Before the holiday, I partnered with plus size clothing subscription service, Gwynnie Bee for an epic giveway and I promised y'all that I would be giving you a review of the service in the new year. I have received my first few items and I am so damn excited to share my experience because I see a lot of value in a service like GB.
Even though I am someone who sells clothing online, I can still get pretty weary when it comes to buying certain items on the internet. Everything I design contains elastic, stretch or give in some way for this very reason. I am pretty short (5'1") and my top and bottom sizes are different. These aren't things that make my body bad in anyway but they make shopping strictly from an online size chart difficult at times. Because of vanity sizing, no universal plus size chart and a host of other reasons, I can wear a 26 in one store and a 20 in another. And tricky return policies can sometimes make the risk of shopping online not even seem worth it. That's where Gwynnie Bee comes into play.
Gwynnie Bee allows members to try on items before they decide to buy them. This allows you to get a feel for the garment construction and sizing of a brand before you commit to a purchase. This is so huge to me! And in my initial experience, I found this to be a major benefit as some items fit just right and others were too big even though I ordered the size I always do. If you do decide to buy the items, they are heavily discounted from retail prices which is also totally major. The discounts on my items ranged from 33-69% off.
So let me give you a rundown of how the service works. You sign up to become a member and you can choose how many items you get at one time. The most common is the three-item plan. You can send items back and forth as many times as you like. Unlike most subscription services where you get one-item per month, this service is unlimited with free shipping of items back and forth. The only limit is how quickly you can put your items in the mail.
Once you become a member, you fill your virtual closet. GB's team suggest 20-25 things initially so that they know what to send you. The number of items you receive at once depends on the plan you select. Items are reviewed by fellow members and before anything goes on the site, it's personally tried on by Kelly Augustine who works in the marketing department at GB and is one of my personal style icons and inspos. Knowing that Kelly, who is a plus size babe I trust, is personally involved and invested in the merchandise that goes into the shop made me feel so much more at ease. She tells me that she used the service before working there and I can tell from speaking with her that she really believes in Gwynnie Bee's ability to make an impact in the plus size fashion community.
Now for the fun part! I was sent a few items from Gwynnie Bee to try and I wanted to share how these pieces looked on me, how I decided to style them, and why getting to try them on first was so important.
Pressed & Pleated
I picked out this amazing Isabel + Alice pleated skirt because of the richness of the fabric. It's a Gwynnie Bee exclusive and when I received it, I was not disappointed at all by the fabric. It was just as amazing in person as it looked online, maybe even more so, but this skirt was too big on me even though I ordered the 3X which is my usual size. I had to clip it in the back for these images. And while it hit above the knee on the model, it hit a little below the knee on me. Without getting to try this on first, I would've never known that I needed to size down on this skirt and likely on similar items from this brand (which I now adore).
Isabel + Alice Royal Jacquard Pleated Skirt, Gwynnie Bee
Short Sleeve Velvet Crop Top, Ready to Stare
Night Sky Cascade Blazer, Catherine's
Thigh High Boots, DOTS (similar)
Since Universal Standard first burst onto the plus size scene this fall, I have been dying to try it out. I was immediately drawn to their minimalist aesthetic that is still so rare in plus size fashion. I jumped at the opportunity to try out their Geneva dress from Gwynnie Bee. This item was my favorite fit of the bunch. I loved the feel of this jersey-knit fabric and their size L (22-24) fit me perfectly. The asymmetrical hemline was a thoughtful design detail that I definitely appreciated.
Universal Standard Geneva Dress In French Burgundy, Gwynnie Bee
Cream Shag Sweater, Gabriel Brothers (similar)
Thick Frame Cateye Sunglasses, Ready to Stare
Lace-Up Wedges, Thrifted (similar)
Camel Floppy Hat, Rainbow (similar)
As you may have already guessed, I don't dress business professional very often but I wanted to pick a few pieces that could totally work for my plus size professional babes. The amber colored blazer is from City Chic and the asymmetrical colorblock skirt is ELOQUII. These are both brands that I love but that I have experienced some size variance with the items I have purchased in the past. I've been eyeing this skirt on ELOQUII's site for the longest but I wasn't sure how it would fit since I've gotten a 24 skirt from there that was too tight and a size 22 skirt from there that was too big. This skirt was a size 22 and it fit perfectly. The fabric was a scuba-knit which gave it both stretch and structure. I NEVER wear blazers because finding one that fits is always a challenge but to my surprise and delight, I loved the fit of this one. I'm wearing the XL (22).
Also, the first two images reflect how I would style these pieces and my mom picked out the tamer, more business appropriate shell for the last look. I love the versatility of these pieces.
ELOQUII Asymmetrical Colorblock Pencil Skirt, Gwynnie Bee
City Chic Tuck Sleeve Blazer in Amber, Gwynnie Bee
No Honey, Tee, Flaws of Couture
Scoop Tank, Chico's
I actually didn't realize when I picked out this Isabel + Alice dress that it was covered in tea cups but as someone who lives for a little gossip, this dress felt very me. Unlike blazers, I can usually not go wrong with a wrap dress but this dress was a little big. It's a faux wrap so I couldn't really use the tie to get it more snug. Since I had already had this issue with the pleated skirt, I came to the conclusion that I would need to size down in Isabel + Alice pieces in the future. Thanks to GB, I learned this. Also worth noting that Isabel + Alice items go up to a size 5X!
Isabel + Alice Teacup Printed Faux Wrap Dress, Gwynnie Bee
Tan Fringe Wedges, Thrifted (similar)
My Final Thoughts
I learned a lot from being able to try on these pieces first. This process allowed me to take risks on items I might not normally buy and it also allowed me to try out brands for the first time without the commitment. Overall, I was really impressed with my experience. Gwynnie Bee is an excellent service that I am excited to continue to use. I hope y'all sign up and show me all the cute outfits you put together, too!
This post was sponsored by Gwynnie Bee but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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