Do you ever get exhausted looking for off-the-rack clothes that fit you, look good, and are affordable? The struggle is especially real for plus-size women. Many mainstream retailers don't carry plus-size clothing, or if they do, the selection is very limited. That's why some fashion brands design for plus-size women exclusively.
There are a number of plus-size clothing companies that have both brick-and-mortar and online presences in the United States. Two of the most widespread options are Lane Bryant and Ashley Stewart. Lane Bryant is the most well-known plus-size brand in the country, but Ashley Stewart has highly affordable clothing options.
In many cases, the right retailer for you will just depend on your personal taste. Each brand sells different lines of clothing in different styles. You might fall in love with apparel from both.
But I have taken a look at some of the key differences between the stores. This can help you figure out where you should look first, and it may make your overall shopping experience more enjoyable.
Overview of Ashley Stewart and Lane Bryant
Unique Ashley Stewart Features
Unique Lane Bryant Features
Types of Clothing Sold
Both stores sell a wide range of basic apparel. You can get dresses, skirts, shirts, pants, and accessories from both retailers. Different lines are geared toward different age demographics, styles, and purposes. There's no set rule regarding which brand has the better styling.
For those who want to take advantage of discounts, the New Arrivals section of Ashley Stewart is one of the most important. Purchasing from the New Arrivals section is how you get Diva Dollars credits. You can find any category of clothing and accessory there, as long as it's new to the store.
One of the biggest sale categories is Curvy Girl. This is a fashion brand that manufactures shoes, active wear, dresses, denim, tops, and bottoms. You can search for clothing in the brand through different tagged trends:
There are some jackets and active wear available, but there aren't as many versatile options as you get with the competition.
Lane Bryant has many of the same basic types of clothing available. Two of the main lines being sold right now are Cacique Intimates and Livi Active.
The Livi Active line includes active wear that encompasses jackets, sports bras, and even dresses. Meanwhile, the intimates are sorted by bras, panties, sexy lingerie, and comfortable sleeping and lounging wear.
Both of these clothing stores have a diverse range of options available. You can put together a fun and flirty look, outfit a professional wardrobe, pick up some active wear for the gym, find fashionable underwear, and accessorize it all in style. Since so many choices are available, it's really just a matter of finding clothes you love.
Ashley Stewart has two main rewards programs. One is if you apply for the store credit card and are approved. The other is through the Diva Dollars program.
Credit card holders have the following benefits:
The Diva Dollars coupon program applies both in-store and online.
Every time you spend at least $50 on new arrival collections, you get a $25 coupon in return. If you give your email address at the register, you can receive updates about your coupons. With online shopping, you have to have created and logged into your online account before you can earn the coupons.
Rather than being available to use at all times, Diva Dollars are only redeemable during certain special events during the year. You have to pay attention and plan in advance to take advantage of them.
Lane Bryant has a fairly easy-to-understand rewards system. Once you sign up, you can begin working toward the rewards immediately. You can either sign up for the program alone, or you can sign up for both the program and the Lane Bryant credit card. The credit card does need a credit approval process.
For every one dollar you spend on qualified purchases, you get a minimum of ten points. There are also month-to-month offers that give you extra bonus points. When you accrue 3,000 points, you get a $10 reward credit. There's also an exclusive birthday offer for members.
When you also have the credit card, you get 15 points for every one dollar spent. There's also free standard shipping on online purchases that you make if you check out with the credit card, although you may need to meet a certain spending threshold.
There are three tiers of reward:
You reach Gold level when you spend anywhere from $350 to $799 in the year. From there on, every one dollar spent generates fifteen points instead of ten.
If you have a Lane Bryant credit card at Gold level, you generate twenty points per dollar spent, get free standard shipping, and can use an extended returns policy of sixty days.
You reach Platinum level if you spend at least $800. Every dollar spent generates twenty points. You get free shipping with a qualifying $100 or higher purchase. You also get exclusive access to "Best Customer" deals.
If you have the credit card, you get 25 points for every one dollar spent, free standard shipping without any minimum, and the other card rewards already mentioned.
Winner: Ashley Stewart
Both of these companies have solid rewards programs. However, for the average shopper, Ashley Stewart's setup is more likely to save you money. With Lane Bryant, you have to spend hundreds of dollars to get any perks. Just keep in mind that the Ashley Stewart rewards can only be redeemed during certain time periods, so you have to pay attention.
Pros and Cons of Ashley Stewart
Pros and Cons of Lane Bryant
Final Thoughts: Which is Better?
Both of these are plus-size retailers that offer fashionable women's clothing that can suit a variety of different styles and body types. The companies state that their mission is to help plus-size women feel good about their wardrobe and their bodies when they go out.
Ashley Stewart is best for the shopper on a budget. Though you might not have a store near you if you're in a rural area, the online shopping options are robust. There are tons of fashionable clothing choices at affordable prices. In addition, you can almost always find discount coupons or store promotions.
Lane Bryant is the most-recognized brand in plus-size fashion in the United States. This is the best choice if you like shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and don't mind spending a little extra money. The company creates high-fashion jackets and active wear. There are also stylists and fitters available to help you in the stores.