Body Positive Stores
Stores have begun to hop on the body positive bandwagon as more and more begin offering size and shape inclusive options. (Image via Instagram)

Shopping for a new outfit can be a daunting task for anyone. Between searching racks and racks of clothes in noisy, crowded stores and trying to find the best deal, the quest for some new threads is not always as easy as it might seem. Add in clothing stores not having your size, and you have a recipe for a stress-filled, rip-your-hair-out kind of a shopping trip. Thankfully, we live in a world where people are becoming more aware that bodies come in various shapes and sizes, leading to body positive stores making more appearances every day.

For arguably too long, popular and fast fashion retailers like Forever 21 and H&M were ruling shopping malls across the country even though they only offered a small size selection. Both stores offer typical standard size options and a very limited plus size section, but even so, clothing items at both stores tend to run smaller than usual, making it difficult for those in between standard and plus sizes to find anything that fits properly.

Forever 21 was also under fire recently after customers who placed orders online reported that they received Atkins diet bars with their order. Several individuals remarked on social media how toxic and detrimental the addition could be as it could be seen as promoting diet culture and potential eating disorders.

Scenarios like the scandal with Forever 21 serve as reminders of just how much young women need body positive stores to shop at and to not have to worry about the store carrying their size or if the selection for their size will be limited.

The act of being body positive is essentially acknowledging that, as we go through life, our bodies might change, but we can still love them however they might look. Retailers have begun to adapt body positive thinking into their designs and products and been met with much appreciation from fans new and old. Here is a list of four retailers who are getting this body positive thing right.

1. Old Navy

Old Navy, also known as the store that sells those cheesy matching Fourth of July shirts that your mom made you and your siblings wear begrudgingly, has been selling quality denim, simple basics and yes, those matching T-shirts since 1994.

Recently, Old Navy has become a more popular choice amongst shoppers and fashion bloggers alike as the brand has started to carry more trendy pieces along with the classic pieces it has been famous for. Those who might not have shopped at the store in the past are buying some of their first pieces now as the retailer offers up to a size 20 in jeans and a 4X in pants and tops. With affordable and on-trend basics available in a wide variety of sizes, Old Navy is destined to remain a fashion favorite for the long haul.

2. Target

Target has been a favorite in the fashion community for many years as it has been a place to get everyday items as well as more fashion-forward pieces on the cheap. The store has also done many partnerships with luxe brands, such as Lilly Pulitzer and Hunter.

Recently, however, Target has gained attention from fashion fiends everywhere, as it has begun to carry multiple lines of body positive clothing and lingerie. In 2018, the store launched not one, not two, but three body positive lines of clothing.

A New Day features adorable dresses and skirts, Universal Thread carries Madewell-inspired pieces at half the price and Wild Fable creates and launches whimsical yet also adult appropriate threads.

After being met with much success and requests from fashionistas, Target debuted three sleepwear and lingerie brands: Auden, Stars Above and Colsie. The lines are some of the most size-inclusive on the market right now, with bras available starting at a 32AA and ending at a 46G and pajamas and loungewear available from a size XS to a 4X.

3. Asos

British retailer Asos has been a worldwide staple in the wardrobes of many since its opening in 2000, as it sells classic pieces along with more contemporary pieces at a typically-affordable price. The clothing store has garnered attention recently as it has become a body positive store in its own right.

Starting in 2018, the brand began using models of various shapes and sizes to display clothing on their website, and in 2017, they eliminated the use of photoshop and other types of editing. The body positive store carries an extensive number of items in its plus and curvy collections, as its plus size line goes to a size 26 and its lingerie line offers bras up to a size 48G. The store also offers shoppers the option to buy items made from recycled and/or sustainable materials, making Asos a great retailer all around.

4. Aerie

Aerie has been around as the sister company of American Eagle since it opened in 2006. The store has been selling lingerie and loungewear ever since its beginning, however it was not until recently that the brand began to be noticed as one of the most body positive stores available to shop both in-store and online. The brand has started a hashtag campaign, Aerie Real, reminding individuals that photos do not need to be retouched; you are beautiful however you look.

In addition to not using retouching on their models, Aerie also uses models of various sizes, ethnicities as well as individuals with various medical conditions, like ostomy. The body positive retailer has quite the size selection in-store and online with bras available from a 32AA to a 40DDD, and clothes available from XXS to XXL in tops and the same in pants, with the exceptions of different lengths like short and tall.

The retailer has received much love from YouTubers, bloggers and the average shopper, and will no doubt continue to do so as it continues to work toward making individuals feel comfortable and confident in their clothing.

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