Fashion Tips for Plus Size Women

For years, fashion was focused on specific demographics of skinny women. But real women come in all shapes and sizes. More and more designers today, are playing with the idea of plus size fashion. With New York Fashion Week finally acknowledging and celebrating fashion for curvy women last week, we are hoping to see designers back home stand up to the needs and the rights of the average woman.

Following are some basic guidelines for plus size women fashion:

  • Don’t buy clothes online. You need to TRY THEM ON, sit in them , move around and then purchase..
  • ‘Dress up from head to toe in one tone – clothes which are a dark color like black, dark navy or dark red to aubergine gives the illusion of a slimmer figure because dark colours absorb light .
  • Wear clothes that are the right size. It’s a myth that wearing oversized clothes will make you look thinner.Saggy, baggy clothing looks a mess and tight clothes will wrinkle and hike up when you move.
  • Say complete NO to stretchy fabrics except for intimates: these cling to all the wrong places. Lycra in outer clothes, silk, rayon, and other jersey fabrics that have a sheen are the worst offenders.

  • Wear heels. An increase in height balances your width.
  • If you like bright colors save them for belts [ only wear if you have a waist ], handbags [ big ], shoes, hats, lipstick and nail varnish. Jordin Sparks rocks a plain black dress with a hot pink belt. Infact she was so much in love with this outfit that she wore something very similar again to the Jonas brothers’ tour.
  • • A long length coat hides a lot of unwanted curves and is much better than chunky sweaters.
  • Your posture can be your worst enemy. Look at yourself in a three-way
    full-length mirror. If you hold your body up straight instead of slouching you’ll add at least an inch to your height.
  • If you like to wear pants, a shift dress top will create a sleek line, making your silhouette look leaner.
  • Wearing stripes can be tricky. If you must wear stripes, vertical rather than horizontal for a plus size dress, but the other way round if you are wearing a striped top over big bottomed pants. The top should be broader shouldered, and the stripes should be wide rather than narrow.
  • Keep styling simple, yet classy, and forget the frills for now. The more volume your outfit gets, the fuller you look.
  • Prints should be scaled for your body — no ditzy prints if you are large. In general, it’s the space between prints that makes them unflattering, so look for prints that have overlapping images.
  • For women with heavy behind, flared skirts will cling to the backside but at the same time will not hug the thighs, giving a sexy rounded S-shape to the bum. Wearing tailored jackets that flare over the butt will also help as these will balance the butt, while giving a feminine appeal. Never wear jackets that end at the butt or high-waisted pants, these will only amplify a big booty.
  • For women with heavy mid section, wearing a hemmed shirttail and ruched tops will cover the tummy at the front while lifting at the side creating a curvaceous effect. Similarly, low-waisted skirts will cling to the hips instead of the belly. Flat fronted side zipping pants are also great as they hold in the tummy with no bulking.
  • Women with heavy arms have a tough time as arms are difficult to hide. Floating cuffs and fluted sleeves balance out wideness of arms. Display elegantly bejeweled wrists, stay with delicate bracelets.
  • Empire waistlines and low necks help lengthen the look of the neck, keeping away the attention from the width of the body.Long jewelry chains/necklaces have the same effect.
  • Avoid chokers and polo neck sweaters as these will give you the hunched look.
  • Most importantly, facial distraction pays off. If you meet people with a beaming smile, that is the first thing that they will notice about you. It immediately takes the eyes to an up-down way of looking at you, rather than a side to side, so you appear slimmer. It will also put people you meet in a more positive mind-set to appreciate you and your fashion flair.

Jordin’s lovely smile does exactly that.

To smile, find your best feature and flaunt it! Show those legs, unbutton that cleavage, get a good strapless bra and wear that boob tube, let down your hair and just focus on something that makes you feel great about yourself .

Yes, being curvy and yet fashionable may not be easy at times, but girls, don’t be afraid to:

  • Show those legs

Oprah shows off some skin!

  • Wear high heels

Queen Latifah’s classic black heels

  • Wear deep neck lines
  • Layer clothing

No, layering does not make you look fatter. Infact, if done properly it cuts down your waist’s width.

  • Wear bright colors

Jordin looks oh so yummy in this hot orange dress..

  • Wear chunky jewellery

Farah Khan who is rarely well dressed, definitely knows how to wear this hot necklace.

  • Go in for hottest new fashion trends..This fall lace is BIG! Wear it up in tops, dresses, scarves…

a stunning chocolate colored lace dress.

Plus size celebrities to look upto for great fashion sense and attitude: Jordin Sparks, Queen Latifah, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Hudson, Nigella Lawson.. Sadly, no Indian makes to the list!
Places to shop for plus size clothing in India: Fabindia, Pantaloons, Shoppers stop, Lifestyle, Westside, Pluss, Just my size, Revolution, Pluz by Ebony and many others..
(pictures’ source: google)


27 thoughts on “Fashion Tips for Plus Size Women

  1. Hi Aaashima, nice post.
    Can you tell me what type of jeans (I mena cuts) can be worn to cover my thighs.
    Also the kind of shorts that can be worn by people with a heavier lower body..
    Shirts also make my hips look big. I have put of loads of weight recently mostly on my hips n thighs 🙁 🙁 🙁

    1. hi jaish
      I guess aashima will reply on this post too 🙂
      but i just wanted to put in so of my tips 😛
      About jeans-
      To cover your thighs -Obviously try wearing long tops.
      And also dark colours.
      Dark blue jeans with a sot of a lighter dark blue in the centre[ i am talking about the shade :)]
      If you have a heavier lower body-it’s better if you don’t wear something that shows off your negative points and it’s better to accentuate your PLUS POINT 😀
      So try wearing longer shorts or do not wear shorts.
      I would suggest you to wear a long tshirt with shorts
      that would cover your thighs and a bit of the shorts would be seen 🙂
      The MAIN AIM is to cover your thighs –
      that can be done by darker pants
      longer tops 😀
      Hope this helped
      .-= giasaysthat´s last blog ..Whats in my PURSE-BAG =-.

    1. Jaish – go for tight knee length shorts with a long t-shirt that comes to mid thigh or at the very least falls till below your butt. Loose long shorts will just make your thighs look bulky. And the long t-shirt will cut away from the size of your thighs 😀 😀 😀

      Also if your hips are larger and I mean JLo larger than your things – even short tight shorts can work, provided you pair it with the right t-shirt. The worst faux pas I think wrt to shorts for someone who is larger is to wear the loose baggy kind. It doesn’t hide the flaw but actually makes one look far more bulky and shapeless.

      If you have put on weight on your hips and thighs I think the best thing to wear is a loose long t-shirt or an anarkali cut kurta that reaches mid thigh on black leggings.

      The equation with jeans is simple – if your tops are on the shorter side ie – reach your pelvic bone or a few inches here and there got for straight cut or slightly flaired jeans for balance. If your top is loose and long go for skinny jeans in dark denim (as suggested by gia). The idea is to acheive balance. Not just focus on any one item of clothing but to make the outfit work as a whole. You could wear any kind of jeans and end up with the wrong look because of the kind of top you have on ….

      so just think balance …. and as aashima said the point is to emphasise what you’ve got. And my very own personal beauty quote from Sophia Loren beauty is 50% what you’ve got and 50% what they think you’ve got 😛
      .-= Janhavi´s last blog ..Power ! – Kanye West =-.

    1. Thank you sweetie 😀
      Being on the larger side myself, Ive struggled with clothing choices for years. But size should never be a barrier for self expression – and thats what we do right with make-up and fashion 😀
      kudos to aashima for a great post !
      .-= Janhavi´s last blog ..Power ! – Kanye West =-.

  2. Great post Ashima. I am constantly lost while choosing western wear; specially about layering. How exactly should one layer? The easiest thing i’d do is wear a snug fit tee inside a formal shirt and leave a few or all of the buttons undone. But that gets boring after a while. Any tips on layering? Oh, I have a nice visible tummy by the way. And it’s more prounced post pregnancy. So the flabby thing will need to be well hidden!
    .-= Anks´s last blog ..Waiting =-.

    1. Layering is a bit tricky – not adviseable for anywhere warm. Personally I am not a big fan of layering but I live in city where layering is the clothing norm what with the weather changing up to 4 times a day, ive picked up a few tips n tricks 😛

      The simplest layers (this one however is better for people without a big tummy, more for those with hips n thighs) is a fitting spaghetti top with a shrug/ jacket or even a wrap. If you have a more pronounced tummy pick a baby doll style strapless dress that flares, or a very long top in the same style instead of a fitting spaghetti tee. If you add a shrug with sleeves and u live somewhere cold, add a sleeveless jacket to it. The sleeveless jacket/ vest is great to layer with, on shirts, or even full sleeved teees. Formal Vests are also great to layer with, there were some great ones at Zara over the summer, these can be worn with shirts tees or even dresses to be funky. Wear a camisole under a very loose slightly wide and/or lower necked long tee.
      Also adding stole to the out fit also adds another layer.
      Have fun with layering , it can be amazing if you open your mind to all the possibilities. 😀
      .-= Janhavi´s last blog ..Power ! – Kanye West =-.

  3. Aashima excellent post, even not being a plus size i do follow most of those tips, as i believe those you mentioned flatters almost all body shapes in spite of sizing. Thanks for the great reading :yes: :yes: :yes:
    .-= deb´s last blog ..Aint they looking great =-.

  4. Hi Aashima,
    Very informative article !!! :yes: :yes: :yes:
    Will like to add that lovely ladies with heavy rear may do away with back pockets on their denims,trousers or skirts.This will cut away the unnecessary bulk.Go for solid colors especially in dark shades like black,browns,dark grays or navy blues….the darker the better.Straight cuts and well-tailored bottoms will do the trick….be it trousers or skirts.Try and draw the attention away from from your problem area to your positive area like nice arms,nice waist, nice shirts,nice purse or eye-catching neck-piece etc.Strictly no ruffles.Wear a medium fitted kurti or shirt with slits on sides,its length should reach mid of hips(to cut it in half and thus create an illusion ).
    For shorts……..I totally agree with Janhavi….. 🙂
    Same ways females with heavy bust-line should have no pockets or embellishment on the bust-line.Draw the attention towards neck or arms.General thumb rule:Dark color deemphasis (as they absorb light)and light color emphasis(they reflect light)…….mattes absorb light and Sheen/Shimmer acts as highlighter !!! 🙂

  5. Hi.. Thank you everyone.. Im glad you guys liked my post..
    Ok now about jeans trouble:
    if you have heavy thighs, go for a pair that skims, but doesnt hug your legs. Flared and boot cuts work bcz they balance your thighs and give some bulk to the ankle area.
    if you have big tummy, go for a midrise that cuts across the belly, nt above or below it.the cut will depend on your thighs.
    if you are top heavy, go for distressed jeans or lighter wash/bleached jeans to add volume to the lower half of your body without actually adding bulk there.
    if you have big bottom, go for low rise jeans(look up jlo) and pairs with ankle details to balance the lushness of your bottom.say a big no to skinny jeans and extra embellishments on back pockets.also make sure that the back pockets are not too far apart.
    In general, the lighter the denim, the heavier it will make you look.dark jeans create a slimming effect.
    also to make sure the dark color doesnt fade, add some salt to detergent and soak your jeans over night before washing them.always wash them inside out..

  6. About layering:
    Basically dont add bulk around your no heavy, thick or poofy material layers.
    Your foundation piece should be well fitted (nt tight) cud be a dress , a top, a tshirt, etc..
    Your most structured piece should be the top layer.if you have a nice waist focus on that.empire line, belted waist top, a fitted blazer should be on top..
    Balance layerd tops with slim bottoms (if u cn afford to do so)
    Use bright colors on your best features and darks on the areas you want to deemphasize
    With layerd look, wear simple jewellery
    hope this helps 🙂

  7. Thank you for posting these beautiful outfits with these beautiful ladies. I am looking for ideas to looking more impressive with plus size clothes…….

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