We’ve all been there. You’re standing looking into your closet and you don’t know what to wear. Maybe you’ve gone to your favorite stores, but nothing is given you that spark of excitement. Being a plus-size woman means that clothing doesn’t always look the way it does on the rack.
It’s easy to start comparing yourself to other women or feeling like you have to dress a certain way. At Sante Grace, we’re the home of luxury plus size fashion. Our goal is to a community of like-minded women to promote our mission of sustainable fashion and body positivity.
While we believe women can wear whatever they want, there are a few styling tips that can help you pull your plus-size wardrobe together. Figuring out what looks best on plus-size women isn’t always easy. There are entire books and sections of the internet dedicated to figuring out just that.
At Sante Grace, we believe the answer is simple. We’re sharing our guide on everything you need to know about how to look best when dressing as a plus-size woman. The secret to dressing as a plus-size woman might be closer than you think.
Never underestimate the importance of underwear
When you’re putting together an outfit, start with your underwear. We don’t just mean your bra and panties. You want to think about your shapewear as well. If the world can see the lines of your underwear, it’s a tell-tale sign that your clothes are too tight for you.
Choosing your underwear will make or break your outfit. Having a visible panty line can give your confidence a hit. Meanwhile, stepping into the right shapewear can instantly take an outfit to the next level.
Before you start putting an outfit together, think about the basics. Your underwear and shapewear should accentuate your natural curves, giving you an envious hourglass figure. Hidden tricks like pasties can elevate your look and give a confidence boost.
If you want to refresh your style or figure out what will look best with a plus-size dress, start with your underwear. Just like your makeup, it’s the foundation that matters the most. Start building up a collection of shapewear that offers support while also cinching and smoothing your figure for a more refined look.
Find Your ‘Ride or Die’ Staples – Like an LBD
While some clothes are universally flattering, there are several that are made with plus-size bodies in mind. A little black dress – commonly known as the LBD – is one of the best outfits that you can add to your closet.
Our little black sweater dress is a transitional staple that we reach for all year round. Black will always be a plus-size staple because it’s naturally slimming without hiding your curves. While it’s one of the oldest styling tricks in the book, it’s also one of the best! An LBD will take you from a day at the office to dinner and drinks with friends.
Other ‘ride or die’ staples include dark wash denim and silhouettes that cinch at the waist. Dark wash denim has the same benefits as wearing a little black dress. It helps to accentuate your curves without highlighting areas of insecurity. A high-waisted silhouette is your best friend, helping to tuck and conceal your stomach while cinching your waist.
When choosing clothes to invest in, look for silhouettes that cinch in your waist. This styling tip helps to enhance your hourglass silhouette to give you Kardashian-worthy curves. Our bronze jumpsuit is one of our favorite occasion wear pieces for just that reason. It’s the perfect way to channel your inner Goddess with a Studio 54 twist.
The classic wrap dress is another ‘ride or die’ for plus-size women as it creates the same effect of cinching in your waist. The adjustable style of a wrap dress makes it a great choice if you’re someone whose weight fluctuates or if you prefer a classic look.
One capsule closet staple for every plus-size woman is a signature belt. It’s an easy way to get the cinched-in look without choosing a more figure-hugging silhouette. The right belt will define your waistline and create an hourglass shape. While we love a pop of color, start by investing in belts in neutral and earth-tone shades for extra versatility.
Our pink satin wrap dress is a signature piece that is unapologetically feminine. It’s the perfect choice for a girl’s weekend or date night with your other half. Look out for wrap dresses that have a V-neck silhouette as they instantly compliment body types that have a larger bust.
An A-Line Skirt Will Balance Your Silhouette
Most plus-size women feel like they must hide away their bodies under layers of oversized clothing. At Sante Grace, we think you deserve to look and feel as beautiful as you are. That starts by wearing what you want.
Plus-size bodies don’t all come in the same size. We’re all different. You always want to think about your specific body type when deciding what looks best for you.
One luxury plus size staple is an A-line skirt. If your body type carries most of your weight in the bottom half of your body, you want to slip into an A-line skirt. We love this silhouette as the fabric will glide over your curves and hips, helping to balance your proportions and create a smooth hourglass figure. Finish off your outfit by tucking in a button-up shirt or a fitted t-shirt to enhance the A-line silhouette.
Another skirt style that you want to shop for is a pencil skirt. This silhouette is a plus-size staple as it has a universally flattering hemline, ending just at your knee. It’s an ideal choice for those who are heavier on the top half of their body by helping to balance their look and elongate their curves.
Don’t Forget About Your Shoes and Bags
When we’re talking about what looks best on plus-size women, we can’t forget about shoes. You want every aspect of your outfit to help elongate your figure and smooth your curves – including your shoes. Choosing the right shoes can help create the illusion of a slimmer silhouette by elongating your legs.
While you always want to think about the hemline of your outfit, it’s a general rule of thumb to avoid shoes with ankle straps. This style will make your legs appear shorter and give your silhouette a plumper appearance overall. Invest in shoes that are both comfortable and flattering.
A classic stiletto pump works with almost any outfit and will elongate the appearance of your legs. Start by investing in a nude pair that complements your skin tone before building out your collection of pumps. Pointed-toe shoes as a plus-size essential as they help to lengthen your legs.
When you’re shopping for casual shoes, like white sneakers, search for styles that feature a platform to give you the illusion of extra height.
Another accessory that’s just as important as your shoes is your bag. By now, you’ll have spotted that balance is one of the most important elements of dressing as a plus-size woman. While mini bags may be a mainstream accessory trend, you want to avoid choosing bags that are too tiny as they can make your body appear larger by comparison.
A medium-size bag with a structured silhouette is one that you want to add to your everyday style. While you can still carry a clutch for evening wear, you want to choose one that is bigger than your hand or that has an oversized strap – like our black crossbody bag with a silver chain-inspired strap.
Find What Your Love and Tailor It
Okay, hear us out!
As plus-size women, we often fall for the myth that we must hide our bodies away under layers upon layers of clothing. At Sante Grace, we believe that women should celebrate their bodies – whatever size they are.
Tailoring is one of the best things you can invest in as a plus-size woman. It’s an easy way to elevate your luxury plus-size clothing by making sure it fits you like a glove. You want to build a good relationship with a tailor, who can help alter everything from your denim jeans to cocktail dresses.
Investing in tailoring also helps to ensure that your outfit fits your proportions and isn’t too oversized. If you’re on the shorter size, tailoring can give you extra options when shopping and make sure you get the perfect hemline for every outfit.
One of our favorite outfits to have tailored is matching suits. Our tropical floral summer suit is an instant ‘add to cart’ as a luxury plus size essential. Investing in tailoring for your suit can make it look like a custom piece or one that came with an extra zero on the price tag!
Tailoring is the perfect way to help you build a capsule closet. While trends come and go, you want to invest in basics that you can wear every season. Having pieces that you know you can reach for at any time will make your closet a more welcoming place and make it easier to put together outfits for any occasion.
Understand Your Body Type
As plus-size women, we often find it hard to celebrate our bodies. Our styling muses like Lizzo and Ashley Graham are perfect examples of why we should celebrate our bodies and what makes us different.
Plus-size women don’t fit into a ‘one size fits all’ box – no one does. When figuring out what looks best for your plus-size body, you want to start by figuring out your body type. By shopping for the right body type, you can find clothes that will draw attention to your best assets and leave you looking – and feeling – a million dollars.
Some of the most common plus-size body types include:
- Pear shape
If you have a smaller bust with a narrow waist and carry most of your weight in your bottom half, you’ll fall into the pear category. You want to build your outfits around finding balance for your shape. Look out for clothes that will draw attention to the top half of your body.
- Apple shape
An apple body type has a full bust, wider mid-section, and shapely legs. Your measurements will be largely the same for your legs, chest, and waist. For this body type, you want to embrace every inch of your curves, including your waist.
- Hourglass shape
Hourglass body types are naturally well-defined and usually have a rounded bottom. If you fall in this category, fitted clothing will be your best friend. Don’t be afraid to slip into a figure-hugging dress or tighter silhouettes.
- Diamond shape
A diamond body type is one that features the waist as the widest part of the body with the bust being smaller than your hips. With this body type, you want to focus on elongating your body and adding volume to your shoulders to create a slimmer-looking waist.
- Inverted triangle
An inverted triangle body type is heavier on the top half, usually with broad shoulders and narrow hips. While you’ll want to stay away from shoulder pads, look out for clothes that will accentuate your bottom half for more defined curves.
If your shoulders are the same width as your hips, you’ve got a rectangle body type. You usually want to avoid straight lines and look for clothing that helps add definition and curves to your look.
How to Look Good as a Plus-Size Woman
Back to our question. What looks best on plus-size women? Every outfit – regardless of the price tag – always looks better with a confident glow. Invest in clothes that make you look – and feel – confident with high-quality fabrics that you’ll reach for every season.
You want to be wearing clothes that fit you properly. It also means that you want to shop for your body. If your weight is fluctuating – whether you’re gaining or losing a few extra pounds – you want to always shop for your body.
The most important thing to remember when shopping for a plus-size dress is that your clothes should fit your body. As your body changes with life, treat it well by investing in clothes that make you look and feel your best.
At Sante Grace, we believe every woman is at her most beautiful when she’s confident in who she is. The cliché of “wearing your heart on your sleeve” is one we think about every day. Put your best foot forward with Sante Grace. Invest in your closet by shopping our newest arrivals here.