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10 closet must-haves for plus-size women

Building a great wardrobe is kind of like constructing a building: You have to lay down the foundation first, and then you can start getting creative.

Think of wardrobe basics as the foundation of your wardrobe – pretty tops, cool jewelry, and other accessories may add style, but there are some classic pieces that will always hold your outfit together. Here are 10 wardrobe essentials that every curvy woman should have in her closet:

1. The right undergarments

Selecting the right undergarments is crucial for plus-size women, particularly those with larger busts. Well-fitted bras are essential for supporting the body, enhancing posture, and ensuring a confident, flattering appearance. Bras in nude and black are versatile wardrobe staples. Shapewear made of spandex can smooth out lines and bumps under clothing, providing a polished look. Professional sizing and personalized comfort play a vital role in choosing undergarments that boost both style and self-assurance, making them a foundational element of a plus-size woman’s wardrobe.

Various styles of body briefers adn shapewear

2. Button-up blouse

A white button-up blouse is a timeless and versatile wardrobe essential that suits women of all body types. It exudes elegance and can be styled for various occasions, from casual to formal. If you face fitting challenges, opting for a larger size and having it tailored to your specific measurements is a practical solution to ensure a perfect fit. This investment piece promises lasting style and value, making it a must-have for any woman’s wardrobe.

A simple white button-up blouse is a must in any woman's wardrobe.

3. Fitted cardigan

A fitted cardigan is a versatile and universally flattering wardrobe essential that every woman, regardless of body type, should have in her closet. Its design, which gracefully hits at the hips, accentuates your curves while maintaining a streamlined appearance. This piece is not only about style but also about practicality. It serves as the ultimate layering piece, adapting seamlessly to any outfit, whether it’s a casual tee, a formal blouse, or a dress, making it perfect for transitioning between seasons. Opting for a neutral color such as black or navy ensures that your cardigan can be paired with a wide range of outfits, offering endless mix-and-match possibilities and providing a sophisticated and timeless look.

Moreover, a fitted cardigan is versatile year-round, keeping you warm during colder months and serving as a light cover-up on cooler summer evenings. It has the unique ability to elevate any outfit, making a simple jeans-and-tee combination look chic or transforming a dress into a suitable option for semi-formal events.

A well-chosen fitted cardigan is a wardrobe staple, always ready to enhance your style, keep you comfortable, and effortlessly adapt to various seasons and occasions.

Remember to avoid cardigans that are too tight, though, as they can enhance those lumps and bumps that a cardigan with the right fit will actually hide.

4. Fit-and-flare dress

A fit-and-flare dress is a must-have for plus-size women, as its flattering silhouette cinches at the waist and gracefully flares out over the hips, accentuating curves while ensuring comfort and confidence. Versatile for both special occasions and the office, these dresses offer diverse style options, from sleeve lengths to patterns. Their comfort and ease of wear make them a go-to choice for any busy day or night of celebration. With minimal effort, they effortlessly radiate style and grace, whether you opt for a classic black dress or a bold pattern.

Every curvy woman should have at least one fit-and-flare dress in her wardrobe, ready for any occasion and day-to-day wear.

fit and flare plus size dress

5. A-line skirt

Like the fit-and-flare dress, an A-line skirt is a vital addition to the wardrobe of plus-size women due to its flattering silhouette, particularly when high-waisted. This versatile piece can be dressed up for work with tucked-in blouses, creating an elegant and professional look. A-line skirts provide comfort, ease of movement, and a range of mix-and-match options, making them an essential and confidence-boosting fashion choice.

Woman in Black A-Line Skirt, black pumps and black and gray top

6. Dark slim pants

Dark slim pants are a must-have for plus-size women, offering a flattering silhouette and versatile styling options. These pants pair well with looser tops and cardigans, making them a go-to choice for a balanced, stylish look. They are particularly ideal for combining with various boot styles. Opt for dark colors, such as black or deep navy, as they have a slimming effect and divert attention from wider hips and thighs, enhancing body confidence.

dark slim plus size pants

7. Wide-leg jeans

Wide-leg jeans are a vital addition to the wardrobe of plus-size women, as they seamlessly merge style and comfort. They flatter wider hips, offer versatility for various occasions, and provide a timeless, chic look. A dark-wash pair of wide-leg jeans is particularly essential, serving as a reliable option for running errands or dressing up for semi-formal events. These jeans prioritize comfort, making them ideal for everyday wear, and their loose fit allows for easy movement.

Additionally, they can be mixed and matched with different tops and accessories to suit individual style preferences. Overall, wide-leg jeans are a versatile, confidence-boosting investment that enhances a plus-size woman’s fashion choices.

Any woman with wider hips looks great in wide-leg jeans and trousers.

8. Basic black pumps

Basic black pumps are timeless and versatile, suitable for both professional and semi-formal occasions, ensuring an elegant and put-together look. They epitomize timeless elegance with their sleek, classic design, and their adaptability allows you to seamlessly incorporate them into various outfits. Comfort is key, so look for cushioned insoles and a manageable heel height to ensure both style and ease. Quality black pumps are an investment, offering enduring style and adaptability for years to come.

brown, red, tan, and black heel

9. Comfortable flats

Comfortable flats, such as loafers or boat shoes with arch support, are a crucial addition to a woman’s footwear collection. They offer a stylish yet versatile option for various outfits and are particularly beneficial for running errands. Their arch support ensures comfort during prolonged wear, and their slip-on design is convenient. With durability and practicality, comfortable flats become everyday essentials, delivering both fashion and comfort for a busy day.

scalloped flat in black, olive, navy and burgundy.
Viva Loafer by Life Stride

10. Boots

Leather boots are a versatile and crucial element of plus-size fashion, offering year-round style, comfort, and confidence. They are size-inclusive and cater to various body shapes and sizes, providing a flattering and fashionable choice for all. With their durability and timeless appeal, leather boots become a dependable asset in any plus-size wardrobe, empowering women to create diverse and enduring fashion looks for various occasions and seasons.

black leather boot and purse

Comments (13)

Love your clothes

Nice to read. So useful and informative tips. Thanks for sharing…

We are glad to hear it! Thanks for your feedback.

I love your clothing. It’s young, without being tailored to the 20 something’s. It’s stylish, yet acceptable for the office. The quality of the clothing, helps to justify the cost.

You should offer more e-mail coupons . Like a three tear coupon special. Spend $100.00 get $10.00 off. Spend $15.00 off. Spend $300.00 get $20.00 off. Trust me you’ll get more sales……

Thanks for the comment and ideas Deborah! 🙂

Yes I love your clothing line but to have plus-sized clothing and present them on all small models is an insult to us ,what’s wrong with showing various body types so everybody can get an idea of what they would look like,it would be so refreshing to see a full-figured woman in your magazine,and I don’t mean a sz 12, what about a 16, we look good in our clothes , too

Love the A-line dresses that are right at or below the knee. Please add a 4x to your catalog. 3x is a bit snug, 4x would make me buy more. Love your clothes!!!

Thanks for the comment Denise and we appreciate the feedback as well!

You’re giving tips for plus sized women yet you’re using these skinny models? Are you kidding me?

Hi Vera,
Thanks for the comment. We are always exploring utilizing plus-size models and we have actually worked with some in the past. We appreciate you voicing your opinion. Let us assure you that even though we show our clothing on a “traditional” model, we take great pride in offering our styles in sizes up to 3X or 24. We utilize live fit models and adjust the fit of all our garments for plus-size. You can read more about this here: https://www.monroeandmain.com/blog/real-women/this-fit-is-for-you/ Thanks again for the comment. Hope you are having a great day!

Petite plus size women would benefit from pants in their length. It gets expensive taking everything to the tailors! It doesn’t stop at pants either. Add to it sleeves, dress lengths, coats, jackets, etc..so if you buy an outfit it can almost double in price after the cost of the tailors.

THANK YOU¡!!! FINALLY Somebody likes my full figure. You guys just need to offer us shorties excuse me us plussize shorties more. pants that will fit us

Love to see the plus size taking off, thanks so much

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