Ask any plus-size person who’s obsessed with fashion, and they’ll tell you how seriously bleak shopping used to be. Finding the best plus-size clothing stores that didn’t exclusively carry frumpy or boring clothing was pretty much a nonexistent notion. We needed representation out there!
The fashion industry didn’t seem to pay attention to the fact that the average women’s clothing size was 14 (although now the average size is around 16) and focused only on sizes below 10. It also dismissed the fact that 68% of shoppers are made up of plus-size women. While there’s still a long way to go, thankfully, much about the industry has changed. Clothing brands, retailers, and even subscription services finally got a reality check, and now there are a plethora of stylish options for plus-size folks. Yes, even from upscale designers.
Ahead, you’ll find the best plus-size stores, whether you’re looking for investment pieces, closet essentials, or anything that’ll help you reemerge from quarantine equal parts chic, confident, and comfortable.
Considered a longtime player in the plus-size arena, ASOS took things to the next level when it launched its plus-size range, Curve, back in 2010. Offering a wonderful, Cheesecake Factory–like assortment of styles; plus, shoppers can find practically everything on its virtual shelves, including denim, basics, accessories, and swimwear.
Started in 2011 as a plus-size offshoot to The Limited, Eloquii was shut down less than two years later only to be given a second chance by passionate customers. Since its relaunch in 2014, the brand has proved itself to be a key player in the plus-size market through fashion-forward collections and collaborations with Jason Wu and Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James. In fall of 2020, the brand partnered with Walmart to launch Eloquii Elements, to help make its size-inclusive clothing even more accessible to shoppers.
From the get-go, Universal Standard was centered around inclusivity—and not just for plus-size shoppers, with a clothing range that spans 00 to 40. The brand specializes in denim, but offers workwear, athleisure, and a host of versatile pieces. There’s also the Fit Liberty collection, which allows a free replacement if your size happens to go up or down within a year.
Launched in 2017, 11 Honoré aimed to connect plus-size shoppers with luxury designers and vice versa, as, historically, anything over a size 10 was often overlooked in runway couture. The online retailer features designers such as Badgley Mischka, Mary Katrantzou, and Christian Siriano (who championed inclusivity in fashion before many others). In 2020, 11 Honoré launched its own private label and, most recently, collaborated with Lena Dunham on a five-piece collection.
The traditional plus-size fashion fare was limited to billowy blouses, shapeless dresses, and dark colors, and then Wray Serna launched her ethically made namesake brand in 2015. It centers on bright colors and funky prints—exactly the kinds of things plus-size women were taught to stay far and away from—and soon won the attention of Aidy Bryant, who became a fan.
One of the most game-changing moves in the industry was when Nordstrom expanded its plus-size offerings in 2017. The mega-retailer tapped 100 brands to participate in all of its categories including denim, intimates, and activewear. Cut to 2021, and similar to ASOS, Nordstrom has become a go-to for all plus-size clothing needs.
In the past, activewear for plus-size folks was pretty much unheard-of, unless you count a baggy T-shirt and black leggings as premium workout wear. Now brands like Fabletics have provided incredibly stylish two-piece options, up to a 4X.
Fashion to Figure
Whether you’re in need of a going-out top or jeans with fur trim (hello, Clueless vibes!), Fashion to Figure is an incredible plus-size source. The retailer celebrates curves while offering a wide range of clothing, accessories, and shoe options, including thigh-high boots, which used to be rare for plus-size shoppers.
Torrid actually began as a sister store to Hot Topic when it launched back in 2001. It’s since become a popular source for trendy plus-size clothing, accessories, and footwear, though it still features novelty clothing, like Minnie Mouse and Avengers through its fan-focused category. Over the years, the retailer has partnered with Rebel Wilson, model Tara Lynn, and most recently, fashion designer Betsey Johnnson.
Fairy tales and daydreams are in Selkie’s DNA, and the brand makes dreamy pieces for anyone who wears sizes up to 5X. Its most popular style, The Puff dress, comes in an array of pastel colors and floral prints for shoppers who feel like dressing like a princess.
Fashion Brand Company
If you’re of the belief that fashion should have a sense of humor, you’ll definitely fall in love with Fashion Brand Company. The highly imaginative, L.A.-based brand by Penelope Gazin features designs that are so whimsical they sometimes don’t make sense (in a good, Pee Wee’s Playhouse type of way). Think mesh jumpsuits that conceal the face, irreverent sweaters covered with nipples or eggs, and moth-inspired dresses. Most of the pieces go up to 6XL or 7XL.
Bacaal by Cynthia Vincent
Designer Cynthia Vincent started Bacaal (the name inspired by iconic actor Lauren Bacall) in order to give “high-quality investment pieces” to women who are beyond a size 12. There’s something for everyone, as the line features stunning floral maxi, crochet, and slip dresses, alongside kaftans, utility jumpsuits, and loungewear.
Designer Patricia Luiza Blaj started Loud Bodies after she realized the only clothing available to her was plain, baggy, and boring. Besides the line being inclusive with a size range of XXS to 10XL, it’s sustainable as well. Every step of the production process has the environment in mind—even leftover fabric is turned into pillows or donated to animal shelters.
Transforming recycled water bottles into clothing isn’t a magic trick; it’s a real part of the Girlfriend Collective’s process, as the brand’s goal is to be as sustainable as possible. Though it mainly focuses on activewear, the Instagram-famous brand has expanded to include loungewear and outerwear, all up to a size 6XL.
Dia & Co.
Unlike other brands, Dia & Co. was started by an actual plus-size woman, Nadia Boujarwah, who struggled with finding anything stylish in her size. The brand offers an assortment of sophisticated pieces, including loungewear, swim, denim, and more.
If you’re looking for a gorgeous silk dress to keep in your closet for a long, long time that you can also wear on a variety of occasions, invest in something from Coyan. The brand features U.S.-made solid-colored, luxury dresses and caftans that go up to a size 26.
When Good American, which was cofounded by Khloé Kardashian and Emma Grede, launched in 2016, it made waves as one of the first-ever inclusively sized denim brands. Now Good American offers everything from activewear to dresses for any occasion.
Marie Lodi is a Glamour contributor. Follow her @marielodiandreakos.