Plus size ladies...best clothing finds


#1

I’m a rather womanly looking woman. :stuck_out_tongue: My health issues keep me this way, thankfully DH likes curvy women. :smiley:

I fluctuate between size 14-18. XL,14,16 in pants and XL, 16/18 tops. If I buy clothes that fit, they often make me look like I’m stuffing myself into them or overweight. If I buy a size too large, the pants fall off and the shirts look like I’m in maternity tops. We are on a tight budget so I can’t go to specialty shops. Where are some inexpensive places to buy good quality plus size clothes?


#2

My sister (a BBW--Big Beautiful Woman!) does most of her shopping at Lane Bryant (the ONLY place she can find a bra that fits properly!) and Dress Barn... in fact, we BOTH love Dress Barn! One half of the store caters to larger sizes and most of the clothes are separates, so she can get a 20-22 top and 16-18 pants that go together and fit right! The best part is being able to shop together!

Kohl's also seems to work for her as well. I'll see if she has any other recommendations, but those are the places I did most of my Christmas shopping for her. AND they usually have great sales!


#3

[quote="prolifewife, post:1, topic:184350"]
I'm a rather womanly looking woman. :p My health issues keep me this way, thankfully DH likes curvy women. :D

I fluctuate between size 14-18. XL,14,16 in pants and XL, 16/18 tops. If I buy clothes that fit, they often make me look like I'm stuffing myself into them or overweight. If I buy a size too large, the pants fall off and the shirts look like I'm in maternity tops. We are on a tight budget so I can't go to specialty shops. Where are some inexpensive places to buy good quality plus size clothes?

[/quote]

To begin with, you're not that big. More than half of the women in the United States are Size 14 or bigger. So you are not that big comparatively speaking. Of course, if you're comparing yourself to movie stars, that's different. I still remember when the three stars did the movie of Charlies Angels, Drew Barrymore was considered "large" because she was a Size 6, while the other women in the movie were Size Zero. Oh, brother!

I'm a size 26-28, much bigger than you, and I consider myself gorgeous and healthy. I eat well, better than many thin people. And I work out almost every day. I have problems with my knees and ankles (several surgeries) that make it impossible for me to do weight-bearing exercise, so I'm limited in my workouts. But I keep on working out at non-weight-bearing cardio and upper body weights, and trying to eat healthier.

As for clothing, I like Catherine's. If you get a store credit card, and also the store Perks card, you can get some amazing discounts (20% or more off the pricetag). Right now, they are doing a sale with 70% off the pricetags. They have a nice variety of casual and dressy clothes, and much of it is "young" looking, not frumpy. The clothing is usually good quality, too. I wear some of their clothing for more than ten years, and still keep wearing it!

It's not a "speciality shop"--I'm not sure what you mean by "specialty shop." Catherine's is just a good, cheap place to buy bigger-sized clothing.

What good is a "cheap" discount store if you can't find the clothing that you need and if it's poor quality stuff that makes you look dumpy? Often some of the "discount" stores don't sell real Plus-Sized; what they sell is regular clothing that is sized up. But it isn't really designed for larger women. It doesn't fit right--I've seen Size 26 t-shirts in some of these stores that have Size 8 sleeves! And I've seen many of these discount plus sizes that are huge all over; e.g., a pair of slacks that has a huge big fanny space AND a huge big stomach space--so it fits in the butt, but the waistband hangs open several inches. The clothing for large-sized women has to be made in womanly proportions so that it actually fits. It can't just be Size 8 sized up. I hope that makes sense--I'm not a seamstress, so I'm not using the proper terminology. Sorry.

Catherine's also has wonderful sales people who are able to advise you on sizes and styles that look best for your body.

Catherine's has developed a line of slacks that fit different large body types. As you know, some bigger women are big only in the belly, others are big only in the butt, while others like me are big all over.

I also like--you'll laugh!--K-Mart! At least for some things, especially casual to sloppy! They have a line of Joe Boxer stuff that is extremely cheap (under $10 for a sweatshirt or sweat pants or pajamas). And the KMart t-shirts are so cute--Disney characters, etc. Definitely a good place if you're looking for casual (outdoor, around the house, play with the kids, washing the car) clothing. Not a good place for dressy.

Have fun!


#4

[quote="prolifewife, post:1, topic:184350"]
I'm a rather womanly looking woman. :p My health issues keep me this way, thankfully DH likes curvy women. :D

I fluctuate between size 14-18. XL,14,16 in pants and XL, 16/18 tops. If ?

[/quote]

you are not plus size, I'll tell ya when you are, and your size has to begin with 2 to qualify. the problem is how casual and even some dress clothing is sized, with two sizes in one, so they fit nobody properly. It is not your body that is at fault it is cost-cutting by the clothing industry.

When I could fit into your sizes, during my working life, my best source of work clothes of good quality and proper size was thrift shops, especially two run by affluent women's groups in an affluent part of town.

casual clothes are going to look dumpy on anybody with that sizing, so if you want them to fit you are going to have to learn to sew and altar, or find somebody to do it for you. they just are not manufactured to fit most people properly off the rack.

buy to fit the widest part--bust, hips whatever--and take in the rest.

one easy fix that does a lot is sewing strips of grosgrain ribbon with snaps in the sleeve to hold your straps. you can do 3-4 tops in an evening while watching TV. you can sometimes find the strips with snaps attached at the notions counter.
I also have to add a hook and eye inside a lot of tops for a more modest neckline.

you might also have to shorten the hemline on your tops, no it should not cover your butt, that just makes you look bigger

the choice of fabric is also critical, a clingy knit over another knit is going to bunch up and enhance poochies.


#5

I have had great success with Old Navy.com. They have a plus sized womens section (available online only).

now I will say that not everything on there is terribly modest, but MANY things are, so it just takes checking back in every now and then.

Also, if you have a Gap Outlet near you (where do you live again?) they often have GREAT fitting pants and sweaters, for about 15 dollars each. I just bought a pair or pants there for six dollars!

I love Lane Bryant, but I only shop sales there becuase frankly the stuff is a bit pricey for me. I am SUPER CHEAP, lol!

Also for skirts and things, ColdWater Creek online has some great stuff. (In fact the big clearnance sale is on today!)

Because I'm...er....bigger :) I try never to wear shorts. I HATE how I look in shorts. I mean, occasionalyl I do wear them for soccer with my daughter, but generally I just dont like how I look in them. Skirts or dresses are much more flattering for me.

OH theres also a great discount store called Fashion to Figure, which is size 12 and up. I've gotten some great summer dresses in there for about 12 dollars each (on sale), that are actually knee length (my preffered length!)


#6

[quote="Cat, post:3, topic:184350"]
To begin with, you're not that big. More than half of the women in the United States are Size 14 or bigger. So you are not that big comparatively speaking.

[/quote]

[quote="puzzleannie, post:4, topic:184350"]
you are not plus size, I'll tell ya when you are, and your size has to begin with 2 to qualify.

[/quote]

:blush: Thank you!

I guess it's because I used to be a size 4-6 all my life, and then I got married and my body decided it was time to become a woman. :shrug: I'm just not used to having curves yet. :o

Plus, all the clothes I buy are at the very end of the rack and I shop in women's frequently for tops. Everywhere I look they are saying size 14 or higher is plus size, some places start at 12! :eek:

But thank you, you have made my day. :hug3:


#7

Okay - I agree with Cat - 14/16 is not plus size - I am uber skinny when I am in that size! But, for those of us who are bigger for many clothes I go to Wal-Mart now because they carry JustMySize (JMS), great clothes, then there is Avenue (it is really a discount plus size store, can't get bottoms there though), Lane Bryant on sale (yes, great bras there) and Fashion Bug. The only two places I can get pants that fit are either through JMS or Lane Bryant - the others just have clothes for plus size woman who don't have hips or thighs, they are like for that plus size woman who is more of an apple or triangle - all belly or all boobs! Some of us actually have a waist still and our top is somewhat in proportion to our bottoms!

I shop JMS on-line too. There is also Juno, as far as I know an exclusively catalog store for the active woman - you want ski pants? Go there. You need a tennis skirt? Go there. You need Yoga or aerobic/workout clothes? Go there although JMS carries Champion Plus for that purpose!

Brenda V.


#8

Thank you everyone for all the helpful ideas. :thumbsup:


#9

Lands End and Just my size are two on-line stores with reasonable clothing, the latter the best place for underwear on sale. Just figure out their sizing and what works for you, the clothing industry lies to you about your real size.

the Lee easy-fit jeans are a dream, first time I have been able to find jeans in 20 years. Pants should be straight leg dark wash, legs handing down straight from the widest part of you, long enough to touch shoe tops, in a fabric not too clingy

when you find something that fits buy 5


#10

I will also say that I had to buy a dress for my brothers wedding last spring.

I tried on the same dress in size 16 and 16Womens. HUGE DIFFERENT!

The 16 does not fit hips and boobs at all. Its just…bigger, without a change in the cut to accomodate. The 16 Womens is MUCH more conducive to have a womanly shape. The 16 I coudlnt even get zipped, and the 16 womens fit perfectly. Even the 18 regular wasnt big enough!

This is the same dress, in the same store. The other funny thing is, the more expensive the clothes the small the size and the better the fit. I also ended up with a size 12 dress from Ralph Lauren (AMAZING SALE! it wasabout fifty dollars, but a formal dress), which fit perfectly.

And I havent been in a size 12 since high school!

So it may just be that you need more of a “Women’s” cut, than a larger size?


#11

correct
W is what used to be called half sizes, but they were also general short waisted which did not work well either.

don’t get hooked on the label sizing, figure out what size works for you, you may be 14 miss in tops, but 16 in bottoms and 14W or 16W in dresses.

a good place to try stuff on is a place like Dress Barn or Fashion bug that carries both plus or W sizes plus regular sizes.

once you know your actual size from different lines you can get lucky at places like Ross, Melrose and TJMaxx, or factory outlet stores–look for Liz Claiborne that still have the Elizabeth line, for instance

even if you think you can’t afford to shop there, try on at stores with a good line in both size ranges of higher quality clothing, so you get to know the look and feel of proper fit. contrary to my previous advice, esp if shopping for work clothes, one expensive properly fitting top or pair of pants is better than 5 cheap ones, will last longer, look better and feel better.


#12

Size 14/16? Ohhh I would LOVE to be a 14 again ! I find it hard to find clothes that fit my body, because although I wear a size 20/22, I still have an hourglass figure. If I get clothes to fit my bottom then it gapes at the waist. I also have to buy seperates. I have a really large chest and my tops have to be larger than my bottoms. I buy bras at Lane Bryant and clothes if they are on sale. I also shop online at Old Navy. Stylish and cut for the plus size woman. Also you might try womanwithin.com or roamans.com . Both are plus size clothing at really good prices, and you can get everything from casual to career, and Sunday best to formal. Woman Within has some great jeans that have elastic waist and wide legs. Soooo comfy and only $30 for the first pair and $14.99 for the second. You can buy 2 different colors for about the same price as one pair at Lane Bryant ! Roamans is a little bit more expensive, but you can usually get a really nice looking dress for Sunday Mass for under $70. You can't find a nice looking dress under $70 at Lane Bryant. Anyway, I hope this helps. Have a great day !

Betsy


#13

Wow, my goal is to get to a 14 or 16! I'm currently a 22..well I was before I got pregnant again :D I had actually made it close to 26, so a 22 is good. When Peanut gets here I'm going to be working on getting to 20, then 18, then 16!

Lane Bryants is nice, but pricey for me. Fashion Bug carries larger sizes as well. I can't ever find good Plus clothes at Walmart :o Not ones that look right. Kohl's (as mentioned) also has nice things. Some of the things i don't like, becuase I am only 28 and want to look 28. :blush:


#14

I am around a size 14. Big butt, big thighs. As for jeans, I've had lots of luck at Maurice's. They have their own brand. Old Navy...yuck! I tried on a size 18 or bigger jean and I couldn't even get them over my thighs!

I make alot of my own skirts.

I really don't have a problem with tops. I just have to make sure that they are long to cover down to the area I want covered.


#15

Let's just say I qualify for plus size, being that the size definitely begins with a "2!"

I haven't worn pants since I was pregnant and taking natural childbirth classes - 27 years ago! That's my secret to keeping the actual size of my thighs a mystery. My upper body is smaller than the lower part, so a well-fitting top and a flowy skirt make me feel as if I look smaller all over - not, as my mother would have said, like sausage in a casing. And shoulder pads are a must! They don't look 80's - they just balance the big bottom.

Of course, that's a big "Never mind" for you if you have great legs and a curvy body. :)

I like to buy good quality clothing on sale. My favorite is Lands' End in the clearance section. I love their turtlenecks and baby cable sweaters. They used to have the ideal skirt, until they took the pockets out. I still have a few, and I complain regularly about the missing pockets. Maybe by the time my old skirts wear out, they'll put the pockets back.

I agree about Catherine's, too. Their stuff is great looking. It's wildly overpriced at regular price, but once they start with the markdowns - up to 80% - the bargains are really great. I love their pantyhose, too.

I hit the clearance racks at JCPenney and Macy's, too. They've recently gone a little trendier than I like, but you can still find a few classic pieces. And of course, Sears has Lands' End, and their own stuff is often OK, too.

Betsy


#16

I like JC Penney’s and keep a close eye out for their sales, and go right to the clearence rack. The one thing I have learned from watching “What Not to Wear” is not to go by the size so much, but try on everything to see what fits. The local dry cleaner should be able to do simple tayloring for a few dollars; I am a little on the short side.


#17

I am a little on the short side.

At five feet tall, so am I. And it seems like the makers of most all plus size clothing think that just because you are a larger woman then you must also be seven feet tall ! I have had to learn to just fit my body and then have things hemmed or taken in at the waist a little.


#18

[quote="betsy_suzanne, post:17, topic:184350"]
At five feet tall, so am I. And it seems like the makers of most all plus size clothing think that just because you are a larger woman then you must also be seven feet tall ! I have had to learn to just fit my body and then have things hemmed or taken in at the waist a little.

[/quote]

No, not really, before the Plus size stores started carrying lengths, petite, average, tall the pants were always too short for me. At 5 ft. you are even too short for many petite sizes (btw, petite means short, not small like size 0) so this is going to be a problem no matter what. I have some friends who are a whole foot shorter than I am and they do exactly what you have to do.

Wal-Mart didn't used to have plus size clothes that fit or were nice, their brand still doesn't fit. They do carry JMS now which has everything from jeans to dress pants and dresses! If you don't like jersey or knit though, it is not for you, I do, it drapes nicely on me but even as a plus size I am firm. They also work for a woman whose bust is small (think a size 20 woman with an almost A cup and there are far more in the world than you think!)

The Plus size clothing industry has improved a lot in the last 20 years, from the large print mumu type dresses only (unless you want to spend $100+) to jeans and pants that not only come in lengths but in body shapes too!

I used to be able to get some decent casual clothes at Target but my Target has significantly reduced their Plus size department and almost always have a minimum of three large circular racks of clearance - all sizes from 0 on up.

I also don't fit Catherines, the few times I tried shopping there the only things they had that fit me said "look, I am fat and can't find anything else to wear!" ie frumpy, I am sure that is not true of everything they carry but that has been my experience. Not having one close by I can't say a whole lot more about it except when my mom was still buying clothes for me for presents, she always picked out stuff I would never be caught dead in! I've seen some stuff like that at Lane Bryant but then I see them recycled at Burlingtons or Ross's where overstock tends to go.

Brenda V.


#19

Hello, Check out this eBay store. Offering gently pre-owned Modest Cape Dresses in all sizes. If you don't see your size, send an email asking.

stores.ebay.com/AMISH-MENNONITE-DRESS

[EMAIL="amishmennonitedress@yahoo.com"]amishmennonitedress@yahoo.com[/EMAIL]


#20

About 3 1/2 years ago, when I was buying the last office wear outfits I would need, I ended up with five outfits (all pants, jackets and tops). One was size 20 (that was Dress Barn). Two were size 18, one size 16 and the last was 18WP. The 18WP was the only one that really fit me without any alterations whatever. It was the correct length, and fit at the bust, waist and hips. I am 5’ 4", so it would have been too long for someone 5’ tall.

The size 16 was really slightly small - the waist band of the pants was always a little uncomfortable. The jacket, fortunately, was designed not to button - it did not have buttons or button holes - as it would not have fit if it had to close!!

It’s really a pain finding well fitting clothes when you are large!

This year, I am doing what I really should have done years ago - lose weight! I have lost 16 lbs in the past seven weeks and now the pants of the 18WP is loose all over!!


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