I have been curvy my whole life. While I am healthy, love myself, and have come to terms with my ever-fluctuating body, it’s been a frustrating trip trying to find clothing that I love and feel good in, and gear that works for traveling and adventuring the way we do. The average woman is a size 14 and the average Large is sized for a woman who is a size 12. That’s ridiculous.
The fashion industry has come leaps and bounds from where it was even a few years ago, and while the industry has FINALLY come to embrace curvy, larger than average women (I HATE the term plus-sized), there is still a long way to go. We have so many more options than we used to, and as the industry continues to advance, as it should, we have more fashionable options than ever before.
I live life at home in jeans and workout wear (I do have a very active toddler that I get to chase around), and while at work I get to be a little more casual, but also prefer business casual most days. However, what about active, curvy girl adventure gear? For me, jeans are too constrictive, and simply don’t work when we are traveling, and most of the time, workout wear is not conducive to climbing around mine shafts or getting through evenings by the campfire in below freezing conditions (Finding great cold weather gear is my absolute biggest problem.) I also don’t want to spend a small fortune, so I look for deals on sites like eBay or buy and alter clothes. (Thank god for a mother and grandmother who taught me to sew)
I have found a few brands that work for my body type, that I am comfortable in while running around a campsite. Columbia and Lucy Activewear make some great pants that are 4-way stretch, but leave plenty of room for a layer underneath, and Columbia even has a wide range of Extended Size OMNI Heat gear that I love for freezing weather. (The jackets, however, run a little small, so size up) I’ve even found some awesome stuff by Champion at Target.com.
Therein, though, lies my biggest issue. I have yet to find a brick and mortar store that carries larger sized adventure clothes for women. The major outdoor retailers, like BassPro, REI, and Cabelas don’t carry the sizes I need in the store, only online, which makes it very hard to find the right size, and frustrating because when I do find my size, the selection is minuscule. I’d love to be able to try something on in the store before I buy it, and not have to worry about return costs because the size chart wasn’t accurate. (They rarely are)
So this is my shoutout to the fashion industry and major retailers that carry larger sizes online, but not in the store. There are women out there who really want to wear your stuff but won’t take the chance of ordering an expensive pair of adventure pants that might not even fit correctly. What are you waiting for? Make a little room and carry some stock for us curvy lady adventurers. You might be surprised.
Do you have any brands that you prefer to wear when adventuring?
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