Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. So it’s refreshing that a new, downtown Redmond boutique is specializing in pretty, plus-sized fashions, both new and used.
Trade Chic recently opened at 16508 Redmond Way. Right now, about 60 percent of Trade Chic’s stock is new ladies’ clothing in U.S. sizes 16-28, from designers based in London. Gently worn plus-sized fashions account for the other 40 percent of merchandise at Trade Chic.
Trade Chic’s audience is women ages 18 to 35 who want to wear the latest styles but have limited choices because of their size. Many popular clothing chains don’t carry larger sizes. Among those that do, the plus-sized selections are often matronly, more expensive or both.
“The goal here is to have a store where skinny people are jealous,” said Trade Chic owner Lindsey Kremkau, who runs the boutique with her mom Cindy Kremkau.
“We’ve got classic styles that anyone would find cute, regardless of age or size,” Lindsey said.
And nothing in the store costs more than $100, Cindy noted.
“New clothes are mostly in the $40 range. Used items may be a little over $20. It’s good quality, but affordable. We can mix and match new and used pieces to pull together a fun, funky outfit,” said Cindy.
Bringing East Coast chic to Seattle’s Eastside, but in a more accommodating size range, was a natural progression for Lindsey.
After graduating from Woodinville High School, Lindsey attended Marymount Manhattan College, then worked as a fashion publicist in Manhattan.
If you’ve read the book “The Devil Wears Prada,” or seen the movie, you’d know that the story’s heroine is ridiculed for being “a 6,” which is hardly a shocking size.
Alas, New York’s fashion circle really is that shallow, said Lindsey.
“Everyone there was a size 0,” she said, shaking her head.
High-fashion models were like freaks of nature, she added.
“No one looks like that, normally,” Lindsey accurately pointed out.
Yet although most women have much fuller figures than those models, to look at the covers of Cosmo and Vogue, there’s a definite disconnect.
It’s no wonder that “real” females, including high school girls from the Old Fire House Teen Center on the next block, are finding their way to Trade Chic and eagerly spreading the word among their friends that you don’t have to be a size 0 to buy cute clothes.
“We’re getting lots of prom dresses, as well as career wear,” said Lindsey.
They’ll also carry plus-sized swimsuits all year around, in a surprisingly affordable price range of $40-50.
As well as appealing to an underserved population, the ladies at Trade Chic look forward to networking with other female boutique owners in the neighborhood and making downtown Redmond a true shopping destination.
Each time a new shipment of clothes come in, Trade Chic will host special events such as wine tastings and informal fashion shows. They hope like-minded business owners will collaborate with them on activities such as “fashion walks.”
Trade Chic’s current business hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call (425) 376-0600 or visit www.tradechic.net.