The 15 Best Stores for Scoring Plus-Size Fashion Finds That Actually Look Good

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For people who have never worn clothing larger than a size 12 or 14, understanding the difficulties of shopping as a plus-size person might be difficult. An easy way to describe it, though, is for a straight-size shopper to imagine 75 percent of their shopping options disappearing overnight. For many types of clothing stores and brands (luxury clothing, in particular), the disparity between plus size and straight size options is even greater than this.

Luckily, there are more plus-size stores than ever in 2021—but that doesn’t mean that shopping for them is always a walk in the park. Many plus-size stores seem to only offer dowdier, less-trendy options than straight-size counterparts. Others have sizing charts that don’t seem to be based in reality. All this is to say that shopping as a plus-size person can be overwhelming, frustrating, and disappointing. 

Meet the Expert

Gianluca Russo is a fashion and culture writer who explores topics like size inclusivity and body positivity in his work. His book “The Power Of Plus” comes out August 2022.

Knowing which plus-size brands and stores are the best-reviewed, most inclusive, and have the most loyal customers before you set out to find a new dress or pair of jeans is key to eliminating a little bit of the stress that comes with plus-size shopping. After nailing down these stores, fashion and culture writer Gianluca Russo suggests examining any given store’s size chart to figure out exactly what size you’ll be wearing based on their measurements.

With that in mind, here are the best plus-size stores to check out if you happen to wear a size 14 or above. 

Best Overall: Universal Standard

Universal Standard

Universal Standard

Perhaps the most notable fact about Universal Standard is that it offers every piece in makes in sizes 00-40, a size range that is pretty remarkable (even in the plus-size market). The brand also carries a mix of wardrobe basics, staples, and special occasion pieces that are made with both quality and fit in mind. This combination of qualities makes it a go-to option for many plus-size and straight-size shoppers alike.

Size range: 14-40 | Prices: $$ | Shipping: Free standard shipping within the U.S. | Return policy: Free drop-off within 30 days at "Happy Returns" locations; $5 processing fee for mail-in returns

Best Loungewear: Old Navy

Old Navy

Old Navy

Old Navy’s loungewear is a perfect balance of comfort and on-trend designs. From matching knit sets to henley shirts that you’ll never, ever want to take off, Old Navy’s loungewear selection is size-inclusive (available up to 4X, as well as in tall and petite options), affordable, and ridiculously cozy.

Size range: 14-30, 1X-4X | Prices: $ | Shipping: $5 Basic Shipping (5-7 business days) | Return policy: Within 45 days; free return shipping

Best Activewear: Athleta

Athleta

Athleta

With pieces going up to 3X (or 26W), Athleta isn’t the single most size-inclusive athleticwear brand on the market. Still, its plus-size pieces are so high-quality and thoughtfully designed that they are the best of the best, anyway. Whether you’re into hiking, yoga, running, or just need some everyday leggings for on-the-go errands, Athleta will not disappoint.

Size range: 1X-3X | Prices: $$ | Shipping: $5 Basic Shipping (5-7 business days) | Return policy: Within 60 days; free return shipping

Best for Staples: Nordstrom

Nordstrom

Nordstrom

For a one-stop shop that will give you the best of basics, undergarments, and everyday items in sizes up to 28W+, Nordstrom is an excellent choice. Plus, the brand’s flexible return policy and customer service make it a pleasant and easy shopping experience, even if an item doesn’t work for you.

Size range: 1X-4X, 14W-28W+ | Prices: $$-$$$ | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Flexible returns; free return shipping

Best Work Clothes: Henning

Henning

Henning

Created by model and fashion editor Lauren Chan, Henning fills what was once a gaping hole in the plus-size market: high-quality, luxury workwear. From the brand’s impeccably designed blazers to its best-of-the-best leather moto jacket, Henning offers the best plus-size workwear you could find. Period.

Size range: 1X-4X | Prices: $$$ | Shipping: Free shipping within the domestic U.S. | Return policy: Within 14 days; free return label

Best for Occasions: Wray NYC

Wray NYC

Wray NYC

Finding unique, artistic statement pieces as a plus-size shopper can be difficult. Wray makes it easier. With sizing up to 6XL, Wray offers dresses, lounge suits, and much, much more. The best part, though, is that each piece feels truly special, perfect for everything from a wedding to date night.

Size range: 1X-6X | Prices: $$$ | Shipping: Free standard shipping over $75; $8 ground shipping under $75 | Return policy: Within 30 days; $10 fee taken from total refund

Best Value: Dia & Co.

Dia & Co.

Dia & Co.

For those who aren’t quite sure where to start when it comes to their style, Dia & Co offers one of the only plus-size curated clothing boxes on the market. After taking a quiz, Dia will send you a style or active box that has your style and lifestyle in mind. Plus, this means you can try items before you buy, making it an excellent value.

Size range: 14-40, 1X-4X | Prices: $$ | Shipping: Free standard shipping in the U.S. | Return policy: Within 30 days, free return shipping

Best Athleisure: Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective

Whether you consider athleisure clothing more for athletics, leisure, or you land somewhere in the middle, Girlfriend Collective has options for all of the above and then some. The brand is built on principles of sustainability and inclusivity, with many items made out of recycled materials and available to size 6X. The brand also has maternity options in plus sizes.

Size range: 1X-6X | Prices: $$ | Shipping: Free standard shipping in the U.S. on orders over $100, otherwise $7 fee | Return policy: Within 30 days of ship date, $7 mail-in return fee; free drop-off returns or exchanges

Best for Jeans: Madewell 

Madewell

Madewell 

Shopping for jeans as a plus-size person can be difficult, but Madewell’s curvy denim line tends to be one of the most popular options for plus-size style bloggers and influencers. Available in standard and petite options up to a size 28W, Madewell’s jeans feel current and trendy, which is a huge win when it comes to plus-size denim.

Size range: 14W-28W | Prices: $$ | Shipping: Free economy and standard shipping for Madewell Insiders (free to join) | Return policy: Within 30 days of purchase, free return shipping and drop-offs

Best for Bras: Elomi

Elomi

Elomi

Though not every plus-size person has a plus-size chest, it can be incredibly difficult to find larger bra sizes that come in larger band sizes as well. Elomi bras go up to a 48 band size and a KK cup. Plus, they’re a favorite of plus-size undergarment expert Carlyn Mirand Koch. While this brand is based in the UK, you can shop in the states via Bare Necessities.

Size range: Up to 48 band size and KK cup | Prices: $$ | Shipping: Free standard shipping on orders over $70; $5 fee below $70 | Return policy: Within 60 days for full refund; within 61-120 days for voucher; $5 return shipping fee (Bare Necessities)

Best Swimsuits: ASOS

ASOS

ASOS

Plus-size swimwear is available in most major big box stores these days, but the options are often... lacking. And involve a lot of swim skirts. If you’re looking for something that’s just as cute, sexy, and on-trend as straight size options, ASOS has a great variety, including options with underwire for bigger busts as well as string bikinis (because plus-size shoppers deserve hot swimwear, too).

Size range: 12-26, 36C-44G | Prices: $-$$ | Shipping: Free standard shipping in the U.S. on orders more than $50; $5 shipping on orders under $50 | Return policy: Full refund within 28 days, ASOS voucher between 29-45 days; free return shipping

Best for Cottagecore Vibes: Loud Bodies

Loud Bodies

Loud Bodies

If you’re just tuning into 2021, cottagecore is everywhere and it seems to be here to stay. Though puff sleeves, corset bodices, and other romantic silhouettes are more popular than ever, finding chic, plus-size versions of those items can be difficult. Loud Bodies is the exception, selling stunning, ethically made pieces in sizes up to 10X.

Size range: 1X-10X | Prices: $$$ | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Free returns on orders over $169.25 USD

Best for Lingerie: Savage x Fenty

Savage x Fenty

Savage x Fenty

Lingerie should be fun. That’s exactly why Savage X Fenty is the best when it comes to plus-size lingerie. From the sexiest negligee you can imagine to cozy, romantic sleepwear, Savage X Fenty has it all (from XS-4X)—and none of it is designed to “hide” anything, unlike some plus size lingerie.

Size range: 18-46, 1X-4X | Prices: $ | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Free returns within 30 days (90 days if you're a VIP)

Best Maternity: Motherhood Maternity

Motherhood Maternity

Motherhood Maternity

One quick Google search will show you just how few and far between plus-size maternity wear is. Motherhood Maternity seems to have the best variety of plus-size maternity wear from swimwear to basics to occasion wear that is actually cute, though.

Size range: 1X-3X | Prices: $ | Shipping: Free economy shipping on orders over $89 | Return policy: Free returns within 30 days of delivery

Best Bridal: David’s Bridal

David's Bridal

David's Bridal

Plus-size bridal is a topic that most plus-size brides could spend many, many years talking about. There are more plus-size gowns than ever, but when it comes to bridal that offers a variety of price points in a wide range of sizes, David’s Bridal is simply the best of the best.

Size range: 1X-5X, 18-30W | Prices: $$-$$$ | Shipping: $8 shipping on orders under $50, $15 standard shipping on orders $50-$148.99, free standard shipping $149+ | Return policy: Full refund within 7 days of purchase, $12.50 fee for pre-paid return shipping label

What to Look for When Shopping Plus Size

Size Charts

“Fit varies greatly from brand to brand, and because online ordering means you can’t try on first, it’s best to be safe than sorry here when ordering," Russo says. "Also, check out the returns policy. Some brands offer free returns for this very reason because the fit can be so all over the place from brand to brand."

Influencers

Russo says his biggest tip for plus-size shoppers is to find influencers and models whose style you want to emulate and note what brands they’re wearing and loving.

“In the plus-size space, a lot of these online-only brands fall under the radar, so it’s easy to miss them,” Russo says, noting that simply Googling ‘best plus-size stores’ will give you a handful of big-brand plus size stores, but not the smaller, forward-thinking brands offering plus sizes. Following influencers who wear the same size as you means you are constantly being introduced to brands that will carry your size, whether you wear a size 20 or a 28.

“Many plus-size brands offer up to different sizes: Some stop at 20, some 24, some 28, and beyond," he explains. "So finding influencers who wear a similar size as you will help to ensure that the clothing on your feed every day is actually attainable and shoppable for you.”

FAQ
  • What Is Considered Plus Size?

    When discussing clothing sizes, plus size is typically defined as size 18 and larger. This is because many straight-size labels go to a size 14 or even 16, but don’t offer specific plus-size lines. Having said that, there are still many straight-size labels that offer a 10 or 12 as their largest size.
    When it comes to whether or not someone considers themselves plus size, though, it can be a bit different. Often, plus-size models are a size 12 or 14. Regardless of how someone defines themselves, what’s important to keep in mind is that the larger the size someone wears, the more marginalized and difficult their shopping experience can be. That’s why brands that include up to size 30 and beyond are so important. 

  • What Should You Know About Sizing When Shopping at Plus-Size Stores?

    As Russo explained, just because a store markets itself as a plus-size store or offers plus sizes, that doesn’t mean its pieces will fit the same way as another plus-size retailer.

    “There's no standardized fit chart; it can vary greatly from brand to brand, especially in the plus-size space where sizes are particularly scattered,” Russo explains. “This is because every brand fits their clothing on different size fit models: Some scale up from a size 12/14, others fit for every size. So no two brands will fit the same, so make sure you know your measurements and keep them handy.”

Why Trust Byrdie

Olivia Muenter is a fashion commerce contributor for Byrdie, and she has been published in Refinery29, Bustle, Fashionista, Glamour, and Woman’s Day, among others. Her search for this piece covered plus-size retailers of all types. For criteria, she evaluated size range, customer reviews, return policies, variety of inventory, and user-friendly or inspiring shopping experiences. 

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