Women's plus size gear advice

Hi all :)

Having only been running since August (W4R2 done today, woohoo!), winter running clothes have not crossed my mind. Next week I go back up to Newcastle for uni - and I anticipate it getting cold fairly soon! I'm okay on the tops front - I've got vests, t-shirts and a long sleeved shirt, and there are a couple of decent ones in the bunch that I bought on sale. My issue is what to wear on the bottom. Right now I have two pairs of tesco sports-capri-legging-things, which are comfortable and do the job, but are pretty thin. Also, for a size 18-20 girl with slightly, errr, 'larger' thighs, they ain't pretty! Not a problem in balmy Suffolk running around deserted fields, but when I'm in chilly Newcastle in the city centre I need warmth and preferably some modesty!

Is running in loose tracksuit bottoms (which I don't currently own) going to be too hot, or really uncomfortable? All I can really see are running tights, which I don't much fancy on account of price and how unflattering I think they're going to be! Plus at a size 18-20 (although that number is shrinking, just slowly!), I struggle to find them in my size. Would tights with shorts over the top be better, as I've seen a couple of guys sporting around uni, or would that look ridiculous?

If anyone has any recommendations for budget- and size-friendly gear that would be much appreciated!


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20 Replies

  • Hey there - well done for getting to week 4!! I used to be a size 16-18 And bought a pair of Ron Hill trackster pants - they are ideal, not too tight over the thighs - and reasonably priced. I've just googled to see if they still have them and they were coming up. They say up to size 16 but even at my chunkiest they still fit ok. But if you are tall then maybe the men's sizes will fit??

    I'm going to treat myself to a new pair of bottoms cos I graduated today :-)

  • Hi! Well done for your hard work and progress thus far- uni had better look out!

    Have you had a look at M&S? I am using their long sports legging type tights thingies (footless so I find it hard to call them tights!)- £20 have a zip pocket for a key and I think they are ok. It may be worth having a look and seeing if you think they'll be up to the job. It's also worth remembering that whilst it will feel cold (too cold!) initially you will warm up and be quite grateful for the cool air (at least that's what I'm anticipating)- so, some gloves to keep your fingers warm, and I would suggest maybe a pair of loose shorts over the top for modesty and an extra layer to capture warmth, if you like? I don't think you'll want anything too thick as a loose garment- think of rubbing inner thighs, hope that isn't too graphic...

    good luck! :)

  • Have a look at Nike running tights, they are generous sizes and not too tight on the thighs, if you can wear capris you can wear those. You can get some quite cheap ones if you look around various websites. Good luck with your winter running.

  • I have some Nike Filament tights that I got last winter on MissWobble's recommendation. They're fab in the cold, really nice and toasty and quite thick too. I got them from Sports Direct

  • Week 4 that is brilliant :) :) :) :)

    I know what you mean about clothing. I am 5ft and size 16 to 18 I bought a pair of running bottoms (ankle length) from Primark and two tops (men's) as I wanted my butt and stomach covered, tops come down to thighs, they do the job very nicely. I am comfortable and not self conscious. I paid less than £20 for 3 items, clothing are more than suitable for the moment.

    Glen :)

  • I have some 'fitness' leggings/joggers from M & S, flared at the bottom rather than straight down, slightly more flattering on big hips (which I have) and a fat arse (me again) and they cost me £15, black with blue or pink piping down the side of the leg. Plenty warm enough. Size 18.

    I also got a similar pair from Tesco, slightly narrower flare, all black, same size, a tenner.

    Tried some straight legged, shinier material leggings from Sports Direct, jeez, never again, what a sight.

  • Sorry, can't help with bottoms as I just run in short tracksuit bottoms at the minute. I can however recommend M&S for plus size running gear. I bought a tshirt and a jacket from there and they are fantastic both in fit and in performance (I'm a size 18).

  • ^ just realised, I probably could offer advice in terms of bottoms. I wear adidas tracksuit bottoms that finish about mid-calf. They're a thin tracksuit material so are not skin tight but don't cause any rubbing or discomfort. They do both climalite and climawarm versions.

  • I can't help on 'what to wear on your legs' but wanted to say a couple of things:

    1) 'Plus size' - at 18/20 you are NOT plus size. In my opinion anyone less than a size 12 is 'Minus size' and everyone else is normal. I think if you search for images of 'The Three Graces' particularly by Reubens, Raphael and Corregio, or Canova's beautiful marble sculpture in The Hermitage, you'll see the absolute beauty in 'normal' size. Just saying.

    2) You used the words 'modesty' and 'Newcastle city centre' in the same sentence. Hah!

    3) Work with the '10 degrees' rule. Whatever the temperature, dress for running to be 10 degrees hotter. So if it is 15 degrees outside, running it will seem like 25 degrees, and you'll need a thin layer. At 5 degrees, you'll feel like 15 degrees and need a warmer layer, or a thin jacket on top. At zero degrees, dress for 10 degrees with a base layer and a warmer layer.

    Well done on your progress so far, and best wishes.

  • Sorry Marky, I can't agree with your opinion of normal. I'm 5'10, wear a size 10 from most places, and I am most certainly not minus size at 70KGs. I eat well, not a faddy diet eater, and have an athletic build with broad shoulders and plenty of girly bits. I've always been like this, some of us just are. This is normal for me.What should I do, stuff my face on pizza and stuff I don't want? I'm not saying curvy is less beautiful, but just that it takes all sorts.

  • Never ceases to amaze me how times change - when I was early twenties (many moons ago!) I sometimes managed to weigh around 70kg but was never less than a size 14 (and was always being told I had fat legs!) - I'm 6ft1 (or at least was back then). People are just so much musclier these days and weigh so much more for their size. You must have a slight frame though - reckon my skeleton is more than a size 10 :-)

  • That's because sizes have got bigger, remember the M & S "I'm normal" campaign? What was a 14 is now a 10. I'm still 38 - 29 - 42...

  • NOOOOO!!! Don't say that!! In between where I was then and where I am now I put on 45kg (well, 40 really cos I could never keep at 70kg) and lost 30 again just in the last 18months. That would still make me an 18 in old sizes :-( :-(

  • These ladies are size 10 by today's standards...


  • maybe they are very short :-) :-)

  • What a fabulous reply -and v useful too 😀

  • I would say try Primark, 90% of my running kit comes from there. My daughter got a pair of sports trousers from there for the gym that aren't tight but still made of wick type materials. Newcastle Primark have a great selection of sports wear on the first floor. Maybe I will see you at the Newcastle Parkrun soon :)

  • ditto this - got a lovely pair of capris from Primark. High waist with a string so they don't fall down when you run :-) Not the firmest fabric but in the winter no-one can see you wobble!

  • I'm hoping to start doing parkrun when I graduate! Maybe November time :)

  • Thanks for all the advice guys! I have some shopping to do (when my student loan comes in...) :D

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