Don't wear fitted clothing
Let this be the first rule you break. Not only does loose, baggy clothing make you look bigger, it makes you look sloppy. Even worse, it makes you look like you're trying to hide, and confidence is the key to rocking any look. According to a survey by Glamour, 59% of men surveyed said they notice a woman's body type less than they do the confidence with which she carries herself.
The secret is to wear clothing that camouflages what you have and creates what you don't. A knit dress that's ruched on the sides makes it hard to tell what's a fold and what's a bulge. A fitted dress in a heavier material creates the illusion of the shape you want. A button-down blouse with princess seams and a fitted waist accentuates the smallest part of your body. Just be sure those buttons aren't bulging! If you have to go a size bigger to avoid gaps, you can have a tailor adjust the rest of the garment.
Don't wear maxi dresses
Rubbish! Unless you're very short, long dresses make you look taller and slimmer. Choose a halter top with a V-neck to accentuate your best assets. And choose "floaty" fabrics to create movement. Fitted is good; skintight is not.
Don't wear pencil skirts or tube skirts
Curvy women have always been told they can't wear pencil skirts or tube skirts. But once upon a time, women were told to never ask men out. And to always obey their husbands. Some rules are made to be broken, and the one about not wearing pencil or tube skirts is a perfect example. Try pairing one with a button-down shirt with a loose belt to show off your waist - or to create the illusion of one.
Don't wear white
There is no reason curvy women can't wear white, as long as the garments are chosen with care. Avoid pants - white plus tight may show off things you'd just as soon conceal. Instead, try a white dress, skirt, or top. And make sure the material is thick enough to avoid showing off more than you plan.
Yes, black is slimming. But it can also be boring, especially when it's the only color in your wardrobe. Black is easy to accessorize with splashes of color, but sometimes you want color to play a more prominent role. There's no reason why it can't. The most flattering look for curvy women is color blocking; in other words, tops and bottoms should be of different colors, or at least different shades of the same color.
Don't wear stripes
Curvy women certainly can wear stripes - even horizontal stripes! The key is balance and directing the eye where you want it. Balance a striped top with dark pants in a flattering trouser style. Or top it off with a fitted blazer. And don't forget that accessories are great camouflage. Wear a pair of brightly colored heels to draw the eye down, or give shape to a loose striped top by adding a belt at the waist.
Stay away from skinny jeans
This is yet another myth dying to be disproven. Curvy women can rock skinny jeans. First, buy jeans that fit. Not all skinny jeans are created equal. Second, choose a thicker material that doesn't cling like a second skin, and pair them with a top or jacket that's at least hip length. You can also use long necklaces or other accessories to draw the eye away from spots where the jeans may bulge a little more than you want them to.
Stick to solids
Why? Prints are hot right now, and there's no reason you can't wear them. Just keep proportion in mind. The bigger you are, the bigger the print should be. You don't want it to look like it took a thousand tiny flower petals to cover your rear. Other the other hand, short women - even curvy ones - should avoid patterns that are so large they look like they're being eaten alive by their own outfit. The pattern needs some room to repeat!
Listen to the fashion experts
Wrong. You're an adult. You know what looks good on you and what doesn't. What's more, you know what feels good. Just be creative and plan today's most fashionable trends around the styles that look best on you.
Don't let the media convince you that only skinny women can be stylish and fashionable. Spend some time hanging out in dressing rooms, and you'll see that everyone has trouble finding clothes that make them feel pretty. The Huffington Post printed an article in which writer Katie Racine did exactly that, and she had some startling revelations about body image through the eyes of women of all shapes, sizes, and colors. The conclusion: Every woman deserves to look and feel gorgeous. So go break those outdated rules for curvy women, and hit the town feeling as awesome as you look.
About the author:
Megan Barnes is a curvy Fashionista. She loves blogging about fresh and flattering looks for the everyday woman.