Not the easiest task
Published/Last edited or updated: 15th September, 2017
If your bottom is any larger than a peach, shopping in Bangkok for clothes can be a frustrating experience at best and out-and-out humiliating at worst.
Perhaps you’d considered yourself reasonably slender when you first touched down in the Big Mango. That opinion may be challenged when you take your first wander around your average night market or browse the makeshift rails along Silom Road. “It stretches, madam!” vendors will shout if you linger over pretty dresses and skirts. Or hawkers will look in horror as you rummage through piles of their denim hot pants: "No, no, no… Not for you!” they may warn, eyeing up your size 10 bottom with alarm.
The good news is that if you know where to go, there are a few “plus-sized” shops around—and that’s anything above an Australian size 10 in Thailand. You needn’t resort to wearing fisherman's pants, really.
If you have plenty of time to wander around, Krung Thong Plaza is probably the best starting point. It has five floors of mostly plus-sized shops with names like terribly awkward names like "Fatty" and "Beaufatiful"—insert shock face emoji here. At least you'll know straight off they have larger sizes? Most shops are more local than international in style, but you'll find the odd dress, top and jeans that will slip over your curves a treat. It's technically a wholesale market, so you might need to pay a little more if you're just buying one item. They start shutting up at around 17:00.
Khrung Tong is linked by bridge to Platinum Mall, which is another good spot to browse around; it doesn't have the dedicated "fat" shops with insulting names, so you won't be insulted, but you will have to look harder. Be warned that Platinum gets super-hectic at the best of times, and on the weekend it can get seriously claustrophobic.
MBK is similarly overwhelming when it comes to clothes shopping, but for the dedicated shopper, there are plenty of gems to be found for larger (or not so large) women. Head to the fourth floor, where you’ll find a plethora of stores selling everything from dresses and shirts to the holy grail of plus-sized finds: jeans, which can be purchased from around 300 baht.
More market-priced bargains can be found at sprawling Terminal 21, which is packed wall-to-wall with Thai boutiques. We found one dedicated plus-sized shop—Maximum—but otherwise we did find a shop here and there going up to our Australian size 14. We definitely liked the hipper, younger clothes styles here the best of anywhere.
We also had quite good luck at Asiatique, with a few stalls stocking larger sizes than they used to, but only up to around an Australian 14. Look hard, and you will be rewarded!
If you’re looking for a higher quality of merchandise, you have more options. Tailors are abundant in the city, and will gladly run you up some outfits for a fraction of the price you’d pay in the West. You won’t have to walk far on Sukhumvit or Silom Road before the offers of made-to-measure dresses will flood in from over-eager salesmen. We've had good work done at Nickermann's over the years, and they're still going strong after more than 20 years.
Bangkok is also home to a large number of Western chain stores, including Topshop, Zara, Mango, Gap and Marks & Spencer. Sizes will get up to 16s and 18s at M&S these days—it's a miracle, but one you'll pay for! In general, the chains make a reliable (though expensive) place to find bras, jeans and shorts that fit a fuller figure. You’ll find the city’s major malls home to many of these chains.
Another higher-end option is Suri by Surivipa. She has a strong Facebook and Insta presence and is found in-store at Siam Paragon or Emporium malls. Expect to pay Western prices for jeans, tops and dresses in generous sizes. We like her attitude!
Asiatique: Charoen Krung Soi 72-76, Bangkok; T: (092) 246 0812; http://www.asiatiquethailand.com/; open nightly 16:00–24:00.
Krung Thong Plaza: Opposite Platinum Mall, 813/8 Petchburi Rd, Ratchthewi, Bangkok; (02) 653 9333; http://www.krungthongplaza.com/Index_eng.php; open daily 08:00-18:00.
Suri by Surivipa
Terminal 21: 88 Sukhumvit Soi 19 (Wattana) Sukhumvit Rd, North Klongtoei, Bangkok; T: (02) 108 0888http://www.terminal21.co.th/asok/home/th; open daily 10:00-22:00.
Samantha Brown is a reformed news reporter. She now edits most of the stuff you read on Travelfish.org, except for when you find a typo, and then that's something she wasn't allowed to look at.
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