Affordable and Cool Back to School Shopping Sites for Every Body Type
Going back to school is a mix of exciting and dreadful. Seeing our friends again? Good! Seeing our non-friends again? Bad!
Just like shopping. Getting new stuff? Good! Trying on stuff? Bad!
We can't do anything about the good/bad dichotomy of going back to school, but hopefully we can make the shopping part a little more fun. We rounded up some cool, reasonably-priced websites that sell things for all sizes—petites, averages, talls, and plusses, plus a couple of blogs to check out for each type.
Petites (5'4" and under, any size)
Petites are smaller all-around: shorter arms and legs than the average gal (though not necessarily smaller busts or booties!). Finding tank tops is usually no problem, but jeans or sweaters that fit, on the other hand...
- Extra Petite: Jean's style is a little more mature, but she has lots of good tips and reviews for petite-friendly shopping.
- Alterations Needed: A forum for discussing all sorts of petites-only business.
- ASOS Petites: This British retailer has a large petites section, with lots of trendy, non-mom-cuts. Plus shipping and returns are free. And there's a 10% student discount.
- H&M: Ye old crazy Swedish retailer is now selling clothes online. H&M has European sizes, so things usually run pretty small (though full sleeves or pants may be a bit too long for some petities).
- YESSTYLE: This store has an insane amount of items, all at super-cheap prices. There's even an "Under $15" section.
- Make Your Own Jeans: What? We're sure this can get a little pricey, but they claim to start custom jeans at just $49.
- The Gap, Old Navy, and Express also sell items with shorter inseams.
Average (5'4"-5'10", sizes 0-12)
You probably don't have a mega-hard time finding stuff that fits, but reasonably priced, trendy stuff? Yeah no. Here are a few sites you might want to check out.
- Kendi Everyday: Kendi is cute and owns a boutique. Basically she's what we want to be when we grow up.
- Style Within Reach: Caitlin manages to style Old Navy and F21 finds and make them look unique and fancy. We like that.
- Lulu*s: This online retailer is a lot like ModCloth. Lots of cute dresses, prints, and fun colors - all at a reasonable price.
- Miss Selfridge: This site is a little more expensive than the above, but they have a great sale section (like this enviable top for $21). Lots of trendy items, with a bit of a British edge.
Tall (5'10"+, any size)
We feel like online directories always skip you guys. Here are a few sites to check out, so your secret parts don't hang out of your should-be-reasonable-length skirt.
- Tall Swag: Gabby is 6'6" and has an enviable, fashion-forward closet. Want.
- All the Tall Things: "The Ultimate Fashion Blog" for you tall types. L reviews "tall" stuff from the same stores you shop: The Gap, ASOS, and more.
- Franceta Johnson: Franceta is tall and a little curvy, which is completely under-represented in the "tall" category.
- Long Tall Sally: This retailer sells clothes that are meant for taller gals—longer sleeves, inseams, and torsos. Finally, a sweater you won't need to tug down every 2 minutes. A little pricier than some of the other ones on this list, but the sale section is fantastic, with lots of items under $50.
- Tall Girls UK: UK brands tend to be more expensive, because ... the global economy or something. Still, you can find tops for under US $30. (Convert pounds to dollars via Google!)
- Make Your Own Jeans: As referenced in the "petities" section, which you surely skipped over because you are tall. We're sure this can get a little pricey, but they claim to start custom jeans at just $49. They offer other items too, but a well-fitting pair of jeans is indispensable.
- The Gap, Delia*s, Express, Alloy, and Old Navy also sell items with longer inseams.
- Some plus-size stores have larger/longer items too.
"Plus" (any height, sizes 12-26)
"Plus" is such a weird name, but it's the most common term for this category. Here are some resources for girls that need cool clothes in sizes around 12-26.
- The Curvy Fashionista: Enviable wardrobe alert. Blogger Marie puts together outfits and news for ladies who fall outside the "average" size range.
- Madison Plus: This blog belongs to a store's website, but the clothes there are kinda pricey. Still, you can steal their style tips and roundups.
- ASOS Curve: The British retailer also has an extensive plus section, and you won't look like a mom. Plus free shipping and returns, and a 10% student discount. It is very awesome.
- ModCloth Plus: ModCloth started out with just a few plus-size items, and they continue to increase their offerings. We love that they offer the same fun prints and colors as they do for straight-size girls.
- Fashion to Figure: This website features on-trend clothes in sizes 12-26. We love that this retailer reconizes that plus-size gals don't want to hide their figures or dress in drapey, old lady fabrics. Plus, it's super affordable. Bring on the skinny jeans & peplums!
- Forever 21+: Sure, the quality at F21 can be lacking, but their prices can't be beat. Some of the stores have a F21+ section in-store, too, if you have one locally.
- The Gap, Old Navy, and many other brands have online stores as well.
Keep in mind that you might be one type on bottom and another on top. Plenty of girls need "plus" skirts and jeans, and "average" tops (or vice-versa). Shopping can be frustrating, but if you have an understanding parent with a credit card or worked a summer job in prep for this moment, you can order a bunch of things, keep what fits best and send the rest back. Good luck!
What are your favorite online or in-store retailers for your body type? Please share your favorites below!