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5 Choices for Plus Size Pinup Shapewear (Sizes 2X Thru 8X)

Rago via Hips & Curves

Rago via Hips & Curves

Because I started off as a stockings blogger, pinup lingerie has always had a special place in my heart. I'm talking items like tap pants, high-waisted knickers, camisoles, slips, corsets, and, yes, girdles. No offense to Spanx, TC Fine, and their ilk --- but I hate how the bumpercrop of ugly, beige, boring shapewear in today's department stores has turned off so many people to even the idea of nice shapewear. Shapewear doesn't have to be a torture device; it can be pretty, beautiful even, and I think pinup shapewear in particular is a wonderful blending of function and fashion.



Unfortunately, many retro lingerie brands, like the rest of the lingerie industry, top out their sizing at a L or XL. As someone who wears a large herself, that means there are a lot of women who aren't getting into those ultra-foxy girdles. So if you're plus size woman wanting to expand her pinup horizons, take a look at the five brands below. And of course, it goes without saying that if you know of a pinup shapewear brand making a size 2X or beyond, please include them in the comments!

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Rago - In existence since the 1950s, NYC-based Rago is one of the most popular shapewear brands in the world. American Shapewear, Rago's own direct-to-consumer retailer, carries every single size and style this company makes (including the ones you're not likely to find stocked anywhere else). Classic items like their Lacette corselette (probably my most favorite thing they make) are available up to a 48DD, while other items like their retro shaping briefs and girdles are available in up to a size 8XL (fitting a 46" waist and 56" hips). Garter belts and waist cinchers are available in up to a size 6XL. If you've felt frustrated about the lack of pinup shapewear in your size, start here.

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Editor's Note: As of July 2014, Stockings & Romance appears to no longer be in business. 

Stockings & Romance - A UK company, Stockings & Romance focuses on retro 1940s and 50s lingerie. They make their girdles and corselettes in up to a size 5X (fitting a waist size of 39-40") and they also do some more fetish-y pieces like ouvert girdles and latex girdles. Bullet bras are available in up a to a size 46E. If you're a lingerie retailer or brand, Stockings & Romance is also available to do private label for companies that wish to stock their products.

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Joanna's Wardrobe - Online since 2008, UK retailer Joanna's Wardrobe sells lingerie from brands like Kiss Me Deadly and What Katie Did in addition to her own label of vintage-style girdles and corselettes. Cute and kitschy, this is the playful side of pinup lingerie. Girdles are available in up to a size 3X, knickers (including french knickers/tap panties!) in up a to a size 2X, and bras in up to a size 38DD. While the 3X isn't included on Joanna's Wardrobe's current size chart, their 2X fits a waist of up to 34" and hips up to 44". I've personally ordered from Joanna's Wardrobe, and I can attest to their excellent customer service.

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Dottie's Delights - The only custom designer on this list, the fabulous luxury retro brand Dottie's Delights handmakes everything to order, which means you can not only get her regular S/S and F/W collections in plus sizes, you can also collaborate with Stephanie Kuhr (the designer herself) to have a custom, one-of-a-kind creation made to your exact measurements. I've seen the lingerie from Dottie's Delights in person several times, and it is, quite simply, breathaking. Think the best laces, the best silks, and the best powermeshes... all tailor-cut for your individual figure. I often hear from women of size who wonder where the luxury, high-end lingerie is for them... well, Dottie's Delights is making it.

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Lady Marlene - This recommendation is a little unusual, as the company Lady Marlene actually went out of business a few years ago, and the only place I can still find a decent selection of their shapewear is on Alexis4U, BUT I think it is totally worth picking up a piece while you still can... especially since it's all out of production. When Lady Marlene was still manufacturing, they made waist cinchers up to a 4XL and bustiers up to a 44D. This is one of the brands I tried when I first started blogging, and the quality is excellent. Like I said, I know it's weird to mention a brand that doesn't even exist anymore, but I think you absolutely should grab one of these pieces before they completely disappear, especially if you're both plus-sized and smaller-busted. I'd also try searching eBay, as there are quite a few brand new items in a variety of sizes floating around there as well.


Last Updated on

Cora
Cora Harrington

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Lingerie Addict. Author of In Intimate Detail: How to Choose, Wear, and Love Lingerie. I believe lingerie is fashion too, and that everyone who wants it deserves gorgeous lingerie.

7 Comments on this post

  1. Meg White says:

    Insta-bookmarked. Holy cats. In love with everything here.

  2. Cora & Readers,
    I realized I miss read Thursday – user’s comment. Ooopsee. I apologize, however, I stand behind my response.

  3. Hello, thank you Cora for the great review of the brand over all. We appreciate your expertise and efforts to keep your knowledge fresh in the lingerie industry.
    I’d like to respond directly to Thursday if this user reads back:
    Rago(r) prides itself on being a quality manufacturer. We guarantee our product so much so that we give you direct contact to the office on our hang tags. I deeply apologize on behalf of Rago(r) that you received a defective garment, however, I would like to satisfy the issue. If you are interested in having it replaced please call us at (800) 982-1113. You may ask for me directly and I will handle it personally. We wish to ensure satisfaction with our brand. receiving the garment back will benefit us in reviewing for production errors and to stop the problem at the source. If you have read this I would like to thank you for trusting in us with making your purchase and hope you will trust that we stand behind our product no matter what.

  4. Catherine says:

    Our sizes do indeed go up as far as Joanna’s Wardrobes own brand, and sometimes further depending on the fabric and construction. At the moment I’d say the Divine girdle has the most stretch, and the Lydia suspender belt. We’ve extended our patterns for the basic Van Doren and Vargas styles to an XL but can’t afford to put them into production until we’ve got all our Christmas styles out of the way :)

    • Thursday says:

      The Van Doren eight strap belt is my favouritest piece of vintage-style lingerie EVER – fits me wonderfully. I recommend it all over the place!

  5. Thursday says:

    A subject very dear to my heart, Cora, being plus-sized and a vintage lover!
    I’ve been meaning to try Rago for some time – it always looks great and the size range is great. Stockings and Romance is lovely, although one of the suspender straps came off straight out of the package on my corselette :(
    I recently tried some of the knickers from the new Joanna’s wardrobe range, and for me, the 2x ran small, but at a 40″ waist and 53″ hips high-waist knickers are a real challenge. That being said, I frequently find the XL from Kiss Me Deadly works well on me.
    Hips and Curves is a great resource – I’ve picked up some favourites via them!
    For generous, comfortable fit, my favourite stockings are Nylonica (via StockingsHQ) – I just wish they made a backseam style!

  6. michelle says:

    i love this site, thank you

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