Online shopping is a roadblock for many people. Aside from the need to feel, touch, hold and squeeze your potential purchases, the unknown factor of sizing, fit, fabric and quality also plays an important role. As plus size women, this is something that we clearly understand and have managed to deal with for a long time.
However, in recent years, the plus size online retail community has evolved to a space that offers a multitude of options for the “average” plus size lady. Everything from suiting to swimwear, from midis to minis can be found online. As the plus size community rejoices in all its available options, there are still many women who do not fall into the average plus size category and are left feeling like they are without options. Below are a few of my online shopping tips and tricks for ladies who are a little shorter or taller than the average plus size woman.
1. Know your measurements: Measure your inseam as well as your pant and skirt length. If you are full in the hips and backside, you may want to add a couple inches to your measurements and if you are slimmer through the leg, you will want to stick true to measurements.
2. Don’t trust the model: Do not base your sizing decisions off of the cute model promoting the item. As we already know, all women are created different! Plus, the samples used in photo shoots are not always cut to the same length as the final garment.
3. Know the garment’s measurements: Most retailers list inseam and length right on their website. When in doubt, call customer service and ask.
4. Are alterations worth it?: Study the garment and analyze if it’s worth or capable of altering without burning a hole through your wallet. Keep in mind that sleeves with zippers or buttons may cause concerns and skirts/ pants with designs at the hem may lose their effect when altered. For taller ladies, look to see if the item has a hidden hem or if additional fabric can be added. I love seeing lace added to the base of a skirt that may be a little too short.
5. Be creative!: Consider different ways of wearing the desired items. Can I rock the dress with leggings as a tunic? Or maybe the maxi skirt as a dress? Sometimes creativity goes a long way.
Thankfully, several retailers are now seeing the need to expand their sizing to include options for petite and tall ladies. Here are a few of my top spring picks for the not-so-average plus size woman:
Spring pick #1: I almost passed out when I found this beautiful linen blazer from fullbeauty.com, available in both petite and tall in sizes 12 – 26. Plus, it comes in so many beautiful colors including Spiced Red, Berry Pink and Olive Yellow! Click here to buy this blazer.
Spring pick #2: Also available in petite and tall, are these amazing soft twill pants by Lane Bryant, available in sizes 14 – 28. Not only are they available in a gorgeous coral color, but they also come in several staple colors to cover you for the entire work week. Click here to buy these pants.
Spring pick #3: Remember I mentioned being creative? Well, I love this midi skirt from Eloquii but at 38″ long, I will wear it as a maxi skirt or maybe as a dress (which I also love) instead of a midi. But tall ladies will revel in the idea of having a midi skirt that actually fits! Available in sizes 14 – 24. Click here to buy this midi skirt.
Darlene Lebron Lopez is the blogger behind Suits, Heels & Curves – a fashion blog dedicated to the plus size corporate professional. She is a fun-loving, fashion obsessed New Yorker working in corporate America. She is the wife to an amazing husband, mommy to a silly 10-year-old princess and slave to two incredibly adorable fur babies. She is passionate about fashion, beauty and about how these factors affect ones state of health. Darlene holds a BA from Trinity College and an MBA from Pace University.