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.