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Plus size clothing: what to wear if you’re plus size and over 50

plus size clothing 

Plus size clothing: what to wear if you’re plus size and over 50

“I always feel I look scruffy. One day I saw a woman wearing almost the same outfit as I was, jeans and navy Breton top, but with the addition of a slim scarf. It made all the difference between scruffy and smart. I then proceeded to go on Ebay and bought complementary scarves for my Boden and Joules tops.The little neckerchiefs are the most practical and more chic (not that the word ever applies to me!)” Shysal

It's no secret that women come in all shapes and sizes, but all too often retailers cater only to size 10 - 16 while ignoring those who are plus size... not to mention those who are plus size AND over the age of 50, which is a whole different ball game.

So what items of clothing are the most flattering for plus size, older women? Which brands are the go-tos for us 50-pluses? And what should you consider when dressing to suit your shape? We reveal all (Not literally. Don’t panic.)

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The best plus size clothing for women over 50

Having a few staples up your sleeve is a good way to make sure you have a top-notch plus-size wardrobe. Here are the essentials that should get you through any occasion… as well as a day pottering around the house.


1. Wrap dresses

"I love wrap dresses and find them very flattering.” RainbowsandUnicorns1

plus size wrap dresses

Wrapover dress: H&M

If you're looking for plus-size clothing over the age of 50, wrap dresses are a definite must-buy. The V-neck shape is a particularly complimentary style for those who are heavier on top, while the wrap element will highlight your waist shape in a pleasing way. If you feel like you have too much ‘decolletage’ (or boobs) on show, you can always wear a slip or vest top underneath. Dress them up with colourful tights and chunky jewellery or dress them down with leggings and boots. Versatile and available in a range of styles and fabrics, a wrap dress is a wardrobe staple every woman should own, and they are super comfy, too.

Where to shop:

Try Boden or John Lewis for gorgeous wrap dresses in stretch fabrics.


2. Tunics 

“Out and about it is jeggings and tunics. Comfort always comes first.” GrannyPiper

Seasalt Port Gaverne Needlecord Tunic

Port Gavern Needlecord Tunic: Seasalt

Tunics or longer tops are perfect for fuller figures as they are flattering on most, if not all, body shapes and hide any areas that you might not feel too comfortable with. Bottoms and tums, we are looking at YOU.

If you can afford to splurge, buy a range of tunics in different prints and colours to bulk out your capsule wardrobe and provide a bit of variation on days when you can't just can’t be bothered to decide what to wear. Comfy and fun, don a tunic with jeans during the day or pair a longer style with leggings if you’re off out. They’re the ultimate in comfy-but-chic just-chuck-it-on outfits.

Where to shop:

Take a look at White Stuff and Seasalt for an array of jersey tunics and Dorothy Perkins for longer length tops.


3. Jeans or jeggings

"OMG!! I gave up on actual Jeans with zips, baggy waists etc years ago! Partly because of the arthritis in my fingers but also having discovered the comfort and ease of lookalike denim stretch 'jeggings' there was simply no going back!” Cariad25

plus size jeggings

Cotton rich jeggings: M&S

As for trousers, jeans are your best friend, but it's comfy stretch fabrics all the way, we say! Find a pair with a bit of give at the waist and try a darker colour (black or dark blue) if you want to make your legs look slimmer. Jeggings are the ideal alternative to jeans if you find the latter isn't comfortable enough. Pair with a longer length top, a blouse or a jumper depending on the occasion (and weather!). 

Where to shop:

You'll find a range of stylish choices at M&S and Cotton Traders


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4. Tailored outfits

"I prefer tailored, well fitting classics, cost is immaterial - they last.” Norah

plus size tailoring

Joanna Hope wide leg trousers: Fifty Plus

A tailored fit - not too tight or too loose - makes any outfit look polished and well put together. There’s something of a lack of tailored options for plus size women, but brands such as JD Williams have a range of trousers and jackets that are perfect for adding to your work wardrobe or or going out in. Tailored clothing will make you feel confident in clothes that fit you like a glove. And it's more than affordable, too, if you know where to look.

Where to shop:

If you hadn't already guessed, JD Williams is a must for tailored outfits as are Marisota.


5. Curve-hugging pencil skirts

"I love my new black pencil skirt, I haven't got a big bottom. I wear it just past the knee and wear tops that are no longer than just on the hip bone. Has to be with either kitten heels or boots and black tights." LuckyLegs9

plus size pencil skirts

Tailored pencil skirt: Simply Be

Clothes should make you feel good, not frumpy, which is why we reject the age-old rhetoric of 'dressing to suit your age'. Choose styles that flatter your body shape and you’ll never go wrong.
Hip-hugging pencil skirts accentuate curves, and are a wardrobe staple that you can wear with a tucked in blouse or top for work, at an event, or just for going out. A pencil skirt gives the illusion of a defined waist and, while it may be cinched around the middle, it doesn't have to be uncomfortable. Most high-waisted pencil skirts come in stretchy fabrics that sit comfortably and provide a bit of breathing room at the same time.

Where to shop:

John Lewis is a good shout here. 


Top style tips for plus size women

Is there a rule of thumb when it comes to choosing plus size clothes? Not really, according to Gransnetters, but these five tried and trusted tips might just give you a steer in the right direction.

  1. Don't be afraid to embrace your curves
  2. Know your shape and what suits you - accentuate your best features
  3. Go darker in heavier areas, such as hips or legs
  4. Stock up on the basics and build up a capsule wardrobe
  5. Incorporate a splash of colour into outfits, whether it's through your clothes or accessories - larger jewellery pieces are great for adding extra colour without having to feel too brave


Which plus size brands are women over 50 talking about?

plus size woman over 50 

It's time to separate the good from the, err, not so good. Let’s face it, there are still a few stores out there that seem to think everyone over 50 is suffering from short-sightedness as well as total idiocy. But the good news is, lots of brands are now stepping up to the mark.

Whether you're looking for a brand that supplies the perfect pair of jeans or the best quality dresses, there's something for everyone. So what's out there for plus size women over the age of 50 and which brands are the most trusted by discerning Gransnetters?

“I saw a lady several sizes larger than me wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt style top that I had bought from Tu. Looking at it independently on another woman I realised what a nice top it was and why I had bought it.M0nica

New Look
"Have a look at New look. They have long flowing dresses without the Stepford frill. Pretty ditzy dresses are perfect for the summer. I am 64 and feel good in a lovely dress." Redhead56

"I buy my everyday clothes from Yours for comfort .” Esmay

"The main reason I shop at M&S is the extra leg length. It's hard to find clothes that fit anyone over about 5' 6". I do think M&S clothes are a bit more stylish than they were. I don't buy many clothes but bought two midi skirts there last year, and over the last 10 years must have bought about 20 pairs of their jeggings in different colours which have lasted really well." AreWeThereYet

"Joules for me - love the fact that they don’t lose their shape.” Mammissimo

“I don’t think Boden is expensive compared with comparable brands in the UK, like Joules or White Company for example. They often have discounts, but it’s a game to hang on for as long as possible to get the discount without the things you want selling out in your size. The clothes are good quality, and last for years.” Casdon

I'm another who enjoys wearing Seasalt clothes, bought my first item so many years ago when in St Ives for a somewhat fraught holiday, much easier now there’s a shop fairly close. Mail order has always been easy. No quality quibbles yet.” CornerGran

"Try Simply Be, Marisota or Curvissia they have some nice clothes" tinafl

Cotton Traders

"Look at the Cotton Traders' on-line catalogue. I have linen-mix crops bought from there a few years ago. Many of their products have stretchy waistlines." Annodomini

“I have always been very happy with sizing and quality of purchases from Roman, their sales are very good too.” DorsetCupcake61

“I love Fatface - never come out empty-handed!” BlueSapphire


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