Durable Plus Size Clothing

Posted by Jen Anderson on

Durable Plus Size Clothing

In a lot of ways, durable is a really drab word. It reminds me of the 1980s tv ad for (quick google) Wendy's that featured a soviet fashion show. All the models were wearing the same gray shift dress. Day vair - gray dress. Svim vair - gray dress. You get the idea. The dresses were clearly made with a stiff, sturdy (and possibly scratchy) fabric that could withstand everything from farmwork to sticky toddlers. 

But we've all had clothes that fell apart in the wash after only one or two wearings. So durability is a valid concern when we're clothes shopping. Even if you absolutely love shopping, you don't want to be forced to replace all your pants every season.

Heavy denim overalls aren't the only durable garments out there. Long lasting clothing can be extremely stylish. So let's take a look at what really makes clothes durable.


woman wearing navy separates
Weighty Fabric


I absolutely loathed the layered look. Did stores start selling translucent shirts because of the trend, or did the trend develop because you couldn't leave the house in only one of those tops? I'll let the fashion historians ponder that one. 

Those flimsy tops are the exact opposite of durable. 

Heavy fabrics (like our classic fabric) don't wear out quickly, and they tend to drape much more nicely than less hefty fabrics. But lighter fabrics can also be on the weightier side of things. The jersey and brushed jersey knit fabrics that we use feel as light as air - but they're opaque, drape well, and can last a long time.

If you're shopping in person, it's easy to spot the good stuff - you can't see your hand through it and it just feels more substantial than the cheap stuff. When shopping online, you need to look at reviews and photos. You can also join our We Love Vikki Vi Facebook Group and talk to other customers. 


woman wearing a black and ivory random dots tank
Good Stitching


I've become a total seam snob. Poor seams are usually what fail first - either in the wash or (gasp) while you're wearing the garment. 

I love a seam with a little heft to it. You don't need to learn to sew or study up on garment construction to be able to spot a bad seam. If it looks like you can rip it apart easily, maybe with a little help from a seam ripper, then it's flimsy. If a seam looks like you'd need a seam ripper, scissors, a well-lit work table, and a huge cup of coffee to take apart a seam - then it's one of the good ones. 

Inner thighs can be an issue even if there's a good seam. The problem is that the fabric rubs and fails. The reason this isn't an issue with Vikki Vi pants is our slightly relaxed fit. When the fabric is snug over your thighs, it rubs. When the fabric is just a little looser, it doesn't rub. 


woman wearing an iris purple dress
Gentle Care


I don't mean garments with complicated care instructions. I'm talking about the things you can do to make your clothes last even longer. A clothes dryer is convenient, but the heat does a lot of damage to fabrics - especially if they contain even a hint of elastic or spandex. Laying your clothes flat to dry or running the dryer on fluff (no heat) will make your clothes last much longer.

Zip up the zippers of any clothes you're washing, and turn them inside out. This keeps the zipper from catching and tearing other garments. 

Another crucial thing is not to hang up knits. Any knits. You wouldn't hang a heavy cabled sweater on a hanger, but you might hang up a knit dress without any thought. You should treat every knit garment the same way - keep them away from hangers. Knits stretch in all directions. Hang them up, and they'll grow longer. And longer. get the idea. Even the lightest jersey knit will get stretched out by its own weight. 

Durable Doesn't Have to be Boring

We have plenty of durable garments in great styles, wonderful colors and fabulous prints. Customers tell us that our Pull On Pants can handle regular wearings over 20 years - and they're comfortable and fun to wear.

Check out our other plus size shopping tips.

Leave a comment