Five years ago, it felt like plus-size shoppers had three brands to choose from. Finding clothes that didn’t make you feel like a schlep was difficult and it seemed like our only options were a dozen boxy blazers in black and navy. Those were some dark times.
Fast-forward to 2018, and fashion has caught up to the fact that plus-size shoppers have different tastes and styles. With the average American woman wearing between a size 16 and 18 according to one study, there’s a huge opportunity for brands to stand out (and leave shapeless clothes behind).
Below, we’ve shared 11 of the most size-inclusive plus-size brands on the market. These brands were selected because of their model diversity, forward-thinking designs, and dedication to listening and understanding the plus-size community.
In plus-size fashion, there’s a weird “trend life cycle.” Straight-size brands will put out a trend and it shows up in the plus-size marketplace four to six weeks later. Premme, however, doesn’t participate in this game of telephone and instead shows up with pieces that are trendsetting in their own right. The line is made up of statement pieces, with clever design features (such as extra stretch in shoulders and waistbands) that make the pieces work for a variety of body types.
One of the most notable things about Premme is the brand’s release schedule. The brand announces “drops” just a few days before pieces become available, which regularly sell out the same day they’re available.
Possibly the most inclusive athleisure line on the market, DAY/WON was created by plus-size model Candice Huffine. The line was designed to empower women through fierce messages and fearless prints, like these blue leopard print leggings. If you’re someone with a motivational quote as the background on their phone, you’ll definitely want to check out this line.
This new high-end brand pairs tightly-seamed pieces with full ruffles and pleats, while sticking to a cool color palette that reminds me of ’90s grunge. Barkwood is effortlessly cool and showcases the whole “trying without trying” aesthetic. Founder, Charniece White, designs for the kind of woman who she says “doesn’t have to yell to make a statement, she loves herself and others, and she demands respect.”
Something that’s always impressed me about Plus BKLYN is the in-person and online community the brand has fostered. Customers can show up to the company’s headquarters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to shop or simply to browse. Us plus-size shoppers are so used to buying apparel online, it’s wonderful to have a brick-and-mortar shopping experience where customers can try on a new look immediately without the potential wait in line at the post office to ship a return.
The brand features colorful dresses with fun prints, as well as bold takes on pieces that can be worn in the office. Founder Alexis Krase shared the brand’s ethos: “We don’t shy away from prints, and we dare to break as many of the fashion rules for plus-size women as possible. We believe all bodies are good bodies and everyone deserves to be able to walk into a store and know that every piece there was designed to fit their body.”
Christian Omeshun’s founder and head designer, A’Shontay Hubbard, understands dressing curves on a cellular level. Her brand is known for its form-fitting pieces, which are available in a variety of styles — all made from her studio in Atlanta. Hubbard even utilizes a made-to-order model where she can customize every garment to ensure an impeccable fit.
One of the most frustrating things about being a plus-size shopper is low-quality fabrics. Have you ever ordered something online, pulled it out of the bag, and wrinkled your nose because the fabrics smelled weird or felt like it was going to fall apart in your hands? It’s not ideal. Bay Area brand And Comfort, which launched last April, has decided to tackle this problem. The brand custom mills its own fabrics and creates high-quality and luxe-feeling minimalist pieces. And Comfort also takes a different approach to fit models (an individual used by a fashion designer to check everything from cut to appearance of garments). Instead, the brand uses models who span across its size range, this includes past a size 24. “[We hold] fit clinics with a network of 18 women across our entire size range,” says founder, Karine Hsu.
Eloquii is a brand for fashion-forward fashionistas over 5’5”. Every piece from Eloquii has something to remark on, from loud prints to bold style lines. An interesting insider’s tidbit about the brand is that they closed their doors in 2013, only to reopen due to an outcry from the plus-size community. The brand has also served as a point of entry to the plus market for straight-size brands like Dagne Dover, and I’m interested to see what brand they partner with next.
Every New York fashion week, I watch runway shows with mournful sighs. It’s a “look but don’t touch,” experience, because nothing comes in my size. Enter 11 Honoré. Founded in 2017, the brand’s helping luxury retailers and couture fashion houses like Baja East, Marchesa, and Zac Posen enter the plus market. 11 Honoré is tackling multiple pain points in the industry, doing everything from sourcing pattern makers skilled in plus-size clothing to helping brands partner with plus-size influencers.
For those who love bodycon dresses and jewel tones, rejoice! RebDolls is known for a variety of curve-hugging styles that can easily go from day to night by swapping out a jean jacket with statement earrings. Their T-shirts feature a variety of sayings that range from tongue-in-cheek to empowering, and you’ll be able to scroll for days looking over their many different and eye-popping designs.
JIBRI truly changed the plus-size fashion game. Launching in 2009, years before almost every brand on this list, the brand showed the retail industry that plus-size women want to be fashionable. Founded by Jasmine Elder and headquartered in Atlanta, JIBRI is for the plus-size shopper who’s here to make a statement. Moreover, the brand’s iconic hip drape make pieces instantly recognizable.
See Rose Go
Every design choice for See Rose Go is deliberate. From a slightly different rose gold zipper to piping details, the clothes feel both studied and effortless. This brand is perfect for a person who has to dress professionally but doesn’t want to look like she just came off a workwear assembly line.
When asked about expanding their size range, co-founder Erin Cavanaugh said, “We offer sizes 14 to 24, but we’re looking to expand beyond that range! Since launching in late 2017, we’ve been gathering customer feedback to perfect our fit outside our current offerings.”
Brianne Huntsman is a queer and plus-size fashion blogger on The Huntswoman, writing about LGBTQ issues and the intersections of fashion, art, and business. In 2016, she received a degree in Product Design Engineering from Stanford — only to decide she wanted to work in fashion. She’s self-employed as a creative consultant and product designer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Join Brianne on social media @The_Huntswoman.