The Best Travel Clothes for Curvy Women

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Ok ladies, let’s talk travel wear. The strappy dresses, string bikinis, and pretty convertible tops that seem to be featured on every packing list, round-up, and Instagram feed. Yes, they are adorable. And I’m sure they look amazing on many women. However, as a curvy girl who is often caught between regular and plus sizes, I regularly find that these ‘perfect travel clothes’ really aren’t the best travel clothes for curvy women.

More often or not, when I look at these ‘must have’ lists  I end up mentally knocking off half the items because they won’t look good on my figure. Only to find out that those that I think might actually work on my body come in limited sizes. It’s a pain in the butt. Just because I’m curvy doesn’t mean I don’t want pretty clothes. I deserve to feel good in a swimsuit. I want to look cute in my photos. And I know I’m not the only one feeling left out when it comes to travel fashion, but the fact is that plus size travel clothing is hard to find.

Thankfully there are some brilliant brands that recognize that women of all shapes and sizes like to travel and look good while doing it. So from one curvy traveller to another, here are my recommendations for the best travel clothes for curvy women.

Best Convertible Travel Wear for Curvy Women

Convertible clothing and capsule wardrobes are perfect for travel, especially since airlines are getting so strict with luggage. And while many brands offer these types of designs, most of them target those with slimmer figures who are willing to show more skin. Personally, that’s not my style, which is why I love the chic and elegant designs from Diane Kroe.

Diane Kroe Origami Top

Diane Kroe offers a range of items from shirts to dresses to pants, all of which can be worn multiple ways. My first two Diane Kroe pieces were the Origami Top (above) and the Carry On Cozy , both of which I love. Both pieces transformed into multiple looks as tops and dresses. They washed and wore well, and were very obviously a quality make. Plus, I loved how they looked and felt on. The Origami top is perfect for dressier events and I love the Carry On Cozy for the plane and for having on hand to cover up my shoulders in more conservative places like temples.

I have since added a few more Diane Kroe pieces to my wardrobe including the butterfly wrap and Mariposa kaftan which are lightweight coverups perfect for the beach or to cover up a little more at more conservative sites. I took my butterfly wrap with me to Egypt and my Mariposa most recently to French Polynesia.  

 

Perhaps my favourite piece, though, is the layer jacket. I actually have two now: one in black and one in red. It’s super cosy and I love that its a little dressier than a normal sweater. Plus, the long length makes it perfect to pair with leggings or your favourite pair of jeans.

Diane Kroe is a Canadian brand based in Toronto. All clothing is created in-house by staff, and custom orders are accepted. Pieces can be ordered online at: https://dianekroe.com and regular sizes run from 2-20 (US sizing) but custom orders are welcome, making it one of the best plus size travel clothing choices. Worldwide shipping is available.  Use code HANNAH10 to save 10% off your purchase! 

Best Casual Travel Essentials for Curvy Women

If you have been following me for a while and paid attention to my photos you might have noticed that, for the past few years, I have worn the same black t-shirt on every single trip I take. It’s the encircled Evolve Top and it’s easily my favourite t-shirt. The sleeves are adjustable to give it different looks, it’s a bit dressier than a normal t-shirt, and it washes and wears SO well. 

I have also recently fallen in love with their Dressy Sweatpant pants which are cuter than leggings but as comfortable as PJs and can be dressed up for down. I have also declared them the ultimate airplane pants because they are super comfortable, cute, and, while not thick, provide a bit of warmth. And yes, they have pockets! They also come with me on every trip.

Encircled clothing is ethically made in Toronto, Canada. Women’s clothing ranges in size from xs-xxl and can be ordered online at: www.encircled.ca

Best Dresses for Curvy Bodies

While I used to be a tomboy as a child, I am now 100% a dress girl. Part of it is because I think they are so pretty, part of it is because it is so easy, and part of it is because I found a brand that has a huge collection of styles and colours that fit my body really well. The brand is City Chic and I’m embarrassed to tell you how many of their dresses I own right now (I have 8). 

City Chic Dress

City Chic has stores in the USA and Australia but does offer shipping abroad. As a Canadian, I can sometimes find their products at The Bay, but the best selection by far is online on the official City Chic website. They have dresses for every occasion and in a variety of styles so whether you want something loose and flowy or tight to hug your curves, you’ll find options here. City Chic is made for mid and plus size women so their sizing goes from size 14 (XS) t0 24 (XXL). 

Another cute place for size inclusive dresses (xs-4x) is Cherry Velvet. This brand is Canadian and create vintage, pin-up style pieces that are super cute and can be fun to travel with as well (although you might need to iron them before wearing!). 

Best Jeans for Curvy Women

I hate buying jeans. I have thick thighs and a big butt and a smaller waist and nothing ever seems to fit properly. However, on suggestion from some friends I finally tried American Eagle curvy jeans and immediately bought three pairs. These are the only jeans I have found (so far) that actually work for my body. They have all kinds of styles but, being a millennial (who also lives in Canada where you want to be able to tuck your pants into winter boots) I’m partial to the skinny jean. The Ne(x)t level ones are super stretchy and comfortable. American Eagle offers sizes up to 24 and a variety of inseam lengths. 

Best Leggings for Curvy Women

Like jeans, I struggled to find leggings that fit me well. Again, the whole smaller waist and bigger bottom led to lots of fit problems. Usually, waist bands sliding down which meant every time I hiked/walked/worked out I would have to stop to pull up my pants. I tried all kinds of brands and styles before landing on one very specific pair from lululemon: The invigorate tight. They don’t fall down. They have pockets. They aren’t see through and I cannot recommend them enough. These are without a doubt the best leggings in the world. Lululemon currently carries up to a size 20 but keep in mind the fit on their leggings is very different than jean size. I wear 18 jeans and 12 in these lululemon leggings, so keep that in mind when figuring out sizing! 

Best Travel Swimsuits for Curvy Women

 

 

Swimsuits and wetsuits have been one of my biggest pet peeves as a water love and scuba diver. Especially when, on top of travel, I live on a lake at home in Canada during the summer months. I’ve tried tons of swimsuit brands over the years and have several favourites.

  • Adore Me
  • City Chic
  • Old Navy
  • Blu Wild
  • Waterlust
  • The Cheeky Bikini 

Best Travel Outwear for Plus Size Women

Outerwear can be another pain in the butt to buy, but being Canadian I have to have several different coats for the different seasons. I’ve bought coats from plenty of brands throughout the years, but when it comes to keeping warm or dry, my favourite brand is Columbia.

I currently have two Columbia jackets; a warm winter one perfect for those -40C days (yes, I said -40C. Welcome to Canada) and a lightweight waterproof rain coat. The raincoat is perfect for travel because it folds up into its own pocket, is lightweight, breathable, and most importantly: it is waterproof.

Columbia products can easily be found in sporting stores as well as online on amazon. The raincoat I’m wearing above can be found here. 

Best Anti-Theft Pieces for Curvy Women

As a solo female traveller, I think that Clever Travel Companion is one of the coolest clothing lines out there. Their products; which range from underwear to pants to tank tops to hoodies, are all pickpocket proof. Secret pockets that are perfect for cash, passport, and banking cards keep your important items safe and concealed.

Clever Travel Companion

While the colours and designs may be plain and simple, the designs are flattering. I tried out their travel tank with 2 secret pockets a couple years ago and it’s now a staple in my luggage. Check out my review for it here.

Clever Travel Companion clothing can be ordered online at: clevertravelcompanion.com. They will ship around the world, and sizes run from XS-XXL.

Best Plus Size Wetsuits 

Being a plus-size scuba diver, I know how stressful it can be to find a wetsuit that fits. This is something I’ve written about before on various sites based on my own (terrible) experiences. Recently, I’ve partnered with Mia of Truli Wetsuits, a Canadian brand that ships worldwide. I acted as her guinea pig in testing out new sizes and designs and absolutely love the outcomes. These wetsuits are cute and stylish and designed for women’s bodies. The latest styles (Truli-Hapi and Truli-Ful The Beautiful) come in 21 different sizes. If you do decide to order, please include my name/blog when asked who sent you. This ensures I receive a commission for the referral. Learn more about Truli Wetsuits here.

As I said, these are my go-t0 brands for plus size travel clothing & fashion. If you looked through some of the labels I list above you’ll note that nothing is ‘cheap’. Too often plus size fashion is also fast fashion and I try my best to learn away from those types of products as they are terrible for the environment. Plus, nobody wants their clothes to fall apart on them mid-vacation. Instead, I try to choose clothes that will wash and wear well and last. In my experiences, the brands above fit those requirements. 

Psst: Wondering what my must-have travel items are? Here’s what you’ll always find in my bag.

the best travel clothing for curvy women

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36 Comments

  1. operatingrn on June 22, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Great post. I found many of the sites suggested very intriguing. I will definitely be adding to my travel wardrobe. With the checked bag fees and carry-on space crush I need to minimize my travel gear.

    • Hannah Logan on June 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      These brands are all lightweight and pack easy as well! I love them all and take them with me everywhere.

  2. Jade on June 24, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    So refreshing to read some tips for us curvy girls!

    • Hannah Logan on June 25, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      I thought it was about time 😉 I’m not the only one!

    • PRAYRNA SINHA on November 10, 2019 at 10:08 am

      I think you did an excellent job by covering the topic of travel outfits for curvy women without compromising their chic style

  3. Practical Wanderlust (@practicalwander) on June 24, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Yassss thank you!! As a fellow curvy girl I know it can be extra challenging to find clothes that are comfortable and functional enough for travel. Some awesome ideas here I’m def going to try out!

    • Hannah Logan on June 25, 2017 at 10:41 pm

      Yes! I am so grateful to have found these brands so happy to share with my fellow curvy travellers 😉

  4. Roaming Required (@RoamingRequired) on June 26, 2017 at 5:28 am

    some really great suggestions here Hannah. I split my (only pair) trousers on our trip to Australia. Couldn’t face trying to replace them to patch job and how for the best. Can’t predict all drama when travelling!

    • Hannah Logan on June 26, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Oh god thats my fear when I go to Asia haha

      • Rachel on October 9, 2018 at 2:58 am

        That’s my biggest fear. My sister and I are going to Thailand later this month and we’re both 6′ tall so if our pants or shoes give out we are S.O.L.

        • Hannah Logan on October 9, 2018 at 3:19 am

          haha yeah sometimes its worth it to pack extra 😉

  5. Roaming Required (@RoamingRequired) on June 26, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Side note, good for you for putting a swimwear shot up. I took some shots in Bangkok at a swish infinity pool and haven’t yet found the confidence to share them publicly. Bravo curvy sister, bravo.

  6. Dee Lushious on July 1, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    How do you find the Cherry Velvet dresses, in terms of wrinkling? I have four or five of them, but hadn’t really thought about taking them travelling, as I thought that they’d just wrinkle up, and I usually stay in hostels that don’t have irons readily available!!

    I am starting to love SweetLegs — I just wish that they were a natural fibre, as I usually try to avoid the synthetics in the crotch area, especially in the hot sweaty summer! But I definitely ordered a bunch today with their 20% off sale this weekend:)

    Definitely checking out the other suggestions here!

    • Hannah Logan on July 4, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      I find if I hang my cherry velvet dresses over a door or in a closet it helps get the wrinkles out. Can also hang it in the bathroom when you shower- the steam will help 🙂

  7. Darcy on July 16, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    I love Eddie Bauer’s Girl on the Go insulated trench. It stands up to all sorts of weather. I’ve worn it in pouring rain in summer without the lining and stayed dry, and in the snow and wind in winter with the lining and have stayed warm. It’s low profile enough for city travel.

    • Hannah Logan on July 17, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      Good to know! I have a couple things from EB but they only carry plus online (with ridiculous shipping) or in the USA.

  8. Dana on April 17, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    I found this site yesterday and love it! My husband is very uninterested in traveling outside of North America and I can’t contain my wanderlust anymore. When you travel solo, do you try to keep it down to a large carry on for most trips or do you check your bags every time?

    • Hannah Logan on April 18, 2018 at 7:20 am

      Thanks Dana! It depends on how long and where I’m travelling. For 1-3 weeks I do carry ons. But when I do multi-month trips I tend to check my bags.

  9. Elian on January 27, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    One of my favorite travel pieces is the Columbia Pardon My Trench. It’s a belted jacket with trench detailing and a hood and zip up pockets. It’s sleek enough to work in a city but sturdy enough for light hiking, trekking. And it fold up very small. Runs up to 3X.

  10. Sue on January 28, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Glad I found this post! Planning a 3 week trip to Italy and Greece (includes a 12 day cruise). I’m sure your suggestions and websites will help me. Great to see fellow Canadian suggestions too.

    • Hannah Logan on January 28, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      ooh fun! Definitely check out Diane Kroe pieces for that! The convertible aspects will help you pack lighter + her clothes are beautiful.

    • Bev Burr on December 24, 2019 at 10:34 am

      Thanks for these ideas. One cmpany I like for clothing is Blue Sky. Available online or in person in BC, this company makes bamboo clothing in real people sizes. I especially like their skort which is knee length with pockets. It can be dressed up or down. My travel wardrobe is almost 100% Blue Sky.

      • Hannah Logan on December 26, 2019 at 11:59 am

        I’ll have to check them out. Thanks!

  11. Taira on October 12, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Thank you so much, thanks to you I’ve found cute swimdresses and city chic was awesome for me!

  12. Karen on October 19, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Thank so much for this article. I will definitely be checking out all of these sites!

  13. […] My journey towards self-acceptance and body positivity has been one hell of an adventure but it’s incredible how much has changed over the past few years. I enjoy checking myself out in the mirrors that I used to avoid. I buy more form-fitting clothing, I have a drawer filled full of swimsuits, including multiple bikinis, and I feel adorable in sundresses. (PS: You can find my picks for curvy-friendly travel clothing here) […]

  14. Kristin on July 22, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    I love your sandals. Where are the from

  15. Marti on January 9, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    Curvy and plus, fine, but I am also TALL. Almost impossible to find the combo. Most talls only add leg length and do not add to rise.

    • Hannah Logan on January 10, 2022 at 8:51 am

      Have you tried American Eagle curvy jeans? I’ve tried them since I wrote this and they are now my new favourite. They come in a taller length and my friend who is 6 feet LOVES them

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