Five Plus Size Designers to Know

And to get in your closet ASAP

07.06.16

For more thoughts on size diversity in the fashion industry, check out our Round Table on plus size women in fashion. 

Let’s get something out in the open: finding cool plus size clothing is not an easy task. Because of the lack of plus size representation in the fashion industry and the tendency for mainstream brands to sell larger sizes exclusively online (which means you can’t just walk into a store and try them on), shopping can turn into an unnecessarily stressful experience.

But maybe we can make it a little bit easier? Scroll down for five brands ready to make their way into your closet and reiterate that fashion exists beyond a size 14.

Zelie for She

Zelie for She

Elann Zelie knows how hard it is to make up your mind when it comes to personal style, which is why the Los Angeles-based designer of Zelie for She makes clothes that range from boho to minimalist.

Think: Printed caftans and matching shorts-sets worthy of your Loulou de la Falaise fantasies, and body-con dresses and shirts for that Rihanna-meets-Bowery vibe.

Sizes 1x-3x

Hackwith Design House Plus Line

Plus-Size-Designers-to-Know-Hackwith-Design-House-Man-Repeller

For those low-key days when you just want to hang out and tend to your fire escape garden, there is Hackwith Design House’s plus line.

Think: Lots of tencel, loose silhouettes and earthy colors.

Psst, there’s a knotted skirt on sale right now that is blowing my mind.

Sizes 1x-3x

Universal Standard

Plus-Size-Designers-to-Know-Universal-Standard-Man-Repeller

A girl’s got to work, and since it is generally frowned upon to show up sans clothing, Universal standard makes office appropriate, high quality clothing that actually isn’t boring.

Think: Pencil skirts and knits with added elements of design.

Sizes 10-28

Beth Ditto

Beth Ditto

Beth Ditto, lead vocalist for the band Gossip and frequent Jean Paul Gaultier model, recently released an eponymous clothing line that is every bit as cool as she is.

Think: Jumpsuits, bright prints and a special t-shirt collaboration with none other than Gaultier himself.

Sizes 14-28

Jibri

Plus-Size-Designer-Jibri-Man-Repeller

Jasmine Elder, the designer behind Jibri, is not afraid of piling on the excess fabric, which she pleats and folds to make trousers and skirts that hang off the legs and create beautiful shapes. Think: Bold prints, bright colors, structured (and sometimes geometric) silhouettes. And yes, that is a pair of drop crotch pants that you spy. Man Repeller stamp of approval.

Sizes 10-28

Feature photograph provided by Zelie for She; carousel photographs provided by Universal Standard. 

plus-size-designers-to-know

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  • Lana

    not critizising you in particular, but is it necessary to use the description plus-size? i wouldn’t know what other word to use. but it seems so excluding, and insinuating that it is abnormal (as opposed to just wearing clothes like everyone else, you are suddenly with a label, “plus-size”). and the worst thing is, that this label is not your choice, but with a certain body-type, you just are a plus-size person, being forced and ghetto-ized to shop in the plus-size (read: not normal, but plus some extra; big; fat) section. i love Amy Schumer’s reaction to herself finding out that she is apparently labelled with having a plus-body by Glamour Magazine.

    i am just so over these labels for verything (like, you’re not just attending a wedding, but a “gay wedding”, you’re not just wearing clothes, but “plus-sizes”).

    but other than my hang-up on this word, i love this round-up. so good to shine a light on more options than squeezing the butt into a too-tight Zara-skirt! beautiful pieces.

    • Carla Dani Miranda

      It’s necessary. Some people can’t find large clothes (or representation)
      if they don’t search for the label plus size, even though some brands
      swear their usual L fits everyone (and it’s a lie lol).

      If you search for “denim outfit” or any other trend mostly what will show up are skinny models. If you search for plus size denim outfit the result is way more specific.

      The problem does not relies on the labeling but the initial
      exclusion created by fashion industry. We’re kinda obligated to create
      our own space and the label for it its just an unfortunate consequence.

    • Echoing Carla’s comment below – it is very necessary. The problem is not the term; it is the stigma surrounding fatness.

    • Claire Berlin

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/04/06/amy_schumer_s_problem_with_glamour_proves_the_stupidity_of_the_term_plus.html

      ———> “The Schumer-Glamour kerfuffle is a helpful reminder that labels like plus-size serve no purpose other than to make women feel inadequate and quibble over an imaginary line between fat and not-fat. Dress size and weight bear little relation to a woman’s looks, health, or how a particular piece of clothing will fall on her. Even the word itself is a misnomer, since plus-size clothing usually starts around size 14 – about the size of the average U.S. woman.

      Two of the celebrities mentioned on Glamour’s cover along with Schumer have previously expressed their distaste for the term. “I so look forward to not always categorizing. … And I don’t think it’s
      done so much with men,” Melissa McCarthy said in one interview.

      Graham prefers the equally meaningless word curvasexalicious. “I know that a lot of women still love [the term plus-size] ‘cause there is a culture out there of feeling belonged and feeling like a part of something. And I totally respect that,” she’s said. “But for someone like me – I don’t feel the connection to the word plus-size. I just feel that it’s ostracizing a lot of women.”

      In a second Instagram post published Tuesday, Schumer agreed. “Bottom line seems to be that these labels are unnecessary and reserved for women,” she wrote. That’s true – and the first step toward dismantling those labels is rejecting the temptation to squabble over their semantics.”

      @carladanimiranda:disqus @curvilynyc:disqus I do see your points! But I disagree that we have to accept something as “just an unfortunate consequence”, and i think that the term helps create the “stigma surrounding fatness” and thus is part of the problem.

  • zincink

    Errmagherd look at that super awesome skirt

  • Universal Standard is one of my absolute faves – everything is amazing. Lots of great day-off and weekend options too: My asymmetrical sack dress from them is the actual best.

  • Aydan

    Didn’t Rachel Antonoff also launch a collaboration for plus sizes? If so that may be something else awesome and fun to check out!

  • Malu

    I am so in love with all five of these designers! I am so happy that plus sized women finally get the chance to find cute clothing because size should not be a factor in doing so. These looks are all so perfect and I love that we have now been embracing all body types as we always should have. I can’t wait to see more from all of these designers and this was such a great post. It will be shared for sure!
    http://www.musebymalu.com