The Most Flattering Styles For Plus Size Women

Posted by Jen Anderson on

The Most Flattering Styles For Plus Size Women

Flattering is such a loaded word that some people refuse to say it. It has come to mean "makes you look thinner than you actually are." Which isn't great.  I'd rather look good than smaller. But these aren't mutually exclusive since poorly fitting clothing makes us look bigger than we are. So let's define flattering as "makes you look happy, confident, and fabulous."

What do we really want here?

woman wearing black separates
What's our goal? What are we looking for when we scroll along, looking at this top vs. that one. We want something that will look good on us. Since that's different for everyone, let's think about what makes a piece of clothing look bad on us. Knowing what we don't want can help us know what we do want. (Clothes shopping is like dating that way.)

We've all stared into a full-length mirror and marveled at how bad a dress looks on us. That is when we don't immediately take it off and toss it across the room in horror. And we've all looked at old pictures of ourselves and could only see how unfortunate our wardrobe choices were.

The problem tends to be that a garment is too tight in some spots. Or too loose. Sometimes both. 

When we look for something flattering, what we really want is something that fits us properly. Not too tight, not too baggy. Good fit means that a piece of clothing shows your body shape without clinging to every hill and valley like a toddler with separation anxiety.

woman wearing a white sheath dress

How do we find clothes that fit well?

For starters, we need to stop thinking of plus size as a body shape. You can be plus size and also pear shaped, apple shaped, rectangle, and so on. You need to start by figuring out what shape your body is. It may be a combination, usually an apple tummy added to another body type.

Knowing your body shape can be helpful because it directs you to certain style tips that you can then decide to follow or ignore. But for now, let's just stop and think about the areas where we find fit issues. This varies for everyone, but for me it's the tummy and hips. Certain styles are too tight in those spots, but the next size up is too big at the shoulders and chest. 

It shouldn't be too hard for you to figure out where these spots are for you. You'll note that I'm not saying that my hips and belly are too big. My body parts are fine and so are yours. The issue is that we tend to think of the hourglass shape as the ideal. But if our bodies aren't that shape, the problem isn't with our bodies. The problem is that not all clothing styles work with all body shapes, and this is somehow a big secret.

Back to the dating analogy - if a certain style doesn't fit you well, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you or that style. You're just not a good match for each other.

You wanted specifics, didn't you?

Sorry about that. I've written loads of posts about specific styles that work well with specific body types. And oh look, there's a link to them right below this paragraph. But in general, you want styles that give your curves enough room to move and breathe. Flattering is what puts a smile on your face. You can also call or email and our team will happily advise you on which styles and sizes are for you.

Check out our other posts about plus size style.

1 Comment

I completely agree. I’ve often said that what makes it difficult for plus-sized women to find appropriate clothes is that there are so many more possible variants in how our bodies may be shaped. I’m busty, even after breast reduction surgery 25 years ago, and when I try on clothes that look great on my flatter-chested friends, I look eight months pregnant – not a good look for a 66-year old woman!

—Renee florsheim,

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