Layering While Plus Size

Posted on March 28, 2017 by Jen Anderson | 0 comments

I used to worry that layering clothes on my plus size body just wasn't a good look. I was haunted by the ill-fitting clothes of my youth. Of course wearing a too-snug blazer over anything was bound to make me look and feel like a child so bundled up to play in the snow that she can't move her arms. And foolish me blamed my body instead of the jacket.

It's a valid concern - just think of trying to squeeze into a winter coat on top of a turtleneck AND a chunky knit sweater. But that shouldn't keep us from wearing layers - especially thin layers that fit us properly.  

Layers Make Day to Night a Reality

One of the biggest lies we hear is, "You can wear this dress to the office and then out for the evening. Just change your shoes and jewelry." These dresses exist, but most of the time the speaker is talking about a dress that would look ridiculous at any real workplace.

The dress Monica is wearing here - Jostar Bermuda Print Dress would look right at home in most offices. But pull her hair back and add a jacket, and this dress really means business. Change the hair and lose the jacket, and it's time for fun.

The reason the jacket doesn't add any bulk to Monica's frame is that the dress clearly shows her figure. The belt and the dress' silhouette makes it obvious that her body doesn't fill all the space the jacket takes up. Sure, if you drew an outline around her in each picture, the one with the jacket would be bigger. But she still doesn't look blocky because you can see where she ends and the jacket begins.

Don't Lose Your Sense of Proportion

A long, flowing jacket sounds exactly like the sort of thing plus size women should avoid. Won't it make us look like we're drowning in fabric?

Not if we layer it over the right clothes. Skinny jeans, slim-leg pants or even Vikki Vi's Pull-On Pant are narrow enough to balance out a large jacket. Plus, those leggings are perfect for showing off those shapely calves.

The top is also an important part of why this look works. Since it's shorter than the jacket, Monica doesn't look like she's dressed up in mommy's clothes.

The thickness of the material is another crucial factor. Thin fabric just works better with layering. You won't end up with so much fabric that you can't bend your elbows. Vikki Vi Classics are all made with our signature finely ribbed stretch knit fabric. It's heavy enough to drape beautifully, but thin enough that you can layer it comfortably. 

Don't Fear the Layers

The great thing about layering is that it turns clothes into outfits. Pants and a top look fine on their own, but add a jacket and all of a sudden, you look pulled together and so much more stylish. Layering is also the key to mixing and matching. Combine your layers in different ways and you get so many more outfits than you ever imagined. It's so easy that it feels like cheating. 

Posted in plus size shopping tips, plus size style tips, shopping tips, Style Tips

How To Mix Colors

Posted on March 21, 2017 by Jen Anderson | 2 comments

We all know how to mix bright colors with neutrals like black, tan, or navy. But a lot of us are afraid to wear two non-neutrals together. I know I used to be. Heck, wearing brown in place of black used to feel like I was stepping outside my comfort zone.

It's totally possible to wear two bright colors together without looking like a clown. Stylists create outfits like that all the time. It isn't that they have a magic formula. They just understand color theory. You and I don't need to go that far, but we can grasp the basics.

Get To Know The Family

If you've spent any time in front of your closet trying to figure out why this blue necklace doesn't look good with that blue top, you know that not all colors are created equal. Sure, the primary colors you used to draw a rainbow in kindergarten all have something in common. But once you get into the big box of 64 crayons, you start to notice differences.

Some colors are pastel, or earth tones, or jewel tones, or even neon. Colors that belong to the same family get along well together (unlike actual families). That's why those eye searing neon shades we wore in the 80s all work together.

Need a more contemporary example? Our Royal Purple Classics and Sapphire Classics are both jewel tones. So even though they're bright and eye-catching, they work well together. If you're worried it might be too much, our fabulous stylist Monica suggests adding a scarf or necklace that includes both colors to tie the pieces together. 

Copy From Someone Else

Monica fills our Instagram account with pictures of great outfits put together from different pieces you can find on our site. If you're taking your first steps into wearing more colorful outfits, you can just wear what she does. I promise that no one at the office is going to call you a copy cat.

But why stop there? Prints combine different colors all the time. Maybe you have a print scarf or top that includes several of your favorite colors. That scarf is telling you that you can safely match any of those shades.

My favorite cheat involves a multicolored striped scarf I treated myself to a while back. I hold the scarf up to the different pieces of clothing I want to wear. If they each look good with the scarf, then I know they'll look good together. And then I get to wear my favorite scarf.

Why Bother?

If you've been sailing along in life wearing only one non-neutral color at a time, learning to match colors may seem like a wasted effort. But it's just so much fun!

It can also project an air of confidence bordering on the intimidating. Showing off your knowledge of this fashion rule doesn't make you look frivolous. It shows you know something other people don't, either intuitively or because you took the effort to learn. It's the perfect way to dress for your next big meeting.

Posted in plus size inspiration, plus size shopping tips, plus size style tips, shopping tips, Style Tips

Traveling While Plus Size, Part 3 - Taking Chances

Posted on March 14, 2017 by Jen Anderson | 4 comments

One of the things I love about traveling is the chance to get away from myself for a while. Vacation Me is just a little different from Regular Me. Leaving my usual routine means shaking things up, trying new things, and taking chances.

Not that I'm an adventurer. My idea of a good time involves museums, shopping, and afternoon snacks. The most I'm willing to risk is sore feet. Snorkeling and parasailing are fine for other people, but if I'm on the beach I'm going to be sipping a drink while wearing a glamorously floppy hat.

I'm talking about taking the risks that we're all afraid to take in our "real" lives. Those little things that we'd like to do, but don't because we're not sure how people will react. But when we travel, we're surrounded by people we're never going to see again. We can stop caring about making a good impression because their opinions of us simply don't matter.

Show Off Those Upper Arms

Raise your hand if you keep your upper arms covered at all times. Oh wait - you never raise your hand because it draws attention to your arms. (Or is that just me?)

Looking at my upper arms reminds me of my Grandmother wearing a sleeveless housedress while she endured summers without air conditioning. I inherited her flappy arms along with her good skin and heavy frame. It's taken me some effort to adopt her nonchalance.

For a lot of plus size women, we'd never consider baring our arms while running errands, relaxing with friends, or (yikes) at the office. No matter how hot it gets, we stay covered.

But why not give it a try on vacation? Remember - you're never going to see these people again. It doesn't matter if they're horrified by the sight of your upper extremities. Which they won't be unless you're traveling with some truly awful people.

Especially if you're traveling to someplace hot and humid. Keeping covered is going to keep you from enjoying yourself. Just show off those arms in a Sleeveless Shell. You'll be stylish and comfortable, so you can focus on how much fun you're having.

But wait - what about vacation photos?! You can't possibly ruin your vacation memories by exposing your arms. You won't be able to see anything else when you look at the pictures.

If you really feel that strongly about it, why not bring along a shrug or sheer topper that you can throw on at picture time? It'll probably come in handy when you encounter overzealous air conditioning. By the end of your trip, you may be so used to letting your upper arms see the light of day that you don't feel the need to cover up when the camera comes out.

Then Try This at Home

Once you've exposed your upper arms to strangers, it's a lot easier to do it among friends. You may even find yourself doing it at the office when it's weather-appropriate. And realizing that you don't have to hide a part of yourself makes for a great vacation souvenir.

Posted in plus size inspiration, plus size style tips, plus size travel tips, Style Tips, travel tips

Let's Talk About Bras, Baby

Posted on March 07, 2017 by Jen Anderson | 3 comments

If you're like me, you've neglected the girls from time to time. You've worn a bra long past the time it was doing any lifting. You've spent all day being stabbed by an underwire in an ill-fitting bra. Or you gave up on underwires even though bras without them make you look (gulp) matronly.

It's not our fault. We all know that if you want a bra that fits properly, you need to be measured every six months and try on a bunch until you find the right one. Yet department stores don't carry our size in stores. Most people don't have a lingerie boutique nearby. So we order online and either stick with something that sorta fits, or spend a fortune in return shipping until we get it right.

It's all such a hassle.

What's the point?

Your neck and back will be much happier with a bra that fits and works the way it should. Our plus size boobs weigh around 2 pounds each, yet our bodies aren't really built to support that weight. So our shoulders, necks and backs get dragged down, ruining our posture and causing pain. You'll look and feel better with the right bra.

Speaking of looks, your clothes will fit much more nicely if you're wearing the right bra. The proper amount of lift means that your waist is much more defined. Underwires give us a lovely, rounded shape that allows fabric to drape beautifully over our chests.

After getting my act together and getting myself to a lingerie boutique, I was amazed at how much better my neck felt and my clothes looked. So worth the effort.

You Can Do This!

Search online for a lingerie boutique near you. Nordstrom stores also carry a great selection.  It's really the best and easiest way to get this done. Experienced saleswomen will know which bras you should be trying. They can instantly tell if something is fitting properly. Yes, they'll join you in the dressing room. Just go with it. It's worth overcoming your shyness for the help getting in and out of the dang things (that new elastic sure is tight). And don't be afraid to scoop and swoop - it's the only way to get the girls properly situated. 

If you don't have a lingerie shop nearby, you're just going to have to do this online. Get out the measuring tape and figure out your size. Educate yourself since you won't have a helpful saleslady on your team. (Everything You Never Knew You Needed To Know About Bras is an excellent place to start.) Also: if hot flashes or sweat are an issue, than moisture wicking bras and bra liners will rock your world.

Save yourself time and frustration by ordering a variety of bras in different sizes - your cup size may vary between brands. Try 'em on and return the duds. Once you find a few styles that work well with your body, you can just order them the next time.

You're Worth It

I know it's a hassle. And you have to repeat it every six months because bras wear out so much faster than seems fair. And no one even sees them! But they do affect how your clothes fit, so they're actually an important part of your outfit. Your neck will thank you and you'll like what you see in the mirror. So let's do this thing.

Posted in plus size shopping tips, plus size style tips, shopping tips, Style Tips

Why Plus Size Women Should Wear Bright Colors

Posted on February 28, 2017 by Jen Anderson | 3 comments

We've all been told not to wear bright colors. Which is ridiculous. The thinking behind this lousy advice is that subtle colors like black and gray make us look slimmer than bright colors that stand out. Which, no. That's not how that works.

Sure, wearing some drab shade that makes you fade into the background may make you look smaller because everyone's eyes just slide right over your dull outfit. But is that really the look you're going for?

The whole idea of women dressing to look smaller is insulting. You have every right to take up as much space as your body needs. You don't need to apologize for your existence by diminishing yourself in any way. 

So often we're told that we're too much. Too loud, too dramatic, too pushy, too big. And somehow that makes us feel like we're not enough, so we hide our light hoping to gain the approval of people whose opinion is nonsense.

Living like that is exhausting. You are enough just as you are. Dress like it. 

Stop holding yourself back and let yourself shine.  Draw all eyes towards yourself so that everyone can witness how amazing you are. Be as bright and loud and colorful as you want.

But It's Scary

Yeah, I know. I can be the life of the party until I realize that everyone is looking at me. Then the shyness hits and I shift attention to someone else so I can stop standing out. It's hard to stop hiding when you've been told to do exactly that your entire life.

But you don't have to start by wearing fire engine red from head to toe. You're probably already wearing some bright colors without thinking twice. A colorful shell under a black blazer doesn't seem like a big deal, right? A sapphire blue top with black pants is totally do-able.

If a Maxi Tank Dress in sapphire seems like too much for you, top it off with a black Kimono Jacket. Then try it with a sheer topper that shows more of that stunning blue.

But wait - wasn't I just bashing black? Not exactly. Black can be chic and sophisticated. It can be stunning by itself or mixed with colors. But it can also be soul destroying if you wear it thinking that it will make you look smaller. It's the difference between dressing to look OK and dressing to look fabulous. 

You've Got This

So many plus size women get into a fashion rut and they're afraid to get out of it. They've found a few styles and colors that look and feel good on their bodies and stick with them. Which is fine.

But you don't have to dress to fade into the background if you'd rather stand out. What's the worst thing that could happen? No one is going to point and laugh if you wear purple, orange, or red. People aren't going to throw rotten vegetables at you for wearing a sapphire blue jacket.

At worst, someone could make a catty comment. Their opinion doesn't matter, and you've survived worse. So why hold yourself back? Might as well dress in bright colors to show the world how dazzling you really are.


Posted in plus size inspiration, plus size shopping tips, plus size style tips, Style Tips

Up Your Fashion Game: Scarves

Posted on February 21, 2017 by Jen Anderson | 1 comment

It's not just you - we all tend to get dressed on autopilot. We're in a hurry in the morning. Who has time for accessories while trying to remember where they kicked off their shoes the night before? And when we do remember, we reach for the same necklace on our way out the door.

There's an easy way to look and feel stylish as all get out. Scarves. You know - those things you keep in your Dresser Drawer of Good Intentions. Those pretty things you're always buying (or receiving as gifts) and never getting around to wear.

Scarves add such a great pop of color and pattern to any outfit. They can bring your classics into the latest trend. Then when the trend comes around again (paisley, anyone?), the scarf is vintage and fabulous - unlike that trendy skirt that will be the wrong shape and length the next time around.

Tactic 1: Grab & Go

You've been neglecting your scarves because you can't deal with tying them just so in the morning. So don't.

It's as easy as that. Just drape a scarf around your neck and decide that you're done.

A scarf worn like this adds a bold swath of color to a black Maxi Tank Dress and Long Kimono Jacket combo. It even leaves room for your usual necklace. 

This is what easy style is all about.

Tactic 2: Experiment

You probably already take a few moments to pull yourself together when you get to the office. Now that you're away from the chaos of home, you can put on makeup, take your vitamins, and tie your scarf (if you want to).

No need to fuss in front of the bathroom mirror for half an hour. We live in the age of You Tube, with instructional videos for everything you can imagine. My favorite shows 25 different ways to tie a scarf in four and a half minutes. Pick a few faves and then view the video for that specific style. 

There're really no wrong way to tie a scarf. Even your mistakes will look clever and chic.

Tactic 3: Cheat

Vikki Vi has several Cascading Hi Lo Scarf Jackets that do all the work for you. The contrasting fronts of these jackets cascade and flow just like a scarf draped around your neck. 

These jackets are oh-so practical. They save you from having to grab a scarf in the first place. No need to worry about a scarf slipping off your neck and getting lost. The cut of the fabric does all the work, so even the klutziest among us can have the look of a perfectly draped scarf.

Tactic 4: Stash 'em

Once you get the hang of wearing scarves, you just need to remember them in the morning rush.  Or you can leave a few here and there - in the car, in a desk drawer at work, tied to your purse. That way you'll always have a scarf handy for when you want to be effortlessly stylish.

Posted in plus size inspiration, plus size shopping tips, plus size style tips, plus size work clothes, shopping tips, Style Tips

Love Your Body This Valentine's Day

Posted on February 13, 2017 by Jen Anderson | 0 comments

The whole Valentine's Day rigamarole seems designed to make you hate yourself. Even when you have a date for the big night.

Decide to treat yourself to a new dress for your Valentine's dinner? Better start shopping online in January because your local stores don't want your money. (Why else wouldn't any of them carry plus sizes?) 

All those jewelry commercials featuring skinny models because apparently no one would want to buy a diamond necklace modeled by a plus size woman? It's enough to make you feel as rejected as that time you discovered your high school crush had no idea who you were. (Just me?)

We can grit our teeth and look forward to Discount Chocolate Day (February 15). Or we can reject society's messages and give ourselves all the love we deserve.

Make Yourself Feel Special

Bright red lipstick isn't the most flattering shade on me, but I wear it anyway because it makes me feel good. I see myself in the mirror and I smile.

What will it take for you to love your reflection? A new bra can make a world of difference. Spending a little extra time on your hair and makeup can put a spring in your step. It's a lot easier to love your hips when they're draped in a fabulous pair of pants.

You're the only person who's going to do those things for you. Your spouse can be enthusiastic about your body, but you never quite believe them if you're too busy loathing your thighs.

Dress The Part

Reaching into a closet full of clothes we love is a special delight. Give your middle the gift of a dress that skims over your apple shape. Your pear hips deserve an a-line skirt that gives them all the room they need to move.

Vikki Vi Classics are all about helping you love your body. Our signature finely ribbed stretch knit fabric feels so silky soft against your skin. The pieces are designed to skim over your curves without hiding them in loads of extra fabric.

We make it easy to keep adding to your wardrobe with new colors and prints - no more disappointing, soul-destroying trips to the mall.

There's no better present you give to your body than a wardrobe of clothes that look good on you and are made to last. Though a regularly scheduled massage is a close second.

Thank Your Body

No, really. Hear me out. It's all too easy to hate your body when your knees complain and your back aches. But some body parts work exactly as they should and we shouldn't take them for granted.

My muscles carry me through the day even when they hurt. I have shapely calves and those creaky knees are kinda cute. I have no complaints about my chest - and my lungs are pretty good too. My hair behaves itself more often than not, and my nearsighted eyes are a nice aqua color.

Whenever you're having trouble loving your body, do a quick body scan and identify the parts you're happy with at the moment.

Posted in plus size inspiration

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Size Chart
Vikki Vi Clothing runs generously. The size chart below is an excellent guide for most of our products. If any styles run especially large or small, that information will be listed on the specific product page.



Size 12-14

Size 16-18

Size 20-22

Size 24-26

Size 28-30