Plus Size But Make it Cute

Updated: Jul 1

Have you ever walked into a store and found nothing but unattractive, unappealing plus size pieces?

Growing up as a plus size girl, I remember how hard it was to find

(1) plus size clothes and

(2) cute plus size clothes

I recall frequenting two stores where I accumulated the majority of my wardrobe, Ashley Stewart and the Avenue. On occasion I would visit other stores, Lane Bryant and Catherine’s.

These stores catered to plus size women and that was great, but for a young, plus size women, there was little to no appeal. While I easily found clothes that were my size, the items were always rather bland, not making sure of bold colors, fabrics, or patterns.

I ventured into other stores, straight size stores that did not necessarily cater to plus size people. I always took a risk there, not knowing what would fit and often running into the issue of nothing fitting.

I remember hanging out and shopping with my group of friends in middle school. I was the “fat” friend and I remember how frustrating it was to shop with them. I remember how unhappy I was that it was so easy for them to find clothes and so hard for me. I was jealous that no store was off-limits to them while I kept a list of the select stores that I could shop in confidently, knowing they carried my size.

The older I got the more I ventured out and tried other stores like Rainbow, Dots and Forever 21. Sometimes I was lucky enough to find things that fit me, other times not so much.

It wasn’t until college that I discovered brands that specialized in plus size clothes. Torrid is the first plus size brand I fell in love with. When I discovered Torrid and other plus size brands that made cute, stylish, and fashionable clothes I was in heaven.

For the first time in my life I was shopping for clothes that excited me. Clothes that gave me variety and versatility. Clothes I couldn’t wait to wear. Clothes with bold colors and patterns, that hug your curves, crop tops, dresses, jeans and leggings that were comfortable and not constricting.

Why is it that brands that produce, but do not necessarily specialize in, plus size clothes think that plus size women don’t like/have style? Do they think we shy away from attention-seeking colors, and items that show more skin than legs and ankles? Why is it that the clothes are bland or ugly? Why is it that these pieces are shapeless and will do nothing to flatter a woman’s body?

Take my recent visit to Target for example. Look at these clothes and tell me you would buy them. Tell me they’re not unflattering, and shapeless, and unappealing.

(I added a link above to plus size dresses on Target's site and they actually have a few that were decent looking. They designer of the clothes below just totally missed the mark.)

Why do brands insist on creating pieces like these and expect us to buy them? There are plenty of brands that sell stylish, non-frumpy pieces so please don't feel like you should settle for items that look like this.

Sidenote: It's been a good minute since I've shopped at Ashley Stewart. I linked to their site above and noticed that they have a Curvy Girl section. I typically see this among straight size brands, they create a shopping section for plus or curvy plus so I'm intrigued to see how Ashley Stewart's curvy girl clothes differ from their regular plus size clothes. Anyone else know what that's about?

Also, I did not know Lane Bryant went up to size 40 (good for them). Has that always been the case or have they extended the sizes they carry over time?

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