What’s Happening in Plus Size Brands
Activewear, Swimwear & Casuals
Take a look at what’s happening with curve fashion and the Australian plus size brands that are catering for diverse sizes in active wear, casual wear and swim wear. Read on in this updated post to find the best plus size brands in these categories…
While high-end fashion labels worldwide are generally slow on the uptake when it comes to adding curve sizes to their lines, most budget brands have been adopting plus size women’s clothing for years. Brands in Australia such as Sportsgirl, Kmart, Target, Big W, and Cotton On are bringing bigger girls gorgeous casual fashion and activewear. Yet other Aussie brands refuse to extend their size range.
What Constitutes a Curve Range?
Curve ranges usually start at a size 16, most of them ending at 18 or 20, which is hardly enough to cover most plus size women, literally! Yes, we can hear the chorus of “stop complaining, they already have a curve range”, but the buck shouldn’t stop at a few sizes deep. It’s as if they’re saying “that’ll do” when they reach size 18 or 20 and it has a lot to do with how curve women are viewed.
If you’ve ever been on social media, you’ll know that curves are in fashion. Curvy girls are more confident than ever and with the body positive movement gaining momentum, it’s helped a lot of size 16+ women boost their self esteem online. Australian fashion labels are beginning to erase the line between a ‘curvy hourglass girl’ and a ‘big plus size girl’, where an hourglass figure was classed as sexy and any other shape could apparently get stuffed.
Why is it so Difficult to Shop for Curves?
For only the first time, last May, Australian Fashion Week featured a dedicated Curve Runway. Prior to that there’d been a massive chasm beyond size 16. Strange, considering women size 16+ have disposable incomes, want to wear the latest trends, and want to feel confident in their clothes. So why not give it to them?
For plus size women, it can come as a shock to realise that many curve sizes are unavailable in stores, with only online browsing available. It’s hard enough shopping retail as an 8-12, needing to try on various sizes and brands to find what fits right. So imagine having to resort to online shopping as a size 16+. You’ll have to search for hours to pick the items you want, measure yourself against a ‘size guide’, receive the package, open it to find the fit/size is wrong, send it back, and do it all over again! You’d need to shop weeks in advance for an event. GOOD LUCK if you only want to shop sustainably. Your options get even smaller.
So, Is There Any Hope for Plus Size Women?
Thankfully, independent Australian brands are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to creating stunning fashion that stands up for curvy women everywhere. And they’re not stopping at size 18! Rather than relying on higher fashion houses to create change and offer inclusive sizes to their existing lines, there are brands out there designed for curves.
It’s a lucrative force to be reckoned with, and we’ve found some amazing Australian labels that are pioneering large sizes. Take a look at the Australian plus size brands below that are catering for for diverse sizing in activewear, swimwear and casual wear.
Plus Size Labels to Try – Active Wear
Active Truth was born out of the need to create activewear that performed as good as it looks on real-life bodies without model proportions. Active Truth is committed to creating quality products for a diverse range of women, from sizes 6 to 26, including maternity, and celebrating them too.
Hailing from Perth, Anam Activewear promises comfort, style and support for women up to size 20. Sweat-proof, squat-proof and life-proof, Anam offers a solid garment to support you – no matter what level of exercise you’re at. Functional and flattering.
We love the sustainable credentials of Boody garms which are certified cruelty free and from an ethical supply chain. Boody is continually is looking to improve their sustainable practices. Sizes go to 4XL/Size 24
This Aussie activewear label is all about making pieces that will go to a happy home, not to landfill. Though you’d never guess it, Elle Evans pieces are created from ‘magical regenerated nylon’ made up of dredged plastics from the ocean. Sizing up to 24.
Exoticathletica is built on the philosophy that everyone deserves to feel confident in their own skin. After struggling to find activewear that fit her shape Exoticathletica was made to fulfil a need for clothing that fit a range of women, from petite to plus. Trailblazing the ‘lazy girl’ aesthetic since 2014; effortless looks to fit you – not the other way around. With a focus on comfort and functionality, from GYM to SWIM, Exoticathletica delivers quality activewear to fit and flatter all figures!
Plus Size Labels to Try – Swimwear
Es Una is a smart swimwear option that provides comfort, coverage and confidence to women of sizes 6-24. Designed and made in Australia by a certified Ethical Clothing Australia manufacturer, Es Una swimwear provides UFP50+ sun protection. It gets better. They’re made out of 100% recycled fibres that were once discarded fishing nets. You can forget about feeling self-conscious with Es Una’s range of rashie dresses, beach pants, shorts and practical yet flattering, tops. With effective sun protection and stylishly modest designs, say goodbye to summer stress.
Changing the world for the better – one swimsuit at a time. While swimwear shopping can be a confidence killer, thankfully Baiia Swim Creates unique and flattering swimwear for the everyday woman. Gaining press coverage in leading Aussie magazines and blogs for their flattering fits and sustainable practices, Baiia takes the stress out of swimsuit shopping. They even include a complimentary post-purchase fit consultation.
Shapes in the Sand
Shapes in the Sand is an eco-conscious swim brand, boasting one-of-a-kind designs up to size 16 made with responsible manufacturing. Patterns are cut and printed in Sydney using minimal waste practices. Excess fabric is repurposed into other projects. Circularity is key. All swim collections are unique and made to last, summer after summer.
Artesands is a brand that is always ahead of the curve when it comes to loving your curves! Everyone is uniquely different and breathtakingly beautiful, Artesands vision is to help all women love their bodies and feel damn confident in their own skin. With their own grading system, every size is followed by a + which means: plus a little bit more. Catering for everything from long torsos to different size top and bottom, they’re known as being true-to-size for curvy women.
Saint Somebody is an independent luxury swim and resort wear label with sizes up to 24. Finished by hand and made in small batches, Saint Somebody preferences recycled fabrics and 100% sustainable linen. With mindful design and sustainable practices, Saint Somebody is inspired by all women and their beautiful diversity.
Make swimsuit shopping a breeze with Andie’s stylish staples designed for modern life. No more adjusting, tugging or pulling; just well-made, well-cut suits that keep everything where it should be and feel comfy as heck – it’s like you’ll be wearing nothing! Designed for life’s sunniest moments with every fit preference, occasion and everybody in mind.
Sequins and Sand
Get your summer groove back with the wide range of swim and resort wear labels at Sequins and Swim. We are all different and and so are our shapes, so it’s great to know that these guys cater for all body dimensions – empowering women to live their summers with confidence! Shop swimwear, resort wear and holiday essentials all in one place from sizes 10 – 30.
Recognised by their eco crinkle fabric and a signature gold seashell accompanying each piece, Cleonie Swim is an independent, family-owned label operating from the sunny shores of Sydney. Every product is made consciously with love and understanding, with each garment made to order by hand. Made from an exclusive e-crinkle fabric, one size fits most.
Plus Size Labels to Try – Casual Wear
Barja The Label
Carrying size from 12 to 26, another reason to love Barja is that it’s a middle eastern name after the founder’s heritage. The label is a carefully curated range of mix and match clothing that works much like a capsule collection providing you with all the basics on which you can build. On trend and with each garment given a woman’s name Barja scores high on our list for diversity along with cool clobber.
Tired to trying to find a good fit? You’ll love Commonry – it’s focus is all about good fitting clothes. They don’t favour one size fits all. Rather they are focussed on getting sizing and fit exactly right. with an eye for structure and tailoring, Commonry’s pieces are designed to streamline your silhouette while providing top level comfort. they have the full range of casual wear, from shorts and tees to sweats and accessories and dresses. They regard conventional sizing as unrealistic. It’s no wonder they’re growing so fast.
Monica the Label
Relative newcomer Monica the Label has earned it’s stripes, having been around since 2013 and catering for sizes 6- 24 one of the most diverse size ranges on the market. You can’t miss Monica’s message on instagram, usually featuring two women, one a size 6 and one plus size. Featuring loungewear, tracksuits and dresses that are not afraid of pretty and vibrant prints, Monica began her label out of pure frustration at not being able to find fashionable clothing in her size. Deciding to make her own fashion label, this savvy fashionista was well aware that she wasn’t the only plus size Aussie looking for unfrumpy clothing and voila- Monica the Label was born!
It’s as if Harlow has heard our frustration about the lack of diversity at Australian Fashion Week and they answered the call by being proud to have showcased the most diverse fashion runway at Melbourne Fashion Week. Offering clothing in sizes 12-26, Harlow’s range includes outerwear, knit wear, skirts, tops, maxi dresses and accessories. Harlow is hell-bent on making sure that shopping for clothes is an enjoyable experience for plus size women and, bonus points – Harlow are MADE IN AUSTRALIA!
Boho is no longer the sole domain of those of slight or slender builds. Ever comfy, it’s the perfect style for plus size women and it’s a bit of a surprise that Boho labels haven’t generally extended their ranges to size 22 as Adrift has done. Ranging from size 8 – 22, slips and camis also feature in their range, along with denim jackets. Block colours, prints and florals, Adrift offers heaps of matching or complimentary accessories in jewellery, bags and footwear. This is one of those unique plus-size brands where you can organise your complete outfit from head to toe from these guys!
Denims, tees , uber-cool jackets and dresses in sizes are all here for you from sizes 12-26. It’s owners have an Australian fashion pedigree bred from designing lines for Myer and David Jones and it shows. 17 Sundays has been featured in Vogue, US Vogue and countless fashion editorials. They’ve achieved what they set out to do, create designs that are not featured for being plus size but for their intrinsic fashion merit. 17 Sundays is of Australia’s plus size fashion brands that everyone should know about.
Featured Image: Es Una
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