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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Does Plus Size Shopping Frustrate You?

In the past, women that were plus size struggled to find clothing that would enable them to dress and feel their best. Designers were not catering to the plus size shoppers and consumers had very little selection. As a stylist, it was equally challenging for me to service clients. I obviously am resourceful, but ten years ago the challenge was on! It seemed like the only options had no basis in anything other than covering up. As we've moved forward with fashion, designers, and more importantly retailers, discovered the market of plus size fashion. It made things easier, but what if you are comfortable the way you are and want to find something beyond what the retail stores carry? 

Recently I was at Charlotte International Fashion Week and had an opportunity to visit with a friend who owns a plus size boutique called Scarlet Plus. I met him last year, and we had a long discussion about the state of the plus size market, and what he envisioned as the future of plus size fashion. My friend, and the owner of Scarlet Plus, is Todd Albaum. He offers many fashion lines and what he refers to as "item pieces" in the store. He has a few wardrobe basics, but mostly what I refer to as "statement pieces" that are worn with basics to offer the look of a well dressed, updated person. 

Todd carries many lines made in America and complements them with Canadian lines. He also works with a jeweler who provides customers with one of a kind statement necklaces and earrings that would make most women green with envy. I was certainly one of those women as I perused the very creative and intricately woven beaded jewels and gemstones. One of Todd's primary loves (besides working with the clients) is designing customer pieces. He offers an array of fabric and custom designs - from jackets to dresses of all sizes and shapes. Over the past six years of being in the business, he has seen a steady increase in women who desire to have a garment made to their exact wants and needs. Who wouldn't want a designer designing a dress for you? Todd is providing a great custom solution to women who can't find what they want in retail stores.

Todd has a great website with several of his custom pieces shown as well as looks that he carries in the store. What impressed me the most is something relatively new he offers on his site. The program is called Fashion101 Plus. It is an online service that plus size women can join for $7.95 a month and receive tips, advice and a variety of handpicked fashion from several online retailers based upon your shape. Todd also provides on online monthly video discussing tips, concerns, and providing style advice. Todd has established himself as the go to guy and guru for plus size women and really enjoys working with women of all shapes and sizes.

As for me, Todd is a great guy who genuinely cares about his customers, and all I have to say is kudos to him!

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