Shopping for Curves: 5-tips for buying from City Chic
I first remember when I laid my eyes on a City Chic store. It was aptly named Big City Chic, and for the first time in my life I was able to buy clothing that the skinny girls were wearing, in my size. I was only 15 at the time, and I remember the look in my mother’s eyes when she saw how happy I was. Sure, the prices were higher but when I went home with a cute singlet top, I was really squeeling with glee inside.
Skip forward to the present and City Chic are still providing Australian’s with a great source of clothing, with cute ‘themes’, fun prints and great colour choices. The sizing change a few years ago made people quite upsetand the reduction to only stocking up at a XL (or a size 22) instore also made people uneasy, but there is still a great deal of cute items in store and on their website.
While most people who read this blog would have heard of City Chic, or own some City Chic clothing, there are always a few things to consider when in store and shopping online.
1. I need something for a party/formal/club/strip joint/birthday party/black-tie ball.
You will possibly find something at City Chic. What I love most about this brand is that there is always something that you can make it work for a variety of events. There is always a pretty prom-esque dress. There is always a strapless top. There is always something a bit sultry, with a drapped from or back, perfect for a night out with the girls. I use City Chic as my go-to place for last minute parties or if I simply cannot find anything else. You will, however, pay more than if you shopped online.
2. What size am I?
This is an excellent question. When I first shopped at City Chic, I was a small or medium. My Year 10 formal dress was a medium and I am not very different in my weight than I was then. The medium dress still fits me and I often wear it out, because it was an excellent quality. Now, I’m only just fitting into an XL.
City Chic changed their sizing a few years ago, so it’s really important to use the size chart if you are buying online. I highly suggest going instore if you can and actually trying the items on, as some things can be really big and others super small, even when using the size chart. Be prepared to return and exchange on sizing.
Online, City Chic have also included an additional XXL size, which is to reference a size 24.While these sizes are not found in store, they are always the ones that seem to sell out the quickest, while XS remains. It’s really puzzling to me too!
3. Always check for quality.
I should say this about all brands, but I have had to exchange one or two items with City Chic because of poor stitching and/or marks. Before making an important, expensive purchase check the seams, the finishes and condition. If it looks as if it has been trampled on in the change room, don’t buy it. If a sequin is falling off, don’t buy it! You shouldn’t pay full price for an item if there is damage.
The latest T.D.F denim range has a fabulous range of cuts and styles, but many of my curvy friends have doubted the quality and thickness of the denim. I haven’t tried or do not own these jeans, but with all denim, do a squat test, question if the denim with fade or fray over rubbing and touching areas and check that the fixings are strong and secure. Nothing worse than a button popping off on the first wear!
4. Don’t have it? Ring around!
The City Chic girls behind the counter are excellent and will often ring around local stores if they don’t have an item, just so you can be satisfied. Most stores won’t transfer, but are always happy to hold an item for you for a period of time. This is great if you want to try the item or need it straight away. Otherwise, you can always by it online, where you can buy at any time of the day and have your parcel sent at a capped fee to Toll shipping.
5. Bring on the Bargains!
If you love a sale, then you’ll love a City Chic sale. I get excited for their Boxing Day Sales, but there is always something on sale at City Chic. Try the Sale section on their website, their eBay page or sometimes, if you are lucky, there may even be a sale rack in store. It’s always worth having a look through.
I also suggest checking out the City Chic website and seeing if you are near one of their Outlet stores. They are constantly getting new stock in, and most have a broad range of styles and sizes. The Campbelltown Clearance Outlet often sells out of bigger sizes, but always try your luck! You never know what you will find!
I think City Chic customers give the brand a bit of a hard time, through blogs, and especially on their FaceBook page. A few years ago, there weren’t any brands bringing the clothes they are into Australian shopping malls. They bought something we wanted, and we responded by purchasing. The way I see women ranting and raving on the City Chic FaceBook page is a bit carried away at times, and I understand many people are genuinely frustrated with size and quality changes, but I still like to check out the store and at least get inspired by their latest releases, which happen every Thursday.