Plus Size shops

Plus Size shops

Why is it that a fat woman can’t have the same shopping experience as a slim woman?

Shops selling larger size clothes in London/South East England

I recently wrote about plus size dresses moaning about the difficulties of finding something to suit my curvy (that’s polite for fat) pear shape. Since writing, I have come to the conclusion that I prefer to try something on in a real shop. This is especially so if I am buying for a special occasion and prepared to spend somewhat more that usual. In other words I prefer to go shopping in a shop. Of course if you are reading this, you are searching the web. Are you looking for sites to buy from or shops to visit?

Do let me know .

How much would you spend in an online clothes shop…or would you only feel comfortable spending in a real shop?

Well anyway I’ve decided to do some research on the whole subject of where you can buy plus size clothes. Where are the plus size shops? I presume that I’m going to get lots of info in from you lovely people reading this, so I hope to update this article from time to time.

Now, if I was less than a size 16 (fantasy) some of my favourite shopping haunts would be Hampstead, Knightsbridge, South Moulton Street and surrounding areas.

I like the idea of rummaging around, going to gorgeous shops and buying bits here and there to create my own style. However, as a plus size woman I am limited, I can only purchase my wardrobe from plus size shops.

I also really appreciate good store design and attractive merchandising. I like the creative bowls of flowers and luxurious atmospheres generated by the up market stores and boutiques. Very few, if any plus size shops tick this box.

I’m now in my fifties and I no longer like sharing dressing rooms. A chaotic mess in the shop offends my senses…and yes, I do want to be served. I want to be served by someone who, by their own appearance, can demonstrate that they understand fashion and therefore will know how to help me. After all, would you allow someone with dirty messy hair to cut yours?

I want real old fashioned retail therapy and that includes being loved up. I am sure you all remember the scene on Rodeo Drive with Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman!

Plus size shopping in Brent Cross (North London)

Whilst there are chains such as Evans and (Ann Harvey, but not in Brent Cross) they are really not to my taste.

Fenwick’s of Brent Cross has some concessions that have some bigger sizes in collections from Gerry Weber and Chesca. If you are bigger than size 24, don’t bother with Fenwick’s of Brent Cross.

John Lewis in Brent Cross has very little aside from a Chesca franchise. This was ok but has nothing to wear for business or weekends. Not very fashionable.

Monsoon has a very distinctive look…pretty, quite soft and with ethnic undertones. They promote the fact that they go up size 22. I’m not sure they make every style in the larger sizes because I can’t always find what I want. Perhaps the larger sizes sell out first!

Marks and Spencer does have a reasonable selection up to size 22 (possible a bit in size 24 too).

There is a Hennes in Brent Cross, however, I don’t know if they have their Big Is Beautiful department. Dorothy Perkins and Look Now I believe have some plus sizes.

I’ve been to Brent Cross hundreds of times and I have not found any serious designer collections anywhere in Brent Cross for the plus size woman.

Plus size shopping in The West End,
London W1

Harvey Nichols would rather I didn’t cross their threshold.

Fenwick of Bond Street doesn’t do any larger sizes.

Selfridges has got rid of their plus department and grudgingly kept Marina Rinaldi as its only concession to the fact that they have customers size sixteen plus.

Speaking of Marina Rinaldi, there is a beautiful shop in Bond Street…I really can’t fault it. Part of the Max Mara stable, so you can expect excellent quality, luxurious fabrics and high prices. If you like what they do and their fit works for you then it’s the exception to the rule.

The Fabulous Harrods (nostalgia, I trained there) does have a ladies plus size room with a good selection of stockists including Patricia Lester, Wille, Basler, Marina Rinaldi, Elena Miro, Persona, Anna Scholz and James Lakeland.

Independent boutiques carrying
plus sizes around the UK

Some smart independent shops carry styles up to size 22 or even size 24. I haven’t visited but I understand that Jane Young of Newark is one such shop. Dresswell of Hove is another. Averil in Temple Fortune, North London another.

Below is a list of shops I’ve discovered…

  • Verity Plum (Cheshire)…not visited
  • Emma Plus (Brighton)…not visited
  • Watercolours (Beaconsfield, Bucks)
  • Elaine (Ilford, Essex)
  • Scarlet Monroe (Marlow)
    not visited…only up to size 20
  • Box 2 – a small independent chain
  • Base (Convent Garden, London)
  • Big Ideas (Edinburgh and Glasgow)
  • Big Is Beautiful (Norfolk and Suffolk)

So to conclude, I cannot have the same shopping experience as my slim girlfriends… its not about the money, its all about the fat!

Prepare yourself for a wonderful shopping experience exclusively available to curvy women, go online and shop designer plus size clothing.

Leanda Walters
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