PLUS SIZE STYLES
I am by no means a fashionista, neither am I a style guru but this March 2018, I took up the daunting task of wearing green as a plus size woman, for the entire month for kidney disease awareness.
Before we get into the style and vogue details of my green month escapade, you will agree with me that dressing up as a plus size woman can be challenging especially with finding the right clothes that would flatter your problem areas and enhance your assets. I honestly, didn’t set out for this to be a fashion adventure but it turned out to be quite a journey and I would like to share some of my most fashionable moments, tricks and tips.
In my opinion, fashion is for everybody and you should not be limited in your choice of clothes because of your size. While I have read many fashion experts limit plus-size women to wearing black only, to stay away from prints, stripes, skinny jeans, whites, pencil skirts, etc. I think that is ridiculous! For me, dressing up for a plus size woman like every other body type is a strategy. Strategically work with prints, shapes and details to distract the eye from problem areas and steer the focus to fabulous areas. Understandably, black is flattering on a plus size woman since it easily hides your flaws and defects. However, there’s only so much black we can wear. Life is fun, not a funeral! Prints and patterns are fun, wear them!
Advice and style tips for dressing a plus size woman
Plus Size Shapewear
Foremost, my Holy Grail advice for all of us plus size ladies are good shapewear. Good shapewear instantly slims, smooths, and tones, hiding most problem areas and firming up loose skin. Invest in one. You will not regret it!
Disguising problem areas as a plus size woman
As a plus size woman, when you choose to be risqué with your outfit and are worried about displaying too much of a problem area, the key strategy is to pull the focus away from that problem are. Lift your viewer’s eye up or down. You can accomplish this with a bold necklace or a colorful scarf, some amazing shoes or some embellishments like a brooch etc.
Wearing Heels for plus size women
Finally, being a plus size woman, another trick I have discovered for a flattering look is wearing heels. Personally, I hate heels. I can’t walk in them for long and they hurt my calves badly. But, I’ve come to realize that even an inch or two is enough to slim your legs and elongate your figure for a flattering look.
Where to Shop for plus size clothes
I know the burning question for everyone is usually “where to shop“? Traditional plus size clothing is usually frumpy and boring so my answer is everywhere! I shop everywhere! Even in juniors and petites too!!! Sometimes, some styles are cut and labelled as small, medium or large but a plus size could easily fit in them. Sometimes, the fabric is stretchy enough, that even two sizes up could fit in them. In fact, most times, I purchase smaller size dresses and use them as tops or alter the style and use them differently than intended. Fashion is all about creativity and taking risks and plus size fashion is really all about that. You will be surprised to discover some great finds in the most unusual places. That said, my go-to stores are usually ASOS, Eloquii, Macy’s, Ross and Amazon.
Now let’s take a look at my 13 most fashionable plus size outfits during my 31 days of wearing green campaign for kidney awareness.
PLUS SIZE STYLE GUIDE
Plus Size and Floral Prints
This was by far one of my most favorite looks with probably the most comments on Facebook!!! Lol. This fuchsia, green and black floral skirt paired well with a solid black top to mask my midsection since I was tucking my blouse in. The wide waistband of the skirt also helped in cinching my waist for a slimmer waistline. The outfit was completed with a solid green cardigan for accent.
I loved these pants when I saw them at Eloquii and I knew I had to have them. The trick with prints is not to get a print so tiny that it takes what looks like a million of them to cover you. Also, if you are short, like I am, a print that is too large is going to make you look worse. Try to find a middle ground. The yellow, white and green flowers on this print were just the right size. The pants paired nicely with a drapey green V-neck blouse and a white blazer. The visible portion of the green blouse under the blazer served like a stripe down my front, to help elongate my body.
Plus Size and Wearing Whites
Who says plus size can’t wear white? Contrary to popular belief, curvy women can wear white and still look great in them. I opted for skinny white pants which gave a slimming effect. However, I chose a loose cold shoulder green blouse with ruffle sleeve details to distract from my midsection. Finally, I wore some pointy toe pumps to further elongate and give me a slender look.
The Trench Coat
Coordinating or matching one’s accessories is commonly referred to as “matchy-matchy” which I have gathered is no longer fashionable. Hence, this look may not qualify as fashion-forward in today’s fashion books. However, I love the way the blend of browns turned out with my outfit. The messenger bag and the knee-high boots complemented my stripe pencil skirt and green turtle neck sweater beautifully. I bet you didn’t think knee-high boots could look gorgeous on a plus-size woman? A brown woollen coat was my final touch and I felt very corporate, like Olivia Pope! Lol
Plus Size Culottes
If you’re thinking that you need to be thin and tall in order to pull-off culottes, you’re wrong! Though culottes (voluminous short pants) may seem intimidating, there is a pair of culottes out there for you waiting to be made into a fashion statement. When you’re wearing culottes during the day like I was, it is best to choose a sturdy stacked heel. A stacked heel is better than a stiletto since it will balance out the volume of the culotte.
Now, another trend which is usually hard to pull off for plus size women are pencil skirts! Are you kidding me? Pencil skirts look stunning on plus size women. Again, the fit is key. Make sure it fits your waist, hips, butt and thighs. It should gently hug your body but not be skin tight. For a longer torso, I paired my floral pencil skirt with a zip down blouse. I also added a flower embellishment on my chest to pull the focus upward and away from my midsection. A pair of nude strappy sandals completed the look to create another focal point away from my problem area (yes, my tummy!).
Another secret to pulling off an outfit with a pencil skirt as a plus size woman is to match them with tops that have details at the waist. The objective here is to take the focus away from your tummy and put it on the shirt or blouse, without adding any bulk to your tummy. This pink top with thin elastic at the hem was perfect for this green pencil skirt outfit as it created a faux-tucked effect. The pink pointy pumps and floral scarf completed the look by providing focus areas away from my midsection.
This was one look that took a lot of guts to pull off for a plus size woman. I chose to wear this short floral skirt with an open front top with some ruffles and a Boyfriend blazer. The visible ruffled detail portion of the shirt under the blazer helped to create a lengthening effect. The loose blazer helped to hide the sides of my tummy, creating a smoother look. The inherent structure of the blazer kept me from looking overwhelmed by the volume of the ruffled top. The final look ended up being very cohesive and trendy.
To pull off this look, good shapewear is an absolute must! Shapewear allows every plus size woman to celebrate her curves and flaunt the illusion of a true hourglass figure which is the ultimate body shape for every woman. The dress featured a cascading peplum hemline which helped to hide my midsection. I paired the dress with some multicoloured pumps in green and coral and finished the look with a coral purse. This look was a hit!
Styling The Booties
Mid-calf boots are pretty versatile and extremely en vogue. My tip for wearing boots as a plus size woman is that the boots should fit you well at the calves and ankles where possible. I wore my boots with a fitted black long sleeve dress with a cinched waist to give the illusion of a slimmer waist. Furthermore, to again distract from my tummy, I donned a statement necklace in African print. This was one fierce look!
Now, for this look, I chose to wear a striped skirt. Fashion experts will tell you stripes are not flattering on a plus size woman but I took the chance. I strategically chose stripes that were vertical with an asymmetrical twist for a flattering and slimming look. I completed the look with a black top with neck embellishments and this also helped to distract from my midsection. The neck embellishments and dramatic skirt hemline drew the viewer’s focus away from my midsection.
This was an outfit that was vibrant and very colorful. Interestingly the green hues were odd and some people might say it’s not green. Anyway,I beg to differ! Lol. Worried about my tummy being exposed, I added a floral scarf to distract from my midsection. I finished the outfit with a pair of heels to give my legs a slender look.
Last but by no means least, denim will never go out of style! As a matter of fact, for plus size women, going darker may actually be the way to go. Darker colors will slim down the bottom half giving the illusion of a longer, leaner leg. Also, I paired my distressed denim with a white Iya Foundation t-shirt available at www.theiyafoundation.org/shop and a soft, green, fuzzy, and perfectly oversized cardigan for the perfect casual chic look. I completed the look with brown heels for a great lengthening effect. Finally, to make the look even edgier, I added a trendy hat tipped to the side for an alluring look.