For plus size women, the fun of shopping has increased dramatically in recent years with a wide range of retailers now recognizing that nearly 50% of the population is at least a size 16, and finally catering for plus sizes with ranges of fun and fashionable clothing.
The trick with picking plus size clothing is to avoid hiding your shape. Attempting to hide away under baggy or shapeless items will merely make you look larger, and probably feel less confident. Instead, focus on working those curves! Fashion is increasingly about celebrating voluptuous lines and recognizing that curvy women are beautiful - just look at the recent fashion campaigns by Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and Etam all featuring beautiful plus size models.
Pick your favorite body part and dress to accentuate it. For example you may have a wonderful cleavage - in which case don't be afraid to display it with plunging v-lines and detailed necklines. If you have great calves - and many larger women do - then again, show them off with crop trousers or skirts and dresses. Trim arms and ankles can be shown off with short sleeves and shorter Summer lengths again - and remember to nip in that waist with a belt or tie to create a stunning hourglass shape. Clothes should skim your figure - not drown it, and remember that foundation underwear is one of the main things to get right - a well fitting bra and some controlling knickers will make all of your outfits look fantastic!
Summer dresses are a wonderful option for the warmer months. For plus size women, pick empire necklines if you are a pear shape - to show off that neat top half and create a nipped in waist. If you are more of an apple shape, choose a flattering bias cut which will show off those neat hips and great lengths. Pick a skirt length which ends at a slim part of your leg - for example, just below the knee is very flattering. Avoid dresses that end either above the knee or at the widest part of your calves, as they can be unflattering to all!
Look at bright colors this year - pinks, peaches and teal greens are all very fashionable, and embellishing is still a great look - pick an embellished dress which accentuates the areas you like best. Again, block colors are very trendy and also very slimming - pick the darker block on the biggest part of your body to balance it out.
In terms of stores to try for your Summer dresses, Dorothy Perkins goes right up to size 20 and has an excellent range of flattering Summer brights and dresses at great prices. Etam is another favorite for fashionable plus sizes, and has some great Aztec and folk prints for this Summer's dresses. Next also has a great fashionable plus size range. Or Try online boutiques such as Igigi, which goes right up to size 32 and has some fantastic sexy Summer dresses for work, casual and evening wear/weddings.
By Marie Hilland
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