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Plus Size Fashion Tips For Plus Size Women

Updated on March 28, 2012

Fashion Tips For Full Figured Women

If you're a plus sized woman like I am, then you know how frustrating it can be to find cute, fashionable plus size clothing that fits and is in style. Most stores don't carry larger sizes and the many that do have plus size outfits that are outdated and unattractive.

Fortunately, more and more designers are making plus sized outfits that are beautiful, flattering and made of quality materials. There are even some manufacturers likeCatherine's, Jessica London, Torrid, Avenue, Ulla Popken, Catherine's, Lane Bryant and Igigi that exclusively design for full figured women. Imagine that! Someone actually puts us first when it comes to fashion.

So if you wear larger sizes, don't despair, it IS possible to look as elegant and stylish as your less curvy counterparts. But first, here are a few fashion tips for full figured women when it comes to wearing beautiful clothing.

Plus Size Fashion: Dressing For Your Size

Tips For Wearing Plus Sized Clothing: Proper Fit

1. Probably the most important thing a plus size woman needs to do is get a good, well-fitting bra! Let's face it, if you're wearing larger sizes, you're probably curvy and well... stacked. And you can't have your girls bouncing around all over the place. Moreover, having a bra that fits properly will streamline your curves and your silhouette. You'll not only feel better when you have proper support, but will also fit properly into tops and jackets. You can measure your bust yourself, but I've found that the best way to find a properly fitting bra is to have a professional do it at the store. I've also found it best to buy bras from places that cater to plus-size ladies; even though department stores have bras that go up to very large sizes, I've found that the bras are still a little tight on top. You need a bra that supports your bust AND fits properly around your curves.

2. That said, don't be afraid to get your clothes tailored. This goes for all clothing, not just plus sized, but I've found that plus sizes tend to be made for women who are large and tall. This doesn't help someone like me who is only 5'3". So instead of rolling up your sleeves or pant cuffs, get your clothing tailored. Some places also have "petite plus size" outfits for shorties like me, so that's another option.

3. Don't go too small or tight. Back in college, my typical outfit was a pair of stretch pants and a long sweater -- and you know what? I looked ridiculous. Yes, the pants were comfy, but they just didn't fit properly. I didn't have thin, toned legs and the stretchy pants magnified every curve. There's nothing wrong with having curves, of course, but some styles don't work on some people -- including skinny women -- and in general, skin-tight pants don't accentuate a curvy women's best features. The same goes for short, tight skirts or itty bitty sweaters. Because more stores are offering plus size outfits, some tend to offer outfits that mimic those sold in smaller sizes. BUT we curvy gals tend to be built differently and need to accept that. Rather than squeezing your curves into something that's too small and ill-fitting, find something that's looser and less confining.

3. Don't go too big or loose. On the other hand, don't drown your body in overly-baggy shirts or pants. Be proud of who you are -- don't hide! Many larger women, myself included, make the mistake of wearing long, baggy tops thinking that it makes them look thinner. But it doesn't. It just makes you look larger and even worse, shapeless. You don't have to be a blob. Think of yourself as a curvy goddess.

4. Wear something that's comfortable and well-fitted. The trick to finding the perfect outfit is to wear pieces that are tailored, but aren't cutting off your circulation, either. Pants should accentuate your hips and rear, not be squeezing you so tightly that you have a constant wedgie. Tops should show off your curves, but not be so big that you look as if you're wearing a tent. If you're not sure of your size, try on a few sizes to see which fits best. Even better, get a second opinion from a friend or sales person. I've found that you can usually know from instinct when something fits well. When you look in the mirror and think, "Hey, I didn't know I could look THAT good!" you've found a properly-fitting article of clothing.

Dressing For A Full Figure

Plus Size Fashion Show!

Pluz Size Fashion: Styles And Cuts Worth Trying

When it comes to full figured fashion, there are certain styles that work better than others. You can't simply take more fabric and add it to an outfit. It may fit, as in you can slip it on over your body, but it won't *fit* if it's not cut properly. Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers don't understand this. I once went shopping at a popular retail store that advertised plus sized clothes. Yes, I could get into everything, but nothing look quite "right." The reason? The outfits were still styled for smaller women.

1. Empire waist: I LOVE empire waist tops and dresses; in fact, my wedding gown had an empire waist and I got so many compliments! Basically, an empire waist cuts off right below the bust line rather than at the center of your body. The idea is that it creates an illusion; your bust is accentuated while the flowy, lower part makes you look long and lean. Don't get me wrong, you can still wear clothing that has a traditional centered waist (if it fits properly), but an empire waist can make you appear taller and slimmer. Also, an empire waisted dress will flow over your curves, bringing them out, but not squeezing around them.

2. Tiered tops and dresses: Another great style for plus size women are tiered tops and dresses. These are outfits that have built-in, flowing layers.Again, this gives an illusion of movement and fluidity.Tiered tops allow you to hide your flaws and still look pretty.

3. Tunics: Tunics are tops that are slightly longer than your average shirt. They end below the waist, sometimes going as low as the tops of your thighs. Again, they elongate the body, making your look slimmer. But notice I said LONG and not BIG. A tunic should still properly fit. You should not be swimming in material.

4. A-Line: A-line styles are similar to an empire waist in that the top or dress gradually flows outward looking like, well, an A. This is yet another cute style to wear that can hide your flaws and "stretch" you out.

More Fashion Tips For Full Figured Women

The type of color and pattern can also make a difference when it comes to plus size fashion.

1. Don't wear busy prints. We've all heard that advice about how larger women should not wear horizontal stripes, but it goes beyond that. Don't wear loud, crazy patterns (think Hawaiian shirts) that accentuate your size. The goal is to streamline your body. Instead, wear subtle prints. You certainly don't have to be plain, but take a good look in the mirror and be honest with how a print makes you look.

2. Go for solids. A great way to dress slim is to wear all one color. Wear a blue shirt and skirt and then add a pop of color in your accessories.

3. Be careful with textures. Don't wear things that are too ruffly or poufy or lacy or shiny. Again, a lttle goes a long way when it comes to fabrics.

4. Wear larger accessories to balance the outfit and your figure. A thin, little belt with just cut off your waist and make you look big.

5. On the other hand, don't go overboard with accessories. Less is more. This is a good rule for EVERYONE, not just plus sized women.

6.Layer up. A great way to look stylish is to wear layers, combining colors and textures. Put a fitted blazer over a silk blouse or a cute jacket over a T-shirt.

7. Check your arms. Are your arms toned and fit? Do you REALLY look good in a sleeveless or strapless top or dress? A cute shrug or short-sleeved jacket (see layering above) can bring attention away from your arms and flatter your figure.

8. Smile and be confident! Who cares if you're not a Size 2? You're fabulous! Don't be afraid to show off your best self. You'll feel like a million.


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