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9 Fashion Rules Curvy and Plus Size Women Should Break

Updated on June 12, 2013
Don't hide under dark colors and bulky clothes. You and your curves are gorgeous!
Don't hide under dark colors and bulky clothes. You and your curves are gorgeous! | Source


I don’t particularly like the phrase plus size. I believe people have all shapes and sizes. Why do you have to be referred to as plus size if you wear a size 12 or larger. (12 is plus size? Really? Seriously?)

If you are curvy, or Rueben-esgue, or even shall we say fluffy, doesn’t mean you have to be condemned to a lifetime of oversized clothes and a wardrobe of black.

Ruching is a wonderful way to accentuate the positive
Ruching is a wonderful way to accentuate the positive | Source
This colorful cross-over bust maxi  will have all eyes on you for all the right reasons!
This colorful cross-over bust maxi will have all eyes on you for all the right reasons! | Source

Rule # 1: Don’t Wear Fitted Clothing.


WRONG! Fitted clothing actually makes you look smaller. Loose clothing makes you look larger. The important thing is to look for the right fit and certain details that will make the best of your shape.

If you have a larger torso and smaller lower half you are probably like me and need to create the illusion of a waist. Look for button-down blouses with princess seaming that cut in at the waist. Make sure you buy a blouse large enough to fit your shoulders and your bosom. If this makes the blouse a little loose in the waist, take it in or take it to a seamstress or alterations shop to do it for you. You don’t want gaps in the buttons. You can pair your blouse with jeans, pants, skirts whatever you fancy and we will cover them shortly.

When shopping for dresses don’t rule out knit and shift dresses. If you are going for knit dresses look for ruching on the sides and heavier knits that tend to hold you in rather than cling like lightweight jersey knits. Ruching is sewing or gathering along the sides which create soft folds in the fabric. It’s a little like smoke and mirrors. It makes it very hard to tell what are fabric folds and what are little flaws. Dresses with good tailoring details also help. Look for seaming that creates structure and again, a waist.

Rule #2: Don’t Wear Maxi Dresses.


Bullocks! You can! Look for V-neck halter top styles which look very flattering on well-endowed ladies. An empire waist, one that is right under the bust line, hits at the smallest part on every woman. The length of the dress also helps to elongate your body making you appear taller and slimmer. Look for fabrics that float away from your body.

Take a walk on the wild side with this cheetah print pencil skirt. Pair it with a red cardigan, wide black belt and sexy heels all the fellas will be on the prowl for you!
Take a walk on the wild side with this cheetah print pencil skirt. Pair it with a red cardigan, wide black belt and sexy heels all the fellas will be on the prowl for you! | Source

Rule #3: Curvy Gals Can’t Wear Pencil Skirts


Are you kidding me? Pencil skirts look stunning and classic on curvy gals. Again, fit is key. Make sure it fits your waist, hips, butt and thighs. It should gently hug your body but not be skin tight. Again if you have wildly varying proportions, such as a very small waist and full hips of an hourglass, you will probably need to have the waist taken in.

You can go for a classic black pencil skirt, or a slimming pinstripe. You can also wear a brightly colored pencil skirt as well. Pick your favorite color and strut your stuff. Pair it with a button down blouse, fitted v-neck or scoop neck t-shirt or a cardigan. If you have a small waist, put a nice wide belt around it to show it off. If you have no waist, same thing, put a nice wide belt around it to create a waist.

Try a little color blocking in your outfit and be right on trend for spring and summer. Don’t be afraid of color. This brings me to Rule #4: Wear black.


The color and style of these dresses are a welcome change from basic black.
The color and style of these dresses are a welcome change from basic black. | Source

Rule #4: Wear Black.


Yeah, yeah, black is slimming. I have tons of black in my closet. I love black, but let’s face it all black everyday is just depressing.

Look for dresses in blocks of color or do your own color blocking. Try a turquoise shift dress with a red cardigan over it and an orange belt. Too much for you? Ok. How about a sunny yellow top, navy blue pencil skirt and wide red belt? Put on a pair of peep-toe pumps in any of those colors, and bright bag and you are ready to go!

This very trendy white safari dress in stretch sateen is also offered in plus sizing up to 24W. Note the wide belt that cinches in the waist.
This very trendy white safari dress in stretch sateen is also offered in plus sizing up to 24W. Note the wide belt that cinches in the waist. | Source
Don't be afraid of stripes. This  perfect summer dress will make the most of your lovely lady lumps.
Don't be afraid of stripes. This perfect summer dress will make the most of your lovely lady lumps. | Source

Rule #5: For That Matter No White Either!

White is wonderful and no woman no matter what size she is should be denied the freedom to wear white. I would suggest either a white dress or white pencil skirt. White pants are hard to pull off for many women and there is no need to torture yourself when finding the the perfect little white dress for your figure is so much more figure flattering and fun.

Rule #6: No Stripes!


Pish-Posh! You can wear stripes! Go ahead put on a striped tee, dark wash jeans and a fitted blazer or short sleeve jacket. When buying jeans, trouser styles are the most flattering. Look for wide legs to create a nice long line. Wear a bright or patterned pair of wedge heel espadrilles. Adding some accessories like a nice long necklace and a few brightly colored bangle bracelets complete the look.

Layer these skinny jeans with a long  knit vest to balance the proportions.
Layer these skinny jeans with a long knit vest to balance the proportions. | Source

Rule # 7: Definitely No Skinny Jeans!


Ok. Personally, I think skinny jeans look bad on everyone with the possible exception of stick figures, but if you want to rock this style like everything else, it’s all about proportion. Look for a dark wash and make sure you get a GOOD fit. Pair them with a flowing shirt and loose long casual vest. Wear a long necklace to draw the eye down. Put on a pair of funky booties or high heel sandals and you will look smashing.

This pattern keeps the eye moving around and is the perfect camouflage for imperfections, much better than boring black.
This pattern keeps the eye moving around and is the perfect camouflage for imperfections, much better than boring black. | Source

Rule #8: Stay Away From Prints


Where’s the fun in that? You are probably getting tired of reading, “pay attention to proportion” but it really is the key to dressing well and looking your best. Pick the correct size print for your frame. Don’t get a print so tiny and dainty that it takes what looks like a million of them to cover you. On the other hand if you are short, a print that is two large or busy is going to make you look worse. Try to find a middle ground. This may mean you have to try a lot on, but it’s better than being stuck with something you aren’t going to be comfortable wearing.

Rule #9: Listen to Fashion Experts.


No.You don’t even have to listen to me. You know what looks best on you? Confidence. If you love something and it makes you feel pretty and happy when you wear it, then by all means wear it! Be honest with yourself. Be yourself. Nothing is sexier than a confident woman.

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  • celebritie profile image

    celebritie 5 years ago

    I agree that women of all sizes should wear what they feel good in. Fashion experts do not always know what they are talking about.

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Thanks Celebritie. I don't believe in wearing anything that makes you feel unhappy.

  • rachelsholiday profile image

    rachelsholiday 5 years ago

    Thank you for writing this! I hate all these fashion "rules." Our society seems to think that women don't know how to do anything. Get out there and show them that you can look amazing!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    You are so right! As far as skinny jeans and, for that matter, leggings go, it is all about body shape and the shirt. You can be any size and wear skinny jeans as long as the person wears a long enough shirt. Voted up!

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Thank you rachelsholiday and Jeannieinabottle. Personally I won't be caught dead in skinny jeans! (Leggings under a dress maybe) But, if you or any other woman want to wear them, then you should be able too. You just gotta know the tricks that are going to help you not only look good but feel good in them as well.

  • DIYweddingplanner profile image

    DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

    I've seen you in just about everything you mentioned here and can give a testimonial you look GREAT in all! Voted up and awesome!

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina

    aaah, thanks! You rock DiY!

  • profile image

    weer44 5 years ago

    One thing. Skinny jeans actually look great on non-stick-figures. It highlights the butt and thighs while slimming the legs. A bit of a muffin top can appear, but that can be overcome with a looser waist on the pants.

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Weer44: I'm still not sold on the skinny jeans ~ but if you like them and they make you happy, go for it!

  • prektjr.dc profile image

    Debbie Carey 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

    Tess,

    You have just validated my entire wardrobe!! Thanks.. you are my new best friend!! I agree...size is less important than confidence and s-t-y-l-e! Thanks for a good hub! voted up, useful and interesting!

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Prektjr.dc Thank you so much. Nothing looks better on a woman than confidence. Have a fabulous day!

  • profile image

    pkitty 5 years ago

    I have never followed the fashion 'rules' but the really annoying part of shopping for plus size fashion is that most shops seem to feel that once you have reached a certain size you should only wear a moomoo. Nobody wants to dress like a frump!

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 5 years ago from South Carolina

    Pkitty, this is true, however, I think stores like Torrid, Lane Bryant, and Ashley Stewart are changing that. If you really want fashionable clothing and a perfect fit, make your clothes. That's what I do. Don't know how to sew? Take a class at your local store or community college. You will gain a lifelong skill and a whole new, perfect for your, fabulous wardrobe.

  • VaughnPearl profile image

    VaughnPearl 4 years ago

    I love this!!!! That's right why is size 12 and over plus? You hit the main point it is all about the right fit! I personally think when the fit is off no matter what the size will make you look not as good as you can.

  • Blond Logic profile image

    Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

    Wow! Since when has 12 been a plus size? The women you have here all look amazing. I especially love the purple dress near the top. If a woman feels confident in herself and with what she is wearing, everyone else can deal with it. They are the ones with a problem.

    Great hub. Sharing this one.

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 3 years ago from South Carolina

    Thank you, Blond Logic

  • xmags profile image

    Xeng 3 years ago from Philippines

    I've gained a lot of weight recently and none of my old clothes fit. The over sized clothes really do make me look fatter! Thank you for all these very helpful advice. Voted up and sharing. :) Have a great day!

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 3 years ago from South Carolina

    Thank you. I hope you find things you love and can be comfortable with the shape and size you are now.

  • abrodech profile image

    Anya Brodech 3 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

    I just finished reading your article and it reminded me of my own. I'm a curvy girl (size 6) with lovely lady lumps, so I know how important it is to wear clothes that fit you properly. As long as it just hugs your body and graces the edge of your curves, it'll look great, no matter what the color or pattern. Feel free to read my hub about the secret of simple and form-fitting silhouettes, because it has a lot of parallels to yours. https://hubpages.com/style/F-is-for-Fit

    Thanks

    Anna-Marie

  • poetryman6969 profile image

    poetryman6969 3 years ago

    If you've got the nerve to have the curves then flaunt it!

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 3 years ago from South Carolina

    yep!

  • profile image

    veronica-h 2 years ago

    My girlfriend is a curvy woman and I have helped her to get rid of her oversized tent tops and black trouser 'plus size' uniform. She has embraced fitted dresses and pencil skirts and is definitely more confident as a result. Advice like this is really positive and there should be more of it.

    Btw, I'm a size 12 yet have skinny arms and legs. I am so not a plus size!

  • Tess45 profile image
    Author

    Tess45 2 years ago from South Carolina

    I am glad you liked the article and have been able to help your gf embrace more fashion choices. I hate the term plus size. I don't think size 12 is necessarily plus, but the fashion industry does. People come in all shapes and sizes.

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