This winter, I find myself grabbing basics on repeat. For so long, I felt that basics were the biggest hole in the plus size market. We have pattern and prints all day, but the task of finding a long sleeve tee that fits or a pair of leggings that I don't want to rip off has been a challenge.
I purge my closet about once a quarter, and the number of basics that I've tried and tossed is really frustrating. Thankfully, there are some really good basics and wardrobe staples available right now, so there's been much less tossing and more styles on repeat. Here's a roundup of my favorites. And when I say “favorites” it means I love them so much that I own multiples of every single one of these items!
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Here's my outfit today, featuring 4 of the items from my favorites list:
Best Plus Size Tees:
I have 2 recommendations!
- ELOQUII Essential V-Neck Tunic Tee: As soon as I tried on the black version of this tee a while ago, I went online and immediately purchased 2 more. I have a hard time finding tees of a good length for my long torso, and these are soft, wash well, and are versatile. (See below for tying a knot in it to give it a shorter crop.) One note I'll make is that the sleeves are short (between cap sleeve and short sleeve) and the holes are fairly large. I like the style, but just know it's not cut like a typical tee. It's also available in a long-sleeved version (which I also bought), but it's only in black at this time.
- Universal Standard Foundation Long Sleeve V-Neck Tee (in sizes 00-40): In this post, I'm mentioning 3 items from the Universal Standard foundations line. The fabric is so great for a basic. It feels luxe, retains its shape but has a lot of stretch, and is thin so you can layer, but not too thin where it's completely see-through. I wouldn't wear a white bra under the black top, though. It is thin enough that it would show through. Universal Standard also has their standard tees like their Tee Rex and V Rex, so if you're looking for a more traditional fitting tee with a heavier fabric, those might be a better bet. I personally prefer to size up on the Tee and V Rex styles because of my long torso. On the foundations pieces, I order true to size because they're already long.
Best Plus Size Everyday Leggings
- ELOQUII Miracle Flawless Legging, sizes 14-32. If you like a high waisted legging but want a more polished look, these are super versatile. They have a very wide elastic waist and are a thick material with no chance of seeing through them. There is also a seam down the center front of the leg that is a nice detail. If you are looking for something other than basic black knit, they also have them in a moto style with faux leather.
- Catherines Ponte Knit Leggings, sizes 0X (14/16)-5X (34/36) with some petites available – 4 colors. I wore these leggings all over the blog the past 2 months! Decorating the tree, on Thanksgiving, and with a poncho and boots. They are a thicker material, and are really comfortable.
Best Plus Size Turtleneck (and Turtleneck Dress)
I should say these are the best “all size” pieces because this particular turtleneck and turtleneck dress are both from Universal Standard and are available in sizes 00-40!
- Universal Standard Foundations Turtleneck: I bought this last year and became a turtleneck convert. For the first time ever, I had perfect turtleneck tension: not too lose where it looked sloppy or stretched out; and not too tight where I felt like I was wearing a compression garment. The material is like butter. It's thin and easily layered or can be worn on its own.
- Universal Standard Foundation Long Sleeve Turtleneck Dress: Made of the same amazing fabric as the turtleneck and their v-neck tee I raved about earlier, this basic is a great piece on its own or layered. A secret: I've worn the dress as a top before when my other turtlenecks were dirty. Slide the skirt right over top!
Best Plus Size Sports Bra
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the ENELL Sports Bra changed my life! They are made specifically for C cups and above of ALL band sizes, not just plus. Not having supportive workout clothes made me so self-conscious years ago when I tried to undertake a fitness routine again after being off for a while. Wearing the ENELL, I don't think once about my boobs during a workout. Disclosure that they're also a client of my consulting business, but I was a customer of theirs 10 years ago before I started working with them. If you have any questions whatsoever about the bras, sizing, etc please reach out to them, or me. Seriously friendly, small, women-owned business.
Best Plus Size Casual Cardigan
This casual open front long cardigan is from Amazon and I feel like I'm living in it lately. I have it in olive green and royal blue. At first, I ordered it in the 5X, fearing like most things on Amazon that it would be made very small. I would say that it's pretty true to size as I got another one in a 4X, which I'd equate to a 26/28. It's a stretchy fabric that flows so nicely. It works with jeans or leggings as I'm wearing in the photo from today at the top of the post, or layered over a dress! Perfect for travel as well since it doesn't wrinkle and is a good layering piece for your flight.
Best Plus Size Hosiery
- Tights: My favorite tights are from We Love Colors (size-inclusive, not just plus!) They have a literal rainbow of colors and hold up extremely well. I have some from 5 years ago that, while I've not worn a ton, they have held up with multiple washes. Super comfortable and well-made. (You can see some of my We Love Colors tights in these old – circa 2013 and 2015 – posts: maroon and turquoise)
- Pantyhose: For sheer hosiery, I always look to Catherines. I am very long torsoed and struggle to find pantyhose that I can pull up high enough without them rolling down, and Catherines has these. They also have durable knee highs if you're looking for some that will fit wider calves. In this holiday post, I'm wearing their Daysheer hose in taupe.
- Tights/Leggings hybrid: Re/Dress Teggings. Hear me out: they're part tight, part legging. The material and fit is like a very thick tight, but there is an ankle opening like a legging. These are ridiculously comfortable and I've yet to destroy a pair after having them for 3+ years. They come in a lot of colors. I wear them a lot under short dresses where I'm wearing knee-high boots. This way, you can't even see that there isn't any covering over my feet. They aren't see-through, so if you want to wear them with a long tunic, I think that would work.
Best Plus Size Jacket:
ELOQUII Faux Leather Moto Jacket: I have loved this jacket for years, and now own it in 3 different colors: black, red, and cheerot. This goes with virtually anything, and makes something as basic as a tee and leggings look super chic. Even though it's faux, it has a supple feel like leather. This is the jacket that I used for my wedding – that's how good it is! It's available in 7 colors.
Best Plus Size Wrap Dress
I love a wrap dress more than just about any other item of clothing because I think they're timeless and look great on so many people. I have tried wrap dresses from so many brands that are wonderful, but the ones I reach for over and over again are the ones I have from Kiyonna. They are all a few years old (here are a couple from 2016, 2018) and look brand new, despite wearing them a lot. I wore one on my first date with Steve, and they're a go-to for any occasion where I'm not sure if I should dress cocktail or casual. If you've not tried one of their wraps before, I'd suggest starting with the staple Essential Wrap Dress. If you want something with a little flair at the hem, the Whimsy Wrap Dress is a good choice.
Bonus: Best Wide Width Flats
The struggle to find cute and comfortable wide width shoes is so real. Here are two flats options that I return to over and over:
- Bella Vita Vivien Flats (pointed toe). I've owned 3 pairs and am always looking to see if they come out with any new colors. They are leather and hold up really well. I've worn my champagne pair not only for my wedding but at least 2 times a week since (over a year ago). Unfortunately, it looks like there aren't a lot in stock many places right now. Macy's has a few here and Nordstrom has some here.
- Vionic Minna Flats (round toe). Vionic discontinued my favorite pair of their flats, but they do have these Minna flats, which have a round toe and are very comfortable – you may need to give them a few wears to break in, but I promise they get really comfy. I have the leopard print version and they are getting a lot of action right now!