Saturday, December 26, 2009

Square Peg, Round Hole?

So many women I know struggle to find affordable, quality clothing that fits relatively well right off the rack. Even more difficult are the women who are larger than a size 14, or have extremely long legs, or are curvy yet short, or just text-book "petite." Women come in all different shapes and sizes, yet the stores and clothing manufacturers act as though we all fit into a very small number of categories. It's funny how menswear works just the opposite. In menswear, a man can find his exact waist size and his exact inseam length. Shirts are the same way- neck and sleeve measurements are available in every possible combination- off-the rack clothes that fit perfectly. But it's even worse than that! If a man's got a large belly, his suit is considered an "Executive" fit. A woman with a large belly? She's "Plus size." Horrible, right? But I digress- I'm not here to rant about the glaring discrimination against large women vs. large men. I'm here to provide solutions to finding clothes for those "hard-to-fit" bodies so that you don't feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole every time you shop!

I'll focus mostly on "Plus size" since it seems to be a common question for lots of women- where to find stylish, affordable clothing in a range of sizes above 14/16. Also, plus size women tend to get overlooked all too often and I don't agree with that. Women of all sizes should be able to wear stylish clothing that's designed with their body type in mind. One of the best sites I can recommend is OneStopPlus. This site actually sells clothing from all sorts of Plus-size vendors including Roaman's, Woman Within, Avenue, Chadwick's, etc. And it's not all shapeless tunics and palazzo pants! There are cute pieces like this flattering top and fabulous leather jacket:

This is a great jacket for any woman, not just plus size. The way the buttons taper in at the princess seams is flattering no matter what your size. If you need to define a waistline, this will do it! They also have a great selection of shoes and boots. Do you have large calves and find it difficult to wear knee-high boots because of that? I do! This website has a large selection of wide-calf boots that are fabulous. They have heels of all heights and widths, too, not to mention the ultra-trendy flat boot:

Another great plus-size site is Kiyonna a site for size 10 and up. I am in love with this colorblock faux-wrap dress:

 There are a lot of great separates in classic silhouettes and fabrics to choose from, too:

I know your closet may already be full of classics and basics, and in that case, there are some cute print options for you as well, like this leopard print blouse:

Another great plus-size site is Igigi. This store is the best I've seen for cocktail dress and classy formal wear. This gorgeous dress would be perfect for a Christmas party, New Year's Eve, a night on the town, a date, pretty much anything:

And once again, there are lots of great separates to choose from, like this skirt & top:

I also appreciate that Kiyonna and Igigi actually use plus-size models. When purchasing a size 20 or 24, you don't want to look at the garment on a size 8 girl and try to figure out how it would look on you, right?

Now I haven't forgotten about you lovely petite ladies or those of you with legs for days who can't find pants long enough! My heart goes out to you as well. First, for those of you who are petite, I highly recommend Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft and Banana Republic. All three of these great stores offer a petites section with all the same stock as the rest of the store, but the pieces are cut to fit a more diminutive woman. I'm not talking about just short legs, I'm talking about everything a little smaller, so that the crotch on your pants won't be baggy and the shoulders on your blouses will actually rest where they are supposed to. Refreshing, right?

Perhaps you're like me- you have short legs, but are far from a "petite." Old Navy and the Gap offer "short" and "ankle" lengths respectively on jeans and trousers. Personally, I appreciate it. Hemming pants is a pain!

And for those of you women with legs that seem to go on forever or an extra-long torso and arms, I offer you LongTallSally. You may be a size 6 with a 36 inch inseam and if you are, this is the store for you. Most of their pants and jeans come in 34, 35 and 36 inch inseams as well as having lower knee placement. Blouses and shirts have longer sleeves, lower waists and darts appropriately placed for these longer cuts.

I hope this post has been helpful for all of you ladies out there. If you don't fall into one of the categories covered in this post, I'm sure you know someone who does. Pass it along to them. And also, if you have any recommendations for places to shop, leave a comment and tell me about it! Have a great day!

1 comment:

Beth said...

I love this post! Amen for the curvy petite girls! We are every bit as sexy as our taller cousins, and yet it is so hard to find pants that reflect that. Thanks for yet another useful, affirming, fabulous post.

Related Posts with Thumbnails