Fashion Quest: Finding Plus Size Clothing in D.C.
by ATFDC Contributor Dionna Humphrey
I was pretty stoked about writing for ATFDC as the new plus size contributor, so excited that I found myself formulating thoughts for my first post in the most random places (bus stop, shower, Whole Foods). After submitting my piece, the staff reached out to me and said in essence one thing was missing from my first post- resources in D.C. Oops. In my defense, the great city of D.C. is, well, great, but largely devoid of big box retailers—which leaves plus size fashiontonians with few options if you don’t want to go to the burbs. But where to go?
Then it came to me: TJ Maxx. I hadn’t been since it opened a few months ago in Metro Center, so I figured I was going to put myself to the challenge and explore the racks to see what I could find.
Discount retailers like TJ Maxx are a good place to go to find stylish clothes on a small budget. But I was worried with what I would find for plus size items. Even outside the city, these types of stores tend to have options and are a little, um, old fashion, shapeless & wrought with bedazzle in all the wrong places. Sadly, my fears were realized. They only had 3 end racks of plus size options!! This was a mission that looked as though it would have no happy ending.
But as I looked closer, I saw a few pieces that caught my eye—and were right on trend for fall. And I managed to find pieces that went well together & with a limited budget. Armed with a pair of BCBG nude heels I spotted in the shoe section, off to the dressing room I went.
Outfit #1- Day
At first glance I noticed there weren’t a ton of bottoms. But they did have a pair of wine colored pair of ankle pants ($24.99) that I thought were super cute & and a great color for fall. I’m 5’3 so they weren’t ankle on me, but I’m not always a fan of ankle pants anyway so that worked perfectly. I found a cream shell from Lafayette 148 ($39.99) and a fun cocoon sweater to add to the look because it was too cheap to pass up ($19.99). Here’s how that turned out:
Outfit #2- Night
Every girl needs a good dress to wear for date night or a night out with the girls. Luckily I snagged one (the ONLY dress they had) off the shelf from Tahari ($54.99). I loved the print but I wasn’t sure how I felt about the collar, but once I put it on I found it to be much more chic than it looked on the hanger.
Outfit #3- Work
I’m a big fan of animal print. So I did a little happy dance when I saw a super cute python print Calvin Klein skirt ($24.99) which I knew would go well with the cream colored shell I picked p. Because of my short frame I tend to wear skirts high waist, and even still this skirt was too long for me (and too big but they didn’t have my size). Still, with a bit of tailoring, this skirt can be amazing. Photo 3 (ATFDC TJMaxx- Work)
So how much would all these outfits cost? $200.00 (including the shoes!) I was able to stick to a really decent budget, and found some cute pieces. I won’t lie; it was a challenge to pull these looks together with such limited selection. But I also believe that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just the plus size section. Do a bit of digging and you may be able to find some super cute pieces in the ‘straight sizes’ section. It’s always worth a peek.
Next time you’re on a lunch break it’s worth a trip to see what they’ve got.
All images by Dionna Humphrey for All Things Fashion DC
Dionna Humphrey is the owner of Body Conscious Beauty, a style consulting company serving the Washington, D.C. area. Body Conscious Beauty styles women of all sizes, including plus size beauties. For more information visit us online at www.bodyconsciousbeauty.com