One thing many western women complain about in Bangkok, Thailand is the lack of clothing for larger sized women. In fact, ‘larger sized’ or ‘plus sized’ in Thailand is actually any woman that’s an American size 8 or larger, so you don’t have to be Two Ton Tessie to have problems buying women’s large size clothing.
I’ve lived in Thailand for years and, even at an American size 8, still find buying things like bras, skirts and shirts difficult. With Thai women as thin as a pencil and with most being pretty flat chested, western women have less options for buying clothes in Bangkok. There are places you can buy larger sized clothing in Bangkok, though. You just have to know where to look.
Buying Larger Sized Women’s Jeans in Bangkok – One thing I had a big problem with when I first moved to Thailand was finding jeans that fit me. A standard US size 8, most Thai girls are a size 2 or less, so my size 8 bottom was not going to fit in your typical Thai jeans.
After scouring Bangkok though, I’ve discovered a wonderful place to buy larger jeans in women’s sizes up to size 14 – Mahboonkrong Mall (otherwise known as MBK).
There are at least 15-20 small market-style shops in MBK that sell larger sized women’s jeans. Check out the stores on the cell phone floor (4th floor) first and then head upstairs to the 6th floor to the small market shops that sell jeans and t shirts.
With a pair of jeans as cheap as 200 baht ($6.50), and with thousands of pairs to choose from, you should find something here for larger sized women.
Buying Bras For Larger Sized Women in Bangkok – During my first three years in Bangkok, I used to get my mother to mail me bras from the US, as they were just about impossible to find for anyone over a size 34B.
Recently, though, more and more shops have started to sell bras for larger sized women and, if you can’t find anything in your size, you can always have them made-to-measure too. Marks & Spencers, the British store, has several branches in Bangkok (one at Central Ladprao Mall, one at Central World Plaza), and they have a fairly good selection of imported larger sized bras. Very expensive though, at 1,500 baht ($50) each, this should be your last option.
The best bra shopping I have found in Bangkok are the small stalls that travel from mall to mall. They only sell bras and underwear and will usually be at a mall for at least a week. With sizes up to 42DD, most women will find bras here and, at only 299 baht each($10) each, they’re cheap. They normally set up in the middle of the mall, so they’re easy to find too.
Also, check out MBK Mall for the made-to-measure bra shops – around 600-1,000 baht per bra, cheaper the more you buy.
Buying Shirts For Larger Sized Women in Bangkok – Honestly, if you’re above a size 6 and have boobs, don’t even try. Even if the shirt fits you on the boobs, because Thai women have narrow backs, they’re still always tight.
It’s so cheap to get a made-to-measure shirt made in Bangkok at any tailor (as cheap as 350 baht – just over $11 – if you order two or three), that it’s not even worth shopping around for an off the rack shirt.
Buying Skirts and Pants For Larger Sized Women in Bangkok – If you want European imported skirts and pants for larger sized women in Bangkok, one excellent store is the Spanish shop, Zara. With branches at Emporium, Central World Plaza and Siam Paragon malls, they’re definitely pricier than most Thai shops but the quality is beautiful.
With sizes up to XL (European not Thai XL), women up to an American size 14 should be able to find skirts or pants here.
Also check out Central World Plaza mall, as there are many US and European clothing stores here with larger sizes of pants and skirts.
Don’t forget, Thailand has some of the best and the cheapest tailors in the world so, much of the time, if you’re a larger sized women, it’s just easier to get your clothing made-to-measure from the get go.