Happy Spring, everyone! It’s been a wild March, and I’m excited because the warm weather means new spring clothes in the shops! Of course, shopping can be extremely frustrating no matter what the season if you’ve got specific size requirements. Lately I’ve been working with more plus size clients, and have discovered that it’s nearly impossible to build a full wardrobe with just the offerings available here in Austin, especially if you’re looking for fun, sexy, youthful, fashion-forward options. So I’ve enlisted my resident plus size fashion expert and friend, Cathy from Austin Slave to Fashion, to share her research in this domain in the hopes of inspiring some fun, stylish, and comfortable outfits this spring!
Here she is:
First of all, it is an honor to be here on the Trophy Boutique site! I met Laurel a few years ago, and instantly thought two things; Man, that girl has MAD style, and Holy cow, her clients must be the luckiest people EVER! So hats off to her, her awesome business, and her sweet style.
I’ll be really honest. Plus size shopping is NOT easy. Here in Austin, our options are pretty limited to chain stores like Lane Bryant and The Avenue, and Catherines. With larger stores like Nordstrom, Macys, Target, and Dillards reducing their plus size sections (or relegating it to online only like Old Navy), it can be pretty tough to find great plus size clothes. But have no fear, for I have scoured the internet and shops to find some great plus size options for all of your spring shopping!
Sonsi. This is the parent company of Lane Bryant, and their website carries their large lines, as well as smaller independent lines. Plus, they have items at pretty much every price point! In the last couple of years, they’ve added City Chic, Monif C, Queen Grace, and SWAK to their growing collection of awesome designers, which gives them a great variety of styles. I recommend them for fancy occasions, and weekend wear like cute dresses, tops, and pants.
Nordstrom. Full disclosure: I shop here a lot. Though I am often disappointed in their small plus section (called Encore in the store), they usually have some fun stuff to try on. But where they really shine is their online selection. Their plus size offerings have grown considerably over the last few years, including lower priced options like City Chic and Jessica Simpson. And can we just talk a second about their shoe selection? You can try on tons of them in store, and if you need a different size/color/width, they can order it for you and have it directly shipped! Plus, don’t even get me started on the free returns or in store returns. I recommend them for classic pieces, fancy dresses, and anything you want to try on a few of and return what doesn’t work.
Eshakti.com. I own about four dresses from this site, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Here’s the deal: They carry sizes 0-36, you can customize your dress to your needs for an extra $7.50, and they have the cutest stuff EVER. If you like Modcloth or any type of retro-inspired fashion, definitely check this site. There are lots of dresses that are super vintage inspired, and you can adjust them to your needs. Want to add sleeves and make it a bit shorter? They will do it! They are really well- priced, with most dresses falling in the $50-$80 range. I recommend them for regular wear pieces (work, dinners out, weekend trips, etc).
Gwynnie Bee. Okay, so this technically isn’t a store. It’s a membership site that lets you basically rent clothes. You pay a monthly subscription fee for a plan that includes 1,2, or 3 items at a time. You browse the site and add the items you like to your closet and they send them to you. Wear what you like, keep it as long or as short as you’d like, and they will make sure you always have new items when you send something back. Plus, you can buy their retired pieces at rock bottom prices, or pay to keep an item from your closet that you love. All for the cost of one or less new piece a month!
Here are some stores around Austin that carry plus sizes in store:
Rainbow (low price point, but definitely some fun stuff)
DD’s Discounts (think Ross, but with better plus size offerings)
Cato Fashions (mid-range price point, a bit dowdy but with some great options)
Torrid (mid-price point, very trendy, great wide shoe selection)
Other Favorite Sites
Zappos (HUGE shoe selection and free returns!)
Old Navy(great selection of everyday items like t-shirts, yoga pants, cardigans, etc)
Land’s End (All those classics you want, plus monogrammed tote bags!)
Thanks a million, Cathy!
Because there’s so much more available for plus sizes online than in person, I’ve developed a system for my plus size Complete Sort, Shop, and Style clients where we shop together for the basics, and then I create an online shopping pinboard with specific selections to enhance what we found in the stores. When you get your items ordered and at home, I will come over and show you how to mix everything into your wardrobe and create as many new outfits as possible with all of your finds. Oh, and at no extra charge!
March 31, 2014