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Fashion Tips for Curvy Fashionistas

Updated on June 21, 2013

Why Fashion Tips for Curvy Fashionistas?

Fashion and chic style is not just for size 0s. It is possible to look great, wearing plus sized clothes, if you know what to do.

I enjoy fashion trends and vintage classics so I know the challenges of finding quality fashionable and trendy yet affordable clothes that are flattering. Vintage clothes are often harder to find for plus sizes but not impossible while high street fashion still has a way to go for including bigger sizes in their more trendier ranges. Yet finding well made and trendy plus sized clothes are just one part of the challenge.

I'm writing this guide because I want curvy women, who love fashion and looking great, to develop the skills, confidence and knowledge to wear flattering clothes that will turn heads. I also want to encourage other curvy fashionistas to share their knowledge and comments with each other.

In this guide I will share 5 key tips that have worked for me to find clothes that fit and flatter rather than squash or hide my luscious curves.

5 Top Tips for Curvy Fashionistas

Tip 1: Study your shape in the mirror

Regardless of your size, you may be one of the following shapes - pear, inverted triangle, rectangle, hourglass, diamond or apple (see diagram). All shapes have their pluses and challenges when finding flattering clothes.

Take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror to find out your body shape either in your underwear, or naked and compare against the body shape diagram or various body shape calculators available online. Also make a note of your best feature(s) and those you want to downplay. I love my full bust and small waist but like to downplay my big bum and thighs so I tend to wear clothes that fit and flow over my curves while giving them structure.

Tip 2: Measure Up!

A key tip in finding flattering clothes is to take measurements of your bust, waist and hips to determine your true size. Some people may also take shoulder and thigh measurements.

Also it is important to take measurements below and across your bust to find your correct bra size. Buy a good dressmaker's tape measure, which will have inches and centimetres. For tips on how to measure for your correct bra size see this video link I have included with this lens.

Tip 3: Invest in quality underwear

Quality underwear makes all the difference to the fit of your clothes. Great underwear will provide support and a streamline look to your curves. A well fitted bra will support your bust and back as well as create waist definition. Most lingerie companies (Bravissimo, Victoria's Secret) and lingerie departments will offer a bra measuring service, although you can easily measure yourself at home (see Simply B video link). A good thong with stomach support will avoid the dreaded visible pantie line (VPL). Knickers that offer good coverage over the stomach and bottom will also help you look streamlined. Check out Trinny's and Susannah's 'Magic Knickers range.

Tip 4: Create a capsule wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is made up of key items often in neutral shades (black, white, beige, grey and navy blue). Often classic in cut, these items are timeless and can be updated with seasonal pieces and accessories. Quality clothes tend to be in natural fibres (cotton, silk, wool), which hang better and are more comfortable to wear. An excellent capsule wardrobe will have items that fit and suit your shape, e.g. hourglass figures look great in pencil skirt and wide fit trousers with hidden pockets, whereas apples can look amazing in box pleated skirts that start below the stomach and tailored trousers with a stomach panel.

Tip 5: Add accessories and colour

Accessories add individuality and the finishing touches to your outfit. You may love chunky jewellery or the glamour of hats and gloves. You may be all about 'the bag' or have a serious shoe fetish.

The size and shape of your accessories can make or break the overall look of your outfit. Generally petite women look better with refined pieces whereas chunky statement jewellery need size and personality to carry it off. Women with short necks should avoid chokers but opt for striking pendants, especially if you have a big bust.

Hourglass and pears look lovely in round toe shoes, apples and bigger hourglasses (Trinny and Susannah call them 'cellos') need the stability of a wedge heel. If you are blessed with slender ankles and slim feet strappy sandals can really look great.

Its important to remember that your accessories make a statement about you and your outfit, even if it's subtle glamour. Also accessories can be a great way to introduce colour and / print.

I love playing with colour, whether I want to create a harmonious look using colours from the same family, e.g. blues, purples with tan brown or gold accessories to lift the look or a striking image; yellow dress with dashes of purple or violet.

As a general rule, large print looks great on curves while horizontal stripes can be harder to pull off. War, vivid shades look great on dark and olive skin or redheads and blondes. Cooler shades look classy on light blondes and pale skinned brunettes, grey and white haired people.

There are some colours that everyone can wear; such as engine red, deep purple, emerald green, and white. My advice is to experiment with colour by getting fabrics / scarves in different colours and tones, put them against your face while looking in the mirror. Its best to do this in natural light and if you can get a trusted friends for a second opinion, even better.

So here concludes my short guide to fashion tips for curvy fashionistas. I hope these tips have been a useful starting point to finding clothes that fit and flatter your curves and bring out your inner curvy fashionista.

Curvy Fashionista Tools on Amazon - Tools to help you discover and make the most of your curves

Here are some useful products that I've used to identify my shape and size as well as dress my curves to create a flattering silhouette in my clothes.. I hope you find them useful too.

The Body Shape Bible: Forget Your Size Discover Your Shape Transform Yourself
The Body Shape Bible: Forget Your Size Discover Your Shape Transform Yourself

Excellent book that offers great advice on how to dress for your shape, regardless of size. Glossy pictures and 3 outfit ideas for each of the 12 shapes.

Singer 96-Inch Extra Long Tape Measure
Singer 96-Inch Extra Long Tape Measure

Perfect for measuring your vital stats - bust, waist and hips. Every woman should have one.

Crown Mark Espresso Finish Wooden Cheval Bedroom Floor Mirror
Crown Mark Espresso Finish Wooden Cheval Bedroom Floor Mirror

A full length mirror is just what you need to capture your full beauty - can be tilted back and forwards. Also free standing and can be moved.

Elomi Women's Betty Underwire Plunge Bra, Black, 42F UK
Elomi Women's Betty Underwire Plunge Bra, Black, 42F UK

A popular product that offers lift and support with feminine designs.


Perfect Fit Poll Vote - What clothes do you find the hardest to fit your body

Buying clothes can be a pleasure but what items do you find the most challenging to find in your size and shape. Do you have problems with trousers to flatter your curves, coats or blouses that button up, dresses that suit or skirts that hang right?

What items do you find hardest to fit your body?

See results

Curvy Fashionista Poll Vote - Tell us your best feature

This is a poll to identify your best feature. Its the first step to celebrating your curves. Choose one of the options that reflects the body part that you love the most. You can then explore different ways to wear clothes and accessories that flatter it.

What is your best feature?

See results

Find your Body Shape and Fashion DNA Video - Discover your shape, (style) essence and consider your lifestyle

Cool video to help you discover your body shape, personal style and advice to consider your lifestyle needs when shopping for clothes. Use different terms to describe the body shapes but has good visual example.

Advice on how to measure your bust, waist and hips, which includes the shoulders and thighs and the video also refers you to the body shape calculator on

How to measure your bust Video

A helpful video - guide on how to measure your bus correctly to get a great fitting bra. All part of the process of creating a flattering fit.

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      FaithHodge1 4 years ago

      This is a wonderful Lens. A great tool for learners as well! Thank you for sharing.