Top 15 Online Places to Find Plus-Size Clothing Inspiration
Whenever I am shopping online, it really helps to be able to see clothing that I like on a model that is similar to my size. If a model is shapely, but doesn’t have all the lumps and bumps I have, all it does it sell me on the “idea” of the clothing, but doesn’t really clue me in on whether or not that something will look good on me. Sometimes, I can tell by the cut if the garment will flatter my figure or not. Other times, not so much. On those occasions when I can’t tell, I’m guilty of having a Tim Gunn moment of trying to “make it work.” Let’s face it though, not everything looks good on every shape.
I’ve found a couple of go-to places that actually help me figure out how things will look. These are my top 15 ways of figuring out what will work and what won’t.
- Plus-Size Fashion Bloggers
Bloggers are golden. There are a lot of really good plus-size fashion bloggers out there. Some of them are very much ahead of the curve. I have learned a lot from reading their blogs and I absolutely love their pictures. There are so many things you can pick up tips on: Styling, hair tips, places to shop, what’s on trend. There’s just so much good information out there, that it truly pays to find bloggers that you like and follow them. Sometimes, I can’t find the exact item out there, but usually I can find someone with something on that’s similar.
If you goggle “Top 10 plus-size bloggers,” you’ll get a really good selection. A number of them show up on almost all the list – The Plus-Size Blog, Gabi Fresh, Garner Style, Girl with Curves, and Nicolette Mason. There are many more, but these are my Top 5 go to blogs. But, you don’t have to stick with the ones I watch, you can find many more (and there are a LOT of others that are very worth reading). The best resource for that is on the Navabi Curvy Blog Awards. When you find a blogger that appeals to you, just click on the world icon and you’ll be taken to their site. Navabi also carries plus-size fashion that’s beautiful. Find their clothing site here.
I love Pinterest. I’m not crazy about the way they recently changed their algorithm, though. I liked it a lot better when I was able to see the pins from people who I follow on my page feed, but that’s a story for anther day. Overall, I have only nice things to say about Pinterest. It opened up my world and I’m thankful to all the other pinners out there that shared so that I could learn from them.
3. Plus-Size Magazines
There are still only a handful of these. Some are better than others. Here are the handful that I know of:
- Curvy Magazine
- Daily Venus Divas
- Dare Magazine
- Elegant Plus Magazine
- Evolve Magazine
- Fab U Plus
- Manik Magazine
- PLUS Model Magazine
- Skorch Magazine
- Slink Magazine
There are a handful of “regular” magazines that have dipped their toe in the plus-size waters. Here are the ones that I’m aware of:
- Sports Illustrated – 2016 Swimsuit Issue
- Glamour – special plus size edition 2016
- Cosmopolitan – March 2014, July 2016
- Women’s Running – July 2015
- Elle (Quebec) – May 2013, July 2014
- People – June 2015
- Maxim – April 2016
Fitbay is an app that helps you find your “body doubles.” When you sign up, you enter your measurements, height and weight (optional) and then Fitbay will help you find others that have a similar body type. Then you take pictures of all kinds and load them so that others can see how an items fits you so that they’ll know pretty much how it will fit them as well. Really though, it’s more than that. It’s a community where you can meet others, interact, see where they shop and how they style their clothes. It’s a wonderful site and I highly recommend it for anyone, not just plus-size. I’ve met some of the nicest people there. If you’re interested, here’s my Fitbay page. I don’t visit as much as I once did, but Fitbay is where I got the inspiration to start this blog.
There are a lot of ways to use Instagram to find out how an outfit will look. Follow stores that are carrying an item you like and it won’t be long before someone is modeling exactly what you are looking for. There are also the hashtags (#) that will take you to a page where others using the # posted. For example, try looking for a plus-size outfit of the day as #psood and it’ll take you to the page where others have posted what they are wearing.
If you like Torrid (like me), follow TorridInsider to see how others are wearing clothes from Torrid. There are as many # as you can think of for just about anything you’d be interested in.
I really like Instagram because it gives me a chance to show you a little more of my back story on certain things. For example, the pictures I’m using from the post came from a fun-filled Saturday I recently spent with my husband. We started out our day headed to the Farmer’s Market and got there late. I spent the next 10 minutes angry with myself for not planning better when my husband said, “I heard about this new restaurant we should try.” It salvaged the whole day. We ended up at a great new restaurant, meeting the owners and learning their story. We went to a whiskey tour and tasting. Then onto an old factory that had recently been turned into a Vintage Warehouse. Our whole day ended up being one of the most fun “adventures” and it all could have gone downhill so quickly just because I was angry at myself for piddling.
If you’d like to see my Instagram page, visit it here.
6. Ashley Stewart Community
I will mention other store blogs later, but I want to single out Ashley Stewart in particular. The relationship between the brand and their customers kept them from going under. If you’d like to read the whole article, find it here.
Here’s the run down – In 2013, the store was on the verge of having to file for Chapter 7. The CEO noticed that there was something different about AS when he took the time to study the AS customer. He saw women happy to find things that fit and coming into the store several times a week. He noticed sales clerks visiting their clients when they were sick. In other words, he saw something unique and decided to save the company. Since then, he’s watched it become something of a media darling with 580,000 followers on Facebook and 38,000 applications from customers wanting to model their brand.
AS is the one company that is very in touch with their customers through social media, so they can actually talk directly to them. Because of all the effort put into this, AS customers are loyal to this brand. I think that kind of business ethic deserves its own entry in the list. You can find their customers modeling their clothing just about anywhere you look – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and their blog. They use real plus-size women, so you can really see that their clothes look stunning on all different body types.
7. Brand # Campaigns
There are a few stores that have their own blogs or hashtags where clothing can be view directly from a secondary site to the shopping site. What does that mean?
Let me walk you through it. Lane Bryant is probably the one most people are familiar with since their hashtag campaigns have gone viral. The first of them was the #imnoangel,then #thisbody and now #plusisequal. Eloquii has #XOQ on Instagram. To post to these hashtags, simply add the # on the picture you upload to Instagram and it will transfer to the # page. In the case of Eloquii, it will also upload to the #XOQ portion of their shopping site. See it here. Dressbarn has a version of this too using #OWNINGIT and #DRESSBARN.
Lookbook is rather new to me. For me, Lookbook = Fitbay + Instagram. It is considered a “style community” where you can post your outfits and other style tips to share with others and draw inspiration from other members of the community. I’m not active there yet, but I love looking at all the fashion that others have posted. Its also very interesting to see what others are wearing in other countries.
Almost all bloggers and stores have a Facebook account. What I love about this format is being able to go directly to the photo section and scroll through the photos to see the outfits all in one place.
If you want to see a particular Facebook page when you’re shopping or reading a blog, just look for the icon and it will take you to the Facebook page you’re interested in.
You can visit my Facebook page here.
For me, Tumblr = blog + Facebook/Twitter. Usually, Tumblr is a place for a “microblog.” Like Facebook/Twitter, you can post quick entries and you have the capability of interacting socially with anyone that follows your blog. Since it’s a quick blog site, there are often things that you see there that you won’t see on a full blog.
You can see my Tumblr here.
Bloggers are using YouTube more and more lately. One of the things I love are YouTube hauls. These are YouTube videos where you’ll learn about the experience the YouTuber had with a particular company and often they’ll model the clothing that they purchased. The best part about YouTube is getting to see something in action instead of just reading about it. If there’s something that you want to know, there is most likely someone on YouTube who can show you how it’s done.
Twitter is all about the tweets. Tweets are 140 character status’ and can include links, photos and all manner of information. For example, I follow Ashley Graham. On her site, I can see little videos, or clothes that she is modeling or any recent news that she chooses to share.
Google Plus is sort of like having a public face and a private face. It allows you to share things that everyone can see or you can keep things within your “circle.” It takes some interaction, but over time you can build a community that fits your individual needs.
Polyvore is all about the styling. What I love best about Polyvore is that it doesn’t have to be plus-size specific for me to gain inspiration. There are so many creative people there that I get inspiration on ways to style clothing that I never would have thought of on my own.
You can see my polyvore site here.
15. Store Blogs
Store blogs do not appear to be as prevalent as they once were as they have mostly evolved into other things such as YouTube accounts. There are still a couple that have successful blogs separate from the site. One that comes to mind, while not plus-size, does have shoes that I love – Free People. You can find their blog here.
What ways to you find clothing inspiration?