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PLUS-SIZE WINTER FASHION SHOPPING GUIDES:
Upscale, designer winter coats become available for pre-order as early as August.  Cashmere sweaters
and winter holiday party dresses
start to come in in late September.  Those needing extra wide calf snow boots also find shopping as early as September or October necessary for the best selection in stock.  Swimwear for the winter cruise and resort season begins to come in during January.

Browse Related Elegant Plus Editor's Pick Style Categories:
Select Plus-Size Clothes Shopping Guides for the Winter Season at Elegant Plus:

Plus-Size Winter Fashion

 

Winter is the season for cozy fashion that wraps your curves in a soft hug.  Many fabrics popular at this time of year, such as velvet, cashmere, flannel, and (faux) fur, are as plush and luxurious as they are warm.

Winter coats in wool, down, and (faux) furs and suedes make classic, chic style statements.  Day dresses and skirts are frequently paired with tall boots which can be hard-to-find for women with wide-calves.  Warm, lined snow boots with good treads for ice can be even more challenging to find. Tights and leggings are also popular winter layering pieces.

The shopping season for winter clothes begins much earlier than the official calendar date of the start of winter on December 21.  In fact, by the time late December rolls around much of what is considered winter fashion is already marked down on clearance.  Many hard-to-find sizes sell out early and are even more scarce as the snow begins to fly.

Cashmere sweaters begin arriving in stores in early October, while winter coats can begin to arrive as early as late August or early September.  Leather and faux leather styles are generally the first to come into stock, but wool and down are not far behind.    While the Christmas shopping season sees many sales on winter items.

This is also the season when apparel gift giving can be an important part of family traditions.  Sweaters and sleepwear are particularly popular holiday gifts. 

The holiday office party season and New Year's Eve parties kick off the demand for more formal looks such as cocktail dresses and evening separates.  But the season lasts right through Valentine's Day, after a short lull in January.  Shoppers start looking for the right party outfit as early as late October with the run up to Thanksgiving, with red dresses, more formal fabrics such as lace, velvet, and silk, and classic cocktail dresses more in demand as we move closer to Christmas and New Years and into Valentine's Day. 

Full length formalwear is also a popular choice for charity galas, opera openings, and other black-tie events that make up part of the winter social calendar.

January sees a rise in interest in women's work out clothes which are becoming increasingly available in larger sizes in both high tech fabrics and trendier styles beyond basic black. 

Complementing this demand is also an interest in winter getaway, cruise and resort wear for warm weather beach vacation destinations.  Searches for hard-to-find items such as lighter weight tops, summer style maxi dresses, bathing suits and swim cover ups, and cropped pants and shorts begins to rise around Thanksgiving and stretches through Spring Break and early school vacations.

 

Shopping Resources for Plus-Size Winter Clothes

Coats, Jackets & Outerwear

Outerwear may be the important shopping category when we think about cold weather.  Winter coats can range the gamut from classic peacoats to sporty down jackets, with trendier and longer styles also available.  Many designers with limited availability in extended plus sizes do offer winter coats through the major department stores in size 0 to 24W.   Macy's has one of the deepest and most diverse style collection.  Nordstrom has more upscale and luxury winter coat labels including leather, fur, down, and wool options.  Luxury coat pre-orders from labels such as Marina Rinaldi and Jane Post become available in mid to late summer from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus for those with the most upscale and luxury shopping budgets.

Along with the department stores, down jackets and coats are reliably stocked by Lands End in size 0 to 26W, in addition to styles good for winter sports.  Wool coats are also frequently available here.   Meanwhile, those looking for faux-fur will find an especially good collection in a wide variety of styles, colors, and looks at QVC in size 0 to 28W.

Women looking for extended plus-size winter coats larger than size 3X will have the largest selection available from Ulla Popken in size 12 to 34W. Styles range from ski parkas to classic wool coats, trendy and arty styles.  A good selection is available all year, even in heavier weight styles.  Meanwhile both Catherine's and Avenue also have good selections in size 14 to 34W.

 

Boots

Winter boots are generally lined with treaded soles (often lug soles) to give the best traction in icy and snowy conditions.  Most are also waterproof.  It's not unusual for ankles and calves to be wider in winter boot styles, than in more fashion conscious styles.  Shaft heights range from ankle to tall.  Most have laces or zippers for ease of putting on and taking off, and extra room for socks and liners.

One of the best sources is Footsmart which specializes in footwear with a practical, although many times stylish, style.  They are especially good for wide widths, with options from many well-known national brands.  Zappos is the other must visit shopping resource.  With thousands of shoe styles in stock and one of the most diverse inventories of sizes, widths, and brands available on the internet, the customer feedback section is especially rich and helpful for ordering here.  Keep in mind that winter boots for the snowiest parts of the country often give up fashion for function, and men's boots can be a fantastic resource for women with wider feet, thicker ankles and calves.  Men's mediums are approximately the same as a women's wide.

Cute collections in wide widths can be found in some surprising spots such as Monroe & Main and Ashro.

 

Special Occasion Holiday Fashion

Dresses and special occasion separates are especially in demand for the winter holiday season beginning at Thanksgiving and extending all the way through Valentine's Day.    Particularly plentiful prior to Christmas, especially more formal evening gown and cocktail dresses styles, some of the best plus-size shopping resources are the major upscale department stores, especially on-line.

Dillard's has one of the best inventories of more sophisticated styles with sleeves and jackets in size 0 to 26W.  The other department store that carries an especially good inventory is Nordstrom.  More youthful and more moderately priced styles are at Macy's, while the most luxurious and upscale designer options are available at Neiman Marcus, mainly out on their main rack with a few available as large as 20.

More moderate prices are available at Dress Barn with a good assortment ranging from special occasion dresses and separates modestly priced cocktail dresses and full-length games in size 0 to 24W.  Trendier fashionistas will love the selection at ASOS with British labels such as Lovedrobed, Little Mistress, and Chi Chi London in size 14 to 24W.   Meanwhile, plus specialty retailers such as Torrid (XL to 6X) and Lane Bryant (14 to 28W) have dressier and more formal occasion dresses available around the holidays.

Those looking for styles with vintage or retro flair will find an extensive collection of dresses and skirts in party appropriate styles at eShakti in size 0 to 34W.   Beaded flapper style and retro 50's cocktail dresses are a specialty at Unique Vintage with sizing available up to 4X.  Lace and maxi dresses are particularly popular at Kiyonna in size 10 to 32W.

 

Sleep Wear

Sleepwear of several different types is important during the winter season.  Many families have comfy pajama traditions surrounding the Christmas holidays, sometimes as gift giving.  Plaid flannel is especially popular, along with novelty knit sleep shirts and pajamas.   Meanwhile, Valentine's Day is the season for sexy lingerie, baby dolls, and sleep chemise.

Lane Bryant carries a very good inventory for both types in size size 14 to 28W.  A reliable spot for good quality, moderately priced pajamas in cotton, including flannel, is North Style for size S to 3X.  Those looking for Lanz style nightgowns will find options from Country Store.

Nordstrom is the department store to shop in for both upscale luxury sleepwear for gift giving during the holiday season with both cashmere robes and silk pajamas turning up from time to time in extended sizes, and premium quality casual loungewear from labels such as Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Carole Hochman, and PJ Salvage for size S to 3X.  Macy's also has an extensive collection and can lean more toward both a novelty and sexy edge for plus-sizes.

 

Resort Wear

Winter getaway vacations to beach locations or tropical cruise destinations often require hard-to-find items during colder months.  Plus-size swimwear can be particularly difficult to find, along with things like shorts and light weight skirts and dresses.  There are several on-line retailers that specialize in swimwear all year that have extended sizes available.  One of the best selections is available at Swimsuits for All, including an extensive collection of swim cover ups, designer swimwear, sporty one piece styles, and the popular two piece tankini and fatkini styles.

Ulla Popken often has artier, boho style options in stock suitable for beach vacations in size 12 to 34W.  Options include mainly tops and casual and maxi dress styles.  Good resources for shorts at low to moderate prices include Blair for classic styles, and Torrid for denim and trendy short styles in size XL to 6X. 

Always for Me carries both an excellent selection of classic to trendy swimwear in one and two piece styles, but also a good collection of swim cover ups in size 14 to 26W.  Sandals in a wide variety of styles, sizes and widths are a good bet at Footsmart.

Those looking for upscale, designer styles will find gorgeous silk tunic tops, palazzo pants, and flowing maxi dresses styles at Neiman Marcus in size 0 to 24W.

 

 

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Plus-size clothing featured is hand selected by the Elegant Plus Fashion Editor from our extensive network of plus-fashion business partnerships. Although Elegant Plus earns a small fee on all purchases, it is a completely free shopping resource for the consumer, and many times we are able to provide links that offer consumer discounts and free shipping offers upon landing on the partner retailer's site.

 

 

 

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