Better Late Than Never? The Fashion Industry Is Finally Embracing The Plus-Size Woman

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The average American woman wears between a size 16-18, according to research. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

One of the more cringe-worthy moments in the 2006 movie, The Devil Wears Prada, about the struggles of aspiring-journalist Andy Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway, working for Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), editor of fictional Runway magazine, happens in the office cafeteria.

Andy observes to art director Nigel, played by the amazing Stanley Tucci, that all the other girls at the magazine don’t eat anything. He says, “Not since two became the new four and zero became the new two.” Andy answers that she is a size six, to which he quips, “Which is the new fourteen.”

Shame on the fat-shaming industry

That in a nutshell is all anyone needs to know about how the fashion industry views its plus-size customers: She simply doesn’t fit. The average American woman wears between a size 16-18, according to research from assistant professor Deborah Christel, at Washington State University’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles. She has made it her mission to wake the industry up to its inherent fat biases by teaching a class to expose “weight discrimination as a social justice issue.”

Tim Gunn, long-time chair of fashion design at Parsons The New School of Design, who went on to Liz Claiborne as chief creative officer and then gained famed as mentor on Project Runway, took the industry to task back in 2016 in a Washington Post op-ed. “Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women. It’s a disgrace,” he wrote.

Demand for all-inclusive sizing

The industry has been slow to learn the lesson, but finally it is taking Gunn’s message to heart. Nordstrom is now expanding its plus-size selections to include 100 brands and integrating them in with its core size range, rather than segregating it into a separate “Woman’s” department, where the shopper is reminded that she doesn’t belong where the real fashion is.

The company, however, said it will still maintain a separate plus-size department for convenience, but its “size-inclusive” initiative will give size 14 shoppers access to the same styles as her size 2 shopping companion. “In our opinion, petite and plus sizes shouldn’t be considered special categories. They’re just sizes,” a company statement said. Now Nordstrom shoppers can select from extended size offerings from inclusive brands like Topshop, Rag & Bone, Theory and J. Crew’s Madewell on the same rack.

Specialty fashion retailer Express is also broadening its range of sizes from 00 to 18, but only in 130 stores out of its total base of 600 full-priced and factory stores. “What we hear constantly from consumers is the lack of fashion styles in the sizes they need. We are excited to make this first step in the journey toward a more inclusive shopping experience,” the company said in a statement.

And none too soon, with women’s fashion retail sales on a steady decline since 2012. From its zenith of $41.8 billion, it has dropped 5.6% to $39.4 billion in 2017, according to the Census Dept. Monthly Retail Trade Survey.

By contrast, the women’s plus size fashion market is on a roll: up 38% from two years ago, reports Katie Smith, retail analysis & insights director at EDITED, which provides real-time data analytics to the fashion industry. “The plus size market is the fastest-growing segment in the U.S., but it still accounts for 1.6% of the market, which is baffling when you consider 67% of women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or larger,” she says.

Women know how they want to dress; they don’t need designers to tell them

It is sad that the fashion industry had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the revolutionary idea of size inclusiveness. But the overwhelming majority of women–plus size women–are demanding it. This is a kind of disruption that the industry can actually respond to proactively, if it only is willing to embrace the new image of the modern woman.

“For too long, the industry has been entirely blinded to the fact that a consumer can be plus size and passionate about high-quality clothing and have the money to shop for it,” Smith says. “Social media has helped fuel discussion around inclusivity, acceptance and is challenging old stereotypes. The Gen Y and Z consumers are far more open-minded and inclusive than any other consumer before them. And their impact on luxury, advertising and beauty has been, and will continue to be, enormous. The increased body-positivity these consumers are creating is finally hooking the fashion industry.”

The fashion industry is now in the unfamiliar, and for many the uncomfortable position of following rather than leading the consumer. “No longer is the fashion industry able to push its agenda onto consumers, instead consumers are pulling the industry forward.”

Plus puts new demands on designers

Besides the fact that plus-size women don’t look like the women many fashion designers want to dress, designing plus-sized clothing requires greater expertise and awareness of how to dress the real woman’s body, not designers’ favorite 6-foot-tall, size-00 model.

“This is a design failure and not a customer issue,” Gunn wrote in his 2016 op-ed. “There is no reason larger women 1can’t look just as fabulous as all other women. The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape.”

Speaking to the design challenges, and opportunities, of dressing the plus-size woman, Kim Camarella-Khanbeigi, founder of Kiyonna and an early pioneer in plus-size fashion, says, “The fit is science,” she says. “You can’t just grade up and expect the style to flatter and fit the same.” She started Kiyonna in 1996 to serve the specialty retail market and moved online in 1999.  Today her brand is carried by 250 stores nationwide, as well as being available on its own website, Amazon and Zappos. Kiyonna also operates a flagship store called the Upstairs Boutique in Anaheim.

Kiyonna

Mademoiselle Sapphire dress

“What’s ready for disruption is the stereotypes about the curvy customer. Styled right and wearing something that fits, she exudes attractiveness,” Camarella-Khanbeigi says, as she notes the business opportunity to dress the curvy woman is great and growing. “There is a beautiful, curvy customer counting on it.”

The look of luxury in plus size

To date, luxury brands and retailers have been the most resistant to embracing the plus-size woman. Smith reports EDITED data shows that only about 0.1% of the luxury and premium market is plus sized. “What luxury brands don’t seem to pay attention to is that plus-size shoppers are already their customers, be it of their beauty, perfume, footwear, accessories or leather goods lines, rather than apparel,” Smith says.

While it is true that affluent women are less likely than lower-income women to be plus sized, it is safe to assume that at least 25-33% or more of the nation’s affluent women don’t fit into the luxury industry’s standard 0-12 size range.  The latest available data from the CDC on women’s obesity levels by income confirms this, with its finding that over one-fourth of the highest-income women (specifically women with household incomes 350% above poverty level) are classified as obese (BMI of 30 or higher) and that isn’t even counting women who are simply overweight.

Gucci for one has paid attention and offers an increasing range of styles in large and XL sizes. It will also help Nordstrom fill its racks as it broadens its plus-size offerings. Smith advises the rest of the luxury industry to wake up. The plus-size luxury fashion market is growing and these women have the means and desires to dress as fashionably as her size 0 counterpart.

“Plus-size celebrities and influencers now have very visible global platforms for voicing their frustrations with an industry that can’t dress them. With social attitudes towards inclusivity shifting rapidly, luxury brands don’t want to lag in this opportunity,” Smith declares.

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Becoming Meghan Markle: One Vogue Writer Puts Royal Fashion Protocol to the Test

Come Saturday, the world will watch as Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry at Windsor Castle in a real-life Cinderella moment. Since the engagement was announced, Markle has slowly but surely become acquainted with royal fashion protocol with a few refreshing and unexpected exceptions along the way, suggesting she will bring new life to the storied British establishment. In short, she is the anti–Sloane Ranger, and that’s precisely why she’s fashion’s new favorite royal to watch.

In an attempt to better understand what life is like for a duchess-in-training, I set out to channel Markle in a list of scenarios with a view to royal etiquette—starting with afternoon tea at the Plaza Hotel with Myka Meier, founder of New York’s Beaumont Etiquette whose bio includes training in London under a former member of the royal household of Her Majesty the Queen. She’s worked with members of the British royal family, and attended the prestigious Institut Villa Pierrefeu, a finishing school near Montreux, Switzerland. Oh, and she once danced with Prince Harry at a party.

When I meet with Meier one recent afternoon, I am quick admit that I don’t share much in common with Markle, save for the fact that we’re both American; we also both possess an unabashed love for the theater (her major at Northwestern), and according to the new Lifetime original movie, Harry and Meghan: A Royal Romance, we both enjoy the occasional dirty martini. For the moment, however, Meier and I are drinking proper English tea, as she demonstrates the right (read: royal) way to hold a teacup (pinky in!), add cream, (stir from 12 to 6!), and a number of other British top-tier dining techniques so complex they make the accompanying royal fashion protocol seem relatively simple to master. Or so I thought.

Black-Tie Benefit:

(Left) Photo: Getty Images; (Right) Photo: Vogue.com

First up on my calendar is the Save Venice gala, which is frankly the social event of the spring season. It is famous for attracting figureheads of both society and real-life royalty alike, which seems an appropriate place to make my debut as Markle. The invitation calls for “opulent black-tie and masks,” and for this, I am inspired by the look that Markle wore for her engagement photos last December. The outfit caused a bit of a stir as many felt her frothy Ralph & Russo gown was too transparent for a future royal. Like Markle’s dress, my Monique Lhuillier boasts a high neckline, full sleeves,  and strategically-placed beads—and is just sheer enough to feel unconventional. According to Meier, a black-tie event is one of the few occasions where royals can play with open-toe shoes, so long as it doesn’t come with a major platform, which should either be very low or non-existent. To be on the safe side, I select Oscar de la Renta sandals sans platform.

I carry a glitter-flecked Edie Parker clutch, knowing that the handheld carrier is royal-approved, and for several reasons. Princess Diana, for instance, referred to her signature accessory as “cleavage clutches” as the compact size was just big enough to cover her décolletage while exiting cars. Queen Elizabeth, on the other hand, prefers a top-handle silhouette, though she still uses the strategic placement and position, each made to signal a different message to her staff in waiting. Others, like the Duchess of Cambridge, rely on clutches as a means to ensure their hands stay conveniently occupied, which keeps them from appearing awkward, and limits the number of handshakes. After all, the last thing royals want is to run to the risk of picking up a pesky cold.

When it comes to jewelry, there is more leeway, as modern-day royals like to mix in costume jewelry with the real deal. The one caveat, Meier tells me, is that diamonds should be reserved for the hours after 6 p.m. Then again, Markle has broken with tradition by taking to mismatched earrings, and I do the same in a set of incongruous studs, plus a few stacked rings, including one midi and another thumb, both unexpected accessory moves beloved by Markle. Mine are on loan from Vogue’s permanent accessories closet, which admittedly feels a little bit like borrowing from the royal jewelry archive. The final touch is an Erickson Beamon mask studded with Swarovski crystals.

At the gala, my dress is an instant hit among both friends and strangers alike. “This is divine!” gushes one of my tablemates. In between the first and second course, I visit a nearby table to say ‘hello’ to a colleague, whose date informs me the two young women who are seated at the other end are so enamored with my dress, they demanded I pay them a visit on my way back to my seat. “I love it!” one of them says beaming, who agrees with me when I tell her it was inspired by my soon-to-be-royal muse. “It’s definitely how she would do a New York City gala.” Though the most convincing testimonial came during a trip to the powder room, where a certain famous British actress is touching up her lipstick in the mirror. “Pretty dress,” she says on seeing my reflection. In other words the ultimate It Brit endorsement.

Broadway Show Opening:

(Left) Photo: Shutterstock; (Right) Photo: Vogue.com

 

A few days later, I attend the opening of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway, which seems an ideal place to put my American-bound-for-London wardrobe into play. During our tea, Meier had touched on a little thing called gliding (in fact, her PowerPoint presentation has an entire slide devoted to it). Basically it’s how royals are taught to put one foot in front of the other, and immediately conjures up images of a scene in The Princess Diaries when Julie Andrews’s character teaches a pre-makeover Mia (Anne Hathaway) to balance a book on her head—not while walking, but rather, gliding. This skill, as it turns out, is infinitely more challenging to master in sky-scraping Jimmy Choos. Mine are just shy of four inches, because, well, according to Meier, anything higher should be reserved for a black-tie. They also come with a closed toe, a detail that meets the more formal dress code.

It’s also hard to glide when you’re wearing a figure-hugging sheath, for that matter. I’ve chosen the same Black Halo “Jackie O” dress, inspired by the former First Lady that Markle donned one recent night at the Commonwealth women’s empowerment reception. The LBD boasts an asymmetric neckline, belted waist, and a cool under–$275 price point. Markle balanced out the high-street find with designer accessories: a Gucci velvet clutch and gold-and-diamond earrings from Canadian jeweler, Birks, one of several brands Markle has helped put on the map.

Like the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry’s fiancé has been a frequent champion of contemporary fashion and accessory labels that are decidedly accessible—and oft sell out in record time. The added value that Markle’s new role will bring to the British fashion economy is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions (not to mention, the priceless visibility), and some predict she’ll have a greater impact than Middleton.

To top my outfit, I slip on the same camel Sentaler coat that Markle wore for her first official outing with The Queen when she joined Prince Harry for church service on Christmas day. The Canadian-based label makes outerwear from ethically-sourced alpaca, which is lightweight enough to warrant wearing into spring. It’s also a nice alternative to exotic skins, which royals are advised to steer clear of, and understandably so. On the ride over, my driver accidentally mistakes me for a model, a conclusion he says he came to on the merits of my personal style. It’s a generous if not incredulous assertion, to be sure, but perhaps worth noting insofar as I am not so often mistaken for a model. The compliment is enough to put a spring in my step, and I glide for the rest of the afternoon.

Derby Party:

(Left) Photo: Getty Images; (Right) Photo: Vogue.com

The next week, it’s Derby Day in Kentucky, and that means a number of viewing parties are being held all over New York and parts of Brooklyn, which is where I find myself that afternoon at an outdoor shindig hosted by G.H. Mumm. I’ve asked my guy friend John to accompany me, who is apparently too cool to comply with the requested attire, which in derby tradition, calls for a major hat, and yet he still gives me that proverbial up and down as soon as he sees me arrive wearing a fabulous Bijou Van Ness fascinator adorned with a mix of goose nagoire feathers and coque tail feathers. Markle, like me, is new to the local outré accessory of choice, which is complicated enough to warrant an etiquette class of its own. I’m faced with questions like “Which is the front and which is the back?” “How do I firmly secure it in place?” “And exactly where should it sit on my crown?” John seems to have all the answers. “You look like a cross between a Dame from a Dashiel Hammit story,” he swiftly concludes, “and a murderer from Clue.”

I pair my flowing, floral Self Portrait dress with a crossbody bag, perhaps Markle’s most famous way of bucking tradition. The style is rarely worn by royals, because while sensible, it can create wrinkles. I make like Markle, who has begun carrying hers over one shoulder to stay crease-free. I lace into L.K. Bennett wedges, a label long since beloved by the Duchess of Cambridge, and one of the few subtle ways that Middleton has bucked tradition with respect to royal fashion protocol. This principle comes straight from The Queen, who apparently can’t stand the sight of wedges. It’s a well-known quirk among the women at Windsor, who reserve their chunky shoes for casual affairs where her majesty’s presence isn’t requested.

My wedges keep me comfortably grounded through the race, and even lasted past John’s own exit. But within two minutes sans chaperone, a man who clearly had one too many Mint Juleps uses my fascinator as an excuse to hit on me. “I just love beautiful hats,” he says as he goes to snap a selfie without my consent, then he proceeds to spill his drink on my wedges. I get a very small sense of how royals must feel when they’re ambushed by iPhone-wielding fans, but I write it off as a successful first attempt at British hats.

Game Day:

(Left) Photo: Getty Images; (Right) Photo: Vogue.com

 

After Markle infamously wore ripped skinny jeans to attend the Invictus Games in Toronto in 2017, many deemed her trendy distressed denim unfit for a duchess-in-training. The next year, a now-engaged Markle took to black bootcut jeans that were noticeably free of holes which she paired with a polo shirt embroidered with the Invictus Game logo and a olive-green Aritzia trench. The overall effect was a polished upgrade on traditional team gear.

But as elevated as Markle’s game-day uniform was, some will say she over-delivered: Her spiked stiletto boots sparked an Internet debate about what is—and isn’t—appropriate footwear for treading between the field and the track. Markle wasn’t set to participate, and was there as a purely supportive, very stylish girlfriend, but many who on the offensive drew comparisons to The Duchess of Cambridge, who wore a pair of (slightly schlubby, though significantly more practical) New Balance trainers to run a marathon against Harry and William at the 2017 Invictus Games.

I decide to put Markle’s strategy to the test at a Yankees game, with a few minor adjustments. Rather than outfitting myself in MLB swag, I opt instead for a Vineyard Vines pique polo shirt with the team logo, one of several customizable options. I also swap stilettos for lace-up ballet flats courtesy of Sarah Flint—a celebrity-favorite footwear label Markle has been known to wear off-duty. I substitute bootcut jeans with a kicky cropped version by Mother. And thanks to their signature snug, cradle-your-bottom cut, my backside never looked better (or more belfie worthy). Though I imagine this sort of cheeky behavior has no place among members of the monarchy, who are strictly prohibited from taking selfies with the public. Even Markle, whose now-deactivated Instagram was once flooded with mirror selfies, politely declined a fan’s selfie request during her first official engagement. The social media age–equivalent of the autograph (another royal no-no as it could potentially be used to commit forgery) is restricted for reasons involving security (too close!), logistics (too time-consuming!), and the simple fact that The Queen is not a fan, and neither is Harry.

The real game-changer is my statement coat. The water-repellent finish proves instrumental for weathering the scattered showers that day, and the layer is the only thing differentiating me from the bartenders in the Jim Beam suite, who are all wearing the same indistinguishable navy monogrammed polo shirt of their own. It is yet another reason to leave the coat on, in keeping with a lesser-known protocol which says royals should refrain from removing their outerwear in public. Peeling off layers in front of others is viewed as unladylike (yes, really), which is why The Duchess of Cambridge (and now, Markle) can often be seen wearing a coat or a coat-dress that’s too chic to check. Silly tradition and unintended twinning aside, I’m a fan of the look.

Spring Gala:

(Left) Photo: Getty Images; (Right) Photo: Vogue.com

 

The next night, I’m set to attend the Manhattan Theatre Awards, and for this, I channel the caped look Markle wore to the Queen’s birthday last month. The kicker is the fact that she styled it with nude stockings, an admittedly old-fashioned underpinning that has become synonymous with royal protocol. In fact, the brand Commando actually sells a precise style of hosiery they call “Princess Sheers.” And if there were any question as to who inspired the legwear, they are not-so-subtly offered in a pale beige dubbed “Diana” and a slightly deeper shade called “Kate.” As for me, I find my perfect match in a pair of nude thigh-highs, which, even in a flesh-colored finish, feel slightly more sexy and a lot less matronly than the alternative. They’re transparent enough to go unnoticed, and surprisingly smooth to the touch, although I suspect my limbs look more pasty than they would in their natural state. Perhaps this wouldn’t be an issue if I were a royal, whose stockings are said to be couture, made to suit one’s skin tone and waist size. In any case, when Markle went bare during official appearances, her engagement interview included, it wasn’t just unexpected, it was downright revolutionary. Though on the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s birthday, she played by the rules. I find that the cape dress is significantly more wearable, particularly when it is met with multiple admirers at the gala. Not one but two guests describe the look as “regal.” And nude stockings are a small price to pay for that kind of flattery.

The Office:

(Left) Photo: Getty Images; (Right) Photo: Vogue.com

 

Markle may have left Hollywood for the House of Windsor, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be retiring all of those tailored separates she wore in Suits. Indeed, she’s already stepped out in pantsuits by Alexander McQueen, as seen when she recently accompanied Prince Harry to The Endeavor Awards in London. While there is no hard-and-fast rule against trousers, they’re usually reserved for casual wear. (Equally important, Markle must learn to use the appropriate British fashion terminology; in the U.K., they’re trousers, not pants, which refers to underwear.) I put the look to work at the Vogue office, buttoning into an Alice & Olivia blazer sans collar, a la Markle’s McQueen and the same silk blouse my muse paired with her pantsuit. The blouse extends into a bodysuit below the waist—a genius construction that lends the appearance of a proper tucked-in hem without any bunching or bulk. According to Meier, The Duchess of Cambridge is privy to wearing shapewear underneath her clothes, as it’s the surest way to smooth out any unsightly lumps or bumps.

In truth, my blouse-slash-bodysuit feels a bit like a diaper at first. A routine trip to the ladies room is nothing short of a production, and requires some serious finesse to get in and out of this complex contraption. And yet it seems it’s worth the extra lift, as my newly-polished working wardrobe is met with positive results. My colleagues aren’t used to seeing this corporate chic side of me, and their responses range from “Wow—you look so professional!” to “Why don’t you wear pantsuits everyday?” and my personal favorite, “You should make this look your LinkedIn profile photo.” By the end of the day, even the mailroom guys were playfully addressing me as princess.

After all, whether you’re résumé reads fashion writer or royal duchess, it’s a matter of dressing the part.

Shop the Look:

Summer Fashion Essentials That Never Go Out of Style

Summer Essentials

 

We’re always hyped to buy the latest and greatest trends. (Clear heels? Matrix sunglasses? Why not?) But a well-balanced wardrobe also includes a combination of timeless essentials that won’t go out of style. So this summer we’re making sure our closets are stocked with fashion staples that we can wear for years to come.

Once you’ve rounded up the basics, it’ll be easier than ever to get dressed and mix and match items. So read on to see if you have everything on the list below.

 

<p>White Linen Dress</p>

<p>Minimalist Sandals</p>

Minimalist Sandals

<p>Black One-Piece</p>

Black One-Piece

<p>Hoop Earrings</p>

Hoop Earrings

<p>Floral Fit-and-Flare Dress</p>

Floral Fit-and-Flare Dress

<p>Classic Fedora</p>

Classic Fedora

<p>Straw Tote</p>

Straw Tote

<p>Cateye Sunglasses</p>

Cateye Sunglasses

 

White Sneakers

<p>White Sneakers</p>

 

White Sneakers

 

 

20 WOMEN SIZED 32A TO 40DD TEST-DRIVE RIHANNA’S SAVAGE X FENTY BRAS

 

It’s been less than two weeks since Rihanna launched her Savage x Fenty lingerie line, and as expected, the fervor around the collection is, well, bonkers. Thanks to its many shades of nude, large size run, and hard to get your hand on product, fans across the world have been eager to give the collection a try. So were we—and that’s why we found 20 women who range from size 32A to 40DD, brought them into the ELLE.com offices, and had them review bras from the collection. Here’s what they had to say.

Helen, 32C

Helen is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44; savagex.com

 

“When I heard Rihanna was launching a lingerie collection a light bulb went on over my head. I thought, ‘Oh I see, Rihanna wants allthe money in my bank account, not just a little!’

The bra is really comfortable! I get to wear my true size 32C and that is amazing. Also, I was able to find nude tones that did not exist before. The bra is just as good if not better than anything I have had. Also I want to support Rihanna! I think that its important to speak with you wallet. Not just social media, or Facebook, but to use your hard-earned dollars to support business. It feels good to support a newcomer who is changing the game.”

 

Halle, 40D

Halle is wearing the Floral Mesh Lace Bra, $44; savagex.com

SAVANNA RUEDY

Mabel, 34A

Mabel is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44; savagex.com

SAVANNA RUEDY

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“I’m a 34A so it’s difficult to find a bra that looks good and feels nice but the Savage X bra was super flattering. Best of both worlds. I was expecting to see super padded bras, lace, and maybe a bit of S&M when I got to the ELLE.com offices. Now, it’s clear that the collection is sexy but tasteful. I’ve never felt confident in lingerie before the day of the shoot.

 

 

Cheyenne, 34B

Cheyenne is wearing the Microfiber T-Shirt Bra, $39

“As someone who rarely wears bras, especially not underwire, I was genuinely surprised at how comfortable and supportive the bra was! These bras are truly made for the female form and there is no compromising between wanting to look and feel your best. Even the most comfortable of fitting bras have tiny details that make you feel sexy and beautiful. There is no exaggeration here: Rih has done it again!”


Caroline, 34D

Caroline is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44
“The lacy bra I shot in felt amazing. Super soft with great quality fabric, the fit was exceptional and the aqua color with the rose gold hardware is such a gorgeous, sexy touch! This bra was one of the best fitting bras I’ve worn in a while.”

Juni, 38B

Juni is wearing the Mesh and Lace Bra, $49

“One of Fenty Beauty’s tag lines is ‘Beauty for All’ so I was really excited as a person of color and as someone who has a hard time looking for bras in general to see how this tagline would translate to a whole lingerie line. I usually have to try on four different sizes in one brand before I get the right fit, but I really just used the last bra size that I bought (from Aerie) and it fit perfectly, cups and band together. The material is so comfortable, too.”


Jenna, 40DD

Jenna is wearing the Floral Mesh Lace Bra, $44

SAVANNA RUEDY

“When I heard Rihanna was launching a lingerie line, I was interested and hoping that plus sizes would be included. I didn’t want to get my hopes up because most celeb collections aren’t size inclusive. I’m frankly used to being let down because their sizes are extremely lacking. It feels like she just dipped her toe in the plus size pool, but didn’t take the plunge. Stopping at a size 18/DD, when a 14/D is the “average” size of the American woman, is really the bare minimum where plus sizes are concerned.

I was beyond excited to hear plus sizes were included, but then let down again when I saw the size chart. I applaud Rihanna for taking a step in the right direction by attempting to expand options, but also want her to know there is still too many people who cannot participate in wearing and supporting her brand with such limited sizing. I will say, though, that I really appreciate the lack of padding in this bra. It gave me the room for adjustment that padding in other bras has always restricted. My boobs could be themselves and still look lifted and stylish. “pledged


Kristina, 36B

Kristina is wearing the Demi Cup Bra, $44

SAVANNA RUEDY

“I didn’t even need to see the lingerie to know I’d want her entire line. Everything Rihanna touches turns to Trophy Wife gold. While the bra I tried on was a basic t-shirt bra, I did love that there was an element of sexy with the bit of lace on the cups. Plus, I loved the soft feel of the fabric. The size also fit perfectly—there was no gap between my chest and the band and the cups fit me perfectly with no empty space, all the while pushing everything up to give nice cleavage without heavy padding.”


Paola, 38D

Paola is wearing the Floral Mesh Lace Bra, $44

“After I read and heard the awesome reviews for Fenty Beauty, I knew that Savage X wouldn’t disappoint. There was an instant feel of comfort with a generous dash of sexy. Better than my past bra experiences.”


Jordan, 36C

Jordan is wearing the Push Up Bra, $44; savagex.com
“I struggle to find bras that fit my girls just right, and my bra size typically varies depending on the brand. I’m a true 36C and the bra I tried on fit very true to size. The fabric was extremely comfortable and there was just enough padding to push up my breasts while still feeling extremely comfortable.”

Krystal, 38D

Krystal is wearing the Floral Mesh Lace Bra, $44

“I thought the options would all be sexy bras with cutouts, but she also had full coverage bras in a variety of color ways. One thing I do wish is that the straps in the back could tighten a little more for girls like me with heavier boobs.”


Rosa, 38C

Rosa is wearing the Mesh and Lace Bra, $49
“The bra that I tried on had no padding which I love. It is still supportive without adding bulk. Feminine and pretty, I was surprised at the quality and the fit. It felt great on!”

Contessa, 32D

Contessa is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44

“These undergarments are comfy yet sexy, priced appropriately, and will jump start summer 2018. Give Rih your money and stop playing. Enchantress Fenty is doing her best to include everyone in the conversation—obviously, inclusivity is the only way to go—so I assumed the same would apply to this. Compared to other bras, this one is pretty good; I’m not mad at how it looked. The color was pretty and the fit was nice, not too tight but had support.


Destiny, 32A

Destiny is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44

“The bra I wore seemed similar to others I’ve tried on in the past. But what I can say is I love the style of it all and how it fit so perfectly for my little bitties.”


Sheena, 36DD

Sheena is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44

SAVANNA RUEDY

“Rihanna’s goal is to include everyone: Big, small, light, dark you name it. Over all, these are better than other bras I’ve tried in the past. I love the lightweight feel and it’s so soft so it gets an A from me.”


Nana, 36DD

Nana is wearing the Unlined Lace Bra, $44
“It’s difficult for me to find a sexy, supportive bra and this was really sexy but lacked support. For larger, heavier breasts this is a sexy short-term wear bra. One you don’t expect to keep on long enough to really care. If you are looking for a sexy supportive bra this might not be it. At least not for me.”

Analisa, 34D

Analisa is wearing the Demi Cup Bra, $44

“While I’m normally a 34C, I ended up fitting best in a sister size, a 34D. This bra was way better than bras I’ve tried in the past that have tried to hit the sexy meets functional mark, but sorely missed. This bra didn’t dig in anywhere, had just the right amount of lift to be a normal t-shirt bra. I couldn’t feel the underwire at all.”


Semita, 32DD

Semita is wearing the Demi Cup Bra, $44

“I thought everything would be more sexy and stand out but, to be honest they look like regular under garments. I wish they were more unique or made me think that I needed them in my life. That being said, the bra was really soft and comfortable to wear, which is a good thing, but in terms of looks, I think it looks like a normal bra.


Adaora, 36D

Adaora is wearing the Mesh and Lace Bra, $49

“I thought the bras would have a more edgy or lingerie look to them. They were just like any standard bras which was not what I was expecting at all, but you don’t normally get pretty colors when you get to bra my size so I was excited about that. I do wish, though, the support for ‘ the girls’ could have been better.


Bree, 38DD

Bree is wearing the Mesh and Lace Bra, $49
“After the Fenty beauty launch, I think we all realized Rihanna didn’t come to play, so I had the highest expectations for quality and aesthetics for this line. This bra was so amazing I didn’t want to give it back. It made me feel sexy and comfortable, and it was so detailed. Finding bras in my size that look like this one and actually fit well, is really hard, so knowing she has a plethora in this collection makes me want to sign over my direct deposit to her name.”

Hold Up — Did You See the Practical Summer Dress Kate Middleton Wore to the Wedding Rehearsal?

Kate Middleton joined Prince William and the soon-to-be-newlyweds Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for a wedding rehearsal in Windsor. While this marked the duchess’s first public drive through town since giving birth to baby Louis, she appeared bright — and that probably had something to do with her dress.

Kate chose a lovely floral Michael Michael Kors shirtdress ($175) for the occasion, which is a breezy number that was probably pretty comfortable for the day’s agenda. The duchess accessorized with oversize Givenchy sunglasses.

While Meghan opted for an ivory bodysuit blouse and gorgeous diamonds to prepare for the ceremony, Kate’s laid-back, free-spirited outfit is definitely our speed this time of year. Read on for another glimpse, then check out Kate’s exact design and shop plenty of similar looks.

 

Kate’s Exact Michael Michael Kors Dress

Saloni Izzie Dress

Saloni Molly Dress

Lane Bryant Faux Surplice Maxi Dress

 

 

Borgo De Nor Sonia Dress

 

 

City Chic Trendy Plus Size Floral-Print Maxi Dress

 

Zara Crossed Dress

 

H&M Pleated Dress

 

 

 

H&M Chiffon Dress

 

Marchesa Notte Guipure Lace Cocktail Dress

 

Daoroka Sexy Floral Maxi

The Top 10 Sexiest Haircuts for Spring

<p>Long Lengths and Bangs</p>

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Spring is on the way, which means you’ll finally come out of the hibernation that is your couch + endless Netflix binges + leggings, and actually go out on a Saturday night. And with that, you might even find the energy to kick off the fresh and much warmer season with a haircut. If you are into the idea of breathing new life into your look, you’ll have no shortage of inspiration in 2018.

From perms and bangs to long, blunt cuts, we rounded up 10 of the sexiest haircuts worth trying this spring. Keep scrolling to see a few of the looks that are still trending and a few new styles you’re bound to see everywhere this year.

<p>Bob and Bangs</p>

Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Bob and Bangs

What to Ask For: Chin-grazing styles, as seen on celebrities like Nina Dobrev, are still trending for spring, but you can completely transform the look of your bob by adding a set of blunt bangs. Ask for longer styles that can be parted in the center or swept to the side once they start growing out.

Long Lengths and Bangs

What to Ask For: Ask for a little trim to clean up dead ends, but add in subtle layers and wispy, piece-y bangs like Selena Gomez. This allows for flawless grow-out if you decide fringe isn’t for you.

<p>Wispy Bangs and a Shag Cut</p>

Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images

Wispy Bangs and a Shag Cut

What to Ask For: This is one of the best options if you’re ready to grow out a shag haircut. Once length is on your side, ask your stylist for a set of bangs and longer layers that you can pull up into a ponytail. If you want even more texture, go for a perm like Jaime King.

<p>Textured Pixie</p>

Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Textured Pixie

What to Ask For: This is a true pixie cut, but make sure to ask your stylist for a little bit of length on top so you can add in texture and waves with gel or paste. Your inspiration image? Kate Hudson.

<p>Long Layers</p>

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Long Layers

What to Ask For: Face-framing layers, but they shouldn’t be choppy! Ciara’s angled hairstyle demonstrates the look perfectly.

<p>Curtain Bangs</p>

Getty Images

Curtain Bangs

What to Ask For: It’s the bangs style of 2018. If you’re already growing out your fringe, you probably already have them. If you’re just chopping bangs for the first time, it’s a great option to ease you into the styling routine. Ask your pro for long fringe with enough weight so that they can be parted in the center or swept to the side.

<p>Long, Layered Pixie</p>

Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Long, Layered Pixie

What to Ask For: Be sure to ask for significant length and body on top—enough to be able to pull up into a mini ponytail. If you want to lose a ton of length but don’t mind styling your hair everyday, this haircut is for you. It’s also extremely versatile.

<p>Long and Blunt</p>

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Long and Blunt

What to Ask For: No angles, no layers! This haircut is all about the blunt, straight-across cut. It’s simple in nature, but it demands attention.

<p>Choppy Bob</p>

Oliver Hardt/Getty Images

Choppy Bob

What to Ask For: Naomi Watts’s choppy bob is one of 2018’s hottest haircuts, with no signs of slowing down. It can fall above or below the chin, and incorporates subtle layers. Bonus if you don’t mind using a curling wand—it looks amazing with waves!

<p>Asymmetrical Lob</p>

Getty Images

Asymmetrical Lob

What to Ask For: A lob traditionally hits right below or above the collarbone. Ask for this length, but tell your stylist you want it a little longer in the front and shorter in the back. The 2018 version of the asymmetrical cut is extremely subdued—you’ll be able to see it best in sleek, straight, flat-ironed styles.

The Weeknd Supports Bella Hadid as She Hits Runway at Fashion for Relief Event in Cannes

The musician had a front row seat to watch his ex-girlfriend on the catwalk.

The Weeknd is still showing his support for Bella Hadid.

On Sunday, the 28-year-old singer, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfay, was spotted front row at the Fashion for Relief event as part the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival, where his ex-girlfriend wowed on the runway.

The Weeknd looked casual in an army green-colored jacked and baseball cap, while Hadid strutted down the catwalk in a series of sexy cocktail dresses. Earlier in the night, she hit the red carpet solo, wearing a sequin, midriff-baring black gown.

The Weeknd’s appearance at the runway show comes just a few days after an eyewitness told ET that he and Hadid were kissing in Cannes. The eyewitness added that the two were also spotted laughing, checking out each other’s phones and hugging throughout the evening.

Prior to Cannes, the “Starboy” singer and the 21-year-old model reportedly participated in some PDA at a Cochella party in April, though Hadid later took to Instagram to deny the rumors.

The Weeknd and Hadid called it quits in November 2016 after a year and a half together, and according to a source, there was still “a great deal of love” between them.

Despite her frequent appearances at parties and events, Hadid reveals in the June/July issue of Harper’s Bazaar that she really is a homebody at heart.

“People think I’m such a party girl, but that’s a thing of the past. I can’t wait to just sit on the couch this weekend! Now that our careers have gotten to the heights that they have and our job is to be around people all day and go to parties, the last thing I want to do on a Saturday night is go out,” Hadid says. “I just want to be around people who love me. Like you [sister Gigi Hadid] and I play video games, watch movies, paint pottery—all the stupid sh*t we used to do back in our childhood before we became Gigi and Bella.”