For many women, body weight and shape have always been a subject to improve on. Much pressure has been laden on women to look perfect, that is, conform to the sometimes impossibly fit and beautiful models that grace many media outlets. But there has always been variety in what we find beautiful, and we know that women come in all shapes, sizes and color.
What is plus size?
In a straightforward definition, plus size is what falls beyond the average sizing standards. This can vary per country. For the US, it is generally for sizes above 8. The term has also been used interchangeably with curvy, voluptuous or shapely.
The term is highly contested as while it recognizes that people come in different sizes, it can inadvertently push the notion that there is a norm, which is slimmer, smaller women. In a world that is becoming more and more accepting of variety and encouraging of body positivity, it can be said that the term can be dropped completely. But for now, we can wish for changes to still take place.
For our purposes though, plus size is for women who are stylish, in the know, and luxurious but have a little trouble finding the perfect clothing because of certain limitations that still need to be shattered. For these women, we have even more resources so that you can be the most stylish you. Read on for a brief history of plus size as well as the top shopping sites, brands, celebrities and bloggers to follow.
Curvy Plus Size Articles
A Brief History of Plus Size Fashion
The advent of the 20th century saw ready-to-wear clothing on the rise and women beginning to resist the old roles that have been assigned by gender. Since clothes were being produced at a quick manner, sizes became standardized, disregarding the fact that fabrics fit differently for people. The need for larger clothing to accommodate more people has already been noted in as early as the 1920s, but it has largely remained a subject that many were just not too eager to engage in. Plus, the term “plus size” was often considered derogatory and an other, different from the “straight size”. Making plus-size posed a problem for dressmakers since it isn’t as simple as weaving a fabric into a larger size and required in-depth knowledge not to mention resources, so that was also a factor.
The market was sparse but there were some key players. Lane Bryant, for example, was a US company that began in the 1900s as a company for pregnant women, but decades later saw the need for larger and bustier women and thus expanded its offerings. In 1930, Evans in the UK became its very first plus size retailer. It took a few years more, but soon other major fashion cities followed suit and department stores had dedicated sections for plus size clothing. In the 1970s until the 1990s, a fashion revolution also took place when the market began demanding for bigger clothes.
Plus size beauties who wanted to model were left wanting of an agency to represent them, too. The first noted agency, Mary Duffy‘s Big Beauties, was established only in 1977. Few decades later, the agency remains a leader in plus size modeling where already known agencies have their own plus size categories. In 2013, the first plus size fashion line took place and is still to be followed since. Thankfully, the industry is slowly becoming more accepting of the different sizes women can be in. If anything, this has also led to recognize plus size men’s needs for better tailored, better fitting clothes.
Plus Size Shopping Sites
Top 10 Plus size Shopping Sites
One of the challenges of being a big and beautiful woman is finding shops that cater to larger sizes. It can be draining to scour department stores only to end up in disappointment. Either we find that the modish ones are ill-fitting or the clothes available in more sizes are, well, unsightly. These problems are not unique to brick and mortar stores. More often than not, the selection is also limited in online shops.
We know how frustrating it can be so we’ve done the work for you. In no particular order, here are 10 of the best, trusted sites to shop for fashion savvy, curvy women. Now, there’s no acceptable excuse for you not to look good!
Eloquii is familiar with how rough it could be to search for clothes online. Even though you like the style, not being able to try it in person before purchasing can be a problem. That’s why Eloquii’s claim to fame is its obsession with fit, even over the hottest trends or the stocks. It has everything for every occasion, but if you want to be the first when new stocks come along, then be on the lookout everyday as the inventory is replenished daily.
You already know this, but you don’t always have to break the bank to be stylish. It bears repetition, because we want you to remember where to head when you want clothes and accessories that are trendy yet are offered at the best prices. Yes, you got that right—it’s at Torrid. From the intimate to the formal, everything is on there.
Monif C is a site that is made by a plus size lady for her fellow plus sized women. You may have heard of it if you keep tabs on celebrities and followed fashion bloggers, all wearing Monif Clarke’s creations. Monif proves that you don’t have to stay with neutrals to pump the style, colors work perfectly well, too! Plus, it has a nice selection of swimwear for fuller women, besides the fact that it is among the first to offer them.
As a woman with killer curves, you are asked to do just one thing: simply be you. The website is a haven for plus-size women who couldn’t care about trends but are all about keeping it classy. It took a vow not to make you compromise, a thing so often done when stocks are limited to smaller sizes. They couldn’t care less about how curvy you are, they’ve got everything that will feel as if they’re made for you.
Kiyonna is your all-American, go-to shop for plus-size women. The site has been around longer than most, catering to curvy women’s needs for almost two decades now. It recognizes that even though women who shop there all share bigger, fuller bodies and curves, there is still diversity in the shapes among them. They’re dedicated to creating pieces that are trendy, long-lasting, high quality, and beautiful that you’d love to be in them, always.
The top millennial fashionista destination from the UK has been making rounds on social media for its feature of big, curvy models to market their items. They are encouraging inclusivity and this is not only extended to plus size women but also to men and people of other shapes and sizes. The site has a dedicated page for all your needs.
It’s very rare to see plus-size women model vintage and boho-inspired clothes. Modcloth changes that by having a line of clothing especially made for women with fuller curves. Embracing your being a hipster? Then this is the place to go, especially when you’re looking for retro-inspired swimsuits and indie clothing.
Just My Size
Now part of Hanes, Just My Size is the ultimate destination for your intimates. Bras, panties, legwear, shapewear, swimwear, name it, they have it. Their selection is beautiful and fits well. The company now also has a selection for clothes.
Forever 21 has a wider name recall than others on the list, particularly because they offer the freshest and trendiest of clothes to men and women alike on their expansive shops. Another reason to visit? They offer the same clothes to bigger sizes.
When it comes to sizes, eShakti is probably the queen, having a selection for women of sizes of 0 to 36, as well as clothes dependent on height. The company also gives customers to customize, so yay for variety!
Top 10 Plus size Models
Must read: Plus Size Models You Should Know
It takes a lot for a single person to break the standards that you only have to be of a certain size to be considered beautiful. The long-held obsession about the correlation of weight and beauty has had unhealthy consequences to women who realistically hold different shapes and sizes throughout the years, a signal enough that a change needs to occur. The following women are unafraid of who they are, and confidently shaking up the scene by showing the world that beauty comes in many forms, which unfortunately still is provocative notion to this day. Not only do they inspire ladies of similar sizes, they are also encouraging acceptance of everyone. Here are some of the ladies that leave us in awe:
Tagged as the “Kim Kardashian plus-size lookalike” for her striking resemblance with the reality TV star, Nadia Aboulhosn is a Lebanese-American 29-year-old, size 16 model, fashion blogger, and designer for boohooPLUS. She has been featured in publications such as Complex Magazine, Lucky Magazine, Refinery29, and Vogue Italia, and has worked for American Apparel as well. With her huge social media following, she promotes body positivity for all sizes and inclusivity in the fashion industry.
Follow Tara Lynn on: Facebook
A US size 16, Tara Lynn is easily one of the most beautiful faces among plus-size models in the industry. Her modelling career boomed after she got featured in Elle France and V magazine. Since then, she has made a name for herself as a plus-size lingerie model. She has graced the covers of Vogue Italia and Time Magazine and has been featured on the pages of Glamour Magazine.
Brazilian bombshell Fluvia Lacerda is best known as the Gisele Bündchen of the plus-size world. She’s been seen in countless covers all over the world, including Italian Vogue and Bust. Remarkably, Lacerda is the first ever plus-size model to adorn the cover and the pages of Playboy, a men’s entertainment magazine. Apart from being a model, she also keeps herself busy as the lady boss of Fluvia Lacerda Lingerie, her own lingerie and swimsuit label which caters to women of perfect curvaceous figures.
The next model featured on this list is taking the world by storm. Candice Huffine made it big when she rejected demands from agencies to lose weight as she was starting her career at 14, size 6. Candice Huffine is the first ever plus-size woman to be featured on Pirelli Calendar in 2015. A year later, she has drawn the attention of the international crowd when she appeared for Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign which celebrates women of all shapes and sizes – and said to be throwing shade at slender Victoria’s Secret angels. Known for breaking barriers, Huffine founded Project Start to empower curvy women not only in fashion but in running as well.
Ashley Graham, hailing from Nebraska, comes in at number 5. Graham made history in her modelling career when she appeared on a three-cover issue of Sports Illustrated as a size 16 body activist model. She’s also worked with a number of high-fashion magazines such as Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue. This multi-talented and empowered model is also a body activist, an entrepreneur, and an author. Tell us, is there something Graham cannot do?
Follow Precious Lee on: Twitter
Here is a model unafraid to break the conventions, even daring to change her hair when agents didn’t encourage it. She was discovered when she was 18 for her charm, wit and undeniable beauty. Ms. Lee initially planned to be a lawyer but soon left to use her gutsiness for modelling. She landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated after fellow model Ashley Graham, and continues to be a style inspiration for the big, black and beautiful women of the world.
Follow Johanna Dray on: Facebook
Parisian ladies may be famous for their svelte figures, no thanks to the media, but Johanna Dray is an exception, and a groundbreaking one at that. She has a background in fashion design and soon became a model herself, being the first in Europe to produce a clothing line for plus-size women. She basically led the way for fellow big and beautiful ladies as she emerged at a time when there were no agencies for plus-size women.
Not only did she strut for straight and plus-size brands alike, Denise Bidot is also determined to spread her movement she has called “There Is No Wrong Way To Be A Woman”. It may be inspiring to see a curvy model represent ladies of larger sizes on the catwalk, but it is even more so when the very representative is vocal about encouraging women of all sizes and from all walks of life to claim their bodies and be unafraid to express their true selves.
The Australian beauty have always been told that she wasn’t thin enough to model, but the recent developments in the modelling world have proven those first few critics wrong. She has modeled for both straight and plus size brands, and have graced women’s magazines such as Elle, marie claire and Cosmopolitan. She’s not only proud to own her body that doesn’t fit the conventional, she’s also unafraid to show her tiger stripes to the world.
Tess Holliday has long embraced her fatness, even calling out people who told her that she’s thinned down and looks good because of it. She is fat and she is beautiful, no buts. The American model always touched up in a glamorous way is often dubbed as the biggest supermodel and has walked on runways and featured in countless magazines. She is also among the industry’s vocal icons about body positivity and rejecting outdated beauty standards.
Top 5 Plus Size Brands
With more and more people calling for an inclusive fashion that celebrates all sizes, many leading stores and labels now offer a plus size selection that are both chic and stylish. In fact, a myriad of new-generation brands have recently opened to cater to the growing market. Yet, it is still not that easy to find the best brands that are right for your fashion needs. Good thing we summed up the top brands that boasts the best array of plus size fashion.
If you wanna feel a tad grown up and sophisticated, Marina Rinaldi is the best choice for you. The brand, founded in 1980, offers a comprehensive selection of fashion pieces from fine evening wear to great work clothes, and to your usual casual Friday look. It caters to every woman from every age and size, so you’ll know you’ll find what you are looking for here.
Violeta by Mango
In 2013, Mango launched its very own plus size line that caters to women with US size of 8 to 20. Sure, the plus size goes past these numbers, but the good thing about Violeta compared to other brands is that it dedicates not just a couple number of racks for bigger sized version of their normal sized pieces, but actually has a team of designers that create specifically for plus size women. Head over to Violeta for that ultra polished look.
There is a gap in the fashion industry where plus size women’s choices of made-to-measure, quality leather jacket is limited. Fortunately, founder Jeff Cafone stumbled upon a leather factory in Craigslist which kick started his career in making luxury jackets for plus size women in sizes 12 to 30, with an option of custom sizing. The name comes from the 67% which quotes the percentage of plus size women in America.
Fashion Nova Curve
If you are that little rockstar with a sassy flair, Fashion Nova Curve is the right brand for you. With standout cutout dresses, sexy crop tops, and daring party ensembles, there is no doubt this brand will add an extra sparkle to your look.
Premme, founded and managed by plus size bloggers Nicolette Mason and Gabi Gregg, is a boundary-breaking brand that knows what plus size women truly want. Gone are the days of bland basics and styleless fashion pieces for plus size women as Premme offers the most fashion-forward statement pieces, from cutout cropped jumpsuit to glittery colorful suit.
Top 10 Plus Size Fashion blogs
The conversation on plus size women is increasing every year, thanks in large part to fearless plus size bloggers making a stand in the fashion industry. Here are some of the plus-size fashion blogs that are currently making waves in the best way.
A Curious Fancy
If you are looking for some serious 60’s-era fashion inspiration, no need to look any further because A Curious Fancy, founded by Ragini Nag Rao, already got you covered with its quirky yet exceptional aesthetic. The site has been featured in numerous publications including, Teen Vogue, The New York Times, and Marie Claire India, among others.
More than just being an in-demand plus size model, Nadia Aboulhosn also keeps a sleek and clean blog that features topics ranging from beauty, to fashion and travel. Along these posts, there is only one message she needs everyone to know and that is body positivity and inclusiveness.
And I get Dressed
Kellie Brown of And I Get Dressed feels like everyday is a battle to get dressed the way you want. She knows how it feels to be offered the same and usual plus size clothing from the fashion industry. That is why her blog continues to share outfits, lifestyle, and fashion inspiration which can hopefully help and motivate anyone who wants to get dressed to the nines.
Fashion blogging is not the only thing the trendy and ever sophisticated Jay Miranda is good at. A wife and a mother, Jay also talks about quintessential ideas such as life after motherhood and all the good things in life. More importantly, Jay uses her blog connecting with other plus size women and making sure everyone knows that fashion knows no size.
Everything Curvy and Chic
Chanté Florida of Everything Curvy and Chic is a plus size fashion blogger that should be on your radar if you want an array of diverse and colorful style. Since the launching of her site, Chanté has been inspiring her followers to take fashion risks, to be comfortable in their own skin, and to flaunt their curves in the best and the most tasteful manner possible.
P.S. It’s Fashion
A writer by profession, Liz Black started her own personal style blog that features plus-size fashion and created P.S. It’s Fashion for a hobby. Liz is a freelance writer for Bustle, Refinery29, and Huffington Post. Her blog, P.S. It’s Fashion, reflects her eclectic style – expect a mix of unique pieces and surprising play of colors and patterns in her outfits. She regularly attends New York Fashion Week, so expect an article or two on the celebrated fashion show every September and February on her blog.
Nicolette Mason is one of the fashion authority in the plus-size blogging scene. She spends her time working as a brand strategist, creative consultant, and fashion designer. Her blog is her own personal space on the web where she shares outfit ideas for curvy women, beauty advice, travel experiences, and even home interior design.
Girl With Curves
Girl With Curves is the brainchild of Tanesha Awasthi, a style influencer, fashion designer, and a licensed esthetician based in San Francisco. It is dedicated to curvy women who seek advice on topics that range from style and beauty, as well as self-esteem, body image, and motherhood. The blog aims to inspire women from every part of the world to find beauty in themselves regardless of size.
Garner Style creator Chastity Garner Valentine is a California-based full-time plus-size fashion blogger and stylist. Chastity is also the author of the well-loved The Curly Girl’s Guide to Style, a book that offers a crash course on dealing with the usual struggles of a curvy woman. Garner Style was meant to be a channel to provide inspiration and style advice to plus-size women while sharing a part of Chastity’s personal adventures in life and fashion.
Lastly, we have Margie Plus, a blog owned by Margie Ashcroft who describes herself as “fat, fun and fabulous.” Her eccentric, street style is sure to turn heads around. Margie Plus is a venue for her to share self-confidence to curvy women and to influence plus size girls to dare to experiment with fashion. Visit her blog and oh, you’ll see how she’s rocking her fabulously yellow hairstyle with equally vibrant outfits.