My Favorite Fashion Finds
by ATFDC Contributor Dionna Humphrey
I always get a lot of questions about where I shop, who are my favorite retailers, what my fashion secrets are, etc. Whenever I think about this question, I am reminded that all of my favorite fashion resources are online. As curvy fashiontonians, there are not enough resources to go to in D.C. So while I continue to find and patronize stores in the area, I have some online standbys that I always go to. So I thought I would share some of my favorites with you!
I must say a lot of my favorites are NOT based in the US. Having only visited Europe, I can’t say how curvy women are viewed, but it’s clear that a lot of the creativity and willingness to push fashion boundaries for plus size clothing is coming from Europe. So its not surprising that some of my top favorites happen to be European retailers.
ASOS is one of those favs. I was SO excited to see a feature in this month’s Lucky Magazine about plus size fashion (first time!), and even happier that ASOS was on that list. ASOS (a British retailer) is not a new to the fashion business, but their CURVE collection is only a few years new. Ever since I discovered it I’ve been obsessed. Their clothing is sexy and cutting edge, and a lot of their styles are virtually similar to what they offer in their straight size line. In the past year they also rolled out a couple of new features making the shopping experience in the US even better- the ability to buy in US currency and even quicker FREE shipping! I just purchased this dress as a birthday gift to myself and I cannot wait until it arrives! Things to note: If you are short like me, be aware that their pant lengths are long. I’ve had to return every pair of pants I’ve purchased because of the length. The other thing is you should look at not just the number size, but the actual measurements. I have to size down on most ASOS pieces because the measurements are different than US measurements.
Continuing with the British fashion invasion, another one of my favorites is Evans. I’ve discovered them in the last couple of years and I am loving a lot of what they have to offer. A lot of their clothing is very much on trend, and they’ve also rolled out a fashion collaboration with fashion designer Clements Ribeiro, which is chic and sexy and so unique- a rare quality in plus size fashion. This past spring I purchased a pair of floral print pants from this collection (a trend which has continued in the fall which I’m uber excited about) and I love them (pic).
They too recently rolled out a US site for customers which saves $ on conversion. Shipping is free with a purchase of $50 or more (new feature!!) which is a great incentive top shop. Things to note: The length- again. I have this problem with a lot of retailers being 5’3, but I’ve noticed that, unlike some places where I can get away with wearing some pants scrunched at the bottom, the lengths on these pants required major hemming. So if you’re short, be prepared to pay additional to have them hemmed. I did have an issue with customer service with my first order which was very frustrating, but from recent experiences its sounds like they are working on it. Finally, their return policy is only 14 days. So you don’t have a lot of time to think about it whether you like your item or not.
Making our way back to the US, one of my favorite newer places to shop is a brand called Fashion to Figure. And they just opened up a store in PG Plaza! If I could use two words to describe this retailer it would be affordable and sexy. As if that wasn’t enough to entice you, the clothing is also pretty decent quality! They keep up with current trends in their clothing as well as offer a lot of pieces that don’t’ subscribe to any particular trends but are most definitely fashion forward (I purchased my first back out top from FTF). I purchased this blazer in cream and it has become one of my wardrobe staples. Things to note: They sell out of stuff, and quickly. If you see it online, don’t pass it up. You may come back two days later and it’s gone. I know, it’s happened to me many times. If you can hop on metro to PG Plaza (the store is near the Macys), check the store out because they have more in store than they do online—and often the same style in multiple colors that may not be featured online. One other thing to note regarding the sizing: some items feel like junior plus. Which is not exactly the same size as most curvy fashiontonians may be accustomed to. So before you assume you’ve gained weight or the cut is off, just be prepared for that.
Last but most certainly not least, one retailer I am constantly drooling over is Jibri. I cannot say enough about this brand!. The designer herself describes Jibri as ‘a perfect combination of high fashion chic and urban street sleek’ which I couldn’t describe it any better myself. The silhouettes, the colors, the bold figure embracing styles—this retailer is EVERYTHING. Her fall 2012 collection Addicted! is my favorite since discovering Jibri, and from this high waist faux leather skirt I think you can see why. Things to note: in addition to the high fashion options Jibri offers, she will also do custom sizing for FREE. For a lot of us that tend to fall in between sizes, this is a big bonus. Also they often have sample sales so be on the look out for those!
I could go on but I’ll stop there. I hope I’ve added a few more places for you to bookmark for future use! For more options, contact me and I’ll share a few more of my trade secrets!