Updated on July 7th, 2023 at 05:20 pm

Plus size is a term used to describe women’s sizes and clothing. And while fashion brands have become more inclusive, one can’t help but wonder what weight is considered plus size?

A woman who weighs 200 pounds is regarded as plus size in the US. According to the fashion world, plus-size models should weigh between 161 and 205 lbs and have a chest size range between 41 and 45.

However, not all plus size women qualify as plus-size models since the waist and hip ratio is considered in the body type.

Let’s find out about the different plus size ranges and whether it should matter.

What size is considered plus size?

The fashion industry describes plus size clothing as size 18 and above or sizes between 1X and 6X while extended sizes are 7X and above.

But when you inspect clothing stores in the United States and their categorization of plus sizes, you’ll notice some designated plus size stickers on clothes from size 12 and others from size 14. To complicate things further, a woman can be a plus-size model if she is between size 8 and size 12.

image of plus-size-clothing - Extra Large Living

Some fashion brands even consider size 6 women to be plus-sized in Korean size. Where a size 6 includes measurements of the hips, waist and bust at 37-inches, 26-inches and 34-inches.

When buying plus size apparel online, reviewing plus size charts is your best chance of finding the best size for your plus-size body.

Note: 1X or 2X in plus sizes aren’t the same as XXL’s in straight sizes. this is because plus sizes are extensions of straight sizes. Plus size clothing is cut differently from straight size clothing to flatter the fuller figure.

Is 200 lbs. considered plus size?

Healthy or normal weight falls within an 18.5 and 24.9 BMI. Overweight falls between 25 and 29.9, and obese is a BMI over 30. For most people under 6’4″, weighing over 200 pounds and above puts them in the obese or overweight category judging from their BMI calculations.

Does curvy mean plus-size?

Curvy girls aren’t necessarily plus-size. The definition of curvy is based on body measurement and the contrast between waist and hip size. They have a waist size to hip ratio of 0.75. So if a woman’s measurements are 27″and 36″ at the waist and hips respectively, then she has a full figure. It’s also true if she has a waist size of 34.5 inches or lower and a hip size of 46 inches.

From this, we understand curvy is more about proportion than size. As such, both women of all body types and sizes can be curvy. You can read our recent post on Curvy vs fat here.

Should your size matter?

It depends. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear-cut. Sizing shouldn’t determine how you perceive yourself and own your self-worth. But on the other hand, you should consider it for health reasons.

More than half of the U.S population is overweight, according to their BMI calculations. Having a high BMI and carrying extra weight predisposes you to health conditions including heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. On the flip side, being underweight is linked to malnutrition and eating disorders.

However, BMI only considers body weight and not fat, water, and muscle composition, which are important as well. As such, instead of fixating on weight alone or size alone, you should focus on health and wellness.

Health metrics consider lab values like lipids and blood sugars, while wellness is all about spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Instead of focusing solely on weight, spend time reflecting on your personal feelings towards your body and mind.

If you have a hard time with the latter, look at celebrities like Ashely Graham, who scaled fashion modeling heights and shown that beauty isn’t limited by size and that you can be plus size and healthy. Unfortunately, big and tall, the equivalent of plus size for men hasn’t progressed as plus size market for women has. More and more women’s fashion brands are looking to adopt inclusive sizing by producing larger sizes.

How does a plus-size model stay in shape?

To maintain a firm and healthy body, young plus size models who promote fat fashions have to watch what they eat and exercise regularly. It’s a lie that fat models don’t have to work out.

Instead, they adhere to strict diet plans. For example, Ashley Graham (a size 14) who has featured on Vogue magazine, swears by tasty bowls and smoothies. She mixes several vegetables and fruits into her smoothies. And when she needs extra energy, she has brown rice and sweet potatoes.

In addition to eating healthy and working out, plus-size models have to remain body positive and emotionally grounded since stress affects body shape and size.

What now?

According to the CDC, the average weight of American women over 20 years old is 170.5 pounds. While this number puts many in the plus-size category, don’t focus on the dress size. Instead, focus on the ideal weight for your body which varies based on height, hormone levels, preferences, and medical histories.

The goal should be leading a healthy lifestyle and not only looking good.

So, if it means losing weight do so. Fitting into a smaller dress size, getting compliments and being healthier will be your reward. For more information be sure to check out Extra Large Living.

Check out some recent articles and reviews for plus-sized women: