Fashion/Outfit

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+.

Plus-Size Shopping in the UK

Asos Curve

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:

£: under £50
££: £50-£100
£££: £100-£200
H&M

£ (small 16) Fast fashion, younger market

Topshop
£ (small 16) Fast fashion, younger market

Jigsaw
£££ (16) Luxury British

Oasis
£ (16)  British high-street brand, functional fashion

People Tree
££ (16) Ethically sourced beautiful retro-styled clothes

NW3
£££ (16) Casual cousin of Hobbs
Cath Kidston
££ (large 16) Cute/retro/floral/twee/toothache

Ness
£ (large 16) Basically a Scottish version of Cath Kidston. Think pink tweed.

Uniqlo
£ (XL is a 16 to 18) Quirky basics in hi-tech fabrics

Coast
£££ (18) Occasion-wear

White Stuff
££ (18) Casual, cotton, barbecue-wear

Fever London
££ (small 18) Vintage prints and feminine silhouettes

Plus-Size Shopping in the UK

Fever

River Island 

£ (small 18) Fast fashion, younger market

Anthropologie

£££ (small 18) American designers, cute, twee, vintage inspired

Primark 
£ (18-20) The cheapest of the cheap

Cos 

££ (small 18) Modern, minimal, straight-up-and-down chic

New Look
£ (18) Fast fashion for grown-ups with jobs

Joules

££ (18) British heritage/country attire

Tesco clothing
£ (most up to 18, some up to 24) This budget grocery store makes clothes too

Matalan
£ (most up to 18, some up to 26) Budget fashion, no stores in central London

Poppy London
£££ (18) Kidswear for lucky grown-ups, basically. Toothache.

Plus-Size Shopping in the UK

Poppy London

Hobbs 

£££ (18) British smart/occasionwear

Pepperberry 
££ (18) Clothing in a range of bust-sizes

Next
£ (most up to 18, but some up to 26) Fast fashion for grown-ups
Asos 

£ (18) Rapid product turnover, permanent sale section, MY FAVOURITE

Gap
£ (18) Quality, plain pieces with a few surprises
Dolly Dagger
£££ (18) Retro reproduction
Wallis
£ (18, some up to 20) Fast fashion for grown-ups
Toast 

£££ (large 18) Ethical, quality, smaller brand

Plus-Size Shopping in the UK

Toast

Laura Ashley 

££ (20) Modest, designed for older women but sometimes cute and retro

Vivien of Hollaway 

£££ (20) Retro reproduction

Peacocks
£ (20) Budget fashion

Lindy Bop 

£ (22) Vintage reproduction

Monsoon
££ (small 22) Clothing version of Accessorize, boho

Forever 21 Plus
£ (22) Less variety than the mainstream line but some fun options

Lady V London 

£ (22) Up-and-coming brand, retro reproduction

Dorothy Perkins

£ (22) Feminine fast fashion

Collectif 
££ (22) 40s/50s reproduction

Plus-Size Shopping in the UK

Collectif

Marks and Spencer

£ (Autograph and Limited up to large 18, rest up to large 22-24) Conservative

Land’s End 

££ (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

Debenhams 
££ (most up to 22 but some up to 32) Department store with a variety of brands

George/Asda
£ (24) This budget grocery store makes clothes too

Very 

£ (most up to 24, but some up to 32) Online shop with a variety of brands

Littlewoods
££ (mostly up to 24, but some up to 28) Huge online department store carrying multiple brands

Asos Curve 

£ (26) Affordable, stylish, one of the best around

Dear Curves 
££ (26) African fabrics in trendy cuts

Plus-Size Shopping in the UK

Dear Curves

H&M Plus
£ (small 28) A much more limited selection than regular H&M

Navabi
£££ (28) Grown-up but stylish

Evans

£ (32) Established plus-size brand with fun designer collaborations

Simply Be 
£ (32) Online store with everything from pajamas to swim-wear
Yours 

£ (32) Almost indistinguishable from Simply Be?

Marisota 

£ (32) Tends to stick to “flattering”

Castaluna
£ (32, some up to 36) Affordable and quite fun, stocking European brands like Carma Koma

Lovedrobe
£ (32) Nice selection, stock their own brand and more

Ebay is a goldmine for clothing where you can easily search under the size you want, and all the aforementioned brands and more will ultimatly end up there. On Etsy you can try searching for “plus” or “custom”. The world of rockabillly tends to be accommodating of larger sizes so this search term, as well as “pinup” or even “retro”  clothes tend to bring up good search results.

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 🙂