Photo credit Kandy Christensen
I just bought a pair of jeans at the Gap. My current pair of jeans are completely worn out and a girl needs a pair of jeans. I had to buy my pants from the Gap online because apparently pants in my size are too huge to be found in the store. I guess my arse just takes up too much room.
Buying clothing when you are 'plus-sized' is painful enough, but most retailers don't even carry plus-size items in the store. Granted there are stores like Lane Bryant, but the last time I went jean shopping there they had changed sizes into triangles and circles and it was such a hyperventilating inducing experience that I can't go back.
You could go to the thrift store, and I do often shop at thrift stores. But buying jeans is freaking difficult enough, buying jeans that you can't try on or would have to try on in public is, well, it's just too much. This would be the point where I whip out a fan and fan myself.
I believe in buying local and supporting eco-friendly designers, but plus-size local and eco friendly designers are non-existent. So I pushed my search out for online eco-friendly women embracing designers and I found a few.
I am not 'bohemian'. I would describe my style as retro, classic with a flash of something fun. The good news is if you are bohemian then there are a lot more plus-sized options out there, well, relatively speaking. The bad news is if you are not bohemian then your options are even more limited.
There are some Etsy vendors who will custom make things to size. There are also some shops that are eco friendly and have different sizes. I've started a pinterest board with some options.
Here is a sampling of some of the clothes I found-
The clothes at Gaia Conceptions are made out of sustainable materials, sewn by artisans in the United States, and I love that their photographs include 'real' women. If you are boho chic then there are ton of options. If you aren't there still are some great finds. Like this dress (I also think the woman modeling it is gorgeous):
While the prices are higher the materials are going to be better quality, which means they will last longer, organic, hand made and stylish. Plus you get to pick the color and they use plant dyes to dye their fabrics.
I love what Stephanie Bezaire is making and she tries to use organic and sustainable materials, but everything is fashion forward. I especially covet the Gracie top.
If you can, please support those vendors that are providing size options all along the spectrum of lady shapes. I have friends who struggle with finding small and petite sizes. We are all in this together! I recognize that the prices run a bit higher, but the quality, fit and the feeling you get buying sustainable, are all going to be better.
Plus there are some additional options available in Meandering Design's store and I am making new things all the time.
Do you have any favorite local or eco friendly plus size designers? I would love to hear about them.
Originally published 3/20/14