Plus-Size Shopping in the UK
I was so dismayed when a friend told me she wasn’t coming to a party because she couldn’t find anything nice to wear in her size, that I immediately compiled a list of places she could shop in the UK. I thought I’d share it on my blog as a reference for anyone else in the UK (or beyond) who is struggling to find clothes in size 16+.
If you follow this blog you will know that I’m not interested in floaty tents to hide in, but fun, bold, and fashionable clothes. I think the shop that does this best in the UK is probably Asos who simply extend their trendy clothes to mores sizes, without any mention of “flattering” “shaping”, “slimming” or “skimming”.
How the list works:
“Plus size” or whatever you want to call it, starts anywhere from a size (UK) 14 to 22. I have arranged retailers in this list from the smallest maximum size to the largest, and indicated whether the sizes run small or large (if I have had personal experience). So for example a large 16 is more like an 18. All sizes are UK relevant, so they are usually equivalent to US size+2, eg. UK 18=US 16. It’s nice to be aware of some brands even if they are outside of your price-range, because you can always revisit them during the sales.
I’ve also created a key which shows what the average-priced dress is:
£ (small 16) Fast fashion, younger market
£ (small 16) Fast fashion, younger market
£££ (16) Luxury British
£ (16) British high-street brand, functional fashion
££ (16) Ethically sourced beautiful retro-styled clothes
£££ (16) Casual cousin of Hobbs
££ (large 16) Cute/retro/floral/twee/toothache
£ (large 16) Basically a Scottish version of Cath Kidston. Think pink tweed.
£ (XL is a 16 to 18) Quirky basics in hi-tech fabrics
£££ (18) Occasion-wear
££ (18) Casual, cotton, barbecue-wear
££ (small 18) Vintage prints and feminine silhouettes
£ (small 18) Fast fashion, younger market
£££ (small 18) American designers, cute, twee, vintage inspired
£ (18-20) The cheapest of the cheap
££ (small 18) Modern, minimal, straight-up-and-down chic
£ (18) Fast fashion for grown-ups with jobs
££ (18) British heritage/country attire
£ (most up to 18, some up to 24) This budget grocery store makes clothes too
£ (most up to 18, some up to 26) Budget fashion, no stores in central London
£££ (18) Kidswear for lucky grown-ups, basically. Toothache.
£££ (18) British smart/occasionwear
££ (18) Clothing in a range of bust-sizes
£ (most up to 18, but some up to 26) Fast fashion for grown-ups
£ (18) Rapid product turnover, permanent sale section, MY FAVOURITE
£ (18) Quality, plain pieces with a few surprises
£££ (18) Retro reproduction
£ (18, some up to 20) Fast fashion for grown-ups
£££ (large 18) Ethical, quality, smaller brand
££ (20) Modest, designed for older women but sometimes cute and retro
£££ (20) Retro reproduction
£ (20) Budget fashion
£ (22) Vintage reproduction
££ (small 22) Clothing version of Accessorize, boho
Forever 21 Plus
£ (22) Less variety than the mainstream line but some fun options
£ (22) Up-and-coming brand, retro reproduction
£ (22) Feminine fast fashion
££ (22) 40s/50s reproduction
£ (Autograph and Limited up to large 18, rest up to large 22-24) Conservative
££ (large 22) Preppy, conservative, practical, quality. Good for basics. And fleece.
House of Fraser
££ (most up to 22 but some up to 28) Department store with a variety of brands
££ (most up to 22 but some up to 32) Department store with a variety of brands
£ (24) This budget grocery store makes clothes too
£ (most up to 24, but some up to 32) Online shop with a variety of brands
££ (mostly up to 24, but some up to 28) Huge online department store carrying multiple brands
£ (26) Affordable, stylish, one of the best around
££ (26) African fabrics in trendy cuts
£ (small 28) A much more limited selection than regular H&M
£££ (28) Grown-up but stylish
£ (32) Established plus-size brand with fun designer collaborations
£ (32) Online store with everything from pajamas to swim-wear
£ (32) Almost indistinguishable from Simply Be?
£ (32) Tends to stick to “flattering”
£ (32, some up to 36) Affordable and quite fun, stocking European brands like Carma Koma
£ (32) Nice selection, stock their own brand and more
This list is UK based but a few of them might be able to ship internationally at some cost. The only other countries I know about are South Africa which is an absolute fashion desert above size 12-14, and the USA where those lucky ladies have Asos, Eshakti and Modcloth. If you think something deserves to be on this list, let me know because I’ll keep it up-to-date.
And an update on my friend? She rocked the party in a beautiful Monsoon dress via Ebay, which has become her personal favourite shopping spot. She’s started to amass a really enviable wardrobe and I dare say has even become a bit of a shopaholic 🙂