How I Shop On The High Street As A Curvy Woman

Shopping for me is quite possibly one of the most challenging things in the world. Something that is meant to be fun, empowering and stress relieving leaves me feeling utterly deflated, miserable and anxious. 

The fashion industry has always had it's issues but there has recently been a huge rise in the number of 'plus size' women we see in the media. I am so thrilled to see these women being represented but their is still a large portion of us who feel like we don't fit into any part of the industry. 

I'm by no means thin so I don't fit into that category, I'm not plus size just yet and I'm also definitely not purchasing any petite or tall pieces anytime soon. 
Even when it comes to blogging, I feel that there aren't many people who represent those with chunky thighs or wobbly arms and to be quite honest, it's hard to represent them because finding clothes that actually fit is a massive struggle. 

Since moving back to Liverpool, I've desperately wanted to shoot more fashion content but honestly haven't been able to try any new pieces without having a minor breakdown in the changing rooms. 
We all know the brands to avoid (Zara, Topshop, Brand Melville - just to name a few), but when they're still talked about so much, it's hard not to just join the masses. 

I wanted to write this blog post to reach out to those women who share the same feelings as me and to let them know that there are a small handful of high street stores that can actually cater to women with big boobs, small waists and chunky thighs. The original 'hourglass' figure as depicted by the beautiful Marilyn Monroe seems to no longer be represented. Something that was once seen as beauty and grace is now seen as shame and ugliness - which is honestly how I feel most of the time when I shop both online and in-store. 
I come away feeling completely defeated and resort to squeezing into my age old jeans and oversized jumper, which is pretty much my daily uniform lately. 

However, despite the negative vibes throughout this post, I wanted to highlight a few stores that very rarely let me down. 

Places to shop:

Firstly, Scandinavian stores are almost always your go-to. 

I discovered Weekday and Monki around 5 years ago on a trip to Stockholm and couldn't believe how good these clothes made me feel. I was even reaching for smaller sizes! The quality of Scandinavian clothes never fails to amaze me and these high street stores don't sacrifice their quality for the price. 
They know how to create both fitted and oversized clothes that will fit the majority of body types but especially if you're a little bit chunky but not quite plus sized, these shops are for you. 

Finding trousers that fit is the biggest pain for every woman, right? For me New Look have always been very helpful in providing flattering trousers that fit properly in all the right places. Most of the trousers I've bought from there have the right slack in the leg but also come with a belt on the waist so you can tighten it in if you are slimmer around that area. 

Another cheap as chips shop is Forever 21. I can't deny that the quality of these clothes isn't the best but for the price and the right statement piece, it's worth it. Again, I haven't struggled with many of their clothes sizes but one of the worst things about Forever21 is the actual store. I pretty much never go into the store and always opt to purchase online - trust me, you'll thank me later. 


Remember when we all loved Topshop Joni jeans because they were super stretchy and high-waisted? But then less than a month later the crotch was falling apart thanks to our good pal chub rub? Yup, bin them. 

I've decided to not put anymore money into Topshop after purchasing multiple pairs of these jeans and instead I spent months searching for something similar. 
I recently bought these Oasis skinny jeans which are just as stretchy, silky soft, an amazing length AND don't wear down anywhere, no matter how much you wear them. 

Good old Gap. Underrated and under-loved. I always forget about Gap but everytime I walk in there I walk out with an empty bank account and a full wardrobe. 
Especially as we get into the colder months, Gap jumpers are roomy, cosy and they almost always have a sale on (or some form of reduction). 

Places to avoid:

These places have to be the most depressing stores to go in if you're any size above a 10. Or is it just me? 

Zara - Pretty crap quality, can get some one offs (like the blazer I brought recently), but mostly they have tiny clothes and high prices. 

Topshop - I'm still on the fence about Topshop but most pieces I've purchased have been the weirdest sizes. I recently bought a dress that was tight as hell on the chest and huge everywhere else. And again, their prices aren't amazing. They do good shoes though. 

Brandy Melville - One size does not fit all. The most infuriating shop to ever exist. Plus you'll most likely be wearing the same t-shirt as your 12 year old cousin. 

SO that concludes my little guide to shopping on the high-street when you have curves. Just as a disclaimer, if you do shop in these places and find clothes that fit then bloody good for you!! But I sadly don't have a good time with them and just wanted to share my experience and tips on the matter. 

Lauren JohnstoneComment