Celeb style envy: Plus-size edition

Aug 26, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Rock stars embody confidence and style, so it's no wonder we look to them for fashion advice. However, there are few plus-sized icons. Some of the most popular, and center stage, plus-sized icons are Queen Latifah, Adele and Amber Riley. These ladies are multi-talented and have enviable style. Now it's time to steal some of their red carpet style tips!


Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah at the Joyful Noise premiere

Tip: A deep V or scoop neck can make you appear thinner!

Rapper, singer-songwriter, actress, spokeswoman and clothing designer. What a resume! Queen Latifah's style has certainly progressed in the last decade. Remember Bringing Down the House? But now she's polished, while staying true to herself, and has her own clothing line for curvy girls, the Queen Collection available on HSN. Queen Latifah is statuesque and plays up her height in her outfits. She opens up her chest by having open necklines, which also helps minimize her bust. She has fun with color and accessories, which is nice to see in a sea of black.



Adele at Academy Awards

English singer-songwriter Adele knows what she likes, and she's not afraid to stick with what works for her. Black is her favorite color — at least it appears that way in performances and on the red carpet. She doesn't wear what's trendy if she's not comfortable in it. Her neckline is always modest, sleeves to her elbow, A-line skirt and no hems above her knees. While I didn't love her 2013 Grammys dress, when she does mix it up with some color, the silhouette stays true to her distinct ‘60s aesthetic.


Amber Riley

Amber Riley wearing black skinny jeans

I love Glee and I love actress/singer Amber Riley. I was so happy to see a plus-size female character join primetime television — one who was featured in every episode, and whose size is not central to her character. Mercedes' wardrobe evolved over the three seasons she was a regular cast member, and she rocked everything from neon skinny jeans and tees to a sultry red gown. Off-screen, Amber tends to favor black and dark colors but can pull off a strapless sundress with the same amount of confidence as she does in black skinny jeans. Like Queen Latifah, Amber's outfits tend to have an open neckline.


Aretha Franklin

Ella Fitzgerald

Mama Cass Elliot

Honorable mentions

These stars have lost weight, but they had great style when they were heavier and I still look to them for inspiration:

Kelly Osbourne

Jennifer Hudson


What do all of these stars have in common? They wear what works for them.

  • It's OK to camouflage trouble areas. Wear sleeves like Adele or wear a monochromatic color to appear slimmer. Draw attention to your narrowest part with seaming or a belt.
  • Don't give in to trends if they're not flattering. I will argue that you can wear any trend at any size, depending on how you incorporate it, but sometimes you need to think about how comfortable you feel. If you're uncomfortable in what you're wearing, you won't come off as confident to others.
  • Don't apologize for what you like — be it a decade influence, color or shape.
  • Have confidence. I may not personally love singer Beth Ditto's style, but it works for her because she's confident in herself and what she's wearing, or not wearing!

More style

The art of dressing cool: How to look the part
The secret to all — American style and how to get it
Outfits that make you look intelligent

Photo credits: WENN.com, Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com, Getty Images