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Plus-Size Women's Fashion Tips

Updated on December 13, 2012

Plus-Size Labels

Before we get into some talk and photos on and concerning plus-size women's fashion, let's understand something so you're not completely discouraged when shopping around at different times to find some clothing that you really love: designers don't always have the right sizes on the labels.

If you're looking at a variety of clothing at different stores, or different labels within the same store, you can find yourself getting confused, frustrated and discouraged, as many of the alleged sizes seem to fit you. It's not you, it's the labels. They're the ones getting it round in the majority of the cases.

So when it comes to plus-size women's clothes, don't think nothing fits you because of what a label says. Forget get the label, and look for the fit. Don't be in denial or not buy something you really like because you think it's too big and are embarrassed because of it. The label could be completely wrong in size, and it's a very common occurrence.

Another good thing to keep in mind, is women in smaller sizes go through the same thing, only at their level, and they can get just as discouraged and confused when the label sizes are off.

Plus-Size Women's Fashion Rules are only 'Rules of Thumb'

When it comes to fashion in general, and plus-size women's fashion in particular, there are a lot of rules floating around that are considered gospel, when in fact, like all rules, there are many exceptions.

Plus-size apparel is the same, and we'll get into some tips you can use to look and dress your best in plus-size women's clothing. Simply be aware that guidelines for fashion are only that, and they shouldn't be set in stone by companies or the women searching for fashion answers.

Cute, White, Long Dress for Plus-Size Women

Psychology of Large Size Women's Clothing

While the availability of quality and designer plus-size clothing is improving and growing, not all designers have joined or acknowledged that reality, and still resist making clothes for plus sized women; at least in the style that is desired.

So why is this the case? Have you watched a catwalk lately? You know what I mean; it's all about the glamour and image, and most designers want to be associated with that.

Even though there is a huge plus-size women's clothing market, some still either don't get it or see it, and choose to cater to women fitting their own image, or in the image the public wants to have in mind.

Again, this has changed a lot, as the market for clothing for plus size women is just too large to ignore, and whether designers like it or not, they must acknowledge that, or fight between all the small sized women in the world. That would be difficult to do, as now plus-sized women account for about 50 percent of the overall market.

Like I said, this is changing quickly, and that's to the benefit of all women who want fashionable plus-size clothing and plus-size clothing options.

Don't Wear Anything Tthat Makes You Look Like a Tent

You know exactly what this is, and I think some women do this in attempts to hide their largeness, but that only makes it much worse because it in reality makes you look much bigger.

The tent or bulky look is a plus-size fashion mistake for large women.

What you're looking for is clothing that fits great and has good structure for you body type.

Tent Fashion Not Good for Plus-Size Women

What About Fabric for Plus-Size Women?

When considering fabric, you want the fabric to help shape your body type, not the other way around. You've seen women with the type of fabric that clings to them and every bulge or blip sticks out. That's the body shaping the fabric, and it never works. So in general, stretchy types of fabric must be managed closely, as it can make things a lot worse for you.

Managing your body with fashion is done better with heavier fabrics like cotton or cotton canvas. They will shape you better than stretchy fabric, and gives you more control over how you look.

In other words, don't be a fashion victim, but take charge and manage your look.

The Structured Jacket is the Great Equalizer

Probably the most important piece of women's plus-size fashion is the jacket.

This isn't that difficult to find, as it's simple and easy to try it on, and you'll see the look you want right away and how the right jacket will change your figure immediately.

All you've got to measure this by is if you have more of an hourglass figure than before. That's it. Nothing more, as far as the jacket structure goes. Obviously color and style comes next, but the structure is the most important.

A structured jacket with a belt can also work well.

Structured Jacket and V-Neck

What About the Bottom Half?

There are two secrets to creating that hourglass look for the plus-size woman, and besides the jacket mentioned above, the bottom half can look good with a skirt or trousers.

If it's a skirt, just make sure it's an A-line. When you get that flare look going away from the hem, it creates that hourglass look, and when added with the right structured jacket, is very pleasing to look at; taking away that flat or round look.

And if you need to wear trousers on a certain day or situation, use the wide-leg type that fits you right on your largest part, and then travels straight down from there.

A-line Skirt for Plus-Size Women

Underneath the Jacket

Okay. So you've got the jacket and bottom sorted out, now what do you wear underneath that jacket?

What you're looking to do is make it look like your neck is longer, and to do that one of the best fashion tools of clothing for plus-size women is the v-neck sweater or top.

This will give you an extended neck look much better than a scoop neck, and so really works well.

How Does Color and Print Fit into Plus-Size Women's Fashion?

Let's tackle the most obvious one here first: stripes. The conventional wisdom for plus-size women, is you don't wear horizontal stripes. While I would agree with that if the stripes are thick, there are exceptions to the rule.

One exception is a thinner stripe which will look good if viewed from a distance and has the appearance of a solid. It will largely depend upon the social situation you're in. Is it more personal and up close? There you should go with a vertical stripe for the best effect.

Another stripe exception would be if the lower part of your body is much larger than your top. In this case, stripes on top would give the appearance of equalizing your look, and your proportions would be much more symmetrical.

It's how your clothing fit you and the shape it gives you that is more important than the patterns or color you use.

Get the right structured jacket as mentioned above, and the bottoms described, and they will compensate for most colors and patterns.

Accessories are Very Important to Plus-Size Fashion

Here's one area a lot of women don't know about, and that's how accessories affect their proportions.

It's really easy to take care of this: don't carry or wear any type of jewelry that are tiny. What tiny things do is make you look bigger. It's as simple as that.

This includes the bag you carry, jewelry, or any other type of accessory you're thinking of including in your wardrobe. The bigger accessory the better is the motto for larger women.

Most Clothes Won't Fit Right off the Rack

I used to work in a clothing shop for large men, and there's something more common to men in their actions in connection to their acquired clothing than women take, and that is the use of a tailor.

Very rarely when buying quality clothing does it fit men right, and even though women have many more curves then men, they're still less apt to think of a tailor, and in many cases get that feeling of powerlessness.

It doesn't have to be that way. When looking for a quality designer for plus-size clothing, assume you're not going to find something that fits exactly, and allow for that in your budget; at the very least for important clothing you'll need for special occasions or work.

I'm not exactly sure why, but a large percentage of women think something must come right off the rack and fit them perfectly. That's difficult to do, and a little extra time and money is worth the effort.

Follow these tips and steps and you'll find yourself feeling a lot better about the fashion choices you make.


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