Women, what is one of our biggest issues? Finding full-figured clothing that will truly flatter our lovely curves. There are hundreds of styles, colors, and brands to choose from, but if it doesn’t flatter our bodies, we will not feel our best. You can almost forget your local department stores…what you will mostly find there is unflattering, droopy frocks that–let’s face it–our grandmothers would wear. This is why Mimi’s Bargains Curvy Girl Boutique was born! This guide has been designed for curvy women of all body types to give you helpful fashion and styling advice about flattering plus-size clothing styles. Let’s take a look at some of the essential pieces in our closets and discuss which would be best for us:
Pretty Plus-Size Tops
What do we want? Simply, a pretty top that will flatter our curves. Black is slimming, but sometimes we want more! How about color, different fabrics, or trendy styles? Yes, we can have those too! Prints are also very flattering. Choose a nice, smaller print (flowers are great, but don’t wear a large floral print), or a slimming vertical line print.
Sexy Empire Waist / Baby Doll Tops
Baby doll tops are characterized by an empire (higher) waist, and a lovely bodice that flares out slightly. Now, most of us didn’t know this, but baby doll styles are great for plus size figures, since they can hide the parts of our tummies that we may feel uncomfortable about. An empire waist also puts emphasis on the smallest part of our waists, creating more of an hour-glass shape. Look for the perfect baby doll top in a trendy retro design: floral, paisley, or a fun solid color. They’re so sexy when paired with plus size jeans or a simple skirt.
Sexy Camisole Tanks or Halter Tops
Yes, we can also wear sleeveless tops and look fabulous. A sexy camisole or tank top can be worn layered under another top or alone for a fun, sexy look. New, trendy styles are adorned with lace and beading for a very feminine look. Plus-size halter tops can make the most out of all our figures; it can create a sexy cleavage on a smaller bust and create a longer, thinner waistline on larger busts. Halter tops also deemphasize wider shoulders. To get the best of both worlds, go with an empire waist halter top.
Scoop Neck vs. V-Neck
Luckily for us, scoop neck and v-neck shirts can look nice on all kinds of plus-size figures. A larger scoop can fire-up an outfit, while a smaller scoop will just show a hint of cleavage. A v-neck top can also be both modest and sexy. V-necks tend to lengthen your neckline and bring more attention to your face. They’re known as a wardrobe must-have and come in casual, career, or dressy styles. They also look great with almost anything.
Wrap sweaters are one way to keep your girlish figure when the women all around you are losing theirs to big, puffy sweaters. A wrap top, with its v-neck and tied cinched waist, is very flattering to the bustline and waistline. It can hide any small flaw around your waist that you might want to conceal.
Kimono Sleeve Top
The kimono style top is great for camouflaging larger arms or balancing out a larger hips and thighs by adding volume above the waist. In my opinion, this is the most flattering for us full-figured women; nothing makes your waist slimmer than a flared sleeve.
Sweater Styles That Flatter Our Curves
The first thing we want to be careful of is not wearing a sweater that has a boxy shape; nothing can be more unflattering! Go with a vertical knit or pattern that will add length to your figure. Stay away from larger, bulky knits. Look for medium weight sweaters if you want to conceal your waistline. A new trend is the longer-length sweater that can be worn either with or without a belt or sash. These are very figure flattering, but can also be used to camouflage hips or rears we may feel uncomfortable about.
- V-necks: Remember, v-necks will bring more attention to that beautiful face.
- Cardigans and twin sets: Fabulous! Wear together or alone either Winter, Summer, Spring, or Fall! Great for any figure.
- Turtlenecks: Especially flattering in a thinner fabric when paired with jeans and boots. Pick a size that will cling to all the right places.
- Cowl Neck: Creates a place of visual interest at the neck. The neckline brings attention to your face and away from other body areas you may want to downplay. Layer with a lacy camisole or tank for a little sexy edge.
All of the above go perfectly with a classic skirt or pant (which you probably already have in your closet), or wear an embellished set with your favorite pair of jeans.
There are many dress styles to choose from. As I always say, don’t choose a boxy-oversized style. Nothing can accentuate curves better than a great-fitting dress.
- Two-Pieces: Choose a fitted jacket. Stay away from plain, square jackets.
- Casual Dresses: Its lines should be straight, without fluffy skirts or overly-puffy sleeves. Flared sleeves are good, puffy is bad.
- A-line Dresses: This is the most flattering dress type for plus size figures. It fits closer at the top and flares slightly over the hips, creating a sleeker, slimmer waist. Wear shorter and sexy, or longer and classic.
- The Little Black Dress: Every woman has to have a sexy Little Black Dress! Here, you have your choice of styles, but a fitted, slimmer waist and slightly flared bottom will accentuate your curves better than most. Don’t forget to look for the ever-so-forgiving empire waist.
- The Wrap Dress: The fabric should have great structure, so it will wrap nicely at the waist, but be less clingy at the stomach and hips.
- Summer Dresses: You don’t need Barbie’s waistline to look great in a lovely, fun summer dress. Again, go for an A-line or empire waist dress. Halter dresses are just as flattering as halter tops. Go for a fitted waist and avoid too much drape.
- Pencil Skirt: These look especially nice on women whose waistlines are not a lot smaller than their hips: otherwise, you wind up with a waist that sags or bunches.
- A-Line Skirt: Probably the most forgiving of all styles. It flares out gently in about the same places we flare out naturally.
- The Denim Skirt: Great in mini or longer lengths, and–best of all–they’re always in fashion. Your length of choice will depend on how playful you want to be. If you like to conceal your legs, get a longer skirt with a fun slit.
- Flare Skirts: Plus-size figures are nicely complimented by this style if you need to balance out a larger shoulder, chest, or stomach area. They are also great in flattering a larger hip. Get a slight flare or ruffled bottom, steer clear of frumpy.
Plus Size Jeans
- Boot Cut: Flattering and the least clingy. Get a slightly embellished jean for fun.
- Straight Leg: Especially flattering when worn with a longer, embellished top or sweater. Make sure they have some stretch.
- Low Rise: Most women don’t like low rise jeans because they wind up with exposed bellies and backsides: places most of us spend our days trying to minimize. If you like the style, pair it with a longer top.
- The Classic Trouser: Extremely flattering to most plus size figures. Avoid pants that curve into the waist or out to the hips: they are not true trousers. Look for trousers that create a long, smooth silhouette.
- Crop, Short, or Capris Pants: Perfect summer or spring item. Stay away from baggy shorts or capris. They are completely unflattering to our figures. The curve of your leg provides the shape and the charm needed to carry off plus size cropped pants. Otherwise, your legs will look shapeless.
- Yoga Pants: Absolutely essential for Saturdays at the grocery store; paired with flip-flops at the local coffeehouse, or strolling to the beach on a cool day. Look for bootcut legs and a waist that isn’t overemphasized.
One last point…remember that a one-piece body shaper can add the final touch to help create a sleek look under all of your clothing.
I can’t emphasize enough that fitted and fun, fabulous styles and colors are not the enemy. Forget boxy and drab; begin a new, confident phase in your life. And, remember, nothing–and I mean nothing–is more flattering to a woman of any size than a confident attitude.