Where I buy things…

Cause a lotta people been askin’.
Firstly, No, Ghetto Elegance is not online. I know, I’m sorry. It’s not even really called Ghetto Elegance. It’s just Elegance. But it’s located near my house, in the Ghetto. It’s a cheapo store in a strip mall at the corner of Hoover and Jefferson (see #7).

So everything I wear pretty much comes from these places:

1. Lane Bryant
14-28 in Stores
High quality stuff for when I want to look like a grown-up. I really wish they would push the envelope a little more- and they’re kind of pricey… but if you get on their mailing list (aka apply for a credit card), theu send you fancy coupons and you’ll never pay full price again. (Or pick up a Figure Magazine which is basically a 40 page adverisement for all stores owned by Charming Shops: LB, Fashion Bug, and Catherine’s– there’s always good coupons in there) That green shirt I wore on Mike and Juliet came from there…

There are 7 people posing for pictures in that picture.

Also, all of my underwear comes from here. I used to work at the ol LB back in the day, and they would give us free bras every time they came out with comething new and fabulous, so I think I have literally 7 of these bad boys:

2. Torrid
12-26 in stores
Totally awesome for ridiculous/trendy hooha. and therefore right up my alley. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting too old to shop here, but then I change my mind really quickly. I find Lane Bryant’s stuff to be better made, but Torrid definitely has the edge on style. That red and black dress is from here…

3. Target
14-28 in stores
I really really really wish they would make that “designer of the month” stuff in plus sizes. But otherwise their plus stuff is pretty decent. I think that Isaac Mizrahi stuff goes up to an 18/XXL .. which I’m right at the top edge of… And their shoes are awesome. This is where I got that purple/green paisley jacket I’m wearing in the video.

4. Marshalls
You’ve got to dig a whole lot, but you’ll find lots of cool/weird brand name stuff here. I get lots of Baby Phat at Marshalls- those jeans fit like a DREAM.. they come in a bunch of different lengths, great colors and detailing.. I dig it bigtime. ALSO, you can find irregular/past season Lane Bryant sometimes.

5. TJ Maxx
Same thing as Marshalls

6. Ross Dress for Less
Same thing as Marshalls/TJ Maxx, but prices are lower and quality is a little less awesome. You probably won’t find any Baby Phat here.

7. Cheapo Stores in Strip Malls that have signs like “WE CARRY BIG SIZE!”
They can be trashy/skanky/ridiculous, but that’s the point, isn’t it? Where else are you going to find a friggin sexxxy halter top for $11.99?

8. Thrift Stores
There were fat people in the 40s, 50s, 60, 70s, 80s, 90s, and TODAY! weren’t there? I want to wear their old clothes!! Here is where you’ll find them. That dress I wore on Entertainment Tonight and that blue one in the LA Times are from Aaardvark’s
in Pasadena.

9. Macy’s
I shop exclusively in the clearance section here. I’d say Nordstrom
too, but I can’t afford anything there yet. YET. Someday I shall be a big shot.

10. Old Navy
This is where I got that plaid dress that I’m wearing in Fat Rant.

And also here. It’s my acting dress. Shoot me.
I was really digging all that madras stuff they had last summer. Now, with the no-plus-sizes-in-the-store-fiasco… I’m not sure what I’ll do. The blue shrug that I’m wearing with that dress came from Torrid btw.

Now. There are a crapload of really awesome places to shop online- I’m just chickenshit when it comes to buying things without having tried them on myself…
That said:
This place and these people are the most amazing thing I’ve seen in maybe ever:

SO supportive, SO honest, SO savvy and SO FRIGGIN HOTT. I’d have been a glamazon AGES ago if I’d known about them previously.

Other places that I have not sampled personally, but look really cool:BeautyPlusPower.com
Fashion Overdose

Abby Z

b & lu

Monif C


Hips and Curves

Eight Sixty


Baby Phat

Blue Plate

Size Queen
And I think my head is gonna pop. Feel free to add anything I missed…


21 Responses to “Where I buy things…”

  1. 1 kateharding July 4, 2007 at 5:19 am

    I do shop online a ton, and I would add, on the pricier end of things, Kiyonna and Svoboda. Amaaaazing stuff, if you can swing it.

    Cherished Woman carries really high end stuff, but has some excellent sales. (They usually discount Svoboda stuff more than the Svoboda website, FYI.)

    I’ve never bought anything from Zaftique, but they have some really cute stuff I keep thinking about shelling out for. (Along with some very WTF stuff, but oh well.)

    Avenue doesn’t get enough love, in my opinion. They’ve got great basics, good undies, and some really cute dresses, and they carry up to size 32. Also, you can find them in a lot of malls, and so actually try stuff on.

    Speaking of malls, if you can get past the name, Dress Barn has some shockingly cute things.

    From your list, I can personally vouch for B & Lu, and for the quality of Monif C. stuff — though the sizing on the latter doesn’t match the charts. I’m a good solid 16/16W, ordered a dress that was supposed to be 14/16, and it was WAY too big on me — and, sadly, the smallest size they had, so I couldn’t exchange it. (On the flip side, you’ve got the junior plus sizing from labels like Stop Staring, in which I’m barely contained by a 2X. So yeah, shopping online sucks sometimes.)

    Finally, I am in LOVE with Sweet Pea By Stacy Frati, which is ungodly expensive at Nordstrom, but you can often find her stuff deeply discounted at Nordstrom Rack. The double layer mesh thing is really flattering, and the colors, patterns, and cuts are so damn cute.

    Um, not that I’m obsessed with clothes or anything.

  2. 2 Michelle July 4, 2007 at 5:29 am

    I almost always shop at Lane Bryant – LOVE the $6.99 sale racks at season’s end and my store always lets me use the coupons on top of it.

    But I also hit up Avenue, Catherines and Fashion Bug once every couple of months. Steve & Barry’s is a cheap place to get windbreakers, t-shirts and jackets (you have to dig to find the non-college team items, but for $15 or less, it’s worth it). In addition to Macy’s, Bloomingdales has a plus-size section that is good to hit up when the stuff gets marked down. I picked up a $150 pair of sweat pants for $20 once.

    I like Torrid, but don’t pass up its sister Hot Topic, either. They carry a small amount of plus-size clothing and it sometimes gets marked down for clearance.

    I’ve been really disappointed with the Target and WalMart plus-size sections in recent months. I seems like they’re phasing them out and where I might be a 22-24 at Lane Bryant, I have to go up to 26 for their clothes to fit me now.

    Last time I was in LA, I found some stores around the Santee Alley area that had plus sizes for $20 or less. Got a great red halter that came down to mid-thigh for $7. Have you checked it out? Avoid weekends if you go – it can seem like you’re moving in a mob of people.

    I also visit the Disney outlet store here in Orlando, since Walt Disney World has started including 2x to 5x sizes in their clothing. I think I own every Stitch, Grumpy and Tinkerbell t-shirt they made last year. LOL

  3. 3 Godless Heathen July 6, 2007 at 5:38 am

    HolyClothing is also pretty awesome, if not the speediest in shipping. Lots of hippie and romantic stuff, goes into the “extended plus” sizes.

    Sometimes, if you’re really patient, you can find something for younger women at Catherines, but I never am that patient. They had some cute broomstick skirts and hippie shirts not that long ago, but the rest of the store was really geared towards older women. I go there for bras sometimes when I can’t find anything good at Lane Bryant.

    I second Ross Dress for Less, I used to go there and tear that store apart. Now I don’t live near one and I’m sad because there’s nowhere around to get discount Baby Phat stuff. They are very responsive to feedback, such as “get more plus sizes, please”.

    Some day I hope to be able to afford a dress from Zaftique. The hard part will be narrowing it down to one dress.

    Dillards, Penny’s, and Belk all go up to a 24, as does Sears. Good news if you’re a 24, not good news if you’re a 28 in desperate need of a black dress.

    Old Navy stopped putting plus sized clothes in their physical stores so I’m not keen on giving them money anymore. They don’t even have their 3X men’s tees in the physical stores, I really liked their tees once I got the tags cut out.

  4. 4 Sonya July 6, 2007 at 5:51 pm

    I tend to dress a little more conservatively (read: 35 YO career-lady), and I’ve been disappointed with a lot of Lane Bryant’s stuff. It’s cute on a lot of people, it’s just not me. Same with Torrid.

    I go to LB for underthings (LOVE the Balconette bras) and their jeans are a better fit for me than anything I find at Avenue.

    The bulk of my work wardrobe comes from a SF Bay Area local shop called Harper Greer. They are spendy, and their website SUCKS, but the clothes are awesome if you’re in the area, and you dress like me. Sadly, the website tends to feature the clothes that I don’t like and looks more like a Chico’s knockoff. The stores are awesome and the people are great. They have these amazing button down shirts that really honestly lay flat and don’t gap no matter how much stretching and reaching I do. They tailor any piece on site too.

    My favorite resource for workout and casual clothes is http://www.junonia.com – they are also a bit expensive, but IMHO totally worth it. The bathing suits are really high quality and meant for actual swimming, the bike shorts are really comfortable, and I absolutely live in these things for working out: http://www.junonia.com/detail.htm?sid=231301&tl=2&ldid=18&sdid=42

    Yes, they are expensive, but they don’t ride up, don’t cause chafing, and have really deep pockets that keep keys and iPod in place no matter how jostled they get. LOVE. Totally worth the expense.

  5. 5 KeMari July 6, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    I love love love Torrid. Such awesome clothes!! I wish I could afford them all the time.

    You are my hero, by the way. I wrote a short post about your fat rant on my site.

    Now that I know you shop at Torrid, I will spare your life when I take over the world 🙂 Seriously though, that red and black dress is amazing! You rock darlin.


  6. 6 Ryann July 7, 2007 at 1:30 am

    Torrid has got some fun stuff, and LB is the gods’ gift to women with gifted bodies (as my friends and I say).

    Keep up the good work, beautiful!

  7. 7 corinna July 7, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    I shop online a lot. For most of my clothes. I even started two websites about shopping online because that’s where I find most of my clothes. I just don’t find enough variety in physical locations near where I live. I do best with Avenue – the jackets are too boxy for me, Monif C. – pricey but beautiful and made for my hourglass shape, Lane Bryant for skirts, Torrid for the same reasons that Joy mentions and I do well at Kohl’s and Tarshay.

    I think the three most important things to remember when shopping online are: (1) Gotta always check the size charts because one company’s size 1x is another’s 3x. Women’s sizes just aren’t standard like men’s clothes. (2) Also really important to take out the tape measure and get to know your every inch. (3) Be willing to have clothes tailored. If a dress fits me in the boobs and the hips I will probably have to have the waist taken in. It’s just the way it is. Movie stars have their clothes tailored to fit their bodies. Nothing will fit every body right off the rack.

    See you around!

  8. 8 PandoraCaitiff July 7, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Here in England I like http://www.yoursclothing.co.uk/ (quite young and funky with cute undies) and http://www.evans.co.uk/ (a bit more mature, but are doing some nice prints right now, and have a good selection of hosiery)

  9. 9 Jenn July 8, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    I discovered C.J. Banks when I thought I couldn’t shop at malls anymore. They’re clothes are PRETTY! No leopard print, no sequins. And colors!!! Perfect store for a business casual dress code. Their clearance racks are fantastic too. I’ve gotten great shirts and cardigans for $5 – $12. However… their pants don’t fit me well, so I buy those at Kohls. They always have my size, if no imagination.

  10. 10 Catnip July 12, 2007 at 5:04 am

    I’m 45 so I find all of the stuff at Lane Bryant and Avenue to be too cutesy. I have found that Lands’ End is the most excellent place for things like blue jeans and basic cotton knit shirts. Every wardrobe is built around a few basic pieces, and the foundation can be found here. I love the fact that I can find the same style in the same size every time. Lands’ End clothing is quality through and through.

  11. 11 You know who... August 1, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Shop Indie!
    You can find some fun plus size fashion on http://www.etsy.com
    My shop is one to visit.

  12. 12 marina August 1, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    Cipolla – handmade bags and other necessities

    Hi all!

    Cipolla likes to make fun and unique clothing for curvy girls!

    Check out the online shop for some new funky shirts with a bit of old-school style. Items are handmade by one curvy girl herself, in a busy little workshop in the North… enjoy!

  13. 13 It Chick August 2, 2007 at 3:19 am

    This website rocks and I really enjoy your spunk and love for the edge. My friend and I started an online plus size clothing line for girls ages 8-12 and a lot of our friends say “where were you when I was growing up?” – it’s called It Chick Clothes and we’re trying to offer the spunk, the zing, and the ba-boom for young girls to express themselves in. We’ve been calling ourselves the anti-jeenybeeny for girls that don’t want to look like a frumpy girl on the way to tea with grandma. anyway – I’ll keep reading up on your fat rant and enjoying the site.

  14. 14 kristinbell August 2, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Well, it seems like everyone is under a size 28 here and everywhere. It is very difficult to find cute things in sizes above 4x/26/28. But, there are a few. I like Ulla Popken (www.ullapopken.com) a lot, but they are pretty expensive unfortunately. However their clothes are very well made and very well designed. They go up to 32/34 in most things (from size 12) and have some stuff in 36/38. Zaftique has some nice things, but also expensive. Junonia has some cool stuff, but I wasn’t impressed with their quality the one time I bought something from them. Catherine’s sometimes has 5x or 6x, but it is slim pickings. Torrid does NOT carry anything past 26. There are two Lane Bryants–The Lane Bryant Catalog (more house marmy things but larger sizes) and the other Lane Bryant which is a charmings shoppe. They only carry up to 28. Silohette’s sometimes has things in 5x/6x sizing, but again, most of the cuter stuff cuts off at 26. Cafe Press items sometimes go up to 4x, but not above. I found this place online called 99volts.com that carries up to 5x biker-ish t-shirts. I got two that said “Trouble.” and I love them! That’s all I can think of right now. Most of the stores only go up to 4x as I said, so if you are “extended plus size” god how I hate that term! you have to really search for clothes to wear and you usually have to pay a lot for them.

  15. 15 V August 7, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Check out swakdesigns.com. They sell some lovely clothes for us fat girls from 1X-6X for cheap. I LOVE Igigi.com, as I bought a dress there in June to wear to a friend’s wedding, but they are PRICEY as hell. Woosh! Swakdesigns.com is trendy and more wallet friendly. 🙂

  16. 16 V August 7, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I also agree that Catherine’s is a great spot to shop for clothes. I wear a size 26/28 and up these days, so I go here for undies and shapers mostly. I’ll have teo buy some actual clothes when I go there next time. Avenue is also a great store for their shoes and basic items (tanks, tops, pants).

  17. 17 courtney August 23, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    im 17 years old.
    i like torrid online store a lot-but havent bought anything from there yet.
    but the clothes look great online.
    i shop at Debs for pants,but the shirts dont fit right.same as rainbow.hot topic is cool if u like band tees.-never really bought the girl clothes there.
    i like lane bryant,and sometimes fashion bug.but lately fashion bugs clothing is for older women-not teens.
    i just wish there would be more plus size clothing stores for teens.
    its hard to buy clothing.
    i go to target-but find nothing.
    in sears theres half of a rack of clothes to pick from.
    im gonna try macy-i didnt know they had plus size.
    oh and also this store Maurices just started having plus size clothing 😀 i was happy.the section is small-but what do you except.

    this site has been a big help.Thank You!

  18. 18 Talon October 13, 2007 at 12:39 am


    This post makes me very happy to be a Fatshionista. 😀

    (new reader, old Fat Rant fan and compulsive commenter)

    I shared the Fat Rant with one of my fat friends overseas. She loved it!!

    Btw, she also said you’re incredibly beautiful and that she’d totally jump your bones. (She’s a hot, fat German chickie!! There is NO fat love there. None.)

  19. 19 Em January 21, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I absolutely love the Plus section at Macy’s. Even when there’s not a huge sale going on, there are always nice clothes at reasonable prices that aren’t offered at other stores. I bought 4 very nice shirts today (all size 18) for under $50 total!

  20. 20 Ruby May 28, 2008 at 10:43 am

    I think fat women are so used to paying so much money for clothes that they don’t like *just because they fit* that when it comes to a website like zaftique it still feels bad. No matter what your size is, good clothes are sometimes expensive. I am so incredibly excited to have had my horizons broadened beyond the avenue, and lane bryant. Dresses, skirts, jackets, shorts, flirty things that FIT!

    I just wanted to thank this blog and everyone who has posted or will post here for that.


  21. 21 Jez July 3, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I can vouch for Zaftique – kinda weird clothes here and there, but very well made, great return policy and the fit is perfect for me (I’m around 18/20, sometimes higher in other places). I just miss the days when Torrid was like Hot Topic Plus… I prefer that edgy, punky clothing, but Hot Topic is a total bust for that if you’re a plus sized woman.

    Alight.com is my favorite online store, by far.

    My best solution for plus sized clothing is making my own. Now, I’m limited by not having much access to a sewing machine, so my clothes are mostly alterations, but there are some great things you can do with a little creativity, an oversized tee shirt, and some basic knowledge of sewing.

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