Thank you to Geneva, who posted this question on my Facebook page:
“I have a question for you. I’m a plus size woman who is bigger on bottom than on top. I’m needing long skirts/dresses for a mission trip to Kenya with IC World. But can’t seem to find anything that looks good. I am 5’8″ and live in Nampa.”
first I’d like to give you a HUGE hug for your efforts to help the people of Kenya! My dear friend Lori recently made a similar trip, and was so blessed by the experience, and the opportunity to help families in need there. With high malnutrition rates, severe drought, and over a million children orphaned by AIDS alone, Kenya is definitely a country that needs compassionate volunteers!
Many mission & volunteer programs do, however, have a dress code, depending on the culture you are working with. How to be respectful, comfortable, and appropriately-dressed for the requirements of your trip, AND your personal style & body type? It can be challenging, but not impossible! 😀
1. I recently found the maxi-skirt-of-my-dreams (that’s me on the left!) in the newly-opened Nordstrom Rack.
It’s from a brand called Bobeau, who makes comfortable, stretchy, stylish clothing (affordable, too!) in misses and plus sizes! It’s a lightweight breathable rayon material, and most importantly, it’s super-duper-DUPER stretchy! The waist can be worn folded up or down, depending on what top you wear with it. Either way, it’s so comfy, it kind of blows your mind! The Rack carries them in a variety of colors, and right now they carry womens’ sizes XS-XL. Some of their other Bobeau items DO come specifically plus sizes, but these skirts are so generously sized, it might definitely be worth trying them on!
2. Watch out for pleats on your maxi skirt! If you are a lady with curvier hips, pleats around the waistline will make those curves look even curvier! 😉 The Bobeau skirt I mentioned (left) has barely any pleating around the waist; when worn, they pretty much disappear! If you hold up a maxi skirt and the hips puff out on the hanger, it is NOT going to be a slenderizing skirt on an actual woman. (Only exception: if you put a big, chunky statement belt over the waist & pleats!)
3. Another tip: Look for maxi dresses! These are everywhere right now, from Ross to Macy’s to Target – there’s a style for every budget! Steer clear of low-cut styles that would be inappropriate for the work you are doing. Empire-waist styles can emphasize your bust, so if you are a lady with a pear-shaped body type, these can be very figure-balancing & flattering! If you have a larger bust size, look for lower-waisted styles, or maxi’s that don’t have a defined waist, but instead flow gently (not too tight, or too baggy!) over your curves. Ask your mission coordinators what the rules are regarding bare arms & shoulders, too; these guidelines will also affect your shopping choices!
4. Many of my overseas-traveling girl friends concur on this point: a local re-sale store will be your best resource! Long skirts come and go in fashion, year after year. Your local Saver’s, Goodwill, etc. should have a good selection of long skirts, at really decent prices. And be SURE to check your local consignment stores, for skirts that are more current, and often in better condition. 😉
A quick internet search pulled up some great options in Nampa, Geneva! I found 1. Catwalk Consignment Boutique – 1310 2nd St S, (208) 466-4832. 2. 11th Ave. Consignments – 1509 Caldwell Blvd # 1178, (208) 466-7700. 3. A to Z Resale Inc. – 1407 2nd St S, (208) 442-7900. 4. Magic Again – 819 12th Ave S, (208) 991-2341.
Hopefully some of these ideas will be helpful to you! Good luck, and please post pictures of your trip!
P.S. Fashion friends, do you have ideas & shopping tips for Geneva? Feel free to add your helpful comments! 😀