ElegantPlus.com: Expert Guides to Plus Size Clothing, Shopping and Lifestyle Turns Four

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ElegantPlus.com, an Internet guide to plus size clothing, shopping and lifestyle celebrates its growth and fourth anniversary. The grass roots service philosophy has expanded offerings from simple shopping listings for the under-served size 14 and larger market to include information, news and articles celebrating full figured fashion and in support of self esteem, body image, career and empowerment.

ElegantPlus.com, an Internet guide to plus size clothing, shopping and lifestyle celebrates its growth and fourth anniversary. The grass roots service philosophy has expanded offerings from simple shopping listings for the under-served size 14 and larger market to include information, news and articles celebrating full figured fashion and in support of self esteem, body image, career and empowerment. Website: http://www.ElegantPlus.com

ElegantPlus.com grew out of the humble origins of a small eBay store called "Elegantly Yours Plus Boutique" (now closed) that specialized in hand picked plus size clothes. It quickly became apparent that there was a huge demand for quality, full-figured apparel that was not being met. The founder, a curvy art historian and archaeologist specializing in jewelry, textiles, social theory and role of fashion in image and non-verbal communication, discovered that her academic skills were actually in high demand with modern, mainstream applications. As letters and pleas came pouring in from satisfied customers raving about her fashion sense, wondering where she found her "hand-picked" plus sized items, and asking if there was a website, the idea of ElegantPlus.com began to take shape. Switching from direct vending to a listing and information service allowed a more scalable model and in June 2002 the current plus size fashion concept website was launched.

In the course of the past four years this grass roots service philosophy has continued to shape the website. ElegantPlus.com has grown to include extensive information in support of the plus size community, adding features and content in direct response to visitor demands and letters. During the course of the last year ElegantPlus.com received over 1.5 million unique visitors and over 95,000 page views per week. Readers are predominantly well educated women who range in age from 18 to 55 with active lifestyles and who wear sizes 12-34w. They come from all ethnic backgrounds and live in the United States (an increasing percentage of our readership is also from Canada and other English speaking countries). Continued growth is expected since the average American woman wears a size 14 or larger, but traditional brick and mortars continue to under-serve this market.

Plus Size Clothing

Today, ElegantPlus.com provides extensive plus size clothing Internet listings which are carefully reviewed. The editors conduct random mystery shopper "test purchases" in order to research such aspects as customer service, quality and style to complement our understanding of an apparel company's web presence. The company is interested in the entire customer experience and only work with companies that have apparel directly available through secure Internet shopping.

Price points range from value priced apparel to high end designer, and even couture fashion. "Editor's Pick" plus size fashions are drawn from our partnership base and featured in individual product listings. We have a policy of inclusion and make every effort to include stylish "picks" for super size women in sizes above 26W on most pages. Written reviews and style guides can feature fashion events, specific product types, and individual designers and retailers. Helpful fit guides are included to help shoppers better understand their bodies, clothing cuts and measuring systems.

Curvy News and Information

The ElegantPlus.com staff writes original articles of interest to our visitors addressing lifestyle, fashion and current events. Regular contributors during the last year include full figured wedding author Chamein Canton; inspirational columnist Reverend ReBecca Ames Sala; a plus fashion photographer and size acceptance activist in Los Angeles, Sita Mae Edwards; Monica Rasso, a curvy Mom and professional plus size model; and Lisa Klobucar who tackles self esteem issues from an "every woman's" perspective. Joining the regular team during the summer of 2006 is body image expert and confidence coach , Dr. Robyn Silverman, whose groundbreaking research at Tufts University demonstrates that not all plus-size young women view themselves similarly in terms of body image.

Events of interest to the plus size community are announced through our mailing lists and on the Event Calendar, providing a centralized information distribution service for BBW social, fashion, travel and activism events across the United States.

Some of the events covered by ElegantPlus.com authors have included the 2005 NAAFA Convention, plus size fashion shows and plus size dance concerts.

Media attitudes and coverage of obesity, plus size fashion, health, curvy celebrities, size positive events and other issues of interest to the plus community are monitored through our free daily news clipping service.

Fashion Industry Plus Size Job Resources

As part of our empowerment mission, a free business to business fashion job resource board is moderated by ElegantPlus.com. Run through Yahoo! Groups, it is open to all - partners and non-partners alike. Modeling and acting jobs must accept applicants size 12 or larger for women or men's big and tall. All other postings must come from companies that are involved in the entertainment, fashion and beauty industries and, preferably, produce apparel for larger sizes or support curves in some way. Accepted postings include plus modeling and acting jobs, stylists, make-up artists, corporate retail, fashion retail, fashion design, advertising and graphic design agencies with fashion and beauty accounts, entertainment industry, and related business.

Website resources include such things as reputable plus modeling agency listings, plus friendly fashion photographers and introductory discussions of job descriptions within the industry. Guest authors have included such plus size fashion notables as Bette Tilch, a fashion stylist working in Los Angeles, and plus size clothing designer, Yuliya Zeltser, of the San Francisco based full figured apparel company Igigi.

Further development of a plus size fashion career center is planned throughout the upcoming year.

Community Support and Involvement

ElegantPlus.com recently established a presence on MySpace to provide a networking space for plus size models, industry professionals and everyday full figured women.

ElegantPlus.com would also like to give back to the community it serves by offering event sponsorships, help with publicity and advertising to non profit groups serving the plus community. Each request is considered on a case by case basis, and help is offered dependent on available resources.

ElegantPlus.com would like to thank all that have made this website a success as we mark our Fourth Anniversary. Without enthusiastic readers, talented plus size women, an active size acceptance movement, and a growing full figured apparel industry we could not celebrate, support and encourage the women we serve.

Contact information available on the ElegantPlus.com website at: http://www.elegantplus.com/About.htm

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