Where Can I Buy Plus Size Costumes 1X to 3X or 4X to 12X? 2014


For a couple of years I have been writing posts about where you can find 4X and larger, Plus Size Costumes, and with Halloween coming it is time for an update. In addition to retail 4X costumes, as always I am going to include Do It Yourself (DIY) section. Just for reference I am size 26-28, weigh 280 lbs, have a 53″ waist and tiny ankles. My standard for inclusion in this article is that the costume might fit me. My experience is that costumes run small so buyer beware.

Halloween Costumes carries 31 different Size 5X costumes, priced between $28 – $104. They even have 9 Size 7X costumes, but this year there do not seem to be any 8X costumes. But based on one of my reader’s experience, these costumes appear to be generously sized. This is where I would start my search. They have quite a bit of variety and I think it is worth the effort to check out what they are offering, and these costumes appear to be exclusive to them. The Wonderland Cat includes the shrug and “wristlets”.

BigGals Lingerie has costumes up to a size 12X.  They are somewhat expensive, but it is good to know what your options are.  I do not know how late you can order a costume to guarantee delivery before Halloween, I could not actually get them to give me a date on the phone, but I would say beyond October 10th you might be pushing.  They told me on September 19th last year, that if I ordered a costume on that date it would arrive on October 20th.  They generally have a six week delivery time, but that seems to be compressed for Halloween.

Sanctuarie has more costumes this year that run to a 9X that are very cute, and some moderate pricing, as well as quite a few accessories and make-up. The site says to check sizing for each item. I think this is a fabulous resource if their costume themes speak to you.

BIGcostumes also has a variety of custom made costumes at varying prices.  They even have a few bargains that are pre-made.  Please read their BIGcostume Return Policies carefully.

Plus-Size Costume Shop carries handmade costumes up to a 7X.  They are pricey but quite lovely and lean toward renaissance costumes and witches. At this time they do not suggest a specific date by which you should place your order, but that might change in the next few weeks.

Etsy seems to have fewer Size 4X options this year. What I found was expensive and I had seen many of them elsewhere. Each seller will have a different policy so be sure to check that out. That said, they have a plethora of accessories, Paws, Animal Hats, various ears, and Tutus, which vary in their plus sizes. And don’t forget the amazing masks, which are not size specific, and vary tremendously in cost. And they even have some themed Halloween hats.

eBay of course has a variety of choices in both quality and fit.  This is what I came up with when I searched for Costume 5X. It seemed to me that most of the costumes were also being sold on the other sites I have mentioned, and I would be particularly careful of the bustier sizing, which always seems to vary a lot.

hips and curves sexy witch hatHips and Curves has a lovely collection of costumes and accessories, some to a 6X, which appear to run a bit small. I love the look of these costumes and I have not seen most of them anywhere else. And OMG, this sexy witch hat, I have never seen anything like it. And look at this hoop skirt which comes to a 50″ waist.

Torrid has costumes but my experience is that their Size 3X/4X runs really small, so I cannot really suggest them to people my size or larger.  But they continue to have parts to costumes, like Size 5X (I usually wear a 4X in Torrid Tops) Super Hero T-shirts which I am sure would fit me.

Lady Strange Erotic Lingerie carries very sexy costumes to an 8X.

Maxie Mouse Costume Kit

Maxie Mouse Costume Kit

Domino Dollhouse has some fun accessories you might not find elsewhere and some clothing that might work as a base for your costume, that then you could wear all year, like the Sailor dress that comes to a size 26. And here is a Minnie Mouse skirt custom made if the Size 26 is too small for you.

Bustiers: Here is a great blog post, Plus Size and Proud, about Corset Boulevard Global and how they fit and how they look. Great information, and there are a couple of great photos.

In addition to the 4X+ size costumes, I owned this Maleficent Size 24 costume for years. It more than fit my size 26/28 body, and I have even had readers state that they thought it would fit to a size 6X, but I cannot vouch for that.

If you are looking for costumes through a 1/2X 3/4X or 1X – 3X, there are many options.  Most Halloween Costume vendors, like Halloween Express often carry up to a 3X, the list is quite long and you only have to Google “plus size costumes” to see the list of choices.

LB sexy maid costumeLane Bryant has a sexy maid’s costume in a Size 26/28, and their sizes tend to run pretty true to size.

Most costumes tend to run a little smaller than standard sizes so check the size charts carefully when you are ordering.

aff and MB 50_1659500_nMaking Your Own Costume: And last but not least, there is making your own costume.  Go through your closet and see if there is anything that would work as the base of the outfit. Is there a black outfit that could be witch-like, or something gauzy for a princess or large sleeved for a pirate wench, or a leopard print that just needs leopard ears and perhaps some leopard gloves, the list is endless.  There are a ton of tutorials out there on how to make a headband or accessory to fill out the illusion. In my experience everyone wants to believe in your costume and it only takes a little sleight of hand to make it fun and festive for Halloween. Here are some costumes/DIY tips from prior years.

DIY Wonder Woman Plus Size Costume
DIY VooDoo Doll Plus Size Costume
DIY Steampunk or Edwardian Plus Size Costume
VERY casual Bee Costume (good for a child)
DIY Mrs. Claus Plus Size Costume

In the spirit of making clothes work as costumes, SWAK has a wonderful layout, where they have taken their clothing line, added some accessories and have created costumes, where the underlying clothing could be worn during the year. Gotta love that!

I hope you find this useful and as always if you have additional suggestions please comment.  In addition, I would love to see some photos if you do decide to dress up for Halloween, or any time.


Michael Kors Plus Size Houndstooth Vest!

Michael Kors Houndstooth Vest Size 3X

Michael Kors Houndstooth Vest Size 3X (and it is on sale!)                  

You could wear this vest on a walk on the bogs of England (can you tell we are watching Sherlock at our house), or to a festival at night in chilly San Francisco, or to that outdoor BBQ that requires clothing that is a little fancier than jeans and a t-shirt, but not really cold enough for a real coat.

I had never worn Michael Kors before because his sizes only go up to a 3X, and I wear at least a 4X, and the 4X only works if it does not have a fitted waist. But when I realized that Ahead of the Curve (see below) was collaborating this month on Tartans, Tweeds and Houndstooth, I just had to try this vest, it is just my style, and oh my, it fits.
I love the vest, it just has one toggle on the chest for a closure so it is very comfortable and I love that this fake fur is kind of trendy in the houndstooth pattern.
The Tripp NYC Size 28XS jeans are a couple of years old and I cannot find them anymore, but Tripp NYC does still have a small plus size line you can find HERE.

The Land’s End Turtleneck was a “uniform” piece that I wore for many years when I lived in the corporate world, with a blazer or light silk jacket, and black trousers. I still have a handful of them and I wear them when I can.

To compare my measurements to yours, click HERE.

ahead of the curve bannerDon’t stop here. Check out all the chic, smart ways other bloggers from AHEAD OF THE CURVE interpreted this month’s theme as well. Just click HERE.
Ahead of the Curve, is a collective of plus size bloggers that come together to post on the same subject. Stay in the know with Ahead of the Curve by liking us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram as Ahead_of_the_Curve_Bloggers.


photos: Leori Gill Photography

Gwynnie Bee Review 2014 – Plus Size Rental Clothing

I subscribed to Gwynnie Bee for several months and I wanted to give you my impressions. Gwynnie Bee is a monthly subscription service for size 10-32 clothing, yes they go to a size 32. How cool is that?

Is Gyynnie Bee a Scam?
I sometimes get questions as to whether Gwynnie Bee is a scam to get your credit card number, or to create charges and not send you the clothes. That is NOT my experience. I received the appropriate number of clothes, there were no unauthorized charges to my credit card, AND they have now been in business over two years. I think they are a legitimate alternative to buying clothes.

Quanity and Quality Selection of Clothing
I continue to be impressed with the both the quantity and quality selection of clothing, even in Sizes 28 -32. You get to shop lots of different brands and you get to keep the clothes as long as you like.

Pricing and Plan Selection
You pay a flat monthly subscription fee for access to the entire collection. For three garments out at a time, the monthly fee is $79. The subscription also covers unlimited free shipping and exchanges.  I LOVE this idea and I LOVE that they are focusing on plus size.

They offer a 30 day trial period for $10: I love this! Read more about it HERE.

How it Works
You sign up for a plan (between 1 and 10 garments out at a time) and they ship you items from your “closet” (a list of items you choose) to wear for as long as you like. It may feel somewhat similar to Netflix, in that it is a set price, but the HUGE difference is that if you have the “3 at a time plan” you have to have chosen 8 garments, and you cannot specify which of those garments you will get. Gwynnie Bee can send ANY item from your “closet”, not the next ones in your “queue”.

The First Box
Gwynnie Bee shipments come in a super well sealed box and include the clothes along with care instructions, etc. The clothes themselves are labelled clearly so you don’t accidentally wash a dry clean only item and so you can easily find the outfit again on their website. (although you only need to clean it if you want to wear it again, they will clean it when they get it back). The clothes look great and are clean and pressed.

It took my first box 4 days to arrive, but in reading other reviews the timeframe may be shorter or longer than that, and once you have them in rotation it would not be an issue, but Amazon 2 day delivery has spoiled me.  They have VERY responsive customer service, I asked some questions and within several hours I had my answers.

Should You Get It – Should I Get It?
I think if you’re a person who shops regularly, Gwynnie Bee could be AMAZING for you. The most expensive plan is $159 a month but with 10 items out at a time, you could wear something different every time you go out. I can see if I did not like an item I would just return it immediately. And, they have made it REALLY easy to return the items with pre-paid bags. I wanted to try it because I wanted to try several brands of clothing to see how they fit. I am always reluctant to buy something if I do not know anything about fit.

A lot of us will get the smaller package – the 3 items out at a time plan for $79.  I think it is a great deal if you like wearing a variety of clothes, and for many of us, over a year we might spend about that amount, and the variety is endless.

Plus Size
It is SO exciting to have access to such a range of plus sizes and brands.  In my first box I tried Mynt 1792, which goes up to a size 4X, An ASOS Curve sequin pencil skirt that I did not think would work, so I never would have bought it, and a Style & Co 3X shift dress that I would not expect to work but looks okay.

This sort of rental service has existed for a long time in smaller sizes, I am thrilled that we now have all these choices. AND, it you like some variety, it can be fun. Give it a try, you will be glad you did!

A tip for increasing to odds of getting the item you want: 
If you subscribe to three pieces of clothing, they require that you have 8 or 10 pieces of clothing that you have requested (your closet wish list) before they will send you any pieces of clothing. If you keep your closet wish list to the required minimum (as opposed to 20 items on your wish list at any time), your odds of receiving what you actually want increase. BUT, it will slow down the process of them sending you something because you have given them fewer options to chose from. A conundrum.

I gave up my subscription because I am not working anymore I did not need this variety of clothes. The clothes are occasionally delayed, but if you keep more items in “your closet wish list”, as opposed to my suggestion that you limit your closet to get more of what you want, then they have more options of what to send you. Have Fun!


A Review of the Movie “David Bowie Is”

Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour 1973      Design by Kansai Yamamoto Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita /

Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour 1973 Design by Kansai Yamamoto Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita

Last week we went to a documentary about the touring art exhibition David Bowie Is, which premiered at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum last year, and over the last year and a half has hit Toronto, Sao Paulo, and Berlin and following its Chicago stop at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art where it will remain on view until January 4th, it’ll head to Paris and The Netherlands through 2016. I loved that the movie ran in more than 100 movie theaters in the United States, all on September 23rd. The exhibition itself consists of photos, costumes and other items from the David Bowie Archive.

I cannot even tell you how much I loved this film, which was of the London exhibition’s closing night. I was concerned that I would be bored during parts of the 110 minute film, but I continued to be surprised by the engaging presentation of Bowie’s ever present ambition, belief in his future as a rock star and willingness to work almost non-stop. He would sometime storyboard an oncoming tour two years before it started.

Most of you probably know about Ziggy Stardust, his character that was a glam rock icon and incredibly popular with teenagers. What I found most interesting about Ziggy, is that at the end of a show, the last night of a tour, Bowie announced to the crowd that the tour was over. “This show will stay the longest in our memories,” he told the crowd before the final encore of “Rock and Roll Suicide.” “Not just because it is the end of the tour, but because it is the last show we’ll ever do.” What was true, is that it was the last show he ever did as Ziggy Stardust. His willingness to move on and take the chance that he could succeed as David Bowie, in some other incarnation, was fascinating to me.

I love this subversive Union Jack long coat by Alexander McQueen

I love this subversive Union Jack long coat            by Alexander McQueen

But of course the very best part of the evening was the fashion. To quote Billboard,

He’s been Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, The Thin White Duke. A dapper gentleman and a stylish freak. During his 45 or so years of recording, David Bowie has been as much of a fashion innovator as he’s been a musical vanguard, breaking barriers, pushing buttons and taking chances. All while seemingly being indifferent about what people think, as long as they do think and care when he throws something new at them.

Some of the clothes he designed himself, many of his sketches were in the exhibit. Some he collaborated with Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, among others.

I did not know that Bowie was creative in a variety of fields including performance art, music, dance, theater, and the visual arts, and fostered collaborations with artists of all kinds throughout his life.

It was a fascinating evening and if you get the chance to see the movie or the exhibit, I strongly recommend that you take that opportunity.


Joe Zee Talks!

joe zee2I have been to two of the most amazing fashion events this week. The first was an evening with Joe Zee, the brand new Editor in Chief and Executive Creative Officer, Yahoo Style; Former Creative Director, of Elle. He was interviewed by Carolyne Zinko, Style Reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Zee will oversee the launch of the upcoming Yahoo Fashion digital magazine, as well contributing video series and supervising special events around Yahoo Fashion and Yahoo Beauty. All of which he has done before in print media. It seemed he was speaking to let us know that Yahoo is going to be the next destination for Style.


I was delighted with the evening. Zee was engaging, I loved his forthright manner and genuine love of fashion.

He talked about when he was a fashion intern in New York, and some of the other interns would complain about hauling clothes back and forth from the designer to someplace else in the garment district. He said he was just thrilled to get to be with the clothes and be even a small part of the scene. I loved it when he spoke about that period of his life and how perseverant he was in getting that internship, writing letter after letter, desperate to be in New York and not have to move back to Canada. He continues to carry that point of view around.


Two of his favorite shows this season:

Alexander Wang, and Joseph Altuzarra, young fresh designers who have each coincidently brought lines to Target.

I am always interested in trends and was somewhat surprised to hear him say Spring 2015 will include gingham, which made me kind of sad, and rave culture, which I have never really given up.

When asked for fashion tips he says he likes to wear high end expensive items with everyday clothes. He noted he was wearing a YSL sweater with an Old Navy shirt (he is an Old Navy Brand Ambassador).

My favorite comment of the evening was when asked what San Francisco’s style was, he responded, “Comfort Chic”.

He also stopped by our local Academy of Art University, you can read more about that HERE.

I really enjoyed myself and I suspect I will be checking out Yahoo Style! now and then, and I will be interested to see if he introduces the plus size fashion world which is all over the news right now.


Reallllly, Back to School?

Felt Bowler Hat - Vest - Mini  Skirt High Top Sneakers (similar and just as wide)

ASOS Curve Felt Bowler Hat                       –                   Mynt 1792 Vest size 4X –                                                   ASOS Curve Mini Skirt Size 24
T.U.K. High Top Sneakers (similar and just as wide)

So when someone in Ahead of the Curve suggested “Back to School” as our September blog subject, I thought OMG, I haven’t even thought about school clothes in 40 years. I started college at 25 so my approach to dressing for school was a little different. BUT, I had fallen in love with this felt bowler hat on ASOS Curve that I wanted to try, and I love, and they also had this mini skirt that just screamed school, and then I had to check and see if there are still school-girls in high top sneakers, and or boots, and guess what, there are, and it all came together. So here we are!

vest holding hatI thought I would try the look two different ways.

I wore the bowler hat out and about yesterday and everyone loved it. It is quite large (and I have a big head), and is difficult to keep on my head so I am going to try a couple of little twists of hair to anchor it to, or to put something in the hat to make it a little smaller. It is lightweight, which I love, and thus not too warm.

The vest is going to have to be returned. The armholes are HUGE and since it is scuba material, quite heavy. So you can’t wear it in the heat nor the cold. Very sad, because I really like it.

My name from Egypt 1989 Family Pendants Cartouches Egypt 1989 Family Pocket Watch

My name from Egypt 1989
Family Pendants
Cartouches Egypt 1989
Family Pocket Watch

The gold necklaces are mine that I have acquired over the last 30 years. I made black silk cord into necklaces using these lobster clasps so I could get the correct length so they would be the length I wanted. I am trying to use the jewelry that was my mother’s and my mother-in-law’s, rather than buy new.

To compare my measurements to yours, click HERE.



And for a little back to school music:

Layout 1Ahead of the Curve is a collective of plus size bloggers that come together to post on the same subject. While it’s been a hot minute since most of our group has slammed a locker door or crammed for a test, we thought “Back to School” would be a fun theme to explore. In this post, we’ll explore youthful looks that remind us of those glory days (well they’ll pass you by). Check out how our bloggers have fun with Back to School, HERE.
Stay in the know with Ahead of the Curve by liking us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram as Ahead_of_the_Curve_Bloggers.

5 Stores That Have the Extra Wide Calf Boots!

I get searches on this blog everyday about boots. We love boots. They are everywhere. Every plus size blogger is putting together their list of their favorites. So I went on the hunt for the widest calf boots I could find.

I did not have to go very far, Simply Be has 21 pairs of what they call “Extra Curvy Plus” Wide Calf Boots. I believe this boot is the widest calf boot they carry.

simply be width chartThat means for a Size 10 the calf width is 23 1/4 inches. I know it is difficult to consider ordering boots from England, in case you have to return them, but OMG, 23 1/4 inches. Be sure to check their sizing chart to make sure you order the best size for you, and I love their reviews. And to check out their version of the elastic panel boot, which might even fit a little larger, click HERE! Let’s just see if we can do any better than that?

Wide Widths carries 12 super plus wide calf boots. That means the calf width is 24 3/4 inches for a size 13WW, which seems about the same as the Simply Be boots above.

Avenue has always been my go-to for boots. They are reasonably priced and I can often go to a store and try them on, but I am more of an apple shape and my calves fit fine in their widest calf of 19 inches. But they also have a boot with a STRETCH CALF BACK PANEL that might increase the calf width a lot, check it out HERE. We will continue on the search.

Jessica London has nine Comforview Brand of wide calf boots. For the Size 10 boots their calf sizes are also 19 inches.

I often hear about DUO boots, and if you are looking for expensive, lovely boots they are great, but their size 10 calf size appears to be about 19 1/2 inches, which is fairly similar to Jessica London and Avenue above. (50 CM is about 19.685 inches)

Update from a reader about DUO:

Duo actually has multiple calf widths…I’m not sure what they are in inches because I’m too lazy to do math, but they come in 2-centimeter increments up to (I think) 50 cm? And I believe you can order whatever calf width you want in whatever size you want. The website says that the calf widths over 45 also have a little wider width in the foot. I bought a pair on clearance and they’re lovely. They were still more than I’ve ever spent on shoes, but they’re beautiful and they fit like a glove.

Regarding Boot Bands, this is a quote from a friend on Facebook:

The shaft of a boot has centered lines running up the middle of the front, back, and each side. Sometimes it’s a seam or a zipper, sometimes not. If you’re going to add a section of leather to expand the circumference, the most appropriate place to add it is in the rear of the shaft. If you add it to one side or the other, the shaft twists and the rear seam will be crooked.

There are some great choices here, I would love to hear from you if you know of other extra wide calf boots!


Geometrics Rock My World

Eyeglasses           Pendant Cami          Belt Skirt           Gladiator Sandals

ASOS Curve Skirt Size 24EyeglassesPendantCami (similar)                                Torrid Stretch Belt Size 4 (similar)- Gladiator Sandals Size 9.5WW (similar)

I fell in love with this skirt the moment I saw it. I love that the geometric print runs into itself and is a little off kilter, and I have continued to love the black and white trend and I still see it everywhere in fashion.

Black and White always looks modern,
whatever that word means.   Karl Lagerfeld

The skirt I am wearing is a Size 24 which is a little big and I have it pinned, but the Size 22 was a little small. I am wearing it backwards because I like the way the print falls better, and since it is a pencil skirt, back or front do not matter. The eyeglasses are vintage and just like the ones Doris Day wore in Caprice.


I found the earrings on Etsy, and they were just vintage round checkered tin earrings that someone had made cuts into, so that the pattern was uneven. I was so amused that they were as off kilter as the skirt that I bought them. And I suspect you will see me use that trick again. In addition they were stud earrings, and about ten years ago my ears started rejecting metal, so now I only wear clip earrings. Thus, I cut off the stud and replaced it with a set of clips, attached with my favorite glue E600, which it seems like I use everyday.

To compare my measurements to yours, click HERE.



Outfit Photos: Lydia Hudgens

Catherines New Black Label Collection Includes Size 34W/5X

CATHERINES BLACK LABEL PROMOI was an attorney before I retired two years ago and Catherines was my go-to store. I have been a size 26/28 since at least 1990, just one size larger than most plus size retailer carry, and Wear to Work line was a life saver for me, since they carried up to a size 34W. Before the on-line revolution, I would even drive a couple of hours in each direction to Sacramento from San Francisco, so I could be properly dressed for work (now they have a store just 20 miles from my home).

You can imagine how thrilled I am to see Catherines Black Label line of clothes.

Quilted Jacket Available September 2nd

Uptown Quilted Jacket
Available September 2nd

But of course since I an now retired and can wear whatever I want, and my favorites are the Uptown Quilted Jacket, above, which will be online on September 2nd, and the Rialto Lace Jacket, below.

This is what Catherines has to say about their Black Label Line:

Catherines, a leading women’s plus size specialty retailer for sizes 16W–34W and 0X–5X, is excited to announce the launch of Black Label by Catherines, a limited-edition collection of statement-making fashions focused on quality, luxury and impeccable styling. Available in select stores and online at catherines.com beginning September 2, Black Label by Catherines offers plus size women the modern wardrobe options they crave, with exclusive pieces designed to fit beautifully.

What differentiates Black Label from other plus size luxury collections is the focus on the higher end of the plus size range. A number of retailers offer fashions up to size 22. But the Black Label collection gives full-figured women modern, luxurious looks up to sizes 34W and 5X. “It’s all about fitting women beautifully, while providing an elevated collection they just can’t get anywhere else,” says head of design, Kate McKee. “Our design team is dedicated to creating fresh looks that really flatter, within well-edited collections that are on-trend for every season.

I am thrilled that I am seeing more high end, beautiful, fun clothes in extended sizes, and they have free shipping and easy returns to their local stores.


photos: Catherines

Jessica London: An Abundance of Denim in Plus Sizes to 34W

They say denim never goes out of style, and that is certainly true for Fall 2014. Denim is everywhere this year. Funky, embellished or basicI wear my denim jacket at least once a week, since it is often cold by the San Francisco Bay.

Perhaps the August Issue of Plus Model Magazine was part of my inspiration.

So when I saw all this denim at Jessica London I had to check it out! How cute are these cropped jean jackets? All very modern, one with ruffles, a moto jacket, and one with a zipper no less, and they are all on sale. They come in various colors and come in sizes 28 – 32. Did I mention they are on sale? Pretty fun I say!

And if those are too short for you here are five more standard length jackets. A couple come to a size 34W, and yes, they are also on sale!

And if you love the jackets you might think you need the most popular skirt of the year to wear with them, a pencil skirt, in SO many colors.

And Jessica London has more denim than I have ever seen on one place, much more than I could fit into this photo. Check it out, and yes they have lots of colors and many of their items come to a 28, and some to a 34W. And as you can see from the photo, many of them are on sale also. How fabulous is that?

Jessica London Denim

                               Jessica London Denim


This is not a sponsored post