Plus Size Fashion, or Why I Hate Buying Clothes

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I hate buying clothes! Okay, so that’s technically not true. I LOVE shopping for clothes and seeing all the pretty dresses, shirts, shoes, etc. out there but when it comes to actually buying anything, I always end up frustrated and usually end up crying in the fitting room. Why? Well, I’m a plus sized woman and I have a hard time finding clothes that fit me correctly. Plus size fashion is hard to find and what is out there is typically overpriced, ugly or both. Out of ease but also sheer frustration, I’ve been a jeans and t-shirt girl most of my life but lately I’ve wanted to change that. It might be because I got a nice confidence boost after reading Naughty Makeovers for Nice Girls but I think it’s also because I’ve decided that I need to spend more time on ME.

When I decided I wanted to start wearing nicer and more fashionable clothing, I started looking for plus size clothing stores. I searched Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Avenue, Torrid and One Stop Plus for clothing that I liked. I found some things that I liked but everything was SOOOO expensive! Eventually, I found some decently priced items and I searched for a coupon code (to stretch my dollars a bit).

The “red” version of the dress I bought

I ordered about $100 worth of clothing from Fashion Bug for $50. I got 2 dresses, 2 bras and a pair of flip flops (as fillers for the coupon). I measured myself carefully and was sure that I got the right sizes. Well, apparently NOT.

The dresses seemed a bit too big, the fabric was thinner than I wanted and they didn’t have the “shape” that I was looking for (I bought shirtdresses so they would have some structure). I almost cried when I tried on the first dress and it didn’t look right. I had measured perfectly, read reviews and was sure it would be perfect. I immediately wanted to curse Fashion Bug and promise to never go back. I know what you’re thinking – why didn’t I just shop in store and try things on before buying. Well, first of all, I couldn’t have got such a good deal in-store. Secondly, I HATE fitting rooms. Everything there looks so nice with the bright lights and fancy mirrors. Then, you get home, look in your own mirror (or worse, take pictures) and the perfection of the look fades quickly.

Luckily, I had an inkling that the dresses would fit better after washing so I took the tags off one and washed it. I figured that the worst that could happen was that I’d forfeit returning it and I could just sell it to someone else so I took the plunge and washed it.Thankfully, I was right. The dress was still thin (obviously) but it shrunk a bit and had a better “shape.” You can see a picture of that dress below. Please ignore the wrinkles, Phillip forgot to take the clothes out of the dryer right away so it needs a good ironing (never send a man to do a woman’s job, lol).

plus size shirtdress
See, doesn’t that look a lot better?

So, out of everything I ordered, I kept the flip-flops and the dress you see above. I didn’t keep the “red” one because I didn’t like the color. It was a lot more pink than the website showed. I also returned both bras because they didn’t fit (I’ll share my bra shopping adventure later this week). This is not the first time I’ve had to return most of my order to Fashion Bug. I looked through my order history and sure enough, I saw that I returned over half of every order I’d ever made on FashionBug.com. This made me feel defeated, annoyed, and pretty sad. I thought it was my fault that the clothes didn’t fit, but then I realized that Fashion Bug was to blame for a lot of the problem. They have misleading pictures, size charts, colors, descriptions, etc. I’m mad – and you should be too!

So what do I want from plus size fashion companies like Fashion Bug? I want EXACT measurements for every piece of clothing you sell on your website (not just some lame size chart) and I want them to be the same across the board (I’m looking at you, Old Navy). I want pictures from multiple angles. I want you to STOP pinning clothes on people or mannequins (please show me what the item looks like normally). I want you to have the same sales available in-store as online. I also want you to make it easy to try on clothes, without feeling rushed or crowded by eager salespeople. Oh and finally, STOP it with the SPANDEX! I have one pair of jeans that stretches out so much that I can literally pull them off without unbuttoning or unzipping – and they fit perfectly right out of the dryer. *facepalm*

For now I guess I’m stuck in the order and return loop until some company finally figures it out. But there is a small glimmer of hope for plus size fashionistas – and I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow. 😉


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4 Comments

  1. Jessica, i like the second dress. I think I just love shirt dresses in general but i think that looks great on you. Online shopping can be a pain but i try to buy from online stores that do accept in-store returns.

    ps. I hate fitting rooms as well.

  2. I feel you Jessica. That’s the not so good side of online shopping. Sometimes, the product is different than to those product being advertised. For me, much better to do some real time physical shopping specially if its the clothing.

  3. Jessica, I feel your pain — though I’m not plus-sized. Finding clothes that fit properly is a challenge for any of us who aren’t a size 4 and ordering online is a gamble. Won’t stop me from doing it though, lol.

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