Best Plus Size Tops For Leggings According to Body Type

The best plus-size tops to wear with leggings boils down to one thing – your body type. Not all styles of tops work for all plus-size 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 for hourglass figures
Hourglass bodies need tops with waist definition.

1. Plus Size Hourglass

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

  • Choose long tops and tunics that skim your body and gently nip in at the waist. Any 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 tops for pear shaped
Tops with wide necklines/embellishments help balance out a Pear’s wide hips.

2. Plus Size Pear

Plus-size gals with pear-shaped figures carry most of their weight on 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 shoulder detail (i.e., flutter or puff sleeve) to broaden your top half. Any embellishment, such as beading or embroidery at the neckline, 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 your hips. Your top needs to flow gently over your hips and fall softly at the hem.
plus size tops for inverted triangle body type
Inverted Triangles should look for tops with clean necklines and detail at the bottom.


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 than your hips. This is the swimmer’s body. Many plus-size gals have large busts to go along with their large shoulders. In this case, the goal is to balance 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 the hips. If you have embellishment on the sleeve cuffs or the hem of your lid, that’s great too to draw the eye downwards and balance things out.
plus size tops for rectangle body shape
Rectangle shapes look great in wrap tops or tops with a tie that fakes a waist.

4. Plus Size Rectangle

Gals with a plus-size rectangular body don’t have much of a waist and are straight up and down. Their boxy shape is known as a banana or a brick shape. The goal 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 figure look bigger and give you the appearance of a more defined waist.
plus size tops for apple shape
Long, loose tops that flow gently over the tummy flatter an Apple shape.

5. Plus Size Apple

The apple’s 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 flow a little looser. 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 for leggings

Make Sure Your Top is Long Enough

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

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

Elevate with a Great Bra

Hike the girls up in a smooth, smooth bra that 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.  Ensure 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, like a long open jacket. For example, an all-white outfit with a long red coat over the top. This column of color ( white) under your available red coat can create a very flattering look. Scale is Important with Print Tops

Scale Matters

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


Finding the perfect plus-size top for leggings is the same if you are size 2 or 2X. It’s all about knowing your body type and balancing it with the ideal style. Here are some plus-size tops for leggings in stores now!

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More on plus-size leggings here.

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3 thoughts on “Best Plus Size Tops For Leggings According to Body Type

  1. I wouldn’t say I like leggings. And for me, they are not comfortable – they have a terrible 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 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 aware of the fabric and how it hangs. I haven’t tried a shawl yet, but the one you have here looks like an excellent option.


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