style Tips for plus size women

The Secret to Looking Good in Plus-Size Clothes

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 Size 6, others over US Size 20 and in recent years, it's commonly used for everything in between

You'll find this guide useful if you are any of the sizes below:

What's in this guide:

This guide contains style tips for plus size women. If you're not feeling the love when you look in the mirror this guide will help you understand why and what you can do about it. Explore it all or use the links below to skip to the most relevant sections...

plus size clothing fit & you...

When it comes to choosing plus size clothes that make you look good and feel confident, it's useful to know the basics about plus size clothing fit and your body...

Ready-to-Wear fashion brands use fit models to develop each style they sell. The closer you are to the fit model height, torso length and body proportions, the better the fit will be on you!

For example, if you're plus size 14 and 5'3" you aren't going to love how you look in a dress that was designed for a plus size 14 woman who is 5'8" because neither the vertical torso proportions of the garment nor the full length are going to match yours...  

You might think you can just cut 5" off the length of the dress to match your height but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. That's because the fit of the dress needs to map to your proportions from shoulder to armpit, shoulder to waist, waist to hip etc...

And what most plus size women don't realise is that even 1/2" difference in the fit of a dress on your torso vs the fit model it was designed for, can make you look fat and feel frumpy - you'll see an example of this below!

Why it's hard to find plus-size clothes that make you look good and feel confident?

Problem 1:  The #1 reason plus size women feel fat and frumpy is because the vertical proportions of the garment don't match their own. But that's not the only issue that will cause you to feel fat, unstylish or frumpy...

Problem 2: Aside from getting the vertical proportions right, there is also your basic shape to consider. Just because you have Size 16 curves, doesn't mean that you have the same Size 16 curves as the fit model used in the garment design. You might be a Size 16 with big boobs and a relatively narrow back while the fit model is 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. The tell-tale sign of a style that's not made for you is fabric pull across your widest points. Many plus-size women think that going up in size will solve fabric pull issues — and it may — but unfortunately the garment will be too big for you elsewhere and this will make you feel self-conscious and frumpy. If you get stuck in this problem you may find yourself turning to shapeless styles as a way out but...

Problem 3: Choosing shapeless or A-line styles (aka large, loose floaty styles) may be comfortable — and they may hide your fat bits — but they also make you look frumpy and bigger than you are because they don't accentuate your slimmest points. You will see this illustrated in the case study below...

Problem 4: Curvy bodies and non-stretch fabrics 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 just so you can move easily and sit down. This wouldn't be a problem if going up in size only changed the dimensions of the garment where you need it. But unfortunately going up a size increases the proportions of the entire garment which will make you look frumpy, much older and bigger than you are!

Problem 5: The vast majority of women who have experienced problems 1-4 end up buying garments that that make them feel self-conscious for some reason or another. When this happens frequently over time, you end up finding fault with your body instead of your clothes. And because it's not easy to find style tips for plus size women it's easy to get stuck in a loop...

How To Get Unstuck: Our plus size customers are amazed by the difference the right clothes can make. If you want to get 'unstuck' follow the 7 style tips for plus size women below

style tips for plus size women

We understand these problems and the emotional havoc they cause because we work with plus size women every day. And because we are plus size clothing designers we know the key steps you need to follow to look good and feel confident... 

Below are some plus size fashions tips and tricks that have helped our customers transform their look from fat and frumpy to stylish and confident

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, they are super comfy to wear and because they are stretchy you don't need to go up in size to fit the widest parts of you

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. Click here for the complete guide on how to choose 'eye popping colours'

Step 3: Choose styles that balance rather than hide your shape. What this means is that you should ALWAYS accentuate your slimmest points. If the style and proportions of the garment are ideal for your height, torso length and shape you will see the difference immediately. Check out the case study below so you can learn from a plus size example. Click here to see 2 essential tips that will make your tummy look smaller and your posture look better

Step 4: Buy from brands or plus stores that offer a 'customizing' service so you can tweak fit of the clothes you buy to fit your shape and vertical proportions. It might be more expensive than a cheap high street store but the increase in your self-confidence will be worth it. Our plus customers say it's better to have 2 dresses that always make you look and feel fabulous than 20 that don't. Click here to explore what our plus size customers tweak using our customize service

Step 5: Wear a bra that keeps your girls focused centre front because bras that direct your girls to go east and west will always make you look broad and short in the upper body. You will see the difference illustrated in the case study below. Click here to learn the 5 Essentials you need to know before you buy bras

Step 6: Wear cotton based smooth lines no/VPL knickers with the highest waist possible as a better alternative to compression based underwear. This will reduce muffin tops and fat wodges and you'll resolve any thigh chafe issues you may have too. Click here to learn more about Passion Killer Knickers and why you need them

Step 7: Choose a shoe colour that doesn't compete with the colour of your eyes and hair. You can see this illustrated in the case study below but click here for the full guide

A Case Study: 

This before and after case study puts our 7 steps to the test so you can see the BIG difference it makes when you skip a few...

Style Tips for Plus Size Women


When we check this outfit against the steps above you can see that we've only met two of them. The overall look is frumpy and you can't help but focus on her boobs and tummy even though they are completely covered and it's a loose fit A-line skirt...

  • Fabric is stretchy
  • The colour doesn't make her eyes 'pop'
  • The style doesn't accentuate her slimmest points
  • The dress is too long
  • Girls aren't pointing centre front
  • Smooth curves all over
  • Shoe colour doesn't match hair colour
Style Tips for Plus Size Women

The magic happens when you follow ALL 7 steps. Our model looks A LOT slimmer and younger and instead of being mesmerised by her bust and tummy, we are naturally drawn to her face. This is the outcome you can expect too when you follow the 7 steps...

  • Fabric is stretchy
  • The colour makes her eyes 'pop'
  • The style balances her shape
  • The dress is tweaked to fit her perfectly
  • Girls are pointing centre front
  • Smooth curves all over
  • Shoe colour matches hair colour

The fastest way to a look you'll love

When it comes to style tips for plus size women, the 7 steps are a great place to start...

But 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 otherwise you will end up with little more than blind frustration

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. We recommend the following:

Step 1: Get fashion tips and tricks from a personal stylist

Working with a personal stylist that specializes in plus sizes will definitely fast track your way to confidence. For example, when you buy one of our styling packages we teach you — in front of a mirror on your body — what you need to do to get a look you'll love. Below is the checklist of everything our stylists/fit specialists cover. You can use this list to help you decide if you need a stylist and if you do, you can use it to select the best one for you. Click here for the full guide on the benefits of getting some professional help...

  • We check your bra size and bra shape and show you which bras go with your best necklines 
  • We show you what knickers are best to give you smooth curves instead of fat wodges
  • We show you which colours make your eye's pop, which don't and why
  • We show you which shoe colours and styles make you look slimmer and taller
  • We show you how to check the vertical proportions of a garment against your height and torso length
  • We show you which silhouettes will balance your shape best and why
  • We show you which customizations (tweaks) you need to get the perfect fit and why they're worth it
  • We record all of your style and fabrics loves so you don't need to remember them

Step 2: Buy from Brands/Stores that have a 'customize' service

Unless you are/have the same height, torso length and shape as the fit model used to develop a silhouette you will NEED to customize to get a look you love. Some styles can be altered post purchase to fit you, but these alternations are often just as expensive as the garment was to buy and they are never as good as tweaking the fit when your garment is being made....

And there are many customizations that can only be made during the manufacturing process so it's always best to buy/order your clothes from a brand/store that offers a 'customize' service. Yes!! you'll have a short wait, but our plus size customers always says the benefits to their self-confidence makes the wait worth it!

If you can't find a plus size brand with a 'customize' service near you, you can click here to explore our 'customize' service. We ship 'customized' clothes to plus size women all over the world and we make it super easy to reorder too...

Step 3: Explore our Lookin' Good Guides for FREE DIY Style Tips

Each week we release a new style guide that's full of useful, easy-to-follow style tips. First we show you the problem and then we give you the DIY steps to fix it. Click here to browse the most popular style tips right now. You'll find FREE guides on everything we cover in a 1-1 styling session with our customers. 

Plus Size 16 US Women’s Clothes / Size 20 Womens Clothes UK

The secret to Looking good in Plus Size Clothes

Our goal is to help you look good and feel confident...

Help us make the world a better place by improving the confidence of all women 

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