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A plus-size woman posing and smiling

Style Tips for Dressing a Plus-Size Body

| Tiffany Taffeta

While the days of supermodel slim fanaticism are on their way out, there is still a lot of work to be done in the fashion world to include chic, unique styles for curvier women. But even as designers and retailers start embracing curvy fashion models and inclusive sizing, you probably still have decades of scale struggles, clothing anxiety, and body negativity to shed.

With a couple of common-sense plus-size style tips and a little out-of-the-box advice from the team at TheMogan, we’re confident you’ll have an easier time finding new ways to love and appreciate your body. Check out our tips for dressing a plus-size body to learn how to highlight your assets and fall in love with who you are!

1. Figure Out Where You Carry Your Weight

Our first essential plus-size style tip is learning where you carry your weight. Are you even on the top and bottom with an hourglass shape? Are you more of a pear shape with a bottom-heavy silhouette? Figuring out where you carry your weight isn’t about masking or hiding it – it’s simply about where you need a little extra support and love.

For example, women who are a little top-heavy should put a bit of extra focus into finding bras that fit comfortably. Don’t settle for bras with thin straps that cut into your shoulders or too-tight bands that force your skin to squeeze out of the top and bottom! If you’re the opposite, with a bottom-heavy shape, the tips for dressing your plus-size body will revolve around clothing that provides space for your silhouette, like fit and flare dresses and A-line midi skirts.

2. Learn and Embrace Your Measurements

A plus-size woman in a yellow bodycon dress

Once you know your basic shape, you can get a little more detailed by pulling out a measuring tape. This plus-size style tip isn’t to shame you with numbers — it’s to help you make more accurate decisions when shopping online. Many manufacturers use a wide range of arbitrary numbers to size their clothing. In fact, you probably have two pairs of pants that fit you perfectly with different numbers on the tag.

Ignore the vanity sizing and use your measurements to determine the right choice for you by looking at the size chart that usually accompanies online listings.

3. Stop Hiding Behind Oversized Pieces

Many curvy women are self-conscious of their shape and hide behind bulky clothing. Stop hiding who you are and what you look like with shapeless styles! While there is a balance between too loose and too tight, there are a few strategies and plus-size style tips that can help.

First, an easy tip for dressing a plus-size body is to start with relaxed basics that respect your silhouette. These include drop shoulder tops with dolman sleeves, scoop and v-neck blouses, boatneck tees, long tunics, and bottoms with elastic waistbands. You can build on top of these essentials with statement pieces and unique layering.

Second, keep a close eye on when tight is too tight. You don’t want to feel squeezed into your clothing. If you can see the lines of an undergarment through a pair of skinny jeans or a bodycon dress, it’s probably a bit too fitted.

4. Develop Your Shapewear Arsenal

A plus-size woman wearing shapewear

Shopping shapewear isn’t just a plus-size style tip — it’s for everyone. Many women feel like they need a little extra support, some smoothing, or a bit of cinching. Usually, you’ll want to focus on smoothing your stomach and hips to enhance your polish and sophistication automatically. We love a good body brief that allows your true silhouette to shine through.

5. Create More Height

Whether you’re a curvy girl or not, the most flattering silhouette for skirts and dresses ends at the knee. Why the knee? This plus-size style tip is about elongating your body and giving yourself more height. Since extra weight is generally a horizontal problem, adding a little more vertical stretch creates the illusion of slimness.

Other ways to create height include vertical stripes, dressing in a tonal look, or wearing wide-leg, high-waisted pants.

6. Shop Through Weight Changes

A woman using a dumbbell and eating a donut

When it comes to tips for dressing a plus-size body, you must consider your weight changes. Even five or six pounds can change the feel and fit of some of your favorite clothes. Whether you’ve lost or gained a few pounds, it’s best to shop through those weight changes to ensure you have a few essentials in which you feel comfortable no matter what.

Invest in those essential pieces that you’ll be wearing all the time so that if your body changes from month to month, there’s always something you can throw on that makes you feel good before heading out the door.

7. Explore Curve-Friendly Knits

One of our more specific plus-size style tips is to make your wardrobe all about curve-friendly knits — especially if you frequently need to look professional. So many work and formal clothing pieces can be stiff and stuffy when you shop them in large sizes. They can also be aggressively geometric, making you look even bigger.

Instead of wearing what seems like the only option, explore thick stretch knits for jackets, dresses, and pants that are more compatible with generous curves. You might be thinking of sweater knits, but we’re talking about the type of weaving that results in more give for traditional fabrics. You can find stretch knits in jersey and cotton that are comfortable and forgiving in all shapes and sizes.

8. Choose to Slim — Not Squeeze

A plus-size woman wearing a blouse and skirt

When we talked about hiding behind oversized clothing, we mentioned the differences between fitted and tight clothing. In addition to this plus-size style tip ensuring your comfort, it guarantees that your body won’t be pushed into all sorts of weird shapes and silhouettes.

When it comes to your bodacious body, you can still wear all those skinny jeans and leggings you love — just make sure you choose materials and sizes that slim instead of squeeze. Use the same principle for shapewear when trying on these pieces to ensure they smooth you out instead of creating additional rolls that don’t even exist!

9. Tailor Your Clothing

While this plus-size style tip means taking an extra step on your fashion journey, it also guarantees that your clothes fit just right and allows you to explore styles you may not otherwise wear — like those stiff work clothes we mentioned earlier. You can shop slightly larger sizes and nip and tuck them in with personalized tailoring that ensures comfort and fit.

You don’t have to tailor every single item in your closet. But if you have a few special occasion dresses and essential professional pieces, these are the ones you might want to consider altering for your body.

10. Add Size-Appropriate Accessories

A plus-size woman smiling and holding a bag

Unless you’re making a specific statement a la Lizzo at the American Music Awards, you want to ensure a size-appropriate bag that works with your proportions. Our tips for dressing a plus-size body aren’t just for what you’re wearing but also for what you’re carrying. As a general test, place the bag behind your hand. If it’s not visible, it’s way too small.

11. Don’t Be Afraid of Making a Statement

Lots of plus-size style tips of the past were about avoiding bright colors and wild prints because they supposedly make you look even bigger. We say forget those rules! Don’t camouflage or suppress your silhouette to fit in with outdated beauty standards. Join the revolution and wear those styles that truly make you happy — whether they’re in bright pink tones or animal prints!

Shop Plus-Size Clothing at the TheMogan

Since many stores are still catching up to the body positivity movement and are slow to add inclusive sizing, finding pieces that fit can still be challenging. At TheMogan, we make it our mission to ensure you can find the styles you want in the sizes you need. So make us your first stop for your essentials, athleisure wear, and chic styles for all occasions.

Have questions about our clothing? Looking for more plus-size style tips? There’s more to explore when you check out the rest of our blog!