As a big girl, it can be easy to get stuck in ruts, wearing unshapely clothes or settling for what the mainstream stores deem appropriate for plus-size women. Even the fabulous Diane Von Furstenberg recently suggested tunics as the best option for a plus-size reader asking her advice. If covering as much of your body as possible is the best advice this style icon can give, I fear that Tim Gunn is correct in calling the current state of plus-size fashion "repugnant."
Repugnant or not, in my opinion it's all about how you choose to see the situation. Perspective is everything. Ladies, let me tell you, the way you want to dress is up to you. You can be fearless with your fashion and you don't need Tim Gunn or Diane Von Furstenberg's approval to do so.
I haven't always been so fearless. I was once what I call a "mannequin shopper." You know, "Give me the entire outfit off the mannequin." No creativity, no thoughts of my own. I was stuck in the framework that the mainstream fashion industry was shoving me in.
Then one day, I discovered this fabulous, lively, thriving industry that is the plus-size fashion world. A world full of amazing products, inspiring indie designers and women who didn't give a damn about the fashion rules and broke every single one. This attitude was freeing and I readily embraced it. I chose striped dresses that my mother had always banned from my wardrobe, colorful pants even though I am a "pear" shape and even leggings and skinny jeans. I began to dress in a way that made me happy and expressed my personal style.
Being able to help women find their way in this area has been the most amazing gift. I believe that self-esteem can start from the outside in and that when I help someone find a perfect outfit I am doing so much more than choosing garments for them. I am giving them confidence; I am helping shape others' perceptions of them; I am assisting them in feeling fabulous.
Though I love to play with style and break some rules, there are three major tips I use for curating a wardrobe that works for me and prevents that dreaded "I have nothing to wear" feeling.
Dress for now
First, I believe in dressing the body you have today. Don't wear things that used to fit you or may fit you someday. Dress the skin you're in.
Avoid what I call "schizophrenic shopping." A piece here, a blouse there, 20 here, 30 there and soon you have all sorts of things that don't coordinate, no money left to spend and a closet that is working against you instead of for you.
Note what you own and what you need. There are key staples every woman should have in her closet: a great blazer, the perfect white shirt, jeans that hug every curve, a lovely LBD. Take inventory of your closet and start saving and investing in pieces you need.
Lastly, don't be afraid to try something new! Be fearless! We all know what we like, but dare to experiment with new cuts, prints or fabrics. Ease into color with scarves or even a bright lipstick, try accessories like belts or wedges that you might have never considered. See how much there is out there and be willing to try anything (at least once).
Check out this inspiring campaign by Curvation
3 Things curvy girls can do contrary to popular belief
- Show your curves! Many women are afraid of figure-skimming clothes. Skinnies are great because they do just that… make you look skinny! That's not necessarily the goal, but my point is that drowning your curves in fabric won't flatter you and will only add weight to your frame. Use a scarf for a bold pop of color and a fab heel to elongate your figure and elevate your posture.
- Show some skin! Many women want to cover up but showing a little skin is sexy and keeps you cool too. I suggest showing a little leg or a little cleavage, but not all at once.
- Get glam! I believe that you can never be overdressed. Don't be afraid to show a little sparkle, add a heel or pump up the lips. Glamour makes me feel put together, ready for anything and ready to run into anyone! Casual clothes are very common nowadays, so look for classic pieces to add to your closet that can be dressed up or down.