Plus size women snowboard too you know!

2016 EDIT: A new online Australian store has opened up specializing in PLUS SIZE WOMEN’S SNOW GEAR! Read all about it here. Or continue with the original post below…

So, while I wanted to stay nice and positive on this blog, I do have a major gripe about a big gap (pardon the pun) in the plus size market – women’s plus size snowboarding and skiing gear.

In almost all other areas of my fashion life, I don’t feel that I am disadvantaged because of my size – in fact, I think many of the plus size lines available these days are way cuter than their smaller-sized counterparts. But when it came to finding plus size snowboarding gear for my trip to Japan, I came across a big fat frumpy zero options for women.

So, we are left to buy men’s plus size snowboarding gear, in which we face a few problems, both from a fashion, fit and practicality standpoint… And even then, although there are more sizes available in men’s lines, particularly in Australia, they are not easy to find…

While a gripe is the main theme of this post, I did want to give a little shout out to the Mountain Warehouse in the UK. Considering it was Christmas, and the pants I ordered were bulky, postage was both reasonable and fast. I ordered 2 men’s snowboarding pants, and chanced-it by ordering the biggest size they had – I figured I can always wear a belt right? So that was a men’s XXXL. Now I am an size 16 in plus size clothes and a 20 in standard lines. The men’s XXXL are swimming around my waist, but fit snugly on my hips – which highlights one of the big problems with plus size women wearing men’s clothing – men are not genetically designed to bear children and therefore have narrow hips. I will never find a pair of men’s pants that fit both my waist, hips are don’t drag over my boots!! I managed to pick up a pairs of men’s Rip Curl XXL pants, which are quite restrictive on my hips. I come across the same fit issues with men’s jackets – which women’s snowboarding jackets have a tapered waist to give you a nice curvy (albiet padded) shape. Men’s jackets are square and boxy, and again, narrow at the hips. Plus, lets face it, the men’s ranges are not pretty, and at the end of the day – don’t I deserve to feel as fabulous on the slopes as I do on the street??!

Have I missed something? Do you know of a line to save me from future frumpiness? Please leave a comment and let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, the ugliness of my outfits have been putting me in a mood before I go boarding – which, considering I am a terrible snowboarder and take an absolute battering on the slopes, is not the best frame of mind. I may spend a lot of time on my bum/knees/back/face in the snow – at least my outfit should look great!

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42 thoughts on “Plus size women snowboard too you know!

  1. I know what you mean! I don’t snowboard but did sledding in 2011 with the kids and then a beginners skiing trip in 2012. Want to go again this year but i have a baby due in August! Getting snow wear that fits was so difficult. The Warehouse had plain black ski pants in size 18 (or maybe 20) which I managed to squeeze into. Not very fashionable though. Got an ugly 1980s style second hand jacket – a local op shop has a rack of skiwear. So, I had fun, but felt pretty frumpy doing it.

  2. So True!
    I’m size 14-16 too and it is IMPOSSIBLE to find any women’s cloths for these sizes for snowboarding..
    So I bought the men’s too.
    It’s on its way to me – crossing my fingers it’ll fit and will look OK ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. After trying on numerous jackets and pants today for my trip in a month…i’m in tears.

    I’m not usually reduced to tears when it comes to not fitting into something. As you mentioned, there are some great plus size clothes out there. I’m a size 16 and have spent my life (and probably always will) fluctuating and decreasing in size, so it’s rare i beat myself up about it now, i got that out the way in my teens. I’ve also worked in major retail stores in the snowsports industry which stock these rediculously-sized items, and it still vexes me. In short….”pretty”, skinny girls do extreme sports it would seem. That’s it. As for those child bearing hips us fuller figured ladies have, i’ve yet to find a pair of pants which even accommodate for this. Maybe snowboarders don’t birth? It’s where the full dread of the now celebrated ‘thigh gap’ in the media has taken hold. But that’s a whole other gripe…

    I feel for bigger girls (in my opinion we’re normal, not big!!!) who might want to get into a fun sport which might help them achieve a weight goal or to get fitter. The first hurdle of crushing your confidence by not fitting into anything short of a tent is terrible. Not great when you need that in spades to chuck yourself down a snowy mountain!

    Since when did doing something so seemingly simple and all-inclusive become an elitist activity?! Sure, let the rich, skinny gals lie about on yachts in designer bikinis, but at least allow the curvier lot to chuck themselves into something and have some fun….without forcing them to conform to a fictional norm. Ugh.

    Apologies for the rant. I’m still smarting and took to the net in my hope that someone else ‘got it’. Glad you do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I totally do Emma! It’s so hard.

      The only options specifically designed for Curvy girls that I’ve seen are from a Canadian Retailler called Addition Elle. This Ski Jacket is particularly cute: http://www.additionelle.com/livik-fuchsia-print-ski-jacket/722586,default,pd.html?dwvar_722586_color=black%20coral%20print&start=5&cgid=AE-Apparel-Outerwear
      However their pants are pretty plain.

      There’s always Mountain Warehouse (UK) for men’s plus size pants in a great variety of colours – just remember to size up for hips/booty.

      It’s not much to go on, but please know, it’s a frustration shared.

      If you do find anything, please let me know!

      Xx

  4. Thank you for the advice/heads up! I will indeed let you know. So far, the largest stuff i can find claim to be a 14-16 uk size but when you see the measurements in the size chart, it’s more like a 12!!

    If only I had a load of cash, i’d be setting up a clothing line already!!

    Thanks again for flyin the curvy flag.

    Em xxx

  5. Hi guys, just letting the above who are around a size 16 that surf stitch is great for size 16 snow pants and in womens and brands like DC, roxy and rip curl!!

  6. I’ve been wondering this forever. I’ve recently taken up snowboarding and have had to purchase all mens gear. Pants, jackets, etc. I do have womens gloves, boots and bindings (insert sarcasm). I’m not super girly, but sure would love a cute jacket at least. I’ve had to resort to Columbia or Patagonia. Columbia has plus sizes (http://www.columbia.com/womens-plus-size/women-extendedSizing,default,sc.html), although they aren’t that cute. I have the Whirlybird jacket in a 2X. But since I’ve been snowboarding (ie more active), it’s now too big. I still cannot fit into the few XL’s that exist for snow brands such as Volcom and Burton.

  7. Spyder women’s ruby athletic fit pants.
    Size 2-18 (US) so that’s a 4-20 for us Aussie girls.

    They are all over stretch! They have a stretchy panel each side of the waist band as well!
    I’ve been snowboarding for 8 years, upper intermediate + rider but my riding suffers because my size 16-18 body has been stuffed like a sausage into ill fitting men’s pants.

    Not any more! A friend found these pants in a store in Canada. A 16. I’m currently borrowing them for a NZ adventure, but order myself a pair of 14s which will be at home in time for my Hotham trip in August. I ordered them thru Amazon. Now to find a jacket I love just as much.

    Hope this helps someone ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. What a freaking fabulous recommendation! Thanks so much for commenting – this post gets loads of traffic for women looking for a plus size women’s snowboarding gear… I’m sure you’ve just made someone’s day!

    2. Hi,
      thanks for sharing your advice about plus size ski wear.
      I went shopping today and it was horrible…….even the men’s clothes felt tight and stiff.
      I was wondering about what size I would be in the Spyder womenโ€™s ruby athletic fit pants?
      I am an Aussie too and I’m a size 18 in target pants…….would I get a size 18 in the Spyder womenโ€™s ruby athletic fit pants? My husband and I are going to Hotham in August so I really need some clothes and advice….lol
      thanks,
      Renee ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Mountain Warehouse have women’s sizes up to a 22 now in a house brand. The sizes also seem to be equivalent to Aus sizes, not the normal buy one size up rule for the UK. I found that out the hard way.

  9. I am soooo frustrated right now about this exact thing…I have been looking for about a week for a size 22 jacket suitable for NZ in September…every time I think I have found something I am disappointed as they don’t ship to Australia. I am beginning to think larger women are seen as slugs who never do anything outdoors or something. right now I am about ready to throw my computer and burst into tears…I have seen mens jackets and Bike jackets which would fit but they all look like mens jackets and I am afraid my hips with be too big for them to fit over unless I get a jacket too big and look like a box with no shape ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

    1. Hey Karen, see my post below about shipping through sites like MyUS.com – might cost a bit extra but means you can actually get US only stuff sent here. Good luck!

  10. Hi gorgeous ladies, I’m an Aussie size 14 snowboarding (and rocking) chick, but I wear padded impact shorts under my pants which bump me up to at least a size 16. I’m also 6′ tall! So I have the same problem as a lot of you plus extra problems with length! Some ideas below, probably not helpful for size 18 and over sorry – it’s really not good enough!

    My recommendations:
    http://www.540s.com/ If you’re heading over to New Zealand to ride check this brand out. My favourite ever pants are my 9 year old black size 16 540s pants – old faves with duct tape all over the butt now, properly baggy in the way you want them to be for riding. They’re only stocked in NZ as far as I know, I lived over there for a few years and got mine in a store in Queenstown. I’ve always found NZ sizes a big more generous overall.

    Foursquare outerwear don’t seem to have a website, but they make high quality stuff that’s available in Australia as well everywhere else. I bought my XL pants from them while I was living in Canada but have bought a jacket here in Aus as well so they’re around. They fit perfectly, I’d say a 16ish – they’re a bit more flared like typical women’s snowboard pants.

    I have 2 jackets from Ride in an XL, haven’t tried their pants but it might be worth checking out if you can find them. Evo.com is my fave online snow gear store, and if you ever have trouble getting postage to Australia organised try postage places like MyUS.com – will cost you a bit extra but means you can access things that would otherwise only post to the US.

    1. Oops – try Sierra Trading Post too, they have heaps of stuff including plus size and very cheap, especially if you google discount codes or sign up for their email newsletter. They sometimes have limitations on which brands they can send outside of the US so you may need to use the shipping companies I mentioned before.

  11. I perused through a rack of sale pants at a snowboard & ski shop, thinking I probably am an XL in women’s. Yeah right, I went into the changing room and it wouldn’t budge past my thighs. I was very disappointed and was thinking that maybe I should take learning to snowboard off my list of things to learn. So…thank you for this post and thank you everyone for all the suggestions.

  12. And some of us ski too ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a great post. I’ve found all the suggestions very helpful. As an Australian 18, with an F cup bust, finding jackets that actually close is problematic.

    That Diva site looks fantastic!

    1. I couldn’t agree more with Marnie. I went to Snow Central’s Keperra branch and they put me onto the BEST ski pants – up to size 24 (maybe even 26). I do find, I have to go up one size – but the Cartel Manhattan are the pants to get. They aren’t the normal ski pant material, they are kind of a softer wetsuit material. They move well with you when skiing and sit so well, I have often used them when we go Apres ski. A friend recently borrowed them when she went to Japan and also loved them. I’m onto my second pair (AUD$199) – but WORTH it! I have tried other styles in the Cartel brand – but nothing are like the amazing Manhattan’s.
      Thanks for all your advise, as I’m now looking for a jacket – Snow Central didn’t have one in an affordable price bracket for me.
      Good luck ladies – I am going to finally try and find a woman’s ski jacket, rather than the men’s version!

      1. Found another place on line today – campingoworld.co.uk. They ship to Australia. Up to 5xl. I’ve ordered a jacket – I will let you know how it goes.

  13. Hi there,
    I’m currently having the same issue for an upcoming trip to Canada … i came across The Short Ski Shop online – they ship worldwide from the uk and have a wide range of plus sizes for both women and men. I think I’ll be purchasing my jacket through them – I will update on the quality/fit once I receive the goods ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for this post by the way – it’s nice to know I’m not alone!

  14. Hey lovely!

    I’m so glad I found this post. My partner and I are heading to Japan next year for the snow season (first time snowboarding, second time Japan) and I’m panicking a little. We both don’t own any snow gear and I can’t find anything promising RE hiring plus-size gear in Japan. Now at least I have shopping options.

    I’d love to hear about your snowboarding experience in Japan!

    Sam

    1. I snowboard in Japan every year. If you are going to a main well known place such as Niseko, Hakuba, Nagano etc. the shops will have fairly standard sizes if you need to purchase a jacket and because of the crazy amount of foreigners hiring should be no problem either. I am an aus size 16-18 and bought my jacket in Japan. I do however recommend you buy pants before you go over – especially if you are tall. average shoe size over here is 23cm for women and 26 for men as well. So large feet will also face some difficulty but again, if it is a main place they should have adjusted to the western clientele.

      Japanese guys are quite fashionable in a soft way and so men’s jackets can still look ‘girly’ which gives you more options ๐Ÿ™‚

      Enjoy your trip!

  15. Many thanks to all the contributions on this page – you have helped me heaps. My wife and I love to ski and I love to spoil her whenever I can…but buying clothes can be problematic. The whole sizing thing is really confusing as an 18 in one brand isn’t even a 12 in another! Recently, after trying to buy Some ski gear and seeing how upset it made her because nothing fit, I started to do some detailed research. The Mountain Designs snow pants in UK actually fit and the size they say they are is what they are…so was well pleased. We are trying a jacket now from them. It was great to see alternative sites on offer with other designs from this page. Oh and as far as I am concerned, the designers of the popular trendy brand snow gear need to join the real world in clothes sizing (it’s a standard for a reason yeah?) and in the meantime I WILL NOT be recommending their snow clothes. Love my wife just the way she is and don’t need any number to make me think any different. Thanks again for letting us know about the size and product info. Cheers

  16. I have found an online retailer that carries women’s plus size winter outerwear: http://www.nwsalesconnection.com/

    I just placed an order from them, and had excellent service. They also sell through Amazon and Sears.com. The person I spoke to said she has gone to the manufacturer to have plus sizes made for her company to sell. I got a 3-in-1 ski jacket and a pair of snow pants for less than $250. Following the measurement guide on their site, my order came in and fits me the way I wanted it too. They have feminine cuts and colors, and I can layer underneath for extra warmth. They are in the US, and ship to Australia and Canada too.

    1. Have had same issues with finding nice plus sizes for women in Australia. Then I found nwsalesconnection.com. Fantastic, speedy & helpful service. Over estimated my size and had no troubles returning for smaller size. Well worth the effort.

  17. Am currently skiing in Japan after purchasing some gear from Divas Snowgear. Great quality, great service, and a pair of pants that actually fit me properly.

    Bought the ‘Lace’ line but will probably save up for one of the new shell jackets for Australian conditions.

    They advertise as snowmobiling gear but it works just fine and has curves in all the right places. Posted a pic on their facebook page if you want a look.

  18. Hi Everyone! I have a snow wear (and swimwear) online business and I actually specialize in women’s plus size snow jackets and pants . I work closely with the Pulse manufacturer to design and manufacture stylish items, for sizes 1X-6X (16-32) Through our website, we ship to the US, Australia and Canada. Next season, we have expanded our line, even more! We are constantly fine tuning our sizing, trying to get everything just right! I think that we hit our jacket sizing right on this year… but we are still working on our women’s pants. We’re close, but still trying to make the sizing better. Feel free to check out our site and I welcome any feedback. http://www.nwsalesconnection.com PS-lot’s of new plus size swimwear arriving daily!

  19. There’s a range called dare2be who go up to a size 20. U.K. based I think but very reasonable. I work in the ski industry and can’t even into our uniform (supplied by a standard big brand name) so have to go searching for my own gear

  20. Thanks Jo for reviewing our Plus Sized Snow Gear. We’ve loved all the positive feedback we’ve had this season and looking forward to improving things in 2017! Our Australian and New Zealand curvy customers are feeling fab getting out and enjoying their favourite snow activity – skiing, snowboarding or snowplaying ๐Ÿ™‚

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