What are plus-size clothes?
According to Wikipedia, plus-size clothes are garments that are designed for women with bigger proportions. Beyond that, there is no clear definition - some publications include US 6, others over US 20 and in recent years, it's commonly used for everything in between
Scaling Vs Real Women
The focus of this article is for women US Sizes 12-20 because most brands catering for plus-size women sizes > US 20 develop garment patterns specifically for women in this size category, which increases the chance of a much better fit
The challenge for women US Sizes 12 - 20 is that many brands develop garment patterns based on fit models US Size 4-6/Height 5'7 - 5'9 and SCALE the patterns up for larger sizes using an algorithm rather than a real person. This often results in clothes that you can technically wear because you can get them on, but the fit isn't that great, and as a result you will look fat, frumpy or both! More on this below...
Why is it hard to find plus-size clothes that fit perfectly?
Problem 1: What's not intuitive for many women is that you can't get past go if the vertical proportions of a garment aren't the same as yours. For example, if the garment was designed for a 5'9" /Size 6 fit model and you are 5'5/Size 14 the vertical dimensions of the garment won't fit your body perfectly. Changing the hem length won't make any difference if the armpit to shoulder ratio isn't the same as yours because nothing else about the garment will sit correctly on your frame if this isn't fixed first! It's the #1 cause of a frumpy look
Problem 2: Aside from getting the vertical proportions right, there is also the basic shape to consider. Just because you have Size 16 curves, doesn't mean that you have the same Size 16 curves as someone else. You might be a Size 16 with big boobs and a relatively narrow back or a Size 16 with smaller boobs and a broad back. These are not the same type of curves so they need different styles to create balance. Going up in size so that you can wear a garment without fabric across your widest points doesn't mean it's going to give a look you'll love
Problem 3: Choosing shapeless styles (aka large, loose floaty styles) may be comfortable, and they may hide your fat bits, but they can also make you look frumpy and bigger than you are because they don't fit your brand of curves like they should
Problem 4: Curvy bodies and structured fabrics without stretch are like oil and water - they just don't mix well. When you buy garments in non-stretch fabrics you are forced to buy the size that fits the widest part of you which will often make you look frumpy and almost always make you look much bigger than you actually are!
Problem 5: The vast majority of women who have experienced problems 1-5 end up buying garments that 'will do' because they feel they have no other choice and they spend their lives living the in land of feeling 'average' or self-conscious about their appearance.
Problem 6: If you're exhausted, confused or perplexed just reading problem 1-5 therein lies the problem. Finding plus-size clothes that fit you perfectly and make you feel great is often exhausting, confusing and emotionally disappointing. If you hate shopping, this is why!
how to transform your look and confidence
We have an end-to-end view of all of these problems and the emotional havoc they cause because we are designers and stylists working with customers every day. The great news is that because we've worked up close and personal with 1000s of women in sizes US 12 - 20, we can share with you exactly how to fix it - follow these 7 steps and you can't go wrong!
The 7 Steps to avoid looking fat & frumpy
Step 1: Switch to plus-size clothes made from stretch fabrics. Stretch fabrics allow a garment to flow with the natural curve of your body
Step 2: Choose colours that literally make your eyes 'pop'. These colours will draw the focus to your face. Colours that don't will draw attention to your bust, tummy, hips & thighs
Step 3: Choose styles that balances rather than hide your shape. If the style and proportions of the garment are ideal for your height and shape you will see the difference immediately. The difference is night and day!
Step 4: Because the scaling algorithms aren't great in larger sizes most plus-size women need tweaks to get the perfect fit. You should assume that you need to tweak every garment you purchase, so if you can't afford the extra $$ or time, or you don't know what tweaks you need, you're better off not buying it!
Step 5: Wear a bra that keeps your girls focused centre front - bras that direct your girls to go east and west will always make you look broad and short in the upper body
Step 6: Wear cotton based smooth lines no/VPL knickers with the highest waist possible as a better alternative to compression based underwear
Step 7: Choose a shoe colour that loves your hair & eye colour
compare and contrast
Balanced Curves Look Beautiful
Balanced plus-size curves can be breathtakingly stunning. The magic happens when you follow ALL the steps:
Hiding Curves Can Look Frumpy
When you don't follow ALL the steps you can end up looking frumpy and feeling bigger than you are:
The fastest way to a look you'll love
Knowing what the 7 steps are is a great start. Working out how to implement them on your own can be tricky if you don't have an eye/patience for detail or the time to research all the moving parts. And to get the right advice online you need to find advice that is specific to your size, height and proportions
If you want to get there quickly you'll benefit from some expert advice on the what, how, why, and where - and that's where we can help
Step 1: Get Fitted
We offer a 90 minute session that shows you step by step - in front of a mirror on your body - exactly what you need to do to get a look you'll love. Here's what's covered:
Step 2: Use LoveIt Customize to get the tweaks you need
We design garments for women of all body shapes and sizes and because we don't mass produce our range we can offer you a unique customize service to ensure you get the perfect fit without having to pay extra. With LoveIt Customize you get:
And we keep a record of your all of the above which makes it super easy for you to reorder and we offer your post purchase support so you know exactly how to make everything work
Step 3: Help with getting the essentials we don't design ourselves
We know how important bras, shoes and other accessories are to completing your outfit so we keep you posted on the best places to buy all the bits we can't provide ourselves
Step 4: Ready to get started?
The only thing between you and a look you'll love is a 90 Minute 'Get Fitted' session