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 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 used my Mariposa over my swimsuits in French Polynesia.
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 have a closet full of their dresses right now.
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 12 (XXS) 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. Recently I’m also loving the wide leg dreamy drop styles which are super soft and actually 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 Wunder Train tights. They don’t fall down and they aren’t see through and I cannot recommend them enough. 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. In fact I created a whole blog post about my favourite swim-wear brands. You can find it here.
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.
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-XXXL.