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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Plus Size 101: A crash course in dressing for all sizes- PART UN

One reader requested a post on plus size fashion, and I'm so glad she did! This is such a great area to explore, and I for one learned that plus size fashion rules are basically the same rules everyone (no matter what size) should follow, so wheither you are a size 00 or a size 20 this post will have a ton of great information for you!

On a side note, all of the pictures featured under each tip are from a photoshoot for V Magazine's Size/Spring 2010 issue. All of the photos were found through the website!

Tip 1: Too tight is just as bad as too loose

An article published in 2005 used this great pantyhose example to demonstrate why tight fabrics are plain unflattering. Imagine you have on pair of black pantyhose. When you stand in front of the mirror you will see that around your ankles the material will be a solid black and look how you would ideally imagine pantyhose to appear. However, around the thicker part of your (or anyone else's) thighs the material will be sort of grayish.

This color difference will draw attention to the thicker part of your body- your legs. The same theory applies to any fabric that is overstretched. The larger or more ample parts of your body will be accentuated in a way that is undesired.

The other side of this is too loose. Anyone who isn't 6'0" and 115 pounds knows that oversized clothing will make you look heavier than you actually are AND will completely hide your beautiful body!

Tip 2: Remember the cardinal no'nos

These are clothing features that will not flatter your shape:

Vertical Stripes: They never come out exactly vertical because the fabric they are printed on will hug whatever curves your body has, making you look lumpy and frumpy. No good.

Spandex-Based Tube Tops: This makes me cringe....when girls have that pinch of flesh by their arm pits because their tube top is too tight or has a really intense elastic band. Yuck.

Mid-Calf Dresses: This cut is just not suitable for most women, especially plus sized girls. Opt for a-line dresses or skirts that end at the knee or slightly above.

Tapered Pants: These types of pants fit snuggly around the waist and have a leg that tapers in close to the ankle. This is not good for plus size women because it will make your bottom half look like a lemon. Opt for boot cut jeans or tailored trousers.

Tip 3: Embrace shopping and try. things. on.

A lot of plus size women feel self-conscious shopping, and therefore, adopt a grab-and-go mentality. This does not work for anyone no matter what size. Take the time to get to know your body and love it! Find out what shapes, colors, patterns, and cuts look good on you! Make sure you aren't shy when it comes to full length mirrors because it's important to check out an outfit from every angle. This doesn't mean be overly critical; it means be honest with yourself, ask your shopping partner's opinion, and have fun dressing up! Most importantly, ask yourself how does this blouse/skirt/outfit make me feel? because confidence never goes out of style =)

Tip 4: Research a good tailor and stores with free alterations

None of us are a cookie cutter model of whatever size we may be, so it's important we make sure our clothes actually fit. This might mean a little extra time and/or money, but if you're clothes don't fit properly why even bother? Find a good tailor! I've gotten most of my alterations done by one of my friend's grandmother because she knows her stuff, and she's less expensive than a commercial tailor. Utilize your resources, and you're sure to find someone who can help you out! Additionally, a lot of stores offer free alterations, so make sure you ask sales associates if this service is offered (especially for jeans and suits).

Tip 5: Bond with other plus size fashionistas!

This website has a list of some really fab plus size blogs. I like the variety because some of them (Fat Chic, for example) feature fashion and health topics, whereas others (Young Fat and Fabulous) have really cool real life snapshots of fashionable plus size girls! The amount of inspiration you can gain from these websites is endless!

Enough of the lecture, let's see some clothes!

After looking around, here are some stores that have great plus size items. I've included the store name, a link to their website, and a few of my favorite online items! Happy hunting =)

Forever 21 (Faith 21):


Saks Fifth Avenue:

Old Navy:

Well, that's all for now! Leave me a comment if you think this post is helpful and/or if you have any additional tips!


Anonymous said...

I dont consider myself plus sized but I have some self image issues. Loved this! Would like to see even more ideas about what to look for that is flattering for girls who just want to cover there tummy a little. I tend to just wear big sweatshirts to cover up and end up looking frumpy. What are some cute clothes that won't make me look frumpy when I'm feeling a little chunky. Oh and especially loved the "confidence never goes out of style!"

Anonymous said...

Awesome, can you also give some cute summer ideas? Dresses, tops, skirts, shorts.

Kristina said...

From this feedback I decided to write a "part two" article that will focus just on putting together flattering outfits for plus size girls, or girls who just want to cover up some "trouble" areas. It will post on June 16, so be sure to check back!

And if anyone else has suggestions for the second part of this article...please leave me a comment or e-mail me at info at remchic dot com.

Thanks everyone!!

Stephanie Layne said...

This is everything I've ever wanted to see in a fashion blog for plus-size girls. Thanks Xtina your the best!!

Kristina said...

Stephanie: Of course! I hope you saw Part 2 also!

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