It’s official; curves are back. Some of today’s biggest celebrities are often pictured in outfits that totally flaunt their amazing curves; stars like Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Adele and Beyoncé are all flying the flag for more shapely ladies everywhere – and we love it. There’s even been a perceptible shift in the fashion world; American models Ashley Graham and Tess Holiday are both known for their body activism, sending an ‘eff your beauty standards’ message to the fashion industry and beyond. Then there are influencers like Marie Southard Ospina (Migg Mag), Emily Crosby (Emily Discovers) and Chastity Garner Valentine (Garner Style), who’re all proving that style isn’t about dress size.
Fashion is for everyone, so embrace your curves and showcase your silhouette with our style tips for plus-size women.
Wear Your Size
First things first: always buy clothes that are true to your size. Hiding under oversized or baggy clothes will make you appear bigger than you really are; wearing pieces that are too small isn’t flattering and won’t feel comfortable either. And whenever you do go shopping, don’t rely on sizing; it varies from brand to brand. Try on as many different sizes as you need until you find the one that’s right for you.
Make Skater Dresses Your Go-To
Every wardrobe needs a few go-to pieces. With their fitted bodice and skimming skirt, skater dresses are universally flattering. Choose a variety of styles that you can wear for almost any occasion; these dresses have the versatility to suit the day or night-time.
Embrace Colour and Print
It’s said that black is a slimming colour, but a wardrobe full of subdued dark shades won’t leave you feeling inspired every time you get dressed. Introducing a pop of colour or a bold print to your outfit will add interest; colour can be used to highlight your best areas too.
Don’t Hide Your Curves
It’s a common misconception that the key to flattering plus-size physiques is to hide them under shapeless clothes, but doing this will actually make you look bigger. Forego those oversized tops and baggy dresses for more tailored pieces that really showcase your curves.
Hip-skimming pencil skirts and dresses are great if you want to unleash your inner bombshell; the key to nailing this look starts with the right underwear. Supermodel Ashley Graham swears by it; ‘nothing is worse than having the perfect outfit but not having the right foundation to pull it off,’ she says. Shapewear can also help to streamline any lumps and bumps you might be conscious about, though it’s worth shopping around to find pieces that are comfortable to wear and make you feel good.
Do Crop Tops
Crop tops and high-waisted separates (especially pencil skirts, FYI) are one of the most flattering combinations out there. Yes, this Kim K-approved look is one that ladies of all sizes can get away with. It can be daunting if you’re not used to showing off your tummy, but crop tops look amazing on fuller figures; they’re a great way to show off those curves whilst keeping your look chic. Plus, in the spirit of ‘eff your beauty standards,’ there’s something truly empowering about them.
Try Thigh High or Knee High Boots
Thigh or knee high boots elongate the legs and are a statement-making alternative to your everyday ankle boots. Oh, and the styling options are endless; pair them with a cosy jumper dress or wear them under a midi for a chic finish; tuck them into your skinny jeans or simply add some sass to your favourite mini. Migg Mag’s Marie Southard Ospina has said she loves ‘combining mesh tights with thigh-highs on top,’ which is the perfect styling tip to adopt during tricky trans-seasonal months.
Think About Fabrics
Consider which fabrics you feel most comfortable in every time you’re shopping for clothes. Generally speaking, figure-hugging fabrics like scuba are the most flattering on curves, since they appear more streamlined. Conversely, bulkier fabrics like velvet or heavy wool don’t fall as nicely, so they can look shapeless.
Experiment with Different Trends
Like we said before, fashion is for everybody. Don’t feel as though you can’t take inspiration from women who aren’t plus-size, and never shy away from the latest catwalk trends. Sequins have been everywhere lately, and they work on anyone. Sparkle from head to toe and showcase your curves in a sequin mini dress or playsuit next time you’re out with the girls; it’s what cocktail hours were made for.