I grew up hating my body. I loathed its shape, its size and its stature; I detested every lump and bump, couldn’t stand my big hips, and spent the best part of a decade trying to suck in my stomach with giant stretchy pants. The irony is that I was much smaller in my youth than I am now, but with time comes perspective and the ability to accept, learn to love and celebrate your body for all the things it does for you every day. Since hitting my thirties, my relationship with my body has completely changed; I no longer punish it, starve it or try to dress it in things that don’t work for it. I’m happy and healthy, I’ve learned to enjoy fashion again in a way that enhances my best bits and makes me feel fabulous – and, as a UK size 16, I have no issue with being classified as a ‘curve’ or ‘plus size’ blogger.
As a S16 I’m usually able to shop between standard and curve ranges comfortably, depending on their style and sizing; in some stores I can easily fit into a 16 (Dorothy Perkins / Marks & Spencer) others I need to size up (Monsoon / LaRedoute) but more often than not I have to ignore the sizing label to get a good fit and flit between a 14 and a 20. My top tip is not to let a label define you, but instead find styles you love and a fit that works to make you look and feel as amazing as you deserve. (Read my post on why you should never be defined by your clothes label here.)
As I share my looks and finds I’m always asked for advice on and where to shop for plus size curvy clothing, so I’ve collated twenty of my top destinations for every fashion need. They span high street retailers, online exclusives and specific curve collections that have been designed with your hips and dips in mind; with something for every budget and style, I hope they help provide you with some inspiration when you need it most and aid any forthcoming wardrobe updates!
ON THE HIGH STREET
MARKS & SPENCER
An icon of the British high street, Marks and Spencer offer up to a S22 in most pieces (and previously up to a S32 within curve collaborations.) I love their dresses and skirts, as well as their stretchy skinny jeans which have become a wardrobe staple; with so many fashion forward pieces, don’t overlook M&S if you’re after something to make you feel good. With plenty of room for boobs, bums and bingo wings, this is a go-to store for me.
A surprisingly great destination for curvy women, Dorothy Perkins offers some super flattering pieces and on-trend styles that have plenty of room for boobs and bums. Although you do have to hunt for the gems amongst the plain shapeless tops, it’s worth it for the pieces you’ll find. They’re super affordable and extend up to a S22 in most things too.
One of my favourite high street destinations for affordable pieces I wear year after year, their midi skirts and dresses are super flattering. Although not all styles leave much room for boobs or bingo wings, their main range extends to a S20 and the curve range up to a S24.
Their curve collection isn’t that extensive, but they do offer some really stylish pieces and on-trend wardrobe additions that are more often than not worth the wait. Their main line also extends to a S18, so if you’re on the cusp like me it’s worth having a look site-wide for those pieces you fall in love with.
With sizes that extend up to a 22, the vast majority of pieces are cut with ample room for curves. I’m a big fan of their midi lengths and their bias cuts, but it’s their classic staples that are worthy of attention: coats, suits and occasionwear are definitely a highlight.
Affordable high street fashion with tonnes of new pieces added all the time, the only downside is that Matalan only extends to a S20 – although many of the clothes are made with stretchy, oversized fabric you could definitely get away with sizing down on some styles. I’m a big fan of their midi dresses, worn with a waist belt to add shape, as well as their knitwear for a quick way to update your wardrobe every season.
The orginal high street staple, Evans offers one of the largest size ranges and lots of styles that work with bigger bodies. Available up to S32, there are floaty and stretchy fabrics galore; you just have to avoid the butterfly prints and you’ll be fine!
SPECIFIC CURVE COLLECTIONS
One of the first mainstream brands to first embrace bigger sizes, the ASOS curve collection runs up to a S30 and is just as fashion-forward and afforable as their mainline. I really love the fact so many styles are available across the spectrum, so you don’t have to compromise on style if you spot something that takes your fancy.
FOREVER 21 CURVE
I’m so glad that Forever 21 have expanded into a curve collection, as their fashion is super affordable and nods to the trends that come straight off the catwalk. Their mainline comes up quite small, but most styles are now available up to a 3XL so you can afford to size up if you need to.
IN THE STYLE CURVE
If influencer and celebrity fashion is your thing, then In The Style is sure to tickle your fancy. They launch oodles of collections that tick the on-trend box, but also offer a plethora of comfy pieces and loungewear to keep you looking stylish even on the sofa.
Although Shein quality and sizing is a bit hit and miss, they do offer a huge selection of super affordable and on-trend pieces and I find myself adding far too many into my basket! They offer up to a 4XL (roughly a S22-24), but make sure you pay attention to individual measurements and size up if you’re not 100% confident – sending pieces back is a nightmare.
With hundreds of on-trend pieces that are available at incredibly affordable prices, BooHoo offer their mainline up to a S24 as well as having curve specific collections. I personally find many of them a bit too revealing and youthful for my personal style, but if that’s your bag there will be ample opportunity to find something that works!
A one stop shop for all your fashion and accessory needs, Simply Be can often require a long time scrolling to deliver a gem but it’s worth the time investment to discover some unique pieces. Underwear, swimwear, wide fit shoes and sportwear can also be found here, alongside some great dresses and loungewear.
Available up to a S24 in most collections, La Redoute is the epitome of French modern chic. Although a lot of their pieces are a bit too twee for me, you can find some beautiful staples and pieces to update your wardrobe every season – including some fab coats and accessories. They often have up to 40% off everything, so it’s worth signing up to their newsletter if you’re interested in getting a first look.
Not necessarily a destination I check out regularly, but when I do there’s always something that falls into my basket. I’ve got a little black midi dress from Navabi that I know I’ll be wearing until I’m old and grey, thanks to the amazing quality and design that’s both flattering and timeless. With sizes available up to a 26, and further in some styles, this is a store to have a peek at.
PHASE EIGHT: STUDIO 8
Known for their classic wardrobe staples and occasionwear, Phase Eight have launched a diffusion line that’s specifically for plus size consumers. Studio 8 extends to a S26, features beautifully tailored investment pieces and elegant on-trend collections that are worthy of their price point. I’ve got a couple of dresses and some knitwear and every piece is a treasure.
I had no idea Mango offered a plus size range until very recently, but Violetta extends up to a 4XL and offers a capsule collection of elegant tailored pieces that you’ll cherish forever. They’re on the more expensive end of the spectrum, but every piece is beautifully made and looks perfectly designer.
NEVER FULLY DRESSED
So many of these pieces end up on my wishlist whenever I’m shopping for a special occasion, as they seem to marry style and sass beautifully. With so many unique peices that are both flattering and timeless, it’s no surprise this is a go-to destination for thousands of women. They carry up to a S26 too, so there’s something for nearly every size and shape.
For fun, vintage-inspired and retro looks, there’s nowhere quite as chic as Joanie Clothing. I’ve picked up so many 50’s style dresses, cute sweaters and logo tops that never age and wash up incredibly well, and they’ve become quite the celebrity favourite – with Lorraine Kelly and Holly Willoughby often seen in their pieces. The collection extends up to a S22.
SHOP THE LOOK
I’m wearing a S16 coat and a S16 dress.