"When I'm working in the real world with real women and we're shopping, we find that fashion seems to end when you get any larger than a size 12. How ridiculous is that?" ~Tim Gunn in a Huffington Post interview
As a writer-geek-type, I'm one of those people who reads, learns, understands and retains way too much information. And as someone who talks a lot and shares her secrets, I often find myself offering advice based on this info as well as my own personal experiences. This happened recently during a conversation with a friend.
The Problem: Weight Gained, Self-Esteem Dropped
“I've gained a little weight, not like a ton or anything, but it's affecting my self esteem,” my friend B. said to me recently. “So I bought some new clothes for an upcoming trip and I desperately need someone's advice on what looks good and what doesn't.”
Well, you know me! I was more than happy to tell her everything I knew.
A Little Background on B's Bod
B’s body is proportionately shaped (fairly close to an hourglass or a balanced pear) and though physical issues prevent her from exercising regularly, she’s got some pretty sexy legs.
Though she looks great (she’s fairly tall) she’s technically considered plus-sized—she wears a 14 or 16 in pants and an 18 or 2x in tops (due to her breast size and desire to be comfortable).
“I also have my mom’s big butt, so keep that in mind,” B reminds me.
Look Hotter! Style Tips for a Plus-Sized Hourglass/Pear Shape
Here’s the good news for women like my friend B: considering your shape, you could wear almost anything. But there are certain outfits/looks that will make you look amazingly hotter than others! Here’s my advice.
QueenBee QT: Basic Style Tips for a Plus-Sized Hourglass
- Wear anything that focuses on your waist and/or accentuates it, such as peplum tops.
- If you have a flowy top or dress, consider adding a belt to accentuate the waist.
- You want to totally avoid babydoll and empire-waist looks. They’ll make you look boxy and/or pregnant.
- Depending on the top you wear, you’ll mostly want to stick with bootcut jeans or pants, but straight leg and skinny can be done if you make sure to wear a belted top (or cropped top if you’re comfortable showing a sliver of belly).
- When it comes to jeans and pants, higher-waisted is probably more flattering to your body and will help you maintain your shape.
- When it comes to skirts, you will look amazing in a pencil skirt—wear it shorter for a night out or at or a little longer to the office. A general guideline for your body: keep your skirts 2" above the knee or shorter, or all the way to the floor.
- Belted-waist dresses will look great on you, as will slinky maxis and midis that skim your curves.
QueenBee QT: Insider Style Tips for Every Body
- Depending on your height, health and preferences, this may or may not be an option for you, but wedges or platform heels will make you look about 10 lbs thinner instantly.
- Spanx really do work to smooth stuff out in form-fitting clothing, and so do many of the off-brands. Just be sure you get the right size.
- Do not wear pantyhose--they are OVER (unless they are patterned or solid color).
- If your feet sweat, you need socks with your flats or heels, get some of those little ones that hide inside the shoe. You can get them at any department store in a 3-pack for a couple of bucks.
About the Big Butt
Girl, that whole “big butt stigma” is SO over! Thanks to celebs like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez, the whole world now knows what black men have known forever—big butts are a good thing! So own that thing—and don’t be afraid to show it off!
And, of course, accentuate your other positive qualities too (that rack, those pins!).
The idea is to play up the good and not to focus on the less than ideal parts.
Do you have a style challenge? Tell me all about it! Let me help you! Submit your comment below or contact me directly with your question.