10 affordable and trendy brands for plus size shopping

I often get asked where I get my clothes at such a bargain of a price, and I won’t lie; it’s a lot of luck. From the wise words of my not-so-wise ex boss, plus size shopping is a numbers game. In the world of retail there are more than enough sale signs, clearance racks, new styles and old styles that can make any size fashionista go crazy. So what are the best stores that a curvy or plus size woman who loves fashion, trends, and basic clothes can stumble in to?

Plus size shopping is easier now more than ever. Yes, there are the plus size stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid, but where else can plus size women shop? There are several brands and retailers that offer sizing above a 14, but don’t identify themselves as a plus size brand. You can find a lot of plus size friendly stores at your local malls, or even online. Until recently, I have never been much of an online shopper, but ASOS has really changed that. Here are a few affordable plus size shopping options for curvy ladies.

10 budget-friendly brands for plus size shopping

ASOS

If ELOQUII is the Zara of the plus size world, ASOS is like the TOPSHOP of curves. They offer straight size and a separate selection for plus size women.

ASOS plus size shopping
Bianca Karina in ASOS curve

ASOS Curve and their plus size brand exclusives give us curvy girls fashionable trendy options that don’t make us feel like we are second class citizens of the fashion world. Rather than selling “flattering” pieces, ASOS gives plus size girls an outlet to self expression at a great price.

Urban Outfitters

Don’t dismiss the over-priced mainstream hipster go-to, just yet. Yes, Urban Outfitters is not known for being plus size friendly and most of their clothes are really really small. But, try on all of the unique trendy pieces they are selling – You would be surprised at what looks good. Their clearance is amazing when you go during their big sales. Snag dresses and boots for $30 and under.

Urban Outfitters blogger plus size shopping
Bianca Karina in Urban Outfitters

The fabrics are often flowing and what might hang loosely on a straight body type, is given a little more oomph when you have a curvy figure.

Ross Dress for Less

When shopping at Ross, regardless of price or what it looks like on the hanger, try it on. You would be surprised at how much you love something on your body that you didn’t think was all that cute on the hanger.

Ross dress for less plus size shopping
Chastity from Garner Style in Ross Dress for Less styles

Most likely you can score a cute dress anywhere from $8 to $20 and it isn’t even considered “on sale” at Ross it’s just their awesome price. You can get a large all the way up to a size 3XL at Ross.

Nordstrom Rack

Set aside plenty of time to scour each rack for the perfect designer and trendy pieces. I have scored $5 dresses and $10 maxi skirts from the Rack and all I had to do was dig.

Nordstrom Rack plus size shopping

Several Nordstram Racks now have special plus size sections dedicated to their curvy clientele. I was so excited to see the rounders full of size 14 and up clothing have their own sections where I didn’t have to battle as many people to find a good spot on the rack to start looking.

Macy’s

Unlike, Nordstrom that has an extravagant annual sale, Macy’s plus sizes pretty much has the same deal or cheaper almost all year round. Check the parts of the sale rack that aren’t your size – people love to dump things everywhere regardless of if it was the place they got it from.

Macy's plus size shopping
Sheri from Shapely Chic Sheri in Macy’s top

Macy’s caters to women of all ages. This means that you will find something for the trendy plus size queen or maybe something a bit more modest. Macy’s carries collections from designers like Melissa Mccarthy Seven7, which has nicely crafted trendy plus size pieces.

Old Navy

Start in the clearance section first, most likely you can get the basic things they have throughout the store there for cheap. Then check the tables for in-store promotions. I love to stock up on my basics here – great cardigans, t-shirts and tanks in every color and their sizes range from XS to an XXL

Old Navy plus size shopping
Bianca Karina in Old Navy shirt and pants

Old Navy is your modest neighborhood retailer that has been catering to the plus size community for years, and in the best way possible. They create the same designs and options for their XXS customers as they do for their 3XL customers. You get to shop with your friends without being isolated in your own special section.

EXPRESS

EXPRESS dress sizes and pants stop at a size 12, but their tops and select pieces go up to an extra large. Their sizing isn’t inclusive of plus size women, but their fabrics have great weight to them and you can find cuts and fabrics that compliment your curves.

Express plus size shopping
Natalie from Natalie in the City wearing an EXPRESS skirt.

Get their Express Next rewards card. If you are an avid shopper looking for clothes that support curves and are still trendy – this is the place. I shop here for evening dresses and date night looks. Their reward card is a great investment if you are a loyal shopper.

Burlington Coat Factory

Set aside ample time and stay focused when looking for plus size clothing at Burlington Coat Factory. It is easy to let the sheer volume of chaos and unorganized aisles throw you off.

burlington coat factory plus size shopping
Bianca Karina in Burlington Coat factory faux fur vest

With sizes ranging from xxs, double zero, and to XL and 24W you can get awesome dresses, business-wear, workout clothes and casual items for cheap. You just have to keep your head in the game and try everything on.

Boohoo USA

Like ASOS, Boohoo offers curvy fashionistas trendy clothing that give you an outlet for self expression. Boohoo really landed on the map in the US with their plus size collaborations with social media and blogger powerhouses like Jordyn Woods and Nadia Abhoulhosn.

Manon from Chic with Curves in Boohoo+

Boohoo+ has awesome sales regularly on their site, so check back often to see what you can get for a steal. I would definitely look for reviews of the products as the first and only pair of shoes I purchased from boohoo+ broke upon the very first wear.

TJ Maxx

When shopping at TJ Maxx, start with the handbags and work yourself around the perimeter. Once you get accessories out of the way, make a beeline for the dresses marked XL.

TJ Maxx plus size shopping
Rochelle from Beauticurve in TJ Maxx

I don’t really get a whole lot of clothing from here, because stores like Ross and Burlington are more curvy-friendly. The accessories are my favorite. TJ Maxx’s accessories are usually higher-end brands, like Michael Kors wallets, Burberry scarves and Betsey Johnson Bags.

 

BONUS BRAND: ZARA

Zara has been a favorite of mine for years. The quality is way better than Forever21 and it is still cheaper than TOPSHOP and other more trendy brands. A lot of their blouses now go up to an extra large! You can also find quite a few bottoms in an XL. Being that their clothes are more trendy, you can find interesting cuts and fabrics that are more forgiving for curves.

Stores are becoming more and more size inclusive. I’m so excited for 2017! I hope to see more fast-fashion stores like Forever21 and Zara integrate their large sizes onto their sales floors. But not just on the sales floor, because Forever21 already has a plus size section. I want to see plus sizes on the same racks in the same styles of straight clothing.

I’m so happy that stores like Nordstrom Rack and certain Forever21s are making an effort to bring plus size shopping to the physical brick-and-mortar locations.

You are not guaranteed to find sweet deals on things you like when you visit these stores. It takes persistence, a calm and collected head, good grasp on your budget and financial situation and a creative mind to see the potential in a clearance or sale item.

Do you have a favorite store for plus size shopping?

 

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11 comments

  1. Great round up of stores. You mentioned most of of my faves and go to retialrs. Although recently I’ve been loving Lovesick. Have you checked them out? They are the little sister to torrid, with great prices and in my opinion better styles too!

    1. I have browsed Lovesick but haven’t purchased anything from them yet so didn’t include them on here. But I follow their social media so if something catches my eye — I’m on it!

  2. Hey I just found your great blog! I noticed you mentioned Zara above – I can’t get to a store but I’ve held off buying online in the past because their sizes are supposedly really small. I’m an XL in other stores like Madewell and Gap – is Zara comparable to them size wise?

    1. Hi Annie! Zara’s extra larges are definitely not like Old Navy (which is owned by gap). Not all of their XL sized clothes fit me so it’s probably closer in comparison to Madewell. But the material for Madewell clothing is more casual. You’ll find way more buttons, fastens, and zippers on Zara clothes which do make it less prone to stretch. I wouldn’t gamble buying Zara online since you don’t have a store to return it to. Unless they have a REALLY good return policy like ASOS.

      1. Thanks for the advice! Hanging on the top end of “standard sizes” is an awkward place to be, especially when you online shop.

        1. Oh ya tell me about it. I bought a bunch of stuff from ASOS recently where everything was too big and had to send it all back. But now I know!

          1. ASOS is the tragedy of my life! I constanstly see girls killing it in outfits from ASOS but everything I order from there turns out to be a really cheap and nasty fabric or a bad fit. I think we all have a shop that we love that doesn’t love us back though 😉

          2. LOL that is how I felt after this order. But, the past 3 or so have been knocking it out of the park which is why I am so comfortable with ordering anything from them. Quite a few of my looks feature ASOS curve items. I like how easy their return policy is. That is an online store I’m willing to take a gamble with. But ZARA, not so much. I love their fabric and more trendy styles but their fits are just too inconsistent for me 🙁

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