Plus Size Fashion: The 3 Golden Style Strategies
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If you’re a woman who wears plus sizes, it can be incredibly frustrating to shop for clothing. Despite the fact that, according to Racked¹, 68 percent of women in the U.S. wear size 14 or larger, the selection of plus size clothing is limited.
However, it is possible to find clothing that fits your body well, accentuates your sense of style, and looks fashionable. You just need to use the following golden style strategies when shopping.
1. Find the Right Fit
Many people who wear plus sizes try to hide their bodies under layers of clothing. However, doing this actually has the opposite effect: it makes you look larger, not leaner. Instead of trying to hide your body, you should look for clothing that fits you properly.
Of course, it can be hard to find plus-sized clothing that fits well. This is because many clothing lines choose to employ fit models who are size six and then use a mathematical formula to scale their clothing up or down accordingly. This can leave you frustrated, as clothing styles that are scaled up are often distorted with a disproportionately small bust, boxy shoulders, and other problems.
Plus-sized shoppers can avoid these fashion disasters and frustrations by looking for companies that make clothing specifically designed for those who wear larger sizes. Because these companies design for your body type and shape, you’ll find a better, more flattering fit that will show off your shape the right way.
2. Get the Body Scale Right
Another great way to choose clothing and accessories that flatters your shape is to make certain that you choose the right scale for your patterns and accessories. A famous illusion called the Ebbinghaus illusion, according to a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience², demonstrates the importance of the scale of your prints and accessories. In this illusion, surrounding a circle by smaller circles makes it looks larger. The same circle surrounded by larger circles, on the other hand, looks smaller.
This concept can be applied to the human body: if you choose larger prints when you wear a plus size, it can make your body appear smaller. You should try to choose larger prints, such as bigger polka dots versus pin-sized polka dots, to help to make you appear leaner.
Your accessories can also help you appear slimmer. Carrying a large purse, for example, can help you look smaller by contrast. If you have an area of your body, such as your bust, that you want to appear smaller, wear a large necklace to draw attention away from your bust and to your jewelry. You can use scale to create balance from your head to your toes. By trying out different print sizes and accessories, you can figure out how to use different items for different parts of your body to take advantage of their optical effects.
3. Strategically Work with Prints, Shapes, and Details
By paying attention to the details, shapes, and prints of your clothing pieces, you can give your body a leaner, slimmer appearance. Horizontal patterns tend to draw the eye in the same direction, making you appear wider. By contrast, vertical designs help to draw the eyes of others up and down, giving you the appearance of being taller and leaner.
Some plus-sized women are afraid to wear prints because they think solid colors help minimize the appearance of their sizes. However, prints can be chosen strategically. You can use prints to accentuate the areas of your body you want to emphasize while choosing solids for the areas you want to minimize. Different shapes, prints, and details will also work better on some plus-sized people than others because not everyone has the same body type. For example, if you have an apple-shaped silhouette, the patterns and details you choose will likely differ from what someone with a pear-shaped frame might choose.
Women who have apple-shaped bodies normally have larger busts, broader shoulders and an accumulation of weight around their midsections while those with pear shapes have their weight concentrated on the lower half of their bodies. If you have an apple shape, you likely want to draw attention away from your midsection. Choosing V-necks or scooping necklines can help to make you appear taller and leaner while making your waist look smaller. If you have a pear shape, you may want to consider wearing A-line skirts, dresses that have asymmetrical hemlines, and other options that can lend balance to both halves of your body.
Finding the Right Deals to Dress Your Body Shape
If you wear plus sizes, it can be a frustrating experience to search for clothing that fits well and flatters you. But, with knowledge of scale and details, you’ll be more likely to find clothing you love – and clothing you actually enjoy wearing. To find clothing that will work for you, your fashion sense, and your body the best, you should take the time to research different clothing lines until you find ones you love.
Additionally, you don’t have to pay a premium price to shop your size or body shape. You can find clothing companies and designers that offer the perfect plus size fit and an affordable price tag. Look for discounted plus-size retailers, or companies that offer discounts to shoppers often in the form of coupon codes or seasonal sales. With some price comparison research and knowledge of which brands’ clothes are best for you, you can save rather than splurge on clothes that suit you.
Like anything, it's always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.