Shopping Plus Size in the City

New York City is best known as the shopping mecca of the East coast (the world is debatable). What it's not known for is it's plus sized fashions. Let's face it although the majority of America is heading toward the double digit waist size many retailers and designers a like just don't make clothes for women after a certain size. Shopping in a place like New York is already hard enough but is only made harder for those size 14 and up. Below are some tips to follow when shopping as well as some places you can head to to find exactly what you need at affordable prices.

A few tips before you head out:

1: Make sure you know your size. You will be amazed how often women of all sizes can easily buy the wrong size and end up having to make a return. Know your body and know what size you generally fit into. It is vital for curvier ladies to know this and understand it. Some stores like Old Navy and Banana Republic do have vanity sizing, in those instances you'll find yourself a medium when in fact you're still a large. So having a general idea will save you.

2: Know what you're looking for. A dress? ok or some jeans? thats cool too. It'll save you time. Nothing is worse than a purchase you'll regret as soon as you walk out. It's kind of like going to Duane Reade. If you don't know what you're getting you'll walk out with things you didn't mean to buy and yet here you are and you forgot what you initially went in for. 

3: Most important. Be comfortable. Don't start this search in heels. Don't wear too much makeup either. You want to be ready to try on clothing so make it easy for yourself. This is plus size shopping it's going to take a while so be ready.

The Forever 21 at Times Square is a great place to start. If you aren't a fan of tourist spots do this spot first and get it out of the way fast. This location is the only one in Manhattan that has an entire area devoted to plus sizes. The Forever 21 Plus collection is one of the best and most affordable collections for plus sizes in New York City. If you dig in you'll find a lot of pieces that are right on trend. 

Location: 1540 Broadway New York, NY 10036 Phone number (212) 302-0594

If you're feeling thrifty head over to the Chelsea area and hit up Buffalo Exchange. Thrift stores and department stores like Macy's or Bloomingdale's tend to have more plus size clothing than smaller boutique style places like a Variazoni or Darryl's. So Buffalo Exchange is a must. You will find some of the best second hand clothing for prices that will make you wonder why you'd purchase a fifty dollar shirt in the first place. It truly is a gem and the staff are knowledgeable and kind. There's a location in Brooklyn as well on the North side if you're in that area.

Location: 114 W. 26th St. New York, NY 10001 Phone Number (212) 675-3535

If you happen to be in Brooklyn. Lee Lee's Valise is an amazing store for plus sized women. It's pretty popular and the location as well as the owner Lisa Dolan have been featured on the hit show Who What Wear several times. The store carries everything you can think of from size 10-28 and even features intimates like bras in sizes up to 46H. Lee Lee's is always on trend but there are plenty of classic pieces you can buy as well. 

Location: 368 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231 Phone Number (718) 246-5337

I'm tossing in a bonus here. The Big Fat Flea is one of the best events a plus sized gal can attend. Every year per the companies site:

"The Big Fat Flea is an all genders fatshion rummage sale event in NYC. We collect and sell clothes sizes Large and up as a fundraiser to create a fabulous fat community event!"

Knowing that your clothing will find a new and maybe better home is reason enough to denote, but with prices barely hitting over the $20 mark you will find gems here for prices that'll shock. So keep checking the site for updates on when 2015's event is ready and set.

Between these places and others stated before like Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Old Navy or Banana Republic there truly are plenty of places to shop at if your over a size 12. You just have to look harder than others. Yes it's a challenge but who doesn't love those sometimes? Get out there and shop away!