Skip to main content

How to Accessorize Plus-Size Clothing

Sharilee Swaity has been an online writer for more than 9 years. Her many interests include plus-size fashion.

Get advice on jewelry, scarves, belts, purses and shoes for plus-size women.

Get advice on jewelry, scarves, belts, purses and shoes for plus-size women.

For Plus-Sized Women: Accessories Are Your Best Friend

For the plus-size women, clothes are a bit harder to find, and sometimes it is bit more work to pull together a look. But it is very possible to look fantastic at any size! In fact, looking our best at any size will help us feel better about our lives and to do the things that nurture ourselves. I know because I am a plus-sized woman, too.

One thing that will help to complete a look is the use of accessories. In fact, accessories are your best friend when it comes to dressing your plus-sized body. Accessories add pizzazz. They show an attitude of confidence and style. And they give you tools to show off your best assets, while bringing less attention to your less than favourite parts.

This article will give you vital information for rocking that plus-sized body of yours by adding accessories to your wardrobe in some exciting ways.

Plus-Size Accessorizing

First, let's go over some general principles for plus-size accessories, then we'll go into detail on specific items.

  1. Be proportionate. Make sure that your accessories match your body size. To do that, go big rather than small, in most cases. This keeps your look in proportion.
  2. Don't overuse black. Black is a wonderful colour for accessories, but that said, don't always use black just because it's basic. A black is an excellent neutral but you can also use browns, creams and blues as neutrals. Don't overuse the black accessories just because you think it's only your only choice.
  3. Use an accessory as "pop" in an outfit. A pop is something that sticks out from the rest of the outfit and creates strong visual interest. An accessory can give a pop of colour on an otherwise fairly bland outfit.
  4. Be creative. If you have an accessory, be creative and experiment with what you wear it with, and how. You might come up with some interesting combinations
  5. Be bold. Don't be afraid to stand out. Sometimes when we gain weight, we feel like we deserve to be invisible and not seen. But dressing well will make people notice you, in a good way!
Jewelry makes a statement. Try to get necklaces that have texture and make sure the length is right for you.

Jewelry makes a statement. Try to get necklaces that have texture and make sure the length is right for you.

If wearing jangles, use a cluster of them for a balanced look.

If wearing jangles, use a cluster of them for a balanced look.

Plus-Size Jewelry

When it comes to jewelry, remember that proportion is important. In many cases, that means choosing something bigger over something smaller. Choosing a piece that it is too small may tend to emphasize your size and get lost on you.


For necklaces, make sure your necklaces are long enough to go to the right height. You don't want the the thing to choke you by being too small around your neck. You can buy a lengthen-er that will add some length to the chain. As well, a trick I use is to link two necklaces together, to create one longer chain. Experiment with some chunkier styles to add interest and texture to your outfit.


A gorgeous set of earrings can really complete the polish of the look. Earrings don't have to be big in all cases. A discrete stud is beautiful on any woman, but you have the advantage of being able to wear some of the bigger earrings without it overwhelming your face. Big hoop earrings can be especially sexy and appealing on us plus-size girls.

Bracelets and Watches

A lovely bracelet, watch of set of bangles can add real visual interest to an outfit. The key for these items is to "go big." You don't want a skinny little ring on your arm that will serve to emphasize the size of your arm. Instead, go with something substantial and make a bold statement! Look for a chunky bracelet or a big set of jangles. Get a watch with a thicker strap. And be sure to try it on to make sure it fits.

Belts go well over a sweater. Wear a belt over a cardigan for a playful look.

Belts go well over a sweater. Wear a belt over a cardigan for a playful look.

A skinny belt over a sweater works well, too.

A skinny belt over a sweater works well, too.

Wearing Belts

The first thing to note about belts is that not all belts are created equal. The belts do vary in size and in many cases, you may not fit the regular-sized belt. This is an item that is good to buy in a plus-size store, or even better, online to get the right fit. Here are some creative ideas for wearing a belt to your best advantage:

  • Use a belt to create a waist over a tunic that does not have a fitted waist.
  • Use a belt over a long scarf. This will keep the scarf in place and also create a waist for you.
  • Use a belt underneath a cardigan to make it more fitted.
  • You can also belt over a cardigan for a very fitted look.
  • Belt a dress that does not have its own waist to create a waist.

Where to wear the belt? Place it at your smallest place, which for many of us is just underneath your bust line. For others, that will be your actual waist. This will create that coveted hourglass shape.

A plethora of scarves! Scarves are a fantastic way to bring colour to an outfit.

A plethora of scarves! Scarves are a fantastic way to bring colour to an outfit.

Wearing Scarves

Scarves are so much fun and can be worn in a variety of different ways. A scarf is an excellent tool for changing the lines of an outfit.

A scarf is also good for adding a pop to an out fit, as well as for adding colour around your face, needed if the colour of your outfit is too dark or too light for you. Here are some ideas for wearing scarves:

  • A scarf can be used as a belt, although it will have to be a fairly big scarf to fit comfortably around your waist and still have some room.
  • A scarf can be tied around the neck in several ways. This can be done more formerly or casually, depending on the look that you want to achieve.
  • As I mentioned earlier, a very smart look is to take a scarf and put a belt over it. This ties the scarf down and makes it as part of the outfit. This works for a long scarf. A long scarf, because of its long lines, adds a vertical line, to your outfit, which flatters and makes your body seem longer and therefore, slimmer.
  • Scarves can also be worn as a bracelet, on one's purse, or as a headband, as shown by the creative blogger above.

Choosing Purses and Shoes


Purses should be big enough to hang at a decent height, so try to get something with a longer strap. This will help the purse hang at a better place on your body. And for purse styles, go with something big enough to not get lost on you. A tiny little purse will often look disproportionate. Go with a medium to larger sized bag, although too big can look "clownish." Just be sure to try on the purse in the store and see how it looks with your body.


Shoes are also a very important part of the outfit. Don't forget about your shoes when you're getting dressed! For shoes, wear something that has a bit of support, but that doesn't mean dowdy. A chunky wedge is a good look. If you are wearing sandals, make them a bit dressier with some shape to them. A flat sports sandal is good for the beach, but not really an attractive choice for going out and about.

The Most Important Things

The most important things to remember about accessorizing your plus-size body are to have fun and enjoy dressing up. Use accessories to add and enhance your clothing. And remember, you don't have to wait to lose weight to be beautiful. You are beautiful now!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on July 20, 2012:

@Virgina, thanks for the kind comments! Yes, tying down the scarf with a belt was something I saw fashion bloggers doing and started trying it myself. I works like a charm!

And thanks for the comment on the pictures. I did try to find pics but I will have to schedule a "fashion shoot" with my husband and create some of my own photos. Take care!

Virginia Kearney from United States on July 19, 2012:

I love the idea of holding a scarf down with a belt. I have some very pretty scarves but am forever feeling they are falling off! I also like the idea of big jewelry and long necklaces. Great idea for using accessories to feel great! I think I'd love to see even more pictures of some of your great ideas.

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on July 18, 2012:

@Teaches, I am so glad that it's helpful, and I appreciate the pin. Have a wonderful day!

Kissayer, thank you so much. Have a wonderful day!

Kristy Sayer from Sydney, Australia on July 18, 2012:

What a great idea for a hub, good work! :) Voted up as I'm sure it will be helpful for so many women

Dianna Mendez on July 17, 2012:

This is a wonderful hub article. I hope you don't mind if I pin it. This is so helpful to those beautiful women who need ideas on how to dress up their look. voted up!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on July 17, 2012:

@RHW, I'm glad this hub made you smile. Yes, accessories and all that pretty stuff can make us look pretty good. Have a great day!

@Kashmir, thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you are doing well.

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on July 17, 2012:

Hi my friend,a very informative and well written hub,well done !

Vote up and more !!!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 17, 2012:

I love to accessorize...I love scarves and belts, purses, jewelry:) lol I guess it just gives me a little lift - and I do think it makes a person feel better if they are confident that they look good!

Excellent and this made me smile thinking about all my good junk! lol

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on July 17, 2012:

@Dating, I am so glad that you found it useful. Have a wonderful day!

@Angela, I am so glad that you found the tips also applied to your tall body! I guess many of the fit issues are similar. Thanks for letting me know and have an excellent day!

Sharilee Swaity (author) from Canada on July 17, 2012:

@Maria, I am so glad it was helpful. Have a wonderful day!

@Adonia, I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Have an excellent day!

@Plussizepixie, thank you so much. It was fun to write. Take care!

Angela Blair from Central Texas on July 17, 2012:

Excellent suggestions -- and Hub! I'm not heavy but am tall and most of these same rules apply to me so thanks for the great help! Best/Sis

DatingDisasters from New Haven, CT on July 17, 2012:

Great article! I'm a mess when it comes to accessorizing - you provide some really good ideas here. Thanks :)

plussizepixie on July 17, 2012:

Well thought out hub:)

adonia from India on July 17, 2012:

nice hub......

Maria Cecilia from Philippines on July 17, 2012:

oh I need this one thanks for the tips..