I am aware that over 50% of the population in the States wears over a size 12 but most designers only make to a size 10 if were lucky a size 12 in many of the high fashion looks. I do wear mostly non-"plus" size clothes, but it is still not easy. I was surprised to see that Oprah did a whole section in this months magazine about dressing if you are over a size 14. I will be listing some of my fave retailers in the next little while.
What I have come to accept are some key principles to dressing myself that I have shared with others who are a bit bigger than average. Because I take a lot of pride in my appearance and I dress well I have done 5-6 complete makeovers for good friends. Here are my top 10 tips for dressing well:
- Dress for your size - Do not buy clothes that are too small or two big. Never buy clothes that you think you will fit into when you "loss the next 10 pounds". If you need to shop in the plus size section of a store, then do. The clothes fit differently. Even though I can fit into a size 16 pant in the regular section of Neiman Marcus, they tug in certain places, the pockets may pucker a bit, they aren't perfect. I pop up to the Plus Section and put on the size 16 and they fit perfectly! The shirts also don't gape across your chest etc.
- Excellent underwear - A seamless thong and a proper fitting bra. Get yourself fitted for a bra at a proper bra store. I buy my underwear at Target and I love the Merona thin, seamless nude thongs. If you can't stand a thong, buy a no panty line pair. Panty lines are totally in-excusable.
- Fitted/tailored clothes - The more tailored the clothes the better. Even a skinny minny does not look good in sweat pants. A fitted white shirt that fits perfectly and is not a tent is much more flattering. I never leave the house in a mu-mu. there is no need. Plenty of comfy clothes that are gorgeous and not tents, mu-mus, sweat pants or baggy t-shirts.
- Avoid Shinny Fabric - Every time I see a "plus" size individual in satin I cringe. I just want to ask them what they are thinking. It is so unattractive. Every lump, bump, crinkle shows.
- Heels - Every woman should wear heels as often as possible. They elongate the leg and force you to straighten your posture
- Shapewear - Become a friend of shapewear. Spanx, Bodywraps, Assets, tons of companies make them. They are fantastic. I wear Spanx under ever pair of pants and the shorts that go from under my bra to my knees with every skirt or dress. I have also recently become a fan of the one piece bra and short combo that goes to your knees. Everything smoothes out and looks cleaner.
- Accessories - I love accessories!!! I also love that I know to take one off before I leave the house. I generally know that I have one set of very classic accessories for me (small gold hoops, Cartier ring, classic, never go out of style pieces). I am also cognizant of my size. I am lucky that I can wear large cocktail rings, big bracelets, lovely large necklaces, I feel so fortunate.
- Staples - Buy really good quality staples. Black pants are slimming that are worth the money, you can't live without decent jeans, white t-shirts are a necessity, black cardigan a must...... All of these will make you look awesome and last forever.
- Self Maintenance - make sure that you have a great haircut, you wear mascara, you do the things that make you look well maintained. For me its a regular manicure and a really good cut and highlights. I see a lot of larger woman who don't even maintain themselves to the point of looking clean. I feel like crying. They don't even feel good enough about themselves to shower. It is very sad.
- LOVE WHAT YOU WEAR - If you are happy about what you put on you are going to look great! Confidence is more important than the clothes that you wear. it will make you look fabulous.
Anyway, those are some of my tips. It's not an extensive list, but it is a start. These are the top 10 and I will continue to grow the list.