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Shopping hasn't always been fun for us curvy gals. Finding cute clothes in even a size 16 used to be really difficult, but now there's a wealth of options in Australia that offer inclusive sizing (I wear an 18 — 20) and are actually flattering. Here are some of my favourite inclusive plus-size brands.
Best for: activewear and loungewear
Size range: AU Size 6-26
When it comes to activewear I have a few faves — DK active, Active Truth, Nike but one I really love is Remmie by Riley whose size range goes from an XS- 6XL. The brand is cool, it’s cute, it’s made from sustainable fabrics AND it’s founded by our very own QLD babe, Riley Hempson.
Best for: Casual clothes and basics
Size range: AU Size 10-22
My wardrobe consists mostly of activewear or loungewear these days with a sprinkle of ‘going out’ dresses. What I really lack are casual clothes; something you’d wear to Sunday brunch when everyone is dressing cute and not wearing tights and a hoodie. That’s where Commonry comes in. I adore the clothes as they’re basic, modern and made to fit a curvy body. They currently stock the BEST girlfriend jeans I’ve ever worn in my life, and they have physical stores so you can try them on! The brand is stocked in a range of David Jones stores across Australia.
Best for: Almost everything
Size range: AU Size 6-26
Let’s talk about The Iconic. Now, I know the fear of shopping at big online retailers very well. I know you’re scared that when you hit that ‘sort by size’ button all your options will disappear, and you’ll be left with a one-size-fits-all kaftan and some shapewear. But rest assured, that isn’t the case here. I shop at The Iconic more than I’m comfortable admitting, so let me tell you, there is a huge range of brands that cater to a size 20+ — with my personal faves being Dazie, which stops at a size 20 and Atmos&Here Curvy, which goes up to a size 26.
Best for: Lingerie & quick shipping!
Size range: 8A cup- 22H cup
This is my go-to site for lingerie. Playful Promises is one of those brands where you’re not left jealous of the ‘straight size’ section options and colours because almost all of their styles carry on to plus sizes. I’m never left looking at the site without purchasing something so take that as a warning or a challenge, but I promise you won’t be disappointed. Also, shipping took only two days to reach me here in Sydney, which is a huge plus.
Best for: Sequins!/festivals/generally feeling sexy
Size range: Literally. ANY.SIZE
Think Rihanna 2014 at the CDFA awards in the naked sequin dress — you know the one. Dyspnea is that, for the everyday woman. They're known for made-to-order garments that will fit literally anyone. I have one piece, and sometimes I just wear it around the house because it truly is one of those pieces that makes you feel incredible.
Best for: Smart casual
Size range: 16-22
The Forever New Curve extension is still relatively new to the brand, so it still sits in its own section on the website and is not yet available across all stores. Still, I’ve definitely noticed fast improvements since it first came out. Forever New’s clothes are great quality and cut really nicely to suit the curvier woman’s figure. Their jeans have great stretch, and the jackets have plenty of room in the arms. So if you’re looking for smart casual or even work clothing, Forever New Curve is worth checking out.
Best for: Colour and cute prints
Size range: 6-24
Ok, I know we're all secretly here for it: going out clothes and events that require more than just jeans and a nice top. So I give you Never Fully Dressed. I’d shop here if I were going to a spring/summer event or wedding. It’s cute, colourful, and flattering on curves.
Best for: Sustainability
Size range: 14-24
I know that as plus-sized women, we all wear our clothes to death. Which in the grand scheme of things, works out great for the environment, too. If you're looking for a fully sustainable option, then Reformation is the place to go. Cute colours, dainty spaghetti straps and thigh-high splits — it has everything my wardrobe needs.
As with most sustainable brands, it comes with a higher price tag, but wear it twice and it's half the price… right?
Best for: Swimwear
Size range: 10-20
I couldn’t write this article without including swimwear. I always struggle with this because, more often than not, the styles that come in my size are tankinis (not my style), or I try to squeeze into a size 14 that just doesn’t offer enough coverage. I have a range of brands that I like to shop from, like Saint Somebody & Girlfriend Collective but, I can’t go past fellow Aussie model Bree McCann’s brand, Code B. The brand offers cute colours, cute prints and even cuter styles.
I notice many brands now using ‘curve’ models in their marketing, yet they stop their sizing at an AUS 16. And while I think the hiring of diverse models and inclusivity is essential in their advertising, it would be great if those values were actually reflected in their size offerings.
I look forward to the day when women size 16+ can walk into a shopping centre, have heaps of options — and walk out satisfied. And not have to shop in the small, often frumpy plus-size section at the back of the store. Until then, I hope this helps and makes your shopping experience as enjoyable as it should be. We all deserve to feel amazing in fashion and have options to express ourselves as we please.