The recent buzz of Ava & Viv, Target’s newest line designed specifically for the “plus size” female community, had given me enough excited anticipation to fuel me through the doors of the superstore mecca on a Sunday to check it out for myself. It is true that Target has had many notable faux pas within their marketing toward this community (i.e. the labelling of plus size dresses as “manatee gray” vs. the “heather gray” naming of their same exact smaller counterparts, the strapping on of a fake pregnant belly on a regular tiny size model to model “plus size” clothing, and most recently the upcoming release of their Lily Pulitzer collaboration will only sell “plus sizes” online not in the stores), HOWEVER their recent teaming-up with three well-known, real-ass, body positive fashion bloggers, @gabifresh (Gabi Gregg), @nicolettemason, and @GarnerStyle (Chastity Garner) made me feel more hopeful…
This feeling, unfortunately, quickly disappeared upon searching for the clothing amongst the racks…Where I expected pomp and circumstance, there was only a partially blocked cardboard cutout announcing the new line. Where I hoped some revolutionary new threads would be revealed, I only found four racks containing more of the same boxy atrocities… and located in mere smooching distance from the maternity section (which I even confused a couple of items between).
I’m just now realizing that the one outfit I styled for myself utilizes two of the components of the mannequin (coincidence or only actual cute outfit?)! Note: the dangerously close “Maternity” signage, as well as the boxy and loose shirts that stick with ye olde “flowy tops for fat womyn” theme in clothing lines that needs to just stop happening! I don’t want to hide my body – I want to celebrate, decorate, and accentuate it!
I did manage to find one complete outfit that I wouldn’t mind rocking, but to be honest, the fit for my body was pretty much off on every piece, and ultimately their fair pricing, which I thought was a major positive of this line & rare for “plus size” clothing prices in general, would be diminished by the amount of tailoring I would need – as my true size seems to fall somewhere in between their run of the mill 1x/2x/3x/ etc. sizing charts for tops.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the bold colors and patterns, but…who wants to wear shapeless boxes that really aren’t made for and don’t work for curves!? I had to pair the top with this blazer to give it some shape and show-off my waistline. I did love the blazer even though it didn’t fit me properly – if I was in the position financially, I may even consider buying it to have tailored because the price was shockingly low at $34.99. I also liked the feel and fit of these dark rinse skinny jeans for the most part, which is another rarity for me. Again, I would need to have them properly shortened by a tailor, but the reasonable price of $29.99 might make that frequent reality more affordable.
The experience didn’t leave me wanting for more in the traditional sense, but rather wondering, when exactly the other parts of the line that I wasn’t seeing in the store would arrive?! I did find some other pieces (not very promising ones) online at target’s site, but most notably found actual fabulous looks on Gabi’s blog which listed her favorites from the Target Style Lookbook (as shown below)
Coincidentally, two of my favorite dresses, one for special occasions and one for professional settings, both come from Target in the past couple years (aka pre-Ava & Viv).
I also purchased this tankini, my Outfit of the Week, duo on separate occasions in the past year at Target (it’s amazing what you can find in there on your way to the cleaning supplies isle ;-)), and just this past weekend paired them together for the first time for some beach bliss!