Tween shopping blues
August 1, 2018 10:37 AM   Subscribe

What are stores or clothing styles that are best-suited for a plus-size tween?

I shop for clothing with a plus-size tween, and we have a hard time finding clothes that are right for her.

She's too big for the clothing in the kid's section (which are the kinds of clothes she likes -think graphic Ts, orinted leggings, sparkles, embellished jeans, rompers, etc.). Her body type is not quite right for junior's clothing, which in general, seem to be made for people who are more long and lean. Some are also low-cut, or don't otherwise work for her school dress code. Clothing in the women's section is typically just "too old" or not her style.

We've had some success in the past getting jeggings and leggings at Target and then scouring around other stores for larger-sized T's and tunics, but even that can be tricky. I prefer in-person shopping so she can try things on, and have access to most stores you can think of.

What I am looking for: Suggestions of stores to shop in (the more budget-friendly, the better), or types of clothing to look for.

What I am NOT looking for: weight loss advice for this tween, which, unfortunately, is part of what I found when googling this question!

posted by nuclear_soup to Shopping (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Okay, with the caveat that I haven't shopped for girl's clothing in a long time, what about Justice? Looks like they have brick and mortar stores and I saw some cute styles on their website.
posted by pumpkinlatte at 10:57 AM on August 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Hot Topic, while known for goth styles, also has a lot of pop-culture and cute styles in girls' plus sizes. Old Navy has girls' plus sizes and so does Macy's. In all cases, you'll want to get her measurements so you can figure out what size to buy because it can be non-standard.
posted by xo at 11:08 AM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Have you tried Torrid? It's an awful name, and you might have to sift through some slutty-looking stuff, but they have on-trend plus-sized items.
posted by mccxxiii at 11:11 AM on August 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

Kohl's also has a plus-size girls section. Good luck - I was this girl. Fortunately I took to thrift shops quickly, and customized some stuff to my style (thank the gods for Pretty in Pink coming out when I was in middle school) - I hope your young friend is able to find her own way/style/confidence in a culture that can make us feel less-than.
posted by pammeke at 11:15 AM on August 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Not to threadsit but I am especially interested in stores where we can go in person and try things on. I have found that some clothing brands (including Old Navy) have plus-sized kids/tween clothes listed on their website, but not in the actual store. Thanks!
posted by nuclear_soup at 11:21 AM on August 1, 2018

Unsure if they have plus-size girls sections in-store or not, but Sears and JC Penney appear to have them. Might be worth a call to their local stores?
posted by pammeke at 11:29 AM on August 1, 2018

I find in-person clothes shopping for my kids stressful for different reasons and have started to prefer to buy online from retailers with really good return policies. Would buying a bunch of stuff online from a store like Old Navy and then doing a free return of the things that don’t work be an option? In my experience returning items purchased online from Old Navy to a store results in a very speedy refund.
posted by ElizaMain at 11:34 AM on August 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Rue21. Not every store has a plus section (just saw your comment, and as a plus sized adult who tends to dress "younger" than my age - I feel your kid's pain; you're probably going to be doing a lot of online shopping and returning, I'm sorry :/ So forgive the online recs, please.), but they do free ship to store at $35 or more. Sign up for their email list, it's pretty constant sales and coupons. Their leggings are super comfy and will periodically go on sale for $5 (!) a pair. Cute skater dresses. I haven't tried the rompers, but I have a 20-something friend that swears by them.

Forever 21.

If she likes skater dresses, Cowcow is great for funky patterns in dressing and leggings.

Turtle Tee for graphic tees, especially if she trends geeky.
posted by joycehealy at 11:38 AM on August 1, 2018

Oh! Aerie, believe it or not, is doing a decent job of covering plus-sized cute underwear. I'm 5'3", 220 pounds, and pear shaped, and XXL in their underwear, if that helps.
posted by joycehealy at 11:40 AM on August 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I find in-person clothes shopping for my kids stressful for different reasons and have started to prefer to buy online from retailers with really good return policies. Would buying a bunch of stuff online from a store like Old Navy and then doing a free return of the things that don’t work be an option?

This type of thing is not an option because the person in question doesn't live super close to me and I see her only 1-2 times per month. Her mom doesn't have access to a vehicle or a credit card to make online purchases and can't help with the returns process. I like for her to have some agency in being able to choose clothes for herself that she likes, and so with online shopping, it's not really practical for us to shop together online (uncertain of what sizes to buy, anyways), wait for things to be shipped, and then arrange a way for me to travel to her to arrange for the returns. That's why it's best for us to do things in-person. (I know that makes it a lot trickier!)
posted by nuclear_soup at 11:57 AM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding Torrid - they often have leggings in fun colors and patterns and great t-shirts. They also have pop-culture related dresses and t-shirts.
posted by tangosnail at 12:30 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for clarifying OP! You are awesome for making such an effort to help this tween. I wish I had better advice to offer than online shopping and returns. If you live some where with access to multiple locations of stores like Target and Old Navy, it might work checking them all to see if one location has a better selection across a full range of sizes.
posted by ElizaMain at 12:35 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thirding Torrid - they do a big range of styles, the majority has a lot of color and print and pop culture references (mickey mouse glitter leggings) but there's plenty that would be good for like, serious occasions. They have a lot of active wear, swimwear, and a wide range of undergarments too. Their sizing does seem pretty consistent and true to their charts so if you guys do figure out the online shopping thing that's a good place to dip your toes into. They're pretty expensive, but it's not like anything cheaper will be better.
posted by Mizu at 1:05 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I also came here to recommend Old Navy, and reading the follow up can only really recommend that the larger stores seem to carry more sizes. I'd maybe call around and ask the stores in your closest metropolitan area's strip and regular malls and ask. I'd use the online size chart to guess what size she is, then ask the stores if they stock that size and the one above. If they do, go visit!

The bonus is that once she finds out the sizes that work for her, she/you should be more confident in ordering online in the future. (Not that the sizing is 100% consistent at Old Navy because it's not, but its usually in the ballpark).
posted by cgg at 1:10 PM on August 1, 2018

My feelings about the business aside, I have found that Walmart is helpful when shopping with my own (male) plus size tween. They are the only store in my area that regularly carries 'husky' sizes, in age-appropriate styles and reasonable prices.
posted by Cloudberry Sky at 2:01 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I know this isn’t exactly what you asked, but reading between the lines in your update, it seems like you can sometimes find plain clothes but not always the kind of appealing clothing she wants.

Have you considered getting some appliqués or embellishments from a fabric or craft store? They require ironing or simple stitching, which may be too much of a barrier given the situation you have described. But if you can find a plain black T-shirt that fits, a row of sequin applique around the neck or hem, or a sparkly star on the sleeve, or a Wonder Woman iron on, might make it more appealing? The Michaels and JoAnn stores I have been in recently both had a lot of sparkly designs and media-tie-in appliqués, which is why I used those examples! The clothes they are attached to supposedly can be turned inside out and washed, but I don’t know if how durable they are.
posted by holyrood at 6:47 PM on August 1, 2018

Justice has their own line of plus size kids clothes. Also stores like Ross and Marshall have a section called Juniors which skew towards teens, but I have found some decent clothes for my 9 year old who wears a size 16,
posted by ramix at 10:08 PM on August 1, 2018

« Older What to do with a four hour layover in Bangkok   |   DWAI and collateral damage on my new career.... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.