Where to Buy Plus-Size Activewear

From Olympic weightlifting bronze medal-winner Sarah Robles to Instagram yoga sensation Jessamyn Stanley to Women’s Running cover star Erika Schenk, plus-size athletes are more visible than ever — and an increasing number of activewear brands have finally begun dressing them. Major athletic apparel manufacturers like Nike and Champion, less specialized retailers including Forever 21 and Target, and indies you’ve very possibly never heard of have all entered the fray of making activewear above a size XL.

Below, the best places to buy boob-steadying bras, leggings for different lengths, supportive tank tops, and more. Most brands listed carry up to a size 4X or 5X; for practicality, a section is dedicated to those stocking size 6X and above (including one brand that goes up to 8X).


Bargains

Perhaps you don’t want to spend a ton on activewear. Start here: These shops are affordable at full price — and even better during their frequent sales.

Old Navy: Few nationwide chains make it easier than Old Navy to score a whole bag of stuff for under $100. The brand’s line of workout clothes includes trendy tops (think florals, sheer panels, and lace-up details), leggings, shorts, and bras in moisture-wicking and compression fabrics, all in sizes up to 4X.

A model in Old Navy workout clothesPhoto: Old Navy

Champion: Head to this classic sportswear brand for not-as-trendy bras, tees, hoodies, and sweats that, with the brand’s regular BOGO deals, are perfect for people who buy in multiples. Sizes run up to 4X.

Just My Size: Few items in this shop exceed $20 full price; when marked down, few are over $10. And, surprisingly enough, customer reviews are often pretty positive. Sizes run up to 5X.

Target: Target is the exclusive home of the Champion offshoot brand C9, which offers well-reviewed basics — tops, bras, leggings, etc. — from $15 to $40 in a range of styles and colors. Sizes run up to 4X.

Forever 21: The activewear section on Forever 21’s site currently includes faux leather-paneled leggings, shredded styles, and callbacks to corsetry — swell news for health goths up to size 4X.

Woman Within: In addition to regular yoga pants and tees, the coupon code-loving Woman Within stocks skorts, skirted leggings, and other modest pieces up to size 5X.


A model doing a yoga backbendPhoto: Lane Bryant

Best Mid-Range Brands

When you’re ready to invest, but not your whole savings.

AdoreMe: This direct-to-consumer lingerie service stocks top and bottom sets (no separates) for $60 to $70 each. It also offers coupon codes and membership rewards. Sizes run up to 4X.

NikeWhen Nike made breathless “body-positive” headlines last year for featuring size 14 model Paloma Elsesser in an Instagram post, I’ll admit I was skeptical of the company’s true commitment to inclusivity. But several months later, it expanded offerings to up to a size 3X — leaving 2X-max competitors like Reebok, Adidas, and New Balance to catch up.

Rainbeau Curves: Prints and basics (including tall lengths) hover mostly around the $30 to $40 mark, and there’s also a well-stocked sale section. Sizes run up to 5X.

Lane Bryant: Shop here for colorblocked, camo, and slogan-heavy separates, usually priced from $35 to $50 per piece (and sometimes with super amazing stock-up sales). Sizes run up to 4X.

NOLA by Addition Elle: Pants, tops, skirts, and high-impact bras in both extremely edgy and extremely preppy styles are often priced around the $50 mark. Sizes run up to size 4X.

Lola Getts: This Los Angeles-based brand offers premium modern tees, jackets, leggings, and yoga pants in a subdued color palette. Bonus: If your items are still wearable but no longer fit, the company will donate them for you and give you 20% percent off your next purchase. Runs up to size “3,” or 4X.

MarikaFounded in 1982, this plus-size activewear veteran stocks stylish joggers, jackets, tights, tees, and bras for around $50 to $60 and in up to a size 3X.


Multibrand Stores

Why comb through a billion different stores when you could get all your shopping done at once?

Nordstrom Rack: The outlet’s lineup includes the modern minimalist Balance Collection and Z by Zella lines, plus a small rotation of household names like Nike. Sizes run up to size 3X.

a model in Nike workout clothesPhoto: Nike

Kohl’sFandom favorites Her Universe and Marvel Hero Eliteare unique highlights, as is Fila’s much-slept-on retro logo line — you know, not to mention BOGO sales and Kohl’s cash. Sizes run up to 3X.

Macy’sA mix of brands including Calvin KleinColumbia, and Ideology mean there’s a little something for everyone here, or at least everyone up to a 3X.

J.C. PenneyFeaturing brands like SpaldingMade for Life, and Xersion, JCP isn’t simply a place with killer sales — it’s the particularly perfect destination for anyone who prefers more relaxed, not-as-clingy cuts. Sizes run up to 5X.

HerRoom: GlamoriseCurvy CoutureChantelleEnell, and Elomi — I considered writing a whole separate bra section, but it turns out HerRoom stocks every name on my list. Depending on the brand, expect cup sizes up to G and band sizes up to 56.


a model in Lineage activewear doing a yoga posePhoto: Lineage

Indies

From velvet and glitter to one radical sizing strategy, these little shops offer something really special.

Artista ApparelLook no further for fun and sparkly shorts, leggings, and bralettes for pole dancers, yogis, and other athletes in low-impact sports. Runs up to size 3X.

K-Deer: This brand is known for its solid, spotted, and striped leggings and tops made in NYC, with about a dozen special collections benefiting an array of different charities. Sizes run up to 4X.

Katie K ActiveThis brand specializes in soft, durable, technicolor leggings, hoodies, and tank tops in sizes up to 3X (the next collection is currently in need of Kickstarter funding).

Lineage: Lineage makes whimsical leggings, tops, and accessories up to a size 5X. (Think motifs of feathers, ice cream, and talking animals.)

Superfit Hero: These leggings, shorts, and tees do more than simply claim feminism and girl power; a portion of Superfit Hero’s profits are donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Sizes run up to 4X.

Manifesta: Shop printed and colorblocked leggings, yoga pants, and tops, with a special collection benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Manifesta doesn’t use traditional numbered sizing, but it does stock up to roughly a 5X.


6X and Up

Because even most plus-size retailers don’t truly carry clothing for “every body.”

Torrid: Rocker chick-friendly bras, jackets, leggings, and sassy tees abound at this chain, which regularly hosts significant sales.

A model in Torrid workout clothesPhoto: Torrid

Yogaletics Wear: Yogaletics Wear specializes in abstract and cosmically printed shorts, capris, and full-length leggings in the $60 range.

Always for Me: Always for Me is a great resource for affordably priced (though not cheap) leggings, yoga pants, cardigans, and more in a mix of bright and neutral colors.

Juno Active: With tank tops, tees, and pants in mostly black and primary colors, Juno is another good pick for those seeking a more relaxed fit (though it certainly stocks leggings, bike shorts, and bra tops too).

On the Plus Side: This collection is super small and basic, but items are well-reviewed, come in several pretty colorways, and are available up to size 8X.

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