The fashion industry used to be very unforgiving in its standards. It would be rare to see plus-size models on billboards and runways. Slim, tall figures would plaster themselves onto each advertisement as if to tell you that this is how you should look. Nothing more.
The world is starting change, though, accommodating body types and being more inclusive in their decisions. This inclusivity is not limited to the fashion industry only, but in beauty, technology, and other booming businesses.
That’s not to say that it is easy to stray away from the “norms” enforced by these industries, though. Most of the time, brands release half-assed attempts at plus-size fashion lines for the sake of looking inclusive. This just makes it that much harder to style yourself when these brands do not put in the effort of understanding which styles would look good.
Guides such as these will help you realize the full potential of your body, fashion-wise. It will open you to the world of plus-size fashion that does not only include baggy everything. Sometimes, your best bet is to go tighter.
Just as it is with slimmer bodies, the best plus-size style for you really depends on your body shape. So, to fully understand what works best for you, make sure you understand your body shape. Don’t worry; here’s a full guide for your convenience.
Women with the apple body shape are usually those with slimmer legs and fuller middles. That means your torso is generally fuller along with your breasts. You might find that your waist is less defined than other body types. Your legs, on the other hand, are slimmer.
What apple body shapes should usually go for are tops or dresses that accentuate your waist more than anything. This brings more balance to your shape and makes your middle look more flattering. This also creates curves where we want them to be.
Since you probably also want to flaunt your legs more than any other part, it’s great for you to show them off by wearing shorts, pencil skirts, or shorter dresses! You might also want to cut through all the fullness at the top, so wearing deep v-necks might help with that.
Bottom line: you want to accentuate your hips and legs and balance your middle.
The pear body shape is characterized by curvier and fuller hips and thighs with narrower shoulders. It’s very similar to the hourglass. Your waist is also slimmer, giving you a curvy figure.
What works best is to accentuate those full hips! This is usually done through tighter-fitting dresses that hug the hips just enough to show off your slim waist. To balance out the top and make it appear fuller, you can opt for tops or dresses that have some bulkier designs near your bust.
Prints can also accentuate your features! This happens, especially with striped skirts, because it clearly shows your silhouette. The patterns on these skirts will follow the shape of your body.
Not a big fan of tight bodycon dresses? Dresses that are fitter at the top and looser at the bottom creates an effect that mimics how your body naturally is, which is sure to be flattering to your body shape.
High-waisted jeans are also sure to hug your hips and legs just right, so the eye naturally tends to look at your legs instead of your top. Belts are also great for accentuating your waist.
Bottom line: wear pieces that will bring the eye naturally to your hips, legs, and waist. Go for a top with designs near your bust to balance it out.
The hourglass shape is popular for being the quote-unquote, “ideal” body shape. This is because there is balance throughout the body — from fuller breasts, a slimmer waist, and fuller hips. Just like an hourglass!
Since hourglass shapes are naturally curvier, emphasizing those curves will make for a more fashionable and stylish look. You can do this by wearing tighter skirts and dresses (or body con dresses) that fit your body just right. This is especially great if your dress can smoothen down your torso, making it look more seamless.
Sheath dresses are great as they naturally follow the shape of your body without too much tension. Other great options also include high-waisted jeans, which will emphasize your hips.
People with hourglass shapes also usually wear clothes that will show off their bust. This is done through off-shoulder tops or even staples tops. A belt also helps immensely to show off that waist!
Bottom line: show off those curves, girl! Make use of tighter dresses, clothes that will hug your waist and hips.
This body shape is exactly as it sounds like; your shoulders are broad with a fuller bust, and your hips and legs are slimmer. Your waist is usually also undefined.
To balance your body shape, you can go for tighter tops but looser skirts or bottoms. The point of this is to add more volume near your hips and legs.
However, even if it’d be best to go for tighter tops, choose tops that do not emphasize your shoulders with hugging sleeves. Instead, opt for strap dresses, both thick and thin straps.
Try to go for flare dresses. Boxy shorts are also great, especially those that are high-waisted because they give more structure and shape to your hips. This includes wide-leg and pleated shorts.
Although the diamond shape is similar to the apple shape, those with the diamond shape usually have slimmer shoulders and legs. In the middle is where most of the fullness is found.
To create a more balanced look, we must make the slimmer parts fuller and longer as much as we can. This is why it’s great to wear tops that emphasize your shoulders with tight-fitting sleeves. Flowy sleeves are also great to create more fullness for your top.
Your legs will also benefit from looking longer. This is done by wearing straight skirts and flared pants. This draws the eye to your legs instead of the middle. Make sure that you wear clothes that will show off your arms and legs and cinch your waistline through a belt.
Bottom line: wear clothes that will draw your eyes to the shoulders and legs instead of your middle, which will benefit from being cinched.
Although I have given you a guideline for certain body types, it goes without saying that the best things to wear are those that are most comfortable for you, pieces that make you feel most yourself. These are not hard set rules, as fashion does not go by the rules.
Go by what makes you feel the most beautiful! Besides, it’s more fun to experiment on yourself than by boxing yourself into rules that might not work anyway. Take these as suggestions on your fun journey to finding out the best look for your body.