The Complete Shopping Guide for Tall, Petite, and Plus Size Women
If you’re a special size (like tall, petite, or plus), finding clothing that fits can be downright agonizing. Luckily, I’ve come up with the complete guide to shopping for special sizes. I’ve broken down each special size into several sub categories like: casual, work (business clothing), wedding, shoes, etc. so you can easily find exactly what you’re looking for!
But what if you don’t know what you’re looking for?
I know that sounds, stupid, but how many times do we….
1) go shopping with only one thing in mind (and that one thing may, or may not, go with the other clothes in our closet)?
2) mindlessly window shop without really knowing what we need?
If you’re like most women (including me!) you end up doing this more often than not. You’ll save money and time, though, if you start with these 20 basic items in your wardrobe and then add on from there!
It’s already hard enough to find the right clothes (and how to wear them) when you are a special size- so don’t make it any harder! This style book tells you exactly what you need (no matter what age or size) and the right styles for your body shape.
My goal was to make this list digestible, not exhaustible, so if I left out your favorite place to shop- leave a comment and tell me where you love to shop and for what size range (tall/petite/plus/etc.)
Note: each brand name is a direct link to the website where the described type of item can be found (therefore, ASOS under tall casual will go directly to tall clothes on the ASOS website).
Price indicator: Average cost of items from each retailer
- Ann Taylor: $$ Ann Taylor has a whole section just for tall women and provides a good selection of classic clothing at reasonable prices.
- ASOS: $ Asos has a ton of tall options when it comes to well priced, casual clothing. Be advised however, that their target market is for the under 35 crowd.
- Banana Republic: $$ The nicest of the three Gap companies, BR has tailored casual and professional clothing in tall sizes.
- Gap: $ More casual than BR, but with some dressy options like blazers and tailored pants. Much of what is available in regular sizes is available in tall.
- JCPenney:$ Like many other department stores, JCP offers a specific tall shopping section on their website. While most of the clothes are casual, you can find professional separates like skirts, dresses, and jackets.
- J.Crew:$$ From cocktail dresses to denim shirts, J.Crew has a lot to offer tall women.
- J.Jill: $ Relaxed, casual clothing for tall women. J.Jill caters to a 35+ age group.
- Lands’ End: $ Casual clothing and swimwear is available in tall for both their original (older target market) and canvas (younger target market) lines.
- LOFT: $ LOFT is Ann Taylor’s less expensive and more casual line. You’ll find similar aesthetics to Ann Taylor, but less formal.
- Long Tall Sally:$ to $$ This online boutique only sells brands that are suitable for tall people (and fashion forward!) They cater to a young professional market (ages 25-55).
- New York & Co: $ Affordable clothing ranging from casual to professional. BONUS: Their new Eva Mendes collection is adorable AND available in tall.
- Old Navy: $ Like its sister brands Gap and BR, Old Navy offers a good selection of casual tall clothing.
- Simply Tall: $-$$ This online boutique only carries tall casual and (some) professional clothing. The pieces are more classic than trendy and cater towards a 30+ market.
- TopShop:$ Like ASOS, TopShop has tall options in trendy, younger looking clothing.
- JC. Penney, J.Crew, New York and Co, Simply Tall, Long Tall Sally, Ann Taylor, LOFT
- ASOS: $ ASOS specializes in casual and formal clothing and skips the whole professional look. Luckily, they have great depth in those two categories and lots of tall items to choose from.
- Ann Taylor: $$ While Ann Taylor doesn’t have tons of cocktail dresses, they do have several classic little black dresses at reasonable prices that are one fabulous necklace away from cocktail worthy.
- Long Tall Sally: $-$$ From cocktail dresses to shoes up to size 15, LTS will have you fashionably dressed for your next event.
- DSW: $ Find trendy and classic shoes up to size 15 and in wide options.
- Long Tall Sally: $ This online boutique only sells shoes in size 9-15 (and they’re good looking!)
- Nordstrom:$-$$ Nordstrom carries a decent amount of their most popular shoes in a special 10.5 and up section. (You can also search by wide foot and wide calf!)
- Shoes of Prey:$$-$$$ Can’t find any shoes you like? This website allows you to create your own. No longer does your long, narrow foot have to wear ugly shoes. Sizes up to 15 in varying widths.
- Zappos:$-$$ Zappos has a nice range of styles from tennis shoes to professional heels all the way up to a size 20!
- Ann Taylor: $$ Similar to talls, Ann Taylor provides a whole section of classic, refined clothing just for petite women.
- ASOS: $ Well priced casual and going out clothing for a younger crowd. Great selection of petite clothing.
- Banana Republic:$$ BR has a nice selection of casual and professional clothing for petites both online and in stores (some stores have a petite section that’s just as big as the ‘regular’ section!)
- Dress Barn:$ A great option for both career or casual clothing in petite sizes. You can also find a Dress Barn in most larger towns, so buying things online isn’t your only option.
- Gap:$ More casual than BR, but with dressy options like tailored pants and blazers. Their pant options for petite (and tall) are quite extensive.
- JCPenney: $ Like many other department stores, JCP offers a specific petite shopping section on their website. While most of the clothes are casual, you can find professional separates like skirts, dresses, and jackets.
- J.Crew: $$ J.Crew offers a nice variety of preppy clothes in petite sizes. You’ll find everything from cropped sailor jeans (at least, this season!) to suits.
- J.Jill: $ Relaxed, casual clothing in petite sizes 0P-18P. J.Jill caters to a 35+ woman.
- Lands’ End: $ Casual clothing and swimwear is available in petite for both their original (older target market) and canvas (younger target market) lines.
- LOFT: $ A younger and more casual version of Ann Taylor clothing complete with an entire petite section.
- Lord & Taylor: $-$$ If you’re looking for a great variety of petite work clothes, Lord & Taylor has you covered.
- Macy’s:$ Work clothes, lounging clothes, swimsuits, jeans…you name it, Macy’s probably has it (in petite!)
- New York & Co.: $ Affordable clothing ranging from casual to professional. BONUS: Their new Eva Mendes collection is adorable AND available in petite.
- Nordstrom:$-$$ Nordstrom offers a really wide selection of petite clothing ranging from casual t-shirts to formalwear.
- Old Navy: $ Like its sister brands Gap and BR, Old Navy offers a good selection of casual petite clothing.
- Talbots:$-$$ Classic casual and professional clothing in petite and petite plus sizes (up to 22w)
- TopShop: $ Like ASOS, TopShop has casual petite clothing for a trendy, younger crowd.
- Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Dress Barn, Gap, JCPenney, J.Crew, LOFT, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Talbots
- Ann Taylor: $$ Although they don’t have a lot of cocktail dresses, there are some good options you can dress up to be more formal.
- ASOS: $ If you’re looking for a dress for an upcoming wedding/cocktail party/whatever, ASOS has a great selection.
- Dress Barn: $ Pretty day and cocktail dress options at prices under $100.
- Lord & Taylor:$$ Petite formal dresses in available from a variety of well known designers.
- Macy’s: $-$$ Convenient search options allow you to find dresses for daytime, cocktail, prom, and even weddings.
- Nordstrom:$$ A good variety of formal dresses suitable for different occasions and ages.
- David’s bridal: $$-$$$ They say they have a dress for every bride and every budget and I think they’re right! Petite gowns range from $99-$2000.
- Dainty Lady: $ This British company only sells petite sized undergarments, and they ship anywhere!
- Lula Lu: $ Online lingerie store specializing is petite sizes as small as AAA.
- Cinderella of Boston: $ This online boutique only carries sizes 2-5.5.
- DSW: $ DSW offers shoes all the way down to size 3.
- Nordstrom: $-$$ Forget shopping in the children’s section. Nordstrom has cute shoes (flats, heels, you name it) down to a size 4. There’s even a ‘4.5 and under’ search option.
- ShoeBuy: $ Online retailer with a variety of shoes brands in sizes as low as 4.
- Shoes of Prey:$$-$$$ Can’t find any shoes you like? This website allows you to create your own as small as size 2!
- Zappos: $-$$ Zappos has a nice range of styles from tennis shoes to professional heels as small as size 1.
- M.M.LaFleur: $$ Professional clothing subscription company that offers sizes 0P-16.
- Stitch Fix: $ Casual clothing subscription box with a growing number of petite offerings.
- Trunk Club:$$ Casual and professional clothing picked by a stylist and sent to you at your request (so, not technically a subscription because it doesn’t come every month unless you want it to!) Inquire about special sizes.
- ASOS: $ Once again, ASOS provides a great selection of casual and formal clothing in plus sizes up to 26.
- Avenue: $ An online store exclusively for plus size women. They even carry special plus sizes like petite, tall, shoes up to size 13, and bra bands sizes 50 & 52.
- Catherines: $ Don’t like buying online? Catherines are almost as plentiful as department stores across the US. They sell casual plus size clothing for a 30+ age woman.
- Dillards: $-$$ Huge range of any type of clothing you could possibly want.
- JC.Penney: $ Like other department stores, JCP has a nice selection of plus size clothing including swimwear and underwear. While they don’t sell plus suits, you can buy professional separates here.
- Jessica London: $ An online retailer specializing in plus size clothing. They carry casual clothing, suits, cocktail dresses, lingerie, swimwear and everything in between. Sizes go up to an 8x.
- Kohl’s: $ A low cost option for casual plus sizes up to size 26W.
- Lane Bryant:$ Online and brick and mortar retailer specializing in plus sizes. They carry everything from work clothing to swimwear (and activewear!)
- Lands’ End: $ Lands’ End signature classic style and great quality is available up to size 26w.
- Lord & Taylor: $-$$ A range of casual and formal styles from various designers that go up to size 30.
- Macy’s: $ Having trouble finding professional clothing in plus sizes? Macy’s has you covered with a special ‘wear to work’ search option.
- Nordstrom: $-$$ Nordstrom proves that plus doesn’t have to be frumpy or for just a certain age group.
- Simply Be:$ Simply Be carries sizes 8-28 exclusively and cater to curvy figured women who want trendy clothing. :
- Talbots: $-$$ Classic casual and professional clothing in regular plus (sizes 12w-24w) and petite plus (12w-22w).
- Torrid: $ Trendy, casual clothing for women sizes 10-30.
- Dillards, Jessica London, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Lord & Taylor, Talbots
- Dillards: $-$$ Get your sparkle on with dresses for all occasions.
- JC.Penney: $ From mother of the bride to cocktail hour, JCP offers a nice range of occasion dresses at a good price.
- Lane Bryant: $ Classic cocktail dresses for (mostly) less than $100 a pop.
- Nordstrom: $$ Lots of options for plus size women including a whole prom collection!
- David’s Bridal: $-$$$ Find plus size wedding dresses in sizes up to 26. Prices range from $40-$2000 and you can even search for plus size petite.
- ASOS: $ Find trendy swimwear up to size 24 and/or size 38 DDD/F. They also have cute lingerie up to size 24 and/or cup size 44L.
- Bare Necessities: $ Classic undergarments up to a size 58B.
- Catherines: $ If you’re more concerned about function and practicality when it comes to underwear than lacy little nothings, Catherines is the right place for you. They also have a nice selection of swimwear.
- JCPenney: $ Affordable swimwear and intimates with sizes up to 26w.
- Lands’ End: $ Lots of swimwear options up to 26w and a nifty search tool that allows you to filter results based on things like ‘sun protection’ and ‘conceal thighs’.
- Lord & Taylor: $ L&T is bringing sexy back for women who wear sizes up to 38I. They also have plain panties too, if that’s more your thing.
- Macy’s: $ Pajamas, shapewear, sexy lingerie, and basic undergarments- Macy’s has anything you could need.
- Nordstrom: $-$$ Sexy lingerie and practical undergarments and shapewear for up to size 48F in certain styles.
- Simply Be: $ A diverse range of underwear and swimwear…they even have mermaid blankets!
- Torrid: $ Fun and trendy underwear and swimwear for sizes up to 48DDD.
Shoes (see wide shoes below)
- Dia & Co:$ Monthly clothing subscription box specifically for women sizes 14+.
- Gwynnie Bee:$ Subscription clothing box company for sizes 10-32.
- Stitch Fix:$ A casual subscription clothing company that offers sizes 14W-24W and 1X-3X.
- Trunk Club:$$ Casual and professional clothing picked by a stylist and sent to you at your request (so, not technically a subscription because it doesn’t come every month unless you want it to!) Enquire about special sizes.
- Plvsh:$-$$ Personal styling subscription box (for sizes 14+) that could include casual or professional clothing based on your needs.
*Wide shoe hunting tip*: think outside the box. You might not think of shopping for shoes at a plus size store if you aren’t plus size, but these types of stores usually carry a good selection of wide shoes!
Here are some great places to find wide shoes:
- ASOS: $ Trendy, wide, AND well-priced…is that even possible? With ASOS it is.
- DSW:$ DSW not only offers wide shoes, but they also carry them in sizes 4-15.
- Nordstrom:$-$$ Nordstrom has you covered with four different wide categories including: wide calf, wide, extra wide, and extra-extra wide.
- Shoes of Prey: $$-$$$ Can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Create your own! Shoes of Prey allows you to customize your own shoes including length (sizes 2-15) and width (both narrow- extra wide).
- ShoeBuy: $ Online retailer carrying a variety of wide shoes from different brands ranging from size 4-17.
- Simply Be: $ Under the footwear category, Simply Be let’s you choose between with type of wide shoes you’re looking for (sandals, boots, heels, flats, etc.)
- Zappos:$-$$ Zappos has a reputation for having a wide shoe selection and for a good reason- they carry sizes 1-15 and AAA through extra extra wide including tennis shoes, casual, and professional shoes.
Whew, that was a lot of information! Be sure to bookmark this page (and download the cheat sheets for your preferred size) so that you know where to turn next time you need to go shopping.
FYI: I cover dressing different body types in an entire chapter of my Style Guide E-course (plus lots more!) If you struggle getting ready in the morning or you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear- this is going to be your lifesaver.
Tell me…what’s your favorite place to shop for hard to fit clothes?