.
- Avoid overly baggy clothing - it makes you look like you hate being a woman! It is unattractive and makes you look heavier than you really are. You have curves, that is a good thing. Be proud that you are a woman and show off your curves in a classy not trashy way.
- Wear underwear that FIT, people! We all want to wear the cute little sexy panties, but let's face it, unless you want to be digging them out of your ass - that WILL be eating your undies all day, save those for the bedroom.
- Get fitted for a bra. 80% of American women wear the wrong size bra. EIGHTY PERCENT!! A correctly fitting bra makes a world of difference, not only in the way you feel but in the way you look and carry yourself.
- Cleavage is nice but c'mon ladies LESS is more! Cover them bad Larries up a bit unless you want them on and popping for that special occasion or for your significant other. Do NOT go to work with your ladies on display. It is not a good look unless of course, you work in an environment where that is how you make your money, well then by all means, set the girls free and invite everyone to gawk
- Accessorize! Earrings, belts, necklaces, rings, scarves, shoes, boots, purses - you name it. Accessories should compliment your ensemble, not take it over - so go easy on the number of accessories worn at one time. Don't go overboard because that will look tacky.
- Wear one solid color from top to bottom - the effect is very slimming. Add some color or sparkle with accessories, like a pair of big bold earrings, bracelets and some funky bright colored heels.
- Wear simple patterns. Think vertical stripes (never horizontal = wide).
- Do NOT wear animal prints unless on accessories. Cheetah print clutch, bracelet or pumps, HOT! Cheetah pants stretched across thunder thighs and lard ass, NOT!
- Learn what fabrics look nice on you. Every fabric has a different drape. I have read some plus size tips from "experts" and they say spandex is a good choice for plus size. Um...I am no expert, but I will tell you the truth. DO NOT WEAR ANY DAMN SPANDEX! Big girls and spandex = a recipe for disaster!
- If you have a bigger belly Do NOT wear low rise jeans, these just give you a very pronounced muffin top. Try a higher waist jean that will conceal your belly. - Not "MOM jeans" but a mid rise.
- EMPIRE WAIST LINES!!!!!!!!!!!! In everything! Dress and tops! Never fails to create a leaner looking body!! (see pics below)
- A properly worn belt! (see pics below)
- Most important, take the time to find what fits YOU. The number on the inside of your pants, dress or shirt doesNOT matter. You may wear an 16 in one pair of pants and a 20 in another. It doesn't mean a damn thing. The fit is what matters.
A belt worn high on an empire waistline will accentuate the bust line and draw the eye away from problem areas like a bigger tummy and hips. Pulling it up higher creates the illusion of a slim waistline which will lend to a nice curvaceous silhouette. Use a belt with an empire waist dress or skirt and shirt or over a tunic.