5 Curvy Gals Share Their Shopping Secrets

While the fashion industry is inundated with images of towering, pin-thin, brooding women, the majority of America doesn’t resemble Kate Moss and Karlie Kloss (despite just how carefully you pick out those Calvins or how often you work at your abs). 

But one of the most encouraging things about the Internet-run industry we live in today is that some of the influential personalities, the most inspiring fashion experts, and the most stylish, too boot, are women who haven’t been cherry-picked based on the circumference of their waist or distance between their eyes, but rather their wit, their taste, and the way they make fashion feel like we all own it. 

Consequentially, these women also look a whole lot like the rest of America. Call them plus-size bloggers or full-figured fashion stars, but we consider them just sartorial geniuses, pure and simple. We’ve asked five of our curvy-girl friends to spill on their personal style secrets and shopping tips for navigating a sea of muumuus.

1-a

Gabi Gregg 

Tell us about your outfit! What are you wearing?
“To be completely honest, I was traveling during this shoot and had to put together a look from the random things I happen to throw in my suitcase. On a day-to-day basis, I’m a pretty casual girl and my go-to outfit is a skinny pant and jacket of some sort. I love the combination of mustard and denim, so I decided to go with these skinnies from Forever21 and a thrifted, denim button-down. The jacket is Forever21, too (can you tell I love shopping on a budget?). I couldn’t get over how great the fit and details were for the price. Chic flats are definitely my favorite option when it comes to running around Manhattan; these are by Dolce Vita. My necklace? Surprise! F21. The Stella & Dot spiked bracelet is one of my never-take-off pieces.”

 1-b

What’s your go-to styling trick you constantly employ?
“Throw a leather jacket or structured blazer over anything.” 

What are your favorite online and brick-and-mortar stores to shop at? Do you have any tips for plus-size girls who want on-trend items without spending a fortune?
ASOS Curve is every fashion-savvy, plus-size girl’s favorite store. It constantly offers good quality, on-trend pieces that most brands wouldn’t take a chance producing in plus sizes. ASOS gets that even though we’re bigger, we want the same options as everyone else. I also like eloquii by The Limited for classic cuts, and F21H&M, and Topshop are my favorite places to run into and grab last-minute outfits. (Topshop doesn’t offer plus-size, but I buy things that work for my body).”

1-c

Is there a designer (indie or otherwise!) that’s doing plus-size clothing really well right now?
Jibri is one of my favorite independent designers.Monif C consistently has really great curve-conscious dresses. Gisela Ramirez is an absolutely amazing indie Australian designer, and I almost don’t want to mention her name because I want to keep her all to myself, but I won’t! I also love that some straight-size brands like, T-Bags LAand Lafayette148, are making beautiful pieces in plus, too. Mynt1792 is a relatively new brand that’s offering some great stuff.”

1-d

What’s your most worn item in your closet?
“Boyfriend jeans! I wear them year round, and think they look just as great with a T-shirt and flats as they do with heels.” 

Any cheap scores of late?
“The jacket and necklace pictured here!” 

What’s one trend you’d never try?
“I’ll try almost anything once, honestly. I think that’s half the fun. I do hate most maxi-skirts/dresses though! (There’s the rare exception.)”

2-a

Nicolette Mason 

Tell us about your outfit! What are you wearing?
“A little leather, a little whimsy — this is a pretty typical on-the-go outfit for me! The sweater is the infamous Opening Ceremony cat sweater, the skirt is a leather number via ASOS Curve that I’m pretty obsessed with, and the jacket is also ASOS Curve. The opaque tights are from Spanx — I’m not really a fan of shapewear, but they’re the best, most durable, opaque tights I’ve ever found. The little booties are from Evans, and have been my shoe uniform for running around lately.” 

What’s your go-to styling trick you constantly employ?
“I’m a big fan of a skinny belt at the waist. I’m extremely top heavy, so the belt is a good way to emphasize the fact that I do, actually, have a waist — not that you can tell in this outfit! I think a common mistake girls make is to go with a belt — but have it be the wrong proportion and sitting in the wrong place. If a belt is three inches wide, it probably doesn’t belong directly below your boobs! “

2-b

What are your favorite online and brick-and-mortar stores to shop at? Do you have any tips for plus-size girls who want on-trend items without spending a fortune?
“Without a doubt, ASOS is probably the one shop that gets the largest percentage of my income. SimplyBe.com also has an enormous, varied collection. High-end-wise, I’m a Net-A-Porter addict! I’m a big believer in trying things on regardless of the size on the tag; some of my favorite and most worn pieces are from Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, and McQueen. You just never know what will fit.” 

“Brick and mortar, I love hitting up H&M; it has a small plus-size collection, H&M+, and though it is only available in a few locations, some of my recent favorites (like a very Stella McCartney-esque polka-dot top) have come from there. I think the best way to get the most mileage (and best looks) out of trendy fast fashion is to invest, wherever possible, in well-fitting basics. For some, this might mean an inexpensive or thrifted pair of pants that is tailored to fit perfectly. It really does upgrade the whole look!”

2-c

Is there a designer (indie or otherwise!) that’s doing plus-size clothing really well right now? Any designers you want to call out that are doing a particular poor job? 
“I rather focus on who is doing it well than dwelling on the negative, but I do think a lot of the big design houses that have dabbled in plus could allocate a bit more to producing designs at the same quality as their main, 0-12 ranges. There are so many fabulous indie designers and brands making waves right now. I love, loveCarmakoma — they’re a Danish design duo that makes really killer, high-quality clothes. I also love Domino DollhouseGisela Ramirez,Monif C17 Sundays, and I love the Clements Ribeiro collaboration with Evans. When it comes to on-trend denim, NYDJ hasn’t failed me yet — and the fit is excellent!”

2-d

What’s your most worn item in your closet?
“Without a doubt, a leather jacket I picked up at Topshop during its sale a couple of years ago. I snagged it for under $60! As long as the weather complies, it’s my second skin.” 

Any cheap scores of late?
“Not necessarily cheap, but certainly a bargain: a brand-new, silk Marc Jacobs Collection skirt that I picked up at a vintage store in Connecticut for $70. The tag is marked a size 6 — further proving my claims that size numbers are often irrelevant.” 

What’s one trend you’d never try?
“Sweatpants will always be a hard sell on me, no matter who is making them or how “fancy” they purportedly look with a pump. I’ll reserve those for the gym.”

3-a

Nadia Aboulhosn 

Tell us about your outfit! What are you wearing?
“I am wearing a blue boohoo.com peplum dress with Matiko Fleur heels. I really love all the structure going on in this outfit.”

3-b

What’s your go-to styling trick you constantly employ?
“Peplum pieces and cinched waists. These two tricks can really add extra curves to your figure. Both really flatter practically any shape.”

3-c

What are your favorite online and brick-and-mortar stores to shop at? Do you have any tips for plus-size girls who want on-trend items without spending a fortune?
“My favorite online plus-size companies areiheartposhshoppe.com and ASOS Curve. I shop for basic items that I know I can pair with different pieces, which ultimately makes for more outfits. Also shopping the sale section really pays off.” 

Is there a designer (indie or otherwise!) that’s doing plus-size clothing really well right now?
“My all-time favorite designer who offers plus-size isTadashi Shoji. He always makes such fairy-like designs that are flattering for so many shapes.”

3-d

What’s your most worn item in your closet?
“My ’80s Wilson leather, broad-shoulder jacket and my lion door-knocker earrings.” 

Any cheap scores of late?
“Yes! I found an ’80s-like military style jacket that’s perfect for fall from a consignment shop uptown.” 

What’s one trend you’d never try?
“Ugg boots.”

4-a

Marcy Guevara

Tell us about your outfit! What are you wearing?
“I am wearing a Queen Grace dress with a Deepa Gurnani necklace and a Nissa ring.” 

What’s your go-to styling trick you constantly employ?
“I have a little kit I try to keep with me at all times. It includes a sewing kit, one Shout wipe, a few pieces of fabric tape (double sided), a couple safety pins and — voilà! — I’m covered in a pinch! It comes in handy in over 90% of my fashion emergencies and allows me to save the day for my friends.”

4-b

What are your favorite online and brick-and-mortar stores to shop at? Do you have any tips for plus-size girls who want on-trend items without spending a fortune?
“For shopping online, I love Sonsi andOneStopPlus; they have so many brands in one place and are super easy to surf and shop! As far as brick and mortar, I love the fact that girls can physically walk into a store and shop. When I was in high school, there was only one plus-size store and my mom shopped there, so I was embarrassed to go in and wouldn’t dare invite a friend in to help me shop! I love Fashion to Figure and Torrid. Macy’s always has great items and fabulous sales. I’m a simple girl, so of course I love frills and hitting my local Bloomie’s, but the reality of my pocketbook strikes, and off to Nordstrom Rack I go. Style is about having the eye to spot items that are classic, on trend, or one of a kind, and make them your own. It is no longer exclusive, and you can find awesome pieces that are affordable, too.”

4-c

Is there a designer (indie or otherwise!) that’s doing plus-size clothing really well right now? Any designers you want to call out that are doing a particular poor job?
“I hate playing favorites because I appreciate diversity for the plus-size shopper so much. A couple newcomers to the scene that I am excited about are Blacklisted Couture17 Sundays, and Cult of California.” 

What’s your most worn item in your closet?
“Oooh! This is a tough one! Right now, I am loving sheer blouses and wearing the hell out of mine. I absolutely can’t live without my Stiletto Skinnies from Torrid and I am a total shoe whore. My fave pair of cage heeled Stuart Weitzmans I got last spring will definately be making a cameo this Winter! Gotta love California’s weather!”

4-d

Any cheap scores of late?
“For cheap scores I love Bellatrix and Forever21. Sometimes, Forever is hit or miss, but generally speaking, for fast fashion I can usually count on them to find something fun. I also got a sweet faux leather jacket I’m obsessed with from Wilson’s for $70! 

What’s one trend you’d never try?
“I am super into oxfords and loafers but with a size 11 foot, I am steering clear (at least for now). Like Sarah Jessica Parker once said, ‘I will try anything for Carrie and I will try anything for me.’ I feel the same way. Go be bold, take chances, life is short — be fabulous!”

5-a

Liz Black

Tell us about your outfit! What are you wearing?
“I”m wearing an H&M floral skirt, an Old Navy leopard-print top, Jeffery Campbell shoes, and a Patricia Field clutch.” 

What’s your go-to styling trick you constantly employ?
“I am not a minimalist, and I really believe more is more. I make sure my accessories are on point, so even my most ‘basic’ outfit stands out. Also, owning a properly fitting bra is so important, and being that a lot of plus-size women are well endowed, I encourage them to go get professionally fit. The right bra will change your entire shape.”

5-b

What are your favorite online and brick-and-mortar stores to shop at? Do you have any tips for plus-size girls who want on-trend items without spending a fortune?
“Brick-and-mortar stores (plus-size specific and non) can be hit or miss. Some of my favorite wardrobe pieces have come from Lane Bryant(vegan leather leggings) & Avenue (tribal print pants), but I tend to walk out of there empty-handed more often than not. I also always seem to find something great at Old Navy (they go up to an 18 & XXL in stores). 

“My absolute online favorite is ASOS. Their plus-size collection is a perfect example of how other straight-size stores can keep their same design aesthetic as they increase their size range. Plus-size women want to be able to wear the same exact things that straight-size women wear, and ASOS gets that.” 

“Finding fashion-forward plus-size clothes is still a challenge, but improvements are being made. You can definitely find trendy items that won’t cost an arm and a leg, but it will be time consuming. I suggest ‘window shopping’ options online to come up with what style and trends you like before wandering through the mall. And don’t limit yourself to plus-size specific stores; plenty of straight-size clothes can fit you, too, especially if they use stretch material. Maybe that dress is more of a tunic on you, but you can make it work.”

5-c

Is there a designer (indie or otherwise!) that’s doing plus-size clothing really well right now? Any designers you want to call out that are doing a particular poor job?
“There are a lot of great indie plus-size designers that I’m a fan of. Cult of Californiadamn you alexisAshley Nell TiptonYoutheary Khmer, and OneOne3 are some of the newest lines to cross my path, and I’m very excited to see how they grow. 

“I love H&M, but I’m so disappointed in their plus-size collection. Its regular collection is filled with unique, trendy, fashion-forward items, but the plus-size collection is filled with shapeless, baggy blouses and basics. I’m thrilled it expanded into larger sizes, but I know it can do better than what’s available now.”

5-d

What’s your most worn item in your closet?
“There are so many go-to items I own… Either my olive-and-black, contrast-sleeve coat, my perfectly worn-in denim shirt from Target, my nOir Brooklyn Bridge ring, or my black suede Urban Outfitters booties.” 

Any cheap scores of late?
“I bought an insane tiger shirt at Walmart for $10! Seen here on my blog.” 

What’s one trend you’d never try?
“You always hear that plus-size women shouldn’t wear stripes, bright colors, white, body-con fits, etc., but I think those rules should be completely ignored. I’m going to wear whatever trends and styles I like, and wear them with confidence.”

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