Only the best for your little turkey. From Good Housekeeping
Find your new everyday piece.
One summer in high school, I worked part-time at Everything But Water, a swimsuit chain, at the local mall. Now, eight years later, I don’t recall the difference in technique between hanging a bandeau versus a triangle bikini. I do, however, remember all too well how stressful many women found the process of buying a swimsuit. Ask any woman you know, no matter what size they wear, and they’ll likely have a swimsuit shopping horror story or two; to this day, I hear them all the time. Almost a decade later, not a lot has changed. And for plus-size women, the problem is significantly worse.In speaking with women size 12 and up about their shopping frustrations this summer, one thing was made abundantly clear: The fashion industry, for the most part, pays no mind to plus-size women, despite the average apparel size for a woman in the U.S. being between 16 and 18. Plus-size swimwear — which Cameron Armstrong, the founder of size-inclusive swimwear brand Kitty & Vibe, calls “the most vulnerable piece of clothing a woman [of any size] wears in public” — is an even more overlooked category. “I heard this narrative of negative feelings surrounding swimsuits far too often, in my own head and from so many others,” she tells Refinery29. Eventually, the stories got so bad that Armstrong, who had zero design experience prior to launching Kitty & Vibe, felt the need to launch the business just to remedy that.Not only do few swimsuit brands offer options for women size 12 and up, but those that do often only supply options with unsatisfactory fits and an overall lack of style. Bikini tops rarely provide the kind of support that many women need to feel comfortable and secure, bottoms sag, one-pieces are too short, and swimsuit tops that do have underwire support are uncomfortable to the point of pain. For many women, these are realities they’ve come to expect when swimsuit shopping. Which brings us to the question at hand: Why is it so hard to make a good plus-size bathing suit?According to Taylor Long — who, before launching her size-inclusive swimwear brand Nomads, was a curve model and an activist for size-inclusivity in fashion — the lack of fashion education is responsible for limited stylish, comfortable, and well-made swimwear options. “Most designers are not taught how to design for sizes bigger than a 0 or 2,” Long tells Refinery29. “I saw this first hand throughout design school, and honestly, I had to learn to design for larger sizes on my own. I’ve also heard horror stories from other designer friends, where pattern graders flat-out refuse to grade to plus sizes.” (A pattern grader is someone who takes a designer’s initial sample and creates the patterns for other sizes.) > View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by NOMADS (@nomadsswimwear) on Sep 21, 2020 at 6:01am PDTDuring her first round of developing samples, Armstrong asked to see samples across every size and style. “I quickly found out this was not a typical ask, and it was quite an expensive one, which is probably why companies traditionally avoided it,” she says. “However, when avoided, it results in garments that fit perfectly on the ‘fit sample’ bodies, leaving plus-size bodies without the same well-developed fit.” In short, all sizes are then graded off of a size 2 body type, without taking into consideration body shapes or curves as the sizes go up. In the case of Kitty & Vibe, Armstrong found that the solution was to scrap the sizing method most commonly used by swimwear designers and come up with an entirely new one. “I’ve always been frustrated with my swim bottoms that sagged in the ocean when wet, creating almost a diaper effect,” Armstrong says. “Other women I spoke to felt similarly, or had the opposite issue of never having enough fabric to cover their bum.” To determine a solution, she held focus groups in her New York City apartment, where she measured her friends and discovered something: women can have the same hip size — which is how nearly all bikini bottoms are sized — but different inseam measurements, which contributes to bottoms fitting differently on two women that share the same hip size. “Thus the Kitty Size was born,” she says. “For every hip size, we offer two inseam options to accommodate different booty sizes, so you never have too little or too much fabric, and you always have the perfect fit.” Armstrong, who is straight-size, says the best way to create swimwear that actually fits for plus-size women is to *drumroll please* ask them. “I have the person who will be wearing the product actually give [me] feedback and help make the design decisions,” she says. Even after a product has been released, her team gathers feedback from all of Kitty & Vibes’ customers. “Some of the feedback we heard from the plus-size community includes [the need for] a thicker elastic waistband for sizes XL and up that doesn’t pinch nor dig on our bikini bottoms,” she admits. “They also requested increased support on the rib cage of our tops for sizes DD+.” Armstrong then takes this feedback back to the drawing board in order to create swimwear that fits even better. Long likewise took a different approach to fit than most swimwear brands. “Instead of using a size S as our sample size, we used a size XL [12-14] and graded up and down from there,” she explains. “It made a tremendous difference in our overall fit.” Fabric and trims were also important considerations for Long, who chose power mesh throughout in order to offer a strong hold and lift. But the swimwear industry’s hesitation to embrace the plus-size community isn’t only evident in the fit department. It also appears in the quality and style of the limited options that are offered, as well as the way that curve models are portrayed in advertising. When modeling, Long says that she’d often be styled in “matronly and modest swim styles meant for curvy and plus-size women,” to which she too often asked herself, “Who would wear these? Why don’t cute brands have extended sizes?” What she found out during her modeling career was that very few brands make stylish, sexy swimsuits for all sizes. Instead, most do up to a size 10 or 12, and then stop. “When brands do sell sizes beyond L, too often their offerings are watered-down versions of their other designs or are substantially more covered up,” she says. “The fact of the matter is, you rarely see fun prints or sexy details for curvy women.” If my inbox is any indication, hundreds of new brands, all of which cater toward only straight-size women, are launched every year. The percentage of just-launched brands that design for women size 12 and up is significantly smaller. Cut that down to just swimwear, and it’s even smaller. But plus-size women like Long shouldn’t be responsible for fixing that. If things are ever going to change, influential swimwear brands need to acknowledge plus-size women as a customer base worth serving. And given that 67% of the population wears a size 14 and above, and as of 2019, the plus-size apparel market was worth an estimated $9.8 billion, they better start soon if they want to be influential much longer. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Why Is It So Hard To Find Plus-Size Vintage?Fashion Needs Plus-SIze EducationWill The Pandemic Fix Fashion’s Plus-Size Problem?
This season, we're really only interested in wearing things that are comfortable and make us feel good. Enter the sweater dress. It's cozy, practical, and an outfit in and of itself. You can wear it to work, out to dinner, or just lying around the house. Talk about versatile. If you're interested in some new fall outfit inspiration, look no further. These are the 27 sweater dresses we're loving right now. Some of them are sleek and sophisticated, some are fun and cozy, and some are just downright sexy, and honestly, we want them all. The sweater dress is poised to be your closet all-star, so we understand if you want to stock up. Once you try one, you'll never go back, so just keep reading to shop our picks! Related: 29 Editor-Approved Fall Bags So Good, They're Begging You to Carry Them
Would wear 99% of her outfits.From Seventeen
Keeping things easy.
This fall is the perfect time to give your wardrobe a fresh new update. If your closet is already filled with cute dresses, try something new and rock a stylish jumpsuit instead. You can dress up these versatile pieces with heels or style them with sneakers. We looked to Amazon because the retailer has some seriously surprising finds. Ahead, we found a handful of must haves that are so stunning, your friends will never guess you got them on Amazon. Keep reading to shop them all and snag your favorites. Related: The 15 Highest-Rated Pieces on Amazon Fashion in September
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Conservative yet stylish.
Including my favorite trend of the season.
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They're soooo pretty. From Cosmopolitan
In our opinion, the best thing about & Other Stories is that it’s just a hair more polished than its mainstream fast-fashion brethren. While we fully expect to see tried-and-true runway trends at the likes of H&M, the Swedish behemoth’s smaller companion boutique is like a well-traveled cousin who just came traipsing back from Paris. You’re more likely to find those influencer-approved styles that feel straight out of a sun-lit Instagram feed, rather than pulled from the highly-produced pages of a glossy fashion magazine. This makes its sale section extra-rich with hidden gems, a place where some of the most slept-on creations from the hip retailers’ assortment dwell. Designed in alternate-fashion capitals like Los Angeles and Stockholm, a host of cool-girl essentials — belted workwear jackets, oversized trench coats, and lace blouses — bear a newer and more wallet-friendly red price tag. We’ve even gone ahead and rounded up our favorites from the retailer's latest array of unmissable markdowns to get you started on its latest sale. And, spoiler alert: the selection is filled with a lot of very good style staples that are ready to give your fall to winter wardrobes a boost. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Your Most Wanted Breathable Sheets Are On SaleUlta's Fall Sale Has Big Beauty Haul EnergyBlink And You’ll Miss Everlane’s Free Shipping
The chic seasonal outfit is easy to recreate at home.
Save big on sweaters, boots, coats, and more.Originally Appeared on GQ
The new line offers sleek style staples in sizes 18 to 24.
From colorful to dusters to classic cardigans, these sweaters will be our go-tos this season.
Katie Holmes has been on a roll these past few months serving one fabulous outfit after another. Not even a mandated quarantine has kept...
This seven-month-old baby’s laugh will make you smile 👶
Researchers from the University of Leeds and Tourism Western Australia found that participants who watched videos of quokkas, known as "the happiest animal on Earth," saw their blood pressure lower and felt as much as a 50% decline in stress.