When it comes to wearing trends while plus size, fatshionistas are often faced with a few troubles. Among them is the sheer lack of availability of current trends in sizes 14 through 30+ (a common phenomenon in the plus industry often being that the trends hit plus size shelves one or two seasons after they're in vogue), as well as the notion that fat people just shouldn't wear trendy things. Our bodies — as hideous as they allegedly are — are meant to be covered; treated as burdens to hide and obscure because "nobody wants to see that." The sight of a fat woman in a food-print bathing suit? How utterly wretched.
If, however, you're of the belief that anyone can wear anything — so long as it makes them happy, their comfort is taken into account, and nobody is forcing them to — then you might be looking for some inspiration regarding rocking 2016 fashion trends as a plus size human. When it comes to wearing the hell out of an outfit, trendy or otherwise, I personally think the quintessential component is simply putting it on your body, looking in the mirror, reminding yourself of your badassery, and walking out the door. But unfortunately, social stigma and fat shaming can sometimes get in the way of such a narrative.
In order to build your own alternative story, check out some of these peeps perfectly exemplifying how easy it is to "pull of" summer trends in plus.
1. Spaghetti/Thin Straps
We can likely thank the '90s resurgence for re-introducing the world to the beloved spaghetti strap (or one-inch strap). Some plus size babes may be a little reluctant to show off their arms (thanks for yet another absurd beauty standard, society). But as Ragini Nag Rao of A Curious Fancy proves, there's absolutely no reason not to let your limbs breathe.
2. Food Print
It's long been thought that food-print clothing is off limits for people of size. After all, we don't actually want passerby thinking that we delight in eating. Fatties should be starving themselves into aesthetic oblivion!
3. Lace-Up Detailing
And here's Golden yet again, this time rocking the lace-up trend so quintessential of summer 2016. Big-boobied-plus-sizers needn't worry about traumatizing strangers with the look of their chest beneath laces. This is a stunning style on everyone, no matter how much glorious flesh they're carrying.
4. Nautical Everything
Anything that calls attention to one's body is said to be off limits for fatties, including the nautical trend. But as Ready To Stare's Alysse Dalessandro knows, horizontal stripes, '50s-esque short shorts, and a good old sailor hat make up the essential components of a bomb summer look for anyone.
Chardline of Plus Size Beausion is actually rocking the hell out of three contemporary trends right here: Jumpsuits, chain belts, and cut-out detailing. I love that the onesie she's sporting sits tight to the body as well, proving that embracing every inch of yourself doesn't have to stop as soon as you have some visible rolls. And that cut-out chest? Impeccable.
6. Pastel Mane
If you too want to look like a fat unicorn á la Ariel here, why not delve into that pastel dye you've been eyeing up all beach season? There are a lot of so-called rules out there when it comes to how fat women choose to maintain their hair: A short cut will make the face appear rounder, so it's best avoided; a too-bright hue will draw too much attention to the double chin. As per usual, these guidelines are rooted in a whole heap of existential nothingness. That means you don't have to listen to them.
7. Statement Apparel
Ever wanted to express some of your deepest beliefs and political values on your sleeve, but thought you'd be judged extra harshly for doing so in a fat body? Curves Become Her's Aarti Olivia Dubey has no time for such concerns, and neither should you.
8. Boho Everything
Despite the stereotypical images of bohemian apparel you might have come across — from '60s flower children to contemporary spin-offs of the aesthetic — looking like you're a proponent of free love and world peace needn't be limited to those under a size eight. Callie Thorpe of From The Corners Of The Curve is rocking a Cut for Evans ensemble and looking like a whimsical goddess of the forest.
9. Statement Jewelry
The popularity of statement jewelry seems to come in waves. One moment, minimalism is so prominent that anything bling-y or OTT is legit looked down upon. The next, folks are singing, "The more, the better." This season, statement jewelry is in vogue, and as Bethany Rutter of Arched Eyebrow clearly knows, there's no reason not to pile it on. Want to wear two or three or even four loud pieces? Why not? You might even want to throw in a statement lip for good measure.
10. One-Shoulder Tops
Uniquely cut tops are all the rage right now, including the one-shouldered shirt. Miz Liz of BBW Generation is not only killing the look, but wearing it in a bold print. When breaking more than one so-called plus size rule at a time, just remember to remind yourself that you are a goddess. And nothing else matters.
11. Bardot Top
Speaking of uniquely-cut tops, Brigitte Bardot has hit our fashion feeds once again in the form of the Bardot silhouette. Doesn't Nancy Whittington-Coates of Sugar, Darling look precious in it? Showing off your shoulders in one of these cutesy shirts is a surefire way to stay a little cool this summer, so don't let yourself miss out on the breeze.
12. '20s Flapper
As of late, the flapper aesthetic has been hitting fast fashion shelves. It would seem we just can't get enough embellishment in our lives. Here Georgina Grogan of She Might Be Loved is serving as the embodiment of why the look shouldn't have gone away in the first place. I mean, glamour and kitsch all in one? What could be better?
13. Belly Power
Anytime summer rears its humid head, bellies start coming out of the woodwork. This isn't so much a 2016 trend as a recurring seasonal one, but it's relevant nonetheless. Ushshi of Dress Carcass is showing off her tattooed plus size belly with no restraints, and why shouldn't she? ICYMI, tummies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and each of them is perfection.
14. Tied Top
Tie your top into a knot, á la Gabi Gregg of Gabifresh, and show off a sliver of your stomach while equipped with the knowledge that there is no right or wrong way to rock a tied crop top and some shorty shorts.
15. See-Through Details
If you're worried that the sight of your rolls and wobbles beneath see-through or mesh fabrics is uncouth and unfit for public display, fear not. If someone chooses to be offended at your fatness, that's on them; not you. Follow Velveteen Femme Sarah's lead, and show off your body in sheer pride.
Many plus sizers are conditioned to believe that sporty, athleisure looks are not for them. Such aesthetics hint at "laziness," and therefore perpetuate the belief that fatties never move, right? Wrong. I mean, some people might think as much, but it's not your job to educate the ignorant. Instead, rock your comfy athleisure vibes with pride like Danielle Vanier is doing here.
17. Leather/Wet Looks
Bodycon or otherwise form-fitting ensembles are outside of many a fat person's comfort zone, largely because they don't often conceal ~lumpy~ bits. But Dana Martinez of Who's That Girl isn't having any of it. Want to look like a T-bird-driving extra in Grease? Just slip that leather or wet-look material on your body and revel in your non-flat form.
The truth is that the only thing you need in your arsenal in order to rock a "trend" is the knowledge there's basically no reason not to. If you're worried about how flattering or un-flattering something might be on you, just remember that the key to achieving that sartorial F-word is wearing something that makes you smile — whether your visible rolls are making an appearance in it or not.