The New York Girl's Guide To Plus-Size Shopping

Photo via @gabifresh.
Even in a shopping mecca like New York City, stores that cater to plus-size women can be few and far between. While department stores and plus-size-specific boutiques carry larger sizes, the search for on-trend items inspired by magazines and the runways can be a total pain in the ass. So, where do size 14+ women go to score those unique, stylish pieces?
We called on 18 of the city's most stylish bloggers to share their secrets on where they find the most fashion-forward plus-size goods. From digging through department store racks to discovering hidden treasures at vintage boutiques, these ladies have shopping for any size down to a science.
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Photo via @gabifresh.
Who: Gabi Gregg, @gabifresh
Her Pick: Forever 21

"My favorite brick-and-mortar store that offers plus-size clothing in New York City is the Forever 21 in Times Square. Trust me, I hate the crowds as much as the next girl, but it has a huge selection at a great price point. It's where I always head in a pinch for last-minute clothes or accessories. Plus, it's open until 2 a.m.!"
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Photo via @kellyaugustineb.
Who: Kelly Augustine, @kellyaugustineb
Her Pick: Lane Bryant

"One of my favorite plus-size stores is Lane Bryant, which may seem like the obvious choice, but the staff is incredibly attentive — they stick around the dressing area while you try on items, should you need a new size or a different fit, and they remember your name! Whenever I stop by the flagship store on 34th Street or the location in Harlem, someone is typically greeting me pleasantly and is always eager to help."
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Photo via @kellyaugustineb.
What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Keep an open mind — don't only shop plus-size sections! You never know what you will find or even be able to style a different way."
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Photo via @curvenvy.
Who: Sandee Joseph, @curvenvy
Her Pick: Ann Taylor

"Although Ann Taylor is not a 'plus-size brand' per se, it does offer sizing up to XXL and 18. It's especially great for the in-between plus-size woman like myself — too big for straight sizes, but sometimes too small for true plus-sizes. It's the perfect brand for the woman who has more of a classic style but wants to add trendier pieces here and there. Plus, it offers absolutely amazing office options and casual staples, including button-down tops, cashmere sweaters, and work-appropriate skirts. A majority of its pieces have stretch in them, allowing for a more fitted look that skims the curves for a great silhouette. Not to mention, they offer great sales weekly to help those on a budget."
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Photo via @thelizblack.
Who: Liz Black, @thelizblack

How do you feel about being a plus-size woman in NYC?
"Being involved in the fashion industry for 7+ years, I'm used to being the biggest woman in every room. I've seen a change over the years; the landscape is more varied, and fashion is absolutely becoming more inclusive. I feel very positive about where things are heading, and hopefully more brands and designers will wise up and realize how important the plus market is!"
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Photo via @thelizblack.
What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Stop worrying about the number on the tag, and wear what fits. Your worth cannot be defined by any one number, be it weight or clothing size — just cut off the tag if it bothers you! You'll look and feel beautiful in something that fits and flatters your curves; you won't do your figure any justice by picking something oversized or too tight!"
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Photo via @nicolettemason.
Who: Nicolette Mason, @nicolettemason
Her Pick: Lord & Taylor

"Though I do the majority of my shopping online, as far as department stores go, Lord & Taylor definitely has the best plus-size selection. It carries great premium brands and pieces for special occasions, and the items I need to try on, like jeans. (They stock my favorite denim brand, NYDJ!) It's not where I go for my super on-trend fast fashion, but it carries the classics I like to invest in."
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Photo via @goldenlady25.
Who: Essie Golden, @goldenlady25
Her Pick: Fashion to Figure

"One of my favorite stores in New York is Fashion to Figure. It has a few locations throughout New York and New Jersey. The clothes are affordable and on-trend; the sales associates are always helpful and attentive; and there's a wide selection of all sizes. The Brooklyn location in Kings Plaza is an excellent store!"
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Photo via @goldenlady25.
How do you feel about being a plus-size woman in NYC?
"It's easier and more accepting to be plus-size here than any other place I've lived. It's okay to stand out a little, be fashionable, and take pride in your appearance. Don't get me wrong though, my stylish friends and I still get stares, comments, and even a few laughs. But, generally, we get more yeas than nays."
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Photo via @goldenlady25.
What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Supportive undergarments can take an outfit from a five to a 10. The number one question I'm always asked is what kind shapewear and bra do I wear. The right bra and shapewear will not only make your outfit look cleaner, but can actually make you look a little slimmer. I love Lane Bryant's multi-way Demi cup bra — talk about perfect cleavage. The best shapewear hands down is anything from Miraclesuit — it really helps make any body-con outfit look 10 times better."
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Photo via @styleit.
Who: Sarah Conley, @styleit

What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Add a belt. It automatically gives shape to and draws the eye to your waist."
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Photo via @gorgeousingrey.
Who: Ty Alexander, @gorgeousingrey

How do you feel about plus-size shopping in NYC?
"Shopping in NYC as a plus-size woman basically sucks and is a killjoy for my girlfriend shopping days. I am limited to three or four stores that actually carry plus-size clothes or maybe have an extra-large. I do most of my shopping online, obvi!"
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Photo via @gorgeousingrey.
What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"If it doesn’t have buttons or a zipper, you can probably squeeze all of your fabulous curves into a large. I do!"
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Photo via @najadiamond.
Who: Naja Diamond, @najadiamond
Her Pick: H&M

"My favorite store at the moment for stylish and affordable pieces would have to be H&M. It is doing a really great job with incorporating different patterns and textures, while also designing timeless silhouettes. I'm always able to find something chic without breaking the bank. It also has a great selection with H&M+, and the fact that you can now shop it online is just a bonus!"
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Photo via @curvily.
Who: Sarah Chiwaya, @curvily
Her Pick: Housing Works Thrift Shop

"I stop by fast-fashion faves like H&M and Forever 21 all the time (14th Street is the best location for F21+), but my most treasured NYC store is Housing Works. The Chelsea location is prime for a day of deal-hunting, and the deals are insane. My best purchase ever was a vintage Christian Dior camel wool boyfriend blazer that I snagged for $3. No, that is not a typo! Housing Works has recently stepped up its plus-size game, and I've found brands like Anna Scholz, Carmakoma, and Three Dots for less than $20. Don't be afraid to scour the racks and try things on. Some straight-size brands, like Tibi, can work for plus-sizes, too. Oh, and keep an eye out for gorgeous handbags — I am still cursing the shopping freeze that forced me to pass up a gorgeous oxblood Gucci crossbody."
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Photo via @curvily.
How do you feel about being a plus-size woman in NYC?
"As someone who has always loved fashion, New York is fantastic. There is inspiration everywhere and always an event to go to. But, it can be weird to attend shopping events where the size range tops out at a 10, and I can't wear anything a designer offers; that's part of the reason I created the #plussizeplease tag to tell retailers that I'd love to spend my money with them. I've also had some less-than-pleasant experiences with boutique employees outright ignoring me, or telling me 'I should be happy it even fits' (really). Needless to say, those places did not get my business. But those snotty stores are in the minority: I've encountered far more warm, welcoming shops, like Szeki and Pip-Squeak Chapeau, that are happy to work with their customers to find something that works for everyone."
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Photo via @curvily.
What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Try it on! Try it all. Try on styles you love but never thought you could wear. You might be surprised. And if something doesn't work, don't feel like you failed, or that your body isn't good enough. There are clothes made for all different shapes, so if it doesn't fit right, that doesn't say a single thing about you — it only says that that particular piece of clothing is not worthy of a place in your closet. Don't feel weird about the number on the size tag, either. I've always suspected it, but now, working in fashion, I know it's true: Women's sizing makes no sense. Sizes are as closely related to fairy dust and unicorns as they are to actual measurements. So, don't worry about the number — just focus on getting the fit that makes you feel awesome."
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Photo via @margieplus.
Who: Margie Ashcroft, @margieplus

What's your number one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Never buy a garment just because of the size on the tag. Have you ever had that moment of: But the pants say size 18, and I am definitely a size 18, so even though they are a little too small, I am going to buy them anyway? Don't be afraid to go up in size in order for the clothing to fit better. Not every brand is cut the same. By not letting the number on the tag define your choice, you will get a great fitting piece every time."
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Photo via @stylishcurves.
Who: Alissa Wilson, @stylishcurves
Her Pick: Lee Lee's Valise

"I love to go to Lee Lee's Valise when I'm looking for a special occasion dress or unique accessories in plus-size. This store has everything a plus-size girl needs, from undergarments and jeans to oversized clutches. It's truly a well-rounded and well-stocked store."
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Photo via @stylishcurves.
What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Try everything on, and focus on the cut and silhouette as opposed to the number on the tag. As a plus-size woman, I shop quite a few non-plus-size stores because they often have pieces with a forgiving cut. Stores like Loft and Banana Republic have great tops for women who are sizes 14 to 18, and stores like H&M often have oversized silhouettes in their main range. You never know how something is going to look fit or look if you don't try it on.

"Also, try to shop stores when they first open — especially department stores. Fitting rooms are empty and the morning is when new merchandise is put out on the floor. So, you won't have to wait in long fitting room lines or miss out on your size because the store is crowded and the clothes are everywhere."
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Photo via @nadiaaboulhosn.
Who: Nadia Aboulhosn, @nadiaaboulhosn
Her Pick: Rue 107

"There is an online store called Rue 107 that carries plus-size clothes, and it's based out of NYC. I love showing off my curves, and the store has a great selection of body-con dresses in dope patterns. Its two-piece sets are also really cute. Plus, Rue 107 is always coming out with new looks."
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Photo via @itsmekellieb.
Who: Kellie Brown, @itsmekellieb
Her Pick: Macy's

"I do most of my shopping online or in brick-and-mortar straight-size stores, but a great resource for plus-size shopping in the city is Macy's. First, it's enormous and has a huge selection. Even though most of the plus-size floor is bridge collections, I can always find something interesting. On my last trip, I scored a white perforated skirt and bomber jacket from Calvin Klein, which was totally unexpected. Then, of course, you can hit the massive shoe department and grab a chai tea afterwards."
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Photo via @itsmekellieb.
How do you feel about being a plus-size woman in NYC?
"The wonderful thing about New York is that it's filled to the brim with all kinds of people from all over the world in every shape and shade. Plus-size women are often ignored, regardless of location. Being a plus-size woman working in fashion adds another layer. You have to be exceptional to be noticed at all, and even then there are situations where you are made to feel like you don't belong. But, in truth, for the most part I feel like I'm a force and my talent and aesthetic is undeniable, despite my size. I'm also 5'10" and always in Ruby Woo — you kind of have to notice me."
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Photo via @itsmekellieb.
What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Ignore the label and try everything on. You'd be surprised what works, even if it's not in your size."
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Photo via @passionjonesz12.
Who: Vanjia Wilson, @passionjonesz12
Her Pick: Rainbow

"When I'm just strolling around and want to get a good deal, I go into Rainbow. It's been my go-to store since I was a teenager, and always carries the latest trends. Rainbow also has a wide variety of shoes and accessories, so it's literally a frugal shopper's holy grail!"
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Photo via @iwannabefierce.
Who: Shakiyla Newland, @iwannabefierce
Her Pick: Old Navy

"Recently, Old Navy has turned up the style meter with its selections. Though it's still great for basics, the store now offers everyday trend pieces to spice up a curvy girl's wardrobe."
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Photo via @iwannabefierce.
What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"I never count out clothing because it may not look like it's made for my curvy shape. Even if I'm shopping in a non-plus-size store or section, I always try things on. You never know what you may be missing out on."
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Photo via @themarcyminute.
Who: Marcy Guevara, @themarcyminute

What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Shapewear is everything. You cannot build a house on a shaky foundation, and outfits should be handled the same way."
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Photo via @thefatapple.
Who: Mellie Davis, @thefatapple
Her Pick: Bay Plaza

"The best place for plus-size shopping specifically is Bay Plaza in the Bronx. It has the highest concentration of clothing stores that cater to plus-size women, all within a few feet of each other. It is really one of the best-kept secrets. You'll find Avenue, Fashion to Figure, and Torrid. It has also recently opened up a 'mall' that houses H&M and Forever 21 (which carries plus). Being able to shop multiple stores in a close proximity is something that plus-size women don't always get to experience."
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Photo via @thefatapple.
How do you feel about being a plus-size woman in NYC?
"I feel lucky. The fact of the matter is, as much as I wish I had more clothing options and I argue against having plus-size clothing only online (for those stores that have brick-and-mortar locations), I actually have more accessibility than plus-size women in other places. In general, I feel very welcome and appreciated in my home communities as a plus-size woman (formerly of the Bronx and currently of Central Harlem)."
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Photo via @thefatapple.
What's your number-one tip/secret for shopping plus-size?
"Try on various sizes and don't be stopped if you go into a straight-size store and see something that may fit you (even if the tag just says large or medium). I have a good amount of clothing that didn't come from a plus-size shop or brand that are definitely not my tag size, but I tried it on and loved the fit.

"Also, don't be afraid to be creative. Converting long skirts into dresses is something I do all the time. Turning a blouse around so the deeper v is in the back is a nice way of showing some skin."

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