Hi there, my name is MaiMai and I’m a plus size Hmong girl who has to work and save money just to buy me clothes because I shop at high-end stores. Just kidding, but really, I am plus size and the places I shop at are not that cheap. Being a plus size sometimes causes me high blood pressure, that might be too exaggerated, but it does give me stress because sometimes nothing fits properly or my size, which is US 16, gets sold out. Additionally, plus size clothes are overall more expensive, limited in choices, and harder to find. Below, I made a compilation of places where I like to shop for my clothes.
- American Eagle. As far as I know, American Eagle carries up to a size XXL in tops, dresses, and bottoms and 20 in jeans online. So yes, they’re not considered a plus size inclusive, but I still want to mention them for girls who do wear the larger sizes that AE carries. I have shop in-store mainly to buy tops and panties, but I’m more of an online shopper since I don’t mind waiting for my items to arrive. The number one thing that I buy from American Eagle is their jeans. As a matter of fact, most of my jeans are from American Eagle. I wear a size 16 or XL (sometimes a large depending on the style) in bottoms and I have to say that I love American Eagle jeans. The quality is really good, and the fit is just perfect. I always wait when there is a sale for their jeans, that’s when I buy them. Plus, if you used the app, then once in a blue moon you get 25% off each item just keep an eye out and check that app. So, if you wear up to a size 20 and are looking for a pair of good jeans then try getting a pair of AE jeans.
- Torrid. I believe that Torrid carries from sizes 12 and up. They like to start their sizing at 00, so for me, at torrid I’m a size 1 sometimes a 0 depending on fit and style. Now, Torrid is really expensive their prices literally blow my mind away. However, there are certain periods that I shop at Torrid. First, is the time when you can earn Haute cash. If you shop at Kohls or Rue21 then it’s similar to Kohl’s cash and Rue bucks. The only difference is that there are specific time frames throughout the year when you can earn Haute cash and you have to spend $50 or more, which earns you $25 off a $50 purchase. Second, is during the time when you can redeem your haute cash which can only be used on regular priced items. Third, is then you get an extra percent off clearance items. These are the only three times when I shop at Torrid. The only other time when I shop at Torrid is when I earn $10 rewards or get my little birthday reward because I’m a Torrid Insider. So, if you’re not a Torrid Insider then sign up for it and start your shopping.
- New York and Company. Oh, how I so wish New York and Company can come back to my hometown. The next three closest ones are an hour to an hour and a half away. As far as I know, they only carry up to a size 20 or XXL, I may be wrong since I’m not sure. One thing I love to purchase at New York and Company is their suit separates. I own about three sets. Now there were times when I have to go up a size because the clothes were made for a slim fit, which doesn’t bother me.
- Forever 21. For a long time Forever21 used to be my favorite store, it still is one of my favorite stores, but I’m no longer obsess with it. They carry up to a size 3x and depending on your location choices can be endless or limited. The two Forever 21’s that I’ve been too, sadly, it looks like their plus size section sort of shrunk over the past few years, so I don’t often shop there a lot now, but once in a while, I do get good finds and deals from them. The one thing that I used to get from Forever21 was their coats/jackets and sweaters. I bought a pair of jeans once and the fit wasn’t right because while the leg fits the waist was too big. For their dresses, I do have to say that if you’re like me and you have a bit of armpit fat or larger upper arm then you’re going to have to go in and try on their dresses with sleeves. All the dresses that I have from Forever21 are sleeveless because the sadly the sleeves are too tight on me, but they are still cute dresses. I do love some of their choices for button-up shirts and even have a few of them in my wardrobe.
- Rue21. Like Forever21, Rue21 carries up to a size 3x and I do find that their sizing is a bit off, sometimes it runs small and sometimes it runs big. Once, I order a shirt in size 1x, only to return it in store for a size xl, because the 1x had an awkward fit on my body while the xl fitted perfectly. Then one time, with one look at this shirt I bought a size 3x because the 1x and 2x were way too small. It was funny because one of my friends, who wears a medium, also had to go up two sizes for the same shirt. While I feel like their tops are not that worthy of the prices, the jeans and most of the jackets are. I have three pairs of rue21 jeans, and they are just as good at the AE jeans. They have good quality and it fits me perfectly.
- Charlotte Russe. Another store that carries up to size 3x. I don’t do a lot of shopping from Charlotte Russe, in fact, the only thing that I ever buy from them is jewelry if there’s any that I like. I do have a friend that loves shopping there. She wears a size 2x and sometimes she does size down to 1x depending on style and fit. She loves their leggings and jeans, which I think is what she mainly buys there. If you do happen to wear the same size as me, which is 1x, you may fit an XL. A few weekends ago while I was in Raleigh for a one-day trip, I ended up trying a romper in size xl it was a great fit I fell in love with it but didn’t buy it because I was having a debate if I should or not. I came back home and ended up ordering it online because I couldn’t let it go. I also have two or three tops, including one skater skirt, in size xl from the place. That’s because I have an awkward body, so any bottoms with elastic bands in size 1x are too loose on me. For price wise, I do have to say that their prices don’t really match their quality for both regular and plus sizes, but when the clothes get markdown it might be worth it.
- Sammy’s Dress. I first discovered this store online a few years back when I was browsing for a simple and cute black dress. Now, Sammy’s Dress carries brand from Asia and sometimes European Countries. So, I always look at the sizing guide before I make an order. So far, I have only order dresses from the website and only one of my order came in wrong. It was a two-piece set, with a top and dress. The dress didn’t come in, but customer service was really nice, and I got my money back after I explained the situation in an email. They didn’t even make me send the shirt back to them because that would cost a lot of shipping money. Instead, they told me to keep the shirt saying that I can give it away to friends or charity. The prices are pretty cheap and affordable, and the quality is pretty good. The shipping process takes a while, but so far, all my orders came a lot faster than the expected delivery date.
- Maurices. I have never bought anything from the store itself; however, when I used to work at Rugged Wearhouse, we did get a lot of clothes from Maurices that were sold at discounted prices. I bought a few from Rugged and I have to say most of the clothes were pretty cute. Now, I have walked into the Maurices store in hometown and it took me a while to find the plus size section because it was a really small section. I managed to find a few cute looking dresses, tops, and bottoms but I never make a purchase because even the clearance items were still pricey. To summarize Maurices’ fashions it is almost like a crossover of Cato’s Fashion and Rue21(???).
- Cato’s Fashion. I don’t often shop at Cato’s Fashion, but when I find something cute I buy it. I usually shop clearance at Cato’s, and to me, it seems like Cato is always having things on clearance. So if I see a regular price item, I usually wait to buy it. If it’s no longer available in store, then I get it online. At the Cato’s, I always try on their clothes because sometimes depending on the material and style, I can fit a size XL. Quality wise, it just depends on the materials.
- Avenue. When I’m with my older sister then it’s Avenue, one of her favorite places to shop. And mine too when it comes to knee-high boots. Which brings me to my next point. If you have huge or wide calves, Avenue is the perfect place to go shopping for knee-high boots. For the longest time, I have difficulties finding knee high boots for me. I started to do research and magically came upon Avenue. After browsing on the site, I decided to visit the store and bought my first pair of knee-high boots. Since then, all my knee-high boots come from Avenue. Additionally, I have also purchased two pairs of dress pants and the fit is wonderful. For one of the dress pants, I actually have to size down so some of their clothes might run a bit bigger. Additionally, if your job requires you to dress professionally, then Avenue do carry a good selection of professional wear.
So, there you have it, a list of my favorite stores where I like to shop. I’m not much of girl who likes to spend her day off shopping all day every week so there might be other stores for plus size that I didn’t mention. If you want to, feel free to leave a comment below where you like to shop whether you’re plus size or not. And if there are other plus size stores that I didn’t mention put them in the comment.