Several fabulous core pieces are essential for any fashion maven's wardrobe and for plus size women the devil's in the details … The selection of a few core pieces, that most importantly fit one's body and work harmoniously with one's lifestyle will carry their wearer seamlessly through any occasion. The following are five absolute "Must Haves" in your Plus Size wardrobe.
A good bra: When the girls are drooping or bulging out of your current bra, you look heavier regardless of your size. 60% of American women wear the incorrect bra size, which while aesthetically unpleasing, more importantly "especially in larger busted women" means many are subject to shoulder, neck and back pain / chaffing / skin abrasions. Get fitted by a professional! Nordstroms has knowledgeable staff and free fitting services, or visit a local lingerie boutique in your area. Be prepared to make a small investment, high quality lingerie can be pricey. Pleasantly, you'll find after choosing a quality, well fitted bra that even your least expensive clothes look divine.
Wrap sweater: Plus size women are blessed with fab curves, but often cover them up with far too much fabric for fear form-fitting items will make them look bigger. Not so curvy girls! Oversized knits make your silhouette larger, while curve skimming styles show off the feminine form. Skin tight styles are not flattering on anyone, but wrap sweaters that clearly cinch at the waist and have a v-neck to elongate the torso and flatter the bust, creating a gorgeous hourglass shape on curvy frames.
Dark denim: Dark denim, in a slight boot cut with a mid-rise is a chic essential wardrobe staple. Jeans should fit well at purchase through the hips and thighs; you can always have the waist taken in, but you can not have the thighs let out. The mid rise (just below the belly button) emphasizes your waist and the dark rinse elongates the leg. Regardless of how popular skinny jeans may be, please AVOID! Tapered styles make most women look like an olive on toothpicks. The same is said for Capris and cropped styles; they do nothing but shorten and widen the appearance of the legs. Denim should always be approximately an inch off the ground, so consider your preferred heel height when shopping.
A proper fitting winter coat: Time and again, women pull together a fab outfit, only to top it with a ski parka from four seasons ago. Go the extra mile and find a coat that fits and flatters your frame and style. A properly fitting coat never pulls at the bust and is most certainly "buttonable". The shoulder seams should fit AT your shoulders, not between your shoulder and elbow. The sleeves will hit you no lower than where your thumb joins your palm, however if your sleeves are long at purchase this is an easy fix for a tailor. Style-wise, chose a coat with a long line and a V-neckline, as well as an optionally cinchable waistline. Three quarter length is the most flattering, car-length (just below to tush) is lovely on women with great legs and full-length styles create a statement look on tall women. Avoid puffy anything or fur-trimmed hoods, which just add bulk.
Slim skirt: The slim skirt, like the wrap top, may seem risky, but when you wear a plus size, MORE is not BETTER. A full skirt will indeed cover your hips and thighs, but the extra volume will also make them look larger than they really are. Opt instead for a slim skirt, or slight a-line, fitted at the waist and hips then falling to a straight or slight a-line shape. Chose a thick, quality fabric in a neutral charcoal, tweed, black pinstripe or brown color.
The afore mentioned basics, in well tailored shapes create the beginnings of a timeless, sophisticated wardrobe, well-suited to show off a curvy physique. Add pops of color and trend focused accessories and shoes to update a timeless, chic look for any occasion!
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