Life Perspective | Your ultimate plus-size fashion shopping guide
Your ultimate plus-size fashion shopping guide
Growing up as an unconfident plus-size teenager, finding clothes was my version of hell. Shopping for fun? Absolutely not. Trying to find clothes on the high street that a, actually fit and b, were fashionable, was impossible. Being plus-size, my options were hugely limited, which only further perpetuated the idea that people above a size 16 weren’t welcome in the fashion world. Fast forward a few years and things have definitely improved for plus-size women. Shopping on the high street is still as difficult as ever however, options for online shopping are now much better and 1,000% more stylish. Part of my job as plus-size style blogger is to share with my readers how I style my outfits, as well as helping them on their journey of self-love and confidence. Being plus-size doesn't mean fashion can't work for you, you've just got to know what to look for. To help you curate the wardrobe you've always dreamed of, I am sharing the tips I've picked up along the way from my years of blogging and personal shopping, because fashion really is for every body.
1. Buy double of things you love. When you find something you really love, that fits perfectly, is in your size and makes you feel amazing, buy two of them. It might seem excessive, but sadly when it comes to plus-size fashion, some perfect styles only come around once. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Shop menswear and maternity. You can find some incredibly stylish and unique pieces looking in both these departments. Just because it has a label, doesn’t mean that only those who fit within that label can wear it. My personal favourite place to shop in these sections are ASOS Men Plus and maternity.
3. Don't be afraid to shop in places that don't stock your size. Whilst it is frustrating that some stores don’t cater above a size 18, you can sometimes find great options in oversize style pieces. Monki is a great example for this with their Scandinavian style dresses that can fit up to a size 26.
4. Ignore sizing on labels. First off, don’t let sizing dictate how you feel about yourself. It’s just a number, it holds no value on you as a person. Sizing differs everywhere, especially when you are plus-size, so don’t be afraid to go up, or even down a size, when finding clothes that you like. As long as it fits and you feel comfortable that’s all that matters.
5. But do make a note of the fit of your favourite brands. As mentioned above, sizing online and in-store can differ hugely. A good tip is to keep note of your sizing in your favourite shops. For example, on ASOS, New Look and River Island online sizing is pretty spot on, but with brands like Boohoo, Missguided or Pretty Little Thing, sizing runs small. Being aware of this is so helpful for timesaving, no one wants to spend their life in the post office doing returns.
6. Go get your bra fitted. If I could only impart one piece of advice it would be this. Wearing your correct size can change your posture, decrease back pain and make you feel more confident in your clothes. Book yourself in at somewhere like Bravissimo for a fitting and treat yourself to some gorgeous new lingerie. Elomi, Panache and Curvy Kate are three of my favourite full bust lingerie brands to check out.
7. Try everything on. When you see something in-store, even if you think it might not work for your body shape, try it. How something looks on a hanger can looks completely different on a body, so give everything a go!
8. Invest in your wardrobe staples. One of the best things I own is a woollen black duster coat - it is simple, stylish and chic and it goes with everything. It might cost you more than something you could find from a fast fashion shop, but a timeless piece can see you through every season, regardless of trends.
9. Shop vintage/charity shops. I’ll be honest - the plus-size sections of vintage can be sparse; but it's always worth checking them out for any hidden goodies, especially in the men’s section. Look out for cool slogan tees, dungarees, dresses and coats. I once found an old oversize Levi denim jacket for £10 in a shop in Brick Lane.
10. Experiment with colour. I used to wear specifically only black clothing, because I thought it would make me look slimmer, but this just simply isn’t true. Colour looks great on all body types. Experiment with what works for you and don’t be afraid to stand out.
11. Ignore plus-size styling rules. You can wear stripes, you can wear white, you can wear a crop top. Fashion is about expression not about rules. You deserve to feel good and stylish, so don’t think that you have to hide your body. Confidence comes from within, if you look confident in something that will shine through, so get your arms and legs out in the summer!