Where To Find Designer Plus-Size Clothing For Women

Fashion designers are now targeting plus size women customers. Learn where and how to shop for designer clothes that will fit and flatter you.

For many years, plus size women had limited fashion choices. They were stuck with giant flowered muumuus or turquoise polyester pants suits that did their figures no favors. Now, however, the fashion climate has changed. Designers and manufacturers are realizing that a significant number of women wear a larger size than 14, and they are beginning to take notice and market to them.

This is good news for us full-figured gals! Now we have lots of options at our fingertips. The trick is to locate the appropriate shopping resources and then find what works best for us. You could use the Yellow Pages, I suppose, but why limit yourself? One way to start is simply to search for "Designer Plus-Size Clothing for Women" online.A recent search yielded 348,000 hits.This is a great way to search for retail outlets as well as online shopping resources.

You are looking for a designer or designers whose clothing is flattering to your individual figure and fashion style. Some ladies like highly individual fashions, while others prefer conservative styles. Some like a tight fit, others a looser, more flowing look. Petite Plus sizes face their own fitting problems, as a garment which fits the bust, waist and hips may hang too far down or be too broad in the shoulder. Different manufacturers size their garments somewhat differently as well, so it takes a while to find a designer whose style and fit works well for you. However, the time is well spent. Once you've located a designer whose styles work for you, you can relax and shop with confidence.

One of the most practical ways to start is to make an in person visit to one of the stores that specialize in plus sizes. Ralph and Tommy aren't the only designers in town. Just because their names are famous doesn't mean that their work is best for you. Designers like Mossimo do excellent, high quality work in quality fabrics at a fraction of the price. As manufacturers and retailers realize the power of the plus size market, new designers are entering the market all the time.

Retail outlets like Nordstrom's, Avenue, Catherine's Hanes' Just My Size and Elisabeth, the plus size section of Liz Claiborne, are all retail outlets where you can try the garments on and see whether you like their style and fit. Some of these stores feature name designers like Anne Klein, Jessica McClintock, Vicki Vi, Nine West, Eileen Fisher, London Fog and more, all in plus sizes. Other retailers have their own chain labels that may fit your needs and budget just as well.

Another way to start learning about designers you like is to hit outlets or discount stores like Marshall's and Ross. The only drawback to such places is that the clothing will be from a previous season or seasons. This may or may not be an issue for you. On the positive side, you'll pay a fraction of what the fashion would have cost at its home store, and learn which designers and manufacturers work for you. This is a thrifty way to get started finding plus size garments with designer style and flair.

Remember as you shop that you always have lots of choices. Because we are used to being limited in our fashion options we may snap something up just because it fits us. We don't have to do that any more. Make sure the garment looks good on you as well, and develop a sense of how garments that flatter you can fit together. It's becoming to dress primarily in a single color from top to toe, rather than wearing a high contrast top and bottom that cut your figure in half at the waist. Remember that vertical lines flatter, drawing the eye lengthwise and adding height. For example, you may want to concentrate on a basic neutral such as black, navy or beige for core wardrobe pieces, so that all your pieces can be worn together. Then you can add color with items such as a bright blouse or tank top layered under a cardigan or blazer, or accents like scarves, pins or other accessories.

When it comes to fitting your figure, pick your strongest fashion asset and concentrate on it. Do you have a fabulous bust? Look for v-necks to showcase your cleavage. Great legs? Try a pencil skirt with a slash that shows those curvaceous calves. If your skin is your greatest asset, choose a soft, draped goddess style in a color that shows your arms, neck and face to best advantage. If you are fortunate enough to have an hourglass figure, you may find a rising designer whose work suits you to a "T" at a site like San Francisco's Igigi, where female curves are celebrated rather than suppressed.

Another fabulous online resource is the growing number of sites that focus on plus size prom, formal and wedding wear. Gone are the days when voluptuous women had to shop from a tiny selection or make their gowns at home. Sites such as plussizebridal.com, sydneyscloset.com, promgirl.com and many others offer sensational styles that offer a range of cover-up possibilities from strapless to sleeves.

Once you have a sense of what looks good on you and your size, you can also shop on-line as easily as you might in person. Online resources include but are not limited to long term catalogue favorites such as Lane Bryant, Roamans, and Spiegel. Newer contenders who specialize in plus sizes include Ulla Popkin and Silhouettes, as well as L. L. Bean, the Company Store and other companies who have realized the plus size market is too good to miss. Many of these companies have helpful live or online sales support staff who can help with any questions you have about possible purchases.

If you choose to shop online, remember that you still have the option of returning any garment that doesn't meet your expectations. The computer monitor doesn't always depict color accurately, and no matter how carefully you measure yourself and study the sizing guide, until you actually try the garment on your body, you don't know how it will fit, or whether it will flatter.

Online retailers are usually happy to accept unworn returns that still carry their tags. In fact, most include a detailed purchase receipt, a return form and an explanation of how to ship returns with your garments in order to simplify your returns. Even when you include the cost of possible return shipping, online shopping may in fact be less expensive than a drive to a distant mall.

So get out there and start shopping, ladies! No longer do you need to settle for clothing that fits and does no more. Sophisticated designers are filling mall and online stores with a wide range of gorgeous clothing to fit the full-figured, voluptuous, curvaceous women of the world. Your mission, should you accept it - and I'm sure you will - is to get out there and find the designer clothes that look the best on you!

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