I am a plus-size shopper and it’s tricky. I’m employed as an artist and I don’t have a steady pay cheque. I typically live contract to contract with odd jobs in-between. I was born in 1979. I have GenX responsibilities and a Millennial bank account, budgeting money is key to survival. I am a pleasantly plump size 16 with an over abundance of curves and wiggles. I’m constantly searching for inexpensive plus-size clothing to make those wiggles look amazing. This is no easy task as stores often ignore women that can’t readily wear a frock off a tiny plastic mannequin. Finding clothes that I can wear often involves wading through a myriad of plus-size fashion websites and department stores. I’ve gotten really good at altering shirt cuffs and pant legs. The shirts that fit my ample bosom are often too damn long in the arms. The pants that fit in the waist have long baggy legs and I trip over them. Lately I’ve noticed more selection in sizes that I can wear and cuter more fashionable styles. I am definitely attracted to specialty stores, thrift stores, vintage stores. Many of which have popped up in the last couple of years. I really appreciate the good vibes of these positive places and friendly staff. The malls on the other hand need to start catching up to the plus size trend. Toronto is no exception with malls catering mostly to normal sizes. Some malls offer a few selections for the plus size shopper. I travelled around Toronto to take stock of malls that offer plus-size options and have listed them below. The graphs included are rough numbers only. I simply counted stores and punched them into a pie graph. I checked websites to see if brands carried plus-sized clothing and I make no claims for store availability...(often I go into stores and I can't find those XXL sizes). My numbers include stores that carried women's clothing and unisex clothing.
If I had to pick a mall to shop at it would be Dufferin Mall. The cost of transit is important and it is convenient to shop at a mall with more selection.
Dufferin Mall is at the top of my list of go-to malls. It has plenty of clothing options in larger sizes. It has a large Penningtons store and recently opened Forever 21 with a plus-size section. Voluptuous Clothing has now moved to 636 Queen Street West.
Addition-Elle left the Eaton Centre a while back and is now located nearby at 2 Queen Street East Bldg.- 181 Yonge Street. The mall doesn’t have a store that deals exclusively with plus size clothes but has stores such as Old Navy, Forever 21, Hudson’s Bay and Reitmans that offer plus size sections. Ann Taylor, J-Crew, H&M, Loft and Le Chateau carry regular sizes up to XXL which tends to be size 16-18.