Plus Sizes - Larger Clothes
Many individuals have an ongoing battle with their size.
There are times when they accept that they are overweight and live with the
body they have. Yet there are other times when they adopt the regime of a new diet in an effort to feel better by losing twenty pounds, they may do this for a mixture of
psychological or physical reasons.
Some time ago I found myself walking past a larger range of clothes in a
store and liking one garment so badly, I felt rather miffed that the range
was way above my sizing. The fact is clothes for larger women, or plus sizes,
are now far more attractive than they have ever been.
Manufacturers who neglect larger sizes are missing out on
a huge retail market. Those who realised there was a big market in the 1990s began producing
attractive plus ranges. Plus sizes have come a long way from the 1970s with garments skimpily cut and only being sized up to a size
14 if high fashion. Communal changing rooms were another nightmare. Anyone over a size 16 had no chance of looking in tune
with the latest styles. Today most women will be able to find size ranges
reaching to size 22 in quality ranges and even greater sizes in garments
made in some of the less costly ranges.
Even if you live in a small town, you may still be unable to
find sizes to suit you, there are quality fabric garments made for both the shorter
figure and the taller woman. You have the choice of shopping directly from
the stores in major cities and larger towns, or ordering from the internet. If you are
petite you may find my
petite fashion trend page and
petite problems a
useful starting point. You are reading an original Plus Sizes article
by Pauline Weston Thomas at
Many of this site's visitors are from the USA and some
reading this article may be hoping to visit the UK and shop for plus styles, which
may just be a little different than usually found at home. Be warned, clothes
are comparatively expensive in the UK - that's living on an island for you. Alternatively, you can look at some of the plus size companies I have
selected. I have some examples of Evans
fashion in the old spring 2005 page.
Left - Spring 2009 plus size separates from Evans using nautical colours. Above right
Left - Fashionable shape tunic top and easy summer trousers from Evans
Spring 2009 range.
In the UK, a two-day shopping break in London may well be
worthwhile if it enables you to buy some carefully chosen
items that make you feel wonderful. But don't forget that the UK now has
great shopping centres nationwide. Some venues like The Manchester Trafford
Centre or shops in Leeds, Newcastle and Cardiff offer a range of clothing easily able to rival many
a shop in London.
Selfridges in particular stocks Marina Rinaldi
and other plus sizes such as Anna Scholz. This plus size area of the store
was refurbished a couple of years ago.
Harrods used to have the widest selection of top end Plus sizes, from
a wide range of stockists. According to a knowledgeable plus size retailer
who wrote to me in 2011, "Harrods have chopped their physical retail
space allocated to plus sizes by half. Harrods have reduced their Marina
Rinaldi and if London customers want brands such as Persona by Marina
Rinaldi, Wille, Elena Grunert, Yoek they will have to look elsewhere."
If you are a size 18 Harvey Nichols is always worth checking out if only
by phone for current stock as some better quality items are cut generously.
You may get a suitable fitting with an 18 fitting a normal size 20.
Get ready for summer with plussize-swimwear's amazing collection of
large swimwear available upto size 32. If you're one of the lucky few to
have a big bust, you should check out plussize-swimwear's range of bra cup
size swimwear, available from the top plus size lingerie brands including
Ballet, Panache and Fantasie.
Dusk, Coterie and Frank Usher, are all part of the Frank Usher group
020 7629 9696 and you can visit their web site for details of stockists near
you. Also online you can see beautiful garments with their prices listed. However,
you can only buy garments directly from stockists not online.
www.frankusher.co.uk is well worth
Back in the summer of 2004 they launched a new collection with sizes 16-26 called Quintesse. You can see some
Frank Usher on site here. This older (2006) page looked at typical Frank Usher
occasion wear for formal events and weddings.
Coterie is a range of clothes perfect for any mother of the
bride who ranges from a UK size 10 to 22. Dusk has styles that expose more
of the body and range from sizes 10 to 18, whilst the original Frank Usher range has
some garments that stop at size 18, some that finish at 20 and others that go up
to size 22. You can see all of these ranges on their website above.
Frank Usher is a division of Slimma PLC.
Ann Harvey 020 7408 1131 is part of the same group as
Alexon, the more fashionable Alex and Co., Kaliko, Minuet, Dash, Bay and for the older
more petite to average height woman Eastex. They have a
good selection of clothes for the larger lady from size 16 to 28. Some of
the Ann Harvey knitwear is very interesting and more youthful compared to other large
sized ranges. Ann Harvey has some shops and also concessions within
department stores in the UK.
One advantage of belonging to a group that has trend driven occasion
garments such as those found at Kaliko is that designs do transfer into
other ranges. One October I noticed a Kaliko rich dark green
velvet knee coat with a decorative hem. It was I’m sure intended for
winter weddings or evening wear. I mention it here though because
Kaliko mostly stop at size 18 and I can imagine how
frustrated some shoppers must be when they see lovely clothes, but not in
So it was a pleasant surprise for me to be able to report
to you that in another section of the store at Ann Harvey a similar garment
was available, but up to size 28 and in rich brown velvet. Ann Harvey
also had jackets and other items with sufficient fashion twist in a
wide range of larger sizes. I do mean wide, starting at a very generous
size 16 to a size 28.
Windsmoor make many of their garments from a size 10 up to
a size 20, some go to size 24 - UK sizing. These garments are particularly well cut for
mature figures and larger woman. The garments will often give a figure where none exists. Jackets are very figure
flattering and the items wear very well as Windsmoor uses very high grade fabrics.
These two dresses right are both from the Spring Summer 2009 range, both go
up to size 24 and each is made from silk. The cream and navy print dress is
also washable. The deeper blue dress trimmed with grosgrain is dry clean.
A great up
to date hairstyle and dramatic large
chunky necklaces or tribal bead jewellery will soon make these easy line
dresses look very 2009. Blue is such a strong colour for 2009 you
would not go wrong with these prints. The cut of the clothes flatters larger women and
the quality of materials used is reliable.
You can often find very pretty tops in this brand, with intricate surface
embellishment or textural fabric. In
spring 2009 Windsmoor were selling
some lovely vibrant linen knee length Nehru jackets perfect for creating
long smooth lines.
They have a good range of
occasion wear outfits
for the larger woman in many of the fashion colours seen elsewhere in
smaller size ranges. Any larger lady
would feel very special wearing such garments.
By autumn 2006
Windsmoor had cottoned onto lush brocade fabrics and cocoon styling in coats
and jackets. In 2009 they have a stunning brocade purple frock coat.
It has beautiful self colour embroidery, 3/4 sleeves, a small back vent and
ornate corded buttons.
Windsmoor can mostly be
found as concessions in UK stores such as House of Fraser, Debenhams and
other department stores. They are mostly stocked in major cities where some sole Windsmoor shops also
trade, but occasionally you will find them in small boutique shops. Some of the colours currently in the range are bold and strong
favouring fuchsia, azalea, guava, burnt orange, coral, red, black, white,
navy, cream, lilac and purple. You are reading an original Plus Sizes
article by Pauline Weston Thomas at
High street chain Dorothy Perkins also now has a plus
range size with a core collection which ranges between sizes 8 to 22 as well as a tall range from size
8 to 22. It does maternity wear from size 8 to 22. When I last
checked (Feb 2009) they had bootcut jeans and dresses both in size 22. They also do a petite collection size
6 to 18. Ring 020 7494 3769 or try their
www.dorothyperkins.co.uk website for more info.
Perhaps in the UK the most famous of plus size shops is
Evans who before the days of political correctness was known as Evans's
Outsizes and had carrier bags suitably emblazoned with the fact. It amazes me they
ever sold anything with a marketing technique so lacking in finesse.
Since then they have come such a long way and much of it
is due to their being part of the Arcadia group.
The outfits shown here are from Spring 2009 range and pay homage to
shorter hip length colourful Macs and kimono sleeve printed caftan tops.
There are Evans branches in most average size towns and they now have
shop on Regent street London.
www.evans.ltd.uk shows the
range on line and is soon introducing a catalogue for those wanting to buy
size 16 to 32. This makes it a shop stocking possibly some of the largest
clothes and underwear in the country.
In particular Evans sells a collection of underwear for the fuller figure
and as shown above. These undergarments are from Evans spring 2009 range.
Clearly big girls have bodies to be proud of at Evans and can own pretty
Bonmarché is the UK's largest value retailer selling affordable quality
womenswear in a wide range of sizes (12-24) to women over 45 years. Ranges
include casual and formal separates, outerwear, swimwear, lingerie nightwear and
accessories, all designed with the more mature figure in mind.
Bonmarché has over 380 stores nationwide with a growing high street presence.
See the Evening Dresses
Marks and Spencer have a broad range of fuller plus
sizes. However many have to be bought either in the larger stores or
ordered. An alternative is to shop from the
Marks and Spencer website and look at the plus
range there where they have garments size 20 to 28.
Marks and Spencer currently have on offer an ever useful
plus size leather jacket.
Many items such as trousers are available up to size 30 and in several
body length fittings.
And if you are just a bit smaller consider their normal range at size 18
Per Una for example runs to size 20 and XL in knitwear.
The newer Portfolio Collection is catering to some larger garments and is
also using a larger fuller figure model to show them. This outfit left is
from the Marks and Spencer Portfolio collection which goes up to size 22/24
and items reaching size 22 can often be had from the Autograph range.
For summer 2009
Marks and Spencer also had a bandeau swimsuit
in bright blue and black up to size 28. From April 2009 Marks
and Spencer also had a Plus Size Bridal collection. You are reading
an original Plus Sizes article by Pauline Weston Thomas at
Designer Plus Sizes
If you love designer clothes then Marina Rinaldi of 39 Old Bond Street,
London SW1 makes clothes up to size 28.
In Scotland you can get Marina Rinaldi/Persona garments in Edinburgh at
17 Stafford Street, Edinburgh. EH3 7BJ - M.R.Studio Ltd - Tel Number 0131
225 8566. You can also purchase Marina Rinaldi from Beige Plus just
Harrods used to have the widest selection of top end Plus sizes, from
a wide range of stockists. According to a knowledgeable plus size retailer
"Harrods have chopped their physical retail space allocated to plus sizes
by half. Harrods have reduced their Marina Rinaldi and if London customers
want brands such as Persona by Marina Rinaldi, Wille, Elena Grunert, Yoek
they will have to look elsewhere."
UK Independent Plus Size Retailers
Beige is the largest Ladies fashion boutique for
16+ in North London. Beige Plus is at 8 Hallswelle Parade, Temple
Fortune, Finchley Road, London NW11 0DL. It provides gorgeous clothes for
business, pleasure and leisure. The garments are carefully selected from the
finest Italian, French and Spanish collections.
They are stockists of N.P. Elena Miro, Wille, Persona by Marina Rinaldi and
many more! They provide comfortable surroundings, complimentary refreshments
and an excellent alterations service as part of the Beige experience. The
shop is open 7 days a week and it is easy to park.
www.beigeplus.com Tel 020 8455
1122. Map to new shop venue site:
Update Nov 2007 - The owner tells me that Beige Plus has opened a new branch
in central London
http://www.beigeplus.com/About.htm In addition to smart-day and
casual-wear Beige Plus (Central London) carries eveningwear, mother of the
bride, special occasion and business suiting.
But more importantly,from November 2007 for those who cannot get to London, Beige Plus has
opened an e-commerce site
http://www.beigeplus-shop.com/ In October 2010 The owner told me that he
had archived the plus size images of the past six seasons and this will over
the years form a fashion history record of typical plus size wear fashion
Box 2 is a quality plus size shop selling quality women's plus size clothing from size 14 to 30.
In October 2011 they were operating from 2 outlets in the UK. Their telephone number is 01444 882727
and the current shop addresses are featured on their web site. The website enables
you to purchase by mail order by fax phone or email, with a
£4.95 delivery charge. You can also order their snail mail catalogue.
One of the original Box 2 shop is at West Wimbledon at 267 Coombe Lane,
London SW20 0RH, Tel: 0208 947 9797.
The other shop is at
- Box 2 Kings Langley, 57 High Street, Kings Langley, Near Watford,
WD4 9HU - Telephone: 01923 264743.
The range of plus size women's wear shown on the website
illustrates a sample of styles to suit all age groups. I noticed day
and evening wear, jackets and leather items, special occasion/wedding wear,
bags, shawls, pashminas and accessories including some fashion jewellery
items and Trinny and Susannah products.
In particular I liked the fact that they have tuned into
current fashion trends and display 'now' items for really
large sizes up to size 28. Many plus size women will adore these stylish looking
clothes and heave a sigh of relief when looking for a special or everyday
But best of all the clothes are modelled by genuine fuller
figure women who all have achieved a glamorous and comfortable at ease with
themselves look. The models are all between 5'7" and 5'10" so these
are super sizes that suit tall women too.
Check out their website at
www.box2.co.uk Amended 1.10.2010. Added 07.08.2004
Base fashions 020 7240 8914 specialise in styles sizes 16
-28. This London based independent retail store at 55 Monmouth Street in West 2 also has a
The fashions are designer led and on the site look lively and innovative.
French and Teague is for those over size 16 and was so
named because 47% of the UK female population is over a size 16 yet until
recently very badly catered for clothes wise. To get an idea of the kind of
body the clothes can accommodate just think of Dawn French who is one half
of this partnership. They trade only over the internet at their
They say their sizes range from 1 to 6 which must be thrilling for anyone
used to seeing size 28! They suggest size 1 will suit anyone from size 16-20.
That size has a bust of 42 and a hip of 44 inches. They go right up to
1647's size 6 which will suit anyone from size 36-47. The latter size has a
bust of 66 and a hip of 70 inches. You are reading an original Plus Sizes article by Pauline Weston Thomas at
1647 also now do a wedding bridal dress service for plus sizes, but you
must allow several months for the wedding gown to be made and be prepared to
return for at least one fitting. Prices start at £1500+.
Check out their website at
I have also discovered that Silkies who run a mail order
system also make larger and taller tights up to 64inch hips. You can
often find leaflets for these in magazines and although I take a medium not
a plus size I have found them to be fantastic tights well worth the money.
Silkies in UK have just (April 2005) put up an internet site and you can now
order online or still use the mail order facility.
In London only at Brava at 26 Buckingham Palace Road you can
find bras for bigger girls up to size 52".
Lands End, Bravissimo, Larger Than Life, Sizeup
A site visitor wrote to tell me that
Landsend.co.uk extended their plus size range in February/March 2004. She also tells me she really
likes their basic T-shirts and shells, and wears their V-Neck interlock
cardigan and matching trousers as a casual suit for work. A petite friend
also recently told me this is one of the few stockists of very small clothes
for adult women.
She also likes bravissimo.com for
large-cup bras that so many large ladies need. Although they do mail
order, they do have shops and the fitting rooms and assistants are
wonderful. I noticed one of these lovely shops in the Touchwood Centre
at Solihull, UK. Solihull (outside of Birmingham) is a really lovely town to
shop with lots of variety, without feeling this is an overwhelming big city
like one does when in London. Likewise Cardiff is another excellent
shopping centre and I recommend both to you for their easy compact shopping.
Figleaves also have a large range of cup
sizes. I have personally used Figleaves internet site many times for
ordering brands already known to me, but in never available sizes at a shop.
Larger than Life
Another site visitor has written to say how
pleased she was when she visited a plus size shop in Kew. The shop is Larger
than Life at 3 Mortlake Terrace, Mortlake Road, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9
3DT. They have two shops and stock sizes 14-24.
The site visitor was very impressed with the very approachable
manager on two different occasions when she was helped to find special
outfits. The owner gets much of the stock from the continent so it has
that European edge that so many of us like when we are on holiday abroad.
Rigby and Peller
Jean another site visitor has written to tell
me that Rigby and Peller - Conduit Street (off Oxford Circus in central
London) have a good range of large swimsuits and bras. They have a
free measuring service which is discreet. It all happens in a lovely
shop with crystal chandeliers and tented ceilings!
Sounds great news for big girls who can get
to London. Rigby and Peller bras are wonderful for any size. If you
can afford about £50 to £65 you can find a great sexy bra there that will
uplift and contour your breast to perfection. Go on spoil yourself.
You can buy certain sizes from the Figleaves internet site by clicking below.
Finally I heard recently from Katrina who
told me about these sites for plus sizes. She wrote to tell me of
www.grayandosbourn.co.uk as quite expensive, but they have really brilliant sales every quarter if
you sign up for their catalogue.
http://www.spirito.co.uk - same as above.
Ulla Popken can now be ordered online from UK. Katrina wrote that
they all sold really decent suits perfect for business wear at work and I
must say they do look like attractive suits. The last one also had a
swimsuit size 26 in stock at the time of writing. You are reading an original Plus Sizes
article by Pauline Weston Thomas at
(formerly Size-up) invited me to view their website. For plus sizes,
it has some nice tops and denim pieces all UK sized 14-32 at very reasonable
prices. These items are affordable and easily compare price wise to New Look or TopShop prices. They certainly cost a lot less than most of the
items at some of the other retailers mentioned here.
A site reader wrote to tell me that 'Size-up have changed
their name to Yours. They have an expanding number of stores mostly across
East Anglia but are slowly heading northwards and there are some stores in
Lincolnshire and one or two around Leicestershire and Rutland. Their web
site is fair, but does not reflect the much wider selection of good quality,
well priced clothing to be found in their stores. They do a really good
range of separates both casual, office wear and party wear along with a
selection of lingerie in a wide range of sizes from 16-32 and occasionally
34/36. Stock changes frequently and I would single out the Braintree in
Essex branch as well worth a visit with friendly staff and fantastic choice.
The quality of fabrics, colour choices and finish is very good for such
value prices. I would put them above both Evans and H&M Hennes for
quality, choice and value for money.'
Anna Scholz recently wrote to tell me about her plus size
products in the size range 8 to 26. You can find her clothes at her site here
www.annascholz.com or purchase them
at Selfridges or Harrods.
Elvi has come out of the administration it went into in 2008. The new
Elvi website is here. For historical
purposes this link give Elvi information about that.
How good it is to know this company has been saved as it offered viable alternatives for
Etam another victim of the late noughties recession
was bought by Philip Green and drawn into his vast empire whilst dropping
the Etam name.
You are have been reading an original Plus Sizes article by Pauline Weston
Images courtesy Marks and Spencer, Windsmoor, Evans.
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