Seven Tips for Plus Size Summer Shopping

By:Rhonda Phelps

Seven Tips for Plus Size Summer Shopping

plus size summer shopping

Finding the perfect coat? Almost impossible. A swimsuit that’s sexy and covers all the right places? Tough. The list goes on and on. Today I'm giving you my top seven tips for how to get your summer wardrobe situated without all the stress!


1. Invest Some Time

Finding the perfect swimsuit or a fab pair of wedges that don’t break the bank (or your feet) can be a challenge. Invest time now so you’re not freaking out later. Shopping at the last minute can be very challenging for any specialty size - our petite sisters are in the same boat- so if you’re looking to rock the latest trend, plan ahead. I love gladiator sandals and wedges, if you've got a large foot like I do (size 11 here) or wide feet, I recommend taking a peek at Barefoot Tess’ selection. Taking the time to do some shopping and endure the fitting rooms or the online returns for that perfect fit is worth it. Whether it’s a swimsuit or a new bra, time is of the essence.


2. Get Dolled Up

Something that often gets overlooked when shopping is hair and makeup; getting a little dressed up, even just lip gloss and mascara, can make all the difference when you’re trying clothes on. If you've taken a few minutes to do a little something with your hair and makeup, when you look in the mirror, you can get more of the full effect. Sometimes when we’re just not “feeling it,” it has a lot to do with the fact that we’re not in the mood or don’t like what we see in the mirror. If this is you, try taking your shopping game up a notch and bringing your shape wear along or applying just a little eyeliner.


3. Returns are a Reality

Whether you’re shopping at brick and mortar stores or at an online boutique like SWAK Designs, returns are a reality. Don’t shy away from trends you've never tried or things that seem a bit out of your comfort zone, that’s what great return policies are for! Also, if you’re shopping online or don’t have time to try things on in store, buy multiple sizes. When you buy more than just the size you THINK you are, you have a better chance of actually getting what you need. Last note on this (I could go on forever), CONSULT THE SIZE CHART! No garment is created equally. Your favorite brands all use different manufacturers and develop garments differently. Consult the size chart on each and every garment before you buy. Make sure that your measurements are accurate too. Your frustration level will be much lower if you head to your local dry cleaner or have a type-A friend properly measure you.


4. Show Some Skin

Of course we all have our trouble areas but, unless you’re in anything lower than 50 degree weather, you need to let your skin breathe!!! (Disclaimer: I am a California girl, so 50 is cold to me.) SWAK has lots of great options for showing a little leg (or arm) and even three-quarter sleeve shrugs to add a light layer and cover up arms if that’s what makes you comfortable. Often I get told “I hate my arms! What should I do?” and my response is always, “be thankful you HAVE arms!” If you must layer, I love SWAK’s Classic Denim Vest. Though it isn't a complete sleeve, it really adds a nice bit of added coverage and texture. If you dare show arm or leg, check out our short dresses and sleeveless maxis… we've got some great offerings for plus size dresses right now.


5. Wear White

Summer whites are all the rage and always chic and classy. Whether you’re in Malibu, Montana or Maine, white is the perfect choice for warm afternoons in the sunshine. Unless you’re attending a wedding, white is a must-have shade for sheer summer bliss. Though the fashion rules about white after Labor Day have pretty much been squelched by the mainstream fashion media, as with all the other rules; it’s safe to assume that June, July and August are the prime months for working your whites.  Check out what SWAK has to offer in white!


6. Go for Gold

A summer tan is priceless… I recommend going the safe way with a spray tan or an at home system like Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. A little color adds a beautiful glow to the skin and looks amazing with black or bold summer colors like fuchsia and teal. If you’re already sun kissed, add a little shimmer for a sexy sheen. My fave is from Bath and Body Works and helps me channel my inner Jennifer Lopez when I need an added confidence boost. For the dewy look, J.Lo always manages to sport so splendidly, try Benefit’s Sun Beam for a similar look.


7. Get Away

Staycations have quickly become my most favorite getaways. Sure a cruise to Mexico or a siesta in Spain sounds delightful, but if you can’t go on an extravagant holiday take a break wherever you can. Maybe it’s sleeping in your backyard under the stars or booking a night at a local B&B. Take some time to enjoy yourself this summer. Break out your bold prints and take them on a little jaunt. I recently had a weekend getaway to Ventura (about an hour and a half outside LA) and it was lovely. No major packing, no security lines, just the open road and a beautiful beach at the end of it. Take a trip… you deserve it.


I hope these tips have helped inspire your to do list for summer, and have you excited for the months ahead! If you have any questions, you can comment here and I will be happy to help with suggestions or tips. As I always say, remember that style has no price or size. Happy trails!

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