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We Tested 6 Unknown Plus-Size Lines—And You’ll Love The Result

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If you're anything like me, you have your go-to brands down pat. You know that if you pop into the store, you'll leave with a handful of great pieces; if you order anything online, it will always fit well; and since a ton of your closet is made up of those brands, new items mix well with your existing line-up. Shopping is a breeze at these stores, but such habitual purchasing may be causing some serious fashion fatigue. The best solution: look to the lesser-known brands for a fresh offering. First, there was Melissa McCarthy's Seven7 line, which launched last summer. Then, Beth Ditto's announced her eponymous collection at the end of last year. This spring, Ashley Graham got into the game with her first line for DressBar. And now, I've taken it upon myself to dig up some more lines to share with you. Here, I try on 17 Sundays, Rachel Rachel Roy Curvy, Hackwith, Junarose, Universal Standard, and PLY.


1. 17 Sundays, available at Mei Smith
17 Sundays is an Australian brand that launched in 2010 (and is now making a name for itself stateside!). Their specialty? Denim. Think: athleisure-inspired joggers, jean jackets, and the bomb boiler suit below.
We Tested 6 Unknown Plus-Size Lines—And You'll Love The Result


2. Rachel Rachel Roy Curvy, available at Macy's
This month, Rachel Roy is launching a Curvy collection after being asked for one by customers for a literal decade. The best part: it includes the stylish pieces we've been craving! “When I interviewed fit models, I kept hearing that they didn’t want me to shy away from things like off-the-shoulder pieces," says Roy. "So I didn’t.”
We Tested 6 Unknown Plus-Size Lines—And You'll Love The Result


3. Hackwith
If you fancy yourself a minimalist, Hackwith is for you. The brand makes Basics, Swim, Bridal, Plus lines, and new limited-edition designs every single Monday. We're fast fans of this long-sleeve jumpsuit because it's equal parts stylish and comfy.
We Tested 6 Unknown Plus-Size Lines—And You'll Love The Result


4. Junarose, available at ASOS
Junarose is a chic Danish brand that releases 8 collections a year (ie. plenty to keep going back for!). Fans already include model Marquita Pring and blogger Beck Delude.
We Tested 6 Unknown Plus-Size Lines—And You'll Love The Result


5. Universal Standard
This New York based brand was started by a power woman duo out to change the way we see plus-size fashion. The result? A collection of chic, sharp, boss-lady-worthy pieces like tailored blazers, leather skirts, sweater dresses, and lacquer jeans.
We Tested 6 Unknown Plus-Size Lines—And You'll Love The Result


6. PLY
If you saw our April Issue's plus-size piece, you may recognize that top. Yes, it's the same one that model Candice Huffine wore while strutting her stuff in TriBeCa. Clearly, we're fast fans of PLY, who are taking the kinds of fashion risks we've been waiting for. Bring on the ruffles!
We Tested 6 Unknown Plus-Size Lines—And You'll Love The Result


Now, watch model Precious Lee try 3 surprisingly flattering spring trends for curvy women.










We Tested 6 Unknown Plus-Size Lines—And You'll Love The Result

How to Pull Off Spring’s Trickiest Fashion Trends With Plus-Size Model Iskra Lawrence

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How to Pull Off Spring’s Trickiest Fashion Trends With Plus-Size Model Iskra Lawrence
Iskra Lawrence on set with Glamour.

Brit bombshell Iskra Lawrence is all about breaking the rules. The plus-size model is taking the fashion world by storm with her unique beauty and girl power attitude. So when it comes to pulling off tricky spring fashion trends-girl has got it in the bag. Here, Lawrence shows you how to tackle the most challenging looks out there this season from a white ruffled midi dress to a killer jumpsuit. And yes, you’re going to want it all. Watch and learn:










How to Pull Off Spring’s Trickiest Fashion Trends With Plus-Size Model Iskra Lawrence

Finally, There’s Good Fashion For Everyone! Here’s How To Master Plus-Size Style

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“I call it tutu torture,” says fashion stylist Meaghan O’Connor, 31, a size 20. “I want chic tailored trousers for work and gorgeous feel-good dresses for date night, but because of my size I end up with dowdy polyester pants and juvenile tutus. It makes me want to scream, ‘Put the grommet gun down, remove the rhinestones, and step away from the tulle!’ ” On a more serious note, she adds, “it’s alarming that plus-size clothing is so limited, given that the majority of American women are plus-size. Why are we ignored at designer shops, shoved into a corner at department stores, and forced online to buy our favorite brands?”

O’Connor’s frustrations are familiar to any woman north of a size 12 (which happens to be the size I wear): When it comes to plus fashion, good options do not abound. Many reasonably priced brands, like Topshop, offer only sizes 12 and below; high-end designer fashion on average comes in sizes up to 14, though those 14s are not always easy to find; and offerings from many plus-size retailers have in the past been disappointing. When I took to Twitter to ask plus-size shoppers their peeves, they named “tacky jeans with sequins and embellishments” and “tops that look like tents.” They also noted that plus-size collections from straight-size brands often aren’t as fashionable as the main lines’. “I wish they’d stop with the flowy tops and the frumpy patterns,” said one. But mostly, the women I heard from just wanted more. “While everyone at my office looks sharp and established, I feel like I’m taken less seriously because of my clothing,” says Jodie Paine, a 26-year-old, size-14 Web designer. “I wish I could find stylish pieces like leather skirts, but a lot of plus size workwear is cheap and dated, with unflattering suits and button-downs.”


Finally, There's Good Fashion For Everyone! Here's How To Master Plus-Size Style
Models Precious Lee, left, and Candice Huffine, right, show off two of the season's buzziest trends: pajama dressing and Latin-inspired ruffles.


All of which means something is seriously wrong. More than half the women in this country are a size 14 or above, but they account for only 17 percent of apparel sales, according to a 2014 report by the NPD Group. It’s not that we’re not interested in fashion; 88 percent of us would spend more money on trendy clothing if it were available. No, it’s that fashion, historically, hasn’t been that interested in us. Need a particularly startling example? In the course of reporting this story, I called the New York City flagship of a famous French fashion house to inquire about finding a suit jacket from its spring collection in a size 20. After informing me that the jacket's in-store sizing stops at a six, the salesman paused, then offered a suggestion: that I buy two and sew them together.

Sew two jackets—two expensive jackets—together? How on earth did we get here, and why wouldn’t any sane label want to please a woman with money to spend? “That’s the million-dollar question,” says Sports Illustrated swimsuit-issue cover model Ashley Graham, a size 16, who debuted a clothing collection with Dressbarn this spring. “Brands think that expanding their size range will dilute their image.” Actress Melissa McCarthy, who also recently launched her own line, agrees—and points out that creating larger versions of straight-size designs can be challenging, since doing so requires more than just making everything bigger. “Needing a little more room on your hips and bust does not mean that your wrist is the size of a stop sign!” she told me.

But the good news—and there is good news—is that things are starting to change. Existing plus-size brands are learning that their customers crave fashionable clothing, and some straight-size lines are extending their offerings into plus territory. Consider this your cheat sheet for getting the best out of 12-and-above fashion now.


Finally, There's Good Fashion For Everyone! Here's How To Master Plus-Size Style
The author takes seventies style for a spin with a bow-neck blouse layered under a suede dress.

First, Know Which Plus-Size Brands Have the Best Fashion
There are lines that get it. Lane Bryant’s designer collections—created by talent like Lela Rose, Christian Siriano, Sophie Theallet, and Isabel Toledo—are continuously expanding, with Glamour launching its own capsule in the brand’s stores this fall. “The opportunity in fashion is in inclusivity, not exclusivity,” says Lane Bryant CEO Linda Heasley. “The desire to find well-de- signed pieces doesn’t differentiate by size.”
For on-trend collections, also look to:
Simply Be and Carmakoma for cool, of-the-moment pieces;
Eloquii for fast, trendy styles—now up to size 28;lines like Elvi, Persona, and Marina Rinaldi for elevated workwear; emerging American brands including Mei Smith and Universal Standard for chic, refined basics;celeb-helmed brands for personal style. In addition to McCarthy, singer-song-writer Beth Ditto has launched her own collection, and actress Rebel Wilson has an ongoing collaboration with Torrid; sharewear service Gwynnie Bee (think of it as a plus-size Rent the Runway), which lets you lease the latest trends.

Shop the Straight-Size Brands That Carry Larger Sizes
Established designers are expanding their offerings too. Rachel Roy, for example, launched a curvy collection this spring. “I started my brand in 2005 and have been getting requests from plus-size customers ever since,” she says, noting that the new styles will be as fashion-forward as her main line’s. “When I interviewed fit models, I kept hearing that they didn’t want me to shy away from things like off-the-shoulder pieces. So I didn’t.”
Other straight-size brands also make plus sizes, but those 12-and-up garments can be tricky to find. So know this:

Burberry, Max Mara, Oscar de la Renta, and Rosie Assoulin, among others, produce select pieces in sizes up to 16. Find them on their sites or Moda Operandi and Saks.com.
Banana Republic, J.Crew, and Kate Spade also offer sizes up to 16 online. Akris, Loft, Gap, and Lafayette 148 New York go up to 18 online. Ralph Lauren’s Lauren Woman, Michael Michael Kors, Asos, Forever 21, Mango, New Look, Old Navy, and River Island carry full plus-size lines from 1X to 4X and 14 to 30 on their websites. Chanel carries off-the-rack pieces in sizes up to 20; the same goes for Prada, though by special order only. On consignment sites like The RealReal, you can often land designer pieces in sizes as large as 20.

And if you’re between sizes 12 and 16, Graham suggests trying on whichever straight-size brands you love. “Sometimes plus-size girls are afraid to try on clothes in high-end stores because they think they won’t fit and they’ll get judge-y looks,” she says. “But who cares what the store clerks think? The trick is to know which cuts will work for your body. I carry my weight in my low stomach, and I’m thinner up top, so shorter tops and fit-and-flare dresses work for me. My favorite new brand is A.L.C.” It’s also worth noting that many designer pieces have up to two inches in the seam, which a tailor can let out.


Finally, There's Good Fashion For Everyone! Here's How To Master Plus-Size Style
Huffine walks Sophie Theallet's runway during Fall 2016 New York Fashion Week.

Update Your Closet With Accessories
Almost any look can be brought into the here and now with stylish shoes, bags, and jewelry. “I can get into a rut of just wearing a plain tee or all-black clothes, so accessories are my savior,” says model Candice Huffine. “With colorful bags and fun hats, even my simple out- fits feel refreshed. This season I can’t wait to break out the bandana scarves!” Some look-changing extras to keep an eye on for spring: shoulder-grazing earrings, chokers, chain bags, and midi heels.

And Toss the Rules Out the Window
Finally, all the women I interviewed had one suggestion in common: Whatever you do, don’t believe the old “shoulds” about what curvy women should wear. “Plus- size women have been told for so long, ‘You can’t wear this; you don’t look good in that; stripes are not for you,’ ” says Graham. “Honestly, it’s a bunch of bull! The more rules you break and the more fun you have with it, the better you’re going to look.” Model Precious Lee agrees: “The printed pajamas I wore for my Glamour shoot are so different from what you’re supposed to wear if you’re plus-size. Don’t be afraid of bold prints because you think they may make you look bigger.” And McCarthy has personal proof that writing your own fashion rules pays off. “People would tell me that the clothes I wanted aren’t made because ‘no plus- size woman wants a patterned pant,’ ” she recalls. “Meanwhile I was making them for myself and constantly being asked where I got them.” So now the comedian has a message for Glamour readers: “Wear the damn cheetah print,” she says. “I beg you.”










Finally, There's Good Fashion For Everyone! Here's How To Master Plus-Size Style

Notice Anything Wrong With This Picture?

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Notice Anything Wrong With This Picture?

Shopping website Found on a Wish had a major fail with this listing for plus-size shorts, making the seriously questionable decision to showcase the item not worn as, you know, shorts, but as some sort of strange miniskirt with a side section. Instead of using a curvier model or shooting the piece flat and off a body, someone decided to call in a woman a couple sizes smaller than the item required and have her pull one of the legs up and around her waist. Not only does it look bizarre, it's sending a bad message to potential shoppers and is as unhelpful as possible. How in the world could you judge what the style would look like when being worn as shorts? It's a lose-lose situation.

So, what exactly is Found on a Wish? It's an online emporium for cheap, unbranded items that tend to ship mostly from China. While we love a deal as much as the next person, this lapse in judgement would make us think twice before clicking to buy on the site (P.S. Thanks to Hello Giggles for unearthing the shorts originally.)


Watch how to pull off spring’s trickiest fashion trends with model Iskra Lawrence.










Notice Anything Wrong With This Picture?

Hear Khloe Kardashian Respond to People Who Say Plus-Size Models Aren’t Healthy

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There's no denying that Khloe Kardashian is wonderfully, unabashedly body-proud. She rocks her curves like nobody's business, spreads the real-talk gospel about hitting the gym hard, and considers no subject taboo (camel toe and hair removal included). And while she hasn't expanded her career purview to include modeling—yet—she's got an opinion on some of the curvier beauties who have recently commanded headline space.

Hear Khloe Kardashian Respond to People Who Say Plus-Size Models Aren't Healthy

"There's this plus-size model Ashley Graham, who's beautiful and has this fantastic shape. I love what she exudes in her confidence, and I think she's incredibly healthy," Khloe told our beauty team in a recent interview, revealing that she hates the way critics have jumped to assert that plus models are, by definition, unhealthy. "There's a difference when someone is eating a bag of Cheetos and a Slurpee saying, 'I'm so fat I don't know why.' Well, maybe don't eat the Slurpee and the Cheetos. You can still be bigger and be healthy."

She also didn't shy away from pointing out that body type and weight aren't correlated with happiness and that whatever a woman decides to do, from working out to getting plastic surgery, should be for her and no one else.

"Who is to say that [being] a size 2 makes you happy? I think whatever size you are is great as long as you're happy," she said. "I don't really care what you do as long as it's for yourself, even if that's working out."










Hear Khloe Kardashian Respond to People Who Say Plus-Size Models Aren't Healthy

You’ve Gotta Hear This Curvy Beauty Share the Questions She’s Sick of Being Asked

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If part of your job involves giving interviews to reporters, it stands to reason you'll be asked the same few questions over and over again. And while it's to be expected (and unavoidable in many cases), certain queries exist that might just get your blood boiling. Such is the case for one of our new favorite beauties, Barbie Ferreira. The gorgeous gal stars in Aerie's spring campaign and talked to us earlier this month about her experiences in the fashion world and how she's loving her role as a body-positive activist. During our interview, we decided to flip the table just a touch, asking Ferreira what she does not like being asked.

"Definitely when anyone asks me what I eat—I think that's the most disrespectful thing. There's no winning with that question," she said, audibly annoyed. "I eat different things every day, [so] I think it's a stupid question. It's only asked to women, it's never asked to a man."

You've Gotta Hear This Curvy Beauty Share the Questions She's Sick of Being Asked

The other topic she's sick and tired of?

"Asking 'How do I feel confident in a bikini?' because I feel like no one would ask that to a Victoria's Secret model. No one would ask that to Kate Upton. I understand 'How to feel confident' [in general], but in a bikini, if you're adding that on...I wear a bikini like every other person in the world wears a bikini or a bathing suit."

There are a lot more girl-power moments where this came from too—read the full interview here.










You've Gotta Hear This Curvy Beauty Share the Questions She's Sick of Being Asked

These New Swimwear Ads Speak Volumes for Women’s Empowerment

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Between their 2012 Crystal Renn editorial, 2013 and 2014 Kate Upton covers, and Robyn Lawley's 2015 Rookie feature, Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue has proven that they're on a steady mission to celebrate curves in all sizes. To date, the biggest body-positive media splash was made by Ashley Graham when she appeared in last year's issue by way of a Swimsuits For All ad—and SFA is running with that momentum. This year, their ad features Graham alongside Ghanaian model Philomena Kwao and 56-year-old Nicola Griffin.

In an exclusive interview with Glamour, Kawo said, "I think the ad speaks volumes in terms of self-empowerment for each and every woman. We’ve looked at the specific body types, skin tones, and ages in the media for so long, and we’ve compared ourselves to that. Now, we're moving toward individualism and uniqueness as the standard."

Though Kwao admitted she never imagined herself in these pages, she's proud to be flipping through them today." Sports Illustrated has set the standard for what a swimsuit model should be," she said. "For a magazine that has that much influence to include models of different body types on their pages shows that they’re breaking down old beauty ideals while opening the doors of diversity and inclusivity."

These New Swimwear Ads Speak Volumes for Women's Empowerment
Ashley Graham's 2016 Swimsuits For All #SwimSexy Ad

These New Swimwear Ads Speak Volumes for Women's Empowerment
Philomena Kwao's 2016 Swimsuits For All #SwimSexy Ad

The new #SwimSexy campaign is meant to usher in the golden age (get it?) of body positivity by spreading the message that women of all ages, shapes and sizes are beautiful. In just a few hours, there are already Instagram users flooding @swimsuitsforall with positive comments like @bigbadwolfe's "#SLAYAGE!!!!!!!" and @oli_and_lou's "Serious #lifegoals over here. This makes me excited about getting older!"

On Kwao's Instagram, she's getting comments like 'This is me!' and it's hitting home: "I keep seeing people comment that—and it’s humbling to know that I represent a wide range of women that had previously felt alienated," she said. "I hope any woman who feels their ethnicity isn’t well represented in mass media—whether that be Asian, Hispanic, or black—sees this and feels accepted."

These New Swimwear Ads Speak Volumes for Women's Empowerment
Nicola Griffin's 2016 Swimsuits For All #SwimSexy Ad

Also on the SI Swimsuit docket: Ronda Rousey will appear in body paint and it's also been announced that Graham will be one of the Rookies appearing in the issue. See the first snap, here:










These New Swimwear Ads Speak Volumes for Women's Empowerment

Exclusive: Here’s a First Look at Nicolette Mason’s Chic Plus Size Collab With Addition Elle

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Attention all Nicolette Mason lovers! To kick off 2016, the top plus-size fashion blogger—who you know from her collaboration with Target, her fashionable friendship with Christian Siriano, and her Marie Claire column Big Girl In A Skinny World—is launching a capsule collection with Addition Elle. (Yes, the brand that's responsible for bringing you Ashley Graham's lingerie designs.) The seven-piece collection for the Canadian retailer’s New Noir line will feature pink and black dresses that highlight Nicolette’s personal style—which means one part girlish, another part retro, and a touch of spunk.

"My style is definitely feminine," Mason told Glamour in an exclusive interview. "I joke around a lot that I'm pants-challenged because they don't suit me very much. I love to play up the femme side of my style, but I also have a little bit of an edge. If I wear sequins, I'll wear it with a leather jacket and something studded. That juxtaposition is not part of this collection in terms of design, but its how I would style it in real life."


Exclusive: Here's a First Look at Nicolette Mason's Chic Plus Size Collab With Addition Elle


Speaking of styling, the seven pieces were made with the intent of customers wearing them to work (with sharp pointy-toe heels, perhaps) and then to drinks after (enter: leather jacket). Mason also suggests slipping them on for events like weddings and even prom. The kicker: no matter where you wear them, you'll be comfortable. "We tried to keep what's important to the Addition Elle customer in mind," says Mason. "There are a lot of sleeved options that are already popular. When we teased out the photos on Instagram, people were commenting about how excited they were that there were options with sleeves. It was also really important that you could wear a bra with the dresses. They're beautiful and they have a real practical solution to women getting dressed."


Exclusive: Here's a First Look at Nicolette Mason's Chic Plus Size Collab With Addition Elle


So, what sets this collaboration apart from the next? Mason says it's the serious design focus behind both her pieces (she has a Parsons design background, FYI!) and the brand as a whole. "They're succeeding because they're willing to let their capsule collection designs have a strong point of view and design direction," she says. "The dresses that are in my capsule are not for every single woman—and the same goes for Nadia Aboulhosn's [collection for Addition Elle's Love & Legend line]. And that is important in differentiating yourself and being valuable as a brand because there are so many brands right now that are trying to be everything to everyone and at the end of the day being nothing to no one—all because they don’t have a strong aesthetic point of view."

Can't wait to get your hands on the styles? The dress collection will be available in sizes 12-24 in February on lordandtaylor.com, addtionelle.com, and select Lord & Taylor stores. Mark your calendars!


Exclusive: Here's a First Look at Nicolette Mason's Chic Plus Size Collab With Addition Elle










Exclusive: Here's a First Look at Nicolette Mason's Chic Plus Size Collab With Addition Elle

Why 2015 Was the Most Important Year Ever for Plus-Size Fashion

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Style, of course, is chic at every size. And while, we've known and believed that for years, it was this year that the fashion industry put the maxim into action. From bold ad campaigns to outspoken models in the field, such as Ashley Graham and Georgia Pratt, the annals of fashion history will mark 2015 as the year where plus-size fashion stopped being minimized and pushed to the back seat. Instead, the twelve months we're wrapping up could be the ones where people started paying attention, models began speaking up, and the industry became a force to be reckoned with.

"It's great when we can be included in conversations and questions that go beyond positive body image," Pratt told us about her experience working in fashion. "The conversation needs to start opening up and approaching people such as designers, editors, photographers, and other creative decision makers and influencers of the fashion industry."


Why 2015 Was the Most Important Year Ever for Plus-Size Fashion

Ashley Nell Tipton's winning final collection at Project Runway

The world took notice.
Project Runway made the news when its season 14 winner was a plus-size designer. It wasn't a little fact-about-me tidbit either; Ashley Nell Tipton's major collection for the show's finale was for plus-size women. "It's nice to see how much the mainstream fashion community has been so accepting of it," Tiptop told Skorch magazine. "It's very exciting to see that folks finally want to make plus-size mainstream."

Meanwhile, at Victoria's Secret, a reporter broached the subject of why no plus-size babes have worked for VS with the some Angels, and the responses were promising and girl-power steeped: "We don't know, [but] I really hope so," Elsa Hosk said.
"I think the whole world is more open to plus-size, and I am sure at some point they will be ready for it," Jac Jagaciak added.

Why 2015 Was the Most Important Year Ever for Plus-Size Fashion

Ashley Graham's lingerie collection with Addition Elle

New retailers surfaced.
While shoppers could always find a store dedicated to a wide range of styles, they couldn't necessarily find two. That seriously changed in 2015, with familiar names entering the space, and brands that had previously been chided by the curvy community actually doing something about the critiques. For the former: Melissa McCarthy proved she has serious fashion chops with the debut of Melissa McCarthy Seven7 (it looks amazing on), plus-size model Ashley Graham brought her lingerie range to the U.S., and musician (and fashion favorite) Beth Ditto announced a forthcoming range with a t-shirt collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier.

Why 2015 Was the Most Important Year Ever for Plus-Size Fashion

Lane Bryant's #ImNoAngel campaign

Influential brands responded.
Established brands like Lane Bryant upped the ante too. The mall staple revealed a stunning black-and-white campaign shot by Cass Bird and featuring the field's current stars (think the aforementioned Graham, Marquita Pring, Candice Huffine, and Justine Legault). If the resulting pictures look more high fashion than usual for the brand, it's no wonder: The advertising agency used has previously done work for Tom Ford and Chloé.

Brands listened to shoppers, too. Target's response to a blogger's slam about the lack of plus-sizing from its designer collaborations was twofold. The Lilly Pulitzer collection was available in extended sizing, and a brand-new range was introduced. Ava & Viv is being designed by an in-house team, sells in physical stores, and is set to stay under the $100 mark. Online, ModCloth took strides to make all sizes fit neatly together; rather than broadcasting a dedicated plus section, they re-worked the site to present all sizes together.

Why 2015 Was the Most Important Year Ever for Plus-Size Fashion

A look from Target's Ava & Viv line

Curves were celebrated.
In a Glamour conversation about questions plus-size models are tired of hearing, Gia Genevieve got real.

"Plus-size models should be shown in a glamorous way. I don't see a lot of plus-size models being shown in a very sexy way, and we are very sexy," she said. "[What] I'm pushing for is that there needs to be more glamour in plus-size modeling—and less toned-down, commercial [shots]."

Well, the needle is certainly moving in that direction. The news that Sports Illustrated was including plus-size models in its annual swimsuit edition (via both editorial and advertising) was major enough to rank as one of our top news stories of the year. And for its 2015 edition, the iconic Pirelli calendar included a pretty steamy shot of Candice Huffine.

"I feel like I'm quietly doing something," she said. "It's almost become the new normal."

Why 2015 Was the Most Important Year Ever for Plus-Size Fashion

Candice Huffine, far right, posing with fellow Pirelli bombshells Gigi Hadid and Karen Elson

There's a lot of good stuff that happened this year, but we're not totally at the finish line. What is the industry hoping to accomplish in 2016?

"We've got everyone else working with curvy models. It's the designers that need to take the next step," model Marquita Pring told us earlier this year. "It's a matter of them being receptive of us, changing their traditional mindsets, and making another sample size."

"We're going to make them a billion dollars with our size," model Julie Henderson added. "Their customers are women who will look at me and say, 'I can relate to her and I can wear that dress.' And those dresses would sell out faster than anything."

Another year will bring lots of fresh fashion news to chat about, but now it's time to reflect on 2015. Come see which red-carpet dresses, royal style moments, and more you voted as the most major.











Why 2015 Was the Most Important Year Ever for Plus-Size Fashion

What to Expect From Beth Ditto’s Plus-Size Clothing Line With Jean Paul Gaultier

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Musician Beth Ditto is entering the plus-size fashion game with a splash, announcing a full collection of clothing that'll be available to shop come February. And to whet the style world's appetite until then, she's also revealed a limited-edition t-shirt collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier. Win-win, guys!

The tee marks the first time Gaultier has made anything commercially available up to a size 30 (Ditto's walked in his runway shows before, and he designed a custom gown for her to wear at her wedding). "Big girls are beautiful, and Beth is super beautiful. Long live the beauty with shapes, boobs, and bottoms," he said in a statement.

"Jean Paul is the most generous, positive person, he truly loves women of all sizes and ages and knows how to make everyone feel gorgeous," Ditto added in the notes accompanying the news. "I love that this shirt is funny and chic at the same time, like all the best people!"

What to Expect From Beth Ditto's Plus-Size Clothing Line With Jean Paul Gaultier

The t-shirt is available online now in a 1x and 2x.

MORE: 4 Lessons We Learned From a Plus-Size Stylist

Come February, the full collection will be available and sounds like it'll be worth queuing up for. Notes on her site reveal we can expect silk, embroidery, and prints "inspired by her love of vintage." Like other celebs who have made a recent impact in the plus-size market (think Melissa McCarthy's well-received range and Ashley Graham's stunning lingerie), Ditto's personal experience and "first-hand understanding of fit" will also help instruct what shoppers find.

A quick study of the sartorial choices Ditto makes reveals that customers can expect bold styles created to enhance, not conceal. She's long been known for her edgy (and at times wild!) looks. For a London party in March, the singer looked striking in viviv black and white Alexander McQueen.

What to Expect From Beth Ditto's Plus-Size Clothing Line With Jean Paul Gaultier

Equally important is examining how she does red carpet. When she attended Cannes, there was a major bombshell vibe in the air thanks to an LBD centered around a classic corset (worn on display, not hidden in the construction of a gown).

What to Expect From Beth Ditto's Plus-Size Clothing Line With Jean Paul Gaultier

We think JPG, with his sexy and celebratory aesthetic, is the perfect match for Ditto's unique style. We're hoping for pieces that are just as sassy as the both of them — and we're even more excited to see something new enter the plus market, which at times can be a tad conservative. Take a look at a few more of our favorite Ditto looks below, and go on, get excited to get your hands on the collab in just a few short months!


What to Expect From Beth Ditto's Plus-Size Clothing Line With Jean Paul Gaultier

What to Expect From Beth Ditto's Plus-Size Clothing Line With Jean Paul Gaultier

What to Expect From Beth Ditto's Plus-Size Clothing Line With Jean Paul Gaultier

This year was an important one for plus-size models, including a few castings that made history. Come catch up on the rest of 2015's biggest news stories, and vote on which was the most major.











What to Expect From Beth Ditto's Plus-Size Clothing Line With Jean Paul Gaultier

4 Lessons We Learned from a Plus Size Fashion Stylist

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4 Lessons We Learned from a Plus Size Fashion Stylist


Fact: I could get used to spending the morning getting dressed by a stylist—especially when it's plus-size fashion expert and business owner Aimee Chesire.

"Growing up plus, I was frustrated with the lack of choice in fashion and of feeling like and outsider," she says. "All of that stayed with me in my life and I’ve always had an urge to fix it. At this point, I’ve been in the plus-size industry for nearly 15 years. In 2001, I was at One Stop Plus—the only place to find plus-sizes in New York at the time—doing product development, and I also spent time as a model and blogger.”

Cheshire now runs the e-commerce retailer Hey Gorgeous, which she launched in 2014. If you haven't heard of it, it's an online destination for girls wanting to find the newest plus-size brands and trending pieces. (I personally die for the culotte suits they carry!) She sells everything from Italian labels like Persona—for which she has an exclusive in the US—and cool, up-and-coming English ones like Elvi.

"I really wanted to develop the industry," she says when asked about the progressive selection. "There were always cheap, very sexy, or moomoo options. There was never great tailored clothing for plus women. I knew there were women who wanted great clothes and great fit and I wanted that.”


4 Lessons We Learned from a Plus Size Fashion Stylist

The best seller? The bright Persona dress Chesire holds above.


Most impressively, Hey Gorgeous offers styling and personal shopping sessions in their New York City headquarters. Which, yes, I tried out, and yes, loved. They usually work when one or two women stop by, Chesire presents them with a rack of clothing selected for them based on styling notes provided ahead of time, and they—eventually always—take a peek through the rest of the selection.

“Lots of women have very strict rules," she admits. "They tend to be old fashioned, like, ‘I can only wear fit and flare dresses,’ ‘I’m too busty and I can only wear an open neckline,’ or ‘I need to wear sleeves.’ It’s about guiding, encouraging, and saying, ‘I know you can do it, let’s try the culottes.’”

There has been an average of at least one successful appointment per day since the service launched three months ago, and the team has hosted shoppers from everywhere from San Francisco to Belgium. So, when they offered to host for yours truly, I jumped at the chance! Read on to peep the gorgeous looks Hey Gorgeous has to offer and the genius tyling tips I learned.


Lesson #1: Finding The Perfect Suit
4 Lessons We Learned from a Plus Size Fashion Stylist
“Seaming, darting, and fit are so important in a suit," says Chesire. "I find that one-button jackets are the most flattering, because they give a waist and good proportion. A thin shoulder pad adds sharpness and power to the look while exaggerating your hourglass. And a pleat down the front of the pant is slimming.”


Lesson #2: Nailing The Right Shape
4 Lessons We Learned from a Plus Size Fashion Stylist
“What makes this item so forgiving to so many shapes is that the darting starts low, around the waist, and comes in and up to the chest," she says. "A long, curved dart draws the eye in and creates the waist, while keeping the dress skimming your figure instead of hugging it. We’ve seen this on a ton of figures and it looks great on everyone!”


Lesson #3: Wearing The Latest Trends
4 Lessons We Learned from a Plus Size Fashion Stylist
“If you love a trend but you don’t love the shape, take aspects of it—like color, pattern, or material—and buy in a flattering shape," says Chesire. "If you have hips or thighs, an a-line will give you space. If you’re apple-shape it highlights your waist. It’s about getting items for your body, not forcing your body into whatever shape the piece is.”


Lesson #4: Stepping Outside The Box
4 Lessons We Learned from a Plus Size Fashion Stylist
“The key to wearing something oversize is to have it skim you," she says. "Even without a tight fit, it still needs to have a point of view and not drown your shape. The seaming has to keep it away from you, so that it’s not sloppy. With this suit in particular, the snugness at the shoulder and waist are key.”










4 Lessons We Learned from a Plus Size Fashion Stylist

How Gwynnie Bee Is Changing The Plus-Size Fashion Game

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To most people, the thought of plus-size clothing having limited availability IRL (and most of its presence online) is maddening, but for serial entrepreneur Christine Hunsicker, it was an opportunity. After all, she's been involved in a handful of tech start-ups since 2001; and was President and COO of Right Media and the COO at Drop.io, which were bought by Yahoo and Facebook respectively. It's no wonder that when she turned her attention to the plus-size fashion market in 2011 and launched Gwynnie Bee, it became a huge success.

Sure, there are lots of businesses jumping into the plus-size retail space as of late—which is amazing—but Hunsicker stands out because, while most seem to be driven by emotion and personal experience, she's mostly motivated by the numbers. Case in point: It's exciting to see"outsiders" recognizing and capitalizing on the giant business opportunity plus-size retail provides. So, we sat down with the company's leading lady to talk retail, rental wear, and how best to resonate with customers.


How Gwynnie Bee Is Changing The Plus-Size Fashion Game


Glamour: Tell us a bit about the company's background.
Christine Hunsicker: In 2011, we started Gwynnie Bee with the mission of giving women an unlimited wardrobe with a limited budget—and make clothing synonymous with possibility and confidence. That’s definitely not always the case with women and their experiences with shopping. With our model, we can really make fashion a 100% joyful experience for women, and in particular, women between sizes 10 and 32.

Glamour: What exact things were you looking to change to make the shopping experience for women of those sizes more positive?
CH: The sole access to clothing today is an ownership model, meaning anything you want to wear you have to buy. That’s exceptionally limiting. There’s only so many things you can buy and you’re limited in experimentation because you’ll want to invest in basics and things you’re going to get a lot of use out of. Of the things you do buy that are exciting additions to your wardrobe, 80% sit unworn in your closet for over a year. If you can give people unlimited access to the equivalent of a department store as their personal closet, they would be able to experiment and wear trendier things outside their comfort zone, because it’s not a commitment.

Glamour: So, how did you decide to target the plus-size market?
CH: Size 10-32 is 75% of the adult female population, so it’s the overwhelming majorty of adult women in the US. It’s a demographic that fashion, for the most part, has served incredibly poorly. The brick and mortar experience is exceptionally limiting. We thought it was kind of obvious…You have a demographic that loves to dress well and wants to look great and doesn’t have as many options as they should have. The entire reason for focusing on this size demographic is because it made sense.


How Gwynnie Bee Is Changing The Plus-Size Fashion Game


Glamour: What challenges have you faced thus far and what have been the standout successes?
CH: When we started it, we knew that there was an economic benefit for our members. You pay a fix fee, and the average member wears more than ten times in value what they pay per month. We also believed there would be an emotional benefit to giving women a way to experience clothing in a more positive way, they would feel better. That’s what the experience is about: feeling confident and recognizing that you have a huge world of possibility through fashion. The biggest, most meaningful success is the overwhelming amount of emails and phone calls we’ve gotten saying that we’ve impacted women’s lives in a meaningful way.

As far as challenges go, there’s 150 of them every day. It’s a pretty massive logistics undertaking and that alone is challenging. Making sure we have enough, fresh, well-fitting styles for our members is constantly challenging. And we’re going super fast—and any kind of rapid scale introduces challenges to the basic service.

Glamour: What are the customers asking for now? What patterns do you see in your feedback?
CH: One of the most interesting things for us is how much they’ve pushed us to getting more fashionable and statement pieces. A lot of the members are going into an office environment every day and even that group wants blazers with interesting zipper detailing or peplum tops in a print. The diversity and variety of styles in continuing to grow with us launching close to 200 styles per month. We’re trying to get that number up to 300 to 400 styles per month over the next quarter. We also had a lot of demand for an app and we launched that in September. We’ve moved into more pants and denim.

Glamour: What have been their points of dislike?
CH: They wish there was more guidance on products similar to the ones they like—recommendations. Because the catalogue is getting quite big. How can we help curate individualized collections for members? Like with all online clothing, fit is a big one. So, what can we do to help them figure out what will fit them best? And they really wanted us to have robust reviews at the time of launch. They asked for photos in reviews. Reviews have to be there on day one, so on our city tour, we took all the clothing with us and had the members try it on and then write reviews for us so that when pieces launched, they came with member feedback.


How Gwynnie Bee Is Changing The Plus-Size Fashion Game


Glamour: What are the most popular brands? And items?
CH: About 10% or 20% of the clothes get the most attention (mostly shift and fit-and-flares dresses with unique themes—like super bright colors or a retro vibe), but because it’s an experimentation model, you don’t see one thing blowing everything else out of the water too much. When we look at the data, something new to the site that’s different than what we’ve had before, gets more people clustering towards it because it’s new.

Glamour: What has surprised you in the data?
CH: How many different things people are willing to try—how far people are willing to expand their style horizons. We expected people have closets of 20-25 things that they like and what we see is that they have closets of hundreds. I think that has to do with it being no commitment and no risk to you, you’re going to try it.

Glamour: That says a lot about how the customer behaves. She wants fashion.
CH: The fact that these brands that are refusing to make clothing in the size range—I think to us, it’s showing how much they’re leaving on the table by not working on providing stylish fashion-forward options for a customer who’s really, is not just into the basics, really ants to show her individuality through what she wears.


How Gwynnie Bee Is Changing The Plus-Size Fashion Game


Glamour: What does the future of Gwynnie Bee and the market hold?
CH: We are trying to bring more and more products into the market. Especially by working with a designers to bring their products into our size range. We want to continue to do that. For us, it’s all about expanding the amount of access our members have. That’s the big focus.

Glamour: What’s next for the industry as a whole?
CH: Brands need to figure out distribution. It’s one of the key challenged in plus, because a lot of things are systematically set up against the plus size woman. There are very few brick and mortar stores and most of them are vertical retailers. And then you have the department stores that carry the top 10-15 brands that have been carried for a really long time and don’t have floor space to experiment and don’t take the risk on new up and coming brands. So it’s hard for new deisgenrs to find distribution and it’s hard for department stores to take risks on all of the new designers. There are no other real brick and mortar options.

To me, the more we get online, the more brands that can go direct to consumer or use us to reach their consumers and build their brands, the better it’s going to be for the members because there are so many structural things that the industry has to overcome. The fact that the market is huge, everybody knows. Everybody’s know that for years and years, the fact that now people can make a lot of money in the market, is making the brand start to come around to. It makes no sense for this not to happen and it would be completely absurd for people to continue to ignore the overwhelming majority of women. To me, that has to change and there’s been a ton of groundwork laid by the trailblazers in the body positivity movement.

Glamour: Why do you think now is the time?
CH: The plus woman shops online three times more than her straight-size counterpart. And that’s not because she loves the internet. That’s because there are no real other options. She’s already online. This wave of fashion bloggers in the plus space and body acceptance is just starting. I think we’re going to see a lot more of that. It shouldn’t be so shocking when a plus-size woman wants to be fashionable it should just be normal. It’s a woman, it’s not a plus size woman wanting to be fashionable, it’s a woman wanting to be fashionable.

Glamour: What would you say to someone who wants to start a plus size or full range clothing line?
CH: Talk to us!












How Gwynnie Bee Is Changing The Plus-Size Fashion Game