So by now, we’re all aware of the devastating news that Modcloth was purchased by Jet.com, who is owned by Walmart. So, in other words, Walmart now owns Modcloth. YIKES. This is a severe blow to the plus size community, especially the babes on the higher end of the size spectrum. I am so sad for you all (and myself, too!).
Aside from the obvious speculation about the question of future quality and cost, a lot of people have been bringing the age old question of ethics into play. I’m not here to tell you what I think is right or wrong. Heck, I even think the question of “ethics” is a privilege of the straight size world. Considering the severely limited (and exxy) access of fashion in the plus sphere, most of the foundations of ethics (aside from a baseline of human morality) is a luxury we are simply not afforded. Yet. (Viva la revolution)
When I started researching possible alternatives to shopping at Modcloth, I hoped and expected to be able to put together a pretty extensive list of shops and boutiques that would perhaps come close to being able to fill the hole that not shopping at Modcloth will cause. Especially, as I mentioned, for those above a size 22. After all, asides from the small range of in-house Modcloth pieces, these garments are all coming from somewhere, right?!
Well, I mean, right – obviously. But they are nigh on IMPOSSIBLE to be found outside the King Kong grip of Modcloth. I speculate that is because a lot of the small brands who happen to manufacture into the plus size range ONLY DO THIS for Modcloth because:
- they are guaranteed a huge and immediate audience, and effectively assured sales. And/or;
- Modcloth has made them participate in a contractual agreement of exclusivity.
That’s rough, and where does it leave us? Up shit’s creek without a paddle, my dear friend. (Although, have I mentioned that i’m hard at work behind the scenes preparing to launch a plus size clothing venture?? Add your email and keep up to date, here!)
As I mentioned, I’ve scoured the webz far and wide, and I’ve been looking for specifically quirky and cool (and some vintage/vaguely rockabilly) styles. Although nothing (at the moment) might fill the void of Modcloth, I hope you might find this list small companies helpful. And hey, it’s nice to help the indies out, too!
EDIT: There has been an overwhelming response to this post, and it warms my heart to think some people might be inspired to hunt out new places to shop. There have been lots of comments with further suggestions, which I am parsing and compiling for a list update soon. Some of these recommendations (although wonderful places!!) are not necessarily in the “style” of Modcloth, so I won’t be including them here. However, I do have a DESIGNERS AND SHOPS I HEART page right here – so keep an eye on that, too! xx
A US based company with adorable fit and flare dresses in fun prints, up to 4XL. I obviously had to include 2 cat dresses (eep!), but they have a bunch of other stuff. Hehe.
UK brand. More formal dresses. Up to UK 26 which (I believe) is a US 22. 15% student discount.
Also higher end styles, up to US size 28. Not specific Modcloth vibes but definitely some overlap.
I’m not gonna lie – some of Eshakti’s stuff is super dowdy. But there are also some total Modcloth-esque gems, PLUS the ability to customise measurements and finishes. They have free returns, even for international (or so my experience in AUS goes!), and a current promo of $25 gift coupon + 10% off + free shipping. Check them out, they go up to a 36 (that’s what i’m talking about!)
Again, i’m not here to mince words. Some Hell Bunny stuff is heaps cliche and a bit garish. No judgement if that’s your thing, but they don’t always pull prints off with the same ease and class that Modcloth usually does. That being said, there are still SUPER ADORBS THINGS to be found! They go up to 4XL but it’s been a few years since I tried anything on, and apparently they run a little small these days?
I’ve been a sideline fan of Hello Holiday for a while now. They are a super indie version of Modcloth (so, baby Modcloth) in terms of aesthetic, actually use a plus size model (hurray!), and (from what I know) do lots of great stuff to make sure they are inclusive, feminist and all round rad. According to their size chart, they go up to a 4XL.
This is a local (Melbourne, Australia) gem that I just have to include because she does some exceptionally beautifulk stuff ranging from asymmetrical vintage beauties (right), to cotton Modcloth vibes (middle – and yes, that’s me!), to stretchy all-over printed deliciousness (left). Whatever your needs, Joolz has got you covered up to a 6XL.
Lady V London is a UK straight size brand that edged into plus size (“Lady Voluptuous”) in collaboration with Georgina Horne of Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. The dresses are made in London, go up to a UK32, and are super cute and sexy vintage repro delights.
Lindy Bop is another UK company that does vintage reproduction dresses. I’ve had issues (blog post pending), so I seriously recommend googling reviews before you buy anything! They go up to a UK 26, and have some ridiculously good sales (and affordable shipping). Also beware – some of it borders on adorable and tacky. That might not be your thing!
I haven’t bought anything from PUG (yet), but boy there’s a lot I lust over. As the name suggest, they have lots of the classic pin up style, as well as the occasional goth kitsch. I read something about a recent fiasco with a Chinese New Year collection and some blatant (and poorly handled) cultural appropriation. I don’t know a great deal, but if ethics is your jam, be sure to read up before you purchase. They go up to 4XL.
Steady Clothing is manufactured in the USA and has a small selection that goes up to a 4XL. It’s a bit of a bummer Tess Holliday is the only plus model on the site (stunning as she is, i’d like to see some other fat babes, too!), and the site could use some improvements in it’s level of user friendliness – there is no option to sort via size.
I discovered Tatyana Boutique about 18 months ago when I was living in Boston and visiting NYC recently. I swooned – hard. A few of the pieces I purchase are still treasured amongst my favourites! They stock their own designs, and go up to a 4XL (but how I WISH they went bigger!!).
For me, Unique Vintage is the “where have you been all my life” pick of the litter. They have SUPER CUTE STYLES up to a 6XL/32, Modcloth comparable prices, and the ability to sort via size AND era!! ADORE!!
Micheline Pitt is THE vixen to end all vixens, and her stuff goes up to a 4XL.
Voodoo Vixen is another UK straight size brand that edged into the plus market with the brand spin off “Voodoo Vixen Curve”. They were nominated for best designer at the 2015 British Plus Size Awards, and go up to a 4XL.
MORE COOL SHIT, BUT ONLY FOR BABY FATS
I feel like these brands are worth including for you baby fats, but I’m sorry you don’t get pretty pictures cos you (sort of ‘we’) already have more access to resources. Here are some other cool brands I would love to wear if they happened to fit my large-bellied bod.
Living Dead have cool dresses to 2XL and leggings to 3XL
Sourpuss Clothing (who also seem to stock some Folter!) go up to a 3XL.
Iron Fist go up to 3XL and also do rad shoes.
Tragic Beautiful is a boutique that stocks the likes of Killstar, Chicstar, Hearts & Roses London, Sourpuss, Too Fast etc. Unsure on their size range cos the ability to search via size is either individual straight sizes, or just general “plus size” category. Hmm….
Starlet Vintage is a UK boutique that stocks a lot of the above-mentioned brands, AND has the ability to search via specific plus sizes up to a UK 26 (which is US 22).
LET ME KNOW IF YOU’VE FOUND ANY OTHERS, AND LET’S GROW THIS POOL TOGETHER!