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Plus size clothes on the High Street - 90% crap?

(68 Posts)
DraenorQueen Mon 02-May-16 13:00:06

I'm size 22 and 5 foot 7. I know I need to lose weight but while I'm this size I would love a few decent items of workwear to boost my confidence again.
I've just been to a fairly huge shopping centre and returned with nothing. Not one thing. I can't get over how shit the vast majority of plus size clothes were:

Sleeveless - not ok for work and I certainly don't fancy flashing my upper arms/shoulders at the moment!

Shapeless: no structure or shape so they literally just hang. If you're cursed with stupidly large boobs like me, it just looks make you look like a vast billowing tent!

Horrible loud jungle patterns: Why would I want to draw more attention to myself? HELLO EVERYONE, LOOK AT BIG FAT ME! angry

I would be eternally grateful if anyone could point me towards some flattering plus size work clothes on the high street - you know, wrap tops, v necks, flattering layers. I'm in such a bad mood having wasted my bank holiday morning! sad

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 02-May-16 13:18:32

First off, don't look in Fat Shops. If you're a size 22, you can fit in a lot of "normal" ranges - Monsoon, Boden, M & S. That said, I have got the best black dress ever from Simply Be, which is flattering and gives shape, and some excellent khaki jeans from there.

Most stuff from eg Evans is of the Polyester Tent variety (although I went in there the other week, and they had some nice stuff by Grace, which was more expensive, but better fabric and better cut), so avoid, avoid, avoid. My work wardrobe consists mostly of Boden dresses (plain ones, that can be tarted up with a scarf, not the patterned ones that you see everyone wearing), which give you a waist and a bit more shape. I also have a couple of straight skirts (can't remember where they're from) that tidy me up a bit, which I wear with a plain top, and yet another scarf or interesting necklace. I do have some cardigans, but think they can look a bit matronly if you have a large chest and stomach. I also have some dresses from Windsmoor and Planet which are good for weddings, and potentially work as well, with a fitted jacket to pull you in and streamline you a bit.

What sort of thing are you looking for?

tethersend Mon 02-May-16 13:18:57

Hotsquash dress

DianaT1969 Mon 02-May-16 13:21:23

Any of these M&S v necks - all in size 22 online:

With a cotton cardi

tethersend Mon 02-May-16 13:24:23

striped dress would look good with blazer and tan heels

tethersend Mon 02-May-16 13:25:32

blue dress

tethersend Mon 02-May-16 13:28:21

non loud print dress

DianaT1969 Mon 02-May-16 13:28:21

The M&S white one above isn't v neck, but I have a large bust and find that style still works as the chest area is broken up a bit.
Not a lot of choice in size 22 in smart workwear I fear, but hopefully you will be successful in your weight loss plan and once you reach size 18 there's a lot more choice.
Best of luck and don't let the high street get you down!

tethersend Mon 02-May-16 13:32:10


DraenorQueen Mon 02-May-16 13:32:54

Oh my god, a million thankyous. Ive just cliked o your first dress tetherend it's beautiful. I'm going to check out the rest of the suggestions - it's much appreciated. And I did lol at Evans being the house of "polyester tents." Absolutely!

DraenorQueen Mon 02-May-16 13:35:06

I'm loving these dresses. Diana I wouldnt have even thought to try M and S but they're actually nice!
In terms of what I'm after... I'm a teacher so would like something comfy and durable and non-revealing, but I'm management so it needs to have a smart element to it.

polyhymnia Mon 02-May-16 13:49:16

I second what mrs S 100%. Good stuff. Avoid fat shops at all costs. Also her thoughts on cardis.
I get most of my basics and my dresses from Boden - though I was very perturbed to see in their Autumn preview that quite a few of their things stopped at 20, including done nice jersey dresses which would have been very flattering. Have raised it with them and am awaiting answer. May do a separate thread on that.

Youremywifenow Mon 02-May-16 18:48:45

This is vey flattering. I love mine.
I think H&M have the best plus side clothes, check it regularly as the stock changes all the time.
That blue linen shirt dress looks nice as well.

DraenorQueen Mon 02-May-16 18:52:36

Wow thanks! That dress you linked in lovely but unfortuntely out of stock in the larger sizes. I'd never have though of H and M for plus sizes - never seen a plus size range in store so I assumed it was a "skinny" shop. I do like this on their website...

MiddleClassProblem Mon 02-May-16 18:58:50

I've found some nice bits at marisota too but like others said I love monsoon, new look for cheap bits, tk maxi too. I tend to mostly shop online though as I can't be arsed to root around

Youremywifenow Mon 02-May-16 19:01:04

All my clothes come from H&M.
I have this one as well, also very flattering. They did it in green and I have both:

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 02-May-16 19:06:13

DQ - have a look on eBay too - I've picked up some new Boden dresses on there for not very much at all.

MiaowTheCat Mon 02-May-16 19:08:25

If you're near one - keep an eye on the ex catalogue shop - they quite often have things in from the likes of marisota ridiculously cheap and they tend to have more plus size than normal size stuff at the one I go in.

Evans are shite - takes a certain degree of skill to make a pair of jeans where one chuffing leg shrinks in the wash!

DraenorQueen Mon 02-May-16 19:11:27

oh I LOVE the X Catalogue shop! I've had so many bargains from there including stupidly cheap wide calf boots for Winter. And then they went and closed it down!!!!

ColeslawSandwich Mon 02-May-16 19:14:23

Mango have a plus size range too Violeta

Destinysdaughter Mon 02-May-16 19:15:42

Try Curvissa, not on the high st but they'll send you a catalogue and they've got some nice stuff!

ZestyDragon Mon 02-May-16 19:15:47

I was looking at dresses in Evans online last night and noticed that so many are so short! Why would I wear something above the knee at a size 20?? As advised by PPs above don't go near Evans. Its just so bad now and you know, it used to be ok.

I live in NI and a lot of shops are quite far from me but try Debenhams, Marks, Matalan, even places like supermarkets can be ok. I have recently started getting most of my stuff from Simply Be - but that's mainly because its a bloody long way to any shops.

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 02-May-16 21:27:57

I agree re short dresses if you've got fat legs. I do knee length, but no shorter. I work with someone who is porky and very fond of the mid thigh dress, and they just look hideous - loads of bluey white dimply flesh. They don't look so bad when she wears thick tights or leggings with them, but the bare leg look is just dire. She would look much better if the dresses were knee length, as the shape really suits her, but they are just too short.

this model would look much better if the dress was knee length.

polyhymnia Mon 02-May-16 22:57:14

I looked into a Simply Be shop on Oxford St recently and was aghast at all the cheap and basty looking polyester. As bad as Evans. Will be sticking with Boden.

travailtotravel Mon 02-May-16 23:01:54

Some good stuff in Studio 8 - the plus Phase 8. Also phase 8 has some up to 22. Violeta. Taking Shape - this very hit and miss but I've had so r good stuff in there. If you can deal with taking through the polyester, Yours have some good trousers in cotton - just got the chinos in 2 black and stone to see me through.

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