Top tips to look your best in plus-size clothing

Image courtesy Reitmans Author: Canadian Living Credits: Image courtesy Reitmans


Top tips to look your best in plus-size clothing

When it comes to dressing your body well, it's a learned art no matter what your size. After all, very few of us are blessed with the instinctive knowledge of what to choose and what to pass up, regardless of how many wardrobe makeover shows we watch. That said, we're not without options. Follow these style notes to learn what styles of plus-size clothing work, which ones don't, and why you should never pay attention to sizing tags.

1. Tops and pants that work well if you are a plus-size
“The biggest challenge in dressing any body type is learning to choose pieces that help it look its best,” says fashion stylist Ingrie Williams. “For plus-sized women specifically, my advice is to stay away from pieces that don't work -- specifically tapered pants and scoop neck shirts -- and to load up on loosely structured, flowey tops and bottoms. Anything that doesn't hug or hang off the body is best.”

For tops, stick to V-neck styles (printed or not) that elongate the torso and make it appear slimmer. For pants, try straight or wide leg cuts that graze your hips, bum and thighs, and then flow away from the leg, and for skirts, look for flowy knee-length A-line options that work for almost every body type.

2. Don't plan around those last 10 pounds
Struggling to lose those last 10 pounds? Join the club. But until the day comes that you manage to shave off those extra pounds, don't put shopping on the back burner. “It can be challenging to be comfortable with our bodies and to not obsess over the scale,” says Williams, "but focusing on wearing clothes that fit is the key to looking great."

Her advice: Find clothes that fit your body properly today, no matter what the size tag says. Worry about addressing the need for a smaller pair of pants if and when the time comes.

3. You have to work at finding a good-looking item of clothing
When it comes to finding pieces that flatter -- no matter what your body type--– it's best to prepare for some hard labour. “Choosing a well-fitting blazer or pair of pants doesn't just happen, it takes work,” says Lyne Hebert, fashion director for Penningtons. Her golden rule? Spend time searching for pieces you love and never settle. “Just because something fits doesn't mean it's the right cut or style for you,” she says.

If you're not sure -- or if shopping doesn't top your list of favourite things to do -- bring along a friend for their take. “Sometimes having a second opinion can make all the difference," she says. "Just make sure they promise to be honest with you.”

4. Wear good bras, bold accessories
It may be clothes that get the lion's share of attention when it comes to an outfit, but don't underestimate the power of undergarments and accessories. “A properly-fitting bra is non-negotiable,” says Williams. “Not only does it create incredible lift and separation, it can also reveal a waistline that may have otherwise been hidden.”

As for accessories, the bolder the better, says Hebert. “The purpose of accessories is to highlight certain areas of the body, so choose pieces that will grab attention. My favourites for this season are wide belts worn low and loose at the waist and hips, and chunky necklaces and earrings in vibrant shades.”

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Top tips to look your best in plus-size clothing