If you are a plus-size woman, it is important to choose clothes that flatter your shape. Because of your generous curves, certain silhouettes and styles look better on you than others.
I have a petite clothing line for women 5’4″ and under, and we do product fitting and photo shoot every other week, which gives me the first hand experience of dressing models of different shapes and sizes.
Below is my assistant Bianca, 5 foot and plus size.
It is critical to draw attention to your assets and distract the eye from anything you do not want others to focus on. Your best assets are your full bust and full hips. It is also quite possible that you have a smaller waist, compared to your hips, if you happen to have a plus-size hourglass shape. If that is you, it is critical to highlight those assets you are proud of.
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Loose Top with Loose Bottom
The key criteria to dressing a plus-size woman are to make sure you are not wearing both a loose top AND loose bottom at the same time.
The reason is anything loose is going to add volume to your body. As a plus-size girl, since you already have a full curvy figure, you should reduce unnecessary volume instead of adding them to your outfits.
It is totally understandable you do not want to wear form-fitting clothing all the time, so it is quite okay that you may want to wear a loose T-shirt or wide-leg pants.
The key, however, is to make sure if your top is loose, then your bottom should be fitted.
And vice versa.
For instance, if you are wearing wide-leg pants, which carry a lot of volume in the leg shape, it’s critical you should wear a fitted top.
Otherwise, if your top and bottom are both loose at the same time, they will only make your body look bigger and heavier than you actually are and do not do justice to your curves.
Even though the 90s style of baggy jeans are a huge trend right now, they are not the best option for plus size women.
A common misconception many women have is that dressing in clothes that are baggy will make their body’s appear slimmer.
The truth is all baggy, shapeless clothes, including baggy jeans, do is hide your body.
As a plus-size woman, you can and should wear clothing that shows off your shape, and a pair of fitted jeans look much better on you than loosely fitted baggy jeans.
Tiered long skirts
Tiered skirts or dresses are a very big trend, while they can look cute, they can also add a lot of volume to your bottom half when there are too many tiers.
This is especially obvious when your skirt is also very long, because length is another way to add volume to your outfit.
So, if you are a plus size girl, be cautious with the tiering design in either skirts or dresses.
Ill fitted underwear
It’s essential your undergarments fit properly. Think of undergarments like the foundation of a house, if there are cracks the rest of the house is off just enough to cause issues.
Underwear is important for women of any size, but when it comes to plus size, this can really make it or break it for your outfit.
The thing is undergarments do not just affect what is underneath, they also have a huge impact on what you wear on top of them, i.e. your entire outfit.
Well-fitted underwear can make your chest look more lifted, which will also in turn have a slimming effect on your waist as well.
On the other hand, when they’re ill-fitting, your clothes also tend to pull and tug in ways that aren’t so comfortable.
Pointy Toe Shoe
These are one of the hottest trends that have been the favorite toe shape for many women, regardless of age group or body type. It is true that pointy toe shoe can effectively elongate your legs, and make you appear taller. The caveat, however, is if you have generous curves, especially if you have thicker legs and ankles, pointed toe shoes can easily look out of balance on you.
Instead, go with rounded toe shape. These are one of the best shoes for curvy women with thick calves and ankles, as they are much more in harmony with your body than the sharp edge of the pointy toe.
Skinny Tight Clothing
If you are a plus-size girl, use caution when you wear anything tightly fitted.
This is not to say you should stay away from skinny jeans or body con dresses altogether, but this means you want to be selective with the item and be strategic in how you style them.
If you like skinny jeans, opt for a more voluminous top which can balance out the tighter jeans and create a more slimming silhouette overall.
For example, you may be a plus-size girl with a muffin top, in that case, look for ruching details if you are in the mood for form-fitting dresses.
A lot of style rules can be broken, some should while others are good things to style yourself by.
The scale of the prints you wear is one rule that can make a big impact.
For plus-size women, it’s generally best to avoid prints that are really small and tiny in their scale.
The problem with those small prints is they can look ‘off’ and sometimes look lost when worn on the body. Instead, try to look for prints that are relative to your body in size to really flatter and fit your body type.
Voluminous, flowy type sleeves is unique but it’s tricky to wear well in plus size.
The issue that arises with any designs that are bulky and heavy on their own is they add that bulk and weight to the body when worn.
If you love these types of designs, just try to keep the volume minimal and make sure those details are on the area of your body that will add balance to your body shape.
On the other hand, tops with fitted sleeves tend to be much more flattering for plus size dressing.
Choosing the size of handbags should be done similar to the way the scale of prints worn and that is, in relation to the size of your body.
Tiny, compact handbags may be a big trend right now do to the resurgence of 90’s fashion but they can get lost (just like tiny prints).
Mid-larger-sized handbags will, instead, complement your plus-size figure rather than take away from it.
Many plus size women tend to go with tops that do not have a defined waist. The reason is they feel more self-conscious with their midsection otherwise.
That is quite a myth, and often times, it works the other way around.
Even if you are plus size, it is still important to have a waist definition.
Since plus size women have full chest and sometimes thicker waist, when you wear a loosely fitted top that does not offer a waist definition, it will immediately make your top half look even bigger than you actually are.
Therefore, it is always a good ideal for plus size women to wear a top that cinches your waist.
Belts are one of the most underrated accessories in plus-size fashion. Not only are they a fun accessory to complete an outfit with, but they’re also really great at cinching the waist and giving the illusion (or highlighting) an hourglass shape.
However, you want to be extremely cautious with a skinny belt, and it may be a good idea to completely skip them.
The truth is skinny belts are actually very hard to pull off by anyone unless you already have a tiny waist. Otherwise, the skinny belt will only draw more attention to your thick waist and bulging midsection which is quite the opposite of what you want when you are plus size girl.
Only Wear Black
While it is true that black is (arguably) the most slimming color, plus-size women should think black is the only choice for a curvy woman. An old style ‘rule’ some time ago for plus-size women was to avoid wearing clothing that’s bright and/or light in color. That rule is no longer a rule.
While it’s true that light and bright colors will bring attention to the part of the body you wear them on, that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it can be a really great styling trick to dressing to flatter your body’s shape. That being said, if you love wearing bright and light colors you’re in luck because it’s all fair game here. One good rule of thumb to keep in mind when wearing these bolder colors is to wear them in the area of the body you want the most attention. So for example, if you want to highlight your bottom half to create more proportion to your shape wear a bold color skirt or pants.
The truth is the way our bodies are right now is perfect and reason enough to allow ourselves to enjoy the style. Whatever your size or shape, don’t feel like you have to wait until your body looks a certain way before you’re able to really enjoy clothing and creating a personal style you love.