I am a sewist for life, but I still have to buy ready-to-wear clothing. If you are above a size 24 (US), then you know how difficult it is to find clothes. The selection drops by orders of magnitude. If sizes 14-24 are one tenth the amount of clothing in smaller sizes, then sizes 26 and up are one tenth of that one tenth.
Although it can sometimes feel like being a dog sniffing for crumbs on the floor, there is also delight in finding a 4X item. Here are three places, all online, that do not generally let anyone know they carry anything larger than a size 24 or 26. (That is a whole other issue, I know.)
The trick I use to find these secret sites is by using the Search by Size function. I usually click on the Plus Sizes section and then click on Search by Size. Sometimes you’ll have to pick a category, like Tops or Swimwear first. You’ll see a menu that lets you choose your size or sizes. Sometimes it’s at the top of the items and sometimes it’s in the side column. If there’s a 4X I select that, but I also check and see if there are any 28s available.
- Nordstrom Rack and Nordstrom I’ve found mostly tops made by a few manufacturers, but really, anything could show up there, just like in their stores (except for a 4x!). During their recent clearance sale, I found several tops for under $10 at the Nordstrom Rack site.
- Land’s End Here you will find sizes up to a 5X in the Business Outfitters department, which is found by clicking a link you may have never noticed on the upper left corner:
You’ll have to click on a category in the Women’s section and then sort by size. This division of Land’s End is for uniforms for businesses on which logos can be printed. The selection is undoubtedly utilitarian, consisting of polo shirts, button downs, and cardigans, but sometimes I’ve found technical clothing like rain coats (so hard to find truly waterproof clothing in my size!). Coupons and discounts may or may not work here, as there is a separate shopping cart for this division.
- Macy’s I use the same technique here, where they even have I.N.C., one of my favorite lines.
Have any of you found 4Xs or higher in higher end department stores? Let me know. I haven’t bothered to even try in a few years. I hope this helps some of you out there who sew but still need to buy ready-to-wear clothing. The struggle is real, as they say.