After decades of being underrepresented in fashion, finding the best plus-size clothing isn’t as tricky as it once was. The plus-size apparel market is thriving; according to Statista, it’s worth an estimated $24 billion. With this explosion of demand comes more options, obviously, which means shopping for plus-size fashion is no longer limiting. Instead, everyone from retail giants like Nike to fashion-forward labels like Reformation have embraced more inclusive sizing. The issue now is not so much a lack of options, but finding the very best places to shop for plus-size clothing in what’s become a very crowded market.
As a plus-size fashion influencer, Katrina Nichole knows the market well. “I have been a lover of all things fashion since I was a little girl, and have lived in a bigger body my entire life,” she says. “My number one priority when I am shopping is finding clothes that actually fit my ultra-curvy body well and look stylish.” Fashion influencer Bonnie Wyrick has a similar point of view. She specializes in the mid-size market (sizes 12 through 16), which she defines as “the space between straight sizes and plus.” It’s category that speaks to “a quickly growing and highly engaging community who, until recently, didn’t feel represented in the fashion or social space.”
Here, Nichole, Wyrick, and a few other experts share their go-to retailers and the fashion labels they like best, so you can shop and bookmark them. And for more inspiration, check out our guides to the best plus-size leggings and plus-size bras.
What To Consider For The Best Mid- And Plus-Size Clothing
Material: The best advice for any type of garment is to look for high-quality fabrics that will last. Cotton and denim hold up well and come in a variety of weights and weaves for different levels of breathability. If you’d like pieces with a bit more stretch, consider lyrca, a synthetic fabric with elastane. For durability, polyester has incredibly strong fibers and helps create structure to retain the shape of your garments.
Fit: The best way to optimize the fit of your garment is to know your measurements, says professional stylist McKenzie Crouch. “Definitely keep a tape measure around for online purchases,” she says. But, she adds, it’s sometimes more important to focus on the fit of the item. “Many women, regardless of size, get caught up in the numerical size of a garment and won’t even consider a style if it requires them to go up in size,” she says. “I always encourage women to improve the fit regardless of the number.”
Return Policy: Mid- or plus-sizes at one brand can vary greatly among brands. A size 20 in one store may fit you perfectly, but it may be too tight in another one. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to confirm the return policy before you click to buy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mid- And Plus-Size Clothing
What is the difference between mid-size and plus-size clothing?
Mid-size labels are relatively new, but Crouch categorizes “mid-size” as sizes between 10-16. For plus-size clothing, most brands categorize sizes 18-24 or 1X-6X.
Which brand is good for plus-size?
All plus-size and mid-size bodies are different—like with any clothing store, sizes vary from place to place. Shopping with brands that carry two sizes smaller and larger than your standard size is best, just in case you have to size up or down. That said, sizing up and down will only sometimes be an option—when you can’t, look for items that have some stretch, this allows you to have more wiggle room when it comes to finding the right size for you.
What’s flattering for plus-size and mid-size women?
The term flattering can be associated with attempting to look smaller, so wear what makes you feel good on the inside and out, not what makes you look like something or someone else. Search for pieces that make you feel comfortable and confident; you will look and feel the same way.
Do luxury brands make plus-size clothing?
Yes, several luxury brands make plus-size clothing. One retailer offering a mix of plus-size luxury designers is 11 Honoré, which is featured above, and includes pieces from Roland Mouret, Baacal and Tanya Taylor. Another luxury brand is Henning, which specializes in elevated closet staples like soft cashmere sweaters and heavyweight leather jackets. Unfortunately, the large majority of European luxury brands don’t offer sizes above 46, which is equivalent to a US size 14.
What are the hardest items to find in extended sizing?
Crouch has found while working with plus-size clients and listening to their shopping challenges, the biggest issue is having access to stylish clothing. Many plus-size brands offer basics or staples, but on-trend options are much more difficult to get your hands on. “Additionally, many brands don’t keep plus-size options in store for easy try on,” Crouch explains.
More Size-Inclusive Clothing Brands For Women
- Anthropologie: For basics, evening attire, or wedding guest dresses, Anthropologie offers a mix of staples at moderate prices, available in sizes up to 3XL.
- Fashion To Figure: For those who like to be on the latest trends, Fashion To Figure offers styles for sizes XL to 4XL and is constantly adding unique items to the mix, from maxi dresses to printed blazers.
- Girlfriend Collective: This sustainably-minded brand has sizes that extend up to 6XL and emphasizes recycled materials in their line of basics that include sweatpants, tops and tees, leggings, lingerie and swimsuits.
- Mango: With sizing up to 4XL, UK-based brand Mango has fashion-forward core essentials, including trench coats, motorcycle jackets and more.
- Nike: For sports apparel and athleisure in inclusive sizes, Nike is a favorite among fitness and fashion influencers, especially for leggings and sports bras.
- Nina Parker Collection: Media journalist Nina Parker collaborated with Macy’s to create eye-catching pieces for the plus-size community. She offers a mix of brights and neutrals with a combination of silhouettes for different shapes and figures, available in sizes 1XL to 4XL.
- Parade: You’ll find mid-size and plus-size lingerie, undergarments and loungewear here, that help women not only look good but feel good. Also great: This brand actively donates to support women’s reproductive rights.
- Torrid: Torrid is a pioneer in the plus-size community for plus-size and mid-size staples with a mix of trend-driven pieces. They are known for their size-inclusive jeans, bras, tops and other basics. They also provide wide calf and extended shoes, from knee-length boots to sneakers.
- Wray NYC: This environmentally-conscious brand has extended sizes up to 6XL and focuses on classic designs that you can wear over and over, and won’t tire of easily.
- Amour781: This company was founded to offer quality designer clothes to a plus-size clientele. You can find brands like NYDJ, Good American and more, all in one place.
- Henning: Plus-size brand Henning has luxury pieces for almost any occasion. You can find chic closet staples, including structured blazers, cozy cashmere loungewear or simple t-shirts, with sizes ranging from 1XL to 4XL.
- Tamara Malas: Founded in 2018, Tamara Malas offers fun and colorful styles up to size 36, including dresses, outerwear and more. The sustainably-minded brand partnered with Greenspark to plant a tree for every order placed on their site.