Roughly 50 percent of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller, according to PLUS Model Magazine — and the ones that do offer larger sizes have traditionally been conservative in style. Many full-figure women have voiced frustration on message boards, chat rooms and blogs about the lack of fashionable resources (“I’m sick of black stretchy everything”). Fortunately, both new and established brands are stepping up to help fill in the gap with cutting-edge styles.
Eloquii by The Limited
Launched in November 2011 with the modern working gal in mind, ELOQUII by The Limited did their homework. After researching various body shapes and sizes, they used multiple fit models to create a collection of tailored professional pieces and sophisticated weekend looks. With sizes ranging from 14-24, their mantra is "Every woman deserves great fashion." The website aims to help customers shop with confidence online thanks to a fantastic "Shape My Style" guided feature that acts as a personal stylist to help you find your perfect fit for their pieces, while a "Get The Look" section offers inspiration with entire ensembles. Along with these options, the free shipping and returns policy helps to tackle the obstacles of internet shopping ($39-$150, ).
For more a casual, bohemian vibe, American Rag offers denim and separates inspired by vintage colors and prints. Backed by a "Music meets fashion" mantra, the pieces evoke a creative and free-spirited festival feel, has an online music and fashion magazine, Ragged (RaggedMag.com). Available in sizes 14-24, the hippie-esque collection features florals, retro prints, crochet and fringe ($39-$79 ).
UK-based ASOS launched their plus-sized label, Curve, in January 2010 and expanded the collection earlier this year. Thanks to the brand’s e-commerce site, American fans now have access to stylish contemporary items influenced by London’s melting pot of trends. While celebrities and fashion editors alike have coveted their ASOS finds, women sizes 16-22 can now also get some of the same styles and even exclusives made specifically to flatter curves ($60-$130, and ).
Fashion To Figure
When it comes to affordable style, it's hard to beat Fashion To Figure. Founded in 2005, their web site launched in 2010 and offers a wide range of options in sizes 12-26 with all items under $45! The founders created FTF to reinvigorate the plus-sized market that their great-grandmother, Lane Bryant, started more than 112 years ago, stating "Gram used to say that you should never ask women to conform their figures to fashion but rather bring fashion to the figure. Bringing fashion to the figure continues to be our passion today." Created with piece-by-piece, "fast-fashion" in mind, the brand stays up to the minute on trends and has new pieces arriving daily. Currently, there are 9 retail locations, including in New York City, D.C. and Philadelphia and they plan to expand nationally, so check for locations near you to pop up soon ($10-$45, ).