For any woman, wearing clothes that fit correctly is one of the best ways to look put together. However, for plus-size women, fit is especially important.
Ill-fitting clothes can look unflattering in any number of ways, from adding extra volume to squeezing the body in a way that creates odd lumps. If you’ve read even a few plus-size fashion blogs, you already know that fit matters. The next step is understanding what finding the right fit actually looks like. How do you know if the clothes you buy fit correctly or not? Here’s a guide for knowing how some common clothing styles should fit:
From basic tees to work blouses, there are two fit guidelines that make for a very flattering shirt. For one, the shoulders of the top should line up exactly with your shoulders – that means the seam where the sleeve meets the shirt should hit exactly at the point of your shoulder. Also, shirts’ hemlines should end right at the middle of your hip bones – any longer, and it can make your hips look a little wider. Of course, there are exceptions, such as tunics and long cardigans.
If you’re wearing a button-down blouse, make sure the buttons aren’t gaping or stretched too tight. This can be a problem for many women with large busts, but choosing a larger size that fits properly around your bust, and having a tailor alter it to fit the rest of your body can fix the issue.
The same shoulder- and hip-length rules apply with jackets and blazers, but you should also take a look at sleeve length. Unless the sleeves are cropped, they should end just past your wrist but not extend over your hands.
Pants and jeans
For pants and jeans, the most important parts of the fit are around the hips and the length of the legs. First, look to your hip area: If the material stretching across the front of your pelvis is wrinkling (usually in a shape that looks like whiskers), the pants are too tight around your hips. Your pant length will depend on the shoes you wear with them. The general rule is that wide-or straight-leg pants should reach to about half-an-inch from the floor with your shoes on. Cropped pants should end just below your calf muscles, and slim-cut pants should reach at or an inch or so below the ankle.
Skirts should follow the same rule around the hips as pants and jeans – if you notice wrinkling around the hips, the skirt is a bit too small. Skirt length really depends on personal style, although skirts should hit at or just below the kneecap for office wear.
Wearing a bra that fits correctly is one of the most important style rules for plus-size ladies, so make sure to keep your measurements up-to-date or have a professional fitting. Your bra shouldn’t squeeze your body or cause your breasts to spill over, but it’s important that it isn’t too large either. If your breasts are drooping below where they should be, the rest of your body’s proportions could be affected.