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October 6, 2008 9:26 PM   Subscribe

Help me find some new British plus size clothes.

I'm heading over to England and Scotland for a bit next week, and I'd like to pick up some new clothes.

Here are the irritating catches:

1. I'm a bit on the big side. I wear a US size 18 pants and usually an XL t-shirt and I'm 5'10".

2. I'm hoping to pick up clothes that I couldn't easily find in the states. H & M is too easy to find in Chicago, and I can't really wear any of their clothes anyway.

3. I don't have to totally restock my wardrobe, but I wouldn't mind finding a quality winter coat, some great boots, and some other basics, like jeans, a skirt, and a few tops.

Where can I shop?
posted by santojulieta to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Evans is an entire store specifically for plus-size women, and have a range especially for tall women, too.

Marks & Spencer do a range of plus-size clothes, too, although some of their stuff is a bit old-ladyish. They're good for staples like underwear (I love their boy-shorts, and their sports bras), tank tops, jumpers, etc. They also do good-quality shoes for pretty cheap - I just bought a pair of formal boots from Markies last week, in fact.

New Look does have a plus size range, but the clothes are what my mother calls "cheap and cheerful". They have some really nice items, but you have to wade through a lot of crap to find them.

Next do a plus-size range, and most of it is pretty decent - I have a few pairs of jeans from them, and they actually fit me properly, which is a minor miracle.

Debenhams do some great winter coats, and they allegedly have some plus-size clothes, but most of their really nice stuff seems to only go up to a UK size 18.
posted by spockette at 10:56 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Evans is the standard high street store for women sized UK 16 and up. I actually like a lot of the clothes and resent that I can't buy them because I am stuck in the hinterland of being not just between sizes, but between stores - I'm almost a 16, and a shortarse to boot. You're quite tall for a woman though so you're in a much better position in almost all of these shops.

Britain's waistline is expanding, and M&S (which has always been generous with sizing anyway) accordingly has a Plus department. I'm underwhelmed, but that's me. I prefer their Per Una range, which I believe only goes to a UK 18.

Next and Wallis are my preferred high street retailers, but I'm 36 years old. Next has clothing up to a size 26, although quite honestly they may screw you in-store and only provide some sizes by catalogue. It may depend on the actual store, though. Wallis says they manufacture up to a size 24, but I've rarely seen even 18s in their shops and even online, it varies a lot item to item. Again, this may be substantially different between store locations.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:01 PM on October 6, 2008

Dorothy Perkins have UK size 8-22 and also have a tall range.

Plus another vote for Marks & Spencer, I've got a Per Una coat with me today, really like the stuff.
posted by Z303 at 1:48 AM on October 7, 2008

Tesco and Asda (2 major supermarkets) also sell clothes up to a UK size 24. They're generally much cheaper than Evans/Dorothy Perkins/M&S
posted by missmagenta at 2:03 AM on October 7, 2008

I prefer their Per Una range, which I believe only goes to a UK 18.

Marks & Spencer Per Una goes up to a UK 20, I think... The jeans are really fantastic, if you like a slight stretch, and I find them super-flattering. The underwear deserves its reputation, it's super. For everything else, keep frumpiness in mind, and you'll spot the good stuff. (They're a terrible offender for the 100% cotton knit tops that end up more tent than vest after a few washes.)

I don't think Topshop goes past a 16 and their sizing is not generous, but it's worth having a look just for their accessories. I apologise if that's enraging and I know there's something wrong about patronising a shop that won't accommodate one's size...I'm in the same boat (an actual 16, so their 16 sometimes fits and sometimes isn't even within two sizes of fitting).
posted by carbide at 3:04 AM on October 7, 2008

I am completely envious of the clothes carried by Monsoon (I am in the US). I think they carry up to a UK 22.
posted by kimdog at 5:26 AM on October 7, 2008

As a slight derail, and as a regular visitor to the States, I've found that the quality and variety of clothes in the UK is far inferior to the States, and British prices are higher, particularly for sizes that are outside the standard range.

That said, New Look has some nice designs (although it's a chain at the cheaper end of the market and so the quality won't be fantastic) and they do a plus size range.

Long Tall Sally might also be worth a look.

M and Co is great for separates.

UK prices include VAT at 17.5%, so the price on the ticket is the price you pay with no tax added at the checkout.
posted by essexjan at 9:47 AM on October 7, 2008

Great recommendations above, I'll just add Ann Harvey - not as cheap as the others but does have some good tailored pieces.

If you're looking for shoes with a wider fit and boots with a more generous calf fitting, Evans does a range, as does Clarks (but I think you can get a wider range for less money stateside?)
posted by ceri richard at 5:01 PM on October 7, 2008

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