With just a small section of the store dedicated to clothes that come in our size, how can you find exactly what you need? Fortunately, there are at least a few things you can do to make your search a little easier.

1. Embrace online shopping. No, really. I know it seems like a hassle, but the clothes come right to your door. They often send you a return label. You can use the same box for returns. Just read all their rules, so you return things properly, and order away! You’ll become familiar with their sizing, and will be able to order exactly what you need in the future.

2. If you’re new to shopping, try LOTS of things on to learn what works for you, and also what brands work for you. Me, I can’t wear crew necks. I just can’t. I look like a sea of boob up front if I do. So, when I’m at the store, I avoid all crew necks. Time saver!

3. In lieu of the above tip, don’t be afraid to try things on and go into stores that you normally wouldn’t. You never know where you’ll find a gem. I located an awesome pair of jeans in the Land’s End section of Sears, in the straight sizes, of all places. They fit my apple shape remarkably well, and they have a dark, even wash that holds up wear after wear.

4. I’ve said it before, but I’m saying it again, because it bears repeating. Don’t accept a lousy fit in your clothes. Our bodies are hard to fit, since fat settles in different places on everyone. The manufacturers can only do so much. At a certain point, it’s up to you. Add a belt, trim a sleeve, hem a top, have the hips taken in (these are all things I’ve had done myself) in order to make a piece work for you. Many department stores have a tailor on-site. Take advantage!

5. In that vein, know your limits. Don’t buy a piece that needs work if you know you’ll never have the work done. Save the money for something in the future that fits you better.

Plus size shopping doesn’t have to be depressing and tedious. By adding a few tips and tricks to your arsenal, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for, and look fabulous in no time!

Follow Becca on Twitter at @tigerpantss