For some reason – maybe because most fashion models are pencil-thin – curvy women often decide to wait until they lose weight to go shopping. But that’s just silly. Today’s fashions offer a wealth of opportunity for curvy women of all sizes to look absolutely fabulous. All you need is confidence and a little know-how. Are you ready to look amazing? These 12 tips will tell you how.
The Budget Fashionista’s first tip is to find an awesome tailor. All women have trouble finding clothes that fit perfectly, but it seems to be especially challenging for curvy women. If a garment fits it one place, it gaps in another and pulls in yet another. A great tailor can make that garment look as if it were made just for you.
Peplum tops are your friend. A lot of women think peplum tops just add bulk to their hips when, in reality, they nip you in at the waist. Just stick with a subtle flare instead of a dramatic one. You’ll have to try some on to find one that hits you at the sweet spot, which is just below your natural waist.
Use colorblocking to create the shape you want everyone to see. Redbook describes how the right colorblock dress can completely change your figure. The eye sees curves where the dress draws them. TLC’s How Stuff Works adds to that advice by explaining how the use of shading creates the illusion of curves. Wear light colors where you want to add width and dark colors where you want to take it away. If you want to make your waist look smaller, for example, wear a dark belt with a lighter top and skirt (belted trench coats serve the same purpose). That goes for accessories, as well; use bright, vivid colors close to the areas where you want to draw attention.
You can also use cut to accentuate your best features. A wrap dress draws attention to a slender waist, while a low neckline makes your face, neck, and bosom the center of attention. And strapless dresses let you show off a well-toned upper body.
Pinstripes are a classic for a reason: They add height and draw the eye to a vertical line rather than a horizontal one. Pinstripe pants for work can be especially flattering.
Choose shoes with heels to add height and make your hips look smaller. And today’s selection of wide-fit shoes is more extensive than ever before, so you don’t have to sacrifice your feet to fashion. While you’re at it, look for shoes with wider heels rather than stilettos; they’ll make your legs look slimmer.
Look for a fitted sheath dress that lightly clings to your curves. A dress that nips and tucks in the right places will do wonders for your figure. And bulkier fabrics are a better bet than thin, stretchy ones, which can highlight every bulge and bump.
If your bottom half is your best attribute, accentuate it with a pencil skirt. It will draw attention to your hips and make your waist look smaller. High-waisted pants accomplish the same feat.
Be careful with short skirts. Even if you have great legs, a short skirt makes your backside look rounder, which you may not want.
If you’re bigger on top than on bottom, wear a flared skirt to add balance and make your waist look smaller in comparison. Flared pants will do the same thing.
If you’re bottom-heavy (bigger below your waist than above it), do just the opposite. Dress to draw attention to your upper body. Boldly colored tops with trendy embellishments are a good example. Stick to dark colors on your bottom half, with a belt in the same color. And make sure that belt is around your waist, not your hips! Another good way to camouflage a generous bottom half is with tunics and jackets that fall well below your hips
If you’re biggest around the middle with thin legs, a flat rear, and an ample bust, dress to draw attention away from your belly. Draw attention to your legs with short skirts or to your bust with low-cut blouses. Limit prints and patterns to your bottom half. And use pockets and other embellishments to add volume to your rear.
Curvy women don’t have to stand on the sidelines and wish for their bodies to change. Today’s fashions can make you look amazing just the way you are. All it takes is confidence and a little bit of know-how.
Sophie West is a curvy fashionista. She loves writing about flattering and fresh style for every woman.