Today we are happy to introduce another guest blog from our MP friend and devote fashionista Marcy Cruz. Marcy recently took a trip to Canada and checked out all of her favorite plus size brands up north! Check out her shopping experience and, if you have not seen it yet, check out Marcy at Re/Dress and her London shopping trip!
Funky tees, beautiful maxi-dresses, plus size mannequins and wonder bras! And that was just the beginning of my shopping experience at Pennington’s, Addition Elle, MXM, Curvaceous Consignments and Voluptuous during my latest trip to Canada. I had four days to take Toronto by storm. Shopping storm, that is!
Penningtons, Addition Elle and MXM are all owned by the same company. Penningtons offers sizes 14 – 32 and go up to a 6X! Addition Elle and MXM go up to 28 and 4X. The latter two are more modern styles with lots of trendy tees, clubwear, denim and casual wear. Penningtons is targeted more towards the conservative customer looking for career pieces and casual separates. So I was very excited to see what all three had to offer me, a size 26-28/3X-4X.
I decided to visit the Penningtons location at Dufferin Mall first. This location actually houses Penningtons, Addition Elle and MXM in one huge store. The first thing I noticed as I walked in was that there was a sale going on. I have the best luck! Up to 50% off…be-still my heart.
Other things I noticed right away:
They positioned 2 racks directly in the front as you walked in, which had items that were marked down drastically. Here I saw trenchcoats and lightweight jackets at 50% off regular price.
Throughout the store, the signage showed “true” plus size models that looked to be about a size 18-20 and larger. All of the salesgirls were plus size and dressed impeccably in items that they bought in the store.
The salepeople were wonderful. They didn’t hover and were very helpful. I also loved the attention they offered. One of them came over and asked me if I needed a fitting room. She then continued to collect any items I accumulated as I browsed and placed them in a fitting room for me. It was nice knowing that a fitting room was available for me and my stuff was already waiting there as well.
My latest dilemma has been finding a proper bra. I noticed they had a new line of bras called Wonder Bras. I wanted to try one on but was unsure of my size as I have yet to find a bra that fits me well. When I told the salesperson about this dilemma, she immediately offered to measure me. Huh? I have been trying to get fitted for a bra for years in the US! I was amazed.
Two minutes and my correct size later, she had a few Wonder Bras for me to try on. I walked out of Penningtons, a new woman with better posture and support plus saved some money. All of their bras were on sale (buy 1 bra at regular price, get 40% off your second one). I am in love with these Wonder Bras and actually ordered a few more online after my visit. On the Penningtons website, they only charge $7.50CAD for shipping ($7.42USD) and it takes 8-10 business days to arrive. Not bad, eh?
I LOVED the Jessica Biffi items. They were modern without reading JUNIOR PLUS. I’m far from my teenage years but still like to wear modern, funky pieces. All in all, Penningtons gets 2 thumbs up from me!
Next up on my Toronto shopping tour was Voluptuous in the Dufferin Mall. This is a small store within the mall that carries sizes 14 – 26. So they do not carry my size but I was lured in nonetheless by their plus size mannequins in the window. I was so speechless, I snapped a photo. The mannequins were curvy and had wide hips! Kudos to Voluptuous to showcase these mannequins! I liked a few items in the store but honestly, their largest size was a 3X and it looked like it was a size 10. They did earn a few brownie points for their mannequins. But I walked out empty-handed.
Last but certainly not least, I visited Curvaceous Consignments, a plus size consignment store. They have two locations: one in Ajax and the other in Thornhill. I went to the Thornhill location. The store was organized in an easy layout by size and type of clothing. I saw pieces from Avenue, Lane Bryant, Tommy Hilfiger, and Penningtons. They also had a great selection of shoes and handbags. I scored a beautiful snakeskin Issac Mizrahi bag for $5. The saleswoman was very friendly and helped me to find some nice pieces that I did not see on my own. Since they have a large selection, it was hard to really see everything without feeling overwhelmed.
Overall, I loved shopping in Toronto. Penningtons is now my second favorite plus size store (Evans is still my #1). I am hoping that the US plus size businesses will take a cue from Penningtons and Evans in terms of fit, style and size offerings. Just because a woman is above a size 2X does not mean she does not want to be fashionable. As the tagline for Curvaceous Consignments says, “Because everybody is beautiful”. Can I get an AMEN?
Check out some of the items that Marcy bought!
Addition Elle- Mesh Insert Plus Size Dress
Addition Elle- Plus Size Rosette Neckline Babydoll
Addition Elle- Lace Embrace Underwire Bra in extended sizes
MXM 14+ plus size argyle print tee
MXM 14+ plus size screen top with ruffle shoulder
MXM 14+ plus size screen tee with zipper shoulder