Shopping for plus size clothing can be a daunting task. Plus sized women come in all different shapes and sizes, so it is important to for each woman to find her own fit and style. This can be accomplished with a little patience and a few tips.
Plus size clothing usually begins at a size 14 (using American sizing). For most plus size clothing stores, size 14 is the smallest size they carry, although stores such as Torrid begin at a size 12. The largest size usually goes up to a 28. Women who are larger than a size 28 can usually find their size at online stores or in catalogs if the brick and mortar stores do not carry them, so no need to fret!
Too short? Too tall? Just right? No problem!
One major obstacle that the plus size clothing industry has overcome is realizing that not all women are the same height. In the past, it was very difficult for a woman who was not only large but short as well to find a decent fit in pants or jeans. Now most major plus size retailers are well-stocked with pants in different lengths, usually petite, average, and tall. Not only does this give women more options for a better fit, but it saves them money so they don't have to pay to have their pants or jeans tailored.
For women with a fuller bust than most:
Another improvement in the plus size clothing industry is the cut of tops. Again, in the past shopping for tops could be difficult because a lot of larger women have fuller breasts. For example, buying a button-down top that fit in the waist could not even come close to containing 'the girls' effectively. These days they are cut fuller on top and stay true to size in the waist. This provides a more flattering look without the woman having to worry that she looks like she is pregnant or wearing a tent!
Having said that, large-breasted women should avoid button-down tops. Unless the woman has a figure like Pamela Anderson, it is not a flattering look. The exception to this would be a cardigan sweater. They provide a classic, tailored look and can be worn with just about any figure. Instead, opt for scoop neck tops with a bit of Spandex that will give you some shape. Go for bold patterns in darker colors to camouflage and de-emphasize the chest area. Avoid stripes, especially horizontal; they bring too much attention to the breasts while doing nothing to help out the waist. Another option is a 'wrap' top. This is a top that crosses the chest and comes together just underneath the bustline, and is fitted in the waist. If the wrap is too low-cut, just wear a cute camisole underneath. And finally, when all else fails, whip out a scarf. There are many different ways to wear a scarf that will hide imperfections, or just make a large-breasted woman more comfortable and confident in the top she has chosen.
Jeans, glorious jeans!
Of all the improvements that the plus size clothing industry has made over the past few decades, the jean has to be the biggest and most important one. Finally, the clothing industry is starting to realize the importance of the perfect pair of jeans.
There are many options to choose from nowadays. Bootcut, slim fit (yes, even for plus size women!), straight leg, flare, you name it. Plus size jeans also come in trendy washes and updated styles. You can now throw away those old-fashioned 'mom' jeans!
The importance of the right shapewear
A perfect fit starts underneath the clothing. Women of all sizes benefit from wearing good undergarments. Body shapers, girdles, and shapewear in general give us all a little help. They do all sorts of magic, such as smoothing, shaping, and sucking in all those little bumps and lumps we hate so much. They lift, shift and separate. Plus size shapewear is specifically designed for those problem areas. Make sure to wear your favorite shapewear when shopping for clothes, this will ensure that the fit is just right.
Don't forget the shoes!
Shoes can make or break an outfit. The right shoe can pull everything together perfectly, while the wrong shoe can ruin what could otherwise be a fashionable outfit. We all have busy lives and rushed mornings, but make time to pick out the right pair of shoes. For plus size women, heels can be your best friend. They elongate the body and make legs shapelier. They don't have to be 5-inch stilettos; even a 2 inch comfortable stacked heel can make a difference, especially with bootcut pants or a pencil skirt.
As mentioned earlier, a scarf is a plus size woman's best friend. A scarf can be worn in a variety of ways to hide imperfections. Chunky bracelets, double-stranded necklaces, and chandelier earrings all add interest and the final touch. Just don't overdo it, especially if there are already a lot of patterns in the clothing. Pretty jewelry is best worn with solid colors.
Plus size clothing is fun, trendy, and finally on par with the fashions of regular-sized women. It's great to see designers pay attention to a wider variety of body shapes. Plus size women can now feel confident and empowered, and that's a great feeling!