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Shopping Online as a Plus Sized Woman: A Guide

Shopping online is one of the perils of modern life.


On one hand, it exposes us to a wealth of goods and services we wouldn’t have otherwise known about and also lets us sort through hundreds of items with ease. On the other hand, shopping (specifically for clothes) can be very tricky. Sizing, colour and style vary from brand to brand and because the items being bought aren’t seen physically or being tried on, there is the room for error. A quick trip to social media will show a number of ‘ what I ordered vs what I received’ posts that highlight what can happen when purchasing clothing online.


This is particularly tricky in the case of plus-sized women. The first reason is that many designers and retailers simply do not design plus-sized clothing well, relegating them to oversized and shapeless versions of dresses in straight sizes. This leads to many plus-sized women having to alter clothes after buying online.


To prevent these online shopping woes, follow our helpful guide below:


  • Purchase from reputable sellers: The single easiest way to separate the weed from the chaff is to make sure you purchase from reputable sellers.

Certain designers already have a reputation for creating dresses for plus-sized women. If possible, make your purchases from designers that specialize in plus-sized clothing. There will likely be fewer problems encountered than with a designer that makes straight sizes and decides to venture into plus-sized clothing.

In essence, the best way to get good clothes online is to purchase from brands that already have some reputation in the plus-size fashion industry.


  • Read reviews: Most online shopping platforms have some sort of feedback page, usually for each item of clothing being sold.

Ensure that you read as many reviews for the designer in question as well as for the specific piece you want to buy. Getting the opinion of someone who has already made a purchase will save you worlds of trouble.


  • Pay attention to sizing: Sizing is one of the trickiest aspects of fashion as a whole. If you were to ask a number of women what dress size they wear, they would probably give a range of sizes. A woman’s dress size can fluctuate by as much as four sizes depending on the designer.

Plus sizing is even trickier as different designers have different measurements for what constitutes as plus sized and even then sizes vary. To avoid any mishaps, make reference to the designers sizing guide (or check other online sources). Most designers will list (or provide on request) measurements for their clothing items to have the process easier.


  • Compare body types: Most online retailers will show the clothes being sold on a model. This helps to get a sense of what the clothes will look like on an actual person.

Plus-size bodies (and all bodies in fact) vary in shape and size. Some women have fuller hips, larger busts and so on. While shopping, look at the model being used and compare how similar her body structure is to yours. If she has full hips while you do not, you probably shouldn’t expect the dress to hang the same on you.


Online shopping is undeniably a tricky exercise, but with our style guide, you can be well on your way to shopping for beautiful and well-fitting clothes with ease.

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