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How to Buy Plus Size Clothing Online with Confidence

By Stephen Hadley September 03, 2023 Beauty

Shopping for plus size clothing in most retail stores is a less than enjoyable experience.

Your options are limited. You have to shop in the back of the store in the hidden, tucked away plus size department. And then you must deal with the salespeople who are not too friendly in many cases.

Some retailers are getting it right. But why deal with all that when you can just shop for plus size clothing online? It’s so simple and easy, right? Well, sometimes.

It can be intimidating to shop for clothing online, especially if you haven’t done it before. Not all brands and designers use the same sizing guidelines. You may be one size with one brand and then have to go up or down multiple sizes for another. It all feels like a guess-and-test method of shopping.

Want the benefits of shopping for plus size clothing online – but feel unsure about making a purchase? Use this guide. The tips below will help you shop with confidence.

Know Your Measurements

If you want to buy plus size clothing online, first you need to know your measurements. This will help you avoid buying things that are too small or too big, only to have to deal with returns and exchanges.

Skip the stress and make a smart purchase by shopping for your measurements, not just your size. Be sure to take your chest, waist and hip measurements so you can be sure you’re getting the best fitting clothing for your figure.

Take Your Time

You know your measurements. You’re ready to shop. But this is where the entire process can get overwhelming.

There may not be many plus size clothing options locally, but there definitely are online. So many, that it can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re easily stressed by the shopping process, be warned. But don’t be too worried. The good news is there are lots of ways to make it easier.

Search Smart

Search for specific clothing types instead of just “plus size clothing.” Try phrases like “plus size tunics” or “casual plus size clothing.” You’ll be able to wade through the search results much more easily and find exactly what you’re looking for.

Hit Your Favorite Spots

Is there a local retailer that you like but doesn’t carry many plus size options in-store? Check out their online stores to see if they have a better variety of options. In most cases, their web stores will carry styles you won’t find in most physical shops.

Go Boutique

Many plus size clothing designers are selling their clothing direct to customers through online stores. These boutique shops offer stylish looks that are designed specifically for plus size women. Don’t shy away from a store or brand just because you haven’t seen it locally.

Part of the allure of a boutique shop is that you’re getting a truly unique style. Big box retail stores stock rows and rows of the same old stuff.

Boutique designers tend to work with a wider range of colors, prints and styles. You can even find handmade clothing with intricate designs – something you’ll never get shopping in a department store.

Compare Prices

Check out your options in various online stores. You may be able to get discounts for signing up for a site’s email newsletter or similar customer list.

Check the Size Chart

You found a few pieces you love. But which size should you order?

Before you decide, compare your measurements with the store’s size chart. Most online retailers have detailed sizing charts that explain the exact dimensions of their clothing.

If they don’t, it’s probably best to just find a different retailer. Stores and designers that truly cater to plus size women understand the importance of a detailed size chart.

Know the Return Policy

Even with checking your measurements against the size chart, there’s still a chance your item won’t fit quite the way you like. You may have to return or exchange it.

Before you buy anything, review the store’s return policy. That way you won’t get stuck with an unfortunate surprise should you have to make a return.

Smart Shopping, Amazing Style

Shopping online is the best way to find beautiful plus size clothing. Use these tips to shop with confidence. You’ll soon have gorgeous new additions to your wardrobe.

If you want to try some of our plus size clothes, we are offering a 10% discount for our Sixty and Me sisters in our Etsy Shop.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Where do you shop for plus size fashion online? What are the biggest challenges you face when placing an online order? Have you been happy with your online shopping experiences or do you prefer to shop in a local shop? Please join the conversation.

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KD O’Neil

FYI, the Etsy shop linked in this article is permanently closed.


Being a plus size gal, I still love to shop. I prefer going to stores and trying on the clothes, but since covid, I do lots of online shopping. At least with online shopping, I can have more options and not be next to “maternity sections” also (lol) And as this post states: Measurements are always important. And the return policies. QVC and HSN offer many plus size options in clothes. I admit I return more when I shop online, but recognize this is one way I can stay fashionable. Enjoy the experience!

The Author

Stephen Hadley, founder of Generous Fashions, has been exclusively creating plus size clothing for women (XL to 4X) since 2002. He designs fabric and garments for and his Etsy shop, which offers Sixty and Me readers a 10% discount here Sign up for the Generous Fashions newsletter for new arrivals and member discounts.

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