Best Plus Size Tops and Tunics To Wear With Leggings

Finding the best plus-size top to wear with leggings boils down to one simple thing – your body type. Not all styles of tops work for all shapes. Subtle details in the top you choose can make all the difference between looking o.k. or awesome.

Here’s how to determine your body type and choose the best plus-size tops and tunics to wear with leggings.

plus size tops hourglass shape
Tops to Wear If you are an Hourglass

1. Plus Size Hourglass

If your shoulders and bust are about the same width and your waist is a lot smaller, then you have a pin-up girl hourglass figure. When dressing in this shape, the goal is to show off, not hide the waist for the most flattering look.

  • Choose long tops and tunics that skim your body and gently nip in at the waist. Any kind of top with a belt, sash, or drawstring is also ideal for playing up your curves.
  • Avoid loose baggy tops at all costs since they add bulk and will make you look much larger than you are.
  • Necklines can make a difference too. The hourglass has a great bust, so show it off with a flattering V-neck, scoop neck, or button-down shirt.

plus size tunics pear shape
Top to wear if you are a Pear.

2. Plus Size Pear

Plus-size gals with a pear-shaped figure carry the majority of their weight in their hips and thighs. They have small shoulders compared to their bottom half, but the upside is they also have a defined waist.

Dressing this body type to balance out the heavy lower half by drawing attention upwards and visually widening the bust and shoulders. To do this:

  • wear long tops and tunics with strong shoulders, wide necklines (boat neckline is good ), or new shoulder detail (i.e., flutter or puff sleeve). Any embellishment or detail, such as beading or embroidery at the neck, also helps balance things out.
  • A brightly colored plus-size top with black leggings will also turn the attention upward and away from the heavy bottom half. 
  • Asymmetrical hemlines and cuts on an angle also help to curve inches off the hips visually. Final note: Be sure your top is not tight across the hips. Your tops need to gently flow over your hips and fall softly at the hem.
plus size tops inverted triangle

Tops To Wear if You are a Triangle

3. Plus Size Inverted Triangle

The inverted triangle body type is the opposite of the pear. If you have this body shape, your shoulders are much wider in comparison to your hips. This is the swimmer’s body. Much plus-size glass has large busts to go along with their large shoulders. In this case, the goal is to balance out the narrow bottom half to be more proportional to the shoulders.

  • Go for long plus-size tops with an open V-neck to visually narrow the shoulders ( showing more skin here will make shoulders look less wide).
  • Keep any embellishment away from the neckline/shoulder, as it will only emphasize your wide top half.
  • Also, the inverted triangle can handle long plus-size tops for leggings with a lot of volume at the bottom to fill in the hips. If you have embellishment on the sleeve cuffs or the hem of your top, that’s great too to draw the eye downwards and balance things out.
plus size tops rectangle shape
Tops to wear if you are a Rectangle

4. Plus Size Rectangle

Gals with a plus-size rectangular body don’t have much of a waist and are pretty much straight up and down. Their shape is known as a banana or a brick shape. The goal here is to find a top that creates a waist or breaks up these vertical lines and adds curves.

  • A wrap or a peplum-style long top for leggings that cinches at the waist will help create more of an hourglass shape.
  • A top with ruffles or some movement at the bust will also make your bust look bigger and give you the appearance of a more defined waist.
plus size tops apple shape
Tops to wear if you are an Apple

5. Plus Size Apple

The apple body shape is heavily weighted in the middle. While your bust is usually average to large, you have smaller hips, no waist, and a protruding belly. This makes it hard to find tops that don’t feel tight. The goal with this body shape is to balance the top and bottom and take the eye off the waist.

  • The best type of long tops for leggings for this shape are tops that accentuate the bust, drawing the eye up from the midsection. This includes V-necks, scoop necks, sweetheart necks, and drape necks.
  • Even though you probably have a flat bottom, your stomach protrudes, so you need tops for leggings that are a little looser and that flow. Stay away from anything that is tight and pulls across the tummy.
  • Also, avoid any detail at the waist whatsoever, such as a tie belt or buttons. They only draw attention to where you don’t want it.

Other Things to Think About When Choosing Plus Size tops to Wear with Leggings

plus size top leggings

Make Sure Your Top is Long Enough

The best length for a long plus-size top to wear with leggings is one that covers your crotch at a minimum and above the knee a couple of inches maximum. Your top should never end at the widest part of your body – a little above or below is the widest point is better.

Petite gals on the fence are better off to go a bit shorter, in general, to avoid drowning in lots of fabric and looking short and heavy.

Wear a Good Bra

Hike the girls up in a good bra that is smooth and doesn’t show through your long top. Perky is youthful and can make you look slimmer. This is especially true when you have a large bust. You don’t want it to look like your bust and belly are all one. Pulling the girls up gives you that separation and a proper waist.

All one Color is Slimming.

Head-to-toe color, especially dark, is always slimming, so go ahead and try a  black, navy, or brown top with matching color leggings.  Just make sure your top has some texture so your outfit doesn’t look boring.

Another slimming color trick is to wear all one color head- to- toe, light or dark, and then wear a contrasting color over the top in the way of a long open jacket. For example, an all-white outfit with a long red open jacket over the top. This column of color ( white) under your open red jacket can create a very flattering look. Scale is Important with Print Tops

Scale is Important with Prints

If you are going to wear a print top with your leggings, make sure you consider scale. A tiny print on a plus-size woman will get lost and will emphasize your size. Likewise, an oversize print can overwhelm. Middle-size to large prints work better.  Whatever colors suit you are fine.

Finding the perfect plus-size top for leggings is really no different if you are size 2 or 2X. It’s all about knowing your body type and balancing it out with the perfect style.

Join the Conversation

2 thoughts on “Best Plus Size Tops and Tunics To Wear With Leggings

  1. I hate leggings. And for me personally they are not comfortable – they have bad influence on my blood circulation.

  2. I love leggings! Especially as an apple shape, if I can find leggings that don’t roll down over my middle, I find them to be very comfortable. With my big bust I have trouble finding tunics that don’t billow out under my bust and look like a tent so I’m very cognizant of the fabric and how it hangs. I haven’t tried a shawl yet but the one you have here looks like a nice option.


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