Why Eloquii has changed the fashion accessibility game.

Why Eloquii has changed the fashion accessibility game.

If you are a plus sized woman you have been in the seemingly lost battle for fashion and style for a very long time. The options we have had over the years, (we being fashion-forward women under 50 years old) has been regulated to 2 mall mainstays or the back dark corners of department stores with options better fitted to the stereotypical mother of the bride’s taste. However, in the last few years, a new player has emerged and changed the game. Why does this matter in the fight for fashion accessibility?

First, let me say if you loved the fashion options available to plus-sized women over the last 20 years, I am happy for you but my friend, you stand in rarified air. If you are not plus-sized, it may surprise you to learn that many women you know and love have been fighting with this for a long time. Compare the 2 plus-size options in most malls to the number of straight sized clothing stores that are available in your local mall. I can name 10 stores without too much hesitation because I am a lover of fashion. Fashion that is not extended to people my size, until now…

A few years ago an online store called Eloquii started selling dresses and clothing. I loved the options because they were flattering and more stylish than the options I previously had. Tea Party style plus size fashionOver time the options offered became more fashion forward, with carefully curated lookbooks showing models with various styles that took a fashion risk, played with color, texture, and materials. I had never seen anything like it in plus sized fashion by a major plus-size retailer. EVER. I started to realize that this company was breaking molds. It wanted to know what it’s customer’s thought. What styles they liked, what they were looking for. They actually reached out to customers and asked! Not through an online survey, through phone calls with designers. I know this because they called me, not knowing I had a blog. I was sincerely shocked when the designer asked me what I wanted to see, asked me many questions, listened to me and a few months later, I saw that very dress! This Curvy Life at Four Seasons in EloquiiThis retailer was continuing to break molds by going from an online presence to brick and mortar locations. If you know much about the great exodus of retailers from malls, you know this action defies that trend. And shocker, the stores are doing well! After the first store opened in DC another opened in Chicago, and at this point there are 3 and I am always hearing rumors of more stores. I ventured to Chicago for a blogging conference this fall, but knew there was no way I was going to leave that city without visiting Eloquii. I was in for the shopping experience that I always wanted but had never experienced…

I was greeted by an employee who actually seemed happy to see me. I was offered a drink and I perused the store and tried on many different options and actually made a new best friend in one of the employees (When a girl has to help pull you out of a dress because you underestimated the stretch in the material and the size of your boobs, you are best friends fo lyfe! Heeyyy Danielle!). There wasn’t just one style of clothing in the store, there were many different options that fit individual style, which if we are honest a lot of plus-sized women can’t even identify for themselves, due to the lack of exposure to options that complement their shape and individuality. The store is what I have long admired in a Banana Republic or Anthropologie. This matters because honestly there is a need for stores like Eloquii and Torrid and Rebdolls and Rue 107. All 4 of these retailers have very different perspectives on dressing the plus-sized woman and this is great because we are not a monolith. We are many many fabulous things!Rooftop style This Curvy Life

So why aren’t there more of these options available? Well, the answer to that could take all day but one of the reasons is: a thought that plus-sized women will not pay money for clothes. Why is that? That can be turned right back around to the retailers that plus-sized women have had to shop with over the last 20 years. For example, when going into some stores the options have not been appealing to anyone’s style and quality has been lacking in some cases, so the shopper begins resenting the pricing. So when offered a new option, some balk at the idea of paying $80 for a pair of pants, not because she cannot afford it, but because she does not see the value. It is not unheard of for someone to pay $100 for a pair of pants or a dress in Banana Republic or double that in Anthropologie, but they are known for quality and a multitude of fashionable options. Their consumer has been conditioned to see value even if it is not actually there. The clothes offered fits an expression of the consumer’s personal style and they are willing to pay. The plus-sized consumer has not been exposed to this. I have seen some retailers and even bloggers venture out and try with a capsule collection, but after debuting they have to double-back and explain pricing and the value of their pieces and the quality of materials used but eventually drop the price and the next collection has no offerings over $80. It’s a long battle, but something tells me that Eloquii is in the fight for the long haul. I pray that they do not give in. I for one, am sick of looking at every plus-size offering from a retailer and being reminded of a sad bridesmaid or a dress fit for Easter Sunday. We need the option for style expression! We. Need. Fashion! So all retailers step up and women like me will gladly support you, cash in hand. We have been waiting a long time. We could use an ally. I am glad we have one in Eloquii. Who else is ready to join the party?

xo Danie

 

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26 Comments

  1. December 20, 2017 / 3:43 am

    Eloquii is amazing! You are a beautiful writer and very educated about fashion. Keep up the good work!

    • Danie
      December 20, 2017 / 11:36 am

      Thanks so much for reading this post Cassie

  2. December 20, 2017 / 8:41 am

    I absolutely love how you embrace you curves. You go girl.!!

  3. December 20, 2017 / 11:31 am

    Wow, never really knew the struggles of any plus sized women. This article was an eye opener. I had no idea that having a great shopping experience is not common with plus size people. That the retailers have completely ignored this group.
    The reason for my ignorance is probably because in india, majority of women wear indian clothes as oppose to western wear like salwar suit which is a Long tunic paired with tight leggings sort of pants which are tailored to fit or a saree which is 6 yard fabric draped. So irrespective of the size, the women enjoy the colourful fabrics, embellishments, textures and designs.

    • Danie
      December 20, 2017 / 11:37 am

      I loved reading about fashion in your culture. I hope soon all women will enjoy fashion regardless of their size.

  4. December 20, 2017 / 12:54 pm

    My experience with plus sized fashion comes from shopping with my mother. There were hideous choices available for her and it always bothered me that cute clothes weren’t more available. I am so glad these options are now available! Thank you for putting this out here!

    • Danie
      December 20, 2017 / 9:08 pm

      Your experience speaks to mine so much. I hated shopping and kind of still do, but I love fashion and I only hate it because of the options available. I am happy it is starting to change.

      • December 22, 2017 / 8:21 pm

        Yes I agree…my only thought was why in the freaking world did fashion designers think that putting plus size in sacks was okay? So glad it’s changed now.

        • December 22, 2017 / 8:22 pm

          I was going to use another word in the place of freaking, but decided to be professional.

          • Danie
            December 22, 2017 / 10:28 pm

            LOL Love it!

        • Danie
          December 22, 2017 / 10:28 pm

          I know its really crazy! Why would they not want to make money and dress all customers in the market? It is slowly changing but when you can count the availability of plus size retailers to most women, that is still very slow progress, but here’s hoping that the new ones will be just as successful as Eloquii 🙂

  5. Dee
    December 20, 2017 / 4:07 pm

    A to the men ! You look fabulous ! That blue dress is everything!

    Thank you for telling us about Eloquii. Nice to hear someone is picking up the ball that has been dropped by retailer.

    • Danie
      December 20, 2017 / 9:07 pm

      Thanks doll for reading the post! Your support is everything to me 🙂

  6. Jasmin N
    December 20, 2017 / 6:07 pm

    This sounds like a lovely brand! We sell in our department store where I’m working in a women fashion department a brand called Junarose and it’s towarded for plus size women. It’s actually pretty wonderful brand 🙂 they do very stylish pieces!

    • Danie
      December 20, 2017 / 9:07 pm

      That is really great. I think its good to take a look at your store and compare that one brand to how many others brands are sold in the store. Having one brand does not speak to the different tastes of women of that size. It’s like saying everyone can only wear Versace when a designer like Chanel is more their type. Get my point? there are so many options for a straight sized person. Plus has maybe 1. It’s gotta change.

    • Danie
      December 20, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Thanks doll 🙂

  7. thenafranssen
    December 20, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    You look !!! Amazing!!!!!! You go girl.

  8. helenevlacho
    December 22, 2017 / 4:00 am

    You look fantastic dear! And the clothes are gorgeous, I love your last picture with the pearl jeans and the purple top! Happy Holidays!

  9. December 22, 2017 / 6:26 am

    I can feel the happiness from the pictures. You look stunning! What a great brand for plus sized women!

  10. sara lafountain
    December 22, 2017 / 7:00 am

    What gorgeous options you found at Eloquii! Having a good place to shop is so important. More retailers need to target the plus size community.

    • Danie
      December 22, 2017 / 10:17 pm

      Im so glad you got the point of the post, Sara. More retailers are needed right. One place that happens to fit my style in a lot of ways does not meet the need of 2/3 of the American female population. I am so glad you got what I was saying.

  11. Zana
    December 22, 2017 / 8:14 am

    Let me tell you something – you look absolutely gorgeous, dear friend! Always be that postive and I love how you embrace yourself and your body! Be proud of who you are! 🙂

    • Danie
      December 22, 2017 / 10:41 pm

      Thanks Zana, In spite of the messages from the media that my body type is ugly and unwanted I don’t suffer from low self-esteem. Unfortunately, it’s hard for all women to be proud because they are excluded from the shopping experience, to style their bodies. I hope that new retailers like Eloquii will help them to feel more valued and represented. This will help them and me to embrace ourselves more.

  12. December 22, 2017 / 5:17 pm

    In my country there aren’t many brands for a plus size woman. A few years ago I was in plus size and it was so difficult to find anything. I’m so happy to see that stores for plus size women are coming out of the shadow. I agree there are a lot of girls that are ready to pay out more for clothes.

    • Danie
      December 22, 2017 / 10:18 pm

      Marcella I know what you are saying. Its still difficult but thankfully its not impossible. I look forward to more retailers stepping up! 🙂

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