Tips for the Plus Size

I would be really happy if you could do a post with tips for XXL women. – Lee

Nobody will deny that it’s way harder to find flattering clothes when you’re plus size. There are many reasons  and assumptions made by fashion manufacturers:

  • Body shapes vary, but manufacturers assume that your body shape is the same as every other plus size woman.
  • Plus size women don’t care about looking fashionable (there are a lot of frumpy styles in the plus market)
  • Plus size women either only want to wear black, or really bright colours – there just isn’t the variety of colour choices.
  • Plus size women are tall, but there are many who are petite or average, yet so many clothes are made proportionally much longer than in the smaller sizes.
  • Plus size women just want to hide their body with layers and voluminous clothing.
  • Plus size women will buy anything provided they can get it on, whether or not it’s flattering.
  • Bad design – there is much of it about.  Unflattering use of horizontal details in plus size clothing design because much of what is made and sold is based on a design that is made for a small size but just graded up to plus.
  • Speaking of grading – that’s where they take a smaller pattern and add size to it, evenly, all over (yet we don’t put on weight evenly) so many clothes are ill fitting.

 

What you can do:

Be more judgemental when you shop, just because you can put it on, doesn’t mean it flatters you.   Make sure the colour and style work for you.  It’s better to have fewer pieces that make you feel good, than lots of clothing that you don’t really wear, because it doesn’t make you look or feel good.

Understand your shape.  There are almost as many plus sized body shapes as in smaller sizes.  If you have a defined waist, (such as an X shape) then define it.  If you don’t then steer clear of styles that have waist detail or seams at the waist.

Expect to have alterations.  Every woman should expect this, regardless of size.  Mass market manufacturing cuts to pattern blocks that are generic.  You are far from generic.  But if you have your clothing tailored to fit, you will feel and look so much better in them.

Look for fabrics that have fluid drape, they will skim your shape, rather than stiffly add extra volume, or cling unflatteringly.

Add accessories up near your face:

  • If you have a wider neck – look for embellished necklines or add larger scale earrings.
  • If you have a longer neck – choose pendants.
  • Be careful of long pendants that end past your bust, they will draw attention to your stomach.

Make sure hems end at a flattering point.  Hems should end at narrow points, rather than wide ones:

  • the narrow points of your arms
  • Not the widest point of your hips
  • The slimmest part of your calf

Create a column of colour to elongate your shape.

And dress for your personality.  Express who you are, whatever your size.  If you feel good you will look better and have more confidence.  Don’t hide away in clothes that aims to be invisible.  There is no such thing, but when someone dresses to look invisible it draws attention and points to a lack of self-esteem and confidence.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Great advice Imogen, thanks for taking the time

    Best wishes, T

  2. Would you be able to make a post about what kinds of alterations are easy and affordable to make? I’m not plus sized but I’m petite, so many things don’t fit. Having hemlines shortened is an easy one, but I’ve understood that for instance the extra space in the upper back could be taken in by adding/taking in the vertical seams. The problem is that I have no idea about sewing or patterning, so it’s impossible for me (and I believe many others) to figure out which alterations are easy and which will involve serious re-sewing.

  3. A lot of this advice is very good except for two things the advice about pendants which I think should also take into consideration your bust size and where the pendant will actually sit on your body in relationship to your bust. Also sleeve lenght which a women with a larger bust should be mindul of especially if it ends in line with your bust which can have the overall effect of making your bust look bigger. Otherwise this was a very good article.

  4. Normally you learn that as an A-Shape you should wear things to broaden your shoulders, but I have the feeling as a plus size A-shape that this does not really work as it makes me much bigger – so I think that the normal tipps for the different shapes don’t always work

    • You may do it in a more modified way – rather than the puffed sleeves to broaden for a slimmer body, maybe just some horizontal detail such as a square neckline.

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