My Curvy Fashionistas in Toronto – You MUST make the drive to Buffalo!
So recently, I was invited to go to a plus-sized yoga class, which I jumped on immediately, 'cause the wii yoga just wasn't doing anything for me. And when I went to this class, I met some *awesome* folks, like Suzanne, who owns YogaZonePLUS; Mary, our yoga instructor; Victoria, proud owner of Gussied Up (my hero!); and Karen, who is a fellow curvy fashion blogger.
In fact, her blog name is Curvy Canadian, which totally fits her!
So what do you do when you hit it off with new peeps? You friend them on facebook of course!
My new FAB curvy friend Karen invited me to her group tour to Buffalo, with the intent to purely shop at plus-sized clothing stores. My first thought was, Heck yes!, my second thought was to check my calendar to make sure I could go, and not long after I purchased my ticket for the party bus.
For better or worse, only five of us were able to make it to Buffalo together, but what a TRIP we had, lol. And I do mean “LOL”. My *stomach* started cramping up the next day, 'cause we could not stop giggling or flat out laughing throughout our tour; we were just having so much fun, but I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here.
So, I knew the Peace Bridge was close, but I didn't truly appreciate just how quick it can be to get through to the US from Toronto. Or maybe it was the 2012 Lincoln Navigator we used to cross the border in ultimate style and luxury, that it felt like no time at all. *hearts* I guess drives don't feel as long when you're sitting on plush leather seats that can heat your tush nicely, heh.
Much sooner than I had expected, we were walking into the Walden Galleria Mall (which felt a lot like Woodbine Mall in Rexdale, except with better stores.) It's called home for Lane Bryant, Torrid, JCPenney, and Forever 21, just to name a few! So you don't have “slim pickings” to cater to your personal style when shopping plus (that pun was SO intended!).
Honestly, how quickly I picked up and purchased my new fave pink jacket from JCPenney (picture is down near the bottom of this post,) you'd think there was a fire behind me. We walked into JC when we arrived, I tried on maybe five items, knew that the jacket was meant for me, and headed straight for the cash. I didn't even need to look around anymore, this baby was MINE!
Remember I mentioned us laughing so hard? One of my fave jokes out of the trip was the rhinestone phenomenon… or is it epidemic? I honestly don't see this happen as often in straight fashion, but once you go curvy, designers LOVE to “enhance” your clothing with rhinestones. WHY?! Actually, we're not sure if it's the designers, or whether clothing store clerks take be-dazzler breaks just to make their products look that more “exciting”. One of our trip buddies is now convinced of starting her own rhinestone mill (It's probably the most viable get-rich-quick plan out there right now), 'cause there's a very good chance that we might have a shortage soon.
And we can't have that.
What is it about plus-size fashion that every jean designer needs to add a lot of be-dazzle on our behinds??? Three out of every four pairs of jeans had shiny on the butt. Why do I want to add more attention to my behind? Or are the many sparkles supposed to blind anyone who looks down?
And I'm starting to wonder if that's the same reason why you'll find hundreds of little rhinestones across the bust of plus-sized t-shirts… and even sweatshirts as well.
I feel like I'd need to hold up a card, while I'm out on the town, something like “WARNING: Don't look directly at my butt, it will cause blindness.” That and get Rhinestone warranty on my washer and dryer, 'cause I know those little buggers are getting lost in the cycle.
One of my goals for the day was to come home with a couple pairs of jeans. Do you know how long it took me to find any that didn't shine all over the backside? It wasn't until one of our very last stops that I had finally found two that fit comfortably, and didn't make your eyes bleed if you happened to look at my rear. I think they were pairs #17 and #18 of jeans that I had tried on that day.
So here is three of many offending items that we saw and had a good laugh over…
This one might be a bit tame, and the name of the store does warn you there will be Dots. I think this one was the “last straw”, as I remember taking this pic near the end of our trip. The consensus was that nothing was safe from being bedazzled! I *wish* I took a pic of the pair of jeans that were one big glittery mess all over the front (and shockingly plain in the back).
Then there was this gem. Seriously, WHY would I need a bedazzled bra? Is it supposed to match my bedazzled shirt?
This was the winner of the day! Not only does this knitted sweater have a breast pocket, but that pocket is decked out in shiny. It's totally guilty of Unnecessary Rhinestoning.
Karen, myself, and our two shopping tour buddies! I would love to hang out with these gals again soon, 'cause they're all awesome!
Polka-dot shirt and yellow tank from Dots, jeans from Avenue, shoes from Target, my coolest watch ever from Modify Watches (will tell you all about them in my next post!), head-band and necklace from Torrid.
Pink jacket from JCPenny (*hearts* it so), white shirt bought previously from Addition Elle (downtown TO)
I totally recommend taking a trip down at the beginning of each new season!
A few quick notes about each store…
I had really anticipated buying most of my clothes from Torrid, and only wound up purchasing a headband and necklace. One thing I had learned the night before the trip was that I could place orders of what I'd like to buy online and then pick it up at the store. And I will totally do that next time, 'cause I couldn't find any of the items that I loved online within the store. Bummer. :/
Otherwise this tank would totally be in my life right now…
Lane Bryant reminded me a lot of Addition Elle. I wound up coming home with three bras, all extremely comfy, and is now one of my main go-tos (the other place being Addition Elle, natch.) They had some *really* bright pants that I'm now kicking myself in the pants for not trying on.
I've yet to become a fan of any plus size clothing made by Forever 21. I had the oddest issue with a polka-dot dress that I was eager to take home. The waist (which is my hardest area to compliment) fit perfectly, but the bust area was too small! 'O.o! I'm not saying I'm tiny in the front-lines, but I'm by far from being big in the bust. I actually stood in the dressing room for a good while wondering if I read the instruction manual wrong for how to wear the dress. My other beef is that the plus-size section is fit into a closet, compared to the rest of the huge two-floor store. Seriously, there were thousands of different articles of clothing in that store, and only a handful was plus-size. It felt a lot like F21 was trying throw us curvy chicks a bone, rather than truly catering to our need for fashion.
JCPenny is much like the Bay or Sears, but they do plus-sized clothing better. I don't think I once cringed at any granny-style clothing in their modest plus-size section like I do at the Bay or Sears (actually one of those stores at Yorkdale started carrying plus-size Jessica Simpson, so kudos for that, but the majority is still made for my grandma and not me.)
The Avenue location we went to was closing down, so I scored both pairs of jeans for $14 ($6 each, plus tax)! The clothes looked nice, and I fell in love with a pair of summer chunky sandals that should have come home with me (alas!)
Dots was a fun, trendy store. Karen and another trip-mate dubbed the path to the plus-size section as the “Walk of Shame”, and I couldn't help but agree! It's a long store, and all of the curvy clothing was sent to the back of it, so we wound up passing a lot of gorgeous straight-size clothing, before getting to the garments that fit.
Rainbow had a lot of FUNKY wear that just didn't suit my style. *shrugs* I did find a red and white striped shirt that must have come out of the pages of “Where's Waldo?” (no Waldo to be found though). I was sorta ready to buy it after trying it on in their working dressing room (one was “Out of Order”… don't ask.), but when I lifted my arms to pull the shirt off, I noticed it had wings! Enough to get me airborne I'm sure. So that was a no. The other piece I tried on, was either a shirt or a dress, but since I couldn't figure out which, I had decided to just leave it on the rack.
Tagged with: Shopping Over the Border