It’s hard to say if it’s more embarrassing that I cried in the SoHo Mara Hoffman store or that shopping in person as a plus-size person is such a rarity it reduced me to happy tears. After a decade of being told by well-intentioned sales staff that I can only find plus sizes online, standing in a thoughtfully designed store and hearing, “We do have your size in stock; I’ll get a room started for you!” felt euphoric.
Deciding if I like clothing before I’ve already purchased it is a true luxury for plus-size people. I want to hem and haw with credit cards burning a hole in my pocket in a flatteringly lit dressing room while I ponder if this is what I really want. I’m tired of convincing myself a garment is good enough because I simply can’t bear sending something back—again. The planet is paying for my returns’ carbon footprint. I am paying for my returns, and what once felt like swimming in a digital sea of possibilities now feels like a cheap substitute for shopping. Give me curated scentscapes and mood-setting playlists, soda water while I browse, and the ability to compare sizes without having to pay $20 in return fees.
If you’re craving that tangible experience too, I have good news. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or want a size-diverse group of friends to all be able to shop together, here are eight designers carrying plus sizes in stores in New York right now.
A feast for the senses in all aspects. The sales team always exceeds expectations (case in point: the comment thread on this post), and the dressing rooms are spacious, softly lit, and now the standard to which I compare other dressing rooms. Treat yourself and visit this calm exhale of a store, which carries 00–20/XXS–3X.
Ethical fashion fan-favourite Ilana Kohn is both designed and produced in NYC. The shop on Orchard Street is the perfect place to try out its often oversized silhouettes and give into your urge to own wide-leg coveralls. While you might not find the full size range out on the racks (XS-3X), the sales team is happy to pull your size from the back, so don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you’re looking for.
On the hunt for high-end workwear and elevated daily staples? Look no further than Vince. While you’ll only be able to find its plus collection at the Fifth Avenue location, make the trip to shop these splurge-worthy garments in person. Trust us, heirloom-quality wool coats, satin slip skirts, and cashmere sweaters are much more fun to try on in person.
Big Bud Press
This cute double-decker shop, with an interior that perfectly matches the vintage-inspired unisex workwear pieces and ’70s colour scheme the brand is famous for, carries sizes XXS–6XL. While the dressing rooms are a bit on the small side, the emerald tiled walls make a stunning selfie backdrop, and the bubbly staff rounds out the whole experience.
Just down the street from Big Bud Press is Wray, a Latinx-owned brand also offering sizes XXS–6XL, designed for the ephemeral cool girl who isn’t afraid to turn heads. The store itself is minimally designed, so the clothing stands out. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet Lemon, the shop dog.
Want to shop while sticking to a budget? Try Plus BKYLN. It offers a size range of 1X–6X and a mix of new, resale (including pieces from local-plus influencers), and vintage pieces as well as fat-positive accessories and art. It’s well worth the trip to Brooklyn and the perfect spot to spend an afternoon searching for a one-of-a-kind plus-size treasure.
This direct-to-consumer shoe brand started in Canada and expanded to New York in early 2022 with a playful shop in Nolita. Maguire boasts numerous wide-width shoes (and a recently launched wider-calf boot), an often hard-to-find accessory, especially in brilliant hues and iconic patterns. Cow-print loafers, anyone?
While its plus-size range is lesser known, Ganni is now carrying up to a 4X (the full size range is 0–US 20/4X) in select pieces at its SoHo store. The playful space, designed with sustainability in mind, on Mercer Street stocks its Levi’s collection as well as a selection of its extended size range; the sales team is more than happy to walk you through the specific pieces for you to try on. It’s also worth noting that this flagship carries extended sizes in shoes, going up to a 44, which we love to see.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com