Inside DKNY's New Plus-Size Line

Full-figured fashionista Ashley Falcon spotlights one of the best — and most affordable — new curve-friendly collections.

ashley falcon
(Image credit: Archives)

I sometimes fantasize about locking a bunch of famous designers in a room with a dozen women, all size 16. I'd ask these fashion maestros to take a long, hard look at the different shapes that comprise a size 16, how one woman packs her weight in her double-D chest, while another carries it all downstairs. For a 220-pound girl, I'm fairly petite and proportional — I wear my weight all over. The point of this imaginary exercise: Force designers to accept that they can't just add inches to the clothes they make for willowy 2s and 4s and expect them to fit a plus-size. It just doesn't work. But right now that's pretty much how clothes are made for curvy women, which is why shopping can be such an excruciating task for us big-boned divas. And even if you manage to get your hands on that to-die-for designer leather bomber in a size 14, odds are it's too tight in the shoulders or requires a wrench to zip up.

The good news: Help is on the way! I recently got an exclusive sneak peek of the new plus-size line from DKNY Jeans, a brand long synonymous with city chic. The line, which runs from size 14 to 28, is available at Lane Bryant and (opens in new tab). Unlike other brands, which often treat their size-14-and-up customers like a pair of last season's harem pants, DKNY Jeans has thoroughly researched how to design for a voluptuous physique. No droopy armholes thanks to extra, fit-enhancing stitching you wouldn't typically find on cheaper plus-size blouses. The denim is thick and sturdy and boasts a durable stretch that will retain its shape even after several washes and the inevitable "chub rub."

One of my biggest gripes about plus-size trousers (aside from camel toe and the mom-jean effect): side seams that zigzag up my leg — the inadvertent result of spandex struggling to contain a sizable thigh or calf. How's this for clever: DKNY Jeans moved those side seams forward, a subtle trick that yields a super-slimming straight leg line.

"We won't sacrifice a sexy, fashionable fit for anything," promises Penelope Chan-Jansens, VP of design for the new plus-size line, which is crammed with the same on-trend pieces you'd find on DKNY Jeans' so-called straight-size racks. For fall, that means military-inspired looks. Seriously, could anything be cooler this season than an army-green shirtdress paired with boots? Also worth checking out: a cuffed khaki pant that you'll literally live in all weekend. A particular favorite of mine is a killer sequined T-shirt, available in both black and blue. These are my mainstays — versatile, well-made, affordable pieces that help me transition effortlessly from a daylong photo shoot to a chic industry cocktail party.

Now it's your turn: What brands would you most like to see translated for the plus-size market? Shout it out at (opens in new tab). Until next time!


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