Monday, 21 September 2015


Does Kenya have a plus size industry you would ask? And I would say yes and no. Yes because most African women tend to be on the curvier side with the vast majority being between size 12 –size 16. As result you have (and this is where my no comes in) an accidental plus size fashion industry because most Kenyan girls are generally curvy. So the plus size fashion industry in Kenya is not an industry per se, but it’s just how we are anatomically built and as a result almost everyone will buy plus size clothes seeing as plus size is any size from 12 and above. So how about the fewer number of women who are sizes 18 above, where would you go to buy clothes that suit your style and size:

Well for cheap clothes, you can look no further than your nearest second hand stall. The most common second hand markets are Toi and Adams arcarde just off Ngong road. Here you will find lots of vendors with lots of cheap variety of second hand clothes many from various international brands and many quite new. You could also go to Gikomba where all the bales are opened; but this needs stamina and grit. When I was younger these were my usual haunts for cheap clothes and one of the best ways to spend an afternoon with girlfriends. Of course there are several second hand retailors dotted in various markets all over Nairobi and in Kenya. So put on your flat shoes and go grab a bargain

Cheap to Average
Your good ol' tailor. I think this is the most fun for me because I get into the creative process of designing what I want to wear, fabric choice, colour and style. My tailor Maurice is probably one of the best tailors I have ever met, constant fights on delays not withstanding. Tailors in Nairobi/Kenya tend to vary in price. If you are big girl and you see something in a shop not your size, don't despair, just look for a good tailor. The fabric shops I highly recommend are Memsaab in Westland's Nairobi (a bit pricey but a huge selection of the best fabrics you can imagine) and Nairobi textiles within City center down town.

In the middle on Nairobi town are what are called exhibition stalls. With individual vendors renting small 6 by 6 glass stalls which are crammed with cheap Chinese imported clothes and shoes. I have to confess I am not a fan of exhibition stalls. I find they do not make for an enjoyable shopping experience what with vendors haggling for you, the excessive bargaining for over priced clothes and the quality of clothes is usually questionable (I stand corrected) however you could find some fashionable clothes here; I see many stylish women in beautiful body con dresses bought from exhibition stalls.

The other average shops are Mr. Price shops a South African brand located in most major malls in Nairobi. They carry quite a variety of trendy and hip clothes at surprisingly low prices. Up till recently they had a dedicated area for plus size shopping, however this was stopped as they felt that they were not getting as many plus size clients. I used to get my denim from here but not anymore which is disappointing

Woolworths is another South African brand that is quite popular in Kenya. It has good quality clothes hence the higher prices. The other advantage with Woolworth’s is they have regular end of season sales with pretty low prices so look out for those. Woolworth’s is actually my favorite store in Kenya and this is because the clothes they stock appeal to my minimalist style. They have a wide variety of basics and beautiful denim. They do have a wide variety of plus size clothes and you will likely get good variety of plus size clothes in stock

Truworths is part of the same South African brand as Woolworth’s and Mr. Price is way more expensive for its sister store brand but with good reason. The clothes are really well made and the quality of fabric is superior. Sales unfortunately are not that often. But I love the Truworths store for various reasons. It is the one store that really has a good selection of plus size clothes. As opposed to many stall that will have a separate plus size section, Truworths will have same outfit from regular size to as large as size 24-26 which is amazing. I have without fail found my favorite denim pieces from this store

Dichotomy I must confess is a store I discovered very recently on my first visit to the newly opened Garden city mall. the store is beautifully and simply designed similar to luxury store you would find in fashion capitals of the world. I have not bought anything here yet, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this high end retail store has beautiful clothes in store up to size 20 and they can have your clothes made to order if the sizes are too small for you. How amazing is that. I will do a review of their clothes once I get something. The fabric used here is rich and luxurious. What makes me love this store so much is that it’s a Kenyan luxury store with clothes made locally in Kenya. If you of the buy Kenya build Kenya mentality, then this is the store for you

These are current shopping favourites. Tell me below if there is any place I should try looking for plus size clothes

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