Happy Sunday! Today, I am discussing six tips how to shop when both misses and plus size.
I know there are readers who will understand you can be both, in the same body, just like me.
Most of my adult life, I have lived in two retail neighborhoods….the far upper side of misses, and the far lower side of plus size…it can be very frustrating and challenging to discover the right fit of garments. When your size is really found in two worlds, then you must shop in places that offer styles to both misses and plus size.
TIPS FOR CRAZY SIZING
I hear you…I live it and know that there are women who are sometimes size 16, size 18, XL, XXL, XXXL, 0X, 1X, 16W, 18W and even some 2X all at the same time. Seriously, this can be a challenge and deeply discouraging depending on the retailer.
TIP #1: it is important to take your measurements often and use them when shopping online. It never fails that brands will change sizing of the same garment from season to season….the perfect knit blazer may fit differently when you go the next year to order it in another color! You rarely can depend on the same fit.
TIP #2: We simply need to try garments on for the best fit. Garments only offered online can be frustrating and challenging for this type of shopper. There are a few cases where we can trust the sizing at that retailer…or we know which type of garment runs large or small…but those are not the norm.
TIP #3: Remember…it is the clothes and not YOU that is the problem. It has nothing to do with you and you should not get down on yourself when something doesn’t fit like you need it to….it is the garment…NOT YOU.
Note: The photo at the top is a Foxcroft top. I love Foxcroft, but this is one retailer where I must go into plus sizes in order to get the best fit. Larger Misses are mostly too small. Once I faced this and understood it was necessary to get the best fit, then it was easier to order online.
TIPS WHEN RETAILERS DON’T UNDERSTAND
I often run into sales associates who do not understand that I need to take garments from both departments into a dressing room to see which offers the best fit. Maybe it is just me, but there are associates out there who have been down-right-snooty about it. Which makes me wonder how they treat women who are only plus size.
In this new world where many fashion retailers are struggling, you would think they would do everything possible to make a sale. Open your dressing rooms! Train customer-service minded associates! When someone is rude to me…I walk right out.
There are places I shopped before COVID, but no longer frequent because they do not do the extra work needed to open dressing rooms. Women like me must try clothing on. It is too much work to buy it, take it home, try it on and return it.
TIP #4: You be in control. Don’t allow any sales associate to make you feel bad about you…do not give them that permission. You are the customer. Like I said, if they are rude, walk right out. If there are no dressing rooms, don’t walk in.
TIPS FOR RETAILERS TO DO IT RIGHT
Retailers need to stop punishing plus size women, but embrace them as a customer:
- Stop hiding the plus size departments at the backs of second level stores
- Stop adding so much additional costs to these garments…I know there is more fabric involved. But find another way to handle pricing so that it honors the woman….no matter her size.
- Sell designs which flatter the larger woman’s figure and not just designs that hide us.
- Train associates to be polite and be equipped with ideas of how to help this special customer.
TIP #5: When you find retailers doing it the right way, let them know that you appreciate it, and they will keep your business.
TIPS TO WIN THE MENTAL BATTLES
There are shopping days, when it is a huge challenge not to get discouraged or think badly of myself for being a larger size. I have been on those shopping ventures when nothing fit right or there was no fun, stylish options available in my size and I know it can be a mental battle.
I am human and there are days that living in both of these worlds is difficult. Since I am in process of learning what my style will be in this new phase of life, I have had many days when my size gets me down. This mental battle also rears its ugly head at the beginning of warm weather season. There is more of a challenge to look good when the weather is warm…or hot…as it the case often in South Texas.
Someone commented once on the blog…”Why do you wear capri pants? They are so unflattering and old school!” Well, to put it simply…it is hot down here…and I do not feel confident in shorts!
The Internet is full of cute, beautiful, small women over 50 and it is often a challenge not to compare. But it will destroy our joy if we allow any of this to take us to a point where we give up looking our best.
TIP #6: Avoid comparisons as much as possible…they are deadly. Rejoice in who you are today and dress the body you have for confidence today. Don’t be caught thinking…I will fix up and look nice when…. You are fabulous and should own that now…not later.
I understand that it takes courage to walk into a plus size store, but if that is where you can find fit that helps you to look and feel confident…then breathe deep and walk in!
I learned at age 50 to dress the body I have…despite the challenges…and to look my best every day. It helped me to put a smile on my face and go out each day with confidence. It even helped me to lose weight and take better care of my body. I am going to address more of this during the week ahead.
If you find yourself in this same place, then be encouraged and join me as we prepare for warmer weather. I am going to write regularly to include the plus size woman, so please let me know what topics you would like me to discuss. I hear you…I understand you…I live in both worlds.
We can do this…look our best…enjoy our lives and have some fun with confidence.
By Pamela Lutrell
SPRING STYLES FOR PLUS SIZE: