I have always been the type of person that was not only willing to, but wanted to try new things. However, when it comes to shopping online, it can sometimes be overwhelming for even the savviest of shoppers. Its not the trying on of close, at least not for me, its the process of sending back and exchanging that can be tedious or impossible depending on the company. So when I started this blog I made a concerted effort to try various brands I had never tried. I wanted to be able to step out of my comfort zone and come back and share my experiences with all of you.
So today I am going to talk about all the companies I tried over the last year. I will try and cover both the good and the bad points of each place, as well as what I thought about how their clothing fit compared to the old trusty standards (a.k.a. Lane Bryant and Torrid) since I feel a good majority of us have at this point tried at least one of those brands and know how they fit us. I will even share a picture or two of things I purchased from each place. And make sure you read through to the end as I will be sharing some things that are going to be coming over the next month for the blog. Now lets get started:
I had been drooling over their Sexy Stripe Dress for the longest time at City Chic.
However I hesitated from ordering for the longest time since I had to order online and was unfamiliar with the company. So when I did order from City Chic, this dress was of course one the first things I got.
I looked at their size charts before I ordered and felt confused, so much so that I actually ended up calling their customer support. If you look at their charts you will notice they have a list of measurements, but they also have a list of other stores and what size you wear there compared to what you would wear at their store. One of the stores they list is Torrid. Now at Torrid, like most plus size stores (not junior plus) I wear a 20. And according to City Chic’s measurement chart I wear a 20 at their place as well. But at Torrid a 20 is also part of a size 2 which I also wear in most of their stuff, but occasionally have to size up. And so City Chic’s store comparison chart said if I wear a 2 at Torrid I should wear a 18 at their store. But after talking to their customer support, we decided I should stick with a 20 or L. So I would urge anyone that is going to order to go by their measurements when choosing a size.
After trying many of their items, I definitely have learned to stick with a 20 or L. They do have an occasional piece, like any store does that runs a little small or a little big. But the great news is, when something like that happens, they have one of the best customer support experiences you could ask for. If you are in the US, that pretty much means its only one person you will talk to (unless that has changed since the last time I had an issue) and her name is Stephanie. Since its just her, it may take a little bit for her to get back to you, so please be nice ladies. I would go so far to say that Stephanie is so good at what she does, that she is a big part of why City Chic has gained a loyal new customer in me.
Eloquii is one of those brands that while it hadn’t been on my radar long I was quite anxious to try it because I had heard so much about it from when they had been around before. Looking at their site, they have a lot of items that are fashion forward, and even some that border high fashion.
After examining their size charts I decided that the best size to order form them would be a 22, but I had read previously read that you should size down for this brand so I ordered a 20. I decided to order a dress, a top, and a belt. When my order came in I rushed to open the box and try everything on. Unfortunately, with great disappointment, noting fit except the belt. Now you might be thinking it was too small because I sized down, and I was a little worried that might happen too. But no, it was too big, by a size or possibly two.
Their website says they offer return and exchanges, but that section of their site is not written out super clearly. I decided to call customer service to see what to do to exchange for a smaller size, and also hoped they could help decide what size I should actually order. What I found out, that they do not say on their website, is that because I used Paypal to pay this option was not open to me. They also suggested that since I should buy multiple sizes in the future, and the return the ones that don’t fit. But I don’t like that since they charge a item return fee. After going back and forth for 20 minutes the call ended with me on the verge of tears and having decided to just send the clothes back without trying to replace them. Overall I found their customer service rude and unhelpful. After that experience I doubt I would ever buy from them again.
Eshakti has been around for a few years and I glanced at their site off and on. I don’t think they ever really caught my interest till this last year or so. It seems they continue to grow and offer a better selection of fabrics and designs. I made an order last spring of several items including their Red Lips Tulle Full Skirt, which you can see the full review of here.
I find that when ordering by eShakti’s size chart I fall in-between two sizes. Its not an issue with the skirts at all, but for dresses what happens is the size I need becomes dependent on the type of fabric used. So if its is a fabric with stretch, then I am more comfortable in the smaller size. If there is no stretch then I need to size up. But do make sure you actually go by your measurements and not just the same as what you would at another store. They have their own sizing.
I can not tell you how the customer service is with this company as the need has not arisen to contact them. However the one thing they do that makes me really happy is they occasionally send out surveys of a type about products they either currently have or are thinking of carrying. They ask you to answer a number of questions about each item shown to you. I personally try to fill this out each time I get one. And over time, I honestly feel like they listened. One of the big things I kept requesting was more fabric options with stretch. Happily I can say this spring they had way more options, and I did order quite a few, so there will be more outfit post coming with looks from eShakti.
Also while they do accept returns, I have found that eShakti has become popular enough that anything that I decide doesn’t work for me that its easy enough to get your money back by selling it either on eBay or one of the many Facebook groups for selling clothing. Now if you don’t want to even consider having to get rid of something or sending it back, they do offer the custom sizing option for a small fee. Be prepared to have a tape measure and some one help you if you go this route.
I have no doubt I will be buying many more items from eShakti in the future, and I recommend that everyone give them a shot. With every piece offered in sizes up to 36W or custom made for anyone, what more could you ask for?
Curvy Girl Lingerie
A bit different than the rest of the companies. Curvy Girl Lingerie is actually a Plus Size Lingerie store located in California, and I believe it is one location only. However, they do have a website and they will also take phone orders. Over the last year or so I had seen them mentioned a time or two, but I somehow failed to ever really notice them I suppose. That was a mistake. But what happened is I was on Living Social and they had a deal on there for their shop. I shared, as I often do. There was a restriction thought that the deals could only be used in store. So Curvy Girl replied that if anyone who didn’t live in California wanted to try the deal they could do an order over the phone. I decided to personally give them a try.
When I called, Chrystal Bougon, the owner answered the phone and took my order. I got the Curve Soft Touch Bodysuit.
Chrystal was so helpful. She is very knowledgeable about what she carries in her store and the sizing of the different brands. When my item arrived it fit perfect, and I have no doubt I will be ordering again from Curvy Girl Lingerie.
Outside of my actual shopping experience, I would like to say that I really appreciate the passion and obvious hard work Chrystal puts into what she does. It is people like her that have done so much for both the Plus Size Industry and the Body Positivity Movement. If you get a chance to talk to her or just to even look at her her website you can see what some of the things she is working for in the near future. I hope she succeeds in her endeavors.
At the beginning of this year I ordered from ASOS for the first time. I ordered several selections out of both the Curve Collection and the Plus Size Collection. Including their Pink Clove Bell Sleeve Off Shoulder Top.
After looking at the size charts I decided the best size for me in both collections was an 18. So I placed my order, and was surprised when it arrived rather quickly. And much to my delight every piece fit as it should. Since this has been my only order so far I have not had any experience with their customer service. One thing they have going for them is they ship for free, and free returns. I will definitely be ordering again soon, and you most likely will be seeing some outfit posts involving them soon.
ModCloth for me is one of those companies that I heard people talking about for a little while, but because those people’s styles are so drastically different than mine I never bothered to even look at their website because I didn’t think they had anything for me. Then one day another blogger I follow, who has a similar style to me, posted a picture of her in a dress I really loved. That was the first time I ever thought to look at ModCloth. Then it took me a while to even order just because there were so many choices. But last fall I took the plunge and order several dresses including the Musical Maestro Dress.
It is now sold out, but ModCloth has tons of other dresses to chooses from. As with all the other companies I examined their size carefully and decided I must order everything in a 3X. The only thing I had ever heard about ModCloth was their clothes ran small, so this made sense to me. I now laugh at that since I now know how ModCloth works. But I ordered several things all in 3X except one the one pictured I ordered as a 24W, and when they arrived every single item was too big. Actually the 24W was two sizes too big. I was so confused, it didn’t seem right.
So this is where I call customer service. I was really upset to, I was sure they were not going to help me because every item I bought came off the final sale rack, and Modcloth’s policy is no returns on final sale items. But I have to say they have some amazing customer service people. After I explained what happened and why I ordered what size I did, they first explained to me that their size chart is not the real size chart its just a general one and they carry many brands that size differently. Then they said because I was knew and didn’t understand they would make an exception on the exchange. So they changed things out for sizes I need. Which with some items like the one pictured that fixed the issue. But with others it did not.
I have since ordered several times from ModCloth, and what I have since learned is that some brands I am in-between their sizes. If I go with the 2X its a little too tight to be comfortable, but if I go to a 3X its too loose. So I have found it best to go bigger and get it tailored. A lot of companies I wouldn’t think it worth the extra cost, but most of what ModCloth carries are unique pieces in quality fabrics.
I will continue to buy from ModCloth. I love that they value their customers, and support body positivity and freedom of expression no matter who you are. I hope that they continue to grow their plus size line. There are many times I see dresses pop up as suggestions and I am clicking on them only to see they are only offered in straight sizes. Please ModCloth, please continue to ask your designers to offer plus sizes. We are ready to buy, but we can’t till they are willing to sell.
So that was a look back at my year of trying new brands for the blog. And there will be more of the same to come over this next year. If you follow me on Facebook you might have noticed its official, the blog is one now.
Over this next month (I say month but lets not really harness it into a number it might be more like 40 or 50 days) I plan on talking about skin care and makeup. I am also working on a giveaway that is related. I will still do a outfit post or two during that time, but I wanted to mix things up a bit and share some things that are important to me and explain why. So look for the first post on that soon.
In the mean time, is there a plus size brand you think I should try? Who is your favorite? Let me know. I want to hear from you.