Being curvy its not easy, some clothing companies only carry S to XL some times i find more XS (extra small) then XL clothing in the store. The mall is a good example of shopping busts at times i can go upto 12 stores i have 3 tops from all of them that i think i like that in truth i should love!
The dress on this images i found at Charlotte Russe in the Mall they are a national chain that does carry some XL but when i really took a closer look on the style of the dress is when i had a memory from my days in fashion school "Style" The dress was a strapless and it had a stretch pattern in the bust and the waist witha zipper on the side it was a focus on the waist that made my bottom seem very flattering and the little shrug added some daytime realness!, But when i first saw it i said " I dont think they have it in my size" that is when it hit me. We have become scared to shop around in this society we think that we can just walk in and out of a store with what we want but for some that is not the case. I started talking to some friends about it and we considered demographic to be one of the reasons some malls do not have the sizes we are looking for.
Department stores keep track of their sells and if they see a spike on larger sizes they will supply that store with larger inventory in that particular size for the customer. Supply and demand-
I thought that Ebay will be better for me at times to get clothing but i know that sizes are different in other countries so i because and EDUCATED shopper the best kind. I googled Size chart and How to take your measurements and wrote them down and every time that i shop online i use those as a reference point for my searches. I also look at styles sadly bigger girls can't wear everything a thinner girl wears it sucks but is a reality, I tend to stay away from some things like super tight dresses with side openings. I have learned that does not look so good one me and others so i resorted to investigate style!
Goggle Shopping is amazing they centralize all the particular things your looking for in one search and you can see all the websites that it comes from. Online shopping got easy.
For department store shopping i tend to try things on and take my time, I will go around noon and shop around not only size but price, quality and the ever so important can i wear this year long? this blue dress is great for summer days and winter nights with some scarfs and boots or heels its a good investments for $25.00 bucks.
Make sure you are looking around and do not get frustrated when you shop, take a good pair of undies and bra that you would wear with said clothing and at times even spanks or a corset to make sure things fit how you want them to. Invest in knowing a drag queen or a seamstress they can help you take things in but remember taking things in is great buying a dress 2 sizes to small and adding fabrics is kinda hard.
Always know what your looking for in your size what looks good and can be a year around purchase you will find more things you like and love to wear and you don't have to break the bank for.