Fashion-savvy plus-sized women have always been in despair over the lack of designer choices available to them. In recent years, however, increasing numbers of designers have taken notice and have begun designing with the curvier woman in mind.
Designer Casual Clothing for the Plus-Sized Woman
Michael Kors’ plus sized line has a very similar aesthetic to the ultra-glam, Miami-inspired styles of his regular-sized collections. The range includes swimwear, casual clothing, and even work-appropriate dresses, but the most compelling styles are the casual tops – including peasant tops, camp shirts, and caftans perfect for beach and boardwalk. Prices start at $50 for a simple cotton top, available in sizes 1X-3XL.
Ralph Lauren does a great job at casual tops for the curvier woman. Camp shirts, cotton henleys, easy zip-up hoodies – all are interpreted in Lauren Ralph Lauren’s classic, preppy style. Prices start at $60 for a cotton t-shirt, and they run up to 3XL.
Plus-Sized Designer Jeans
Lucky for Plus
Lucky Jeans’ Ginger line is designed specifically for plus-sized women. Available in cropped, straight, and bootcut styles, you’ll be able to find a pair of jeans for any occasion. From $89.50 for a cropped pair to $99 for straight or boot cut; available in sizes 14-24 (including petite plus sized!) Also check out their Georgia jeans.
NYJD (previously known as Not Your Daughter’s Jeans) has an extensive plus-size denim collection that includes skinny, bootcut, and even boyfriend styles. Their jeans come with special lift-tuck technology that claim to flatten the stomach and lift the rear. Their jeans are made in the USA and come in sizes 14W-24W. Prices start at $110.
Miraclesuit Shaping Swimsuits
Best known for their plus size shaping swimsuits, Miraclesuit claims to enable women to look 10 lbs lighter. They offer a large range of suit styles, from one-piece, tankinis, and sturdy bottoms ranging from outlandishly patterned to a simple black suit. Prices start at $140 for a tankini top and $60 for a bikini bottom. While they do not extend to larger plus sizes, they are available in sizes 8-18.
Badgeley Mischka does a limited range of plus-size swimwear, mostly one piece maillot styles. Their designs are clean and simple, and would suit women of all ages. Starts from $120, available in 18W-24W at Nordstrom.
Calvin Klein Plus Size Classics
Calvin Klein does a variety of dresses, tops, and outerwear – but where they shine the most is in their dresses, which are the perfect blend of classic style and workplace appropriateness. They offer a range of styles, including sheath dresses and shirt dresses perfect for women of all ages. Prices start at $138 for a knee-length sheath dress; available in sizes 14W-24W. Both Macy’s and Nordstrom carry Calvin Klein’s Plus Size line.
DKNY offers well-cut sheath dresses in a variety of prints and fabrics that will work great in the workplace. The collection focuses on details that slim the figure and maximize comfort, like darker side panels and cap sleeves. Prices start from $110; available in sizes 14-24.
Papell Gowns in Women’s Sizes
Adrianna Papell does beautiful eveningwear, ranging from full-length gowns to shorter styles. Their designs are subtly glamorous, with lace and beaded details in every dress they offer. Prices start at $170 for shorter dresses and can go up to $300 for more intricate, longer styles. Available in sizes 14W-22W.
Tadashi Shoji’s Clothing Fit for a Queen
Tadashi Shoji is one of the rare designers who designs especially for plus-sized women. His eveningwear has been seen on celebrities like Octavia Spencer, and are intricately detailed and draped with an eye towards flattering the figure. Short dresses start at $348 and are available in sizes 1XL-3XL, while longer gowns start at $438 and are available in 14Q-24Q (“Q” for Queen – denoting plus sized clothing).
Sourcing Upscale Designer Fashions in Plus Sizes
Although the fashion industry is still far from providing plus-sized women the same range of styles as smaller-sized women have, the above are some options to consider. Many of them can be purchased from your local department stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Lord and Taylor and Bloomingdales.
Read our guide to finding the perfect plus size little black dress!