Rock on Joy! I love your characters, your wardrobe and I especially love what you say!
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Full figure women frequently ask my advice on how to determine whether an outfit will fit them from just looking at a picture. You can make some smart decisions about an outfit based on some basic research that can found right on the website where you are shopping.
In my previous post I counseled on the importance of knowing your body measurements. Now that we've made friends with our body shape ("upper arm, meet centimeter....centimeter, meet upper arm") it's important to know the specific measurements, cut and shape of that dress with the too-die-for embroidery that you are contemplating.
Every clothing website should have a link to their size chart. There you will find measurements that are equal to a specific size. If a website represents different designers, like alight.com does, then you have a great opportunity to compare the cut and shape of the same size of different items. It's a good idea to compare each designer because the measurements may vary.
Other factors in determining the drape of a dress are: the weave of the fabric, the way the fabric is cut, the placement of the seams, and the stitches used on those seams.
Look carefully at the pictures to see where the seams are and then look at your wardrobe. Do you have anything cut in a similar way already hanging there? Look at items that you have bought from the same designer. The chances are good that a similar template is used to create the entire line. For instance, an a-line dress with princess seams by Catherines will fit you differently than an a-line dress from Torrid.com
Now that we are intimate with the particulars of our inches, and we have become acquainted with the cut, design and shape of the dress, whether or not that cute little dress with the sequins is going to look fabby on your body still must be determined by your own shape.
Look at two women who are the same height and weight but one is a pear shape and the other a triangle. One will be fuller on top and the other wider on the bottom. The dress will drape differently on each woman. If it doesn't fit then just move-on to another designer.
It's truly wonderful that so many plus size clothing designers are using plus size models. How else would I be able to figure out if that daring dress with the plunging neckline from SizeAppeal.com is going to hug my girls, or will they pop out on the dance floor while bumping and griding unless I can see the dress on a model built like I'm built? By the way, this actually happened to me once to the delight of my partner. I was wearing a dress that a friend, an aspiring clothing designer, had made for me. We both learned important lessons that night about how clothes fit!
In fact, almost everything I wear I bought online. I even bought my wedding dress online from the Lane Bryant Bridal Boutique. It fit perfectly and there were no unexpected surprises. Well, except for how amazingly chilly it got that day for our outdoor ceremony!
Many websites now offer free shipping so you may want to have your new wardrobe delivered to your home where you can comfortably try on clothes in privacy.
Friday, March 23, 2007
I wear a size 16 plus and I do most of my clothes shopping online. I have learned to make decisions about clothing based on (what I consider to be) the four main clothing categories – size, fit, style and price. I make an informed decision mostly with information that I can find on the website and some common sense.
Some women might think that if you wear a plus size that it will be harder for you to shop for clothes online than it would be for someone wearing a smaller size. I would suggest that a woman wearing a smaller size will have to confront the exact same issues about finding clothes that fit.
Over the next few days let’s discuss some tips for online clothes shopping beginning with:
Every clothing line has their own system for sizing their clothes. This is only true for women’s clothes as men’s clothing sizes are pretty much standard. A man can walk into any men’s clothing store and a 40 Regular is going to fit the same in any state in the country.
Why would this be the case? There are many reasons and mostly they have to do with marketing. If a woman wears a smaller “size” in one clothing label than she probably will buy that line of clothes instead of the brand where she wears a larger “size.” This is just smoke and mirrors to distract you from the other three factors which are really much more important:
- How that outfit fits your body
- How the style flatters your body and
- Your self-image in that outfit is the most important thing to consider when buying clothes.
So get out that tape measure ladies and get to know your curves. Celebrate those luscious inches. Shout your cup size from the rooftops. Take those hips out dancing.
The size on the label is really of no importance. You’ll cut out the tag the second you get home anyway...right?