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Size Inclusive Lines Are Becoming Standard, But Finding Them Remains Challenging

Body positivity and size inclusivity are movements that go hand-in-hand. As women come to accept and embrace their bodies, many are no longer willing to be confined to what society (and, specifically, fashion brands) feel to be the “ideal.” Given that 68% of American women wear a size 14 or larger, many companies are finally starting to listen with size inclusive options — and are making a whole lot of money as a result.

Despite all the progress that’s been made, there’s at least one glaring omission in the way that size inclusive clothing is presented to the modern consumer: while a straight-sized woman can potentially walk into just about any store and find something in her size, women who fall into the “extended sizes” category often have no other choice but to shop online. Seeing that businesses are losing $62 billion per year due to bad customer service, like not catering to the needs of the clientele, this oversight is helping to fuel an e-commerce boom.

Given the steadily growing popularity of e-commerce, that might not sound like much of an issue. As of August 2017, women’s apparel was the number one top-selling item on the internet. With so many shoppers preferring to shop online than go to their local mall, it might seem like brands are smart to focus their efforts on their websites rather than in their retail locations.

But that doesn’t mean that plus-sized women don’t want to shop in stores. When finding their size in person isn’t an option, it makes sense that they’ll turn to brands that will actually cater to them. But some women feel it’s an issue that brands want to claim the inclusive label without making all sizes accessible to all women. Despite the fact that well-known companies like Madewell, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor LOFT, J.Crew, and others have made concerted efforts to expand their size range during the last year, none of these brands carry those expanded sizes in their brick-and-mortar locations; customers have to go online and order them, which completely eliminates the store try-on experience.

As reported in GARAGE, “…Neglecting to offer [size] 14+ options in-store seems at odds with logic, as well as with the values of inclusivity and diversity that so many brands like to espouse for woke points. What appears to be happening, then, is that brands … want to have it both ways; they want the good press that comes with body inclusivity, without having to make the financial commitment of offering inclusive sizes in-store at all their locations.”

Although there may be some practical concerns like floor space and the fact that many physical retail locations struggle to stay afloat already, there are other inclusive brands that don’t see those as valid excuses.

As Brooke Cundiff, founder of a popular plus-sized clothing site, told GARAGE: “This is exactly why we started CoEdition — to give these women access to great style, in the sizes they want. Traditional retailers ignore or take these women for granted. If they do carry their sizes, they hide the clothes on a rack in the corner. That’s insulting.”

That said, CoEdition doesn’t have a physical location, either. Neither does Universal Standard, other than pop-ups and limited stock showrooms. Lines like Savage x Fenty and GabiFresh’s lines with Playful Promises and Swimsuits for All are online-only, as well. And although Eloquii has now opened its sixth retail location and Torrid stores can be found across the U.S., these brands cater specifically to plus-sized customers (or those who fall right on the cusp between straight and plus sizes); the brands that carry the entire gamut of sizes typically exclude larger sizes from their retail locations, choosing to stock only smaller sizes instead.

Ultimately, it illustrates that fashion still has a long ways to go before it’s truly size inclusive. Nearly one in four adults will eat at least one piece of candy every day — while many brands have superficially stopped shaming women for what they eat or what their body looks like, there’s a big difference between creating garments available for purchase and ensuring that all women are able to share the same experience when shopping for clothes.

Fashion Photography: Plus Size Swimwear for Women

JCPenney and Jessica Milagros Celebrate the Launch of Boutique+ Swim

With every cold day, every snowstorm we’ve had, we’ve been praying for the quick arrival of the warmth of the summer season. There may still be snow on the ground, but we’re already looking forward to swimsuit season, and so is JCPenney. The famed retailer has expanded its plus-size private label brand, Boutique+, to include swimwear that fits and flatters curvy silhouettes of all sizes. This first Boutique+ Swim collection is in collaboration with Jessica Milagros, the first plus-size Latina model to land a national campaign with JCPenney.

(Mark Von Holden/AP Images for JCPenney)

(Mark Von Holden/AP Images for JCPenney)

One major concern of plus size fashionistas, besides options and availability of fashionable choices, is the fact that they’re not able to try on swimsuits in stores. Their only option is to order online, try on at home and return what they don’t want but JCPenney is changing that with the Boutique+ Swim collection. Ladies that wear sizes 1x-3x can purchase the swimwear collections both online AND in-store. JCPenney has been creating a wonderful haven for plus-size fashion lovers. You may remember their fab collaboration with Boutique+ plus-size fashion and Project Runway’s Ashley Nell Tipton.

The expanded swimwear collection was celebrated with a wonderful pool party at the Parker Hotel in NYC. Curvy girls of all sizes were rocking one-piece and two-piece swimsuits from the expanded collection. Along with enjoying a break from the winter cold, attendees enjoyed indulging in the pool, customizing and personalizing Tote bags and flip-flops, and an indoor burger grilling station.

As previously stated, each stylish swimsuit is specially-engineered for sizes 1x-3x and features adjustable straps, molded cups, tummy control, and power mesh. Check out Jessica Milagros rocking swimwear from the collection below:

The Boutique+ Swim collection is available exclusively at www.jcpenney.com and in select JCPenney stores now, with additional styles rolling out in April. Are you ready for swimsuit season? What’s your favorite Boutique+ Swim collection piece?

SHOPPING NYC: Check Out the Leg Resource Sample Sale

Hello to our fellow sample sale fans. We’ve kinda been stalking this legwear, socks, and hosiery sample sale from Leg Resource for a while, waiting in anticipation of its announcement, all throughout the month of November actually, and we almost gave up hope. Thank goodness we were not let down this year (we almost chalked it up as another reason 2016 was a horrible year), because the annual Leg Resource Sample Sale is officially happening, one week away. For those not yet familiar, Leg Resource is a leading manufacturer and brand marketer of all things legwear, from some of your favorite designer brands.

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As always, this amazing sale promises designer leggings, pantyhose, tights, and socks for women, and men. In the past, we’ve taken home quite the legwear and hosiery haul, with many of our purchases starting at $1.00. That’s right, at the Leg Resource Sample Sale, you can score some amazing hosiery and legwear products at some unbelievably low prices. Some of Leg Resource’s brands include Betsey Johnson, Betsey Johnson Performance, and Blue by Betsey Johnson, Anna Sui, Anne Klein, Laundry by Shelli Segal, ORI, Immagine Italiana, and Psycho Bunny. And there is something for all sizes, with leggings and tights going up to size 6XL (hooray for the curvy and plus size ladies who usually have a difficult time finding tights and leggings that fit properly).

The Leg Resource Sample Sale takes places at their office from December 5th – 9th, from 9am – 5:30pm. Leg Resource is located at 390 Fifth Avenue, Suite 405 at 36th street. Please note, this is a cash only sale and we recommend scheduling out some time to go through all the sale is offering. Of course, you can just go back each day of the sale.

Will you be taking advantage of this wonderful sample sale? Feel free to share photos of your haul from the sale with us.

Must-Have Fashion from the Belldini 2016 Fall-Holiday Collection

It’s the season of cozy sweaters and chic knits. Welcome to the fall season, and the stylish fashion offerings from the Belldini 2016 Fall-Holiday Collection. Just as the leaves change, so must your wardrobe. Not familiar with the fashion brand? The LA-based Belldini offers a variety of women’s sweaters, cardigans, knits, leggings and more in both standard and plus sizes. The Belldini 2016 Fall-Holiday Collection is teeming with the season’s hottest, must-have trends – Colorblocking, Black and Silver, Menswear-Inspired Silhouettes, and Metallic Accents.

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Popular pieces from the Belldini 2016 Fall-Holiday Collection include the Carla Colorblock Mock Neck Cardigan (also available in plus size), a long sleeve dual colored cardigan with dazzling black studs and rhinestone zipper; the plush Faux-fur Vest with knit back that’s perfect for layering over any top, sweater, or jacket; the menswear-inspired Plaid Coatigan, a coat cardigan hybrid with detachable black faux fur collar, and our favorite item, the Belldini Nikki Duster, a long sleeved, frayed open duster with fringe at bottom hem. Another favorite, which sadly isn’t available yet is the Contrast Color Double Knit Draped Open Cardigan, an elegant black cardigan with contrasting red, ivory, or cobalt trim. Key details from the collection include round grommets, studs, and rhinestones, lacing, cutouts, and asymmetrical hemlines.

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belldini-nikki-cardigan

The great style options are not the only wonderful things from Belldini. The contemporary fashion label’s plus size offerings (the size range goes up to 3X) are just as chic and fashionable as the looks from their standard sizes. Take for instance the below Ombre Lurex Cold-Shoulder Pullover with contrasting front shadow stripes. The cold shoulder trend is still a hot one and you’ll find many options of this trend throughout the Belldini 2016 Fall-Holiday Collection.

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Plus size fashionistas will also love the Laura Draped Cardigan with sequin yard edge and matching tank top, and the Lurex Crossover Cowl Neck Pullover featuring grommet details on the hem and sleeve cuffs.

There’s so much more to love from the Belldini 2016 Fall-Holiday Collection, we advise to to visit www.belldini.com and get acquainted with the fashion brand.

JCPenney & Ashley Nell Tipton Launch Boutique+ Plus-Size Fashion

JCPenney has just made two major moves in plus size fashion. The retail giant introduces Boutique+ Plus-Size Fashion, its first-ever plus-size fashion brand designed exclusively for full-figured women, and an all‐new, plus size in‐store concept. JCPenney teamed up with Project Runway Season 14 Winner Ashley Nell Tipton, who will serve as Boutique+’s brand ambassador and design two capsule collections for the plus-size fashion brand, to welcome the new initiatives. The launch was celebrated with a runway show at JCPenney’s Manhattan Hall location hosted by Ashley Nell Tipton.

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Check out video of her welcome message to attendees below:

The new Boutique+ Plus-Size Fashion and lifestyle collection is designed for the fashion minded millennial shopper and was conceived and created by a dedicated team of JCPenney design, trend and product experts who ensure the colors, prints, and fabrics of Boutique+’s fashion offerings flatter and fit curvy silhouettes.

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The Boutique+ clothing brand made its debut in 500 stores and on jcp.com May 1st and offers everything from maxi dresses, skirts, jeans, trousers, tops, jackets, etc. As the first designer to present a plus-size collection during the Project Runway finale, Ashley Nell Tipton is the perfect advocate to provide expertise plus-size style for the millennial woman.

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This season, Boutique+ collection features avant-garde styles inspired by the ‘70s, including femme tops and dresses infused with floral and paisley prints and vintage denim, some of which can be seen in the runway show pictures above. Trendy fashion pieces include fringe tanks, tiered blouses and pleated skirts ranging in sale price from $12.99 for a top to $39.99 for a jacket. In addition to introducing the Boutique+ brand of clothing, JCPenney also debuts “The Boutique”, their plus size fashion in‐store concept, in nearly 200 of their retail locations offering feminine silhouettes, edgy patterns, and bold colors.

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The Boutique boasts a display of plus-size mannequins to show how various outfits complement a curvy figure and features a curated assortment of classic and modern, plus-size fashions from brands such as a.n.a, Boutique+, Liz Claiborne, Worthington, Alyx, and Bisou Bisou. Shoppers should expect casual sportswear, denim, and activewear, as well as a collection of handbags, fashion jewelry, and accessories from this one-stop shopping destination.

For fall and holiday, Ashley will introduce an exclusive JCPenney capsule collection, “Ashley Nell Tipton for Boutique+,” marking the first time that her designs have been made available by a national retailer.

Frangi Pangi: Ultra-Sheer Pantyhose for Women of Every Color

As any woman of color will tell you, the available “nude colors” do not include options for darker skin tones. Thankfully there have been some great strides into adding all shades of nude into items women use every day. We’ve seen some makeup and footwear brands expanding their nude color ranges but there are still more products that can make use of this increase range of colors. One such product is hosiery, where the typical nude color on a woman of color is more than just laughable, it’s ridiculous; but thanks to the luxury brand, Frangi Pangi Hosiery, that will no longer be an issue.

Fringe Pangi Hosiery Fringe Pangi Colors

Frangi Pangi (named after the Hawaiian Lei flower whose petals bloom in a variety of colors) is a luxury hosiery brand that is like a concealer for your legs. This made in the USA brand of ultra-sheer pantyhose is designed for women of every color, by Jocelyn Maminta, herself a woman of color. Frangi Pangi Hosiery comes in 10 varied skin tones as well as an opaque black, with its legwear colors named after exotic fruits and spices, such as Lychee, Guava, Saffron, Sumatra, Arabica, etc, representing the variety of shades of women. Frangi Pangi boasts a “no-run” guarantee and features a comfortable control top, and sandal toe.

Fringe Pangi Hosiery on Model

If that wasn’t enough of a reason for women to get excited about this hosiery brand, Frangi Pangi’s pantyhose sizes range from A through 2X or six feet tall and through 275 pounds (knee-highs and thigh-highs up to size 5X are coming soon). Jocelyn Maminta believes women of all colors should have quality hosiery meets their high expectations for fashion, comfort, color and convenience, without costing a fortune.

But wait, there’s still more to love from Frangi Pangi Hosiery! Profits from the sale of Frangi Pangi Ultra-Sheer pantyhose will support Caroline’s Room, a family foundation named in memory of Caroline Marie Doyens who was born too early and
lived for only two months, that provides a safe haven for more than 50,000 families a year who lose babies at birth from complications of premature birth.

Could this range of ultra-sheer pantyhose fill the nude color void in your life? Get to know more about Frangi Pangi Hosiery and its 10 varied skin tone shades on www.myfrangipangi.com.

Wear Your Curves Proudly | City Chic’s Spring 2015 Collection

We hate begin this post by saying we’re highlighting some stunning plus size fashion from City Chic for Spring 2015. We’d much rather say today we’re showing some very chic, sexy, and glamorously bold spring 2015 looks, which just happens to be for the plus size fashionista….because that’s exactly what they are. Ladies, if you have some bodacious curves, you definitely need to read on for some fun, fashionable, and fearless spring fashions for this fab fashion label. Whether you’re looking for some stunning dresses, chic separates, or sensual intimate apparel or swimwear, you need the stylish offerings from City Chic.

Are you in need of some fab day dresses? Perhaps some stylish festival looks, or some spring/summer staples. There are so many fab options to love from City Chic. We are head over heels over all the belted options, whether they be maxi dresses, short dresses, or jumpsuits. A skinny belt adds an even higher level of sophistication to these great looks. We’re dreaming of having the bold red with black trim maxi, the stunning navy flared dresses with red belts, and the red and black floral jumpsuit in our closet now.

The aptly named City Chic is bursting with incredible looks for spring, you may find yourself looking to replace everything in your closet with these great pieces. You may also find that your friends that are not shapely or voluptuous will seethe with envy that these great spring looks are not available in their size.

City Chic wonderfully proves that just because you’re a size 14 and up, you don’t have to give up on having a chic wardrobe. We hope you’re already a fan of the brand and you’re aware of all of these stunning pieces, but if you aren’t, welcome to your new favorite label ladies.

What are your favorite looks from City Chic’s Spring 2015 Collection?

Celebrate Your Curves with these Plus Size Holiday Fashions from Ashley Stewart

To welcome the holiday season, trendy, plus size fashion favorite, Ashley Stewart, recently held an event to celebrate all things holiday fashion. The event featured a fashion show highlighting the full-figured fashion brand’s must-have holiday styles for women sizes 12-26. Media attendees were invited to learn about all things Ashley Stewart and meet with CEO, James Rhee, before all attendees were treated to holiday bites and cocktails, a live performance by Rasheeda Wallace, and the event’s music, provided by DJ Flyy Grl.

The fashion show featured red hot holiday day and evening looks (see video of the models walking the fashion show’s finale below). Chic separates, stylish dresses, a fabulous cape we’d kill for, and contemporary looks walked down the makeshift runway at the Harlem location to a boisterous crowd of attendees. Favorite styles included the Gold Foil Deep V HiLo Peplum Dress, Ruffled Colorblock Dress, Contrast Trim Cape, and a Liquid Gold Knot Waist Dress, all of which are featured below.

When it comes to curvy girl style, Ashley Stewart has everything a fashion-loving, plus size woman needs and wants to celebrate her curves and show off her fashion sense. That night, waists were cinched, curves were celebrated and style was in high regard at Ashley Stewart.

If you do have a plus size fashionista in your life, be sure to gift her with one of these fabulous fashion finds you see above or treat her to a gift certificate, so she can find her favorites. Enjoy the show’s finale below: