We'd love for bigger-sized girls to stake claim to and embrace their right to chic, feminine dressing! Enough of going under cover with all those shapeless tops and long sleeves!
Let's face it: If you're big, you'll look big whether or not you wear an oversized T-shirt (which so happens to be a la mode; stick-thin Paris Hilton makes it look dead stylo, when for some of us, it's somewhat for lack of better options).
We all know that black is always the best bet. Extra pounds get hidden in the shadows, and it's a smart colour that takes you from day to night. But black can also get booOOOooring!
If your wardrobe is full of black, only because you think that at your size, you need all the visual tricks in the book, we want to encourage a paradigm shift! Try something in colour or a big bold print and see how it makes you look and feel cheerier and younger! But choose flattering colours and be sure how you wear them. And pair them with black, by all means!
If you like prints, do opt for large bold patterns rather than small ones, which emphasise a large build. And you like stripes? Go for vertical lines rather than horizontal, as the former give the illusion of slimness and length.
Avoid too-clingy fabrics (like spandex!!) that, well, cling, to those areas of your body you'd rather hide. Clothes that show every fold of your body are not flattering.
That said, wearing billowy tent-like pieces gives the illusion of a larger, heavier build. Stick to fabrics that gently skim the body and that are neither too tight nor too loose. If you're going for matte jersey, make sure it's lined.
Details to go easy on: Ruffles, frills, and anything that adds bulk and makes you look frou-frou-frumpy. A little is OK, but don't go overboard.
Get a good-fitting bra that doesn't cut into the flesh in your back or your sholders, causing unsightly indents and bumps. Worse yet, too small bras create the quadraboob effect!
If you have big boobs, stay clear of low-cut camisoles, sheer blouses, and ultra-tight jackets to avoid looking vulgar. Halternecks are actually quite flattering for larger girls, as long as your boobs aren't spilling out the front and the straps provide ample support.
Bustiers or corsets may be more than a little tricky (imagine the armpit fat horrors), but tube tops aren't off limits for big gals. Not the stretchy fitted tubes (see tip #3) and definitely not too-short ones! Instead, try A-line styles that fit around the bust and flare out to hide your tummy!
When choosing shirts, go for 3/4-length sleeves and slightly fitting styles. The shirt should skim just past your hips. If you have an hourglass figure, flaunt it with pieces that are nipped in at the waist. Otherwise, accentuate this area with a nice belt.
Choosing pants? Go for straight-cut, flatfront, pocket-less styles. And make sure your pair sits comfortably on your waist. The waistbad shouldn't be too tight, to avoid "muffin top". Don't go near tapered styles.
Forget low-rise anything. This trend is well over and looks best only on 14-year-old girls with platform bodies (no curves, hips or thighs). Imagine your whole jelly-belly sticking out above the waistband? Not pretty. Besides, nobody wants to see your butt cleavage.
Jeans: Bootcut or flared jeans are the most flattering. Go for designs with larger backpockets, as the law of relativity means tiny pockets make a larger derriere look humongous. Heaven forbid!
As for skirts, pencil is a good way to go. The skirt should end just past your knees and be slightly fitting around the derriere so it doesn't look like you're wearing a "tent skirt".
Avoid skimpy, tight, flouncy or mini dresses that do nothing for a curvy woman. Instead, choose elegant wrap dresses and A-line cuts that give you room to move. Stay away from satin, Lycra and other flimsy, unforgiving fabrics.
Accentuate those areas of your body you love and that look good. For example, if you have nice shoulders, wear a halter-top or dress. This doesn't apply to cleavage over-exposure, though! (see tip #5)
If you have a double-chin or short neck, avoid frilly collars, turtlenecks and even shirt collars that are too high (if they brush your jaw, they're too high). These make you look like your head rests directly on your shoulders.
Instead, go for lower V-necklines that reach at least till the modest halfway mark between your boobs and your shoulders. This elongates your neck visually.
Embrace colour! Go bold with prints! Choose structure over cling any day — remember that clothes slightly heavier-weight fabrics with strategically placed seams and darts give your body shape and hide a multitude of flaws. Free your mind and try on that gorgeous sleeveless top!
And hey, make your own rules whenever you feel like it! That's the fun of being a girl!
(images from biggirlswardrobe.co.uk, article reference girls at large [at] fash-bash)
Note to readers: At the moment, we do not have any traders selling stylo apparels for full-figured women sized 14 (UK) to 20 (UK), while there are limited selection for size 12 (UK). (Hint! Hint! to micro retailers out there)