Precious Lee Shares Insider Shopping Tips for Curvy Women
Precious Lee has strutted down many catwalks (Addition Elle), posed for multiple campaigns (Lane Bryant), and is a red carpet staple. So who better to chat with than a well respected model about all things fashion? We can't think of anyone else either!
Recently, we caught up with Lee to discuss the best shopping havens for women with curves. Some you may know, some you may discover, and some may even surprise you! (A beauty supply store?) But one thing's for sure, after reading this you'll be equipped with a shopping list for every must-have of the season. And we mean everything: lingerie, clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Also, get Lee's advice and insight on dressing curves. "I want women to know they can shop everywhere. Don't feel intimidated or confined. Try things on and see what works for your body," Lees suggests. Read on for some more fashionable lessons from the style maven.
Raid a Vintage Shop (and Your Parents' closet)
"You can find hidden treasures in a lot of places—like your parents' closet. It's the best! I find amazing statement pieces like my mother’s knit snake print harem pant or her killer jewelry. My father has a vintage Versace gold-and-cream, iconic chain print jacket and custom captain hats. My grandmother owned a boutique that sold my aunt’s custom jewelry and consignment pieces. And if you're looking for special pieces [from places] like my grandmother's shop, you can try What Goes Around Comes Around for the best of vintage," says Lee. Check out the gorgeous find (above) Lee picked up at a San Francisco estate sale.
Shoes Can Be Fabulous (and Comfortable) at any Price
"Zara shoes are a bomb! They go up to a size 41, so they are accessible to a lot of women. The styles are always on point, and you're able to get in on a trend at an affordable price. Zara has a lot of pieces, but you have to take the time and try things on. It's worth it because you can find a really good steal. Stuart Weitzman has a shoe for every occasion, most of which go up to extended sizes and wide widths. Look to Lane Bryant for wide-width boots with extenders, perfect if you have a larger calf. Boots can be tricky but these will not let you down. But my holy grails are a pair of Aldo boots and Gucci sandals (above) that I'm obsessed with. The Gucci is comfortable, durable, and comes in a variety of colors. The wide heel adds additional support. This style of shoe is so popular, but sometimes the cut [is] so tight! This one has a comfortable fit, definitely worth the investment. And people literally stop me on the street and ask about these Aldo boots. I mean you would think these are high-end designer boots," says Lee.
Shop all Doors (E-Commerce and Stores)
"Don't limit yourself with specific stores, shop everywhere. I go everywhere from Zara to Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. For the latter, it's worth an investment for a special occasion piece or a classic. And forget that size tag and try the pieces on! I have clothing in different sizes that all fits me. Remember different pieces have different fabrications and treatments. Get comfortable and try everything on! One of my favorite gems is 11 Honore, they are a size-inclusive site that includes brands I adore like Christian Siriano (above left) La Petite Robe (above right). Siriano knows how to make clothes for all women and I love him for that. You also can't forget some of the designer bargains you can find at Century 21. There's endless possibilities in that store," says Lee.
Some Accessory Gems Just might Surprise You
"While I love Aldo shoes, it's the accessories that won me over! They have the cutest pieces that feel so special. These earrings (above) can be dressed up or down and just make the look. Rebecca de Ravenel also makes really special pieces that will last forever. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret. If you're looking for cute, inexpensive costume jewelry, you must try your local beauty supply store. It's the best secret. They have of-the-moment pieces that work with anyone's personal style. And best of all: iIf you break it or lose it, you're not upset! If you're in New York City, you must try Manhattan Beauty (505 Eight Avenue). They have a great assortment," says Lee.
Don't Skimp on Your Foundation Pieces
"In general, your underpinnings have to fit properly—it's the foundation. Lane Bryant is the best, they offer an array of bras, including a must-have convertible strapless, that fits all your needs. They also offer a wide variety of color options and pretty bras. It's hard to find appealing bras that are also supportive. It's important to have pieces that are fashionable and functional. Also, why not incorporate shapewear into your outfit? If I wear a sheer dress, I may layer a Spanx piece underneath (try the Nouveau Slip) that works well with the look. Panache bras are an essential and should definitely be included in your lingerie wardrobe. And let's not forget Brassy Bra! Fellow model, Denise Bidot, introduced me to them and now, I'm obsessed! They make a heavy duty yet breathable tape bra that actually holds your breasts in place. A game changer," says Lee.