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Fat fashion is evolving, and it’s honestly about damn time. It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: The fashion world has a long way to go with the inclusion of fat bodies. However, if the past 10 years of plus size inclusion have anything to say about where the next decade will go, then buying clothes will no longer be a long-winded journey. Styling oneself can be hard when you take into account cost and size availability, and buying clothes that don’t even fit can stunt creativity and the fun of fashion.
But as we expand what being fat means in fashion and everyday living, we should also cater to styles that make people feel like they’re part of the conversation. Department stores like Nordstrom and Target are rapidly expanding to offer extended sizes in both their native brands and the brands offered in their online (and in-store) selections. Additionally, young designers are taking the struggle of finding trendy—and vintage—clothes in large sizes into their own hands with indie brands and plus size-friendly hubs emerging on Instagram and TikTok, as well as targeted e-commerce sites.
Everyone should be able to experience the creative side of fashion and feel included, whether you know your style or are currently trying to expand on it. Having options feels like the bare minimum. Thankfully, the world of fat, plus-size, and curvy fashion is growing, and buying clothes—from specialized suits and dresses to a good cotton tee-shirt—is becoming increasingly available. Having been fat my entire life and also having had my fair share of meltdowns over a pair of jeans, I know that shopping can be a fiasco, so I spoke with NYC Personal Stylist and Capsule Wardrobe Expert, Bee Stuart to hunt down the best plus-size clothing brands. BTW, some of these brands aren’t plus-size exclusive, but the diverse size ranges of popular brands are expanding, so we had to include those gems.
If you’re not careful, you’ll be looking for a cute top one minute, and next thing you know your cart has hundreds of dollars in it—don’t worry, they always have coupons! ASOS is a holy grail for trendy and chic pieces, and boasts both affordable and luxury options. The plus size options contain fun bold prints and matching sets—albeit not as many as the straight-size collections, but still, cart-worthy options.
Styles available in sizes 00 to 28.
Big Bud Press
Not only do they have a pretty impressive size extension, but Big Bud Press is also anti-sweatshop, focusing on ethical and local manufacturing. Their unisex styles feature well-structured “basics” consisting of thermals, overalls, patterned jumpsuits, wrap tops, and more. The Los Angeles-based clothing label caters to an online shopping world with specific details on fit, materials, color—with the big plus of featuring multiple-sized models to showcase the fit on different body types.
Styles available in sizes XXXS to 7XL.
The Tamara Malas brand has knits, quilted patterns, velvety soft materials, and bold statement pieces that give off major “main character” energy. Plus-size people can trust the fit with designs that are ethically made by fellow plus-size pal Tamara Malas, the brand’s namesake and founder. Don’t shy away from bold prints and pieces—go headfirst into a patchwork dress that will always get you compliments.
Styles available in sizes 6/8 to 30/32.
With a focus on well-tailored and stylish workwear pieces, Henning focuses on plus size basics and wardrobe staples that make any person feel as expensive as they look. Lauren Chan often noticed that she was the only plus-size woman in the room when she was a fashion editor; exhausted by the wardrobe search, she founded Henning in 2019. Henning’s site lists styles available up to a 26, but with pre-order options, even more extended sizes are offered for the best fit.
Styles available in sizes 12 to 26.
Be loud and proud of your body and dress it the way it deserves! This ethically produced clothing brand was founded by Patricia Luiza Blaj, who set out to prove that, “real style has no size”. There’s something for everyone, with playful patterns and glamorous dresses in varying styles and price ranges. A highlight for this brand is the fit. One look at the collections, and it’s easy to see that comfort and elegance are at the forefront of designs.
Styles available in sizes 2XS to 10XL.
Size inclusion has always been critical for WRAY founder and designer Wray Serna. Developed in NYC, each garment is made to be inclusive to size and gender. Many of the styles feature geometric shapes and blocked patterns that feel like a piece of abstract art.
Styles available in sizes XXS to 6XL.
Thrifted and second-hand options can be almost impossible to find in extended sizes, and Emma Zack knows that. Initially founded by Zack as an Instagram account that sold her thrifted goods, Berriez evolved into an online boutique that still sells previously owned finds but also includes collaborations with other indie brands like The Series, Abacaxi, and Shop Journal. With an aesthetic focused on bright and colorful patterns, Berriez embraces fun styles that turn hand-me-downs into re-invented pieces.
Styles available in sizes S to 4X+.
Ava & Viv
Designed by Target, Ava & Viv keeps up with trends and feature styles, patterns, and materials that are ideal for starting pieces in a wardrobe. Sweaters, jackets, blouses, and graphic tees are available in various colors and cuts, making for an easy mix-and-match look or stylish layers. Everything is super affordable, which is a relief when you just want to get a nice sweater without spending too much.
Styles available in sizes X (14W) to 4X (28W-30W).
Luxury pieces are made easy to find with 11 Honoré’s dedication to bridging the gap between designers and their plus size clients. Made for extended sizes, the e-commerce site features styles and pieces from designers like Carolina Herrera and Mara Hoffman alongside original options from 11 Honoré’s namesake brand.
Styles Available in sizes 12 to 24.
Universal Standard Seine High Rise Skinny Jeans
“Universal Standard has the best plus-size jeans in classic and current styles. The quality of denim is outstanding and they come in different washes so you can really invest in all the appropriate washes for maximum outfit production,” Stuart says.
Styles available in sizes 4XS (00-0) to 4XL (38-40).
shop Universal Standard
Yes, absolutely Old Navy. One year, my little sister got us matching pajamas for Christmas and I was sure that they would not fit both me and her—us being on two opposites of the size range—but I was thankfully proved wrong. Old Navy has been kicking it into gear, extending their sizes while keeping the style, comfort, and affordability that we love.
Styles available in sizes XS to 4X.
There are a lot of naysayers in this world who doubted Kimberley Noel Kardashian, and I must admit that I was one. Skims began as a shapewear brand that has since expanded to include underwear and loungewear, including that teddy bear material sleep set that seemed to be on everyone’s wish list. Nylon and spandex make up most of the shapewear, which is why it stretches, keeps its shape, and gives the cushion and security desired. They even get praise for their robes that come in plus-size, because yes, robes need different sizes.
Styles Available in sizes XXS (00) to 4X (24/26).
Who What Wear
Not to be confused with the WhoWhatWear media site, I’m talking about the fat-friendly and fashionable Target-sold brand. First launched in stores in 2016, Who What Wear’s styles are chic and tailored each season; currently, they’re featuring a lot of bubble sleeves and ruffles. Most of their styles are available in all sizes, so hopefully this means they’ll extend their other brand as well.
Styles available in sizes XS to 4X.
Dia & Co
Dia & Co: KIYONNA Avery Cropped Jumpsuit
Stuart often styles plus-size individuals who work in executive jobs and knows that a “corporate” look doesn’t have to be boring. “If you’re going back to the office or want to jazz up your WFH, Dia & Co is a great option,” he says. “It is the perfect plus-size clothing store for office wear. Their trousers and blouses are a hit with my clients and they always have fresh new options so it isn’t the same boring patterns/prints.”
Styles available in sizes 10 to 32.
shop Dia & Co
Mango is a personal favorite of Stuart’s: “They’ve recently released their plus size clothing line and it is incredible. What I love most is that it is not different from the regular sizes. This is a great place to score your high-quality basics and classic items—the price point is pretty affordable and the quality is outstanding.”
Styles available in sizes XXS to 4XL.
Stuart recommends this fashion retailer favorite for its splurge-worthy brands and affordable options. “While Nordstrom itself is not a plus-size store, it carries the best plus size brands including the ones listed above. If you want lucrative plus-size options and to familiarize yourself with quality plus-size brands then Nordstrom is a great option for that.”
Styles available in sizes XXS (00) to 4XL (28W).
Girlfriend Collective Woodstock Hooded Packable Puffer
Known for their sustainable practices of using recyclable materials, not to mention creating an eco-friendly production system, Girlfriend Collective is showing other brands how it’s done. All their styles rely on comfort with an athleisure focus. Recently, they’ve expanded to bodysuits, swimsuits, maternity styles, windbreakers, and more, with their categories steadily growing to the excitement of their loyal followers.
Styles available in sizes XXS to 6XL.
shop Girlfriend Collective
Fair Trade certified, Universal Thread aims to be as sustainable as possible and actively sources deadstock and recycled materials for their styles. Their designs range from super comfortable half-zips to silky blouses for work, and of course the easy comfortable of a well-fitting sweater or t-shirt. They also carry a few adaptable pieces that, based on reviews, leave enough space for any medical devices without being too bulky.
Styles available in sizes 00 – 28W.
Wild Fable is another Target-exclusive brand that’s targeted towards millennial and Gen Z crowds, but their versatile styles and bright basic pieces are great for anyone. Ruched tops, flare bottoms, matching waffle sets, and other stylish pieces are great additions to any evolving wardrobes that need a little fun.
Styles available in sizes XS to 4X.
ModCloth Can’t Stop The Pleat Shift Dress
The shop for vintage-inspired looks, ModCloth boasts styles inspired by clothing from the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and more—all of which come in extended sizes. Styles include flare jeans, colorful swing skirts, patterned pinafores, and more time period-approved fashions to embrace a retro look with modernized vibes. The best part: Seasonal sales and revolving pieces make for fresh looks and discounted deals for wardrobe favorites.
Styles available in sizes XS to 4X
Beyond Yoga Spacedye Out Of Pocket High Waisted Midi Legging
Another favorite for athleisure fans, Beyond Yoga has the ultimate sets for those who appreciate a matchy-matchy moment. Where they excel: Their leggings, which offer extra stretch around the banding; and their pants material, because you don’t feel like you’re wearing a corset. Their sustainable practices include following the making of the products, from the cotton used to the last seam sewn, for low-impact production.
Styles available in sizes XXS to 4X.
shop Beyond Yoga
Cacique So Light Boost Plunge Bra
Finding a good bra feels as important as finding the right life partner, and I stand by that. The relationship between a person and their bra is vital in relieving back pain, providing coverage in certain outfits, and everyday comfort. Cacique offers a wide variety of cup and band sizes that come in many colors and materials, and yes, I mean lace and silk.
Styles available in sizes 34B – 54K.
Trendy and fashionable styles are one thing this brand is loved for, but Eloquii also excels in body type/fit. “ We all have unique body types, not all clothing styles flatter us, Eloquii breaks down the different body types and creates multiple clothing options for each specific type so the customer knows exactly what will flatter their body the best. As a Personal Stylist, this is an incredible tool that I introduce all my clients to when shopping at Eloquii for them,” says Stuart
Styles Available in Sizes 14 to 28
Torrid Raincoat in Disney Mickey & Minnie Mouse Red
Need I say more? Okay, my editor says I do—Torrid has been a tried and true clothing option in the plus-size community since 2001. Where they really excel in recent years is in their fan merch and denim selection. They even have a fangirl option at the top of the site, with graphic tees and more deluxe pieces featuring items with Disney, Studio Ghibli, DC Comics, and other popular licensed characters. When it comes to their jeans, they have specified styles for different body types, so a comfortable fit is easy to find.