Although shopping as a plus-size woman can be annoying at its best, and completely meltdown-inducing at its worst, it's definitely harder for women whose size falls outside of the "traditional" plus-size range (generally XL-4X or 14-24). If you do a few exploratory searches on the Google, you'll realize pretty quickly that cute clothes in sizes 26-28 are hard to find: That's why news of ELOQUII's extended size 26 and 28 styles is cause for celebration. The lookbook, featuring blogger Sarah Conley of style•it, features stunning looks from the athleisure to the frilly feminine, with some of the pieces available for purchase now.
Back in January, the brand announced that a few pieces would soon be made in extended sizes, and that more would follow if they were a hit. Well, it looks looks like it worked: 42 new styles have been added, including the cult favorite "Kady" pant, perfect circle skirts, sexy maxis, and fitted dresses. "There was and is demand. For us, it was a question of: Can we do this well and will this customer like it? And... so far, so good," ELOQUII CEO Mariah Chase told me in an email.
"Fashion is a means of creative expression and inspiration and that shouldn't be defined by your size — and that applies to all sizes." Chase also said that Conley is one of the most creative people she has ever met and her feedback helped push the expansion forward. "To know that she lacks fashion options to help her express her creativity... well, she is a lot of our inspiration!"
Studio Sweetheart Neckline Jumpsuit, $120, eloquii.com
Conley explained in an email that every woman should be able to experience fashion as a means to self-expression, and making a more size-inclusive range definitely helps. "Sizes 26 and 28 are a vastly underserved segment of the plus-size community, so I'm over the moon that ELOQUII is offering real fashion options for us," she said. Her favorite piece in the new collection? The jumpsuit. "It was so empowering to wear, and the fact that it's strapless is so ballsy. I love it!"
I personally bounce around from size 12 in dresses to a size 18 in pants, but I still feel lucky that I fall within the "regular" plus-size spectrum. I can't even imagine how incredibly frustrating it would be to hearing so much buzz about the evolution of and developments in plus-size fashion and still have to do some serious hunting online to dress myself. Blogger Roxy behind wtf, plus said it feels like "salt in the wound" when stores launch a plus line that only goes up to size 20. Being left out when people are making a big deal about "inclusion" is frustrating.
The thing that's most encouraging about ELOQUII's latest development, though? That apparently the response to the original size extension led the brand to make more, in a diverse array of pieces and styles. The plus-size women Conley was talking about — the ones often marginalized and excluded from plus-size fashion — were embracing the opportunity and getting some of that empowering self-expression. In a world where a size 10 model is used to sell clothes to women who are size 24, and where size 24 is often the cap, ELOQUII has made more people feel included.
Having someone who is actually a size 26 model the line is also a refreshing change and a step in the right direction. Being able to buy clothes in your size is one thing; being able to see yourself in them and actively feel included is another thing altogether. ELOQUII, you're doing it right.
Images: Courtesy ELOQUII; Giphy