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Best plus-size clothing for women: Expert styling tips & the best brands to shop

The brands leading the way with the most flattering plus-size clothing

polka dot background plus size clothing
Sophie Bates
Commerce Writer
Updated: April 25, 2024
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There are plenty of retailers that offer plus-size clothing, but not all of them are getting it right. Finding plus-size fashion pieces that come in flexible sizes and are flattering on the figure isn't always easy, which is why we've been on the lookout for stylish clothing that complements a curvy figure, rather than extended sizes that are an afterthought and ill-fitting. 

Popular plus-size high-street brands - at a glance

  1. H&M+ - Sizes ranging from L-4XL 
  2. River Island Plus - Sizes ranging from 8-28
  3. ASOS Curve - Sizes ranging from 16-28
  4. Mango Plus - Sizes ranging from L-4XL
  5. New Look Curves - Sizes ranging from 18-32 

For an expert opinion, we spoke to stylist Helen Richardson, who specialises in helping real women to find their style and become their most confident selves. She told us: "The most important thing is to embrace and celebrate your body while focusing on highlighting your favourite features. Whether it's your womanly curves, shoulders, or legs, and find styles that accentuate and flatter you and your uniqueness."

When asked what the key things to look for when it comes to finding the best plus-size clothing brands, Helen said: "Inclusive sizing is important, stocking a wide range of sizes to cater for various body shapes, fashion-forward styles, quality, and fit and affordability, providing stylish and well-fitted clothing at reasonable prices."

Whether you're looking for a figure-flattering dress for the special event in your diary or the perfect pair of jeans to wear every day, we've searched high and low to find the stylish plus-size pieces that we think are truly worth shopping, along with expert styling tips on how to choose your clothing to make it work for you...

Helen's top styling tips for plus-size figures

  1. Underwear: Make sure you’re wearing the correct bra size (get measured by a reputable bra expert); Bravissimo is great and affordable. Wear knickers that provide tummy support, no VPL, and are comfortable… and sexy! Yes, they’re out there! Explore well-fitting shapewear pieces that offer support without sacrificing comfort. They’ve come a long way, trust me! 
  2. V-Necklines: V-neck styles in tops and dresses really help draw the eye vertically, creating the illusion of an elongated neck and a more streamlined, taller appearance.
  3. Create a waist: Add definition to your silhouette with shape, choosing A-line style dresses or peplum tops; and experiment with a small side tuck with your tops into your bottoms - these will help accentuate your curves.
  4. Layering with purpose: Choose lightweight fabrics for a more fluid and effortless look. Fine knits, chiffon, and cotton can be layered without adding excessive bulk.
  5. Play with proportions: Experiment to find out what works for you; pairing a fitted top with wide-leg trousers can create balance and elongate your figure.
  6. Monochrome magic: Wearing a single colour from head to toe can create a streamlined and elongated look. Monochromatic outfits can be both chic and flattering.
  7. Statement accessories: Draw attention to areas you love with bold earrings, a stylish handbag, or eye-catching shoes can shift the focus and add flair to your outfit.
  8. Try before you buy: Whenever possible, try on clothing before purchasing. Sizing can vary between brands, and trying on items ensures you choose the best fit. Also, consider having some items altered to fit you, honestly, it’s worth it!
  9. Comfort is non-negotiable: Prioritise comfort and choose styles that make you feel good. When you feel comfortable, your confidence shines through.
  10. Confidence is the best accessory: No matter what you wear or your size, confidence is the ultimate accessory. Stand tall, embrace your beautiful body, and know that you deserve to feel fabulous in your clothes.

How we chose

  • Style: I've selected a range of items for different occasions, from staple pieces to wear on repeat to workwear and occasionwear, so you should find inspiration for whatever style you're looking for. 
  • Inclusivity: All of the brands listed below are either dedicated to plus-size clothing or have an extensive plus-size range that's designed with inclusivity in mind, rather than just additional sizes added to regular styles. The sizes start from around a UK 16 and go up to size 32.
  • Expert opinion: I've tried to pick out pieces that adhere to Helen's expert advice, from waist-enhancing styles to V-necklines and lightweight options for layering. 
  • H&M+ Smocked Top

    h and m blue printed top

    H&M Plus-Size Smock Top

    Editor's Note

    H&M's smock top screams summer with its bright blue pattern and stylish puff sleeves. The square neckline and delicate ruching create a flattering silhouette, and the pretty top looks great styled with white jeans and sandals.

    Sizes: XS-4XL

    Colours: Available in Blue Pattern, Black Floral, White 

    Shipping: £3.99 or free with a £30 spend

    Returns: Within 28 days

    Whether you're on the hunt for everyday fashion staples or versatile evening styles, H&M+ is a great option. With sizes that range from L-4XL, you’ll find all the essentials from jackets to workout gear, underwear sets, dresses, and more. 

  • River Island Plus Mid Rise Straight Jeans

    river island plus size straight leg jeans

    River Island Plus-Size Straight Jeans

    Editor's Note

    Finding the perfect plus-size jeans can be a challenge, but River Island Plus' straight-leg pair is ticking all of the boxes. Available in sizes 18-28, the denim jeans feature a mid-waist, belt loops, and a versatile straight leg. Perfect for day-to-night dressing, we could see these jeans being worn with everything from chunky knitwear to bright tops and heels for a girl's night out.

    Sizes: 18-28

    Colours: Available in Light Denim, Dark Denim

    Shipping: £4 or free with a £50 spend 

    Returns: Within 28 days 

    Launching its plus-size range in 2016, the River Island Plus collection is filled with tons of glam dresses, jumpsuits, and daywear pieces. We particularly love the range of flattering jeans, with sizes ranging from 18-28. 

  • ASOS Esmee Plus Puff Sleeve Midi Dress

    asos plus size black dress

    ASOS Plus-Size Midi Dress

    Editor's Note

    A black midi dress is an essential for the transitional seasons, as it can be styled with sandals and denim jackets during the summer months, and then layered with knitwear as the weather gets cooler. The ASOS Curve dress has feminine puffed sleeves and a flattering square neck, with a light, airy fit for comfort.

    Sizes: 18-30

    Shipping: £4.50 or free with a £40 spend 

    Returns: Within 28 days

    ASOS has a huge selection of plus-size clothing, from its own Curve collection which is filled with versatile pieces ranging from sizes 16-28, to stocking styles from other retailers including Never Fully Dressed Curve, River Island Plus and more. Whatever plus-size style you’re looking for, ASOS is a go-to.

  • Mango Plus-Size Double-Button Trench Coat

    mango green trench coat

    Mango Plus-Size Trench Coat

    Editor's Note

    A trench coat is an item you buy once and keep forever, and the timeless trend will never go out of style. There's been a rise in the khaki trench recently, and Mango's version gives a modern twist on the classic style. Featuring a double-breasted design, a lapel collar, and a waist-cinching belt, the coat looks far more expensive than it is, and it's finished with luxe detailing including tortoiseshell-effect buttons and loops on the cuffs.

    Sizes: XXS-4XL

    Colours: Available in black, ecru and beige

    Shipping: £4.50 or free with a £50 spend 

    Returns: Within 30 days

    Mango's plus-size collection is filled with staple pieces that you can reach for throughout the year - with sizes ranging up to 4XL.

  • New Look Curves Button Front Waistcoat

    plus size black waistcoat

    New Look Plus-Size Waistcoat

    Editor's Note

    Waistcoats are trending right now, and the chic style can be paired with linen trousers, jeans, or maxi skirts for an effortless 'cool girl' ensemble. New Look's black waistcoat is so versatile, and if you don't fancy wearing it alone, layer the staple piece over a white shirt or beneath a blazer.

    Sizes: 18-32 

    Colours: Available in black and beige 

    Shipping: £2.99 or free with a £50 spend 

    Returns: Within 28 days

    New Look’s Curves range stocks sizes 18-32, with everything from blazers to tops, dresses, and accessories. There are influencer edits filled with glam pieces, and inclusive styles designed to have all body types feeling fabulous.

  • Karen Millen Plus Embroidered Woven Shirt Dress

    karen millen white flower dress

    Karen Millen Plus-Size Embroidered Dress

    Editor's Note

    Embroidered dresses are always a hit for spring, and even Princess Kate is a fan of the feminine style. Karen Millen's plus-size shirt dress has a relaxed fit that ties in at the waist, while the collar and satin trim add an extra elegant touch. I could see this being worn on holiday with espadrilles and a colourful clutch bag, or styled for everyday wear with ballet flats and a chunky cardigan.

    Sizes: 18-24 

    Shipping: £4.99 for standard delivery

    Returns: Within 28 days

    Karen Millen’s plus-size edit offers elegant occasion dresses and smart staples, and it’s the perfect place to shop if you’re on the hunt for a plus-size wedding guest outfit. The sizes range from 18-24, with some stunning pieces discounted in the sale.

  • Reformation Plus Baxley Floral Dress

    reformation red floral midi dress

    Reformation Plus-Size Floral Dress

    Editor's Note

    If there's one thing Reformation knows how to do, it's gorgeous dresses. This red floral dress features cute capped sleeves, back smocking and a V-neck, finished with a front slit. A daywear dress with an extra something, the stylish number could be styled with sandals and chunky gold jewellery, or dressed up with heels for a glam finish.

    Sizes: 18-28

    Shipping: £6 or free with a £100 spend 

    Returns: Within 30 days 

    Reformation’s Extended Sizes offers sustainable clothing in sizes 18-28. Whether you’re shopping for a chic investment piece or an ultra-elegant evening dress, Reformation is the luxury brand of choice.

  • Phase Eight Ayla Ruffle Jumpsuit

    phase eight purple jumpsuit

    Phase Eight Plus-Size Ruffle Jumpsuit

    Editor's Note

    For those who love a jumpsuit over a dress, Phase Eight has some amazing options right now for the special event in your diary. This stunning magenta one-piece has frill detailing that falls into the wide-leg silhouette, with flutter sleeves and a wrap-around finish that brings in the waist. Wear with either heels or flats and silver jewellery to round off the look.

    Sizes: 6-26 

    Shipping: £2.95 or free with a £150 spend 

    Returns: Within 28 days 

    Phase Eight's plus-size range is filled with smart everyday and formal pieces that will make you feel perfectly put-together all year round. Whether you're looking for a wedding guest dress or an elegant work blouse, you'll find plenty of options in the collection, which offers sizes ranging from 16-26.

  • Live Unlimited London Pleated Sleeve Blouse

    live unlimited plus size blouse

    Live Unlimited London Plus-Size Blouse

    Editor's Note

    A staple shirt is a must-have if you're looking to build a capsule wardrobe, and Live Unlimited London's pleated number is one you'll want to wear on repeat. Effortlessly sophisticated without compromising on comfort, wear the go-to shirt with tailored trousers and loafers for work, or opt for jeans to elevate a simple everyday look. 

    Sizes: 12-28

    Colours: Available in Blue, Black

    Shipping: £3.95 or free with a £50 spend

    Returns: Within 28 days 

    Alison Hammond has been spotted wearing Live Unlimited London to host This Morning on several occasions, and the female-founded company celebrates women's curves with its timeless pieces that can be worn day to night. Sizes range from 12-28, and you'll find dresses, blouses, knitwear, and jackets in plus-size, petite, and regular fits.

  • Never Fully Dressed Plisse Dress

    pink never fully dressed plus size dress

    Never Fully Dressed Plus-Size Plisse Dress

    Editor's Note

    Pink is returning as the colour of the summer, and Never Fully Dressed's gorgeous pink dress is giving major warm weather vibes, and I could totally see this being worn on holiday or special occasions. I'd recommend styling with a pair of white heels, or opt for a pair of espadrille wedges to round off the look.

    Sizes: 6-28

    Shipping: £3.95 or free with a £99 spend 

    Returns: Within 28 days 

    Never Fully Dressed’s Curve range is filled with striking prints, vibrant designs and flattering silhouettes. It’s a great place to shop for everyday or statement pieces, with sizes ranging up to 28. 

  • YOURS Curve Cropped Blazer

    yours pink blazer

    YOURS Plus-Size Cropped Blazer

    Editor's Note

    Brighten up your wardrobe ready for spring with Yours' plus-size pink cropped blazer. Made from a soft woven fabric, the blazer has a smart tailored silhouette that will perfectly elevate workwear and evening outfits. Style the smart-casual number with matching pink co-ord trousers or denim jeans and a white T-shirt to complete the look.

    Sizes: 14-32 

    Colours: Available in Pink, Black, Cream

    Shipping: £2.99 for standard delivery

    Returns: Within 21 days 

    Yours is a retailer that focuses entirely on plus-size fashion, with sizes that range from 14-40. The brand is driven by providing plus-size clothing that is designed to be well-fitted and flattering on curves - and there are so many styles and designs to choose from.

Meet the Expert

Helen Richardson
Helen Richardson has over 15 years experience in personal styling

With a lifelong 'passion for fashion' and helping others, Helen has been styling friends since childhood. Family and friends urged her to leave her corporate career and start her own business to finally release the creative and compassionate version of herself. Her USP? "I understand the styling challenges that ‘real women’ face daily... using my skills and knowledge I have transformed the appearance of many ladies giving them the belief they can ‘Dress With Confidence’ everyday!" Find out more about Helen and follow her on Instagram.

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