The Best Plus Size Wardrobe Basics

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Every good wardrobe needs basics. These pieces make putting together a stylish ensemble easy because they serve as the foundation of your outfit. The not so easy part is finding these pieces when you are building a plus-size wardrobe. Lucky for you, I did all of the work and put together this list of the best plus-size wardrobe basics.

Personally, I have a long torso and an apple shape. I carry most of my weight in my stomach. I prefer shirts that are longer and pants that have a medium to high waist. I know that every plus-size lady has their own unique shape, style, and preferences. While I shopped for these basics for my body type and style preference, I think most of my selections are fairly universal.

Tshirts and Tank Tops

Even if your style is more classy than casual, it is good to have both T-shirts and tank tops in your wardrobe. Even if you won’t wear them to work, they may be the perfect thing to wear to that company volunteer gig at the food bank.

My top recommendation for an affordable t-shirt is the EveryWear Slub-Knit from Old Navy. It is thinner material but I like that it is long enough to be tucked. Currently, you can get this style in a V Neck or a Scoop Neck. Also, the colors change seasonally, so make sure to check back every few months for new color options.

During the cooler months, a casual long sleeve top is great for layering under a vest or worn alone with jeans. My first choice is this one from Target but it sells out quickly. My second favorite option is the Old Navy Long Sleeve Slub-Knit.

These tank tops are perfect for layering under a chambray shirt, a layer to make a revealing top or dress a bit more modest, or as a layer under a sheer blouse. They are offered in neutrals and in prints.

White Blouse

A good white shirt really adds to your wardrobe. They can be worn alone with jeans for a more casual look or they can be paired with a blazer for a more professional look.

If you work in a traditional office setting, you can’t go wrong with either of these white tops. If you can afford it, buy both styles. The notch neck looks great alone but also under blazers. Of course, you have to have a white button-down. This one from Anthropologie is updated with a slightly puffy sleeve. If you are wanting a more traditional option, try J.Crew.


If you splurge on one item, let it be on a blazer. A great blazer can be dressed down and worn with jeans or dressed up for the office. However, a blazer that looks cheap or doesn’t fit right will always look frumpy. Find the best blazer that fits your budget then get it tailored to fit perfectly.

Unless you want to buy new blazers every year, opt for options in more classic cuts and stay away from trendy styles. The classic black blazer in a longer length looks less stuffy but still polished. I am personally looking for something like this textured blazer from Anthropologie.

Dressy Black Skirt or Pants

Working from home means I don’t have a lot of need for workwear but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a pair of black dress pants on standby. Should I have an interview or a formal business meeting, I will be glad I have them. If you work in an office with a dress code, you will obviously need more than one option in your wardrobe.

When I worked in an office I preferred an A-Line skirt, but you might find you like a pencil skirt better. It is really just a matter of personal preference. Of course, you could skip the skirts altogether and of for wearing black pants. The ankle-length is flattering, you don’t have to worry about them being too long, and they can be worn with a variety of different shoes.


Since we are friends, I am going to let you in on a secret. I hate pants but I really loath jeans. And jean shopping is the worst. To make things simple for myself, I buy the same styles every time I replace my jeans.

When it comes to plus-size jeans, I turn to Madewell and Eloquii. Madewell has a higher price, but the quality is great. If you are looking for skinny jeans, you can’t go wrong with their high-rise skinny jeans. I also like a nice pair of destroyed jeans. Eloquii offers three different cuts so you can find the perfect fit for you. The classic fit for those with a proportional waist and hips. Viola for fuller hips and Gena for a fuller waist.


Before I had kiddos, I belonged in the leggings are not pants camp. Now I live in leggings at home. I will wear them out to the grocery store or carline with a long sweater or a cardigan.

I only wear these Old Navy leggings. I have not found any others that are the perfect combination of affordable and comfortable. If you have some that you recommend, share in a comment.

Underneath It All

I am not a shapewear girl at all. I don’t like feeling like a sausage about to explode. That being said, I do have a few suggestions for those times when you may need something underneath all of your clothes.

If you have a sheer shirt or want to wear a smoothing camisole this Spanx one will do the trick without being too uncomfortable. Now for the best find of all, the Knix Thigh Saver. They come in a ton of nude tones and there are two lengths! I have a pair of 4-inch shorties that I wear with knee-length dresses. They have no compression so you won’t get any smoothing with them.

Tips For Making Your Basics Last

Since your basics will get the most use it is important to make sure they last. If possible try to get as many wears out of your basics before washing. If you only wore something for an hour you likely don’t need to wash it. Also, make sure to follow all washing directions carefully.

You will also want to buy the best quality you can afford. With these pieces, quality is more important than quantity. A nice blazer or a high-quality pair of jeans is going to last longer. Really look at the material, the cut, the lining, and the hems of all of your wardrobe basics.

You may also like: Spring Plus Size Capsule Wardrobe, The Best Plus Size Capsule Wardrobe For Fall

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