BEST PLUS-SIZE SHOPPING - 2008
Mall of America
Whether you celebrate or camouflage your curves, if you're above a size 16 you know the importance of great, well-fitting clothes. While it's still often hard to find them, shoppers know that through a combination of persistence, personal style, and patience, good, non-matronly clothes can be found locally for reasonable prices. Downtown Minneapolis has a good mix of designer outlets and department stores, and Maple Grove's b&lu (www.bandlu.com) website has a national reputation for its sprightly, fun fashion. But we give the nod to the Mall of America because it has the widest stylistic variety of brick and mortar stores. You've got the swinging punk/Goth/vintage look of Torrid, while Deb Plus has allowance-friendly jeans, tees, and little date dresses for juniors. Bloomingdale's showcases sophisticated pieces from Alex Evenings, Anne Klein, and Ralph Lauren in perhaps the most elegant setting of them all, while Nord- strom throws Calvin Klein and Michael Kors into the mix. Stalwart Lane Bryant features continually good work pants and jeans and the Cacique line of lingerie. On a budget? Swing by Marshall's and the Nordstrom Rack outlet, which has several racks with sizes up to 4X and a shoe department nearly as jaw-dropping as the home store's.