Does River Island Run Small? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Too small?

Last Updated on January 8, 2023

Shopping at River Island but unsure how their sizing fits? Here, I’m laying out everything you need to know about the brand’s sizing, whether you’re shopping from the main line or plus size range.

I’ve been a fan of RI for years, but it came as a shock when I found an article about a woman who bought four different pairs of size 18 jeans from River Island, all of which came in different sizes. Many have called out the brand for their inconsistent jean sizes and how they perpetuate unrealistic body standards on social media.

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model wearing shearling oversized aviator coat
River Island

River Island has since apologized for the extreme size discrepancy for the jeans. A spokesperson also said they regularly review their fits across all products to verify size consistency.

Whether you’ve been a fan of the brand or have been curious about its edgy and fun pieces, the headline might have surprised you too. We can all agree that finding the right size in different stores can be tricky.

Your usual size can run big in one brand and too small in another. So you rely on different size guides or prefer to go in-store and actually try out the clothes.

When buying online, I usually buy two different sizes of the same item. Sure, it’s pricey, but you can always return the wrong size and feel happy that the other option fits.

If you want to avoid size mishaps while shopping River Island, I dug around a few forums and reviews to know more about their sizing options.

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Does River Island’s sizing come up small?

I’ve scrolled through this discussion on Mumsnet and The Student Room to see what people think of their sizes. Many agree that some of River Island’s items run small, like some of their tops and blouses.

Unlike the viral jean post, it seems like a lot of shoppers had to size up for jeans. Some have found that their trousers and jeans run bigger than their usual size, so they have to size up.

There are not enough reviews about their dresses or skirts to gauge if they’re true to size. It would be best to refer to their size guide to get an idea of how the pieces will fit.

woman wearing white coat from River Island
River Island

A lot of these reviews are about their petite sizes and not their plus-size collection.

They have two different fits: plus and petite. Their plus size clothes cater to sizes 18/28 UK, and their petite sizes range between sizes 14 and 16 UK.

The brand also disclosed a disclaimer for its petite collection, saying that the collection was designed for women who are 5’3” and under. So, if you’re neither slim or curvy but definitely taller than 5’3″, there’s a possibility a few of their dresses and skirts can run short.

woman wearing beige turtleneck bodycon dress from River Island
River Island

What size do River Island models wear?

River Island is quite transparent about the sizes their models wear. If you’re on a desktop, click “PRODUCT DETAILS” and you will see a pop-up for their product information, including the sizes of the clothes their models are wearing.

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River Island Model Size

Are River Island plus sizes true to size?

Fashion blogger, She Might Be Loved reviewed the brand’s plus size collection and was pleasantly surprised by the fits. She mentioned that the dresses from their plus size collection are true to size, some have a generous fit, but they’re not so loose that you need to size down.

I also found a few haul videos, like one from Becky Reynolds, who was also shocked at the quality, chic designs and fit of River Island’s plus-size clothes. She was so happy to find mum jeans that fit her apple-shaped body.

woman wearing beige hooded padded coat from River Island
River Island

River Island size guide UK

They have a pretty comprehensive size guide you can find here.

They also have a simple measurement how-to which covers height, bust, waist, sleeve and even inside leg measurements.

Does River Island have plus sizes?

Yes, River Island has a dedicated section for plus-size clothing. Their plus size clothes offer sizes 18/28 UK and there are not many reviews on whether or not their plus size section also runs large.

So, you can order two different sizes: your regular size and another that’s a size down. It may seem like an expensive option, but you can always return the wrong fit. You can learn more about their return policy on their website.

The best option of course is going to their stores and trying their clothes to make sure you’re getting the correct size. You can use their store locator to find the nearest River Island.