style Tips

The Secret to Looking Good in Plus-Size Clothes

The secret to getting a look you love no matter how curvy you are for women size US 12 - 20. Learn the why, the how and the fast way to get there!

  • what are plus-size clothes?
  • why it's hard to find clothes that fit well
  • 7 steps to avoid looking fat & frumpy
  • the fastest way to a new you

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

What's in this guide:

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

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

LoveIt Wrap Dress with Side Ruche WR-4-D-S-PJ

Balanced Curves Look Beautiful

Balanced plus-size curves can be breathtakingly stunning. The magic happens when you follow ALL the 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
LoveIt A-Line Wrap Dress

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:

  • Fabric is stretchy
  • The colour doesn't make her eyes 'pop'
  • The style doesn't balance her bottom half curves
  • The dress is too long
  • Girls aren't pointing centre front
  • Smooth curves all over
  • Shoe colour doesn't match hair colour

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:

  • We check your bra size and shape
  • 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 love your hair and eyes
  • We show you which basic silhouettes that will take you from feeling average to good
  • We show you the exact tweaks you need to go from good to great
  • We teach you how to know what to buy and when to walk away
  • we record all of your style and fabrics loves so you don't need to remember them

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:

  • The best colours and fabrics for your shape and features
  • The best styles for your size, height and proportions
  • The exact tweaks you need to get the perfect fit

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


What knickers are best for my shape?

What knickers are best for my shape?



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