We’ve heard a lot of great things about River Island’s + collection, launched in March 2016, the Plus line was introduced in order to ensure that fashion-forward, trend-led clothing would be available to more women. The range includes everything from party dresses, to workwear classics and even swimwear. So when we hit the streets to test the quality, diversity and availability of plus size shopping in high street stores, we had mixed reactions to what we expected to be a first-rate plus size collection.*
*Note: We sampled two of the three River Island stores located on Oxford Street. One did not have a plus size section at all, and so these were our impressions of the second.
Small plus size section hidden upstairs
Unlike our trip to Forever 21, the River Island plus size department was hidden in the corner of a section upstairs. We were then greeted by a very underwhelming selection of plus size items, however, the quality and selection were still very high.
Mayah from mayahcamara.com is something of an expert when it comes to plus size shopping, and said the following: River Island had a really nice selection although somewhat small, the section of the store was nicely displayed.
Hanna from hannawears.com also pointed out that while she liked the selection of items very much, the actual process of trying them on was rather cramped and uncomfortable.
Hanna: Regarding River Island – I loved the clothes but the fitting rooms next to the section were TINY. Not good next to a plus size range.
Great for stylish items and accessories
The River Island Plus size shopping range is definitely of a high standard, and despite the limited selection, it was still a place that our bloggers would return to when shopping for trendy, stylish items and accessories.
Mayah: River Island is a brand that I tend to go to when I want new accessories. It was encouraging to see that they have a nice plus offering but I’d love to see it expand. Their range of casual but stylish items is definitely a reason I would go back to the store.
Hanna: I agree with Mayah regarding what was good about the River Island Plus collection. For my personal style and opinion, I would shop mostly at River Island as they have more my type of items than Forever 21. I would go to River Island for more tailored pieces and more ‘sophisticated’ trend-led pieces.
More plus size shopping in-store
Though both Mayah and Hanna liked the River Island Plus collection, the number of items available to try on in-store really let the brand down.
Mayah: The plus range is still rather new to the brand so I look forward to seeing how things develop in the future.I think it would be great if they had more styles available in stores. A lot of plus women only feel confident buying the clothes that they can try on and touch. Once customers have been able to try on a few things they may be more likely to buy online options.