It seems only fitting, say many women, that if a size 14 was the best-selling women's size in 2005, stores should feature more stylish, contemporary clothing for the full-figured customer.

That's not what women have found in the past. While department stores carry a vast range of brands, many plus-size women feel these departments are hard to find and do not offer an extensive selection of merchandise, and they are tired of poor service. Some women have relied on the Internet for a wider range of fashions, but buying without trying on can be a hassle-not to mention trying to return an online purchase.

Fortunately, full-figured women no longer have to search for decent plus-size fashions or deal with the poor service that often accompanies such purchases. A new plus-size boutique concept with a warm and inviting atmosphere has been designed to make the shopping experience more satisfying.

Liz Claiborne Inc., the first company to create a line of clothing dedicated exclusively to the fit and fashion needs of women sizes 14 to 24, now offers several of the company's most sought-after plus-size brands and accessories all under one roof within 30 Elisabeth boutiques across the country.

The boutiques offer the signature classic style of Elisabeth, the lifestyle looks of Liz Claiborne Woman and the at-ease elegance of Emma James, along with the sophistication and elegance of Dana Buchman and Ellen Tracy, as well as the vivid color of Sigrid Olsen-all in one destination.

Fashion experts agree that friendly, knowledgeable sales associates, a wide variety of lifestyle, career, casual clothing and accessories and the much-searched-for plus-petite offerings are key ingredients to making shopping a pleasurable experience for plus-size customers.

"I think plus-size women will shop more frequently if they feel that their needs are being met. And the shopping experience is always more exciting when there are more options and choices. This whole idea of a mini-department store in one beautiful boutique, like the Elisabeth boutique, is a truly novel concept," says style expert Susan Redstone.