For plus size women who love taking risks with fashion, there is no word more groan-inspiring than the word "flattering." There are plenty of plus size style tips to consider that have absolutely nothing to do with seeking out garments that flatter your figure. In fact, some of them have nothing to do with your shape at all.
Here's an example from my own experience: When I first took an interest in fashion, I made the dreaded mistake of belting literally everything I wore. Now, I have nothing against the decision to belt something. In many contexts, a belted dress looks amazing. However, if the only reason you're belting is because a magazine or a friend or a clueless great aunt told you that you should, it's time to reevaluate who the hell you're actually dressing for.
I hated the feeling of the belt around my waist, but insisted upon wearing it because someone told me that it was necessary to accentuate my curves. Once I had that "ah-ha" moment, I unapologetically dressed exactly how I wanted to — and that meant that, most of the time, I left my belt at home. My closet evolved into the shapeless, boxy house of wonders that it is today, and I'm not even a little bit sorry that my preferred silhouettes do exactly nothing for my shape.
With that in mind, I decided to harness the power of plus size Twitter and find out even more style advice from plus size women, each of whom have their own experience and aesthetics. Here's my original tweet:
And here are the incredible responses I got.
This plus size woman keeps her style advice short, sweet, and to the point: "If you love it," she tweeted, "Wear the f**k out of it."
This plus size powerhouse had plenty of advice to give, about all different aspects of her style. "Horizontal stripes are amazing, hella cute, and should be worn with confidence and joy. Clingy wet-look leggings make your butt look incredible. Don't be afraid of roll necks — They can sometimes make your tits look like a shelf, but make that an asset," she tweeted. "Wearing tight pencil skirts and revealing my VBO [visible belly outline] has been one of the most empowering things I've done this year. I wore a tight pencil skirt to a meeting I was chairing at work and no one gave a shit and I felt amazing."
Ariel is an influential and unapologetic voice on plus size Twitter, and as a lover of plus size fashion she has plenty of tips to give. "Wear what makes you happy, regardless of what anyone says (this is cheesy, I know). If it is tight and low cut, it is awesome. Stop saying no and never. This ish takes baby steps. It's OK to not want to have a VBO today, but don't rule out bodycon permanently."
"It's such a touchy [subject] because all I want to say to my chubs is throw that rule book out and wear what the hell you like," Becky tweeted. Still, there are some fashion rules that she makes a specific point to break. "I do love boxy shapes! I think they scare the hell out of plus girls as we've been conditioned to accentuate our curves."
When it comes to style advice, Anna prefers to keep it simple — or hectic, if it's in reference to choosing fabrics you love. "Don't be afraid of prints!"
This popular UK fashion blogger has some great advice for her followers, or anyone who is looking to non-conform to rigid fashion rules. "Choose an outfit that shows off and outlines your curves," she tweeted. "You can't go wrong with a bodycon or crop top and midi skirt!"
Bethany is another UK style blogger, and her aesthetic is all about taking risks and looking absolutely lush in the process. However, her style advice is surprisingly simple: "Don't feel like you always have to wear heels to be stylish!"
Sometimes, plus size shoppers will refrain from trying something on because they assume it won't fit, or won't look great on them. However, Laura's style advice argues otherwise. "It's worth giving anything a go," she tweeted. "Like what you see? Try it on. Sometimes your body will surprise you."
For this plus size fashion enthusiast, it's all about claiming whatever styles make you feel like a queen. "Wear anything you are comfortable in," she tweeted. "Anything that makes you feel amazing."
This fashionable redhead's advice is all about owning your plus size denim. "People always say 'stay away from jeans' or that jeans can't be stylish," she tweeted. "This is wrong — wear them!"
This advice is all about ignoring... well, advice. It also makes the argument for building a community of plus size women to draw fashion inspiration from. "I've decided what my own style is & ignored all mainstream 'advice.' Following other fashionable fats is very useful as well. I can see what something looks like on a body like mine & also borrow style ideas from a big mixing pot of fatties."
For Lauren, her style advice pertains to something she used to think was a no-no. "Roll your jean cuffs a little to show off your boots!" she tweeted. "I used to think I couldn't do it because [of my] short fat legs." Clearly, that's definitely a fashion rule that was meant to be broken.
Ragini's advice comes from the belief that keeping your clothes in the best shape possible means you'll always look your best. "Always polish your leather shoes and wash the ones that can be washed. Well cared for shoes make a huge difference!" she tweeted. "Taking a bit of time out for garment care every once in awhile is the most important thing I've learned in all my years of obsessing over clothes!"
For this plus size shopper, it's all about how she buys clothes — not what she actually buys. "I try on clothes when i have greasy hair & no make up," she tweeted. "Reasoning is if i feel good in it without effort, it will be worth it."
Don't have the patience or time to iron or steam your clothes? Kelly has a great piece of style advice. "If you're lazy like me, don't buy anything that needs to be ironed. You'll wear it anyway and regret it every time."
This advice is all about loudly and proudly deciding to wear whatever the hell you want. "IF YOU FEEL AMAZING IN IT, WEAR IT. IT'S ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL."
For this fashion lover, style is all about putting yourself out there. "Don't be afraid to be visible," she tweeted. "Wear bold prints, wear colours and embrace how your body looks in nonconformist styles."
As a huge fan of shapeless clothing, I am a huge fan of what this woman had to say about style. "Wear what you want, covering up ISN'T the end of the world," she tweeted. "Looking like a potato sack actually is ok."
Worried about what others think? Definitely don't be, says this plus size fashion lover. "Don't think about what everyone else could think about your outfit," she tweeted. "Simply listen to what you feel fabulous in!"
A regular voice in the plus size Twitter realm, Ushshi had some insightful things to say about style and fashion. "I think examination is the most valuable thing a person can do in regards to better styling. Even if that means it simply teaches you to rely on your quick, gut-instinct sartorial choices," she tweeted. "With the baggage of shame, policing and morality that is assigned to women's choices in regards to dressing, particularly those of marginalized bodies (poc, fat, non-binary) it seems crucial to view those choices in both a personal and collective light."
For Laura, claiming her own style is all about the hue — and about pushing back against what people tell her what to do. "My mom told me I was too fat to wear white and to that I say bullshit. Anyone can wear any damn color they want."
Bustle's own Alysse Dalessandro is all about taking fashion risks, and her style advice is along the same lines. "I always say that my love of fashion dictates what I wear and not how I feel about my body," she tweeted.
This plus size fashion seeker has some unique and perfectly literary advice for other plus size women. "Don't be satisfied with mediocrity," she tweeted. "Don't settle for bad quality or a poor fit just because you feel you have limited options. Seek out delightful shit like a truffle hound on the sniff for treasure."
Blogger Jeniese has some simple advice regarding one of the biggest plus size fashion no-no's, a rule that was basically begging for plus size women to break. Simply put? "Wear stripes as much as possible!"
Last but not least came some sound advice that gets down to brass tacks of what fashion and style are supposed to be about, plus size or otherwise. "If you feel like you look fantastic in something, then you probably do," this plus size fashion babe tweeted. "Don't let anyone talk you down from that feeling."
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Images: Courtesy Twitter Users