As a plus-size woman, feeling like a part of the fashion industry, the industry I work in, can sometimes be challenging. But I'm excited to say that, over the last year, I've seen some exciting moments of progress towards better size inclusivity. In this round-up of my current favourite places to shop, there are three newcomers—Olivia Rubin, Lucy & Yak and Ganni—all of which have evolved their brands over the last 12 months to include a wider range of sizes.
Before we get going, I want to quickly say that I hope this is just the start to the size increases we need, as a few of the brands listed below only go up to a size 24. As a size 24 myself, I am lucky that this progress has been enough to include me, but brands need to be looking to expand their size ranges well past this mark.
When looking for a great brand for plus sizes, I'm really looking for options. I basically want to be able to dress the same way as my size 8 friends. I want to be able to build an outfit that feels true to myself and allows me to express the person I want to be. I want to feel included.
My favourite brands make every piece they create in their entire extended size range, like Loud Bodies and Universal Standard. They also show their clothing on a wide range of bodies so I can imagine how the garment might look on my own body.
As a maximalist who loves colour and print, I've been craving more of this boldness in my wardrobe for years, which is why I am so excited to see Olivia Rubin and Never Fully Dressed expanding their options for bigger sizes. Seeing more plus-size models on Ganni's S/S 22 runway was one of my most exciting fashion moments last year. After trying on all its Love Drop collaboration with 11 Honoré, I can't wait to be able to walk into any Ganni store and be able to try on clothes in my size.
After searching the internet for my absolute favourites, I've pulled together a list of 13 brands that I'm currently loving. Then to top it off, I've pulled out my favourite pieces that you can shop right now.
Marina Rinaldi is the Italian plus-size sister brand of Max Mara that has been the leader in plus-size luxury fashion for over 40 years. It's a brand close to my heart, as it's the first brand I designed for when I left university. Quality and elegance are key to the brand, and it often collaborates with renowned fashion designers to create exciting exclusive collaborations. What's more exciting is that it has physical shops, so you can try pieces on in person. I would highly suggest visiting its London Townhouse store near Old Bond Street.
In 2021, Olivia Rubin expanded its entire range to be available up to a size 24. It releases pre-orders for its collections to try and cut down on waste and to make sure it is buying the right sizes for each piece, so it's worth thinking ahead for future events and seasons when shopping with the brand. The pieces are joy filled and colourful, and I am absolutely obsessed with the knitwear. My most worn outfit of 2021, by far, is an Olivia Rubin knitted trouser-and-jumper co-ord, which I have worn at least once a week since I got it in April. If you have any summer weddings lined up for 2022, I highly suggest taking a look at the brand's Appolina Floral Gown.
Never Fully Dressed really is the place to go for dress lovers. Over the past year, it has grown its curve range massively and now offers a sizeable selection up to a size 24. I absolutely love its prints and the fact that it doesn't shy away from bright colours. Alongside better size inclusion than most brands, it's also exciting to see the brand working to have better age diversity amongst its models. It's actually pretty hard to pick out my NFD favourites, as there are so many pieces I love, which is a very rare thing to say as a plus-size person.
Throughout 2021, I worked with Lucy & Yak to help the brand expand its size range to cover sizes UK 4 through UK 32. It is a Brighton/Barnsley–based brand that grew to fame for its easy-to-wear organic cotton dungarees. The brand now creates a whole range of pieces, including jeans, T-shirts and jackets. I especially love its colours and prints, and it's a great brand to keep an eye on if you love a co-ord. I've been wearing the brand's Ziggy Flares and matching Roxy Jacket loads recently, and they've been great to style up.
Loud Bodies is a Romania-based, ethical, and size-inclusive brand that designs with a focus on sustainability. After starting in 2018, it has grown globally and has led the industry change towards size inclusivity, showing brands much, much bigger than it that it is possible to include everyone. I'm particularly in love with its A/W 21 collection, which features some fabulous big collars and a gorgeous '70s-inspired print.
Simply Be is the UK leader in plus-size fashion, with everything the brand sells being created with curves and plus-size bodies in mind. I find it always has a few standout pieces per season, and I love that I can rely on it to have things in my size. I am quite obsessed with the brand's oversized boyfriend shirts which it has in at least five different colours. I basically want all of them, as I know they would be such great colour-blocking and layering pieces I will use for years.
Like me, you might have discovered Neon Rose through ASOS, where part of its collections is stocked. But if you want to get first dibs of its curve collection, I suggest keeping a close eye on its website. Although the brand doesn't create every single piece from its core collection in curve, I am still really impressed by how many it does include. I think we get well over 60%, which, compared to many brands, is incredible. I also really appreciate that it doesn't change the designs for curve. We get exactly the same as everyone else. Plus, they go up to a size 28, and the fit always feels true to size. I go to Neon Rose for trend-led pieces in cute prints and great colours.
I love Violeta because, again, this is a brand that doesn't just change its designs for plus sizes, as many items go from a size XXS to a 4XL. It's amazing for wardrobe staples, and right now, I'm particularly loving its jazzy knitwear.
This autumn, Ganni launched its first collection that went up to a size 24. The Ganni Love Drop was a collaboration with 11 Honoré, an American-based designer plus-size boutique. It was a relatively small collection but should hopefully be the start of better size inclusivity for the brand. After its S/S 22 show last September, where we saw more plus-size models on the runway, Vogue Runway announced that Ganni's size range would be expanding to reflect its choice of models. The brand's sizing should be expanding from a EU 46, or UK 18, up to a EU 52, or UK 24.
If you're reading this, you probably already know that ASOS is the best place to go for a wide range in plus sizes. So along with my current favourites from the ASOS design team, I thought I would break it down even further. ASOS stocks loads of big and small brands, some of which do plus-size options just for ASOS which aren't even stocked on their own sites. Over the years, I have found a few brands on ASOS which I like to keep a close eye on. Here are my picks:
Collusion is an ASOS brand with its own separate design team—it is great for trend-led pieces and, over the past couple of years, has become my favourite brand on ASOS. I look to it for colourful basics, jeans and easy chuck-on dresses. Not all its designs are available in plus sizes, but it does create a good selection which is available up to a size 30.
Labelrail is another ASOS-owned brand run by a separate team. However, this team collaborates with influencers to create its collections. Over the past year, Labelrail has collaborated with the fabulous influencer Francesca Perks to create two collections especially for plus sizes. As soon as I spotted Fran wearing her orange marble co-ord on her Instagram way back in the summer, I was hooked and eagerly waited to get a set for myself. I love that the brand allowed Fran to design such exciting pieces that you would never normally see available in plus sizes. I am so excited to see who else they collaborate with for plus sizes, as this was such a strong start. And whilst we're at it, I'm going to take the opportunity to say, "Pick me!!!"
Native Youth is a sustainably sourced brand designed in the UK. Its curve collection features a range of different styles and can often be found to have the first option for plus-size trend-led pieces. Its plus-size pieces are available in sizes 18 to 28.
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