Plus-size Style

I understand that many of you don’t go on shopping frenzies much, because you think, “What’s the point?” Well, I’ll tell you the point. When you look great, you feel great and when you feel great, it’s that much easier to get out of bed in the morning and go for a walk. And walking really is surprisingly good exercise. But…I digress.

Here are some tips for you – the same as I give all my clients – dress to emphasize your best assets. Don’t try to tell me you don’t have them because I know you do. The smallest part of any woman is the area directly under her bust, so invest in tops that cinch you in here, such as empire waist. Do NOT – I repeat, NOT – dress yourself in a shapeless tent. It only serves to add pounds. I’m kinda feeling like a hard ass here, but believe me, I know the mentality. I’ve been heavier than I like to be (yes, “plus-size”, hell I’m still heavier than I like to be, but when I’m dressed super cute, it doesn’t bother me much). And really, I’ve gotten to the point where I like my tummy a little. You have to accept yourself as you are, and dress your bod to its best advantage. Period. So as I was saying…

NO SHAPELESS GARMENTS!!! What is really flattering is to wear a semi-loose top belted under the bust with a skinny belt and a jacket. This draws attention to your smallest area while creating a vertical line. Fail proof! Try it. Your body shape, like pretty much everyone else’s in the world, will also benefit from a straight-leg or boot-leg trouser. You want something with some width at the bottom to balance yourself out. V-necks are good options because they lengthen the line of your neck – try to avoid crew neck (think your run of the mill T-shirt) necklines. Yes ladies – they’re out. Besides, you have a great bustline, show it off a little. That’s called accentuating your assets.
BIG TIP here! Are you paying attention? Invest in some good bras. Make sure you have the right size. Most of the larger department stores will give you a free bra fitting. If you can’t find someone to measure you (or you’re too shy) for the correct size, you can measure yourself. Use a flexible measuring tape – you can find one at any sewing store – or you probably have one lying around the house somewhere. Measure under the bust with the tape parallel to the floor, and all air expelled from your lungs – add four inches to this measurement if it’s an even number; five if it’s odd. i.e. If you measure 40″, add four inches (if your measurement is 41″, add five). This is your band width (the 44 in 44D). Next, measure the fullest part of your bust. If the difference is an inch, you’re an A cup, 2″ = a B cup and so on in inch increments. Now, that you know your correct bra measurement, go buy yourself some bras! You’ll be surprised what a huge difference it makes in how you look AND how you feel. 
As for the bra shopping, try them on at the store! You want something that’s gonna hold the girls in place. This means a supportive strap – don’t go for too much stretch, if any. You want your entire bust to fit in the cup of the bra with no spillage. If you have spillage, go up a CUP size, not a band size. If it feels way too constricting, then you may need to go up a band size, but only if it feels like you can’t breathe easily. I always try my bras on hooked at the first hook. You will experience some stretching out over time and this will give you a bit more wear time. Next, make sure that the front center of the bra fits closely to your body. If it doesn’t, go up a cup size. Don’t be afraid to try an underwire. I’ve never understood why women hate them so much – the only time they’re uncomfortable is if they’re the WRONG SIZE. Do try to find an underwire that isn’t actual metal though. Buy a couple nude (white really isn’t a good option unless that’s all you can find – they show more under white blouses more than nude) and a black or some other dark colored bra and you’re set. And rotate them, meaning don’t wear the same bra two days in a row. Give them at least a day to rest in between – they don’t stretch out as quickly this way. 
Finally, invest in a good lingerie cleanser and wash your bras by hand. If you want them to last, anyway – and hang to dry. You can hang them on a hanger off of the shower head (with the shower curtain closed) or hang them in the laundry room. But do yourself a favor and air dry them. The Venusian Glow site has excellent articles on this subject – the only downside is that they’re based overseas, so the band sizes are in centimeters. But go there and read some of the articles if you’re curious. Where to buy is probably important as well – if you have a less-than-common size, you may need to go to a specialty store. Yes, they’re more expensive but if you’re on a budget, you can check the sale rack. Otherwise, check the internet. It’s a great resource, but if you do so I would recommend going with a brand whose fit your familiar with. 
That turned out to be much longer than I planned on. But I hope it will help you out immensely. Once you get the bra shopping down, go find yourself some cute tops for starters. Again, the internet is a great resource. Look for vertical lines. Did I mention this before? For example, a semi-fitted (this means it skims the body) blouse in a stretch woven (or knit) with a zip front would be really cute. Trousers and jeans with seams up the center leg, button front skirts… you get the idea. If you’re not comfortable in tops that fit closer to the body, buy them anyway – and wear a jacket or (in summer) a lightweight button up blouse over the top of it.
I’m out of time for tonight (or this morning, rather) ladies. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment. If you prefer to contact me less publicly, go to my website at: Also, I plan to write some more articles on this. One particular site I love because I can post some clothing picks for you to see – and a picture IS worth a thousand words – is Squidoo. You should be able to find me there under WiseMerryFashionista. Of course, I will let you know when I get it up and published (don’t I always?).  I hope this post gave you some inspiration and I’ll be back before you know it. Until then…

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