Oh my God, Gwynnie Bee. I fell in instant love when I received an invite from this service (which falls neatly in the middle of social media, shopping, and sharing), and it’s kind of like Pinterest mated with your closet, and fabulousness resulted.
To be honest, I’ve yet to try Gwynnie Bee — but I’m finally covering it because I have an excuse. My work keeps me largely at home, and fashion-wise, these circumstances have resulted in net earnings gains across eight straight quarters for Aeropostale. Shut up, they make flattering junior plus sizes, and no one sees my ensemble from the boobs down in my conference room cum dining area.
Personally I became aware of the severity of the Aero situation when I planned a platonic dinner date with two consistently well-dressed male friends. I consulted with my long-distance hetero life partner Liza about what I should wear, and she sagely opined, “just something without writing down the leg.” BFF burn.
A looming work trip means a tentative first date for me and Gwynnie Bee, and there is so much going on here to unpack. As a social site, the share aspect (which is multi-level) is compelling. And I graduated from FIT — fashion has always been a thing for me, so social + shopping = win win win win win win.
However, as a lifelong and unabashedly curvy female, plus-size shopping was (when I retired from the meatspace workplace) a bit lonely, and I think this was sort of across the board for all fourteen-plusses.
Just a scant few years ago, we had the internet to specialty shop, but nothing like this to actually dish on extended-size fashion. Also, I’m gonna go there. Until very recently, there was always something so apologetic about plus-size style — and now the advent of social shopping means happy, curvy women can find their tribe and leave behind the days of corrective couture.
A great many of us were already there, comfortable with our curves … but retail never met us there, always selling a solution instead of style.
On Facebook, Gwynnie Bee has amassed more than 100,000 fans, and it’s not hard to see why. The service, which is like Netflix for curvy-girl clothing, sends you dry cleaned selections in your size to wear and return. When the items are checked back in, new clothes come to your house like curve-conscious fairies brought them.
Can you believe just a few short years ago we were sadly rejecting wrongly-proportioned mom jeans at That One Plus-Size Mall Store?
On the social side, the brand has an active presence on sites like Instagram. And part of what is so capital-C Cool about social shopping and sharing services like Gwynnie Bee is that it also takes the place of something we miss about old media (fashion mags) AND adds an element us chubby chicks didn’t used to organically get — a natural platform, by and for us, with no condescending “fashion fix” feel to it.
Gwynnie Bee also has a Pinterest, a convenient way to track your lusted after future selections.
Totally going to rent the hell out of this dress:
And, according to their Facebook page, they have a store for retired styles at 70 percent off — members only, natch, but a nice perk if you’re signed up and particularly took to one of the numbers you previously rented:
Yay, Friday!!! Twenty new styles have been added to the GB Shop. As always, everything in the Shop is 70% off… https://t.co/lJqCMwj23y
— GwynnieBee (@GwynnieBee) February 7, 2014
I’m pretty sure if I worked in an old-fashioned office Gwynnie Bee would be a total no-brainer, and I suspect that I may even get hooked after the trial period ends, despite my lack of careerwear necessity.
Have you used Gwynnie Bee or any other shop/share service? Are you also still cartwheeling with excitement that there’s now such choice and acknowledgment for plus-size fashion? Because I’m verklempt!