I was inspired to create this guide to shopping for above size 14 in the DMV when I was in Chicago a year ago celebrating my 30th birthday with my closest girlfriends. When I was packing for the trip I did not prepare my outfits like I usually would far in advance. So I was just kind of winging it. Sorting through what I brought thinking about the fun night ahead, I tried on a variety of pieces that I brought and nothing was fitting or feeling right. I was determined to not let this clothing mishap ruin ringing in my 30th!
So I ventured out during the day before the evening festivities down to Michigan Ave. to find something else to wear. After 3 hours of stopping at stores from Topshop, to H&M, Macy’s, and many more there was literally little to no options above a size 14 in store. If there were options it was mainly oversized t-shirts, sweaters, or dresses that gave you no shape. Luckily, there was an Eloquii store where I did pick up this fierce body suit. THANK YOU ELOQUII!!!!!
But, walking back to my friends house I felt really overwhelmed and started to cry. Even though I found something to wear I still could not get over the lack of size options in a major shopping area of the city. I have not cried about not being able to fit into clothing since I was about 15 years old. Yup, I was in a Hollister dressing room quietly crying so my friends couldn’t hear because I could not fit into the cute jeans and tops like they could. Newsflash…these pieces back then were so not true to size it makes me cringe thinking about letting those sizes define how I perceived myself at such a young and fragile age. This whole topic I will be chatting about in another blog post, 100%!!!!!
Then my situation started to make me think of other scenarios women may encounter that are above a size 16 or 18. What if you are coming into a new city for business and your luggage gets lost on your flight. Are you just out of luck in terms of finding options of clothing that you can wear for your meetings? Or if you are at work and you spill coffee all over yourself and you are supposed to meet that blind date from Bumble right after work and you don’t have time to run home and change? Coffee stain…but make it fashion?? I think not.
With this scenario happening in a major city like Chicago, it made me start to think about what is the DMV like with above size 14 options in store. So this will be a three part series, but basically I am going to go to major shopping locations in DC, Virginia, and Maryland. With my walking shoes on I am heading to all the women’s stores in these locations and will be giving you guys the scoop on where you can and cannot purchase clothing above a size 14.
I want this guide to serve as a resource so you are not wandering the mall feeling on the edge of tears like I have and also to really bring light to the lack of in store size options. Above size 14 fashion is making major positive strides in the industry, but we have a long way to go! I do not want this to be a negative call out to these brands, but a bit of a wake up to say there are women that love your fashion and how can we make sizes available to all.
This first guide is all about Pentagon City Mall right outside Washington, DC. I bolded the options of stores that either go above size 16 or at least have size 18 in store:
Abercrombie & Fitch- 12 & XL
Altar’D State- Up to size L
American Eagle- Up to size 12
Ann Taylor- Up to size 14 & XL
Banana Republic- Up to size 14 & XL
Eloquii- Only above size 14+
Express- Up to size 18
Forever21- Offers separate plus section up to size 3X
Francesca’s- Up to size L and limited XL
Gap- Up to size 18 & XL
Zara- Up to size XL
Guess- Up to size 10, L, & 31
Hollister- Up to size 15 & limited XL
J.Jill- Up to size 18
J.Crew- Up to size XL & 14
Kate Spade- Up to size 16
NY & Co.- Up to size 16 & XL
True Religion- Up to size 22 in jeans & XL in tops
White House Black Market- Up to size 14 & XL
Windsor- Not open yet
I did not have time to do the department stores, which I will make sure to do a separate post, but as you can see there are not a whole lot of options if you are above a size 18. All I can say is…WOW…I have no words. Then I took my research a bit further and I looked up to see which stores have extended size options online.
I was very happy to see that many of the stores at Pentagon have more size options online! With that being said my question is to Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, J.Jill, J.Crew, NY & Co., why can’t you carry these extended size options in store? I know that in a select number of stores above size 18 collections is offered, but why not at every store location? The brands I mention here are some of my favorites and I just want my friends and followers to enjoy these pieces no matter what size they are at convenient locations. It is a win win in my eyes!
The stores I mention above that only offer up to size L in store and online only with no extended size options…that is a post for another time…I am exhausted! Stay tuned for more guides for shopping size 14+ in the DMV coming your way soon!