Where to Buy Plus-Sized Clothing in Seoul, Korea 2020

The real title of this article should be anyone bigger than a US size zero should take a peek at these shops because it is a real struggle to find clothing or shoes here in Korea that fits horizontally or vertically. Why? The dreaded free-size clothing, or one-size-fits-all, does not fit all, and unfortunately, free-size is the standard at almost every single clothing store in Korea. But never fear! Hope is here. Keep scrolling for the handy guide that I’ve compiled to help you navigate shopping for plus-sized clothing in Korea!

Want to know the best neighborhoods to shop in Seoul, Korea? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Shopping in Seoul in 2020. Don’t forget to check out International Clothing Stores in Seoul if you’re looking for familiar brands from back home that you know and love.

Full disclosure: I wouldn’t be considered plus-sized in the USA in my current shape (though I’ve oscillated in the last decade from a US size 16 — yes, you read that right — to a US size 6). I’d like to think I am blessed with the height to always reach the top shelf in grocery store aisles at 5’10ft (176cm) and big feet that plant firmly on the ground (US 10 in shoes or 265 Korean Size). My Korean mother who is half the size of me likes to proudly exclaim, “I gave her a lot of milk!”

Nevertheless, when I first arrived in Korea, hopeful and excited to shop, I was floored by how poorly the clothes fit me. I felt like a giant among lilliputians. So, I did what I often do best: research! Not all Korean women are tiny and slender, so where do they shop? Well, check my shopping list below for the fruits of my store-hunting labor!

What is free-size clothing?

Free size clothing is everywhere in Korea. It’s basically one-size-fits-all clothing made for the average Korean body type. Generally, that size is small or petite. Like most of Asia, fashion sizes conform to the general population which tends to be slim and petite.

The boutiques here often stock ‘free size’ clothing only or won’t stock larger sizes. The international stores also often carry ‘Asian Fit’ (petite sizing) in addition to or in lieu of their standard Western sizing, so it’s best to try on the style if you’re allowed to (not all boutiques have dressing rooms).

Take notice of length, as international stores like Nike often only stock 7/8 length leggings. For reference, I’m a US size 8 with wide hips (176 cm or 5’10 ft tall) and fit an XL legging at the Nike store in Korea whereas I would normally be a medium back home in the US.

If you’re built bigger than the average Korean woman — like me — you’ll find a lot of free-size clothing to be way too short, narrow-shouldered, and tight. If the Korean store carries more than one size, they usually don’t go above a US 4-6. Anything above that is (shockingly) considered plus-sized.

Understandably, they cater to the Korean market, and the expat community in Korea is rather small, being one of the most homogenous countries in the world.

Fortunately, baggy clothes tend to be in style, so you may luck out.

Tip: Use Papago or Google Translate to help navigate Korean websites.

Best Bets for Plus-Sized Korean Clothing Stores

Korean Shopping Mall, 29CM
Korean Shopping Mall, 29CM.co.kr

29CM

Korean fashion mall that carries some extended sizes including imported footwear. Most of the women’s brands are free-size or small/medium. Check individual brand sizing charts for the best fit. And don’t rule out unisex or men’s styles for larger sizes!

Korean Plus-Sized Store, Gabig.kr

Gabig

Plus-sized women’s fashion in Korea. There’s a physical location at 3F, Chungsang Building, 44-6 Jongbong-ro 8-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul.

Korean shirt sizing chart for plus-sized clothing in centimeters (3XL, 4XL) from Gabig.co.kr
Korean shirt sizing chart for plus-sized clothing in centimeters (3XL, 4XL) from Gabig.co.kr
Bra shop Lora, Korean lingerie store
Shop for Korean lingerie at lora.co.kr

Bra Shop Lora

Carries larger bra sizes up to a G-cup.

Korean plus-sized store, Mariangplus.co.kr
Korean plus-sized store, Mariangplus.co.kr

Mariang Plus

Women’s plus-sized store in Korea that carries styles up to Korean women’s 5XL.

8 Seconds carries Asian sizing which runs very small

8 Seconds

Affordable, fast-fashion chain all over Korea that carries sizes up to an extra large (probably equivalent to a US medium or US 8-10). Quality is on the lower end (as are prices).

Shop for plus-sized menswear in Korea at okkane.co.kr

Okkane

Mostly men’s big-size clothing, but carries some unisex items.

A small plus-sized women’s section from 4xr Korea.

4xr

Mostly men’s clothing, but carries some unisex styles.

Romi Story carries plus-sized Korean fashion.

Romi Story

Feminine, plus-sized women’s clothing store with physical locations in Korea (see locations here).

09women.com

09women

Women’s clothing store that carries plus-sized and free-size styles.

hotping.co.kr

Hotping

Women’s clothing store that carries up a size XL.

ladyplus.co.kr

LadyPlus

Women’s plus-sized Korean fashion chain with offline locations (here). Also carries bigger sized shoes! Probably one of the more popular big-sized clothing chains.

jstyleshop.net

Jstyleshop

Plus-sized women’s fashion in trendy, Korean styles. I appreciate that their marketing on their YouTube channel features real, plus-sized ladies.

crebig

Crebig

Women’s Korean big-size clothing all over Korea. Locations can be found here. Offline retail only, no online shop.

pippin.co.kr

Pippin

Women’s clothing store that offers big size clothing!

moulian.com

Moulian

Women’s clothing store that carries sizes up to 77 (Korean XL or US Medium).

loloten.com

Loloten

Carries women’s clothing sizes up to 110.

174.co.kr

174

Clothing store for tall women in Korea.

iam176.co.kr

I Am 176

Clothing store for tall women in Korea.

Shopping for plus-sized clothing in Seoul, Korea
Shopping for plus-sized clothing in Korea at ely-sia.net

Elysia

Plus-sized women’s clothing store in Korea.

Plus-Sized Athletic Wear in South Korea

Athlete Korea

Athlete Korea offers plus-sized athletic clothes in South Korea.

primavera tailor in seoul

Primavera Tailor

Something you may want to consider is going to a tailor in Seoul. This one is located in Gangnam! Their address is 16, Nonhyeon-ro 155-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

Best Bets for Plus-Sized International Clothing Stores in Korea

Zara Korea typically goes up to an EU 44.

Zara

Stocks all sizes albeit more expensive than what you may be used to back home. In terms of sizing, I’m still a size medium in Zara clothing. Bigger shoe sizes (like European 41 or US size 10) may not be available in-store, but can be found online. Also, you can purchase online and return in-store if the fit or quality is off. There are a few physical locations scattered around Seoul like on Gangnam-daero, Garosu-gil, or Myeongdong.

You can find true plus-sized clothing at H&M Korea with their dedicated plus-sized section.

H&M

Also offers sportswear, seasonal swimwear, and lingerie! You can find larger-sized stockings here as well. Available both online and offline with multiple locations around Seoul, carrying shoes and clothing up to a size 42-44 in-store. Some items are clearly labeled as Asian Fit (petite), and unfortunately for me, H&M Korea is switching its basics to default to Petite Fit (see sizing chart here). Sinsa location is 21 Apgujeong-ro 12-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

American Eagle Korea has a much more limited size selection than their US counterpart.

American Eagle

Locations all over Seoul. The closest American Eagle to me is at the Coex Mall (513, Yeongdong-daero Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06164). The Korean American Eagle shop is actually at HFashionMall.com, but sizing is limited in Korea.

Nike Korea carries up to an XL, but it is Asian sizing (runs small)

Nike

I bought gym leggings here the other day at their location on Gangnam-Daero, but be warned: the fit is small. I am normally a medium in Nike clothes, but had to buy an XL despite losing a little weight in Korea. Most of the leggings at the store were also on the shorter side, and I had to search high and low for full-length leggings that weren’t capris on me.

Lululemon typically goes up to a US size 10.

Lululemon

Carries up to a US size 10 typically. 7/8 length leggings are great for shorter girls, but not so great for taller girls like me.

COS Korea typically goes up to a size 42.

COS

Minimalist styles and leather goods. I did see COS stock size large in-store which is comforting. They also have size EU 41 (US 10) shoes on their Korean website.

Uniqlo Korea has a wide variety of sizes including XXL, but be leery of Asian sizing (runs small)

Uniqlo

Heattech is a godsend during the cold, Korean winter. Sizing is limited in stores, but you may have luck ordering online.

Best Bets for Shopping Online for Plus-Sized Clothing that Deliver to Korea

Tip: Make sure your cart order doesn’t exceed 150,000 KRW (including shipping) or you’ll have to pay customs/VAT upon arrival to Korea.

international shipping available at borderfree.com

Borderfree.com

Includes retailers that are part of BorderFree shopping, shipping worldwide.

Korean language version of Everlane.com

Everlane

Western sizing. Ships to Korea with duties included in price.

Change the location to South Korea and you’ll see prices in KRW on Nordstrom.com

Nordstrom

Western sizing. Ships to Korea with duties calculated at checkout.

ASOS.com ships internationally

Asos

Western sizing. Check individual brand sizing charts for the best fit. Ships to Korea, but watch out for duties for orders over 150,000 KRW.

plus-sized clothing is available on shein.com

Shein

Fast-fashion chain that ships to Korea. I’ve heard the quality is lacking but carries plus-sized clothing.

e-commerce store, aliexpress.com

Aliexpress

Extensive selection of goods, mostly from China.

Amazon.com ships to Korea

Amazon.com

Double-check if the item can ship to Korea as not everything is eligible. I’ve heard if you make friends with someone on the military base, you can bypass some of the customs duties. You may get the person in trouble, however. Opting for Amazon Prime in Korea may not be worth it if you don’t shop as frequently. You’ll still have to pay to ship but at a slightly lower cost. Their global store can be a godsend when you can’t find an item’s equivalent on Coupang.com or Gmarket.

Revolve Clothing at revolve.co.kr

Revolve Clothing

Western sizing. Trendy women’s fashion that ships internationally. Duties/taxes not included. Be aware the sizes are standard western sizing, and not necessarily true plus-sized.

Korean version of shopbop.com

ShopBop

Western sizing. I’ve ordered shoes from ShopBop to Korea which took about two weeks to arrive (the usual).

Plus-sized clothing that ships internationally at torrid.com

Torrid

Plus-sized fashion that ships internationally.

Japanese plus-sized fashion from PUNYUS.jp

PUNYUS

Founded by Japanese comedienne, Watanabe Naomi!

Where can I find big size shoes in Korea?

It’s tricky. Even international stores in Seoul, Korea won’t stock shoe sizes bigger than a US shoe size 8.

For big-size Korean styles, I’ve heard good things about Babinheel, Big Girl Shoes, and Youbyyeolna.

Image result for korean shoe size chart
This shoe size chart from Tripzilla will help with shoe size conversions (US to Korean Shoe Size Chart).

Unisex sneaker styles can be found easily if you’re willing to look at the men’s section at stores like ABC Mart.

If you don’t mind shopping online and having the order shipped from overseas, I recommend shopping on Amazon.com, Shopbop.com, or ASOS.com, and just accepting the import fees/shipping fees; or having a friend or forwarding service ship your packages from overseas for you.

International brands like H&M, COS, & Other Stories, Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Charles & Keith also have bigger shoe sizes on their websites and occasionally in-stores. You may also have luck on Gmarket.com or Coupang.com by searching for ‘big size shoes’.

Shopping for shoes in Korea from 29cm.co.kr

29CM

Korean fashion mall that also carries bigger-sized imported shoes and unisex styles.

Big size shoes from babinheel.com

Babinheel

Korean shoe store that stocks shoe sizes up to 270.

Big size shoes from biggirlshoes.co.kr

Big Girl Shoes

Korean shoe store that stocks shoe sizes up to 270.

Shopping for big size shoes at Youbyyeolna.com

Youbyyeolna

Korean shoe store that stocks shoe sizes up to 270.

Sizing is limited up to 250 online at kumkangshoe.com

Kumkang Shoes

Korean shoes and accessories store that carries both men and women’s shoes and a very small selection of big-sized shoes offline — often overpriced, but worth mentioning. Sells international brands like Clarks, Bruno Magli, and Renoir. Physical locations all over Seoul.

Shopping for shoes in Korea at ABCmart.co.kr

ABC Mart

Popular Korean shoe store chain (online and offline) that carries both men and women’s shoes. Women’s shoe sizes don’t seem to extend past 250mm but check men’s unisex styles.

You can sort by shoe size on Coupang.com

Coupang.com

Giant e-commerce store in Korea much like Amazon.com where you can find clothing, electronics, food, furniture, and more.

Women’s shoes in Korea on gmarket.co.kr

Gmarket

There’s two versions of Gmarket: Gmarket (Korean) and Gmarket Global (English). Both ship to Korea, but the Korean language site has a better selection and better pricing. The English language version of Gmarket is more accessible both in terms of navigation and use with a foreign credit card.

gif via giphy.com

Did you find this article useful? Comment below and tell me what you think! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *