One of the most searched-for terms that leads people to my blog is “ASOS Curve” and some variation of “fit” or “fit guide” or “sizing.” I figured I would go ahead and dedicate a page to it, in hopes that it will be helpful to people who are unsure about ordering from them. As with all things, your experience with them may vary – but I will do my best to tell you about my experience and give my advice.
(Note – I originally posted this in 2014. ASOS has changed quite a bit in that time, offering better expanded sizing, and a better US service overall. The notes below about their fabric content and sizing still hold true though. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, I still order from ASOS quite a bit so I will help if I can.)
I’ve been ordering from ASOS Curve for about two years, I believe, with mixed results – but overall I like them very much.
Their online store seems like such a blessing to plus sized ladies who want stylish, moderately expensive fashion pieces. At this time they carry women’s sizes in a (stated) 14-24 size range. (Update 2019, they have now extended their sizing to US 28.) Now, those are supposed to be UK sizes, which would put their US sizing at about 10-20. That’s not at all accurate though; many of their items run large, meaning that their size 24 can fit a size 26/28 or 30/32. (This is still true, the ASOS Curve house brand in particular does run large.)
I ordered a dress from them a few weeks ago that is so big I am not sure what the upper size limit on it might be. You have to pay attention the material and cut and try to determine if an item will fit you, but in general their cuts are more generous than the stated sizes. Once you get the hang of it you will know whether you need to size up or down depending on the cut of the item. Many women on the smaller end of plus (US 14-18) will find that they can wear quite a few items from the “straight” ASOS range, as well. ASOS has also added a fit assistant to their site and app, and I have found it to be about 75% accurate as far as the sizes it recommends.
Returns: Here’s the good news, for those who are hesitant: ASOS not only has free shipping, they have a very liberal return policy, and include a pre-paid return label with every shipment. So if you’re prepared to make a trip to the post office and drop a package off to return it, there’s very little risk involved in giving them a chance. I’ve returned a fair amount of products to them for fit or other issues, and even had to return one garment that completely ripped at the seams the first time I wore it. They’ve returned my money promptly each time, with no comment.
Brands: The ASOS “Curve and Plus Size” portion of the store carries several brands. The ASOS Curve brand items are the most generously sized, in my experience. Some of the other brands. especially New Look or Alice & You, use a more Junior Plus size model, and do not run as large (or as long!) as the other items. So just because you’re an 18 in ASOS Curve doesn’t mean you can wear an 18 in New Look, their products are going to run smaller. Junarose is another brand they carry, and it falls somewhere between Curve and New Look in sizing. Not as generous as Curve, but larger than New Look. For other brands your mileage may vary, but the ASOS Curve house brand is always the most generous.
Fabric Content: In general, ASOS Curve’s stretchy items tend to run the largest and be the most forgiving. I have an extremely magnificent set of knockers, so for me buying dresses and tops can be really tricky. I tend to stick with a jersey when I can, because the stretch means that the garment will adjust and have more chance at fitting me.
From my experience, I know that this cotton poly blend will be generously sized. I would feel confident in sizing my actual size, or sizing down.
I also know that this 100% woven cotton dress is going to run small in the boobs, and probably in the arms, so I would size up. See how the buttons are even gapping on their model despite her hunched up shoulders?
This dress is viscose/elastane, which is going to be the stretchiest and largest of the three. I would definitely size down.
Of course, I am giving advice based on my particular body type, and yours will probably be different. But in general, these are the things to keep in mind if you are unsure about ordering.
Fabric Content II:
ASOS is at best a mid-price, mid-quality type store. The pieces from ASOS Curve will last you a season or two, but not more. Pay close attention to the fabric content so you will know what you’re getting. I ordered some leggings from ASOS that I loved, in a viscose/elastane blend. I ordered some other leggings from them based on that experience, and when they arrived they were a polyester/elastane blend that felt like a swim suit. So you do have to be careful and check their “INFO & CARE” section to see what the fabric composition is.
Many of their items, and some of the cutest, are a viscose/elastane mix, but be warned that they are extremely EXTREMELY susceptible to pilling. The fabric is just not high quality and it will need to be treated very delicately to maximize your wear. The items pictured below are all a viscose/elastane blend.
In December I ordered a sweater very similar to this one, in 100% acrylic. No lie, after one wear it looked three years old.
I have had great luck with 100% viscose items from them. I love one particular dress from them so much I bought two identical, and I wear them all the time. They’ve held up extremely well though many wears and washes with no pilling at all. (2019 update those dresses are still going strong and look like new.)
I also love any item from them that is 100% cotton, as I prefer cotton in general. Their longline tanks, in particular, are staple items for me, and I love both the fit and the quality. (If you’re long waisted, make sure they’re the long line. The regular length tanks are cropped on me.)
Anyway, basic advice is just pay attention to the fabric content and you will know what you’re getting into.
Cut and Style: Pay close attention to the description of the items, sometimes you really have to zoom in to see how they’re finished. I bought this dress not realizing that it had these raw edges. I do still like it, but it’s not work appropriate with this kind of finishing. I returned another dress that had this same kind of edge.
In addition, many of the items I have purchased from them have been extremely sheer. (Emphasis so you know I am Serious.) I’ve bought dresses in solid colors that I have to wear tanks under lest everyone see my bra in full detail. They seem to be better about that this winter than they were last, but you do have to test things for sheerness before you wear them out, or let someone flash photograph you in it.
The above issues are why I usually wait until ASOS items are on sale, unless I am almost positive that I will love them – or if I fear they will sell out immediately. I scope out their sale section frequently, make use of their “save for later” list function to periodically check back on things I am interested in, and always keep an eye out for discount codes.
Sale Code Issues: BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU’RE USING A SALE CODE. Their checkout system is super finicky, and if you’re ordering something and use the sale code, then change your shipping address, for example, the system will remove the sale code and tell you you’ve already used it, even though you haven’t placed the order. I once changed my shipping address from “St. Louis” to “Saint Louis” and was then unable to use my discount code. (Edit: I don’t think this is still the case, hasn’t happened to me in years.)
Very very frustrating when you’re ready to check out after considering your items for an hour, and they suddenly snatch away the 20% off you were counting on, for no good reason. After this happening to me about five too many times, I just set up a second account, and if the checkout glitches I move to my backup account and buy the items there – but it’s still a giant pain in the ass, and a problem their coders should sort out. Seriously. This happened to me in the fall, and as I was switching to my second account the item I wanted sold out. I could have thrown my computer out the window I got so aggravated. So sloppy, ASOS.
PayPal BE EXTREMELY WARY OF USING PAYPAL. Same exact glitch as before – you add all your items to your cart, add your discount code (after making sure your shipping address is correct) and hit “pay,” choosing PayPal as your option. At least one in five times the system will say “PayPal is not available at this time!” Trouble is, when you try to check out again using another payment method, the system will not let you use the sale code, claiming you’ve already used it. So frustrating. So so frustrating. So now, even though my bank charges me an international service fee for using my card on their site (Note: 2019 my bank no longer charges me an international fee with ASOS) I’ve given up using PayPal when there’s a sale code on. It’s just not worth the hassle. For those of you with no other option to pay, I am really sorry. Just be aware it can happen.
No exchanges: Another thing to be aware of is that ASOS does not offer exchanges, as such. So you can return whatever you want and they will refund your money, but they will not send you a new item. So if you buy something on % off discount sale and it turns out to be the wrong fit, you cannot exchange it for the correct fit at the sale price – you lose out on your % off. If you can afford it I guess buy two sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit, if you’re very worried. I have one great dress that is two sizes too large and three inches too long, for this very reason. Still need to have that damn thing hemmed. Also, if they screw up and send you the wrong item, they will not fix it. I ordered a pair of shoes this summer and they sent me a completely different pair. When I contacted them to ask them to send the ones I ordered while I returned the ones they sent, they told me that they’d have to have an investigative team look into the situation, which would take two weeks. Ummmmm. No. By then the shoes might well be gone. I had to rebuy the shoes and have my money tied up twice until they refunded my erroneous shipment. Poor service.
This is all my best advice for having a satisfactory experience with ASOS Curve. Your mileage will no doubt vary, but I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to leave a question, and I will answer it if I can.