Women who gain weight often find that the process of shopping for plus-sized clothing makes them more aware of their weight than at any other time. Plus-sized clothing is notoriously unappealing, and often women find that choosing clothes that flatter them is difficult. When you are shopping for plus-sized clothing, try to keep these tips in mind.
The sizes available for larger women and men are not standard. While that’s also true of smaller sizes, the differences become more pronounced for plus-sized women. A size 18 blouse in one store may fit while you need a size 20 from another designer. Another wrinkle in the fabric of plus size clothing is that some brands use simple numbers while others use the “W” designation after the number. In general terms, the W, as in 20W, has a wider cut without the narrowing at the waist that is typical of women’s clothes. Plus size clothing really needs to be tried on unless you are re-purchasing a classic piece that you need to replace.
Even when you have an idea of what size you need, finding the right plus-sized clothing can be tricky. The women and men who wear these clothes are larger than the average size, which means that they are larger everywhere. For women who are not uniformly large, this design choice makes finding the right fit difficult. Women with large breasts but smaller waists will need to look for shirts specifically cut for their body type, for example. When out shopping, keep in mind that tailoring may be the only choice for getting plus size clothing to fit properly. While tailoring seems like something only for the affluent, getting a basic tailoring job can cost $10 or less, which is not a bad investment for professional attire.
One specific concern when buying plus-sized clothing is the length of shirt. Length is of specific concern because your body type will affect the amount of fabric needed to cover you. The best way to account for torso length is to get a shirt that is longer, rather than wider. The longer fabric will allow the shirt to fall onto your body with the right proportions, rather than feeling too wide in some spots and not covering you properly.
Flowers and other large prints don’t typically work well for plus size clothing, but these themes remain popular. Instead look for understated designs. Solid colors work with the right cut of fabric, but if you don’t want solids, then look for something with a small print that does not cover the entire shirt. A line of small flowers along the front of the shirt or a design along the cuffs or bottom of a shirt work well. For pants or skirts, avoid prints and stick to solid colors. These colors draw less attention to what are typically less flattering of your body, and sticking with classic styles and colors make for more flattering clothing choices for larger women and men.
The proportions of one’s body play a part in the choice of plus size clothing. Though people’s bodies are different, plus size clothing often are not designed to take that fact into account. When shopping for plus-sized clothing, think about the height of the piece versus the width of the piece and look at the cut of the clothing. The clothing’s cut and proportions should mimic your body. The best way to tell if the cut is workable for your body’s proportions before trying the clothing on is to hold it up to your body to see if your body seems to “match” the clothing.
Finally don’t forget accessories! Often a way to hide something less flattering about one’s body is to add an accessory that will catch people’s attention. Adding a long beaded necklace can catch the eye, for example. Shoes provide an excellent way to add height and thus make one’s body look more proportionate. Hats and scarves are fun pieces that draw people to your sense of style and not pay as much attention to your size.
There are few people for whom clothes shopping is an entirely pleasurable experience, but for men and women looking for plus sized clothing, the situation can feel painful. Instead of looking at clothes shopping as a chore or something that makes you feel badly, challenge yourself to find clothes and accessories that show off your best features and put your personal sense of style on display. Just don't forget to have fun in the process!