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Wednesday 26 March 2014

Plus Size Picks: Five Brands You May Not Have Heard of Yet

While more retailers are now stocking larger sizes, there's still a dearth of decent plus size fashion in the UK. It can be a bit boring to visit the same three or four shops again and again when you're on the hunt for new clothes. So this week, I'm highlighting five lesser known retailers who may just stock your perfect plus size outfit. Some of these are UK retailers, others are international ones who offer reasonable shipping to the UK. And, while obsessive shoppers may well know all of these already, they'll hopefully be new to a fair few of you!

Taking Shape

If you're bored of the UK plus size holy trinity (Evans, Simply Be, ASOS Curve), then Taking Shape is a good alternative. It does have its fair share of yawnsome tunic tees and waterfall cardigans, but what plus size retailer doesn't? If you can see past the 'classics', there are also printed sundresses, floral day dresses, flippy '40s style skirts and summer maxis. Prices mostly come in at under £80 and they stock up to a 26.

Ashley Stewart

This is one of those angst-inducing "why isn't this a UK brand?!" kind of shops. The selection is huge and the swimwear and separates are particularly good, and the use of colour is great. The good news is - with a whole outfit for under $100 - you can afford to think about the occasional splurge on international shipping. If you do, please treat yourself to the polka dot skirted swimsuit. Because it'd be rude not to.


If you've ever looked at the pretty dresses at Anthropologie and wished they came in bigger sizes, Ruche is your transatlantic saviour. Their 'Curvy Plus' range may be small, but it contains some real gems, particularly in the retro party dress department! The sizing can be a little limited and stock seems to sell out before you can say "I'll have the black stripy one please" but it's definitely worth a look for special occasions. International shipping is based on weight (so bear this in mind when choosing fabrics - jersey maxis will be pricey).


Your new place to go for workwear, Elvi does a good line in tailored dresses, the occasional killer party frock (see the red floral dress above - I'm a sucker for jacquard as it sits so well without creasing) and pretty blouses. Of all the retailers on this list, it skews the oldest, so if you're looking for slightly longer hemlines and less trend-driven fashion that'll stand the test of time, this is the one for you!


This brand started out mostly as a denim label, and has slowly branched out into other tailored pieces and street fashion. A recent collaboration with a group of plus size bloggers resulted in some really cool pieces, among them a see-through mac, a pink leather biker jacket and the above convertible coat that zips off into different styles. Their jeans and trousers remain the key pieces, so if you're fed up of struggling with badly fitting jeans elsewhere, MYNT1972 are your saviours!


  1. I discovered Taking Shape recently and like them. Some of their stuff is a little eccentric, but that's better than boring and, unlike Evans in my experience, they have decent fabrics, cotton and cotton/silk blends as well as viscose and polyester.

  2. Love Mynt 1972 such cool stuff - we are a uk stockist for them - such great people with amazing vision


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