How to Get Plus Size Clothes That Fit Perfectly

If there’s one thing most plus size women can agree on, it’s that finding clothes that FIT is extremely difficult.  We often settle for items that are too loose in some areas and too tight in other areas just because we need SOMETHING that works for us.

I feel for plus size brands because if you look at a group of 10 women who all wear a size 28, we almost all look completely different.  It’s not easy to make clothes that work for many different body types, so we’re often left with ill-fitting items or things that just look like tents so they’ll fit us all.

I recently discovered a way to get the perfect fit WITHOUT keeping a tailor on speed-dial:  custom clothing!

I think of two different things when I hear the term “custom clothing.”

  1.  The “olden” days when grandmas or moms would sew clothing for their families.
  2. Fancy celebrities who can afford couture.

Nothing in between.  It really never occurred to me that everyday women with little to no sewing skills (like me!) could have custom clothing made at a reasonable price, but we definitely can!

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Roundup: The Best Plus Size Memorial Day Sales of 2019

Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect summer kick-off, and plus size brands are doing it right with awesome deals on all things fashion!  I’ve rounded up the best sales AND I’m sharing my favorite item currently on sale from each brand.

I also threw in one non-fashion brand that has an awesome sale that you need to check out!  Be sure to read all the way to the end of the post so you don’t miss out on that one!

How To Organize Your Pantry On A Budget: Dollar Tree DIY

I’ll be the first to admit that organization doesn’t come naturally to me.  My natural tendency is to leave things a bit messy and chaotic.  I definitely don’t WANT that to be the case and am making an effort to get organized and stay that way.

We went from having a one bedroom apartment on the beach in New York to a four bedroom house with a full basement in Kentucky.  I thought it would take us YEARS to even fill the house with furniture but we managed to accumulate a lot of stuff very quickly.

An Honest Review Of Gwynnie Bee's Plus Size Clothing Subscription Service

An Honest Review Of Gwynnie Bee’s Plus Size Clothing Subscription Service

One of my very first posts on the blog was a review of Dia & Co’s plus size styling service, and since then I’ve been promising a Gwynnie Bee review for you too.  The two services are very different but are often compared by women looking for options to spruce up their wardrobes.  At the end of this post, I’ll share a comparison of the two services and let you know why each works for women with different needs.

First, let’s dive into my review of Gwynnie Bee.  In the post I’ll explain:

  1. How The Gwynnie Bee Service Works
  2. Tips For Maximizing Your Gwynnie Bee Experience
  3. Pros of the Gwynnie Bee Service
  4. Cons of the Gwynnie Bee Service
  5. Who Should Use Gwynnie Bee
  6. Gwynnie Bee Vs. Dia & Co – Which Should I Use?

This post does also include a link for a 30 day free trial to Gwynnie Bee plus $10 off your first paid month.  If you don’t care about the review and just want that… here you go! Haha.

Gwynnie Bee:  How it Works

Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental company that allows you to essentially borrow clothes, wear them, and return them with ease.  They even take care of the dry cleaning! The service started out exclusively for plus size clothing but they have now expanded and offer sizes 0 – 32!

When you create an account you’ll have access to “shop” thousands of different items by a variety of brands.  You add items you like to a virtual closet, and Gwynnie Bee sends you a select number of items at a time (depending on which tier of service you choose).  You wear the items and keep them for as long as you’d like and when you send them back, Gwynnie Bee ships you more.

You don’t need to wash or dry clean the items because Gwynnie Bee handles that for you.  They also make shipping really easy by sending you a pre-paid return bag for the items.  You just drop it in the mail.

Number of Items At A Time

The service cost depends upon how many items you choose to receive at a time.  Currently, the rates range from $49/month for one item at a time to $199 for ten items at a time.

Even with the one item at a time service which is what I have currently (down from 5 items when I worked a corporate job and needed a more versatile wardrobe), I can get 4-5 different outfits per month if I wear and return items quickly.  It takes several days for you to get a new shipment once you return, so I try to wear items as soon as I get them and return them quickly to maximize the number of items I get each month.

Size Advisor Tool

The size advisor tool on the site is one of the most valuable parts of the experience, in my opinion.  You’re able to enter your usual size at the brands you’re most familiar with (like Lane Bryant or Torrid) and the website is able to recommend sizes to you in all of the different brands available.  This makes shopping a breeze and I find the size recommendations to be pretty accurate!  I do still check size charts before I select the items, but for the most part, the sizing is spot on.

An Honest Review of Gwynnie Bee's Plus Size Clothing Rental Service

First Fit Reviews

Gwynnie Bee utilizes what they call “First Fit Reviewers” before launching new clothing on the site.  They partner with women of different shapes and sizes to try on clothes, model them, and write reviews about the fit of the items.  It’s incredibly helpful to see the way items fit on different body types to help you visualize what will work for you.

Also, the community is very active and share photos and reviews as well; however, when you’re closeting new arrivals – the insights of the First Fit Reviewers are priceless!

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Shop By Category, Style, or New Arrival

There are several different ways to find clothing you love on the site!  You’re able to see new arrivals, different categories (like jeans, dresses, tops, etc.), workwear, casual, etc. There’s also a section called Style Inspiration where you can find top rated items, items ideal for specific body shapes, and specific styles like Bohemian. I like to check in a few times a week and shop all new arrivals to keep up with everything new the site has to offer.

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Filter by Size, Color, Brand

In addition to the categories above, you’re able to further refine the items you’re looking for using the filter functionality.  You’re able to filter by size, color, and brand.

An Honest Review of Gwynnie Bee's Plus Size Clothing Rental Service

Return Notify

Once you receive your items, you’re able to keep them for as long as you’d like.  Once you’re ready to swap for something new… all you have to do is return what you’ve already got at home.  On the Gwynnie Bee app, you can even scan the barcode of the return label on the package to notify the team that your package is on its way.  When you do this, it allows Gwynnie Bee to begin preparing your next shipment before they receive yours in their warehouse to save shipping time.

Refer A Friend

Another cool feature of the Gwynnie Bee program is that you can earn money by referring your friends and family to the service.  For any friend that signs up using your link, you get $25 off your subscription.  I regularly earn enough to get months free when friends and family sign up.

I definitely don’t like selling, especially to my family and friends, but Gwynnie Bee seems to come up naturally in conversation a lot when people ask where something I’m wearing came from.  Gwynnie Bee also gives the person you refer the first 30 days free AND $10 off their first paid month, so you both benefit if they decide to give it a try.

If you’d like to try the service free for 30 days and get $10 off your first paid month, you can click here to use my referral link!

Tips For Maximizing Your Gwynnie Bee Experience

The service is really easy to use, but I’ve found there are a few tips and tricks that make it work even more in your favor.

  • Schedule USPS pickup to return your packages.  We all know that going to the post office seems to fall to the end of the to-do list.  The only thing that has held me back from making the most of my subscription at times is failing to ship items back quickly.  That means you’re just paying for items to sit in your closet (or in my case… in the return package in my car).  Using pickup from USPS is easy and free.  You just request a pickup on USPS.com and place the item outside for the postal carrier to pick up.
  • Take advantage of the return notification tool in the app.  You can scan the barcode of the package you’re returning to notify Gwynnie Bee that it’s on the way.  This allows them to begin preparing your next box immediately and ensures you get the maximum number of items per month by getting the next box faster.
  • Take advantage of the “priority” designation.  If there’s an item you REALLY love, you can mark it as “priority”.  This will improve your chances of getting the items you want the most!
  • Check out the reviews of each item you like.  My favorite part of the Gwynnie Bee experience is the community aspect.  Gwynnie Bee hires first fit reviewers to try on each item before it’s listed on the site.  You’ll get to see the dresses on people with different body types and sizes to get an idea of how it might look on you.  Users also rate and review pieces so you’ll have great info to make decisions on what to add.  I especially like checking out the Top Rated items filter as I shop.

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Wearing Dress from Gwynnie Bee Clothing Rental Subscription Service

Pros of Using The Gwynnie Bee Service

Honestly, there are WAY more pros than cons of using the Gwynnie Bee service.  I’ve had two different accounts with my most recent being active since 2015.  I’m not even sure how many years ago I first tried it using the other account.

Here are a few of my top pros of use Gwynnie Bee:

  • You will have access to unlimited wardrobe options on a budget.
  • The service is excellent for people with small closets and limited space – you can have a variety in your wardrobe and only purchase wardrobe basics you’ll need to wear all the time.
  • You can expand your horizons by trying new brands, styles, colors, and patterns that you would never commit to purchasing.
  • You may get access to brands you couldn’t afford to purchase otherwise – there are some higher-end options available!
  • You can purchase items through Gwynnie Bee at a great price – once you have an item at home through the rental program, you can buy the items at a discount.  My best deal so far has been buying a Vince Camuto sweater for FIFTY CENTS!  It was on sale for $5.50 and I had a $5 credit.  It’s rare to find a deal THAT good but you can often purchase items for a fraction of retail cost.

Cons of Using The Gwynnie Bee Service

I have rarely had issues over the years with Gwynnie Bee.  I would think with pre-owned clothing, there would occasionally be missed stains or pulls but it’s NEVER happened for me.  The garments have always been clean and well-cared for.

The only consistent issue I hear about from other users is that they feel shipping isn’t fast enough when getting new items.  I’m fortunate to live one state away from Gwynnie Bee’s warehouse so shipments happen pretty quickly for me once they’re processed. Of course, I’d love it if as soon as I ship something back I’d get the next piece but there is a several day processing period that you need to be aware of.

I would also love to see them expand the size range higher than a 32 and include more pieces over a size 24.  It can be frustrating to see adorable new arrivals on the site that stop at a 3X and therefore won’t fit me.  I find that filtering by size immediately as I browse helps me avoid that frustration by seeing only the items that will work for me.  Given how many other options women below a size 14 have, I hope to see the brand continue its focus on increasing options for larger sizes as a top priority.

An Honest Review Of Gwynnie Bee's Plus Size Clothing Subscription Service

Who Should Use Gwynnie Bee

Gwynnie Bee is a good service for any woman sizes 0 to 32.  I think it’s especially awesome for babes who work in an office environment and need to look put together on a daily basis.  I think the business casual options on the site are my favorite of all.  When I worked my corporate job, I was constantly trying new dresses and tops for work.

Now that I’m not in an office environment, I use it for date night dresses and casual everyday wear.  I use it to expose myself to new brands which can be quite helpful as a blogger, and I also like to use it to try trends that I know aren’t worth spending much money on given how quickly they’ll be out of style again.

I think that apartment dwellers with limited storage space can also benefit greatly from the service.  When I lived in NY I had to pare down my wardrobe tremendously, and Gwynnie Bee allowed me to still look stylish although I didn’t own much clothing.

Gwynnie Bee Vs. Dia & Co. – Who Should I Use?

If you haven’t read my Dia & Co. review, you can find that here.  Dia & Co. and Gwynnie Bee are very different.  Dia and Co. has a team of personal stylists who pick five wardrobe items for you based upon your style preferences.  You pay $20, fill out a questionnaire and the stylist sends you five pieces along with styling tips.  You have a few days to try the items and decide what you’ll keep.  Once you buy the items, they’re yours forever so it’s not a rental situation like Gwynnie Bee.

For me, Dia & Co. has been more of an “every now and then” service when I just want someone else to find clothes for me but Gwynnie Bee is something I use consistently every month.  I don’t personally have the budget to buy brand new wardrobe items at Dia & Co’s prices each month but it’s fun on occasion.

Both services allow you to experience new brands and styles while Gwynnie Bee allows you to make your own decisions about what to purchase where Dia & Co. has someone else pick items for you.

I think there’s definitely room for both services in your life depending upon your needs… it all depends on whether you’re looking to buy items that you can keep forever and re-wear many times or if you want variety and a rotating wardrobe.

I’d love to hear from you… which service sounds more appealing to you? Gwynnie Bee or Dia & Co.?

My personal experience with Gwynnie Bee has been very positive overall.  Is there room for improvement? Absolutely!  But I continue to utilize the service and enjoy keeping my wardrobe fresh without a commitment.

If you’d like to try Gwynnie Bee free for 30 days, click here!

PS:  Did you know I recently launched a personal styling service?  If you want to try Gwynnie Bee, but feel overwhelmed by all of the options available and unsure of what will work best for you… check out my personal styling service by clicking here.  We can book an hour to go through the options and find the best pieces to get you started!

Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.  I may receive compensation if you purchase items using these links at no cost to you.  I appreciate your support when you use my links to purchase items I recommend.

What I Wore To LegoLand - Plus Size Vacation Tips

Everything You Need To Pack For A Beach Vacation: Plus Size Vacation Essentials

We recently visited St. Pete Beach and Orlando, Florida with Kevin’s side of the family.  It was SUCH a fun trip – so relaxing and it reminded me so much of the vacations of my childhood.  We always spent a week in Florida and split our time between Disney and the beach.  St. Pete Beach was such a family friendly area, and I’d definitely go back.   We also hit up Legoland near Orlando this trip.

Unfortunately, I’ve always been quite the over-packer and this trip was no exception.  My suitcase weighed in at 53 pounds and I had WAYYYYY more options than I actually needed.  During my trip, I chatted on IG stories about how much I had packed and there was an overwhelming response that many of you do the same thing.

By request, I’m sharing today EVERYTHING I packed for a week-long Florida vacation plus what I ACTUALLY wore.  You can also find below a YouTube video where I go through each piece and describe why I loved it or didn’t love it.  Keep reading ALLLLL the way to the end to get my free printable packing list for your next trip!

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Wearing a Polka Dot Dress from Gwynnie Bee Subscription Service

Plus Size Trend Alert: Polka Dots

Let’s talk polka dots… I hesitate to call polka dots a trend given that the pattern is such a classic.  Regardless, we can’t deny that POLKA DOTS ARE HAVING A MOMENT in Spring/Summer 2019!

As someone who loves a timeless look, I couldn’t be more thrilled to see so many adorable polka dot options.  I was inspired by the dress to round up all of my favorite polka dot pieces that are available right now.  If you’re a polka dot lover like me, you’ll definitely want to check out these awesome and on-trend yet classic pieces!

Every Body Is Beautiful Campaign With Woman Within

#ad  This post is sponsored by Woman Within.  All opinions are my own.  For full disclosures, click here.

If you follow Woman Within on social media or if you receive the brand’s catalogs, you may have seen a familiar face (AKA mine) on your screen or in your mailbox recently!  I know I write for a living, but I struggle to find the words to express how special this experience has been and how honored I am to lend my voice to the message Woman Within is sharing with the world with the “Every Body Is Beautiful” campaign.

In today’s post, I’m going to share with you a bit of info about the campaign and what it means to me, give you a “behind the scenes” of the photoshoot day, and I’ll share with you the pieces I wore from the Woman Within Spring/Summer collection in the campaign.

In-Store Try-On: Anthropologie Plus Size Review and Haul

If you follow plus size fashion news, you’ve likely heard that Anthropologie has launched its first ever plus size collection called A+ By Anthropologie.  Everyone’s talking about it and I even wrote an initial post sharing my first impressions of the line.  You can read that post here.

One of the things I was super bummed about was that the plus line was initially available in only ten stores throughout the US, none of which were within 100 miles of where I live.  What I FORGOT when I was doing my research was that Kevin & I had a trip to Chicago planned for my birthday at the end of March and there was a store about 30 minutes north of the city that did carry the line.

I couldn’t resist the opportunity to go check out the pieces in person, so the Sunday morning before we headed home we made the trek to the Skokie, IL store!

I’ve only stepped foot inside an Anthropologie store once or twice in my lifetime but walking in knowing that I’d be able to actually shop for CLOTHING and not just home items or accessories was so exciting!

Top 5 Closet Organization Tips From Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog

Five Tips To Organize Your Closet + Closet Tour

Before we dive into today’s post, I want to announce something exciting… I launched a YouTube Channel!  It won’t be replacing the blog but will be a supplement allowing us to dive a bit deeper into the things we’re chatting about here! Plus size fashion, home decor/DIY, travel, and lifestyle!

In the future, many of my blog posts will ALSO feature video content!  In today’s blog post I’m sharing five tips for an organized closet and if you scroll ALL the way to the end of the post, I’ve embedded my latest YouTube video which is a tour of my own closet!

Beauticurve X Lane Bryant Leopard Print Maxi and Lane Bryant Geometric Hoop Earrings on Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Bra Fit (And Special Event Details!)

#Sponsored

This post is in collaboration with Lane Bryant / Cacique.  All opinions are my own.  Be sure to join me at the Crestview Hills, KY store location on Saturday, April 6th from 2-4 PM where I’ll be hosting the Perfect Bra Fit Event!  There will be great discounts, free bra fittings, and giveaways!  I’ll also be there to hang out and help style you.  I can’t wait to see you and shop with you!

If you’ve been around here for long, you’ll know that I’m a huge Lane Bryant fan. I’ve been shopping there for years and a very large portion of my wardrobe is from there.  I’m so into a great in-store shopping experience, and no matter where I have lived over the years, I’ve always been able to rely on Lane Bryant to give me that.

I spend a LOT of time in my local store in Crestview Hills, KY, and I’m so excited to partner with Lane Bryant’s Cacique brand to host the Perfect Bra Fit event at this location.

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Wearing Beauticurve X Lane Bryant Animal Print Maxi

In today’s post, we’ll talk about a few fun things… 

  1. Everything you need to know about Cacique Intimates, Lane Bryant’s brand that offers bras, underwear, pajamas, and swimwear… including the new, inclusive size range!
  2. We’ll discuss the tips I’ve learned from the pros about how bras are ACTUALLY supposed to fit.
  3. I’ll show you the sneak peek of my new Lane Bryant outfit that I picked out especially for Saturday’s event.  When you see me wearing it… act surprised 😉
  4. Finally, you’ll get ALL the details about Saturday’s event and what you can expect.

What You Need to Know About Cacique Intimates at Lane Bryant

First, let’s talk about Cacique… it’s the intimates brand available in Lane Bryant stores and online at Cacique.com.  I have personally been wearing Cacique bras for at least 15 years, and the brand offers consistently high quality, cute prints/colors, and great fit.

Inclusive Size Range

The size range from Cacique has recently expanded to an impressive range!  There are now 86 sizes available from band sizes 32-50 and cup sizes A-K!  They also offer select styles of panties and sleepwear in sizes 0-28.  I think it’s so cool that we plus size babes can shop Cacique in store with our smaller friends now!

A Variety Of Styles For Different Breast and Body Shapes

There are a variety of styles available to meet the varying needs of women of different shapes and sizes:

  • Full coverage
  • Balconette – Cacique’s most popular style!
  • Demi
  • T-Shirt
  • Wire Free – my new personal fave!
  • Plunge – my go-to for years!

My New Bra Obsession – The Simply Wire Free Uplift Plunge Bra

The Cacique Simply Wire Free Uplift Plunge Bra in Black Available in Sizes 32-50 A-K

A few weeks ago, I came across the new Simply Wire Free Uplift Plunge bra on social media, and I knew immediately that I needed to try it.  I bought one soon after and have since bought additional ones because I wear them daily.

I am not exaggerating when I say this new bra is now one of my prized possessions.  It’s as comfortable as a sports bra but has the support and lift of an underwire.  There is a gel channel instead of the wire so there’s never a pinch or a poke.  I’m obsessed!

I do have a smaller bust, so I’m not as concerned about support as many of my larger busted friends but I’ve spoken to several people with a larger cup size who are as impressed as I am.  I highly recommend giving a bra from the wireless collection a try… and Saturday’s bra fit event will be a perfect time to get a great deal.  More on that later!

Master Bra Fitters – Free Professional Bra Fitting In Store

Cacique trains its staff to become Master Bra Fitters.  You can always have a Master Fitter provide a free bra fit!    A master fitter is an expert in bra fit and to be certified they have to execute 100 or more bra fits!  They can not only help with sizing but can also help recommend the best frame for your breast shape… so cool!

How Bras Are Actually Supposed to Fit

I’ve learned some extremely helpful bra fit tips from the team at Cacique that I am excited to share with you and use in my own life.  Finding the perfect fit can be VERY confusing on your own but here are a few important tips as you evaluate your current bras and whether they fit properly.

  • The middle part of the bra (known as the “gore”) should sit flat on your sternum.
  • The band of your bra should fit straight across your back (no sagging down or riding up).
  • The straps of your bra should rest comfortably on your shoulders and not dig in.
  • Your breast should fit comfortably inside the bra cup, with no spillage.

Our breast shape can change much more frequently than you’d think.  It is recommended that we get professional bra fittings every SIX months to ensure proper fit.  I honestly haven’t had a fitting in years, so I’m excited to get one on Saturday and then stock up on new bras during the sale!

Event Outfit Details Featuring Beauticurve X Lane Bryant Collaboration

Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog Wearing The Beauticurve Animal Print Maxi from the Beauticurve X Lane Bryant Spring 2019 Collection

I recently had a fun day shopping in the store to pick out an outfit for the event.  I’m pretty sure I tried on every dress available and found SO many great options.  Stay tuned for future posts because I’ve got a LOT of cute new pieces to share with you for spring.

For this event, I landed on this gorgeous Beauticurve Animal Print Maxi Dress from the Beauticurve X Lane Bryant collection.  I LOVE that Lane Bryant collaborates with bloggers and influencers and it’s so fun to see the personal styles of my faves in store. This collection definitely suits my own personal style… very wearable, classic, and feminine.

I am obsessed with the length of the animal maxi dress and it feels very high quality with great lining.  If you have a smaller bust/larger hips, you can likely size down at least one size, maybe two.  I typically wear a 28 in everything at Lane Bryant and bought this in a 24.  I still have plenty of room and could probably even go with a 22 for a more fitted bust.

I’ll be pairing the dress with these gorgeous gold Octagon Hoop Earrings and black Triple Strap Wedge Sandals for the event.

I’m IN LOVE with sandals.  It is so hard to find a strappy sandal that doesn’t dig into my feet, but these have a nice, hidden stretchy band that makes them very comfortable.  Also, while they’re called wedge sandals… the wedge is very minimal so they feel like wearing flats!  I know I will be wearing them all spring and summer.

Beauticurve X Lane Bryant Leopard Print Maxi and Lane Bryant Geometric Hoop Earrings on Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog

Perfect Bra Fit Event Saturday, April 6th

Join Miranda Schultz of The Plus Life Blog At Crestview Hills KY Lane Bryant Cacique Location for Perfect Bra Fit Event April 6th, 2019 from 2-4 PM

Don’t miss out on this fun event!  Come shop with me and let the bra fit experts at Cacique guide you to your perfect fit during the Perfect Bra Fit Event April 6th from 2-4 PM!

  • Hang out with me at the Crestview Hills, KY location which is in Northern Kentucky and very convenient to Cincinnati, OH.
  • The event lasts from 2-4 PM on Saturday, April 6th,  but be sure to stick around from 3-4 PM so you can enter to win exclusive prizes! WHO DOESN’T LOVE A GIVEAWAY????
  • Take $15 off every Cacique Bra (excluding clearance).
  • No worries if your size isn’t in store… you’ll be able to order online at the event and get $15 off bras at Cacique.com.
  • Are you on Facebook? If so, you can check out the event page by clicking here!

I can’t wait to see you there for hugs (if you want), selfies, excellent fitting bras, giveaways, and so much fun! 

Now I have a question for you…  When’s the last time you were fit by a professional for a bra?