It's hard to find plus size dresses that are trendy, comfortable, well-fitting, and inexpensive. I don't know about you, but I don't have a lot of money to shell out for top name plus size brands that market themselves as "affordable" while charging $75 for a dress.
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I just can't do it.
Typically, I find better luck shopping in store for sales and whatnot, but sometimes I like to shop online too. Lately, I've been on the hunt for an online store that carries plus size clothes that are affordable and fashionable. I want to start working on my fall wardrobe.
As it turns out, most of the least expensive and fashionable clothes come from Asian retailers, including Zaful.
Yeah, yeah. I know what you're thinking.
Zaful has a reputation. Some people love them. Some people hate them. A quick search reveals hundreds of reviews—some raving, some ranting—but from my research, it seems the bad reviews are typically based on sizing, shipping times, or clothing material.
So, before I get into the plus size fall dresses that I love, I'd like to give you a few tips on shopping smarter from Asian retailers like Zaful.
Last year, I purchased several plus-size sweaters from Zaful and I love them. I've received more compliments on both of those sweaters than any of my other clothes combined. With that said, I shop smart. I am really cautious when it comes to purchasing clothes online. I like to know what to expect before committing to buy.
So, let's talk about Zaful.
Zaful PricingTheir prices are low. Very low in comparison to other similar fashion retailers. So, how does Zaful keep their prices so low? Well, it would appear that they buy wholesale and have very few middlemen involved. They also purchase fabrics that cost less.
Zaful Clothing QualityThe fact that Zaful purchases inexpensive clothing means lots of polyester, rayon, terylene, and so on. They do have some cotton blends, too, and naturally, these items tend to be more expensive. Pay attention to the material when you're purchasing a product.
I knew that the sweaters I was ordering were polyester from the jump. I knew that they wouldn't be as soft as cotton. I was well aware. But I made the purchase anyway because they were adorable. And as it turns out, while they're not all that soft, they're comfortable, cute, and people are constantly asking me where I got them.
Zaful clearly lists the material in the product description of every item on their website. It also mentions whether or not the product has elasticity. So, if you need some stretch, that's another important thing to look at when shopping with Zaful.
Zaful SizingAsian bodies tend to be shorter and more slender than bodies in other countries. Of course, that's not always true, but it's true enough that Asian retailers have different sizing.
Because many of Zaful's shoppers are in the United States, however, they offer US conversions on their size charts. Now, be mindful that you have to pay attention to size charts on each individual item. Zaful orders items from different suppliers and their sizing might be different. Again, you have to measure yourself against their size charts on each individual item. This is the only way to ensure that you're getting the best fit.
Just because you wear an XXL from your favorite brand doesn't mean you'll fit into an XXL shirt from Zaful. An XXL from Zaful might fit like a US medium. Always, ALWAYS measure yourself before putting that item into your cart—and this goes for any online fashion retailer, not just Asian websites! BE SMART!
Shipping takes awhile, I won't lie. When I ordered my two sweaters last year, it took a month and a half before they arrived. I knew that I would be expecting long shipping times before I placed my order. I knew that my items would be shipped from China. I knew that it wouldn't be wise to place an order for something I'd need in a week.
Shipping times depend on the destination country, shipping method, and in some cases, weather might even play a factor. Most of the time, your products have to go through customs before they're cleared.
Don't expect your order in a week. Don't expect it in two weeks. Don't order something that you need within the next month. Just chill out and be patient. If after a month and a half your order still hasn't arrived, then contact Customer Service.
Finally, I'd like to add that Zaful offers a 30-day return guarantee. I do not shop with fashion retailers that don't have a return policy and I recommend that you don't either. It's just too risky.
Now that you have a better idea of how you can avoid risky purchases, I'd like to show off three of Zaful's dresses that I believe are perfect for fall. I'll include the price point as well so that you'll have a better idea of what to expect, should you decide to shop there!
Plus Size Fall Dresses
I love this dress for fall. It's a casual style that can be dressed up with a pair of heels or worn during fall with a pair of brown booties. It features a universally flattering a-line silhouette and v-collar. Now, one thing to consider about this dress is that it is made of terylene. Terylene is an artificial textile fibre made from a polyester. It's used to create light, crease-resistant clothing.
Needless to say, don't expect it to be soft, thick cotton. And because it's a light fabric, it might be a little sheer, so I'd recommend a form-fitting bodysuit to go underneath.
This gorgeous plus size ruched polka dot dress is only $22.49.
This next dress is vibrant and stunning! I don't know why, but I've always associated rich yellows like this with fall. It's almost like you're struggling to leave summer behind. I love it.
It's made with spandex and terylene, so yes, there is some stretch, and yes, it might be a little sheer. Keep that in mind before making a purchase.
This vibrant plus size belted dress is only $24.99.
I adore this next dress because it's so versatile. I can easily picture it with a pair of knee-high black boots and a beautiful red scarf for the fall season.
It's made of polyester, which is what I imagine when I think of active wear. I sometimes wear moisture-wicking materials in the summer when I work out and those typically contain polyester. It seems like a strange material for a dress, so I don't know if I'd buy this or not. Even still, I love the look and the style.
So, if you were to pick these up, you would only be paying $70.47 plus shipping for three dresses. What? Three plus size dresses under $100? That's practically unheard of!
Just be sure that you're shopping smart when shopping with Asian retailers. There's a reason that prices are low.