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Plus Size Clothing Recommendations?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
I'm in need of some new clothing and have gained more weight recently so I'm really needing plus sizes. I have a very large bust (tandem nursing) and plenty of "baby belly" left, but am short and have a petite frame. So finding clothes to fit and flatter me is a nightmare. I used to be able to squeeze into some of the XL size stuff in the misses dept, but I've gained just enough extra and the styles are fitted enough that I can't do that very successfully anymore. So I'm looking for new stuff in a 1X size and am I ever discouraged!!!

Where do you mamas who are plus-sized do your shopping? I have been to the mall and they have only a "Fashion Bug PLus" which carried cheap junk in styles I didn't like and the usual "Sears" and "JC Penney" and "Macys" plus depts. Those clothes are too "mature" for me and don't make me feel pretty or fun or sexy. I just feel bland and old. OK, so I may be 40 but do I have to dress like a matron? So I tried online and didn't find much there either.

It seems like plus-sized clothes are really EXPENSIVE compared to smaller sizes. I just gasp when I see the price tickets. I won't be able to afford much, that's for sure! And the big, flowy caftan-like tops with sleeves to the elbows and tunic length (which on someone my height is halfway to my knees) is just so homely! No offense to anyone if you like this stuff, but it all just screams "fat lady" clothing to me. Anything that is remotely interesting in terms of fabric print or color tends to be these caftan/muumuu styles and anything that's more fitted and trim tends to be in boring solids and dark shades and conservative styles.

Where can I find plus sized clothing that is inexpensive and still stylish? And particularly, is there any store that carries plus sizes that aren't all proportioned to fit women of Amazonian height? Where does a short, fat mama buy attractive clothes on a tight budget???
post #2 of 64
Old Navy
post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Old Navy
Hmmm... I'll have to look. I confess I really don't like their stuff though. I've never shopped it for me but I go there for my kids' stuff sometimes and I was never impressed by either the quality or the prices. I must be in the minority though b/c all my friends rave about it. But I'm willing to look.
post #4 of 64
Ugh, I don't like Old Navy plus size clothing at all.

I'm still searching. I haven't found a store that I really like yet. It all seems so dowdy. I mean, just because a woman is overweight doesn't mean she has bad taste. Not only that, but it seems that no one really thinks when they design plus size clothing. We do not want horizontal stripes. We don't want some bold band of fabric cutting our bodies in half.
We want sleek, flowing clothes that are slimming.

So, I'm still searching.
post #5 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OdeToJoy View Post
Ugh, I don't like Old Navy plus size clothing at all.

I'm still searching. I haven't found a store that I really like yet. It all seems so dowdy. I mean, just because a woman is overweight doesn't mean she has bad taste. Not only that, but it seems that no one really thinks when they design plus size clothing. We do not want horizontal stripes. We don't want some bold band of fabric cutting our bodies in half.
We want sleek, flowing clothes that are slimming.

So, I'm still searching.
Hear! Hear! And we'd like them in washable fabrics. And nice colors and prints too. It makes me crazy that so many stores offer a much more limited selection of clothing in plus sizes and none of it is the cute stuff. They'll have fun, interesting designs in regular sizes and then they offer solid color t-shirts and polo shirts in plus sizes. I would like some funky prints too. And something besides a polo shirt or t-shirt. I've been wearing nursing clothing for years and that is my biggest complaint about nursing clothes. Places like Expressiva offer some really cool styles. But they only go up to XL. Their selection of plus sized stuff is limited to the boring solids. And even when I could still fit some XL clothes, the fitted stuff still tended to be too tight in the bust, so that ruled out most of their cuter styles.
post #6 of 64
Quote:
Where does a short, fat mama buy attractive clothes on a tight budget???
To me, JJill seems to be cut very short. I don't love all the clothes but the quality is very nice. Their tees and crop pants seem very short to me...and I'm not particularly tall.
post #7 of 64
I shop Old Navy, Torrid, Deb, Fred Meyer, Vanity, Target and Hot Topic. I had to quit caring about quality all the time becuase I would never find anything I liked if I did. But I also rarely have issues with my clothing falling apart on me. I get what I like and what fits, and if that means I have only a few clothes, well at least I dont feel depressed in my things.

One thing I do make sure I do is check both plus size section and the regular sizes in a store. Some things come in larger sizes that fit well in regular sizes and others fit better in plus size. Many places are starting to carry XL and XXL in regular sizes and this has been fabulous for me.
post #8 of 64
I do most of my shopping in thrift stores.

The Lane Bryant Catalog has some nice stuff in sizes 14 to HUGE, and in a great variety of styles- some much too "trendy" for my taste, some simple, some more tailored, as well as the hideous "mumu" type styles. The prices are very reasonable, but the quality is only so-so. I also have no clue if any of it is made in sweatshops or how ethical the company is overall.
post #9 of 64
I want this dress:
Funky dress

And this one too:
Elegant

For more casual wear though...I'm at a loss.
post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by OdeToJoy View Post
I want this dress:
Funky dress
That dress would make me look like a sofa gone horribly wrong :
post #11 of 64
I have no idea how it would actually look on me. I just like it. chuckle. I'd have to find a way to hide my flubbery arms flapping in the wind, though.
post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Old Navy
Not in my opinion. So many of their shirts do not accommodate my bust at all. They are made to be fitted with stretch in them which accentuates my rolls instead of hiding them like I want.

I really like the Lane Bryant stuff but I have to wait till they are 75% to afford anything.
post #13 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OdeToJoy View Post
I want this dress:
Funky dress

And this one too:
Elegant

For more casual wear though...I'm at a loss.

Oooh! I love those! I had forgotten that Coldwater Creek carries plus sizes. I used to get some petite stuff from them when I was smaller, but it seems like almost all their stuff is supposed to be dry clean only. Dry clean only does NOT fit at all. Not ever! They're a little pricey too, but if you watch the overstocks section regularly, esp at changes of season, you can get some pretty hot deals.
post #14 of 64
Since when did Old Navy cary plus sized clothing? The last time I was in an ON store (admittedly, a long time ago) they had absolutely nothing in my size.
post #15 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
Not in my opinion. So many of their shirts do not accommodate my bust at all. They are made to be fitted with stretch in them which accentuates my rolls instead of hiding them like I want.

I really like the Lane Bryant stuff but I have to wait till they are 75% to afford anything.

Yeah, the bust thing is a problem for me too. And my waist is big also but my hips and thighs are small. I checked the measurements for Old Navy and I need about an 18-20 for bust and waist but my arms measure 2" smaller than their size 16 and my hips are a size 16. I'm sure my shoulders are like a 10 or 12.

Does Lane Bryant tend to be sized for the taller figure? Longer arms and legs and trunk? How about wide shoulders?
post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys4mama View Post
They're a little pricey too, but if you watch the overstocks section regularly, esp at changes of season, you can get some pretty hot deals.
I only buy their stuff when it gets to the outlet. I've never paid more than $30 for something there. Usually, I pay less than $20.
Oh, the funky dress is machine washable.
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Since when did Old Navy cary plus sized clothing? The last time I was in an ON store (admittedly, a long time ago) they had absolutely nothing in my size.
Only some of the brick & mortar stores have Womens' Plus sections, but the website has everything.

I like Old Navy for casual stuff - tee shirts, lounge pants, some of the jeans and pants, the basics. I tend to avoid the fitted/funky stuff because I always end up feeling like I'm wearing a costume instead of clothes, but that's a problem I have anywhere.

Now, if anyone can find me a lovely, sophisticated nursing dress to wear to my BIL's wedding (DH is in the wedding and will be wearing a tux) in a 2X or 22/24, I will be in your debt, yes I will! I have a wrap dress from Target, brown with a pale blue abstract floral pattern, but I'm having second thoughts about that, about both the level of formality and how it looks on me.
post #18 of 64
Motherwear has some plus-sized stuff, and their clothes are well made and fully washable! I still have a dress from there that I plan to wear again if I lose about 10 lbs.
post #19 of 64
I hate shopping for clothes.

The only place I have found for clothing is a local store, everything is made locally, designed for big women (not sized up from smaller patterns), and they will tailor it to fit free of charge. This is the kind of store, where the staff knows you by name and will help you pick something out, get the right size, decide on which looks better, etc. They have very little in the way of casual clothes, though. Most of their stuff is professional or dressy. They have new stuff constantly, and only make limited runs of any particular design/fabric combo, so running into someone wearing the same thing is not likely.

Unfortunately, they only have 2 stores, both locally, and since it is locally made it is pricey. Their website has a limited selection.

I love this place, but have no use for nice clothes anymore.
post #20 of 64
Ahhh here here! I could have written the OP. Ever since I've had kids and have usually been plus sized during my weight gains and losses I can't find much that I like if I'm browsing a store.

I don't like the quality of Old Navy, and the last time I saw plus sized jeans there they were all low -rise. Who - WHO - thought that low-rise was a good idea for plus size women - many of whom would be mamas? They deserve to roast in fashion hell. All I want is a pair of reasonably priced jeans that fit well with a normal waistline- never found that at ON.

Then I fell for the '"stretch" denim. It wasn't until I got home that I realized stretch denim on me does not look very flattering at all. It seemed to stretch and highlite all of my cellulite. Then it would "stretch" enough to fall off! Then it seemed like that all plus sized clothing is "stretchy" all of a sudden. eek! A bit of stretch is fine for comfort but not woven into every single type of material known to man. Especially when that fabric is covering your butt.

I was a pretty daring/bold/vintage dresser before kids but none of it looked very good on me after kids. Whenever I looked for clothes it was just a depressing venture. Nothing appealed to my taste at all. I agree that many manufacturer's seem to think that people with extra pounds just have no clothing taste or want to dress like their grandmas. The manufacturers that are listening - well that's great but their stuff is out of my price range.

I was recently at a Penny's and all the stuff that I thought was cute was still priced at it's original retail. : By the time I get to the clearance racks - I see stuff I like but it's all picked over - only smalls and mediums left. Never fun. I did pick up a pair of brown corderoys that have a normal waist and are pretty flattering on me on sale though, so the trip wasn't a total waste of time! That was the first pair of pants I've bought in over two years that I've actually liked a month later after buying it.

Despite all of this I remember twenty years ago shopping with my mom (who used to pretty much always range between a sz 16-20 when I was growing up, now she's a 12 and looooves shopping) had a really hard time shopping, harder of a time than I have now. I used to think the plus sized section stuff was pretty damn fugly and she seemed to think so too. The colors were pastels and the styles were boring, hardly a selection at all.

Ebay is good - once you know what brands and what sizes you want. Because there are a gazzilion of us who want to look good, the plus sized market at ebay is pretty competitive, so I've had a hard time avoiding bidding wars on things that I've seen and liked.
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