The best places to shop when you're not sure if you're plus-size
This article originally appeared in Real Simple.
Anyone who hovers around a size 14 has been there: you’re shopping at a “straight-size” store where you’ve successfully purchased clothing in their largest size before, but, because their sizing is inconsistent (and whose isn’t these days?), the item you have your eye on today is a skosh too small… and there’s no option in a size up.
It happens at the “plus-size” stores, too. Sometimes their smallest size fits you, but a good percentage of the time, if you find something you love, you’d have to get it tailored.
It can be incredibly frustrating to straddle the straight-plus fence, but, luckily, a growing number of retailers have stopped drawing a line in the sand right at size 14. Instead of that being the largest or smallest size available in a given store, it’s just one more size in a wider array, allowing shoppers to size up or down when necessary so they no longer have to give up on an item they have their heart set on.
ModCloth not only removed “Plus-Size” as a category from their top menu, they did something long overdue in the online shopping world: they put all available sizes of a single item—XXS through 4X—on a single product page. Revolutionary, no?
To buy: Best and Brightest Tank Top, $35; modcloth.com.
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Although this American standard is considered a “straight-size” retailer, most Gap items are available up to a size 20 or XXL, so you have leeway when your usual size doesn’t quite fit.
To buy: Gap Linen Stripe Tie-Belt Romper, $60; gap.com.
Much like its sibling store, Gap, Old Navy offers its main women’s line in sizes up to 20 and XXL, but they also have a women’s plus collection starting at 16 and 1X for even more options.
To buy: Patterned Plus-Size Tie Waist Dress, $36; oldnavy.com.
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SimplyBe is typically touted as a plus-size retailer, but their impressive selection of styles often start at size 6 and go up to size 28. You’ll definitely find the right fit!
To buy: Shirt Culotte Jumpsuit, $75; simplybe.com.
The main collection at ASOS typically goes up to a size 14, but the ASOS CURVE collection frequently features the same styles with ever-so-slight variations for curvier bodies starting at size 12. Not sure which version of an item to buy? Order both! Shipping and returns are free.
To buy: Flutter Sleeve Mini Dress, $60; asos.com.
Based in Brooklyn, Karina makes easy-care frocks that can be dressed up or down and look phenomenal on women of all shapes and sizes. Just be sure to check their size chart before you order. If you fall between a 12 and a 16, you’ll likely want a size M/L.
To buy: Megan Dress, $108; karinadresses.com.
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Target has been one of the most openly size-inclusive brands of the year, featuring models of various sizes in their colorful commercials. It’s a reflection of the many sizes their collections, like Who What Wear, are available in.
To buy: Who What Wear Knit To Woven Tank Top, $23; Target.