"It's hard to find plus size clothing that does not look like a tent" was the common phrase being bandied about for years by fed up, fashion starved plus size women. Well ladies plus size designers are beginning to listen and plus size fashion is finally on the move. But the challenges faced by designers are not as simple as hatching a design idea, cutting a pattern and sewing it up oh no and this is one reason why designers were so reluctant to tackle this seemingly insurmountable task. What's the crux of the matter? Designing for so many different body shapes requires the consumer to know a thing or two about their own body shape and a "one size fits all" tent don't!
Know your body shape
When designing for an hourglass body shape it's relatively simple and straight forward and only requires that the designer understands what he/she is doing. But designing for eight different body shapes requires that the consumer take some of the responsibility as well. I think this is why the industry made "one size fits all" saggy baggy clothes for plus size women. The point here is that what looks good on a pear shaped woman looks terrible on an apple shaped woman and vice versa. The first step to making shopping online easier is to know your shape, what works with it and what works against it and how to accent your positives. Not knowing your body shape, when looking for plus size clothes, is like taking a trip without a map. A quick and easy way to find out your unique body shape and its objectives is Igigi' s shape stylist page on their website.
Know your measurements
"Are your clothes true to size" I wish I had a dime for every time I've been asked this question. Realizing this question is a teachable moment I explain briefly that there is no such thing as "true to size" and go on to recommend that they know their body measurements then compare them to the "actual garment measurements" section of a sales page (if the store offers it). Be sure to give yourself the amount of allowance (ease) you are comfortable with. Taking measurements is relatively simple.
*Bust: Measure under arms around fullest part of Bust (with bra on)
*Waist: Measure around the natural waistline about 6" below your chest keeping the tape comfortably loose.
*Hips: Measure around the fullest part of your hips - about 8" below your waistline
*Length: Measure from top of shoulder to bottom of hem
Choosing plus size clothing stores
Now that you are armed with good information your ready to make the purchase. You know which type designs work with your shape, you know how to accent your positives, you know your measurements and you know your allowances now you need to choose the right place to shop online. Choosing the right plus size clothing store online will save you a lot frustration and money. Ask yourself the following questions;
1. Are they knowledgeable about plus size clothing?
2. Are they friendly and willing to solve any problems that arise in a timely and courteous manner?
3. Do they list actual garment measurements?
4. Do they have a good Refund/Exchange policy?
Choosing a store with a good refund/exchange policy let's you try it without the full risk of loosing your money. It also allows you to exchange if you get it wrong. Once you are comfortable with that store it can become a lifelong friend that will make your online shopping experience much more enjoyable for years to come.