Following my article on plus size retail giant Torrid's falling quality and customer service standards, I received tons of questions about where I shop instead, so many that I've decided to write an article about my top plus size retailers. These are all budget-friendly, realistic options for the everyday plus sizer! I talk about my personal experiences with these stores and their sizing, so, for reference, I'm 5'7" and a size 22 jeans, 20 in tops/dresses. I've also rated these stores on a 5-donut system; the more donuts, the better (always!). Also, some of the stores on this list offer clothing sizes above 26; I've put "(+)" next to their names! I realize that there are a lot of other retailers offering plus selections that I haven't included (eloquii, SWAK Designs, etc.); the ones listed here are the stores that I've found are most talked about in plus size communities and that I've personally tried. All opinions are my own and I don't represent any of these companies in any way. Enjoy!

 

Dancing skeleton sweater by Alex Stevens from Amazon.com

Dancing skeleton sweater by Alex Stevens from Amazon.com

Amazon.com (+) 

Donut rating: ooo

I get a surprising amount of plus size sweaters, cardigans and t-shirts from Amazon. They have a variety of spooky stuff that appeals to me, but a lot of my plus size friends who aren't as into spooky-themed clothing as I am have a lot of luck with Amazon, too. The one major thing to keep in mind is that it's important to read reviews carefully to make sure you order the correct size! Some of their retailers are from Asia and feature very small sizes; a 6x fits a US size 16 in some cases. If you do get something that doesn't work out, they have an awesome return policy! Just remember the key to Amazon shopping: reviews, reviews, reviews! 

 

ASOS Curve

Donut rating: oooo

I have so many friends that swear by ASOS. They're an online retailer that goes up to size 26 and offers everything from swimsuits to jeans to accessories. I have a few of their skinny pants, and they're amazing; I used to exclusively buy jeans at Torrid (before their quality and customer service went so downhill), and I'm really excited to have found a great alternative at ASOS. I found this video online filled with great advice about their sizing. They have a huge selection of quality clothing to fit almost any style, and they offer a 10% discount for students!

 

Furry mauve vest from Target

Furry mauve vest from Target

Ava & Viv: Target

Donut rating: oo

Meh. They go up to size 26. Their clothing is okay, but rather bland and boring. The quality isn't bad, but it isn't amazing, either, and their style is so basic that it can't be described as trendy. Every time I go to Target, I swing by the plus section hoping to find something I can't live without, but I never do. I have one furry vest that I purchased from Target, and that's it. Their clothing seems to be true-to-size. If you're looking for some work staples, swing by Ava & Viv, but they definitely aren't my taste for everyday wear.

 

Tulle skirt from Charlotte Russe

Tulle skirt from Charlotte Russe

Charlotte Russe

Donut rating: ooooo

Charlotte Russe has recently expanded into plus sizes! The location closest to me carries plus sizes in-store, which is awesome. I find that their clothing runs large; I fit into their 1x options. They feature modern, trendy clothes of surprisingly great quality. I have a lot of skirts and tops from there, and they've all held up perfectly to proper washing. Of note, they're currently using mostly women of color as models in their plus section, which I think is awesome. A+, Charlotte Russe!

Skirt from Charlotte Russe, top for sale in our shop

Skirt from Charlotte Russe, top for sale in our shop

 

Chubby Cartwheels (+)

Donut rating: oooo

Chubby Cartwheels is an indie, body-positive online clothing boutique catering those up to size 30/32. They offer adorable, high-quality alternative clothing and accessories. I find their fit to be true-to-size. They have the best selection of plus size bodysuits around, and they seem to always have some super cute crop tops in stock. The negative: how long orders can take. Before they even ship out, orders can take up to 3 weeks to process because they're made-to-order. Still, I love supporting small indie companies, so Chubby Cartwheels is pretty high on my favorites list!

 

eShakti (+)

Donut rating: ooo

eShakti is an online-only plus retailer, and they get major props for offering clothing up to size 36! You can even send them your exact measurements and they'll custom-make clothing for you, so you're sure to get the perfect fit. Everything I've purchased from there has been of great quality, but be prepared to spend more here than at other plus size retailers. With this company, however, I feel that you get the kind of quality that you pay for, and there are almost always coupon codes, deals and awesome overstock/sale items to be found. Orders can take weeks sometimes, so if you're looking for something that's time-sensitive, look elsewhere unless you're really good about planning ahead (which I'm not).

 

Zipper dress from Forever 21

Zipper dress from Forever 21

Forever 21

Donut rating: ooo

The Forever 21 near me carries plus sizes in-store, which is great, because their sizing is all over the place and I have to try everything on. In some of their items, I'm a 1x; in others, I'm a 3x, or they don't fit at all. There seems to be no consistency, or if there is, I haven't found it yet. However, their style is so modern and trendy-chic that it's hard to resist, and their accessories are on point. They offer a huge plus size selection online (and they consistently offer great deals online), but, given how varied their sizing is, I only buy from them in stores. Their quality seems to vary, too; I've tried on multiple dresses and tops to find loose threads, splitting hems and missing buttons, but everything that I've actually purchased has held up fairly well. A lot of people love their jeans, but I don't fit into them. Overall, Forever 21 is a great, chic, inexpensive option if you have one near you and are willing to be in the dressing room for a while!

 

Dress from Rainbow

Dress from Rainbow

Rainbow Shops

Donut rating: oo

Rainbow is cheap both in quality and price. It's not somewhere I go to get pieces that I know are going to last all year, but I buy almost all of my camis there (so inexpensive!) and I have quite a few dresses from Rainbow. I'm usually a 2x in their clothing, but I try everything on to be sure, because I've had to size up for some dresses. Still, if you're looking for somewhere to get urban, trendy, inexpensive clothing, definitely check out Rainbow, but know that the clothing probably won't hold up very well even with gentle washing.

 

Photography by Miranda Steingraber; dress from Rue21

Photography by Miranda Steingraber; dress from Rue21

Rue21

Donut rating: ooo

Rue21 is another store that recently expanded into plus sizes, and I love them for it. They're constantly having sales online and in-stores. I have a huge collection of dresses, tops and skirts from Rue21 and fit into their 2x sizes. The only issue I've had with their clothing is that some dresses and skirts I've ordered have been problematically and laughably transparent; I actually had to run out and buy an emergency slip once because I didn't realize how sheer the dress I'd just gotten was until after I was already out. I happened to look in a mirror and could clearly see my bra and panties staring back at me through the material. Bummer. Besides that, their clothing is very inexpensive and has all held up to proper washing. One more bummer is that  I've been to three Rue21 stores in my area, and none of them carry plus sizes, so shopping online is my only option. Get it together, Rue21! Still, they offer quality, trendy clothing at super affordable prices, so they're worth a look if you have a slip or two lying around! 

Crop top and vest by Rue21  

Crop top and vest by Rue21

 

Society+ (+)

Donut Rating: oooo

Society+ is a plus size online retailer that goes up to size 32. They're currently offering free one-on-one styling advice sessions via Skype! I love their site because they don't use typical plus size models- perfectly-proportioned, tall, size 12 babes with flat tummies. Instead, they use realistic plus size models with tummies, which helps me picture how the clothing's going to look on my body. What I also think is neat about Society+ is that they're a very body positive company; they offer clothing that bucks a lot of the stereotypical fashion rules about what fat babes should and shouldn't wear, like leggings, crop tops, fitted dresses, etc. The one thing I will say that's a bit weird is their pricing. They always have a lot of neat stuff on sale, and most of their clothing is very fairly-priced, but I bought one of their tulle skirts for $72+shipping, and I have to say that it isn't much different from the $5 tulle skirts I've found on clearance at Charlotte Russe. Still, if I'm looking for some affordable, trendy styles from a body-positive site, Society+ is the way to go

 

Metallic bat shirt from Walmart

Metallic bat shirt from Walmart

Walmart (+)

Donut rating: ooo

Yes, I said Walmart. This year especially, I've noticed that they've really upped their plus size game, and other fat babes have noticed, too. I've purchased a lot of their Faded Glory brand leggings and found that they've held up far better than expensive leggings from Torrid or Lane Bryant. No longer do they offer only baggy, shapeless, bland clothing for plus size women; they're becoming trendier. I have a few tops from there that I constantly get complimented on; everyone's always shocked to hear they're from Walmart! If you haven't been there recently, check them out. I find them to be true-to-size, although I can fit into their size 15/17 junior tops, so their junior section must run large.

Spiderweb top from Walmart

Spiderweb top from Walmart

Yours Clothing (+)

Donut rating: ooo

Yours Clothing is an online retailer that goes up to size 34 and offers a huge selection of plus size clothes. They're pricier than I usually like, but I'll shop there if I'm looking for something super particular that I haven't been able to find elsewhere, or if I have a special occasion coming up. That being said, they offer a lot of deals and sales. I've heard good things about their bras and lingerie, though I've never personally tried them (I prefer more fun, printed and colorful pieces), and their sizing for me has been consistent and true-to-size.

 

Plus size babes make up about half of the US's population of women, and it seems that retailers are finally catching on. We have more affordable, trendy clothing options now than ever, and navigating these new waters can seem daunting without a compass. Hopefully, this rated and reviewed list has helped steer you in the right direction! Happy shopping!

 

Outfit from Rue21, featuring my furkid, Rumpelstiltskin

Outfit from Rue21, featuring my furkid, Rumpelstiltskin


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