Shopping, Anxiety, and a Pleasant Surprise

How one inclusive brand gave me the best shopping day I've had in awhile.

I have always really liked the idea of shopping. I don’t actually like doing it.

Being a curvy woman, and a woman who’s had a breast reduction surgery, I am fully aware of all the complications that come with a shopping day. Online shopping solves the public setting anxiety, but not the will-it-fit-oh-god-will-it-fit anxiety. Online shopping is also not very conducive to shopping with friends, but then, there are problems with that too. In every single store, to shop with my standard section shopper friends and adorably petite mother, I have to sneak away, or shop separately, completely defeating the social nature of the day. I could, probably will, and definitely have, talked at length at how dehumanizing it is to be “othered” for something like my size, but that’s for another post. This post is not angry.

This is a plus-size-woman authored happy shopping post! (hold for gasps).

I was absolutely joyful and a little skeptical of Old Navy’s new approach to sizing. For anyone unfamiliar with the development, Old Navy no longer has a plus size section. All of their clothes now come in sizes XS-4X, and it’s all on the same racks. This allows for a couple of things. For one, the assumptions made about people shopping cease to exist when they’re not sectioned off. I didn’t hate myself when I caught my reflection in the mirror on the way to the “big girls section” like I usually do. I didn’t have to step away from my mother on our fun mother-daughter shopping day and reunite only to show her the ugly clothes that I hoped would look okay on me, averting my gaze from the cute styles she had been looking at and trying not to cry. She didn’t have to watch my entire self worth flash before my eyes. She didn’t have to watch her baby girl suffer that shame and discomfort.

My mother was almost happier than I was to pick things out together, and to watch me discover that I could be comfortable in my clothes, because I wasn’t just grabbing whatever I thought would fit and scrambling away from a small, labeled corner of the store, only to go home with poorly fitting items because I couldn’t bring myself to go through an extensive trying on process.

In short, this was the best shopping day I’d ever experienced.

Mom and I decided it would be fun to try on similar things, and pick things out for each other. I tried on things from all size groupings, and found that instead of being very cut and dry, intuition rightfully guided me through the store. In some things, I was a 3, in some things I could grab a 2 and in a few styles I was grabbing a standard XL. What I deduced from this was that Old Navy hadn’t just changed the sizes in which their clothes are manufactured. They created a system wherein, regardless of labels, if you know your body and what cuts fit you and how they look, at Old Navy, you won’t have any surprises. Everything fit me exactly as I assumed it would. This not only eases anxiety, it also reaffirms women’s knowledge of their own body types. It was a hugely empowering experience. I enjoyed myself so much that I ended up purchasing a few pieces, and I reviewed everything Mom and I tried on! Some of these pieces may not be in stock anymore (our Old Navy is like our town; smaller than average, and not always the most up to date, but still useful and fun and we love it anyway) but I hope to still give you a general idea of what the clothes are like, and give everyone the confidence to go try stuff on with your entire friend group. Because, thanks to Old Navy, you can!!

Fuzzy Cardigan, sizes 3x and S

This cardigan is so warm! A slight cropped fit,

with material that looks like it should be itchy but isn’t, this piece looked exactly how this style cardigan should look…on BOTH of us! Some of the pics aren’t the best (I forgot my selfie stick and we were having too much fun) but we both took home this cute lil sweater!

Peasant Blouse, Sizes 2x and S

These blouses were SO cute! We both wanted

to try this on, even though we don’t really wear stuff like this anymore. We used to, and the nostalgia of picking out blouses together was too much to resist! We didn’t end up purchasing, but for anyone who’s aesthetic matches this blouse, it’s a must have!

Cottage Core Dresses

Smocked size 2x, Tie-waist size S

I went home with this dress, and bought the one Mom tried on behind her back. I had to, it was too cute! The smocking on this dress was amazing, not too tight, not too stiff, not too loose, and the midi length was incredibly flattering on me, which is usually not the case. I love this aesthetic, and I loved this dress so so much! And IT HAS POCKETS!

Gold and White Dress

Size 4x

This one was just me, it was the very last one! This one was quite a few sizes too big for me, but I own belts and a love of all things sparkly gold. I will say, the picture shows absolutely none of the problems I experienced with this dress, and if it wore like it photographed, it would have been my graduation dress. As it was, I signed up to get an email alert if it ever came back in stock in the correct size, but passed on purchasing it for now. Fingers crossed!

Blue Floral Dress

Size 2x

This one I only tried on in my room at home on camera. I was too in love with it to stay on task. This item was on clearance, but I am still reviewing it because I know similar items will be available in this year’s spring catalog. I wore this to Christmas Eve dinner and I got tons of compliments! It has pockets and the sleeves are so flattering.

The smocking on this dress is in the back, and makes for a pajama fit- cozy and absolutely gorgeous!

Copper Colored A-Line Dress

This was another one that only I tried, and I loved it! I immediately added it to the yes pile! No pockets in this one, but the silhouette is perfect without them! I took this home in the 3x because I was conscious of length (I am tall and wide hipped) but I would get the black in my true size for a sexier LBD vibe! Spoiler Alert: It looked so cute with the cardigan!

Crop Tops

Sizes XXL

These were found in the clearance section and I tried them on at home with my White Birch distressed joggers (Freckled Poppy has these back in stock in all sizes and I recommend them!)

Both of these had a boxy fit and the green one has an open back, which makes my tattoo look amazing! No pics of that angle (yet), but I’ll post soon! I don’t usually review clearance items, but I wanted to show that in some styles, almost any size can fit even the “standard size” items, and I know Old Navy will have stuff like this again!

I know that as reviews go, this was a little unconventional, and next time I'll remember to clean my mirror, but I hope you found it helpful!

Keep on shopping without shame, gorgeous girls, let me know your experience with this new inclusive line!

Xoxo Eliza