What to Know Before Buying Plus Size Clothing

What to Know Before Buying Plus Size Clothing
 
 
 
 

Shopping for plus-size clothing can be a real ordeal. Seriously, many plus-size women are frustrated by the failure of brands to manufacture clothes that can't fit them. Gabi Gregg, or Gabi Fresh as her Instagram followers know her, called out clothing brands on Twitter for neglecting the plight of plus-size women when it comes to fashion. Her tweet read: “When brands say it’s too expensive to add plus sizes because of the amount of fabric it takes, but then make shit like this lol.” She went on to post a comment on Instagram that has over 78k likes. It read, “If you can make a size 22 blazer for a size 6 girl to wear, you can make a size 22 blazer for a size 22 girl to wear.” Popular brands like Zara, Free People, and others continue to purposely design oversized items for their clientele while offering no options above size 14. The problem is, plus-size clothing is often priced higher than other sizes. However, all is not lost. If you know where to look, you can find high-quality plus-size clothing without paying a premium price.

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Image: Shutterstock

Find Brands That Work for You

As you may have noticed, most brands don’t make plus-size clothing. Among the reasons they try to justify themselves is that fabric costs are higher. However, you can find brands that are actually dedicated to making plus-size clothing. The trick is to find a brand that works for you. Don’t just buy a ton of pieces from different brands to find the one that suits you the best. Do your research and only shop for brands that cater to your body shape and preferences. Try to find out the fabrics they use, how they tailor their garments, and if those clothes can fit your modestly.

Ask if the Store Has a Return Policy

Always shop where the retailer offers a return policy. You don’t want to fill your wardrobe with pieces you’ll never wear because they didn’t fit. Before buying plus-size clothes, learn about the retailer’s return policy. Does the return have to be within 30 days and by mail? If so, it can be challenging. Go for retailers who offer free returns. If you're buying items that cannot be returned, like lingerie/undergarments, swimwear, and jewelry, make sure they are the perfect fit.

Know Your Measurements

When it comes to buying plus-size clothing, online or in-store, knowing your measurements can make all the difference between getting a perfect fit or a complete disaster. Be sure to know your bust size, waist, and hips. You might also want to measure the hem, especially for skirts and dresses, to make sure it's long enough the way you want.

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Image: Shutterstock

Know Your Shape

It helps to know your body shape as well. Whether you have an apple, a pear, banana, hourglass, diamond, or inverted triangle shape, there is something for everyone. The common characteristics of an apple shape include a large chest, slim legs, broad shoulders, and you carry most of your weight in your tummy and half of your body. One good example of a celebrity with an apple shape is Rebel Wilson. The style goal for an apple shape is to create or define your waist. Show off your legs in a pencil skirt or look for a stylish flare dress. You can also look great in a pair of mid-rise skinny jeans, wrap dresses, strapless dresses, and hip length jackets, to mention a few. For pear shape body type, your body characteristics are; a small defined waist, wide hips, thick thighs and legs, and narrow shoulders. You’d look great in high-waisted pants, long jackets and blazers, printed or detailed tops, skinny leg jeans, etc.

Find Your Go-To Tailor

You might have spotted a dress or skirt that you love too much, and you just want to have it. If you have an expert tailor on your speed dial, you can buy the piece that’s larger than your size and get it altered. This is a great hack to use on clearance sale items. Often, they sell pieces that are too big. With the right tailor, you can turn the pieces into perfectly fitting clothing.

Play with Colors

Just because you are plus size doesn’t mean you get to wear black head to toe all year round. Find colors and patterns that create illusions. For instance, vertical stripes elongate your figure. Do your research and find a way to mix print, detail, and colors in your fashion. Don’t be afraid to try out large prints, bold colors, or stripes. Just avoid wearing outrageous colors and patterns from head to toe.

Closing Remarks

When shopping for plus-size clothing, try to maintain balance in your fashion. If you're going to wear a loose-fitting top, find a fitting straight leg pair of pants. If you go for a maxi skirt, match it up with a shorter fitting top. The goal is to create a look that is either bigger at the top or the bottom, not both. If you want to go for a maxi dress or you intend to pair something bigger at the top and bottom, break it off with a belt, a scarf, or a long necklace to take attention away from your width.

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