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I love fashion, however if you would have told me 10-15 years ago that those words would be coming out of my mouth, I would call you crazy. Growing up I hated fashion and anything to do with it. My mom would all but have to drag me out of the car and into the store. I would dread back to school shopping and would have rather spent my time in the sporting goods store buying new cleats or glove. My wardrobe from middle and high school was sweatpants and a t-shirt that may or may not truly have matched. I loved it, however my little sister hated it and was embarrassed to be seen with me in public (that still hasn’t changed though). Things started to change as I got older though. I found a love for shopping as I now found it a stress relief versus a chore. But still there was one hold back, my size.
I am what is called plus size. This means that many of the more popular stores may not even carry my size. Not only that, but shopping still remains somewhat of a stressor for me. There is a lot of anxiety, uncomfortableness, and self-doubt when it comes to shopping. There are the times when you try on something you expect to fit and it doesn’t. The times when the only things you can fit into, you wouldn’t even touch with a ten-foot pole. The times when you shop with your friends/sisters and have to just walk around in a store because you know they don’t carry your size. The times when you find something you love, but become too self-conscious about what it would look like on your body to even try it on. I mean crop tops, sleeveless shirts, most tank tops, short shorts, etc are thing I don’t even touch because I have trained myself into believing they don’t look good on me.
If I am being honest with you, I have probably had more crying fests/breakdown during or after shopping due to the harm I just caused on my self-confidence. I have cried in dressing rooms, the car, walking through stores, and so much more due to the lack of self-love. However, I think the most damage that shopping has caused me is the fear of shopping in the future. Specifically, if looking for a certain item, there is numerous peps talks that I have to give myself before even stepping foot into a store. All in order to prepare myself for what could happen, and also to protect myself from harming my own self-confidence. Something that has taken years to gain what little it there and also has a lot of room for important.
So, due to this fact, I have discovered a love for online shopping. However, like everything that comes with cons as well. There are so many more options on the internet for companies that sell plus sized clothing, especially plus sized clothing that looks good. Normally though this comes at a higher price and at a greater risk. I mean online you don’t get to try on the product right then and there. In order to be almost certain you need to know your size from that specific company. I mean each company seems to have their own size chart which also makes shopping as a plus size woman even worse. You can go from feeling great at one store because the sizes run big to feeling even worse than when you started because something your size doesn’t fit. Even with measurements, some things still do not fit how you expect it to, which is a real bummer after finding the perfect outfit and waiting all that time for it to ship.
Through many years I have finally gotten a list of stores that I regularly shop at and wanted to share them with you. You can click on them to take you directly to their site and begin to spice up your closet! I know my closet would for sure be way more boring without these shops!
My current top 5 shops:
1. Boohoo: I found Boohoo last fall and I have not been disappointed. They have a great variety of options in styles I never thought I could wear. They are super comfortable to wear, and even though it is based in the UK, shipping is still cheap and quick. This is an affordable website to break out of your comfort zone. Plus, they are always running flash sales and have a hefty student discount as well! They also offer free returns on all items which is a dream of mine as a plus size shopper. Their sizing chart is very accurate though. I just am in love with this company so much, even more so as Zendaya dropped her fashion line through them a couple weeks ago and they offer some of her collection in plus sizes. Overall, I have had an incredible experience with them.
2. Torrid: Torrid I believe is one of the most popular plus size shops I have seen near me. With multiple in store locations, it does have the positive of being able to shop at the store and trying clothes on in store. Torrid’s reward program is also very easy to get a lot of money off. Just a few weeks ago, I got a pair of knee high (yes, knee high boots that fit my thunder thighs, I was SHOOK) that were originally $85 for $8 using clearance and rewards I had. They are specifically for plus sized shoppers, so I tend to find that their styles look the best on, without looking frumpy or boring.
3. Forever 21: Forever 21 seems to be a classic of most people, even those who aren’t plus size, but their plus size collection is amazing as well! Another company that is very true to their sizing chart, and runs a lot of sales to get things even cheaper. It is all about the bang for the buck, I mean I am ballin’ on a budget after all. The only way this breaks my bank is how much I love and want to buy. However, the prices are very reasonable for the items I have bought. I recently bought a pair of shorts that I am currently OBSESSED with and never thought I would be one to pull them off, but I did!
4. Belk: Belk is also a new find of mine within this past year when I moved down south. Up north in Indiana I was missing out on this amazing store for my entire life. Belk has all kinds of options for plus size! I have many outfits that are great for a weekend out, but also outfits that are perfect business casual as well. You can get it all at Belk. Although, some brand names can get expensive, they are also running specials and deals. I am always watching the sales, and don’t tend to pass one up when I see one. Fun fact: my all-time favorite jeans have all come from Belk at a reasonable price.
5. Old Navy: Old Navy tends to be a classic! There is not much you can’t get at Old Navy. Similar to Belk, they have everything from a casual day to stuff to wear to the office. Plus, one cannot live in the summer without the always handy Old Navy flip-flops. I love their business casual pants as they tend to have a comfortable fit that looks cute on as well. Pixie pants for the win always!
While all of these shops have great clothing options, they have also done wonders for my confidence. To provide stylish and fashionable options for me and not having to worry about fit and/or sizes. I am continuing to grow in my love for all things fashion, but without these five staple stores, I would be lost and frustrated like I was before I found them. I hope this can help anyone else out there struggling like I have and still do.
Comment down below if you like any of these stores on my list or have some of your favorites place! I want to find some more shops to continue adding to my wardrobe.