10 Fashion Staples Every Plus Size Girl Should Own

Because it's not all about making yourself into an ‘hourglass’, OK?


by Vicky Chandler |
Published on

Dressing for your shape is undoubtedly a nightmare. After all most women aren’t necessarily the same size across our whole bodies. Which means if you’re blessed with a booty Kim K would be proud of, or those ‘child bearing hips’, then finding the perfect wardrobe can be a task. I would know – I’m a size 10 now, but just over two years ago, I was over five stone heavier and in the midst of some of my most horrifying fashion choices ever. I have a Facebook timeline of shame to prove it.

It’s so easy to give up on fashion when you’re considered a plus-size girl, but that really doesn’t have to be the case – I just wish I’d known that. The most common mistake to make (and something I did all the time) is to dress like someone far older, in awful prints, baggy dresses and black tights galore. So here, as an ex plus-size fashionista, are my top-10 wardrobe staples that EVERY plus-size girl should own.

READ MORE: The #Fatkini Hashtag Is Well Intentioned But Only Serves To Fetishise Fat In The Same Way As Thin


Plus Size Staples

A GOOD Pair of Jeans1 of 10

A GOOD Pair of Jeans

Finding the perfect pair of jeans is traumatic for the best of people and I tried to avoid this dreaded task for most of my life (I bought my first EVER pair back in 2012.) Dressing your bottom half is probably the most complicated thing to do but don’t avoid it, as a pair of jeans is essential to any wardrobe. If you carry your weight on your hips and thighs, go for something more tailored; skinny is fine as long as they balance out the leg, but steer clear of wide legged jeans if most of your weight is carried on your bottom half. Straight leg jeans are in fact perfect for plus-size ladies, as they flatter your legs. FYI: NO SUPER SKINNY. They're insanely difficult to pull off at the best of times, let alone if you carry a little more junk in your trunk than the next person.

Marney Straight Leg Jean, £30 ASOS Curve at ASOS

Sexy Underwear2 of 10

Sexy Underwear

Racy undies aren’t reserved for Victoria’s Secret models and nothing boosts your confidence more than a sexy two-piece. Owning nice underwear doesn’t just lift your happiness levels, but wearing the right sort will do wonders for your figure. Don’t just guess your size - get measured up by the experts and buy a bra that actually fits - whether it be an over shoulder boulder holder, or an underwired number to support those bad boys. If you’re fortunate enough to have a great set of knockers already, I’d avoid padded bras and when it comes to your briefs, slim your waist and hips by wearing a pair with a low leg, and high waist!

Marney Straight Leg Jean, £39 Figleaves.com

A 'Statement' Accessory3 of 10

A 'Statement' Accessory

Something us plus sized ladies are blessed with (pssht, minus our Beyoncé like curves obvs), is the ability to wear bold, and big accessories that can sometimes overwhelm a smaller-framed woman. I’m afraid that studs and delicate necklaces just don’t cut it, but instead be daring and opt for that chunky statement necklace you had your eye on, or those huge earrings you were convinced made you look like Pat from EastEnders. Drawing attention to yourself via the art of accessorising is the perfect way to spice up your wardrobe; long-chained earrings elongate your neck and a costume necklace that sits on your chest draw people to your boobs (if you so wish).

Rhinestone Necklace,, £39.99 Zara

A 'Curve Hugging' Pencil Skirt4 of 10

A 'Curve Hugging' Pencil Skirt

Yuck, sorry, no-one wants to be 'hugged' around their bottom, but you get my drift. So many people say avoid these, but really, don’t. I did for ages because I was worried about my big thighs, but trust me, when done properly, pencil skirts compliment all shapes and sizes, as they carve your waist and curves. If you’re bigger on the bottom half, stick to a solid colour, preferably darker, and pair this with a lighter coloured top. If you’re slimmer on the bottom and want more of a curved effect, a brighter, more daring pattern will do just the trick.

Black Mesh Insert Skirt, £22 Evans

A Tailored Dress5 of 10

A Tailored Dress

Not to state the obvious, here, but spaghetti straps and halter necks don’t do us any favours, especially if you need to hide thicker strapped bras that are keeping your pair of cantaloupes in place. If you like your arms, ¾ length sleeves are a good choice, but if they’re a problem area this can be seen as cutting your arms off and can look unflattering. As for the cut of the neck, always choose a 'V' because it’s super complimentary and very teasing. When it comes to tailoring, be brave and go for something that hugs your body rather than hides it under a layer of fabric that makes you look like you’re wearing your Glastonbury tent whilst having it sit just above the knee gives the illusion of a longer leg.

Soft Print Floral Pencil Dres, £50 Paper Dolls Plus at ASOS

A Pair of Nude Heels6 of 10

A Pair of Nude Heels

Forget Kate Middleton clichés and focus on why she wears them (i.e. what they do to the leg.) Nude is definitely the best colour to give the illusion of sky-high pins although only in heels - please, PLEASE, avoid ankle boots that seem to cut your height in half. Carrying a little extra weight doesn’t bode well for having the calf cut in half. Neither does tottering around in ridiculosuly high heels about and falling smack on your face. Opt for a good platform that doesn’t cut off the ankle - they will forever be your go-to pair. For daytime, try ballet flats or velvet slippers - better than chunky loafers and the suchlike (which sadly only make Alexa's pins look cute and schoolgirly.)

Nude Heels, £89.99 Carvela at Kurt Geiger

Something With A Great Print7 of 10

Something With A Great Print

Colours and patterns are the key to drawing the right attention to your body, and whilst big designs are a no-no, smaller patterns will inevitably make you look more petite! Stripes are the hardest pattern to tackle, but the key is to avoid horizontal ones and opt for diagonal or vertical instead as they’ll elongate your whole figure.

Fine Knit Cardigan, £12.99 H&M+ at H&M

Things That Arenu2019t Black. Shock, horror!8 of 10

Things That Aren’t Black. Shock, horror!

You need to learn what colour looks best on you. The old wive’s tale that black is slimming is true, but brighter colours highlight your best features. So although you can still love black, wear colour in areas that you particularly want to emphasise, a white belt round your waist, or a bright patterned blouse for example. FYI: Flattering colours can also do wonders for your skin rather than give you that washed-out, I’m really hungover/ill effect.

Splatter Print Tee, £25 Miss Selfridge

A Long -Length Jacket9 of 10

A Long -Length Jacket

What more do I need to say? Jackets cover your arms, slim you out and balance your weight from top to bottom. I’d personally avoid anything cropped and instead opt for hip length and longer. A tailored jacket is perfect for work, and also over a cute dress, whilst kimonos are a girl’s best friend when it comes to festivals and beach hols. Once you get your jacket nailed, you can literally wear it with anything.

Longline Duster Kimono, £45 Topshop

A Decent Swimsuit10 of 10

A Decent Swimsuit

Nothing is quite as painful as bikini shopping. I spent years hiding my beach body under baggy t-shirts, even in the pool, because I was too embarrassed at my poor choice in swimwear. But soon I realised there are swimsuits that cater for every shape and size. Before shopping for the dreaded swimming costume, arm yourself with knowledge of the specific areas you want to tackle. If it’s your stomach you’re worried about, go for a one-piece that has a wrap front or built in control panels that suck it all in and give you the illusion of a smaller stomach. However, if it’s your legs you fear to show off, go with bikini bottoms that have a frill, or even a skirt! And of course, it’s the top half that’s always the worst as no matter what size you are, nobody wants a nip slip disaster… if you’re top heavy avoid bandeau and strapless bikinis and go for something with a decent strap and proper support. But most importantly, do NOT shy away from getting yourself the perfect swimsuit, although they can be expensive, they’re an investment and something sure to make you more beach body confident! Sundaes by the Seaside by Letters from Evie, £36 Bravissimo

Like this? Then you may be interested in:

How Being Boon-Shamed In My Teens Still Affects Me Now

Why We Really Need To Drop The Whole Phrase 'Effortless Dressing'

Fuzzy Knits Are Not Just For The Fireside You Know

Follow Vicky on Twitter @VickyChandler

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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