I am a size 12, which lands right in the nexus between what most fashion brands consider straight size and plus size. Despite the average American woman falling between a size 16 and 18, it’s still difficult for me to shop in most stores, especially when I like to size up for a loose fit. This becomes more of a nightmare when you consider that there is no universal size chart that works across brands, which means you can’t blindly shop for clothes everywhere even when you “know” your size. Sometimes sizing can vary within one brand as a woman named Riley Bodley discovered last year at American Eagle when she suddenly went from a size 0 to a size 4 in the same pair of jeans. She posted about her experience on Facebook and it went viral. The struggle to shop is clearly real for everyone.
Even if you’re smaller than I am with a curvy frame, certain retailers can make you feel left out because their straight cuts don’t accommodate hips. Zara and J.Crew are the first places that come to mind when it comes to that issue. You have to size up substantially and by then you’ll need a tailor to make the clothes flatter the rest of your body, and that’s only if the brand offers a size big enough for your hips.
If you’re an in betweenie on my side of the size spectrum, some brands may carry above a size 12 but only online, which is where I do most of my shopping these days. It’s not ideal, but there’s more selection, zero chaos, and I can filter by size. Here are my go-to places to shop:
I could shop online at Asos all day every day. They cater to inbetweenies perfectly with trendy clothes done in a variety of silhouettes, making sure there’s something that will suit you no matter your body type. The best part is that they offer free return shipping where all you have to do is put the items that didn’t work for you in the original packaging, throw on the shipping label, and drop it in your nearest mailbox. It’s so convenient!