Ida’s Great “Idea” – Fashion For Everyone
by ATFDC Contributor Dionna Humphrey
I went to grab a quick bite to eat at lunch and on the way, I passed Ida’s Idea boutique on 7th Street NW in Gallery Place. I had been in there some years ago for a fashion event, but it’s been a while so I decided to stop by on my way back to the office. I’m really glad I did because I found some great pieces I wanted to share with you!
Before Ida’s Idea was born 30 years ago, Ida Lewis-Polite was a clothing buyer in New York. So she knows her stuff. Inside the shop is an eclectic array of fashion that will suit a number of bodies and ages. I asked Ida if the store carried plus size and what she explained to me was that, while they do have some items labeled as ‘plus’, the clothing they offer is suited for women of all shapes and sizes—regardless of what the size on the label size. I am definitely liking this store.
Poking around the racks, I immediately found some items I wanted to try on, none of which were labeled as plus. The first thing that caught my attention was this very simple, black batwing dress so I grabbed that off the rack. As I started digging around I found a few more pieces to try on, including an original Roberto Cavalli! Ida was kind enough to point out some other options to try on, which to me is the kind of customer service that is rare these days. I liked just about everything that I tried on, but these pieces stood out for me:
I saw a few pieces from California designer Bryn Walker that I thought great and looked like were cut with a generous fit. This black batwing dress was one that really caught my eye (on sale for $149). The cut of the dress was very figure-flattering and also very comfortable. You can pair with a chunky statement necklace and wear with boots or heels.
I almost passed this dress up but went back to take a closer look. Did I mention it was Cavalli? Yes, not a lot of couture designer options for curvy girls so I had to try it on to see if it fit. Success! If you have an evening event or a wedding to go to, this dress is perfect. I loved the color and the shape. It was also on sale for $369! As tempting as it was to have an original Cavalli I have no where to wear it so I decided to pass it up- you should definitely stop by and try it on for yourself.
Finally, I’ve been shopping for a shaggy vest and this one (available in charcoal gray and red) was just about perfect. The sizing on the tag was L, but as you can see it fits my curvy frame just as it should.
On top of the great designs (did I mention she also sells jewelry?) and top notch customer service, it was the philosophy of the store that I loved most. I’ve said this before and it’s worth saying again—don’t close yourself off to ‘straight sizes’. As a fellow curvy fashiontonian, I know it can be a challenge to find cute, well-made, fashion forward options in D.C. But this cozy boutique is one of those places where, just because something isn’t labeled plus size doesn’t mean it won’t fit.
You can see some of what Ida’s shop has to offer on her website, but I recommend you stop in to take a look around for yourself. Just do me a favor and leave one of those black dresses for me, I’m certain it’s meant to be in my closet!
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.