I’m a Plus-Size Editor—Here's What I’m Buying for Summer

No peplum over here

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plus-size-editor-summer-shopping-list collage
Paula Boudes for PureWow

I’m going to be honest: Shopping as a plus-size or curvy person can be difficult, to say the least. Going to the mall, hoping retailers carry extended sizing in-store is always a strange (and embarrassing) guessing game, and online shopping can be a risky gamble. Who has time for returns? Accessibility aside, the options available are also…lacking. For years, going shopping has been a series of complicated quests, combing through racks of unappealing garments that are just as unflattering as they are unsightly—pieces that are never up to date with current trends from a market oversaturated with floral prints, cold shoulder tops and peplum. But as someone who thinks about what they’re purchasing next on a daily basis, I have mastered the art of seeking out quality plus-size pieces that are actually stylish and worth buying. That’s why I’ve laid out 16 items that I’m shopping for summer from some of my favorite retailers with the chicest plus-size options. Plus, some accessories and footwear picks that are way too gush-worthy to exclude.

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I’m all about simplicity during warmer weather. Picking an outfit can be time consuming—not to mention sweat-inducing. So any piece that I can just grab from my closet and throw on is my best friend. Enter this linen dress from Reformation. Overlooking the hefty price point, this dress caught my eye with its snatching silhouette and dainty details. Leaning more into the cottage core aesthetic with its mock corset and delicate bow atop the bust, this dress screams casual city strolls and park picnics with the gals.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: US 14 to 24, also available in standard
  • Materials: 100 percent linen

If you sense one common theme throughout this list, it will be linen. Months ago, I wore my very first pair of linen pants and have been basically living in them ever since. With its breathable and cooling properties, linen is the ultimate go-to material for summer days. Now riding on a linen high, I’m searching for the next pair I’ll eventually wear into the ground. These cropped, wide-leg pants from Maeve are rated almost a full five stars and I’ve been influenced with little to no convincing. Plus, they come in several fun prints and colors to match whatever vibe you’re going for this summer.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: US 16W to 26W, also available in standard, petite and tall
  • Materials: linen, viscose, elastane

OK—not a clothing item, but still a product firmly stationed on my shopping list. There’s no accessory I love more than a chic mini handbag I’ll eventually crowd until it can’t handle any more of my “emergency” lip products. After seeing this purse for weeks on end while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I’ve convinced myself that I need the Coach Jonie bag. This purse is part hobo, part wristlet and can be transformed into a crossbody for those busy days on the go that later turn into nights out on the town.

Fast Facts

  • Colors: chalk, black, pale pistachio and soft purple
  • Materials: glovetanned leather

I’ve been obsessed with unique dress silhouettes lately, which leads me to this piece from Never Fully Dressed. The skirt is fun, flowy and slightly puffed out, perfect for warm, breezy outings. The top half is made of breathable cotton and the straps are detachable so you can switch up your look to your liking.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: US 2 to 24
  • Materials: top: 100 percent cotton; bottom: 98 percent cotton, 2 percent elastane

Those slow-moving, scorching beach days are creeping up and a new suit is in order for this editor. This bikini from Mango is sleek and simple, but the beads along the center bust add just the right amount of pizazz, so it’s not entirely boring. I’m not one to gravitate towards flashy swimwear, so this is the perfect suit for me. Can’t forget the matching high-waist bikini bottoms.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: XL to 4XL
  • Materials: 85 percent polyester, 15 percent elastane

Thanks to Zendaya and several showings of Challengers later, I’m officially in my tenniscore era, despite never setting foot on a tennis court. I was already a sucker for a good quarter zip and subdued color palette, but the sensual tennis film has inspired me in more ways than one. I usually steer clear of knitwear during the summer, but the sleeveless nature of this top has surely changed my mind.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: XXS to 3X, also available in standard and petite
  • Materials: 55 percent cotton, 29 percent acrylic, 10 percent polyester, 6 percent wool

This vibrant maxi dress from Hanifa has not left my mind since its release. I vowed to add more color to my wardrobe this year and what better time to do it than with the weather finally breaking above 60 degrees? I imagine wearing this dress for the tropical vacay that I have yet to plan (or save for). When it comes to my summer travel wardrobe, I’m all about easy pieces I can throw in a packing cube that won’t take up too much space in my suitcase (chronic over-packer probs). Trust, this sheer maxi that can be dressed up or down will be going everywhere with me this season.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: XS to 3XL
  • Materials: 100 percent viscose blend

I’m always on the hunt for a comfortable pair of heels that are stylish and wide-feet friendly. Dolce Vita has an impressive range of chic footwear options that are also available in extended sizing—a brand after my own heart. Reviewers rave about the comfortability of these particular sandals. An added bonus? They come in several neutral shades that pair great with any outfit.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 6W to 11W, also available in standard
  • Heel Height: 2 inches
  • Colors: black, cafe, ivory, crackled light gold and natural raffia

In case you missed it, Y2K’s baggy jorts are making their rounds again and I’m very close to hitting add-to-cart, ready to relive my days in elementary school. This trend started its resurgence last year with any and everyone rocking the early 2000s mainstay. With humid temps slowly revealing themselves, I’m sure the relaxed fashion choice will make its way through the masses again in no time.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: US 14 to 24
  • Materials: 100 percent cotton

More linens for summer? Groundbreaking. Vests are one of the many style choices currently taking up space in my mind in the best way possible. They’re incredibly versatile and have me dreaming of a Parisian summer vacation I never knew I needed. I find this one a tad more elevated than an average vest, with gold outlined buttons and an adjustable strap at the back. J’adore.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: US 14 to 24, also available in standard
  • Materials: 100 percent linen

The gold front zipper on this cotton dress from Anthro almost made me bite the bullet and check out instantly. In addition to this amazing chocolate brown hue, the dress has a flowing A-line skirt (with pockets) and a stunning fitted bodice. Need I say more?

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: 1X to 3X, also available in standard and petite
  • Materials: cotton

When the weather reaches an unbearable point, there’s only one thing I hate more than the sweltering heat—thigh chafing. I usually pair any dress I wear with shorts for a bit of security, but after experiencing the worst chub rub last summer, I’m desperate for extra protection. These shorts, in particular, have unique cooling properties to prevent chafing and are available in several color options with sheer coverage, so no clashing with your OOTD. Did I mention that they don’t roll or ride up?

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: XS/S to 5XL/6XL
  • Lengths: 5, 7, 9, 12, 17 and 21 inches
  • Materials: 78 percent Sensil Breeze nylon, 20 percent spandex, 2 percent cotton

After shuffling through my closet quite a few times, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t have any ensembles that are close to occasion-worthy. I like to believe that my style leans more on the relaxed, casual side with some elevated pieces here and there, but that choice of comfortability has finally come back to bite. I’m getting older and late nights that once consisted of bar hopping are now fancy dinner parties with strict-ish dress codes. While this dress doesn’t scream full-on elegance, it can be elevated with a pair of heels and snazzy accessories.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: US 14 to 32
  • Materials: 100 percent cotton

My plans this summer include: lounging poolside with a fruity drink and then later, chilling beachside with—you guessed it—another fruity drink. But for these *strenuous* activities, I need a cute swim cover-up that won’t let me down. This polo mini dress from J.Crew is both functional and fashionable. It’s crafted with a classic towel terry fabric with moisture-wicking properties to help dry off after the cooling swim I’ll eventually take.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: XXS to 3X
  • Materials: 79 percent cotton, 21 percent polyester

15. Warby Parker x Theophilio Shaunie Sunglasses

Warby Parker and Theophilio

In case you missed it, Warby Parker and contemporary, Brooklyn-based fashion brand Theophilio released a collab earlier in the year. The duo created a special pair of sunnies in four vibrant shades, each pair giving nods to founder, Edvin Thompson’s Jamaican heritage and early-aughts New York culture. However, this specific color, Soursop, is exclusive to and curated by Black Fashion Fair, a platform dedicated to highlighting Black-owned brands and designers from the past, present and future. Despite not being much of a sunglasses person, I was instantly pulled in by the glass’s pale green, rectangular frames and brown tortoise arms. The rest of the lively collection can be found on the Warby Parker site.

Fast Facts

  • Materials: hand-polished cellulose acetate

16. Princess Polly Spiri Shirt

Princess Polly

I have fallen victim to the cutesy bow influx happening in fashion right now (thanks, Simone Rocha) and I’m not ashamed about it. I’ve been particularly drawn to this style of shirt—a crisp blouse with delicately tied bows instead of buttons. So *cute*. I love an oversize dress shirt, so any iteration of it is a must for my closet.

Fast Facts

  • Size Range: US 0 to 20
  • Materials: 95 percent reclaimed cotton, 5 percent spandex


Editorial Assistant, Candle Connoisseur, Honorary Beyhive Member Since ‘99

Courtney Mason (she/her) is an Editorial Assistant at PureWow. She has three years of experience writing for digital publications and covering fashion, beauty, pop culture, and...