Where do I get my clothes? Shopping as a plus size woman is definitely a time-consuming scavenger hunt! Only a handful of department stores, one boutique, and a few other retailers in Chicago have plus-size clothing in house. But don't get discouraged! I'm here to help!
7 West Madison Street
I love this store, but it's sometimes hit or miss for me. They have amazing sales, and I've gotten many a top for under $20. If you are looking for colorful, on-trend separates, this is absolutely worth checking out. Depending on the season, they also have a lot of great dresses! Oh, and I also buy most of my basic tank tops here...and shrugs.
*This black and white striped dress and shrug are from Ashley Stewart.
Blair Chic Boutique
1343 N Ashland Ave
3328 N Western Ave
This is a seriously overlooked store for plus-size teens on up to 30somethings. Now, don't get me wrong...the clothing is super cheap and not meant to last long at all. But, it is cheap and trendy! I've found some fantastic dresses, shirts, leggings, and even blazers here...all for under $27! These stores are often in little strip malls...so if you are near Roscoe and Western, just make a stop in and see if you find something you like. They get new shipments every Tuesday, so they rarely have the same stuff twice!
*This amazing orange, white and black maxi dress is from Dots.
34 S State Street
Did you know that Forever 21 has plus-size clothes? They are available online, of course...but it's so difficult for me (as a full-figured woman) to shop online. I am SO grateful that the Forever 21 on State Stree in Chicago has an entire plus size section in the basement. I believe it's the only location in the Chicago-land area that has the plus clothes in the store, and the day I found it, it felt like it was Christmas and my birthday and the day I tried on my first pair of high heels all rolled into one! The store caters to a younger demographic, with trendy, cheap, fast fashion...but it's a wonderful place to find some basics and some surprisingly high-quality pieces. This is always my FIRST stop on my shopping tour, and I usually find something fun to add to my wardrobe. Seriously...if you are in the Loop, check it out. You will not be disappointed!
Eloquii by The Limited
845 N Michigan Ave
111 N State St
55 E Grand Ave
24 N State Street
I alway stop in here on my way down State Street, even though I usually end up buying shoes and accessories as opposed to clothing. The clothese are more grown-up and professional. I can usually find something good, but it is a little hit or miss for my fashion tastes. They debuted a new "expanded" plus size section in September 2011, but I haven't had a chance to review it yet!
11 N State (upstairs)
Ahhh. Don't go here hungry. I usually make that mistake and then find myself hot and angry and pouting while searching through the plus size section. Sometimes the section is like a gold-mine and I end up making two trips to the dressing room...but then other times, it's a knit-shirt desert with weird prints and elastic waistbands. Also, I've never bought a single bottom here...they have an embarrassingly bad collection of pants, skirts, shorts, etc. If you are looking for tops, this is your place. Also, you might be able to find some dresses, a coat or two...and shoes!
vive la femme
2048 N Damen
One word: Curvy-girl HEAVEN! (OK, that was three words, I know.) I absolutely love everything about this boutique. First of all...it's the only plus-size boutique in the city, and they carry some of the best high-end curvy fashion lines, but keep the price-points at a reasonable level. The owner, Stephanie Sack, and her store manager, Amanda Mason, are attentive to your needs and are fully invested in making you look--and feel--beautiful. I have purchased dresses from Kiyonna, Igigi, LucieLu lines...and that's not even scratching the surface! If you have a special occasion or event coming up, I would highly recommend dropping by and trying on whatever Stephanie and Amanda tell you to. lol.
*Here's a purple Igigi dress I bought at vive la femme that I can't stop wearing!