Lithuanian immigrant Lena Bryant came to New York City in 1895 and began taking sewing jobs to support her family. After her husband died, she started tailoring lingerie out of her apartment and acquired quite the base of loyal customers. By 1904, she was successful enough to open her own shop on Fifth Avenue. While she was obtaining her loan, however, the bankers misspelled her first name, so "Lane Bryant" was born. Bryant found that there weren't many companies making fashionable clothing specifically for pregnant women, so she started a maternity line. A few years later, she also ventured into the untapped plus-sized market and got an overwhelmingly positive response.
By the 1920s, Lane Bryant's clothes for full-figured women had become the brand's top sellers, and the company decided to exclusively serve that niche. Opening stores across the country, Lane Bryant essentially shaped the plus-sized industry for many years. The brand was acquired by The Limited in 1982 and then sold to Charming Shoppes in 2001. Most recently, it was bought by the Ascena Retail Group in 2012. Today, there are more than 800 Lane Bryant retail stores across the country. In addition to targeting plus-sized women aged 30-45 with its clothes, the company also maintains its own intimates brand called Cacique.
Lane Bryant specifically manufactures apparel in sizes 14-28. You can find dresses in several different styles, including fit and flare, wraps, sweater dresses, maxi dresses, shirtdresses, slip dresses, and more. They range from casual options to much more formal apparel. Tops include tanks, turtlenecks, peasant tops, blouses, tunics, v-necks, tees, and camis. Sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, and shrugs are also available as light outerwear. Sports fans will appreciate the number of logo tees, sweatshirts, and other apparel that feature different teams' logos.
In bottoms, Lane Bryant has jeans in all the most popular washes and cuts. You can find skinny jeans, ankle jeans, boyfriend jeans, flared jeans and more. The company has innovated its own Tighter Tummy technology that gives women a slimmer look via a control waistband on some of its denim products. Other pants include trousers, chinos, wide leg pants, and crops. The brand also has a smaller selection of warm-weather bottoms like shorts and capris. Skirts are available in maxi, mini, and midi sizes, and they feature several different patterns. The Cacique intimates brand includes bras, panties, lingerie, and shapewear. You can also find swimwear options like bikinis, one-piece swimsuits, swim skirts, and more. Beyond regular apparel, Lane Bryant makes shoes, boots, socks, tights, scarves, and jewelry.
While today it might seem like a no-brainer that plus-sized women should have access to fashionable clothing, it took innovators like Lena Bryant to get the ball rolling. Since its creation more than 100 years ago, the Lane Bryant brand has been committed to promoting a healthier body image among full-figured women, and it offers clothing options in practically every major category to help its customers feel sexy and confident. Clothes adhere to all the latest trends without being too bold, so it's easy to find options that appeal to you. For its major strides and its excellent selection, we give Lane Bryant 5 stars out of 5.