21 Mid-Size Fashion Brands That Have The Chicest Clothing Options
As a petite-but-curvy size 10/12, I fit perfectly into the mid-size range. As a result, I don’t fit perfectly into my clothes.
For mid-size shoppers like myself, time spent in the fitting room usually turns into a Goldilocks scenario — clothes fit just a little too big, a little too small, but never quite right. With the fashion industry’s fixture on small sizes, existing on the larger end of the straight-size spectrum can be challenging. When you wear sizes L/XL, you’re often too big to shop standard stores, but are still too small to give plus-size brands any business.
As a petite-but-curvy size 10/12 (Bust: 40”, Waist: 33”, Hips: 45”) I fit perfectly into the mid-size category. As a result, I don’t fit perfectly into most of my clothes. I’m tired of too-tight XXLs (yes, really) and embarrassing moments at my local Zara. I knew there had to be some other viable options; I live in New York City, for crying out loud! If finding cute clothes was difficult for me, as a fashion editor living in a fashion capital, I knew others were struggling with the same issue. So, I decided to compile a list of my favorite mid-size fashion brands.
Of course, every body is different, so I can’t guarantee that every brand on this list will be right for you. I can, however, honestly say that these brands have restored my faith in fashion and helped me fall back in love with my wardrobe. Whether I’m looking for the perfect bodycon dress (AFRM, of course!) or some new denim (Good American or Pistola, no question), the below brands always accommodate my curves, and I’m rarely the largest size on their stocklist.
The only thing that could make me love these mid-size-friendly companies even more? If they expanded into *actual* plus-sizing as well. Consider this a “thank you, more please,” as I gas up the 21 brands below.
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High school Bella would be shrieking if she knew that I now cite Abercrombie as one of my go-to stores. Back in the brand’s heyday, I didn’t even fit into their largest tween skinny jeans. Now, I often find myself exchanging things for a size smaller than I expected. It sometimes takes a bit of trial and error, but the pieces are definitely worth it.
Aerie is a great brand for mid-size shoppers. I shop there for everything from swimsuits to bras to activewear, and the new terry cloth line is especially on-trend for Summer 2022. Plus, they were one of the first brands including mid-size models in campaign imagery.
As one of my most-shopped brands of all time — AFRM is the brand I’m always recommending to my friends. Their stretchy and sculpting sheer mesh pieces come in the coolest patterns (like this limeade zebra print). Everything runs true to size, but thanks to the stretchy material, you can comfortably go up or down a size if your go-to happens to be out of stock.
I don’t know why, but for a long time, I just assumed Alo Yoga didn’t make my size. Thankfully, I was wrong. I recently had a wonderful experience shopping in store and now I’m well on my way to becoming an Alo regular. Next on my to-buy list? A Kendall Jenner-approved tennis skirt.
It turns out, I’ve spent almost 27 years sleeping on Ann Taylor. I received this skirt recently (fashion editor perks) and didn’t think much of it. But since then, I’ve worn it at least ten times with a bevy of crisp white crop tops; it’s now a wardrobe staple. For work-friendly pieces you can still rock OOO, look no further.
& Other Stories
When I want a standout piece that doesn’t feel too overwhelming, I know & Other Stories will help me strike the perfect balance. The silhouettes and fabrics are always elevated, so even when they opt for a fun print or bold hue, I still feel classy.
Pardon me while I spend all my money on Aritzia’s Sculpt Knit tops. Satisfyingly stretchy and supportive, there are tons of different styles to choose from. My 34G chest often fits just fine in a medium or smaller— that’s how accommodating these babies are. They’re a bit of a splurge, but the power of a few good tops can change your entire closet.
Banana is my safe space when it comes to high-quality tanks and tees, because sometimes a crop top just won’t cut it. After finding your perfect fit (it’s the Roll-Cuff Tank for me) you’ll wonder how you ever got dressed without a few of these on standby.
Express has some low-key bangers, including chic separates and a Body Contour range that gives SKIMS a run for its money. I always size down in their stretchier pieces and my sister (who’s on the cusp of mid and plus-size) finds so many hidden gems there.
Good American has been such a game-changing brand for my wardrobe. The moment it introduced denim in a size 15, the brand made it clear that it cared about those of us who have difficulty finding mid-range sizes that fit well. Denim is their specialty, but the bodysuits, dresses, and specialty looks (like this jumpsuit!) are just as fabulous.
I buy literally all of my suiting from H&M and I want the world to know. My friends flock to Zara for coordinated sets, but H&M carries luxe-looking blazers and trousers, often for a fraction of the price. I occasionally go up a size in their pants, but blazers are usually true to size.
Hill House Home
I truly fought the Nap Dress craze for as long as I could — but dammit, these dresses are incredible. I recently snagged three at a sample sale and proceeded to buy even more from the brand’s site. You can definitely size down in these, as they’re extremely stretchy, not to mention comfortable and cute.
Buying luxury as a mid-size shopper can be difficult, so instead of jumping from designer site to designer site, I hit up Italist and filter by size. Italist carries brands like Burberry, Chloé, and Versace all the way up to size XXXL. You’ll never have that uncomfy feeling of walking into a luxury boutique and worrying they won’t have your size.
Never Fully Dressed
If I could only wear Never Fully Dressed, I probably would. Their wrap dresses won me over a few years back, and their creative use of color and pattern keeps me coming back. I tend to size down in this brand, but they go up to 24, and many of the dresses can be worn multiple ways.
Allow me to shout this one from the tallest of buildings: Do not sleep on Old Navy! I’d argue Old Navy has some of the best activewear in the game, often at less than $40. I recently grabbed a catsuit in size L during one of their many sales and wish I’d sized down. This shorter version is next on my must-snag list.
It’s taken me a long time to find denim I love, but Pistola jeans are some of the few that genuinely make me feel good. Available up to size 33, they’re the perfect blend of subtle stretch and classic sturdy denim, which means I can look cute and sit down without suffocating.
PrettyLittleThing is the only super-fast fashion site I check regularly. I find their sizing to be more generous than most — they even have a Plus range and a Shape range (made with curves in mind). I like to stock up on their draped skirts for easy summer ‘fits.
I buy all my underwear from SKIMS (Team Fits Everybody), but their bodysuits, sweats, and dresses have also become staples in my wardrobe. I tend to wear a large in their sizing (which goes up to 5XL) and reach for this extra-stretchy maxi at least once a week.
Staud’s knitwear sizing is so generous. I typically wear a medium in the iconic Shoko Dress, whereas I size up to L or XL in many of their other pieces. This dress comes in fifteen two-toned iterations, but I’d recommend any knitwear on the site, including the cute, chunky half-zips and the figure-skimming matching sets.
Tanya Taylor is my go-to contemporary brand for spring and summer dresses, with sizes up to 22. If a flowy, femme aesthetic suits you, I recommend saving up for a couple nice pieces and wearing them on repeat.
Year of Ours
Year of Ours is an activewear brand that has really won me over in the last few months. Their Active Rib sets fit like a dream, and the material snatches me in without feeling too compressive. I’m excited to snag myself a workout dress from their new Tennis Collection in anticipation of a sweaty New York summer.