Hook Mama Up: A Guide to Plus Size Retailers in Cedar Rapids

Who is excited to go try on mom jeans?!?

Good, me neither.

I’m what you would call “shapely.” Only my shape isn’t so much an hourglass or pear sort of shape. It’s more busted-can-of-biscuits shape (herein referred to as BCB) and finding a good fit is generally worse than stepping on a Shopkin. I have walked the aisles of many a store searching for the “plus-sized” section which is usually tucked into the back corner of the store by the luggage and stocked with items that would look fly on my grandma. I walk out, dejected, trying to accept that I’m destined for a life of floral applique tops and elastic pants.

But then, the heavens opened. The angels sang. 

Someone got the message: big girls do in fact enjoy looking and feeling pretty. Target decided that big girls need some love. Old Navy developed a line (now exclusively on-line). Walmart came up the food chain. And then Torrid happened. Heaven help my soul. Fast forward a few years, 2 kids, and a body well into it’s thirties and my BCB body only sashays into physical stores once a year: my birthday. My dear husband accompanies me wherever I want to go and takes his rightful place in the man-chair by the fitting rooms. His only job is to tell me I’m pretty.

Cedar Rapids has come a LONG way in helping it’s girls feel good about themselves because they finally have clothing options that are meant for them. I want to share a few of my favorites plus size retailers in Cedar Rapids! (Disclaimer: I’m a function-over-fashion girl.)

Torrid: Lindale Mall

Torrid was online retailer, which began popping up in the early 2000’s as the plus-sized answer to Hot Topic. Since then, they’ve branched out to brick-and-mortar stores throughout the country and became less Hot Topic and more contemporary and curvy-girl friendly.

Pros: Fashion-forward, lots of choices, good options for casual, girls-night-out, and jeans. Rewards and percentages off are available frequently via their reward card or direct-mail. Sizes 10 to 30

Cons: Pricey. The average pair of jeans runs around $75 and a few items from this retailer can often set someone back $100 or more. However, I live in the clearance section and they often have a BOGO Free or a B1G2 Free certain times of year. (I’ve found everything from tops to dresses to jeans and lingerie, all while not breaking the bank!)

Maurices: Edgewood Rd SW Cedar Rapids, Lindale Mall

Maurices originally carried sizes 0-14 but in the last few years they have added a 14-26 line which I love. They have great work-wear as well as casual-wear and they have several different styles/sizes of jeans. I’ve found dresses very similar to Torrid’s for $40 less at Maurices!

Pros: Prices ½ that of Torrid with similar styles, great work-wear, and regular rewards/coupons toward the purchase of items.  

Cons: Their plus-size section is significantly smaller than the other size range in both stores.

Lane Bryant: Lindale Mall

Ok, stay with me on this one. I remember the Lane Bryant catalog coming to my house as a kid (for my mom) and it was all mumu’s and elastic. Imagine my surprise walking into a Lane Bryant store and (gasp!) found clothes I could wear and not have to join AARP! Their line is great for work and their bras are the stuff of legends. I’ve worn Lane Bryant bras since my early 20’s and I usually stock up during their semi-annual B2G2 Free sale.  

Pros: You can take your mom into this store and both will come out looking fly.  A lot of their clothes have built-in support and “slimming” structures which are handy.  

Cons: Also pricey. 

Target: Edgewood Rd SW and Blairs Ferry Rd NE

Oh, Target.  You offer the best of both worlds: curvy-girl attire in one section, dog food in another. I love a multi-tasking store. I also love that Target is really pushing the fashion envelope with their Ava & Viv line. Target has been a great place for staples like tees and dress shirts. Sometimes, between Cartwheel and clearance, I make out like a bandit.

Pros: It’s Target.

Cons: Um, It’s Target. There are no cons.

Cedar Rapids is also home to a host of great discount and second-hand stores:

  • I’ve found the softest $5 tanks at Wal-Mart and one of my favorite pair of pants came from Family Dollar, of all places!
  • Salvation Army on Blairs Ferry Rd is a favorite because a.) it’s huge and b.) the plus-sized selection is great. Word on the street is that Torrid donates their unsold items to this particular branch.
  • Style Encore, Treasures, and Goodwill can be goldmines for finding your favorite piece sans the kidney-selling price. I’ve even found pieces that work with my BCB shape in second-hand stores.
  • Cato (Off Wiley Blvd SW by Wal-Mart) has great, affordable styles while Von Maur (Lindale mall) has a plus sized line if you’re looking for a more formal style. 

We’re not back by the luggage anymore, girls.  Treat yo’ self.

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