Best Affordable Retailers for Plus Sized Fashion
Plus sizes are on the rise, and with us, the fashion follows. There is nothing more frustrating than hitting the mall with your averaged sized friends, and standing around aimlessly giving encouragement to them as they try on clothes that you couldn't fit one of your limbs through. Equally annoying is the quintessential "perfect outfit" for some event, like your cousin's wedding, or prom, when you scour websites trying to decide if the outfit will look like does on the model or some type of shapeless sack. The best way to avoid this aimless walk-and-wish or the tedious internet search is to know in advance what stores cater to your curves, and what style you can expect from each retailer.
ModCloth, the online vintage-meets-trendy powerhouse, is a veritable treasure trove. High quality garments in classic and retro cuts are in high demand, especially in the plus sized sector, as the vintage silhouettes are particularly flattering for girls with a little extra. Anything you want here, you can find, with a staggering array of cocktail dresses, formal dresses, day dresses, sun dresses, skirts, blouses, and patterned tights galore. The only drawback to ModCloth is that, as an online-only retailer, there is no chance to try on or visit a garment in-store before purchase. However, the variety here more than makes up for a lack of physical location. An item to look for: a frisky patterned frock.
Asos Curve, the plus size section of the ever popular asos.com, is just as trendy and current as its average size counterpart. With a collection of other European brands, like Inspire from New Look, this plus size selection carries basic multipacks, inexpenisve but trendy size specific accessories like belts and rings, and on trend items like leather leggings and quilted peplum. An item to look for: embellished belts and multipacks.
Fashion to Figure
Fashion to Figure beats out some of their mall traffic competition for one simple reason: unlike retail chains like Forever 21 and HM, Fashion to Figure caters exclusively to plus size clientele. While Lane Byrant and Ashley Stewart also cater to exclusively plus sized women, Fashion to Figure tends to have styles that flatter more than just the traditional "plus size" exaggerated hourglass shape, while still being stylish and affordable. Here, you can expect a range of clothes between business casual and day casual. Unlike asos.com and modcloth.com, Fashion to Figure has a physical presence that makes shopping both more efficient and more fun! Asos Curve and ModCloth still take the higher spots on this list, however, because of the sheer volume, quality, and quantity of their offerings. An item to look for: Squeem bodywear.
Pinup Couture is very similiar to ModCloth, in that their main style is vintage. 1950s to be precise. The emphazied waistlines, deep v-necks, full and flared skirts, and forgiving fabrics are excellent for a plus size lady looking for some glamour. When shopping here, be prepared for high prices and similar silhouettes. An item to look for: the Wiggle Dress.
Ashley Stewart is the old plus size standby. A staple in the discussions of plus size clothing, Ashley Stewart consistently bangs out plus size versions of the latest fashions in a way that is both modest and flattering. A twenty year old may find just as much promise in this store as a forty year old, but for the plus size diva who wants a trendy version of an average sized item, this store may prove dissappointing. An item to look for: the fabulous plus sized bras and panties, both supportive and sexy.
Ah, Forever21+. When it was introduced, plus size girls everywhere fainted in joy. Forever21 and its lines have been the go to place for inexpensive fashion. The plus size line is no different, however, the quality of a lot of these products, as well as the sizing, may prove unsatisfactory for the more discerning diva. But the general reliability in terms of new designs means this staple retailer is worth more than just a cursory glance; some of the items here turn out to be diamonds. Just be sure to try things on, and be wary of the store credit only return policy. An item to look for: a cute sundress, or a flattering, high waisted bikini.
Rebdolls is a relatively new addition to Team Plus Size. Originially called Custom Plus, the company specialized in cheeky graphic tshirts with lyrics or meme-able sayings like Beyonce's now famous "cake by the pound". This is the place to go for your club gear, tshirts, and sweatshirts. An item to look for: cute tshirt to wear with your high waisted denim shorts, or a bodycon dress to wear to that party at Bike Week.
Lane Byrant, like Ashley Stewart, is an old plus size standby. They adopt a few trends every season and adapt it to plus sizes in a tasteful, comfortable way. Do not expect unique or daring here, but for wardrobe building, this is a necessary stop on any diva's list. An item to look for: a blouse in whatever color is drenching the runway this season.
HM plus is on this list mostly because many divas don't realize that they have a plus size section. That's because it is sold in very few of chain's retail stores, but is available for purchase on the website. Do not expect anything close to the quantity of styles available in average size, but some of their plus size items, like chiffon dresses and distressed black denim jackets, are just too good to pass up. An item to look for: a jacket or blazer.
WetSEAL+ is for divas that need a little something something. I would not suggest that you build your whole wardrobe from here, due to a distinct lesser quality than some of the others on this list. However, if you are on the hunt for a cute A-line mini skirt or a flannel shirt, be sure to check out this chain. An item to look for: trend specific piece, like houndstooth skirt or lace-and-flannel button down top.
ModCloth is the best in terms of availability, quality, quantity, and affordability, but every plus size diva needs options. I hope this list helps you in your search for the best outfits for your most fabulous self.