Unless you’re between sizes 8 to 14, finding clothes that fit well, are affordable and stylish can be challenging, to say the least.
Many brands are now opting to focus on sustainability, while others aim instead to be trend-led and affordable. So where does size inclusivity land?
The average British woman is a UK 16, but there are still countless retailers who fail to offer clothes that fit anybody above that.
They analysed over 100 of the most popular, fast fashion, mid-price and premium stores in the UK to find out which are the most reliable for plus size women and which should be avoided.
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The most inclusive retailers for plus-size women
The results are in and you may be surprised to find out that Shein is the UK’s most size-inclusive retailer.
While it might not be sustainable, the brand offers over 88,000 plus size items on its website and caters to a wide range of sizes, from a UK 6 to 26.
Silkfred are next in line, offering 15,900 plus size items and catering to sizes 4-32.
Debenhams, Prettylittlething, Next, Lipsy, Missguided and John Lewis also appear on the list.
The least inclusive retailers for plus-size women
So which brands have the smallest (if any) selection for plus-size women?
Unfortunately Pull & Bear and AllSaints top the list as they offer zero plus size items. The largest size they both stock is a 14, while the smallest is a 2.
Vans bizarrely offers 1 plus size item, while Bershka offers 61. Both retailers only stock items up to a size 16.
French Connection, Weekday, Never Fully Dressed, Oliver Bonas and Reiss are also some of the worst offenders when it comes to size inclusivity.
If you’ve ever discovered you’re a size 12 in one store and a 16 in another, you’re not alone.
In fact, the Inclusive Index finds that brands hugely differ when it comes to their sizing.
They analysed a standard UK 16 across all the different retailers and found that the bust measurements differed by as much as 9.7cm, the waist measurements by 12.5cm and the hip measurements by 13cm, between the smallest and largest measurements.
The brand found to consistently have the smallest measurements out of over 100 brands was Urban Outfitters. A UK 16 in UO would be even smaller than a size 14 at New Look, ASOS and Missguided.
If you’re looking for advice on what sizes to buy if shopping online, they’ve also put together some handy guidelines for labels I Saw It First, New Look, Warehouse and more.
It can be difficult not to be emotionally impacted when clothes you anticipated fitting don’t, but it’s important to remember that these vary hugely from brand to brand.
Instead of focusing on the numbers, it’s best to focus on whether something fits well and makes you feel comfortable and confident.
There are many sustainable fashion brands that also cater to plus sizes, many of which can be found here.