This post is brought to you by Nordstrom Rack. “Get chic plus size style at the rack!”
Dangerous curves ahead. Love them or hate, we all got them – some more than others and for me, that is a whole lot more than what would be considered acceptable in the world of high fashion. From the ripe old age of 8, my mom bought me my first heavy duty training bra because it was then that I began to blossom in a way that no one else in my second grade class did. To tell you the truth I was completely mortified when I first saw it and it only got worse from there. Boys in my class would taunt me and sing, “hills are where the toys are” and girls would poke their pencils in my big breasts and wide hips as I passed by their desk seats at school. From that point on, all I wanted to do was hide my curves. Nothing changed from high school all the way up to college as I was surrounded by friends who had picture perfect bodies, well, in my eyes at least. And I did everything in my power to get my body to look like their’s, but it was never going to because I was a curvy girl and that was that. My relationship with these curves was a rocky one until it was then I realized that my curves are, well, awesome and womanly and all I really needed was to know how to dress them the right way to look just as amazing as the 5’11 size 2 model on the front page of any given magazine.
With these simple tips any curvy or plus size gal can be as confident as ever before.
1. WORK THOSE LEGS
So maybe you feel that your tummy isn’t the tightest or your hips are wider than you’d like, but you’ve got legs, haven’t you? Adding a simple shoe with a heel height that you feel comfortable with and raising the hemline on your dress or skirt several inches above the knee will balance out the rest of your body. Keep in mind we are not going for slutty here, so the rest of your outfit should be classic with modest lines and your legs will be the star of the show.
2. LAYER WISELY
Whether it be big bulky sweaters to keep warm in the winter chill or a summer vest over a dress to beat the heat, don’t forget that how you layer your clothing is key. The more you pile on, the heavier you will look if you have a curvy body, especially a large chest. If you go for a bulkier piece like an oversized sweater on the top, put a simple thin blouse underneath and keep it slim on the bottom with a pair of skinny jeans. Never underestimate the power of a good blazer either. Layering with a darted blazer, cute snug cardi, or crochet vest that sits right above hip level will give you the fashionable style of layers without the frumpiness. If you do wish to pull off that grandpa cardigan, don’t fret— it can be done. Wear it over a dress and keep the waist belted. The goal is to look effortless, not like a bag lady. If you want to go for layers, keep them simple and don’t forget to emphasize either your waist or legs to keep that hourglass figure intact.
3. PAINT AN INTERESTING PALETTE
Have fun with color and don’t rely on black to get you by all the time. The way you color block your outfits can actually distract from the parts of your body you feel less than confident about. I love to work this trick by adding a band of contrasting color around my waist whether it be by a belt, or sash, or just a dress with a built in contrasting waist line. Finding the smallest part of your waist is key when doing this. Take it to the next level by adding more color with your shoes or tights. This will make your color story far more interesting and showcase your curves in a more flattering light. Putting together a color story is like painting a picture: experiment, experiment, experiment and don’t put yourself in box. You can wear just as much color as the next girl. The possibilities are endless and will make getting dressed a whole lot more exciting.
4. BE A SHAPE SHIFTER
Know what shapes work for you. If you are both top and bottom heavy like a true hourglass, my goodness emphasize that waist! It will take pounds off you. Sure, I love tent dresses just like the next girl and I will admit that there are a couple sitting and collecting dust in my closet, but nothing looks better on a curvy girl than a dress with a cinched waist or an a-line skirt with a fitted blouse. It’s an age-old tip and is one worth sticking to. Keep things on top cut closer to the body, hug the waist and flare out at the bottom. Not into wearing dresses or skirts all the time? The same principle can be applied with pants or jeans as well by wearing a fitted boatneck top or darted blouse, and a trusty pair of flat front slightly wide legged pants. Close. Hug. Flare. It’s such an easy formula to remember and is really all you need to know when looking for shapes that suit your curvy figure.
5. THE FORGOTTEN ACCESSORY – GOOD HEADWEAR
So you have probably noticed by now that I have somewhat of an affinity for fancy headwear. True, but it’s something that’s easily forgotten. Perhaps you may not feel compelled to work hair accessories into all your outfits, but don’t underestimate their power to draw attention upwards to your pretty face and lovely locks. Just like a good pair of heels, they can balance out your outfit and your curvy body and needless to say they are adorable as well. My trusty favorites are woolen hats for winter and scarves and floral crowns for summer.
There you have it. Follow these simple tips and dressing those curves will be as easy and delicious as cherry pie. That’s right, I will never deny myself a piece. First and foremost, finding the right clothing for your curvy/plus size figure should not be a chore. Embrace those curves, learn to love them, and they will be your best friend and secret weapon. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun in the process! You are a woman, give a loud roar and strut those gorgeous curves you’ve been given.
by Marisa DiSalvatore