To quote Edward Lewis in “Pretty Woman,” “Stores are never nice to people. They’re nice to credit cards.” And that can be especially true when it comes to those looking for larger sizes, but there is hope on the horizon. According to Bloomberg, in 2016, the women’s plus-size clothing market was worth an estimated $20.4 billion; for three years prior, growth outpaced that of women’s clothing sales overall. And because of that, it seems that stores catering to all clientele are no-longer a thing of the past. While the all-inclusive fashion industry still has some catching up to do, the options are better than ever. Here we have compiled five of our favorite national and international boutiques that welcome all shapes and sizes, because if you are anything like us, you can’t truly call any travel a “vacation” until a day of shopping is in the bag.
It is a powerful thing when all women can walk into a store and say, “I like this. Can I have that in my size?” That is what Vogue-approved brand Universal Standard continues to do online and in cities like Seattle, New York and Chicago. Carrying 00 to 40 in everything from active to workwear in timeless styles and colors, the shopping at their brick and mortar is like no other. Their showroom is where guests can meet with stylists one-on-one to curate their wardrobes, experience the full lineup of the brand’s work or simply chill in their mini-library.
Find Universal Standard at 175 N Ada St. Suite 200, just a 12-minute drive from Virgin Hotels Chicago.
While Primark might not be a household name (yet) in the US, since being founded in 1969, they have made quite a name for themselves. Located in over 12 countries, the value-focused fashion retailer offers a diverse range of the latest trends in clothing for women, men, and children along with homeware, accessories and beauty products. Not only are their clothing sizes and prices comprehensive (some t-shirts are as low as $2,) their stores offer vibrant experiences like a Disney cafe, walk-in barbers and more.
Culwell & Son
Men are spending more money on their clothes than ever before, and more men than ever are plus-sized. So, while men don’t have as many options as women, lots of stores are giving the guys the same inclusivity that women have been fighting for in the fashion industry for years. And then there are some brands that have been doing it since 1920: meet Culwell & Sons. Carrying everything from sportswear to classic custom clothing, Culwell is known for more than their famous made-to-measure suits that will be sure to thrill any Mad Men man. Their Lucchese custom boots (with some designs being described as “crazy” by the owners themselves) are another favorite at the unpretentious clothier.
Find Culwell & Son at 9026 Garland Road, just a 12-minute drive from the upcoming Virgin Hotels Dallas, opening in late 2019.
San Francisco, CA
From everyday tops and bottoms to jewelry, swimwear and even wedding dresses, ModCloth continues to push the fashion boundaries in sizes XXS-4X. With a business model that includes reimagining timeless aesthetics for a modern era, creating original prints and designing unique pieces that are accessible to all, their brightly colored pieces continue to be a fashionista favorite. An experience at one of their stores goes a little something like this: after shopping around a bit, you jot down the styles you want and your personal complimentary ModStylist takes it from there.
Find ModCloth at 2033 Fillmore St, just a 17-minute drive from Virgin Hotels SF.
New York, NY
Harry Rothman started it all when he was just 12-years-old, selling goods out of a pushcart in NYC after the untimely death of his father. Fast-forward to today where Harry’s grandsons, Jim and Ken, are running the show and are often found on the sales floor helping customers. With over 11,000 square feet of contemporary yet classic fashion including swimwear to perfectly tailored coats, the family maintains Harry’s goal of bringing affordable clothing to Fifth Avenue. While their aesthetic includes the ultimate in time-honored looks, partnerships with brands like Reyn Spooner keep them on the forefront of fashion.
Writer: Stacey Russell