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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Be bold, be brave in risky plus size picks

Larger ladies often find themselves subject to all kinds of rules as to what they're supposed to wear. If it's not 'flattering' or 'slimming' or 'curve-skimming', to many minds it's off-limits. But the truth is no amount of clever dressing is going to make you look like you're a size eight if you're not, so why should you follow the rules all the time? Obviously it makes sense to buy clothes that fit, work for your body and make you feel great, but sometimes you need to think outside of the box. Here are five things that could possibly be considered 'risky', but are available in plus sizes and shouldn't be discounted...

A Jumpsuit

When jumpsuits first came back into fashion, aside from wondering whether we were all crazy for wanting to dress like giant babies (little did I know the onesie would soon follow) I also thought they were best left to very tall, very slim women. How wrong I was. A well-cut jumpsuit looks incredible on a curvier body shape, and if you haven't tried one I implore you to do so - you may be surprised. This one is from Very's 'So Fabulous' range (up to size 32) and it's only £15 so totally worth the risk!

Horizontal Stripes 

If you search for the phrase 'horizontal stripes make you look fat' on google, the first two results are both from The Telegraph. One proves the theory true, the other proves it false. Who do I believe? I think the more important question is who cares?! If you want to wear horizontal stripes, wear horizontal stripes.  Better still, stick two fingers up to convention and wear bodycon stripes (£28 at ASOS Curve, sizes 20 - 26). Once again, sorry about the not-a-size-20 model. ASOS's fault, not ours!

Buttoned-up high necks

Fact: high necks and button-up styles can be hard to wear when you have a big bust, because they often gape even in the right size.

Not a fact: all plus size women have massive boobs.

Previously, it's often been hard to find anything for larger women that doesn't have a v-neck, scoop neck or mock-wrap, because many retailers assume larger women have larger boobs and won't want high necks that create sexy shelf-boob. But what if you don't? Well, this season things have finally changed, and you can button up to your heart's content - this Carmakoma number (£79.54) is a great place to start, available up to a size 28.

A (faux) Leather Skirt

Leather skirts are no longer best left to Dorian in Birds of a Feather. Longer lengths, pleats, textures and trims have turned the tables on the style, making it suitable for more occasions and more women. AX Paris have added some length and laser-cut detail to their PU number (£30) which is part of their Curve collection, available in sizes 16 - 22.

Skinny Jeans

We've gone past the point of no return now. Everyone can wear skinny jeans. If only because no other jeans type seems to be available any more. If you're still unsure about this cut, save your pennies and start off with a cheap pair like these H&M+ grey skinnies for £30, worn with a longer line top and a massive pair of wedges. If you're feeling braver, try a peplum top and ankle boots. Regardless of how safely you style it, the point is to try something you may have been told to avoid in the past - rules are made to be broken!


  1. WONDERFUL PIECE! It is such a shame that most of the fashion advice for plus sized frames is geared to hiding the dirty secret that you are in fact bigger than a size 16, (or 18 or 20 ...)

    As you rightly point out, there isnt a smock, elasticated waistband or that old favourite, "Longline Jersey stretch top" that will make a plus size Missy look like a size 8 Dame or convince her that she is in fact 4 sizes smaller than she is and why should it? It really is about time we (retailers and consumers alike) grew up a bit and accepted that people come in various sizes and shapes and dont necessary want specially allocated "Fat Girl Wear" in an after thought rack shoved at the back of the teen range (New Look Im looking at you!) or specially constructed anti-fashionable clothing designed to make us disappear into the wallpaper like badly shaped paisley bin bags with our heads poking out (Yeah, Evans, I've got your number!). People (yes EVERYONE) just want fabulous, well cut, good quality clothing that caters to a wider audience.

    I am a size 18 - 20, I like stripes, I like yellow, I wear skinny jeans with turn ups and I only wear flat shoes. I AM NOT A JEREMY KYLE MONSTER! ;o)

    I dont look like a size 8, a 10 or even a 16, I dont expect to. I dont buy clothes to hide in - that what duvet's are for! I would just like to look like a well dressed size 20.

    Phew - round about way of saying "Agree" "Concur" and "Like"

    1. Hey, I'm so glad you found it useful. If you have any requests for specific non-boring plus size stuff you'd like to see here in the future, please do let me know, otherwise it'll be pretty dresses every other week...

    2. This comment makes me happy! Who doesn't want well-cut clothes that make them feel and look amazing?

  2. Ok, well what about a feature on two or three strong looks and some plus sized stockists for each? Eg Rockabilly / Vintage (its my suggestion so Im allowed to be selfish right?), Designer Luxe Label Style / Preppy etc etc same sort of feel as fashion spreads in the mainstream pres s but with emphasis on stockists / suppliers / makers with an extended sizing policy? a series of more niche pieces to go with the broader across-the-plus-size-spectrum pieces?

  3. You are the cherry pie in the picnic of Sluttery! x

    1. I would like to be the mini sausage rolls, please.

    2. Absolutely Sian,but I will not negotiate on my role as the French Fancy. Im not even convinced of its Picnic Food status but be honest, you WANT me dont you! *flaunts icing*

    3. This is going to end in a massive food fight.

  4. Please could we have something on sizes 4 and 6, and petite ranges for us petite ladies too please! Feel we get overlooked a lot, and it is very difficult to find decent clothes for us too!

    Lots of shops seem to have stopped selling as wide a range of size 3 shoes too... :(

    1. Hannah, we've got a great resource of shoes for petite feet!

      Loads of petite stuff on the site as well - usually written by our resident petite lady Sara.

  5. Great post but not sure any of the models are actually "Plus Size"

  6. Great post but not sure any of the models are actually "Plus Size"

    1. Louise - they're not plus sized models but that is surely the fault of the stockist not the reviewer?

      They all do it - as I said above, the fashion retailers who DO bother to extend their size range seem to believe that we are all in massive body hating denial over our shapes and sizes, "oooh show it in a 10 the the stupid fat girls will think thats they will look like in it too. Silly Fatty McFatFats." HONESTLY! My so-called problem areas are my hips and arse not my brain cells!!

  7. Great article....what would also be amazing is total standardization of sizing. Simply Be size 18 fits fine. Marks and Spencer's size 18 too small, size 20 too small, size 22 fits on the body but the neck is hanging off. How hard is it for everyone to work to the same measurements?

    Would be great to see proper plus size models - girls with big tummies, or big thighs. A lot of the plus size models although curvy and very beautiful don't have the bits that stick out, muffin tops and general flabbiness which us mere mortals are trying to dress and flatter! And as for a plus size, plus 40 model...dream on!

    Thanks for the great articles!!



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