How to Shop for Fashionable Plus-Size Clothing
Finding fashionable plus-size clothing has been a struggle for larger men and women in the past. Fortunately, the fashion industry is becoming increasingly more accepting of diverse body types and many stores and brands now carry the latest trends in larger sizes.
Plus-size celebrities such as Missy Elliot and Queen Latifah have helped push fuller-figures in the mainstream, and clothing manufactures are beginning to respond to this demand. Full-figured men and women can say goodbye to flower-print muumuus and oversized sweat suits--the latest plus-sized clothing includes stylish sweaters, tailored pants, and fitted jackets.
If you are plus-size, following a few fashion tips can ensure that you look your best and that your clothes are well-suited for your figure. Men and women of all sizes should remember that the latest fashion trends might not necessarily work with their figures. "I don't care how many pairs of cigarette pants I buy, my legs aren't going to look like cigarettes in them," said one website visitor.
1. Try dressing monochromatically. This doesn't mean that you need to cover yourself in head-to-toe black, but choosing a basic all-over color scheme can create a smooth silhouette, minimize problem areas, and create a coordinated look.
2. Make sure you are wearing the correct bra size. A properly sized bra can make a world of difference in how clothing fits and will be far more comfortable. Your local department store is a good place to receive a proper fitting.
3. Choose well-tailored, fitted clothing. Avoid styles that are cropped or styles with excessive fabric. Boot-cut pants and structured jackets are a great, stylish option for women of all sizes.
Where to Shop
Lane Bryant is probably the best-known online plus-size store for women, and this is a great place to start your search. However, don't feel that you are restricted to shopping at only one specialty shop. Wal-Mart, Old Navy, and Target are good places to look for affordable clothing in larger sizes for both men and women. Larger men may want to look at the clothing selection at J. Crew and Gap.
A number of smaller online shops have emerged as well, such as b & lu, which offers the latest fashion trends for teens and young women in sizes ranging from 14 to 30. As summer approaches, retailers will offer online deals to encourage buyers to make quick purchases before their vacations.
Another great source is eBay!, the online auction site. Use the sites search engine to find clothes according to brand, price, or condition. A number of eBay! merchants specialize in plus-size clothing, so these can be a great resource for individuals with full-figures. Before you buy, be sure to check the merchantís customer rating and the shipping and handling costs.
Before You Buy
The most important step you should take before you purchase a garment is to assess both your size and measurements. Some clothing is sized in standardized sizes, such as 14, 18, and 22, while others are sized by waist or bust measurements.
Secondly, be sure to avoid plus-size styles that are overly loose or baggy, which can appear sloppy and make you look heavier. Instead, select items that are well-structured, have vertical lines, and are made from quality fabric. Avoid fabrics that are shiny or especially tight, which can draw attention to problem areas of the body.
Selecting well-fitting, quality garments is the best way to ensure that you always look your best, no matter what your size. The growth of online sales has opened up the availability of fashionable clothing to plus-size men and woman, no matter where they live.
Photo: Dmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock
What to wear
Apparel and your body type