Although more and more mainstream brands are becoming size inclusive, a trip to the mall might still lead to frustration in some suburban areas. But there is a solution to the dressing room woes that also helps support entrepreneurship and creative growth: Online indie plus size and size inclusive designers and brands.
As independents, these retailers aren't really tied to the same release structure of high-end designers who show their fall collections in the spring or fast fashion brands that are constantly pushing new merchandise. For the most part, they can choose their own release dates. This means there isn't just one main week of new fall designs from indie labels. Rather, there have been new designs coming out every week since September. Here are some plus size fall must-haves from 11 indie brands.
1. Courtney Noelle's Leather Skirt
Phoebe, $79.99+, shopcourtneynoelle.com
This pleated vegan leather skater skirt is from designer Courtney Noelle's fall collection Blacker The Berry. It's a line shot around NYC and made entirely of pieces crafted in a wide variety of textured black fabrics. The collection is Noelle's take on the classic concept of the little black dress. This skirt can be ordered in two different lengths and can be easily dressed up or down.
2. Copper Union's Copper Jumper
Alexa Jumper, $198, copperunionapparel.com
The Alexa Jumper is part of Copper Union's fall 2015 collection Wildwood Mystic. Inspired by the colors and textures of the brand's home base in the Pacific Northwest, the collection embodies the natural beauty of the season. The shiny metallic denim fabric seems only fitting for a brand named Copper Union.
3. Jibri's High Waist Slouch Pants
Mustard/Dark Navy Tweed High Waist Slouch Pants, $140, jibrionline.com
Jibri is one of plus size fashion's OG indie designers. Known for creating some of today's most unique silhouettes in plus size fashion, Jibri's fall 2015 collection, Looking Back, is very '70s inspired and exactly what fans of the brand have come to expect from Jibri: Bold shapes expertly crafted in sophisticated prints.
4. The Re/Dress Plaid Cape
Prepschool Plaid Cape, $38, redressnyc.com
When Re/Dress released its fall pieces, I saw plaid — and lots of it. When in the form of a cape like this one, the style combines something timeless (plaid!) with something just now making its way into our hearts (capes!). The plaid doesn't just stop at capes either; Re/Dress has a dress in this fall's favorite pattern.
5. Rue 107's Peplum Skirt
"Shannon" Peplum Skirt, $58, rue107.com
Rue 107 is a size inclusive brand that won the hearts of plus size consumers with its in-your-face patterns, curve-hugging silhouettes, and bright colored swimwear. So what does fall fashion have in store for a brand that loves to play with color? A lot of fun with texture. This navy ponte knit pencil skirt is elevated with a contrasting structured jersey style peplum at the waist.
6. The Liesl Binx Wrap Top
Wrap Top, $160, lieslbinx.com
Liesl Binx is an indie plus size designer with a focus on lush textiles and the architecture of a garment. Every piece is limited edition to ensure that they can be ethically manufactured. The color of this wrap top is perfect for a cool fall date night.
7. The Pop Up Plus Velvet Dress
To Be Adored Velvet Dress, $45, popupplusonline.com
Pop Up Plus is one brand that knows styling, and for its fall collection, The Chic Minimalist, it took a cue from the vision of stylist Shaina Harrison to create a collection that took a luxurious approach to plus size minimalism. Although the line contains everything from capes and skirts to moto jackets and leggings, this velvet dress is a stand-out piece of '90s goth vibes.
8. The Zelie For She Duster
The "Duster", $59, zelieforshe.com
This duster was part of Zelie For She's pre-fall collection, Stripped. The line was a stylized take on basics and hit on so many of the silhouettes plus size women want but are regularly told not to wear. Zelie For She is one of those brands that's great at helping plus size women break so-called sartorial rules. With its fall collection being previewed on its Instagram now, it's clear that the season is going to see bold colors and patterns.
9. Demestiks New York's Patterned Blouse
It's not all that often that we see celebrities wearing pieces from independent designers, let alone straight size celebrities like Beyoncé wearing something from a size inclusive designer. I discovered the brand Demestiks New York when Beyoncé first wore one of its pieces last summer, but have since seen its items on a few plus size bloggers such as GarnerStyle. This blouse was released for fall as an update on the designer's Etsy shop, which boasts a whooping 23,000 admirers.
10. Ekineyo's Ox Blood Joggers
Femi Jogger, $46, ekineyo.com
While plus size minimalism is on the rise, there still aren't a lot of brands that do plus size streetwear. When I first saw this jogger/crop sweatshirt combo from size inclusive brand, Ekineyo, I loved it for its simplicity and streetwear flair.
11. Monif C's Faux Leather Jumpsuit
Parker Faux Leather Jumpsuit, $138, monifc.com
Monif C. is another brand that's been in the realm of plus size fashion long before many mainstream ones jumped on the bandwagon. As a plus size woman herself, designer Monif Clarke is in touch with the customer she serves. This is one of the many reasons she's celebrating 10 years in business. This jumpsuit is bold, sexy, crafted in fall colors, and plays with textures.
So before you start to loose all your fall inspiration at the mall, look no further than the indie designers making their own rules online.
Images: Courtesy Brands