Jaclyn McCabe, owner of the French Quarter boutique The Voluptuous Vixen (528 Madison St., 529-3588), taps into this market of style-conscious women by providing unique, fashion-forward clothing in sizes 14 to 26.
As a photojournalist looking for clothes for both days on the job and nights on the town, McCabe quickly realized that the world of plus-size clothing had little to offer.
"Everything was either too matronly or too young looking," she says. "I noticed that the needs of 25- to 40-year-olds weren't being met."
She opened her French Quarter boutique in November 2005.
The store sells everything from casual daywear to evening dresses from designers including Anna Scholz, B & Lu and New Orleans native Darren Trentacosta, who all specialize in stylish, plus-size clothing. Women also flock to the store for its selection of flattering denim. "It's hard to find a good-fitting pair of jeans already," says McCabe. "If you have a little junk in the trunk, it's even harder."
Voluptuous Vixen carries denim by Jessica Svoboda -- which McCabe calls "the miracle jeans" -- renowned for stylish cuts and flattering pocket placements.
The store also carries jewelry, makeup bags and SPANX -- the famous footless pantyhose loved by Oprah Winfrey, her celebrity friends and working women around the country. Because McCabe is an avid reader, Voluptuous Vixen also carries an assortment of female-friendly, uplifting books.
With its unique merchandise for this unique market, Voluptuous Vixen has been creating happy, well-dressed customers since its opening.
"Women come in and hug me. They're so excited because first, the clothes fit their body, and second, it's cute, fashion-forward stuff," McCabe says. "Some people will wear the clothes out of the store, and they walk down the street with their shoulders back and their heads a little higher. It just changes their whole mood."
Look for the store's jewelry trunk show and sale on July 21 and for new, cutting-edge fashions this fall after McCabe returns from fashion week in Milan.