Casual Clothing for Women

How to Buy Plus Size Clothing Online with Confidence

 A version of this post first appeared on 60 & Me.

How to Buy Plus Size Clothing Online with Confidence

Shopping for plus size clothing in most retail stores is a less than enjoyable experience.

Your options are limited. You have to shop in the back of the store in the hidden, tucked away plus size department. And then you have to deal with the salespeople – not too friendly in most cases.

Some retailers are getting it right, sure. But why deal with all that when you can just shop for plus size clothing online? It’s so simple and easy, right?

Well, sometimes.

It can be intimidating to shop for clothing online, especially if you haven’t done it before.

Not all brands and designers use the same sizing guidelines. You may be one size with one brand and then have to go up or down multiple sizes for another. It all feels like a guest-and-test method of shopping.

Want the benefits of shopping for plus size clothing online – but feel unsure about making a purchase?

Use this guide. The tips below will help you shop with confidence.

Know Your Measurements

Before you start shopping, you need to know your measurements. This will help you avoid buying things that are too small or too big, only to have to deal with returns and exchanges.

Skip the stress and make a smart purchase by shopping for your measurements, not just your size. Be sure to take your chest, waist, and hip measurements so you can be sure you’re getting the best fitting clothing for your figure.

Take Your Time

You know your measurements. You’re ready to shop. But this is where the entire process can get overwhelming.

There may not be many plus size clothing options locally, but there definitely are online. So many, that it can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for.

If you’re easily stressed by the shopping process, be warned. But don’t be too worried. The good news is there are lots of ways to make it easier:

Search Smart: Search for specific clothing types instead of just “plus size clothing.” Try phrases like “plus size tunics” or “casual plus size clothing.” You’ll be able to wade through the search results much easier and find exactly what you’re looking for.

Hit Your Favorite Spots: Is there a local retailer that you like but doesn’t carry many plus size options in-store? Check out their online stores to see if they have a better variety of options. In most cases their web-stores will carry styles you won’t find in most physical shops.

Go Boutique: Many plus size clothing designers are selling their clothing direct to customers through online stores. These boutique shops offer unique, stylish looks that are designed specifically for plus size women. Don’t shy away from a store or brand just because you haven’t seen it locally.

Part of the allure of a boutique shop is that you’re getting a truly unique style. Big box retail stores stock rows and rows of the same old stuff.

Boutique designers tend to work with a wider range of colors, prints, and styles. You can even find handmade clothing with intricate designs – something you’ll never get shopping in a department store.

Compare Prices: Check out your options in various online stores. You may be able to get discounts for signing up for a site’s email newsletter or similar customer list.

Check the Size Chart

You found a few pieces you love. But which size should you order?

Before you decide, compare your measurements with the store’s size chart. Most online retailers have detailed sizing charts that explain the exact dimensions of their clothing.

If they don’t, it’s probably best to just find a different retailer. Stores and designers that truly cater to plus size women understand the importance of a detailed size chart.

Know the Return Policy

Even with checking your measurements against the size chart, there’s still a chance your item won’t fit quite the way you like. You may have to return or exchange it.

Before you buy anything, review the store’s return policy. That way you won’t get stuck with an unfortunate surprise should you have to make a return.

Smart Shopping, Amazing Style

Shopping online is the best way to find beautiful plus size clothing. Use these tips to shop with confidence. You’ll soon have gorgeous new additions to your wardrobe.

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Stephen, Your Designer

“There is an amazing feeling of artistic accomplishment when all the parts come together into one harmonious aesthetic. It's a connection with who you are and the elements you choose to express yourself visually. This is what making clothing is all about for me. It's like when a songwriter hears his first written notes from a voice or a baker who has practiced a recipe and nails it or a figure skater who exceeds her own expectations. I express my sense of art in clothing. I see things in color, shape and texture. I react to the touch of silk on my skin and my eyes are aware of how color combinations make me feel. My goal is to bring all of these intuitive notions to garments that are sized for larger women. If I can accomplish this then I have reached my goal.” – Stephen

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