In 1932, Philip Rounick and Aaron Weiner opened a shop called JOY Hosiery in Philadelphia. The company originally sold lingerie, hosiery, and basic apparel, and it added nylon stockings to its line when they were invented in 1939. During the 1950s, the brand began to expand across the Philadelphia area, and the co-founders' sons, Marvin Rounick and Warren Weiner joined the management team. As suburbia started to develop around Philadelphia in the '60s, JOY began opening stores in shopping malls and expanded its product line to include general women's apparel.
In the late 1970s, the name of the chain was changed to Deb Shops in an effort to take some of the focus off of hosiery. This change ushered in a new era of success, and the '80s were an extremely successful decade for the brand. Deb Shops started to focus primarily on juniors' apparel, along with offering a plus-sized line. The company was acquired by DSI Holdings in the mid-2000s, but the new parent quickly encountered financial difficulties and declared bankruptcy in both 2011 and 2014. In 2015, all the remaining brick-and-mortar Deb Shops stores were closed, but the brand does continue to maintain an online presence.
Since it re-launched as an online-only store, Deb Shops now offers plus-sized clothing exclusively. Dresses are available in styles like fit-and-flare, bodycon, midi, maxi, little black dresses, and little white dresses. The brand also offers plenty of casual day dresses and glitzier "night out" dresses. In tops, you can find tanks, t-shirts, graphic tees, croptops, henleys, camis, and more. Button-down shirts, blouses, peplum tops, bustiers, and bodysuits are also available. Hoodies, sweatshirts, and sweaters are excellent for layering, while bomber jackets, trenches, peacoats, kimonos, ponchos, and blazers meld fashion with functionality.
Denim is a popular category for both tops and bottoms. The brand offers denim shirts and jackets in addition to a wide array of jeans and shorts. Jeans are available in popular cuts like skinny, flare, cropped, high-waisted, and more. You'll also find an array of different washes and types of distressing. Other bottoms include leggings, yoga pants, jeggings, and mini-, midi-, and maxi-skirts. Intimates include bras, bralettes, panties, and shapewear. While it has cut down on other apparel, Deb Shops still offers lots of shoes and boots, and you can choose among pumps, wedges, flats, sandals, boots, booties, platforms, and more. Accessories are also available, including handbags, jewelry, hats, belts, tights, and scarves.
Deb Shops had to completely redefine itself after its last stores went out of business, but the brand has done a great job adapting to its new online niche. The transition to plus-sizes only represents a tactical decision that relates to demand, and the company has obviously played to its strengths. With its selection of varied and sexy plus-sized apparel in many different categories, Deb Shops gives full-figured women an affordable brand to turn to for practically any occasion. We give Deb Shops 4 stars out of 5.