PLUS-SIZE FALL FASHION
Browse Related Elegant Plus Editor's Pick
By late summer school bells are beginning to ring, but many teens wait to see what their friends are wearing before starting the back-to-school shopping in earnest. Demand starts in August and begins to taper off in later September. Demand is strongest for boots, jeans, leggings, blazers, and easy-to-wear tops mixes with trendy skirts and dresses. Sleepwear and outerwear are also important shopping categories for college bound curvy fashionistas.
Fall is the season of luxury fashion. Not only are designers showing their latest collections on runways, but fibers such as lace, leather, suede, and cashmere play prominent roles in the designs rolling out in designer collections in store.
Fall is also the season of investment shopping, when wardrobes are updated with bigger ticket items like cashmere sweaters, leather jackets, and wool outerwear. It's a good time to update working wardrobes with tailored suiting in menswear inspired patterns frequently making an appearance.
Fall is the beginning of the special occasion season. High school and college women are shopping for homecoming dresses. Meanwhile, cocktail dresses and special occasion separates in anticipation of holiday office parties begin to come into the stores in late September with options usually peaking in November just before the Thanksgiving weekend. By mid to late November New Year's Eve gowns and dresses are in store.
Important accessories for this time of year include tights, boots, and handbags. Belts are an increasingly important item in plus size looks, as women become more confident and willing to show off their figure.
The first taste of fall fashion happens at Nordstrom's famous pre-season Anniversary Sale in late July. This is when buyers test out possible inventory for fall and mark it down for a short period of time to see what shoppers want. Then prices go back up, and the most popular looks and items are re-stocked at full price. If you like unusual finds, buying during this sale means scoring some looks that won't be re-stocked and worn by everyone else. Otherwise, you get a jump on fall trends at post-season sale prices with plenty of time to wear and enjoy them for the entire season. You'll find everything from upscale leather jackets to the latest jeans trends and holiday appropriate dresses and separates. Well known plus-size designer brands such as Michael Kors, Vince Camuto, Not Your Daughter's Jeans, and Eileen Fisher are all regularly featured.
About the same time home shopping network QVC begins rolling out their fall inventory, in addition to their famous Christmas in July sale. Almost all of their inventory is available in the full size 0 to 28W size range, in addition to an especially good selection of plus petite fashion. Specializing in moderately priced diffusion lines from celebrities, stylists, television personalities and designers this is an especially popular shopping spot.
Collection has a bohemian, romantic and
flavor in sizes 2 to 28W. Meanwhile
more contemporary looks are available from
NorthStyle in sizes 4 to 24W.
looks in natural fibers in average, petite, tall
and plus-sizes are popular at
Lands End which is
particular good for dresses, outerwear, and core
basics in size 2 to 26W. Meanwhile, specialty
retailers such as
Leather can prove to be one of the best
shopping destinations for
plus-size outerwear in sizes to 3X.
By late August trendy spots popular with the back-to-school shoppers have stocked the latest looks for fall. Alloy has romantic, boho chic in junior size XS to XXXL. Forever 21 and Asos have the latest fast fashion looks in size S to 3X.
Those who appreciate a more urban vibe will want to shop Dr. Jay's collection including brands such as Baby Phat, Apple Bottoms, and Fashion Lab in sizes S to 3X. Stepping up its game in the last year has been plus specialty retailer Ashley Stewart with both trendy back-to-school and work pieces at value to moderate prices in bold colors and patterns for size 12 to 26W. Also appealing to those who prefer body conscious, trendy styles at value prices is East Coast plus fashion chain Fashion to Figure for size XL to 3X.
Particularly popular with the fatshion blogging crowd is British trend-setter Boohoo in size 0 to 20/22. Izabel London is joining the American trendy offerings for 2015 for size 0 to 28, while both Rue 21 and Charlotte Russe have extended their sizes to include full-figured 1X to 3X options for the 2015 Back-to-School shopping season.
Of the moderately priced department stores Kohl's and Maurice's have the best selection appealing to younger shoppers heading back to college or high school. Target is also actively increasing its appeal at value prices and is a good spot for dorm room needs, as well. Sizing has been quietly extending on-line up to 4X at many of them.
Super-size teens will want to check out
Sealed with a Kiss and
Avenue, both of which are
moderately priced with extensive collections
available in size 14 to 32W. Meanwhile,
most looks at
available in size XL to 5X, but sizing is
extending further in some styles to 6X for 2015.
Late Summer Clearance Sales and Early Fall Arrivals
Other luxury department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus offer pre-orders of fall designer plus-size fashion no later than the first week in August, giving stylish shoppers the advantage of must-have looks in size 14 to 24W. Labels include Marina Rinaldi, Lafayette 148, Stizzoli, Caroline Rose, Fuzzi, Joan Vass, Misook, Eileen Fisher and many more high quality designer labels.
Plus-specialty retailers will finish late summer clearance sales on Labor Day Weekend and fall fashion will come in during the first week in September. Lane Bryant has been upping the style quotient with high-end designer collaborations adding chic work looks to shoppers in size 14 to 28W. Ashley Stewart has a trendier, urban vibe with body conscious styles, bold colors and patterns characterizing their look in sizes 12 to 26W.
Plus specialty cataloguer
Popken is much more moderately priced and is
usually the first to get the following season's
looks in. Fall clothing usually begins to
arrive in early August in size 12 to 34W.
Other cataloguers are not too far behind giving
plenty of time to order.
Professional Work Wardrobe Updates
Those looking for suiting in both classic and more contemporary styles will find the best selection at some of the more upscale department stores. Dillard's carries both an excellent classic suit selection in coordinated tailored styles, and contemporary jackets, blazers and separates at moderate to slightly upscale prices from well known national brands in size 14 to 24W. Lord & Taylor also has an exceptionally good tailored suit selection from labels such as Calvin Klein, Nipon Boutique, Tahari, and their in house designs for size 14 to 24W. Those with the largest budgets will find the best selection of work appropriate jackets and separates from labels such as Lafayette 148, Misook, and Marina Rinaldi at Neiman Marcus. Cashmere is also reliably available in plus sizes by mid fall, in addition to other luxury fabrics such as leather and suede.
In addition to the department stores some cataloguers have excellent working wardrobe options at more moderate pricing. Tailored and contemporary style suiting, dresses, and separates are well represented at Monroe & Main with their entire collection available in size 6 to 24W. Draper's & Damon's is a good bet for slightly less formal offices that still have a contemporary or tailored vibe for size 4 to 26W. Meanwhile, Willow Ridge has a mixture of well-priced casual and career pieces for size 14 to 28W .
Foxcroft is one of the best spots for both classic no-iron shirts popular with modern working women, and more contemporary style tops available in size 0 to 24W. Those looking to stock up on high quality basic black knit career trousers and coordinating separates will find one of the best collections at Karen Kane for size XS to 3X.
Specialty plus designer
Kiyonna is a must stop for those
looking for well made contemporary style career
dresses in knits for size 10 to 32W.
Eloquii has a
younger, body conscious aesthetic designed
especially for fuller figures in sizes 14 to 28W
appealing to young, urban professionals.
Their suiting, skirts, blouses, and dresses are
modern and tailored.
Fall Holiday and Occasion Fashion
Those shopping for work wear and special occasion looks for holiday office parties will find September arrivals for the fall season at Dillard's and Macy's, both of which stock size 0 to 26W. The formalwear at Dillard's is particularly upscale with designers such as Tadashi Shoji, Mac Duggal, Terani Couture, Adrianna Papell, and Mori Lee regularly available. Nordstrom has a more youthful and contemporary selection in size 0 to 24W, while Lord & Taylor is one of the best places for full-figured evening separates.
Those on tighter budgets will find the deepest selection of special occasion dresses available at Dress Barn for size 4 to 24W, in addition to evening separates. ModCloth has begun carrying an extensive collection of party dresses, especially in the months leading up to the holidays. Styles here have a vintage feel while remaining contemporary and youthful. The plus inventory is growing daily and well worth the stop for size 0 to 28.
Kiyonna is best known for their lace cocktail dress styles, but also offer jersey maxi dresses that are popular options with many full-figured women in size XL to 5X. The lace evening tops are also worth checking out for those looking for party separates.
Those looking for beaded evening chiffon pant
suits will like the selection at
in size S to 3X, and
for size 12 to 38W.
Draper's & Damon's
also regularly carries evening separates from
brands such as Alex Evenings that can be easily
mixed and matched for special occasion dressing
in size 4 to 26W.
Shoes, Boots & Booties
It is at this time that wide-calf boots and wide-width booties, both fashionable fall items in demand and difficult to find off-line begin to appear on-line. Along with many of the plus-specialty retailers just mentioned, other especially reliable boot resources include Naturalizer, Footsmart, and Zappos.
Upscale department store
began existence as a shoe specialist and has
remained true to its roots in the shoe and boot
department. Consequently the most luxurious
wide-width and plus-calf options can often be
found there, including in women's shoe sizes
larger than 10.
By mid October cashmere sweaters begin to appear. The best shopping spots for plus-size women XL to 3X are at Macy's where basic pullover and cardigan styles are the most budget friendly, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's where quality is reliably high with both classic and more fashion-forward and contemporary styles available.
QVC which often has payment plans that can spread out costs over several months has the most generous size range form 0 to 28W.
is where to find mark downs from last year's
cashmere offerings in size S to 3X.