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An Afternoon at Dots

November 2, 2013

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A couple weeks ago, the lovely Stefanie at Dots Fashion contacted me to see if I would like to visit a local store to check out their plus-size line. In the last few years, I’ve become more and more accustomed to shopping online, especially since there are so few brick and mortar plus size stores in my area. Because of that, it was quite the surprise when I realized that there was a Dots location only 7 minutes from my job! I was really excited for an opportunity to actually shop in person with friends. I called up my sister and we planned to head over there last Friday. Unfortunately, she was sick, so I headed over on my own and went crazy with dressing room shots as I tried on many different items from Dots.

When I first arrived, Kanessa, the store manager, introduced herself and showed me to the plus size section of the store. Many of the other sales associates also introduced themselves, and I felt very comfortable right away. They all were happy to be there and seemed excited to help the women shopping come up with different outfits for events. It was really nice to see how large the plus size section was and how the items were actually displayed and not just crammed everywhere like I’m used to. It was obvious that the section have different clothing stories with various styles to appeal to many different shoppers.

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Kanessa walked me through the different section and explained who the clothes are geared to. Each section had clothing that could be mixed together to create many different looks, and I did not notice a single item over $30, which is GREAT! I liked the idea that if I wanted something quick, I could come here and find a piece without breaking the bank.

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Animal prints, leather, and red: I liked the trench coat above and the red leather-look jacket

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Power purple and graphic prints: I liked how they mixed prints with the skirt and scarf

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Southwest inspired: Probably the most opposite of my style, but I liked that this section was so different than the others

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They also had a moto section, which was my favorite. I ended up getting the vest above!

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Low price tag but still detailed designs

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Each section mixed items with displays, showing looks pulled together with accessories. The store showed that they know plus size women want to mix pieces in interesting ways and create whole outfits rather than only wearing basics.

After looking through the section, I decided to try on some pieces that caught my eye, and I also tried on some of Kanessa’s suggestions. Dots really takes an active approach in helping customers build outfits, with sales associates suggesting ways of mixing items. This seemed pretty unique to me, because when I worked retail, we were there to help out but we did not work as stylists. Something to note is that Dots’ plus size section sells sizes 1X-3X. On their website, this translates from a 16/18 to a 24/26; however, I found the items to fit me tightly, and I would say that the items fit a lot like Forever21. It’s a bit Junior sizing in my opinion. Because of that, I did not try on any jeans/dresses, but they had a lot of cute ones if you are in that size range.

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The first piece I tried on was the Fleece Ruffle Coat in green. I LOVED the color. The coat was soft and warm. It had a bit of stretch, but was ultimately too small for me to purchase for my closet.


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I then tried on this cropped animal print top. Top top part of it had a sheer black material. I thought this was really cute, and I could see myself wearing it with a black maxi skirt. This top was paired with red accents, which goes perfectly.

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I also tried on this striped cardigan-type top. The print was cuter in person, but I wasn’t sure about the shape. Kanessa suggested the belt below.

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I then tried this gray top with a faux leather trim and pocket. Kanessa brought in this print scarf to go with it, which I liked a lot. The print is actually skulls, which I typically shrink away from, but the design of these skulls were fragmented which was cool.

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My last pick was the faux leather vest. They had this in 3 different colors, but I went for the charcoal/black one.

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As you can see in the picture, it had so many details, but it was still only $26! I ended up picking up this piece for my closet too.

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After trying on clothes, I went to the accessories section. They have a lot of shoe styles to choose from. They offer extended calf boots, but they were too small for me (as is every wide calf boot I’ve ever tried).

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I really loved these ankle boots on the left with the three buckles. They didn’t fit my ankles, which is again typical, but I know some others who’d love this style.

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There was a lot of jewelry to look at. I appreciate the stretchy bracelets and rings so that people of various sizes could wear them. 

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Stefanie from Dots Fashion had sent me a $50 gift card to use (Thank you, Dots!), so I purchased the faux leather vest, the animal print crop top, and a set of eye shadow colors — all for $54! At many plus size stores, that’s just ONE top.

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Kanessa and Kristin, who helped me throughout shopping while also styling other customers at the store.

I’m always going to be a girl who shops around and picks up pieces here and there from many stores, but it was nice to know that there is a store only a few minutes away where I can find items I like and for good prices. What’s even better is that I can visit this store with my family and friends, and we can find pieces in various sizes and styles. If you want to shop at Dots Fashion, check out their Store Locator or you can shop online.

Do you shop at Dots? What are some of your favorite items that they are selling currently?

*Dots Fashion sent me a $50 gift card to use during my visit to their store. The opinions expressed are my own. Thank you, Dots, for inviting me to visit and shop!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2013 7:27 pm

    I love the way that they’ve merchandised the different sections of the store to show different styles and looks. I work in retail and I’m always interested to see how other stores display their stock. I adore your fitting-room shots as well, it looks like you had an amazing shopping trip!

    • November 3, 2013 8:38 am

      me too! I liked that if someone gravitate toward a certain style, they didn’t have to play hide and seek to find other items that compliment it.

  2. Kerry permalink
    November 2, 2013 8:17 pm

    It’s been YEARS since I shopped at a Dots, honestly I didn’t know they were still around, Your shots showed some cute items . Ill have to look them up and maybe give them another shot, thanks!

    • November 3, 2013 8:39 am

      yea, I wonder if they have remodeled/rebranded their stores. I think I only went to one once when I traveled to a larger city, and I didn’t remember them having a big plus section, but I thought the store was really nice. Let me know how it goes!

  3. November 2, 2013 8:19 pm

    I had never even heard of Dots and it turns out there’s one just a few minutes away from me! I’ll have to check it out! Cute, trendy clothes and great prices to boot!

    • November 3, 2013 8:40 am

      Let me know how it goes! Kind of funny that we both didn’t know it was so close! 🙂

  4. November 2, 2013 10:18 pm

    I loved the cropped animal print top, and thanks for talking about how different things fit. I am always looking for that information.

    • November 3, 2013 8:40 am

      That’s always my number 1 concern since I’m at the top of most plus-size ranges. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  5. November 2, 2013 10:27 pm

    I don’t have one in my area but I’ve been eyeing them online for months. I might just give them a try

    • November 3, 2013 8:41 am

      There’s a striped crop top and pencil skirt set that I’ve been looking at online. You’ll have to let me know if you end up getting something!

  6. Vicky permalink
    November 3, 2013 8:27 am

    I shop at Dot’s a few times a month because there is one only 5 miles from my house and it is on my way home from work. I have several dresses and some jewelry from Dot’s. I have 3 wrap dresses that I paid under $10 for over 5 years ago (clearance rack) and I still wear them a lot. They were a great find. I have a pair of black skinny jeans that I wear a lot that I bought 2 years ago for $22 and they are still in good shape. This past summer, I had a fancy wedding to go to and an associate talked me into trying on a strapless bubble dress that was $20 and it was awesome! It looked great. I have NEVER worn strapless. I do most of my shopping online; however, I use Dots to fill in certain items. My only issue with Dots is quality. Some of the stuff is not of high quality. Yes, it’s a good price but some pieces just look cheap. Therefore, you have to look at stuff on you. Many times, it looks cheap on the hanger, but you put it on and it looks good. I LOVE Dot’s but the sizing does drive me crazy because many times, I have to try on 1x, 2x, and 3x. My advice for shopping there is no to on a Saturday afternoon or Friday evening because they are packed.

    • November 3, 2013 8:42 am

      Thanks for your comment, Vicky! It’s so good to hear the perspective of someone who has shopped there for years. Yea, quality is lower than other stores I’ve been to, but I thought the prices matched the quality well. Thanks for the advice!

  7. Vicky permalink
    November 3, 2013 8:27 am

    BTW, I WANT that vest! I like what you tried on!

  8. November 3, 2013 8:30 am

    I’ve always had the same problem with boots but I actually fit the ones from Penningtons.

    • November 3, 2013 8:43 am

      Ooh, I might have to try those out then 🙂 I have one pair that weren’t even meant for wide calf that I can wear, but they are always either too tight in the ankle or calf. Ugh!

  9. November 3, 2013 8:43 am

    Huh. There are two Dots near me! I LOVE that black and white striped blazer!

    • November 3, 2013 8:45 am

      The one hanging in the dressing room? I liked it too! It was too small on me, unfortunately.

  10. November 3, 2013 9:17 am

    Damn, that black and white maxi chevron skirt! It is in my dreams, now!

  11. November 3, 2013 3:15 pm

    I can’t believe what a difference that the belt made in that cardigan. Must. Get. Belt. 😉

  12. November 6, 2013 9:09 am

    I’m super impressed with Dots. I have never ventured into one. I didn’t know they even carried plus sizes. I Loved how the belt really improved the look in your outfit. Now to locate one. At my last house, in another state they were located less than a half mile from me. Wished I had checked them out.

  13. brittlestar42 permalink
    November 11, 2013 8:46 pm

    I believe Dots is affiliated with Ross stores. I thought I’d read somewhere once that they were owned by the same company and what Ross doesn’t sell is sent to Dots and marked down even further.

    There used to be a Dots store in my area, but I haven’t been there in several years, so I’ll have to check and see if they’re still around. The one time I visited it, I did see plus sizes, but much like Ross, it was very hit or miss for me. Most of the clothes weren’t great quality and erred on the side of looking too trendy for me. I didn’t really find any classic or timeless pieces that suited my style. I like the pics you’ve posted here, though, so maybe the Dots store in my area (if it’s still around) has made some improvements and has a few more plus size styles to choose from. I’ll have to check it out and see.

    • November 12, 2013 1:55 am

      Hmm, yea my shopping experience there was not like Ross at all, though that doesn’t mean they are not connected! When I’ve shopped at Ross, they sell other brands and they rarely have more than 4 or so items of the same style. Dots had their own label of clothes (not other brands). I hadn’t shopped at Dots in the past, so maybe they changed their business model?

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