Flashback: Girlfriends L.A.

Back in middle school and high school, I loved catalogs. I spent hours pouring over Delia*s and Alloy, but sadly, none of their clothing came in my size.

Enter Girlfriends L.A., which made clothing up to a juniors 25/3XL. And even had plus-size models (and a more diverse group of models in general).

I bought a bunch of shirts, including the Tinkerbell shirt that you can see in this post, and wore the crap out of them.

Unfortunately, GFLA no longer exists. But I’m still thankful to them for making early ’00s funky fashion available to (at least some) fat girls.

Flipping through the catalogs today is an exercise in major fashion-stalgia. I’ve scanned a few pages so you can share that experience:

Getting this in the mail? Always exciting.

I had the pink kitty shirt! And Willow on BtVS had a similar one.

Not quite a fatkini, but close.

Pleather pants! Why are they not still a thing?

SO MUCH PINK. I like it.

Oh, early ’00s cell phone.

My love of leopard print was forged in this era.

Glitter, glitter, everywhere.

And more glitter!

Seeing fat chicks in pleather = crucial to the development of a healthy body image.

Fancypants. Literally.


52 thoughts on “Flashback: Girlfriends L.A.

  1. Wow! Thank you for the blast from the past! I remember I exclusively wore GFLA jeans and makeup in middle school and high school! My dearest mom (who died 2 years ago and I miss terribly) used to give me her credit card with a set limit to spend and let me browse the website and catalogs for my back to school shopping! Looking at the pages you scanned brought back a ton of memories! I remember being so upset when they went out of business… Now, I think I’ll spend the remainder of my day flipping through photo albums and remembering the girly fun I had with my mom buying GFLA clothes and giggling at the pleather pants. :’)

    • Aww wow that’s exactly what I remembered was my mom (who also passed away 2 years ago) I would beg her to buy me GFLA things and she always did. Being plus size since birth hasn’t been easy but this magazine always gave me some hope lol good times!

  2. Thanks so much for posting this! I was just googling Girlfriends LA to see if there were still around. I used to buy all my flare jeans from them. Such memories ❀

  3. omg! finally i found a flashback i thought i was the only one that still remembered this catalog i used to love signing up for catalogs i would save all of them and i still have some old pages of the back of teen and seventeen you know the ones with the coolest catalog requests. πŸ™‚ i wish they still had this website

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  6. i was going through old clothes to sell and came across a duster sweater that i got out of their catalogs!! god i miss this one and those hideous red pleather pants that you posted above bahahaha !

  7. Thank you so much for the blast from the past. As a lifelong fat girl, this magazine made me feel normal and I felt like I could really fit in in those crucial early teen years. Not to mention that their clothes lasted forever! I slept in a pair of their sweatpants through college!

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  14. I just love your post so much! I too was a GirlfriendsLA lover! πŸ˜‰ I wish they would have never gone away. Looking at your scanned photos bought tears to my eyes. πŸ˜‰ ..What a walk down memory-lane. *sniffs*

    Torri πŸ˜‰

  15. Awesome post!! I loved GFLA!! Wish that they had never went out of business. Does anyone know of a catalog or place online to buy clothes like that? Please don’t tell me torrid. Not a big fan of theirs.

    • Thanks! I wish they had never gone out of business too. I’m not sure if there’s anywhere to buy clothes like that now–maybe Simply Be or Yours Clothing? They have a few things that are similar.

  16. I just found this post through a search engine and wow – talk about nostalgia!! I remember looking at some of these exact pages in the catalogs! And that leopard-print skirt with black lace trim? Totally rocked that in 6th grade. Thanks for the blast from the past!!

  17. Thanks for all your throwback catalog posts! Finding a catalog from Girlfriends LA, Delias, or Alloy in the mail totally made my day in middle school! What homework? Oooh, did you get catalogs called Zoe? I can’t really remember anything else about them…they were kind of like Delias. I loved this surfer magazine/catalog called Moxie Girl, too! I don’t think I ever got to order anything but it was fun to make wish lists and little collages…Thanks for all the memories!

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  19. Thanks for the post! I like your style, glad I found you! I still have some of my GFLA catalogs too. I really miss the fact that anyone could buy from them….even bigger/taller girls. I can’t stand the catalogs now with the stupid skinny jeans that even make the size zero girls look bad.

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  22. Omg!!!! I loved all these magazines! I remember sitting in my room for hours and hours looking at these magazines! Feeling such nostalgia right now. Oh how I miss the 90s.

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  26. I have a ton of the old GFLA catalogs in my garage, I was the photographer that photographed 90 percent of their catalogs. I believe the family that owned GFLA recieved an offer for a buyout by a company like Delias so that is why they stopped with GFLA brand.

  27. Hi Laura. Thanks for posting this. Reading all these nice comments just made my year! I am the former owner of GFLA, and the GFLA years are a highlight in my life. We mailed the first catalog in February of 1997, and we sold the company to Alloy in March of 2002. The next year Alloy bought Delia’s, and subsequently closed GFLA (the three of us were competing for the same customers). However, after Alloy bought us, because of our plus-sized success, both Alloy and Delia’s expanded their plus size offerings. GFLA was a partnership between me, my husband, my sister and my brother-in-law. I went on to open retail stores in Southern California (Sidecca) and have since retired (2013). My sister went to law school and is a practicing attorney; my brother-in-law runs an IT department in a large hospital; my husband worked with me at Sidecca and now is retired. We all have fond memories of our GFLA days!

  28. Use d to love GF LA until they had their going out of business sale. They want me all the wrong sizes and a pair of boots with a nail sticking up through the unside of the boot. Tried to call to get it fixed and they shut down their customer service line and website. They literally stole our money.

  29. Can someone, anyone bring this magazine back this would help some of these precious young plus size girls feel there best in clothes, I no it did it for me.

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