Being told what to wear is never fun. If you're apple-shaped, wear long tops. If you're a pear, highlight your waist. But what if you're not a piece of fruit at all, and happen to be a real, human person with interests and tastes and a unique sense of style? Then what?
I'm always encouraging women to wear what makes them happy, and not be afraid to disregard the fashion no-nos. But when you're told time and time again that X makes your butt look too big and Y doesn't show off your bust in a "flattering" light, you can feel overwhelmed and disheartened to make daring fashion choices or opt for experimenting with cuts and styles.
Luckily, there are ladies out there who dress for themselves, making bold moves and unapologetically showcasing who they are and what makes them feel beautiful. I talked to these body positive plus-size bloggers about styling, plus-size fashion myths and good, old rule-breaking — and was met by a whole lot of inspiration.
Be creative with your wardrobe and don’t feel limited if a trend you like doesn’t come in your size. For example, I really love the ripped jeans trend around at the moment and at first I couldn’t find a pair in plus-sizes. I decided to get my DIY hat on and make my own pair using an old pair of my jeans and I managed to achieve an on-trend look at the fraction of the price.
There are a lot of plus-size myths and one of them would have to be “plus-size women shouldn’t wear crop tops.” I think people have this idea that larger women should be insecure about their body because society doesn’t accept them, but crop tops are not only trendy now, they are also flattering.
Blog: Nadia Aboulhosn
It’s okay to draw attention to yourself! As women, and especially fat women, we’re discouraged from making bold statements with our imagine and encouraged to blend in as much as possible, but it’s so fun and liberating to make the statement you want with your image.
Blog: Arched Eyebrow
Ragini Nag Rao
I don’t think there’s any plus-size fashion “rule” that I haven’t loved breaking. All of those rules are built around the notion of ‘flattering’ your body — in other words, trying to disguise it so that it maybe doesn’t look (as) fat … Whether I’m wearing a ‘figure-slimming’ tea dress or an ‘unflattering’ playsuit, my body looks exactly the same, so what I do instead of trying to look as small as possible is to wear all the supposed skinny girl clothes I once coveted from far away, when I believed that my body wasn’t worthy of such finery.
Blog: A Curious Fancy
I love wearing stripes! I grew up without a stripe in sight, since as a plus-size girl my mother never allowed them. It isn’t that curvy girls can’t wear stripes; it’s all in the stripe! Where is the stripe placed? How big or small is it? Dare to play with stripes and see how much fun you can have with bold prints.
Blog: The Marcy Minute
I say don’t knock it till you rock it or find a rule and break it. In plus-size fashion, we are at a place of fabulous growth and self-exploration to be tied up with rules and limitations. We are still learning what certain silhouettes look like for our frame and personal tastes. I see women rejecting something before they have even dared to play in it. I double dog dare you to step out of your own box; you may surprise yourself!
Blog: The Curvy Fashionista
Try to invest in pieces that you’ll wear in a few different ways rather than pieces that will only work in a certain outfit. That way, you won’t get stuck in a rut wearing the same thing over and over. When I buy something new, I try to think of at least four different ways I could wear it before laying down my cash. It’s fun to try mixing different pieces in your wardrobe and gets you to be more creative with your look!
Blog: Sugar, Darling?
One of the fashion “rules” I tend to break often is the rule or myth that plus-size ladies should avoid bright colors; although black and darker colors are safe and are really good at achieving the “slimming effect,” I think it’s great to wear one or a few different colors at a time as long as you can combine them in balance. If you’re a bit wary jumping full force into a bright block outfit, try some bold accessories or a flash of color in every outfit. Have fun with this year’s biggest trends such as neon, pastels, and even metallic shades to cheer you up and make you stand out.
Blog: Nerd About Town
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t wear bright color and bold prints. Find the brightest color, the boldest print, and embrace it. You deserve to be the very best you can be and part of that is allowing yourself to wear anything and everything that makes you feel utterly fabulous.
Blog: An Autumn’s Grace
Don’t let the number written on labels rule your life. More often than not, I will find a fabulous piece in a “straight-size” shop and it’ll be two or three sizes smaller than what I would normally take. Experiment with fashion and get creative. This beautiful jacket is from River Island and is a size 14. The last time I checked, I definitely wasn’t a size 14!
Blog: Danielle Vanier
I love my curves and I really love accentuating them. I like putting a lot of emphasis on my waist. I spent so long hating my body shape — what a waste! You only have one body; embrace it! Dress it however you want and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t wear something.
Wear clothes that make you smile. You can be given lots of fashion rules and tips and perhaps look amazing in other people’s eyes, but if you don’t feel comfortable or happy in what you’re wearing yourself then the negativity will shine through. Just stay true to yourself. I know I have to have an item of clothing in my life if I literally let out a squeal and can’t stop smiling; it’s usually is an instant buy.
Blog: Apple Charlotte
There are all kinds of fashion rules for plus-size women, and I like to break them all! I don’t know why they exist, as they don’t make sense at all. We look just as amazing in bright colors and horizontal stripes as slimmer women do, and same goes for mini skirts and crop tops. The only fashion rule I live by is that I wear what I love, I want my outfits to make me happy.
Blog: The Wardrobe Challenge
It is thought that if you are plus-size you need to pick clothing that ‘flatter your figure’ instead of ‘flattering your personality.’ I like to describe my fashion personality as chic with a little edge and sex appeal, and I love to wear dresses and skirts that fit to my body and showcase the curves that I am proud to have. If you are new to wearing tighter clothing, start off slow with a great pair of skinny jeans and build your way up to dresses and skirts.
Blog: Lace N Leopard
We’re so often shamed for all the bits of our bodies that jiggle, especially our bellies. But giving up breathing to wear some heavy duty shapewear isn’t always worth it. It’s so important to learn to find all the so-called imperfections beautiful. Our tummies don’t have to be tucked and sucked and hidden away every time we leave the house. Embracing your body and wearing what you love (even if your belly pokes out) is incredibly liberating and far more comfy.
Blog: Migg Mag