Though the fashion world has not always embraced full figured women, now more than ever stores are stocking their racks with frocks designed to flatter ladies of all shapes and sizes. By identifying you’re personal style, learning what works for your body, and having the confidence to step out of your sartorial comfort zone, you’ll be able to find stylish dresses that make you look on trend and feel fabulous for every occasion.
Wearing the right dress to the office will make you look as competent and successful as your skills attest, before you even say a word. To pull off an ensemble that’s sophisticated but not stuffy, try an A-line cut dress that nips in at the waist and skims loosely over the hips, which creates a very slimming effect. Since you’re in a professional setting, make sure the hemline falls to the knee and the neckline is higher than what you’d wear for a night out on the town. A dress in a solid color will always look chic and provide versatility when pairing with cardigans or blazers. Wear your professional A-line dress with a chic pair of faux alligator pumps, simple jewelry and a briefcase-inspired bag.
Daytime activities such as weekend brunches, bridal and baby showers, and coffee dates call for dresses with pretty patterns and feminine florals. If you’re a petite lady with curves, pick a dress with a smaller pattern like tiny polka dots or small flowers that won’t overwhelm your small stature. Many plus size beauties make the mistake of wearing dresses that are too large in hopes of camouflaging their bodies, but it’s actually the opposite that’s true. A knee-length wrap dress in a fun pattern that fits close to the body will nip you in at the waist without adding extra bulk.
Shift dresses inspired from the 60’s are great for painting the town, as they show off your legs and are easy to accessorize. The shift style shouldn’t be too tight, but rather skim your curves to result in a straight silhouette. Some plus sized women feel as though they must always wear black, grey, or other colors they deem slimming. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bright, bold colors that make a statement. Sporting a seasonal hue like coral for spring, cobalt for summer and deep emerald for winter, not only emits confidence but shows your superior style knowledge. Pair your fancy little shift dress with a strappy pair of heels and a large cuff bracelet.
Finding a plus size dress for a formal event can be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. Begin the search for your perfect gown early, as some stores only stock certain sizes and may have to order your dress. If you’re wearing a floor length dress, balance out the coverage on the bottom by showing a tasteful amount of skin on top with a scoop or V-neck neckline. Dresses that are lined will help the fabric glide right over any areas you may feel self-conscious about, so try to avoid dresses made of a single layer, especially one’s made out of clingy jersey material. Drawing attention to your waist will balance out your proportions and showcase your pretty curves, so look for a dress that does this with well-placed ruching or an attached belt.
References and ResourcesGlamour: The Best Spring Dresses for Your Body Shape
Glamour: Dress Your Body: Find Your Most Flattering Summer Dress
Glamour: A Knockout Dress for Every Body
Oprah: Holiday Party Dresses for Every Size and Shape (Under $100!)
Marie Claire: Big Girl in a Skinny World: Formal Gowns for All Shapes and Sizes
Real Simple: Stylish Plus-Size Clothes for Work