There's a style rule that applies to all body types: It's not necessarily what you wear, but how you wear it. But let's get specific: There have to be certain steps you can take as a plus-size lady to take your look from just OK to red-carpet level, right?
Not everyone has access to a Hollywood stylist, but that doesn't mean curvy girls are barred from achieving that perfect look. We talked to Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista about how she achieves "best dressed" on the daily. Here are her five tips for doing just that:
Work With Color And Prints To Bring Out Features You Love
"My closet seriously looks like a rainbow!" exclaims Denee. Bold colors and large prints draw attention, while muted colors and micro prints deflect it. The curvy blogger likes to pair a pop of color on top with a solid bottom to emphasize her upper body. "If I really want to stand out, I will do print head to toe," she adds. For example, check out the beautiful dress Gabourey Sidibe wore to the Woodcraft Rangers 90th anniversary gala in May 2013. A touch of multi-color marble print on her hips and bust creates graceful lines and gives life to what would otherwise be a plain LBD.
The Maxi-Dress Is Your Best Friend
"It's all about versatility for me," says Denee. The maxi dress is a classic style that always looks elegant, especially against a curvy shape, even when it's in the form of a casual cotton gown. "You can dress this up or down," continues Denee. "With bare arms or a blazer or denim jacket, with jeweled flats or a stacked wedge." Play around with little elements that draw attention to or create illusion around your body's features. If you're petite, for example, go for a high slit along the side to make your legs look longer. We love this AX Paris floral maxi dress.
Think You Can't Rock Rompers and Shorts? Think Again
"Rompers and shorts are quite popular right now," says Denee. Even better, "We see more women daring and braving into items that for a while were 'scary' or 'not for' plus size women." The romper style is perfect because it flares off the waist, making it very accommodating of shapely figures. We love this Forever 21 Retro Dot Surplise Romper; the halter top frames a large bust beautifully.
You Can Wear All Styles, It's Just About Finding The Right Fit
"Whatever I choose to wear, it has to fit me well," says Denee. Never feel that particular styles are inaccessible to you — you just have to find a fit that works for your body. Stores like ASOS and GAP have expanded their size scale and even carry a separate plus-size collection. There's also a long list of designers who create classic and fashionable pieces specifically for curvy women. "I think there are still many silhouettes the plus size woman is finding that can work," adds the blogger. "And now it's all about their personal preference."
It's Also About Wearing Something That Makes YOU Smile
Regardless of your body type, confidence is the most important component of any outfit. Be honest with yourself and know when a style is going to make you feel beautiful or make you physically or emotionally uncomfortable. "When I feel amazing, my confidence is boosted, my posture is correct, I am not fidgeting with my clothes or pulling and tugging," says Denee. "All my energy is spent on feeling great and enjoying being in the company of others." Amen to that!