As a larger sized person, I have to admit – I hate clothes shopping. I know, I feel like I’m betraying all woman-hood when I say that, but it’s true. I hate going from shop to shop and finding nice clothes only to discover that they’re 3 sizes too small for me. Or when I find something in my size, it’s drab, shapeless and dowdy. Or makes me look like a man. Or ninety. And then there’s the awful, torturous act of trying on clothes. The booths are always over-heated, the clothes always too small, and even when you can find something that fits you, and is in a nice colour and doesn’t cost an arm, three legs and your first-born – turns out it looks dreadful on you, and the search begins again.
And I have to say, trying on clothes in a tiny, over-heated booth listening to distorted music flowing from the boom-boom speakers cleverly positioned in the ceiling so you can’t escape them, and staring at my too-large body in one bad outfit after another is actually almost Number One on my list of things I Never Want To Do Again For The Rest Of My Life.
Fortunately, online shopping has changed all that. I can now browse through a catalogue at my leisure, whenever I have five minutes (rather than spending an entire, exhausting day on it) and pick and choose as I wish. I can order in my size – find out quickly if they even have my size – and try the clothes on in the privacy of my own home, rather than in a shop where I have to keep asking the assistant if it comes in a yet bigger size. If what I order doesn’t fit, then I can return it.
Of course, online shopping does have its downside – you can’t feel the fabric, you can’t hold something up against yourself to see if it’s really you, and there’s always the concern about returns and whether the online shop is trustworthy. But on the whole, I think the good outweighs the bad.
Here are a few online clothes shops I think are worth a visit.
It’s On The Plus Side – This isn’t couture, but they do have some very nice everyday clothes. I particularly like some
of their swimwear (although it’s a small collection) and my favourite is the fact that they do boots. I really love that you can get the b
oots in a wider calf size – which is perfect for me given I don’t wear boots because I have … well, you get the idea.
Dream Diva – These are beautiful clothes that celebrate the beauty of women, no matter their size. I really like these clothes as they aren’t just designed for women who are pear-shaped, but also apple-shaped. They’re very pretty and you feel pretty wearing them.
Alight – has been around since 1999 and is located in the US. Their clothing is very reasonably priced – but I find the website somewhat off-putting as the dresses section is modelled entirely on the same half-mannequin. In the cocktail dress section, most of the dresses are modelled by very slim women, or mannequins that look as though they were originally designed for the sex industry because they have tiny waists and enormous breasts!
Always For Me – is filled with swimwear, lingerie and workout wear. And this stuff is very nice indeed. I particularly like their exercise wear that takes differences sizes and shapes into account.
Cherished Woman – is more suited to the mature woman, and although the site does look a little beige and dull, when you look at the clothing, a lot of it is actually very nice and would certainly suit a range of body shapes and sizes.
These are just a few of those available. I’ll post more soon.