Where My (Curvy) Girls At?

If you follow me on Twitter (@bec2point0), you’ve likely seen one of my recent rants about the lack of availability of cute, functional, plus-sized athletic wear. When I tell you it’s slim pickins, I promise you, I’m not lying. If you are an athlete of the plus-size variety (guess what, retailers? WE EXIST!), I know you feel me.

Finding any sort of workout clothes in a size 3X is a challenge. And if you want it to be cute? Even more so. And if you’d like to not have to sell a vital organ to afford them? Be prepared to do some hard looking!

Hint: Don’t bother looking in a certain fruity sounding yoga wear proprietor. Their largest size is a 12.

And sadly, they are not alone. I’ve visited several sites that carry size ‘XL’, but if you read the fine print, that XL is equal to a 12.

Size 12 is not extra large, kids. It’s just not. According to this Jezebel article from last June, the average American woman wears a size 14. So calling your size 12 items ‘extra large’ is both rude, and inaccurate. 

Being thin has not been synonymous with being an athlete for quite some time. Go to your local walking track. Go to any ‘fun run’. Go to your local Zumba studio. And look. What you will see is women of ALL shapes and sizes getting their workout on.

Sadly, what you will probably also see is that the larger women rarely have anything remotely equivalent in cuteness to the adorable outfits that the smaller women are wearing.

So, what is the message I’m to take from this? That if larger women want to exercise, they shouldn’t bother looking for cute workout clothes? Should we just pull on a baggy men’s t-shirt and stretchy pants and sweat to the oldies in our living rooms as to not offend the general population with our jiggling?

I say screw that. (And I say it a lot. And usually I replace the word screw with its much more colorful, starts with F, buddy).

Wake up, retailers. There are plenty of curvy, plus-size women that want to buy athletic wear. We’ve got boobs, and hips and disposable income.

BUT… this is not just a rant. After numerous angry twitter venting sessions, I decided to get off my sizeable ass and start really looking. And because we fathletes have to stick together, I will now share with you the fruits of my searching.

Lola Get Active – I ordered this adorable top a couple of weeks ago. It’s stylish, well-made and is available up to a size 22/24. (P.S. It’s also on sale right now!) This site has many more great items, and I will definitely be giving them more of my business.

Photo from www.lolagetts.com

Bare Plus – This is the plus size of the house for Bare Essentials. While this site is primarily lingerie, they do have a workout section. Yes, even on the plus side. Lots of sports bra selection for us busty girls, but some cute tops as well. Including this one, which I bought and am currently in love with.

Moving Comfort Endurance Activewear Tee Photo from http://www.barenecessities.com/

Moving Comfort Endurance Activewear Tee
Photo from http://www.barenecessities.com/

JCP – I’ll be honest, the stuff on the JCP website leans a bit more towards ‘sportswear’ than true ‘activewear’, but there are some performance items. Their prices are very reasonable, and if you have a local store, you can have it shipped there for FREE. I like free.

Old Navy – I’ll be honest. I haven’t ordered anything from ON. Yet. Most of their tops are of the sleeveless variety and it’s COLD where I am. But believe you me, I will be just as soon as it warms up. I can’t speak to their quality, but their prices are good. I’m going to guess this is a ‘you get what you pay for’ situation. As in, it will be cute and functional, but it’s not going to last forever. But you know what? For $24.94, it doesn’t have to.

So, curvy friends, don’t despair. Cute activewear for larger women is not just a myth. You can find it! And if you find it, please support it. Speak with your wallet. It’s really the only thing corporations listen to.

And as for those companies that call their size 12 an ‘XL’, and the ones who cap their sizes below that of the average American woman? I can promise them this. Once all of this working out pays off, and I am a woman of ‘average’ size, they will still not see a dime of my money. Because no. And screw that.

Do you have any great recs for places to shop for plus-size activewear? Please share! Bec really likes to shop. A lot. Like, it’s a problem. 

16 thoughts on “Where My (Curvy) Girls At?

  1. Sparkle Skirts!!! I’m a sparkle skirts addict. They go up to size 3XL and have amazing prints that are very feminine and fun! Locally owned and made in Florida. Many skirts geared towards Disney themes. The shorts are guaranteed to not ride up! Amazing skirts you should definitely check out! sparkleskirts.com

  2. ON RULES!! Their plus size workout gear is actually really good and durable. Even now I still buy their stuff because it’s affordable and it does last. Fair earring their sizes ca fit big. When I was 330 I could fit into some of their xxl stuff… So they do have some good stretch. And the price is definitely right

  3. Thank you so much for this blog post!!! I’m so TIRED of having to check the size charts only to realize that I don’t fit the clothes or that I need to order a XXL for my daughter, who is a 12-14. I would also add that I love the Old Navy capris and tights and they hold their elasticity well. I’m really disappointed that they’re no longer carrying 8 and 10 inch shorts but have we’ve started taking the capris (on sale) to be cut and altered. If anyone has a link/favorite site for curvy swimwear to include swim shorts and rash guards, (they seem to think 16-18+/- sized, middle-aged women don’t swim) I would appreciate the shout-out! Thanks again!

  4. YES SPARKLE SKIRTS DO THAT.
    Plus, I’ve seen some good things in the TJ Maxx racks. I would like a bra post, because I’m sports bra shopping only to read the fine print that says “high impact for A/B, medium to low impact C/D.” I’m having trouble finding a single bra that doesn’t stop the movement or make me bulge out of the top.

  5. Thank you for this article. I posted on my personal FB page a few months back that I was not having much luck finding running/yoga pants. Every person who tried to help me sent me info for a store or site that does not cater for more than a size 16. (Although I guess I will take it as my friends think I am smaller than I really am…haha)
    I have been pretty pleased with Old Navy workout clothes. I hate to buy things full price and tend to look in the sale areas and have been surprised. I know they carry more of a selection on their website than in some of the actual stores. I really like their yoga pants and have found the compression sports bra tanks to be really comfy and pretty supportive.
    I used to think that once I was smaller I couldn’t wait to to to store XYZ and fit into their clothes…but the more I have thought about it and found out more behind some of those companies, the LESS and less I want them to have ANY of my $ no matter what my size is!

  6. Love Old Navy. I’m curvy and tall so I have issue with pants (long ones) being too short or just right when I buy them but then they shrink up in the wash. I also have a few bits from Target but that’s tricky because they don’t carry a lot and most times it’s picked over, leaving smaller to mid-range sizes.

  7. Athleta carries plus sizes. The quality is AMAZING. My capris and skorts still look great after a year of constant wearing. Worth the extra price compared to JC Penny or Old Navy. I love their styles. I’m a 12/14 and a L always fits perfectly.

You’ve heard my thoughts! Would love to hear yours here.