How to choose plus size clothing for women that suits your body type

The world of fashion is changing. Although there are plenty out there who still worship the slimmest of us all, women are fighting back against these societal norms and advocating for their plus-size bodies. In fact for all bodies, of all shapes and sizes, because as we know ‘one size’ certainly does not fit all nor does it define us.

As a result, women’s plus size clothing is no longer tucked away in the back of your favourite shops and the styles, designs and range of sizes are increasing. Today women want to feel confident and beautiful, regardless of their size and finally retailers are catching up.

So, now that there are so many outfit choices available, how do you choose plus size clothing for women that not only fits but flatters your unique shape? Here are our trendy fashion tips for the plus size body shape.

womens body shapes
The size of your upper body, shoulders, waist and hips defines your body shape

Understanding Body Shape

The first step is having an idea of your body type. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and each one is beautiful in its own way. Although wearing clothes that you love whatever the style or fit is important, it can be useful to know what works best with the different body types to help you decide what looks good on you.

Not all women will fit into these categories and that’s ok. Many women are a combination of shapes, these are just guidelines to help get you started.

For Apple Shapes

If you carry more weight around your middle, try looser or flowing tops that gently skim over your tummy. Wrap dresses and empire waistlines are your best friends as they define your waist without clinging to unwanted areas.

For Pear Shapes

If your hips are wider than your shoulders, balance your silhouette by drawing attention upwards. Choose tops with interesting necklines or statement sleeves paired with necklaces to draw the eye. A-line skirts and bootcut trousers with blazers will flatter your curves without adding bulk.

For Hourglass Figure

With balanced proportions and a well-defined waist, you can wear almost any style with your hourglass shape. Embrace fitted tops and dresses that accentuate your curves. Look for pieces that nip in at the waist and flow gracefully over your hips.

For Rectangle Body Shapes

If your bust, waist, and hips are roughly the same width, create the illusion of curves with strategic layering. Belted jackets and peplum tops add volume to your waist, while flared skirts and wide-leg trousers provide movement and shape.

busty woman in dress
Plus size dresses can still flatter curvy women

Playing with Colours and Patterns

Traditionally, darker block colours have been the go-to with plus-size clothing. These are universally flattering but with more retailers extending their standard ranges to include plus sizes you have so much more choice. Think about what suits you, what works well with your hair colour and complexion, perhaps black or dark clothing washes you out.

Do you prefer simple colours and patterns or do you love bold prints? If the fit of the clothes is flattering to your shape then really you can choose any variations or patterns you like. Dressing to your personality will make you feel more confident and excited to get dressed each morning.

Alternatively, use black or darker bottoms with bright tops or jumpers to add interest and break up any patterns that may be a little overpowering. You could also add a blazer or one of your favourite coats to help tone down a bright blouse underneath. The most important thing is to have fun with your clothes. You don’t need to follow all the trends or be particularly fashion-forward.

Keep things simple and create a wardrobe that has key pieces such as trousers, t-shirts, jeans and knitwear that you can dress up or down for any occasion. Investing in co-ords is always a good idea and can help create the illusion of a more streamlined figure. With the right shoes and jewellery, you will have created several outfits that work perfectly with your body shape.

plus size woman wearing floral dress
Your plus size body shape will suit different types of dresses

Choosing the Right Fabrics

When choosing fabrics, it’s important to prioritise comfort without sacrificing style. Breathable materials like cotton, linen, and jersey tend to drape gracefully over curves. Avoid stiff fabrics that cling or bunch up in the wrong places. Stretchy knits and anything lightweight are also a good choice. Floating maxi dresses or midi skirts are both feminine and stylish.

Pair them with sandals or boots and cardigans in colder weather to allow you to wear them in any season. Cotton shirts or blouses offer structure and shape if you need to smarten up a pair of jeans or linen trousers. Add a pair of loafers and your favourite sunglasses to complete the look.

Of course, there will be times when only a casual pair of denim jeans will do the job but try on a few different styles and see which suits your shape better. Wide-leg trousers and jeans are becoming popular and suit curvier shapes beautifully, or perhaps you’re still rocking your skinny jeans or leggings.

Don’t worry, what you feel confident in is all that matters. Activewear, joggers and trainers are extremely comfortable and are now seen as a fashion staple which is great for those of us who prefer a more casual look. Tracksuits, jumpsuits and cross body bags are in all the stores and with more collections released all the time there is a huge amount of choice for all of us.

If you are busty, avoid baggy sweatshirts and hoodies when plus size because it can make you appear larger and boxier than you are. Instead, opt for more fitted tops or styles that cinch at the waist to accentuate your curves. V-neck or scoop neck tops can also help elongate your neckline and draw attention upwards.

Add some statement jewellery for a party or special occasion and if you have a bigger bust invest in your underwear! Well fitting lingerie can change the appearance of your top half, adding balance and seamless lines to your shape.

Lastly, we can’t forget about swimwear. The fit, fabric and shape can make a huge difference to your shape. If you don’t like spending your holidays covering up in tunics then shop swimsuits specifically made for plus size bodies. The ranges of availability of different swimwear is now huge with fashion for women moving firmly into resort wear.

It may be better when choosing your swimwear to try on in a store rather than buying online. This way you can easily see which styles and cuts will fit you, especially if you have a big bust.

confident plus size woman goes surfing
Whatever your shaped body, happiness and confidence rule supreme

5 Tips for Shopping with Confidence

Know Your Measurements: If you are buying online take accurate measurements of your bust, waist, and hips. This will help you find the perfect fit every time without being disappointed. This also applies when bra shopping, as your bust size can change and be painful if too tight.

Try Before You Buy: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and silhouettes. What looks good on a hanger may not always flatter your figure, so try on multiple sizes and cuts until you find the right one. Take time to enjoy it, and don’t get disheartened in the changing room if something doesn’t fit well, try something else.

Accessories: Belts, jackets and bags can really accentuate your clothes, pulling them in and adding detail in just the right places. Try out different items to see how they change the look of what you are wearing.

Focus on Comfort: From your underwear to your footwear, think about what feels too tight or too restricting. If it’s not comfortable you won’t feel good wearing it. Above all, choose clothing that makes you feel confident. If you love what you’re wearing, it will show in your attitude and demeanour.

Ignore Size Labels: Remember that clothing sizes vary between brands. Focus on how the garment fits and feels, rather than the number on the tag. If you love to wear dresses, ones that fit your shape will always look better, even if they feel large.

Plus-size models and influencers are successfully challenging stereotypes and inspiring others to embrace their curves with confidence. You don’t have to look far on social media to find accounts of all women sharing with others how they dress and how to feel body-positive in the process.

Choosing plus sized clothing is all about celebrating your body and expressing your unique sense of style. Surround yourself with positive influences and with the right knowledge and confidence, you can successfully wear any look with grace and elegance. Embrace your curves and take advantage of the huge range of plus size apparel now available to you.