The top 10 plus size clothing stores in Toronto
The top stores for plus size clothing in Toronto are a far cry from what shoppers have come to expect from 14+ clothing. The elasticized waists, polyester turtleneck tunics, and sequined butterfly motifs that still haunt the shelves at some specialty retailers are slowly disappearing, thanks to the rising popularity of style blogging and the growing realization that plus-sized shoppers want and need real fashion - not just what's "forgiving," "flattering," and "camouflaging."
While there are still improvements to be made, particularly in terms of accommodating all sizes and budgets, Toronto is giving its plus-sized customers reason to get excited about going shopping through friendly environments, a sense of inclusivity, and most of all, beautiful clothes.
Here are the top stores for plus size clothing in Toronto.
Your Big Sister's Closet
There's something for everyone at this cheerful Junction boutique: Wannabe Bettie Pages, Edie Segwicks and Claire Underwoods can all find gold among owner Karen Ward's collection of dresses and separates in sizes X-3X. Don't leave without perusing their accessories, including bright tights, costume statement rings, and sharp handbags with extended straps. (Ward also organizes Big Deal Toronto, a popular annual pop-up sale where fashion bloggers sell pieces from their own closets. Finds are phenomenal and rarely over $20.)
This elegant Bathurst boutique is a top destination for classic pieces and Canadian designs in sizes X-3X. Helpful owner Victoria McGroarty has an eye for wearable, versatile pieces like day-to-evening dresses, casual blazers, leggings and cute but practical undergarments. Feminine details and timeless prints are a constant, as are current looks like bright pastels and sweet blouses with menswear detailing. Vintage-inspired bathing suits that fit like a dream are pricey, but completely irresistible.
This aptly named shop, offering sizes 12-30, recently underwent a move and a makeover after opening five years ago at Yonge and Church. While it's no longer technically in Toronto, the shop itself is now as vibrant as its unique merchandise - a substantial collection featuring covetable day and evening dresses, and made-to-be-seen lingerie. Owner Stefanie Augusteijn works hard to make sure shoppers keep coming back, offering private shopping parties and meet-and-greets with local bloggers.
A welcome affront to the belief that plus-sized shoppers should be covered from head-to-toe, Voluptuous sells bold, blatantly sexy clothes in sizes X-3X. This small Canadian chain's selection recently transitioned to include (slightly) more diverse pieces: High-waisted booty shorts and strapless bodysuits now share space with beachy maxis, crisp A-line dresses, pencil skirts, and sheer boho blouses. Service ranges from encouraging to entirely disinterested, but prices are usually on point.
Architectural, modern and sophisticated is the rule at this brand-new Dundas West shop. PRiMAALA is unquestionably fashion-forward, featuring sharp blazers, crisp skinny pants and richly textured knit dresses in sizes 12 to 24. Saturated colours and substantial fabrics mark much of the selection - an alternative to the bright, feminine pieces favoured by other boutiques. The store's stunning, opulent design gives some glamour to the shopping experience, something lacking in a lot of plus-sized stores.
The Answer specializes in mid-to-high-end plus-sized clothing from sizes 14 to 24. Selection relies heavily on drapey fabrics and modest shapes - think art-teacher chic - but interesting details, good quality, an emphasis on natural fabrics, and a welcoming environment set this midtown boutique apart. Classic businesswear, athletic gear and a great selection of sweaters are highlights. (Just stay away from the obnoxious style tips on their website.)
While it lacks the cool chaos or Cinderella-at-the-ball awesomeness of some of the city's better used clothing destinations, Curvaceous Consignments is the only local store of its kind catering exclusively to plus-sized customers, from sizes XL-5X. Most pieces err on the side of conventional and business casual, but there are a few vintage knockouts waiting to be discovered, including knockoffs of Marilyn's famous halter and Joan Holloway-worthy curve worshipping sheaths.
Legs Plus and Bra Boutique
Hidden in a suburban strip mall, Legs Plus is claustrophobically packed with both upscale and everyday lingerie. Unlike other bra specialists claiming to service plus sizes, only to stop at a 40, this welcoming shop sells sizes 28D-58J. They make the list for understanding not all plus-sized bodies are created from the same DD-and-up mould. Hard-to-fit sizes, like small cups with a large band, are readily available and can be ordered if not in stock. Bonus: the store offers a 15-day trial period.
This high-end Yorkville boutique is renowned for its colourful, upscale workwear in sizes 8 to 26. While the larger sizes are overpopulated with matronly styles and boxy cuts, there are some beautifully tailored pieces with interesting details to be found. Of-the-moment jacquard coats, cropped patterned pants and pencil skirts with subtle, eye-catching details are standouts, as are opulent beaded accessories.
Rosie the Rebel
Calling themselves "Canada's rockabilly, psychobilly and retro clothing retailer," this Bloorcourt boutique sells '40s and '50s-inspired pieces - mostly glamorous and cheeky full-skirted dresses - in sizes XS to 4X. Their selection is limited, but this is the only shop in town catering to lovers of brash pinup style that gives substantial shelf space to plus sizes, and makes sure shoppers on the larger end of the spectrum aren't left out. Friendly staff know their products and how they work on plus-sized bodies.
Writing by Ashley Petkovski. Lead photo of PRiMAALA by James C Lee.