Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
When you're a size 6 in Miami, your biggest struggle is deciding which boutique calls your attention most, or which store in the mall to hit up first. But what about if you're a plus size chick? As it turns out the options are slim, but there.
"Miami has this persona in the media where everybody's beach body perfect, but we have a lot of diversity in body sizes," says Sahily Perez, the blogger behind the plus size fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog, Pretty in Pigment. Luckily for us, Perez, who also has a knack for eyeshadow art and a deep love for pretty dresses, knows South Florida's plus size scene. One bright Saturday, she gave us a tour of her favorite stores, and although she's an omniscient shopper in Palm Beach, she custom tailored her guide to lead us through the best plus size stores Miami and Pembroke Pines has to offer.
Tag along our shopping trip as Perez reveals the best place buy an evening gown, which fast fashion stores have the best plus size sections, and what we need to do to bring South Florida's plus size scene up to par.
Forever21 at Aventura Mall
We first hit up Aventura Mall, which has an array of stores that carry plus size options, like Forever21. "Forever 21 is when I go when I'm looking for something cute, last moment, and on trend," says Perez. This particular Forever21 has a massive plus size section with a great selection of trendy pieces, but not all fast fashion was created equal.
"At H&M for example, the plus size section probably only has six shirts. Your grandmother might wear three of them." she says. "It's placed somewhere between basics and the maternity, but I'm not pregnant, and I'm not basic.
Forever21 at Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura.
Nordstrom at Aventura Mall
Next, we strolled on over to Nordstrom next door. This is where Perez goes when she needs an evening dress or something for work. Although small, Nordstrom's Encore section carries brands like Vince Camuto, Lucky Brand, DKNY, and Eileen Fischer if you're looking for casual clothing, and brands like Adriana Papell if you're looking for cocktail dresses.
Perez's tip: Don't judge this book by its cover. "The Encore Nordstrom section can be a bit grandma-ish, but if you look through it you can find nice pieces, especially evening wear and professional wear," she says.
Nordstrom at Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura.
Space.NK at Bloomingdale's, Aventura Mall
Our final stop at Aventura Mall? Space.NK on the first floor of Bloomingdale's. (Perez is a certified beauty aficionado, after all)! This English shop-in-shop carries its fair share of indie beauty and makeup brands, which you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else in this city. What are Perez's go-to brands? "I love Hourglass and Diptyque candles," she says. "Space.NK changes, so you could come in here in six months and it's different. It's kind of always evolving."
Bloomingdale's at Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura.
LuxC Closet Boutique in Pembroke Pines
LuxC Closet Boutique is a needle in a haystack of local stores that probably only carry sizes small, medium, and large. This small Pembroke Pines boutique has a rotating inventory of plus size fashion, especially if you're looking for that va va voom factor to hit up the club. "If you are plus size or in between plus size, you're gonna have some options here," says Perez. "It's not just a strictly plus size store. You can come here for club wear, but also pick up shoes and accessories to match."
LuxC Boutique, 9956 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines.
Torrid at Pembroke Lakes Mall
The last stop of the day is Torrid at Pembroke Lakes Mall, which carries everything from dresses to bras to jeans. "Torrid is great. It has cute things and the quality is better than Forever 21," says Perez. "It has a very wide plus size range and has everything from its own jean collection to a lingerie section. I actually buy my bras in its lingerie section."
Perez explains that although plus size fashion is on its way up, it still has a long way to go. "There needs to be more goes into it," she says. "I really appreciate brands like Kate Spade offering plus size items online, but you really want to try things on. When you're plus size, it might just be because you have big busts or a big butt. It's not so straight forward."
Pembroke Lakes Mall, 11401 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines.
And That's a Wrap!
The silver lining? We live in the age of technology. "I think with social media we have av oice now, where other generations didn't," she says. "If you like a brand and want to see them carrying plus size, then tweet them! Write them a message on Facebook! If brands hear enough voices, they take it into consideration. And for those brands who are trying, I think it's important to support them."
Overall, today's shopping tour was quite the success, and while South Florida's plus size scene is parched for more options, our fashionable gals size 12 and up have a few great places where they can find trendy, show-stopping finds, because style was never meant to be limited to a size 2.