Find Your Inner Beth Ditto

Plus-Size Shopping

Have you ever walked into a formerly favorite boutique and thought you were dreaming because suddenly all of the clothing seemed miniature? What's this Size E? Embryo. That perception may not be because you've gained weight (although, let's face it, Forever 21 ought to be called Forever 12).

Since 1950 women's sizes have bloated to twice their original volume: A size four today holds the same amount of lady-tomato as did a size 12 in 1955. Unfortunately, that doesn't do much for 21st-century foxes on the hunt for clothing that fits an ample figure. No offense to Lane Bryant, who always comes through for both occasion-wear and casual solutions while everyone else suggests velour track suits, when we say that girls (that means you, too, Moms) want to have fun, already. Speaking of Moms, they're not having such an easy time of it, either, since Ann Taylor and Old Navy have taken their plus lines out of the stores (both are still available online). On a pricier but worthy note, Ralph Lauren deserves a mention here as a designer whose larger-sized numbers are in keeping with the proportions and fabrics of his bridge line for smaller sizes. However, with few exceptions, the pickings have historically been sparse.

Enter Beth Ditto, the larger-than-life spirit that heads the UK band, Gossip. Reportedly feeling conflicted about the idea of appearing in ads for British brand, Topshop, Ditto wound up designing a plus-sized line for them instead. Beth Ditto at Evans features party dresses and hoodie-wear in bright colors and big patterns. The black and white cocktail dress in stacked dominos is classic Ditto, who is famous for reinventing bold patterns in black and white. In fact, what the clothes accomplish has been a need in the market forever. I remember an older cousin bemoaning the lack of leopard-print belts for her size-14 figure, and even now, in the time of the 18-34 year-old demographic, no one gets that a significant market-share of big girls aren't looking for ways to look demure. They want to reinvent Beth Ditto. Ditto Ditto, if you will. Beth Ditto at Evans is available in the U.S. online.

Here at home, Faith 21, the plus line for Forever 21 that launched in May of this year is a welcome new line for the popular mall chain. The dresses and separates feature the same kinds of details found on smaller sizes at very affordable prices. Pure Energy for Target, which launched in April, is a great source for airy scarf tops, cool denim, and other separates. Another American line we really love is Torrid from Hot Topic, with their super online sales events and Diva Favorites. Be sure to check out their Tripp Black and Neon-Yellow Trim cropped pants. The yellow trim glows in the dark! So stop hiding your neon under a basket and throw out that burkha, we want to see who you really are.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Anne Harris
Making the Cut
Making the Cut
New season of Project Runway puts Austin designer Lindsey Creel in the spotlight

Aug. 7, 2015

Austin Dames Host Kitchen Sale Fundraiser
Austin Dames Host Kitchen Sale Fundraiser
Rummage for groovy kitchenware at Mueller Farmers' Market

June 12, 2015


Shopping for plus sizes, Beth Ditto, Plus-sized, Hot Topic, Faith 21, Torrid, Beth Ditto at Evans, Lane Bryant

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle