I’ve been “plus-sized” my whole life. Ill-fitting clothes and I have a deep and contentious relationship, especially jeans. My dark denim has always loved for me to pay more than I can afford while laying in wait to rip in the thigh area a few months into our courtship. It’s almost as though the jeans are laughing, knowing that I’ll have no choice other than to either buy a new pair and start over or try to somehow patch the rips (that will inevitably rip again).

When I was in high school, my options were Lane Bryant (from which my mom might be able to afford two outfits for an entire semester) or the more affordable Ross (sometimes Marshalls), where I’d find kinda cute, likely irregular clothes. I’d have more options, and maybe I wouldn’t have to wear the same outfit twice in a week, but my inner cutie would have no opportunity to emerge. This cycle would continue for almost the entirety of high school until I discovered Torrid during my senior year.

The plus sized clothing market has largely been ignored or disrespected by the fashion industry, but there are lots of brands out there who are taking advantage of the reality that the average woman is plus-sized! Bloggers such as GarnerStyle and GabiFresh have also emerged as our go-to experts for where to find the goodies. Here are great commercial and independent plus size brands to keep an eye out for as you dress your best this summer.


Photo: Torrid

The first brand with clothes (and marketing) that made me feel cute, Torrid has been a mainstay in providing well-fitting clothing in line with what’s on trend in the fashion industry. I can always quickly find a summer dress in a flattering color for a reasonable price.

Whitney Mero’s Onion

Photo: whitneymero.com

When I found Whitney Mero, I stumbled upon a gem. It’s independently owned and operated, which comes at a bit of a higher price point, but each piece is custom made to the exact measurements the customer sends. This line has high quality and forward-thinking apparel for your inner goddess.

Ashley Stewart

Photo: ashleystewart.com

Ashley Stewart is my plus size go-to for when I need something quick, cute and affordable. Shipping is always fast, and the models on the site usually give me a more realistic idea for how things will fit when I receive them.

Simply Be

Photo: simplybe.com

From across the pond, Simply Be is a European brand that always seems ahead of the trends, and has designs that I never see anywhere else. I love shopping here when I want to be guaranteed that my plus sized homegirl and I won’t show up wearing the same top from Forever 21+ (although I love their clothes, too!).

Demestiks New York

Photo: demestiksnewyork.com

Although not overtly catering to the plus size market, this independently owned and operated black business is inclusive, allowing customers to send their measurements in with their order to ensure a perfect fit. Their prints and silhouettes are fantastic on any body type, and the craftsmanship is well worth the price point.

Monif C

Photo: monifc.com

Don’t fret if you’re still looking for that perfect swimsuit that won’t have you out there looking like you raided granny’s closet. Monif C is the place to be to get your beach look all the way together! This designer is fearless with color and simple with silhouette.


plus size brands
Photo: eloquii.com

Does your closet ever feel divided between the cute stuff you’d wear out with friends and the stuffy clothes you have to wear into the office? Eloquii is great for finding office-appropriate clothing that can easily transition into happy hour attire afterward.

The point is, we no longer have to relinquish our fashion acumen for lack of availability. Go ahead and unleash that inner fashion queen this summer, and don’t forget to accessorize! Let us know your favorite plus size brands in the comments below!


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