So once in the store I notice that they have a really great selection of plus size dresses. There are a few styles that I've wanted to try on before making them and since my mom was game I loaded up with several different types of dresses and headed off to the dressing room.
If you don't mind, I would like to share a few observations with you:
1. I don't shop! Hardly ever...so I was amazed at the depth and selection of plus size dresses until I walked onto the other side of the floor and saw what they had in the smaller sizes. Ummmm, can we say unfair! Totally and absolutely unfair in the amount of dresses on that side of the floor versus the dresses on the plus size side.
2. If you are going snoop shopping make sure you wear a good bra (check), a good pair of undies (check) and any foundational garments and/or hose you would normally wear. Since this was a spur of the moment decision, I didn't have the last two. However, the store did sell control top pantyhose, I purchased a pair which helped alot in the decision-making process.
3. The dresses I took into the dressing room were:
~ a poly/lycra knit short sleeve wrap dress
~ a pin tucked sleeveless straight dress
~ a v-neck dress with a ruched waistline and full skirt
~ a border print black/white dress with a defined waist, belt and short sleeve cropped jacket
~ a waisted dress with a short sleeve sweater jacket
4. I have no idea what size I wear in RTW...I originally bought the wrong size into the dressing room with me...which meant my mom had to retrieve several pieces in the correct sizes!
**I learned that I can wear a belt (both skinny and thick...haven't worn one in at least a decade) if the style of the dress is right.
**That I am still not sure if I look good in a wrap dress but it may have been the print and the pleating on the side of this particular wrap dress. My mother thought I looked slimmer and I thought my butt looked like a big old shelf! But I am more amenable to the whole wrap dress thing now that my last knit dress worked so well.
**That the right dress with waistline seaming can be a slimming look on me.
**And most importantly, that I'm thankful that I sew!
Jeeze Louise if I had to relie upon RTW to dress, I would look terrible...or have to spend an inordinate amount of time in the mall, in the stores, constantly dressing and undressing to find a few items that fit. I also now understand how so many women have issues with their bodies...RTW does not help you. It glorifies the young, the skinny, the flat... Who is like that except a 12 year old?!
Okay, I didn't post this to rant about RTW...but so many times when other plus size women write me and ask how I know what works for my body, I always give the snoop shopping advice. Today I took my own advice and now I have to add one more piece to my snoop shopping tip ~ don't be discouraged by what is available in the stores! The point is to find out what shapes/styles look good on you and to realize that you can make the right length, the right fit, the right color/print/pattern for you...and if you see something in a smaller size and you believe the shape would work well for your body, go for it! This exercise is to just get an idea!
Also realize that I rarely base my dress-making decisions upon plus size offerings. I know what works for my body type and if I see something in any size that I know I can interpret...I go for it! If I stuck to what RTW offered there would be no "Dior Dress" or the "Michael Kors knock-off dress" or even my classic sheath dress.
After this exercise, I did walk out with a dress. I was so amazed at how I looked in it after slogging through the other try-ons, the price was right and it's something that's not currently in my wardrobe. However, I am purchasing a similar Butterick pattern during this weekend's $4.99 sale and making my own version, soon!
Here's a look at the DB dress - sans make-up and how I tried it on in the store:
Butterick 4914 - which I think can give me an alternative but in the fabric, color and styling I want:
Finally, I believe that snoop shopping can be very beneficial to your sewing. Especially when new styles come out and you are not quite sure if they will work with your body type. This advice, of course, applies to women of all sizes. I don't know if I'm going to keep the dress...already I'm revising the look in my head! *LOL* But it was a morning well spent and I'm off to sew because despite yesterday's snow event, I do believe that spring is coming soon and I've got to be ready!