I just returned home from a shopping trip and wanted to tell all you fabulous fats FIRST THING about what I found! I went to LL Bean in Freeport with the fam today and much to my surprise they have added womens' plus sizes back to their retail store! Maybe those letters I wrote had an impact after all! :)
In the past LLB's style has fluctuated quite a lot, especially with their plus-sized clothing. Typically I've found a lot of their stuff to be shapeless and improperly sized so that one would end up with ridiculously long, boxy tents - the result of mindless pattern upsizing - instead of clothes actually made to real-person-body specifications.
Well. Today I found a number of pieces that appear to have actually been made for an actual plus-sized woman. I just had to come share the news!
I wear a lot of sleeveless dresses and tank tops during the summer, and lighter tops and long-sleeved shirts in cooler weather. I love layering with cute cardigans and sweatshirt-styled shells and from what I've seen in this group a lot of you do, too. I am always on the lookout for good basic pieces without their own embellishments or funky styling that can be worn with lots of different outfits. Here's what I found:
1. Fine-Gauge Sweater, Button-Front Cardigan
, $54 - this comes in five very nice colors (I find that a lot of plus-sized cardis only come in bright, eye-searing hues for whatever reason) and the fit is *great*. I am 5'2", size 22 with a G cup and this sweater falls right at the waist without being too short and without being down to my thighs. I LOVE the length, it's exactly what I have been looking for. The buttons are close enough together and positioned so that there's no gapping going on between them. I bought two of these in a 1X (LLB's 18W, their stuff tends to be roomier), which was a more fitted look on me - I could have gone with a 2X for a more relaxed fit but didn't want it to potentially get baggier with wear. I got Bright Navy and Sea Coral. If they had a brown or a light cocoa they would be perfect - fingers crossed for this Autumn!
2. Lightweight Fine-Gauge Sweater, Button-Front Cardigan Dot
, $64 - this is the same fit and style, just with Swiss dots. I LOVED this sweater and really wanted to get the Wild Berry but I was already getting too many things so I'm going to wait. In fact I'm kind of regretting not buying one, now. :) They come in four colors and are *so* adorable.
3. Double L® Cotton Sweater, Zip-Front Cable Cardigan
, $54 - I really wanted to get this in Lemon and maybe Navy but I already own a few other sweaters that are very similar to this. The same styling, with a bit more fit due to the cables but again, falling just above the hip which is perfect for me. A nice weight and appear to be very sturdy, no gapping around the zipper especially in the boobage area.
4. Maine Isle Shirt, Cardigan Long-Sleeve
, $39.50 - Lighter weight and longer than the aforementioned sweaters but oh my gosh, this thing is adorable. It comes to the tops of my thighs at my short stature and the fabric is thinner but very soft and lovely to touch. I really, really, really, really like this cardigan a lot. I can see wearing this with a nice skirt and a cute tank to go out, or throwing it on over a tee shirt and shorts while camping for that extra layer on cool evenings. This one is a complete winner - six great colors, I got the Coral Taffy and the Bright Capri.
5. Seaspray Hoodie
, $39.50 - I tried this on and LOVED it, but again I already have a ton of cute sweatshirt-styled tops like this so I put off purchasing it today. The colors, again, are great and the fit is fantastic and the fabric is lovely. On my wish list for my birthday :)
My 7-year old son is my fashion consultant when I go out and he gave all of my purchases two big thumbs up. He actually picked out the Bright Capri Maine Isle Shirt, saying, "Mommy, this color will make you look even prettier!" :)
They also had a whole section of outerwear, fitness wear, and swimsuits that I didn't have time to browse through - I'm hoping to make it back to look around and I'll write a full report should I do so. They all looked to be the same smart styling so perhaps the designers for LL Bean have finally gotten a clue about how to make plus-sized clothing that flatters and doesn't just fit.
So there you go, fats. If you need some good basic layering pieces I would say you can buy these with confidence. And best of all if you don't like them, you can always return them for a full refund at any time, no hassles. Their customer service is great!