As much as I appreciate size selections getting more generous at almost every store, there’s something comforting about knowing that a company has been doing something long enough to get things right. That would be Catherines, a plus-size merchant founded by a woman named Catherine Weaver in 1960. She definitely made her mark: today, Catherines has 400 locations nationwide and fits up to 5X. Their success means that they did right by the slogan, “We Fit You Beautifully.” Shall we take a look around?
Novelty Tops: I like these! They are so fun (and highly seasonal). Scoop up tops with nautical details, bold florals, and lace panels. From drapey to fitted, you’ll have a field day browsing looks that round out a summer wardrobe.
Swimwear: Possibly the trickiest category of all, for a reason. Some of the swimwear at Catherines is too conservative for my taste, but there are other styles that have a wonderfully vintage vibe, with hip-length skirts, structured bra cups, and thicker straps that don’t look dowdy. A few of the sweetest include:
Dots swimdress: Yes, it’s $109, but the thing about Catherines is that your selections will last for seasons. There’s a band under the bust to add definition.
Streamlined diamond swimdress: I love, love, love colorblocked looks, and this one-piece is a divine example. It nips you in at the right places, trims you down in others, and yet also makes the most of your curves.
Zip-front swimsuit: Talk about trim and sexy. Zip-front swimsuits take the best part of a rash guard (those cool surfboard-friendly tops), but you don’t need to layer, and you don’t need to stress about keeping the top down and the bottoms up (if you’re active, this won’t sound as unusual as it did when I first jotted it down!).
Activewear: Big girls exercise, of course… and in many cases, we may be even stronger. I loved that Catherines recognizes that with an exhaustive selection of attractive leggings, tops, shorts, and hoodies. You can’t beat plain black, but there are plenty in bright colors, too.
Clearance: Writing about deals means that I probably don’t need to tell you how much I love a bargain, but there you go… I’m telling you anyway. Catherines’ sale section features deeply discounted pieces starting at just $6 and change. My favorites included an unusual star pin, workout leggings in a trendy splatter print, comfort bras in cute patterns, and lace-trimmed sleep shorts. Catherines may skew a bit older, but none of these pieces would look strange on a 20-something.
Now, Catherines has more than a long-term track record of extended sizing: it also has a history of creating a sense of community amongst the women it serves. We know that this sense of belonging is what keeps us putting one well-shod foot in front of the other… which is why I say BRAVA! and HAPPY SHOPPING!