The world of plus-size clothing for women is one that is one part mystery and two parts frustration for many women. The lack of standardized sizing, additional pricing for larger clothing items, and the feeling that few options are available only serves to compound the growing dissatisfaction many plus-sized women face when shopping for and buying clothing items. The good news is that there are things you can do to overcome these challenges that will restore your faith in women’s plus-size clothing as an industry and the fun you once experienced when shopping for new clothes. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Sizing When Buying Online
One of the most challenging aspects of buying clothing online lies in the fact that sizes differ from one clothing maker to the next. This challenge is compounded by the fact that different countries have different sizing standards. Even when trying to understand the sizing by looking up measurements, there is the added challenge that some sizing measurements are in inches while others are in centimeters. When buying plus-size clothing for women online, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you’re not going to get stuck with clothing that doesn’t work for your body.
- Check out the company’s return policy before you buy. Pay particular attention to the cost of return shipping and if the organization charges a “restocking” fee.
- Order one clothing item from a new manufacturer and try it on before ordering more.
- Read reviews and look for photos of actual people wearing the clothing items before you buy them.
When you find a brand and size that works for you, stick with it and support women’s plus-size clothing manufacturers who support real women’s bodies.
Pricing Your Fashion Finds to Get the Best Bargain
Another challenge women face when shopping for plus-sized clothes is that many manufacturers inflate the pricing on plus-sized items, even if they sell the exact same piece in “regular” sizes. While there is some argument to be made that some sizes do require more fabric, the prices are often inflated more than would be necessary for the difference. With this in mind, choose to work with clothing makers that only add minimal price increases or none at all to show your support for those organizations that do not artificially inflate the costs of their clothing for plus sizes.
Obtaining Figure Flattering Finds
It is nearly impossible to find figure-flattering plus-size clothes for women when the models are all the “perfect” size six. The truth is that even among “regular-sized” women, there are variations in body shape that are never accounted for by these “picture perfect” (not to mention often retouched) models. Consider buying your plus-size clothing from manufacturers that use real women with real bodies as their models. They do exist and are becoming more commonplace as demand grows. It’s impossible to visualize how you’ll look in a particular item if the women in the photographs look nothing like you.
Establishing Your Signature Style
In the past, the one overwhelming complaint about plus-sized clothing has been the lack of style options. Fortunately, brands have heard the cry and are offering many more options to flatter the plus-size figure. You can now even find clothing options that support your signature style. Once you figure out what that style may be. For some women, the Bohemian style with fringe and lace and fun fabrics is the way to go. Others are into trendier modern clothing styles, while still others are attracted to more classic clothing styles. You might even have a flair for vintage clothing or simply prefer comfort over all other considerations. You may even have a signature style that is all your own, a la Helena Bonham Carter. Once you figure out your signature style you can begin shopping around for clothing makers that match your style in your size.
Discovering Comfortable Fabrics and Flattering Cuts
Finally, it is difficult to be stylish and look your best when your clothing doesn’t drape quite right on your frame or it tugs, grips, pinches, and pokes in all the wrong places. That is why the final thing is to make sure you find fabrics and cuts that work for you (and remember that what works in winter might not be the best choice for summer wear – especially when it comes to fabric.
Buying plus-size clothing for women can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. These tips can restore the fun of shopping for clothes that many plus-sized women miss.