Fashion Tips For Big Women

Fashion tips for larger womenI try to help women of all shapes and sizes here at Fabulous after 40, but lately many of you have written to me asking specifically for fashion tips for larger women.

No problem. I totally understand. Some of you may have been plus size your whole life. Others may be experiencing body changes after 40 that make it very common to put on some extra pounds.

Whatever the case, whether you are trying to get that weight off or not, it’s important to dress for the size you are now. You need to look and feel fabulous in your clothes no matter how much extra weight you may be carrying.

Here are 5 fashion tips on how to choose plus size women’s clothing to help you.

Plus size wrap top

This plus size wrap tops skims your body without being too tight.( From Nordstrom)

Tip # 1 – Don’t Buy Clothes that are Too Tight

Nothing is worse than trying to fit into clothes that are too small. You may think a smaller size is going to make you look thinner, but in reality, it makes you look bigger.

Small, tight clothing on a big body exaggerates your weight. Get clothing that fits and forget about the size tag, even if it means you need to start wearing plus size women’s clothing.

 Tip # 2 – Don’t Buy Clothes that are Too Baggy

On the Flip side, clothing that is too loose doesn’t work either. When it comes to fashion tips for overweight women, this is one you really need to pay attention to.

It’s very common to see a heavy woman walking around in a “tent”. What I mean here is a top or dress that is big, sloppy and has no fit. True, some styles of plus size women’s fashion clothing have been designed this way, but most often this problem has to do with buying the wrong size.

Many larger women choose oversize clothing to try and hide their body, when the truth is they are only drawing more attention to it.

Clothes need to skim your body, no matter what your shape or size. I don’t mean they should be tight, but they need to flow gently over your curves.  It doesn’t matter whether you prefer trendy plus size women’s clothing or more sophisticated plus size women’s clothing, fit is as important as style when it comes to looking Fabulous.

* Note: For women who are both large and tall make sure your sleeves and pant legs are long enough to fit properly. I suggest you check women’s plus size clothing stores that also specialize in tall women’s clothing.

Tip # 3 –  Wear Dark Colors on the Heavy Bits   

Color is a wonderful way to camouflage weight. Dark colors recede and bright/light colors advance if you wear dark colors on your heavy parts those parts will look smaller.

Big thighs? ….then wear dark navy, brown, black, gray, burgundy pants and a lighter/brighter top. Huge bust and tiny hips? Then you’d want to wear the darker color up top and the lighter color on the bottom.

  Tip # 4- Avoid Detail where you carry the Weight

Plus size women's clothing

plus size women with bigger bone structure can wear bigger, heavier accessories

plus size women with bigger bone structure can wear bigger, heavier accessories

Buttons, pockets, pleats, embellishment…they all draw attention, so don’t have them where you where don’t want people to look. If you have a generous rear end that you are trying to downplay, don’t buy jeans with studs, embroidery or anything else jazzing up the back pockets.

If your upper arms are beefy, a short sleeved top with sleeves that end at the thickest part of your arm is going to make them look heavier. A mirror is your best friend.

 Tip # 5 – Keep Your Accessories in Scale

If you are a big woman you need to have heavier accessories. A 200 Pound woman is going to look heavier wearing tiny, dainty jewelry.  She will look better in medium to large size jewelry.

Scale is also important when it comes to other things such as the thickness of your heels. For example, if you have heavy legs and calves a thin spiky heel is such a contrast to your legs that you are going to look like you have even heavier legs. A thicker heavier heel would be better for you.

Imagine a very heavy set woman with a tiny purse. It just  makes her look bigger, right? Keep your accessories in line with your weight,  size, and bone structure, and you will look slimmer.

Do you have any fashion tips for dressing when you are a big woman or suggestions for where to find clothing catalogs and buy high end plus size women’s clothing? If so, please comment below.

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  1. ayushi acharya says:

    thank you this helps aloT :)
    well being a plus size teen(XL) i’ve been taunted by my friends and relatives and its real difficult to find clothes that suit me.
    this article will help me to find the right type of clothes :)

  2. Elizabeth Martinez says:

    After many years of being a plus size woman, I must disagree with #3. I am over 200 pounds, and I can assure you that whether I’m wearing a black skirt or a peach skirt, I’m going to be and look like a 200+ woman. To all the beautiful amazing curvy ladies out there, wear your white skirts, white jeans and white pants, and work it! That is the epitome of embracing our curves and loving ourselves exactly at the size that we are. Besides how boring would it be to only have dark skirts/pants?

  3. Cindy Dye says:

    This article might actually give me a little bit of hope that one day I’ll be pretty again in others’ eyes. Thank you so so much for this article.

  4. Proper fit is essential when it comes to clothes. Too loose or too tight can instantly ruin what could have been a great look. You can easily show off your figure the right way with these tips!

  5. Kathy Roberts says:

    Many stores have consultants that are there just to help you. I recently put on weight and none of my clothes fit well. I went to Coldwater Creek and told them I was feeling dumpy and they helped me determine what I liked and build a wardrobe and style to match. I now walk around confident in my appearance and feeling good about myself. Try it, there is no charge and the sales people are eager to assist.

  6. Kimberly Mertz says:

    Hi! I am a big, beautiful woman, and I agree that larger, heavier pieces of jewelry are more in line with a larger, heavier woman! I have also noticed how much slimmer I appear when my necklaces are longer length, and I almost always go with a length of 28″ to 32″ inches for necklaces, and usually they are of the type that have “bigger” embellishments on them ie: large cameo’s, or say, a large,blue flower! And for them to hang just so, below the breasts, the above length looks great, at least on me!! Hope that thats some of us bigger gals out!! Oh, I also tend to wear a top/dress with a sleeve that is somewhat looser, like a “flutter” sleeve, that is a bit longer, midway between shoulder and elbow is always a good bet!! I enjoyed this article, and always appreciate when fashion is directed towards us plus size beauties, So I say thankyou very much!!

    • Kim,
      My pleasure. I’ve been getting so much good feedback on this post that I’m going to write some more. Please let me know what topics you would like covered. Cheers!

      • Connie Miller says:

        I would appreciate travel wardrobe tips for heavier older women who want to travel light. On a recent trip to southern Spain, I noticed that the local ladies wore dark skirts, nylons and muted-tone blouses. Skirts and nylons are a pain for traveling light. In another part of the country, women of all ages were wearing tight-fitting black pants or leggings, which definitely wouldn’t work for me. A travel site said ALL women wear bikinis at the beach (ugh!) I would like a wardrobe of 3 bottoms, 5 tops, jacket or warm sweater, walking shoes and accessories that will fit into a carry-on, along with other travel essentials.

  7. Great tips! Thanks for focusing on us curvy gals. Interestingly, women who wear a size 14+ represent over half of the women in the US!

  8. As an “over 40” transgender woman I can safely say most of us in the trans community are in desperate need of fashion “hints” and guidance.
    I don’t know if you know it, but your site is a wonderful source of information to a group you perhaps never really thought of!
    Thanks so much!!!!

  9. Another tip is to wear what you love. This seems obvious, but your confidence and poise will reflect your beauty. I have lost track of the times someone has commented on how good I look and asked me if I lost weight when the only difference was that I felt good in what I was wearing.

  10. Thank you! I had a total hysterectomy, hit 40, and am struggling to lose weight. Fingers crossed there are more articles for big girls on what and what not to wear!

  11. Thank you for this informative post!

  12. In art, to create a focal point one of the ways is placing the darkest dark and the lightest light together. So if you have a black skirt and a white blouse the focal point will be at the waist or where those two items of clothing meet. So Black skirt, blue top and black and white necklace! The attention goes to the face!

    • I would completely agree that all one color can emphasize the expanse on a larger area. thank you for your comment on your personal experiences.

      • Hi Annette,
        Not sure what you mean but one color head to toes is more slimming than wearing 2 or 3 contrasting colors. All one color or tone on tone is called monochromatic dressing and is very slimming.

        • Janet Siar says:

          I like to wear one color, for example, navy on both top and bottom. Then I top that with a colorful jacket or blouse. The navy gives a strong vertical column that draws the eye up to the face, the contrasting print or color adds interest and variety.

          • That’s exactly right Janet. It’s called a column of color to make you look slim and trim and it’s something I love to tell women about all the time. Such an easy trick and it really works!

  13. I have a caveat for Tip #4. I find that if a woman has a large rear, an uninterrupted expanse of color makes it look that much larger. A well-placed pocket can break up the expanse, but so can a shirt or jacket that hits in the right place. I have much observational and personal experience in this, as large, round booties run in my family. :-)

    • Chioma Iyke-Ani says:

      Started following this site even before I turned 40 in April. I must say I’ve learnt a lot from you guys. This piece was really helpful.