Fat Clothing Catalogs…

In my experience, there are two kinds of companies that put out supersize/extended-size catalogs for fat women:

  1. Large companies with mostly imported mass-produced clothing, cheap prices,  and a propensity for selling their mailing lists. Quality tends to be uniform.  Examples: Roaman’s, Woman Within, Silhouettes, Lane Bryant Catalog.
  2. Small specialty companies that only do plus or supersize clothing. Often they design and produce their clothing in-house, sometimes even to order, and may be owned and run by fat women who genuinely want to create clothing they’d like to wear.  Prices tend to be higher. Quality varies.  Examples: Making It Big, Junonia, Plus Woman, Love Your Peaches.

I’ve had good and bad experiences with companies in both categories.  But now that this post at Living XXL points out Roaman’s and Woman Within signs you up for “free trial” of a $139.99 service when you cash a refund check, I probably won’t be shopping with them again.

Meanwhile, the Silhouettes catalog I received last night had maybe a dozen things in my size. Everything else – including everything I’d actually, you know, want to buy – was only in 1X-3X.

Lane Bryant Catalog is now owned by the Lane Bryant store.  Not sure if that means they’ll restrict their sizes either.

So….

Any opinions / thoughts on Myles Ahead or MIZRAK?

FYI: I’ve posted about clothing and catalogs before, click here to view them.

34 thoughts on “Fat Clothing Catalogs…

  1. What a shame about WW and Roamans! I can’t believe they would be that deceptive. You would think that being two of the biggest (no pun intended) sources of plus sized clothing for supersize women, they wouldn’t do this to customers. Once people realize what happens after they cash a refund check, I think they’re going to get into a lot of trouble. But then again, what do you expect when they won’t even have large women model their clothes because they say seeing real fatties causes their sales to go down?

    As for Myles Ahead, I only saw a few things I would actually wear. Most of the clothing looks like it came straight from the wardrobe department of The Golden Girls. But, I give them props for actually using supersized women who have the same body shape I do!

    • Myles Ahead is actually fabulous. Jody will make you anything you want in any fabric…….. Just that most of it is not on her website…..l.

  2. I like Ulla Popken and Zaftique because all their clothes go up to a pretty large size. Ulla Popken has more natural fibers than Zaftique.

    I would not call Junonia a small specialty company. They are sort of in between the two categories you mention. (No small specialty company could afford to send as many catalogs as they do.)

    http://cat-and-dragon.coms/stef/fat/super.html lists a bunch of companies that sell clothing in US women’s size 5X or larger.

  3. I got a Lane Bryant Woman catalog the other day that’s a sale catalog, says everything must go, all sales final, up to 65% off. And from what I understand, LBW catalog is going out of business (along with LB closing some of their stores because of the economy). So there’s that to consider too.
    I can’t afford to shop at places like Zaftique, Making It Big, and Love Your Peaches. I’m too hard on my clothes to be able to afford spending more than $20 on slacks or more than $15 on a top (and if I need something dressy, I’ll make it myself). I can’t buy a dressy pantsuit because if the top fits, the pants are miles too big (and the pants’ legs are too short), and I don’t do dresses, ever (I got enough of dresses when I was in school and HAD to wear them because of the stupid dress code).

  4. Um, hello! First time reply…er… long time reader! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, have been lurking around the fatosphere for a few years, and am only now getting around to de-lurking.

    ANYWAY. My mom has gotten Roamans and Lane Bryant for as long as I can remember, and I don’t recall this happening before. Then again, my mom almost never buys cloths (convinced that being a fatty-fat-fat means that everything will look just DREADFUL on her, and even if it didn’t, she doesn’t derserve to dress nicely), and I usually go to Northgate mall (YAY TORRID OMG), but I told my mom about this just in case this issue every comes up for her.

    As for the others, I’ve never heard of any of them except Junonia. I like their company, and it first appealed to me because they actually use women over a size 4 as their models (gasp!). I also like one of the bras they have available, which is the only sports bra I’ve found that’s made for fat women that can tame my mighty Rack of Doom. But… every time I order anything from them, it takes FOREVER to get my cloths. Srsly, at one point I ordered a bra, and it took almost 3 months for it to come. I ordered a second that I couldn’t really afford during the waiting period, just to make sure I had a back up in case I ever had to wait that long again.

  5. Stef, I haven’t had much luck with Ulla Popken, but I am checking out their stuff. I’m either a 5 or 6x on top in their sizes, and entirely too big for their pants….

    Re: Zaftique, a lot of what I’ve ordered from them has got right back due to fit problems or the polyester just being too itchy. I loved the burnout velvet top I got from them but it, well, nearly disintegrated in the wash.

    Thanks for the reminder of your list of 5x & larger clothes – I spotted that on your LJ a while ago and have enjoyed browsing it.

  6. Hm, Vesta, that’s interesting…the Lane Bryant Catalog website says they’re now the same company as the Lane Bryant store, but which lines they’re keeping and which they’re not is going to be a puzzle.

    Re quality, some things are worth the money and some aren’t. To me the Making it Big knit pants are worth it but a lot of the other stuff isn’t. Of course, part of it is ALSO knowing what works for you. My waist size changes by about 10″ when I stand up … so I don’t even try to wear non-elastic waist pants most of the time :)

  7. Yeah, I heard the same thing about the Lane Bryant Catalog. I wonder if they’re simply dumping all their old merch to restart the catalog, though. Everything is marked down, but a lot of it isn’t marked down that much.

    And LB/Charming Shoppes did buy their catalog back from Redcats USA, but that was at least 6 months ago. Also, LB, Roamans, and Woman Within have almost the exact same merchandise 95% of the time, so LB going away is no big deal to me.

    I haven’t looked at Silhouettes in years because their stuff appeared boring and overpriced. The only small-scale store I’ve dealt with is Zaftique, and it was because I needed a bridesmaid dress that I knew was going to fit. I think they may be better at dresses than separates, though.

  8. OK….is it just me, or do plus sized clothes look the same? After looking at the Myles Ahead site you linked, I thought I was looking at the same dress, over and over again. Same shape, same shape, same shape.

    Now, I know I am large-5’10″, 370ish, large stomach, broad shoulders, long legs, ample bosom and bum, but I want clothes that DONT look tent-ish when I wear them. Sure, I dont want clingy clothing shoved into every crevice of my fat rolls, but neither do I want to the fabric of my clothing to hang so loosely at my sides that you can’t make out my shape.

    This is why I tend to wear pants most of the time. Being tall mandates longer lengths, but those aren’t as difficult to find as they used to be. The other big problem I have with plus sized clothing is this belief by the manufacturers that fat women are just big children in love with their favorite cartoon character, OR they desire to wear the boldest flowery prints imaginable in the most unflattering colors known to man. I am not a rose garden, a constellation, or American flag just begging to be let loose on the world. I’m just a woman, seeking clothes that I don’t have to swim in, made of tasteful fabrics and colors that allow me to remain a human being with some sense of style that doesn’t just attempt to cover up my ZOMG YOU’RE FAT! – ness.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, it has taken me a long time to begin to love myself at the size I am. To begin allowing myself to look in a mirror and not feel shame. To stop apologizing for my weight when I meet new people and try too hard to compensate for my unacceptability with my sparkling personality and humor. To truly BELIEVE that I am a valuable, worthy, lovable person. It’s a neverending process and I am still learning how to find inner peace. Sorry for the rant…just my thoughts.

  9. I have to say that I’ve had the most luck with Ulla Popken and I am over 400 lbs. too. What I like about Ulla P. is that the sizing tends to be uniform. Usually when I buy a size it will fit me the same no matter what garment I choose. That is the trouble I have with some places like Roamans and Lane Bryant Catalog and stuff, because they have various vendors who apparently size their clothes differently. However, I do LOVE the Dreams & Co. pajama sets that I think it is Woman Within offer…Anyway, it is one of those big companies and I love the Dreams & Co. pajamas! They fit great and are really cozy! Ulla Popken is also making more and more clothes up to 36/38 or 6x which is nice. Most places top out at 3x or 4x and sometimes 5x. I have had a few things from Ulla Popken that don’t fit like normal, but mostly things are okay and GREAT quality. I also like the aquatard from Junonia! It is awesome and I highly recommend it!!! I’m not too thrilled about the fabrics that Zaftique uses, but some of their things I really like.

  10. I agree that the stuff on the Myles Ahead website is not necessarily the most fashionable. However, when I had to have a dress for my brother’s wedding, I spoke directly to the owner. She directed me to an outfit that wasn’t shown online. It was absolutely beautiful and fit like a dream.

    Another site I’ve had a good experience with Plus Woman. Again, the styles are somewhat basic, but they custom make every garment and you can choose from a wide range of fabrics. I’m currently awaiting a suit I ordered in a fabulous brown/blue boucle — that’s something you won’t find off the rack anywhere.

    I used to buy a lot of clothes from Ulla Popken and Silhouettes. Lately it seems like most of the styles don’t suit me, and of the few things I do order, I wind up sending everything back.

  11. I’m not too happy to find this out about WW. And, if LBW is about to change, I’m pretty much in a bind for clothes.

    Believe it or not, I live in an area where there are NO plus sized stores like LB. The plus sizes at wal-mart don’t fit. And the plus sizes in Macy’s are astronomically high, like $80 for one 3X top. They are putting in a CJ banks, but their clothes do not fit me right. A 4X in CJ banks is like a 1 X on my body.
    I’m a 4 – 5X woman, depending on the cut of the clothes.

    I am also in a fix because I dress modestly (religious preference). So I need stylish, but modest clothing for a 40 year old, but nothing too golden girls either.

    I got desperate a week ago looking for some nice long flowy skirts, and denim skirts. Went to wal-mart and I couldn’t believe that their plus section had nothing but pants and jeans. No skirts at all. (I wear skirts all of the time, btw but I like them to be stylish, not plain Amish)

    sigh…

    • This post is a few years old so I am not sure you will even receive this. I was a fan of Zaftique and noticed their gone now so I stumbled across this blog and wanted to throw my 2 cents in. I have the same problem as you, minus the religious preference part. The 3x in most stores is not happening and it seems like that is the cutoff. I like Zaftique’s styles, but they are more risqué than I like. I need clothes that are stylish for work but modest for home life. And again, 4-5x depending on who did the sewing that day. :) I have actually found quite a bit of clothing on EBay of all places! Just thought I’d share that as a potential source for you. Sorry I didn’t find this blog sooner. Hope all is well.

  12. I have shopped at just about every place that carried clothes with my measurements: bust 70″, waist 68″, and hips 72″. I am 400lbs. +, so I know how hard it is to find supersized clothing. With that said, I will list my reviews by site or store:

    Silhouettes: My experiences has been that the 5x and up fits me and sometimes the 6x was too big. I love the clothing from this catalog; however, lately they are not targeting the supersized woman; the more stylish clothing stops at 3x.

    Roamans: It took a long while before I found something that I could fit, and then last year, I found some really stylish dresses that I could fit. But, the big decider for me is the cut. I love sexy lingerie, but it has been a hit and miss for me on the sleepwear from this catalog. One thing that I like about the site now is the customer review section. Be smart and read the reviews before you buy.

    Womanwithin: The sleepwear fits me better than any other catalog, except for Lanebryant. However, it is not as sexy as Roamans. The fit of the clothing is pretty much the same as Roamans. I can wear a 5x dress by this catalog and Roamans.

    Lane Bryant Catalog: I was devastated when they were bought by the Arizona Mailing Company. It seemed that they didn’t offer the promotional codes like 2 above, but when they had a clearance, you didn’t need codes. The only thing that I purchased from them was sleepwear. The 5x fits well.

    Catherines: All of a sudden they became boring.

    Ulla Popkin: Good fit; too expensive.

    Mizrak: When I discovered Mizrak, it was a God send. I ordered all of my playwear from Mizrak back 2003, and I got compliments on everything I wore. But, it is 2009, and the styles have not changed. Be sure to measure yourself, because some of Mizrak’s clothes run big.

    • I did try Mizrak and their clothes look like they are homemade. Plus the customer service is horrible. They are very very rude. I told them I did not get an order and they called me a liar. Beware.

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  14. Silhouettes is my favorite for stylish clothing. Just because I’m big doesn’t mean I want to wear moo-mus. Sadly, you’re right, most of the stuff is 1-3X. I have lots of money to spend on clothing if it’s quality clothing. And I know I’m not the only one. So where are those companies?

    Thank you We Be Bop (available through ebay & other sites). I LOVE their styles.

  15. I love BlouseHouse as I love the old fashioned Mumus to do house work in or sleep in…..sizes go to 8X. …so, if you like the old polyester from the 70′s this place is for you. The quality is good and the prices are reasonable..,,and you receive your purchase in 2 days!!!!

    Susan

  16. The best site I’ve found for superplus so far is Making It Big. The clothes are comfortable, they fit, they’re decently made (had to give up Sanctuarie Designs because their construction and fabrics are really very shoddy) and they have appropriate for business casual things. They’re not cheap, but so far I’ve gotten pretty good stuff.

    http://www.makingitbig.com/

  17. I swear by Making It Big. It’s true that their clothes can be pricey, but in terms of construction and durability, nothing else compares. Clothes from MIB last me years and years; they fit right out of the package, go through the wash like a champ, and go on and on looking good. I generally like their styles, and their patterns are really cut to work well on a supersize body. It’s a bit of an investment, but if you figure the cost per wear over time, MIB is a better bargain than cheap stuff that doesn’t looks as good or last as long. I don’t buy a lot of it, but I steadily build a reliable wardrobe on it. It helps to watch their sales and check eBay; there are some MIB sellers on eBay who offer at a discount, and even buying gently used clothes by MIB can be a bargain because they wear so well.

    Speaking of Silhouettes, their website has been down for quite a while – any ideas about what’s happening with that?

  18. I’m in the UK and must admit to be a person of reduced size in comparison to yourselves so the plus size catalogues are a whole new territory to me. Maybe its a cultural thing but I found the fashions to be very, very conservative and middle aged- but not in a good way. The more fitted clothing seemed to far more flattering than the outfits with swathes of fabric.

    Here’s the leading UK one- www,yoursclothing.co.uk- what do you guys think of it? Good? Bad? (they ship to the US).

  19. For a while, Torrid was selling size 5 (Torrid does vanity sizes, so it was like a 28-30.) That didn’t last very long though, and they’re expensive. I’ve had good luck with Kiyonna….they are also pricey but the dress I bought from them was divine.

  20. I’m surprised nobody mentioned onestopplus.com. It has items from WW, roamans, ulla popken and many other brands. They also have great coupon deals out there. I get a UK catalog called Simply Be but I can’t squeeze into those clothes… Darn it!

    • I’m just glad that there are companies out there that make large sized clothing….otherwise I’d have to start sewing again. I used to love to sew but these days every movement is painful.I just bought 4 dresses from Ulla Popken that makes sales wonderful things.

  21. One company that I have had good luck with for inexpensive pants and top is Mizrak. I buy all of my pants and tops from them and personally so far I have had no problem from them. The problem I have is their underwear. I found some of it shrank and others did not measure up in size.

    • Mizrak is nice ,the clothes are plain and fashionable at the same time…the prices are amazing.The clothes are well made, they can look a little homemade,but just wear some yoga pants with it or assessories …..I just bought 4 shirts from them customer services was great!

  22. Came across this site lookng for nightgowns for my mom. She’s a size 7x-8x and I being up,down all around the internet looking and still nothing. Anybody please help. I’m don’t mind paying but only if its good quality.

    Thank you

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  24. Hi living 400 lbs. I know I’m being dumb, but I don’t get what you said re Woman Within and Roamans offering a $139.99 service on refunds–or something like that. Everybody seems to understand what it means, but I don’t.

    • They were issuing refund checks, and stating on the check that cashing or depositing it would automatically sign you up for the service.

      I do occasionally order from them now – through Amazon.

  25. Just a heads up. I learned of Mizrak through you, placed an order and everything came under sized from their web site measurements. In contacting them I learned they have A NO REFUNDS policy! What do you think the odds are if I return the stuff they will ship out the right sizes with the right measurements? I regret doing business with them. Buyer beware!

  26. Another catalog site to check out is SWAK. I really like their stuff, it’s mostly flowing, stretchy fabric of a good heavy weight (no clinging!), fashion forward, not too expensive, and most of all, fun!!!

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