For some, getting dressed in the morning is an exciting time to slip on the latest fashion and an array of bang-on-trend accessories. But for others, it can be highly stressful. This is particularly true for curvy ladies who struggle to find flattering, yet fashionable clothes, because many fashion retailers don’t make clothes for ladies who are above a size 16. Here are some great tips for dressing your curves.
We got in touch with Captive8 House of Fashion, where you can find fashion-forward styles for the curvaceous woman, for these top style tips for voluptuous women wanting to look fabulous this season.
Bigger is not better; less is more
Don’t think a massive, misshapen and loose-fitting garment will make you look slimmer — it just creates more bulk. The solution (however foreign it may at first feel) is to choose clothes that fit snugly to the smallest area of the body (usually the rib-cage) and draw attention to the area with details in the bust-line (like knots and beads). This, combined with styles that fall more loosely over tummies and hips, will make your silhouette look sleeker.
Emphasize your good points
If you have nice legs, flaunt them! If you have a beautiful décolletage, wear cut-out blouses and dresses that flatter your neckline. The same goes for thin arms or narrow waists. The key is to understand your body, celebrate the great parts, cleverly disguise the not-so-great ones, and know which colours work for you.
Rule number one is to draw the eye to the smallest part of your body, and to remember that where the line stops, the eye stops. For this reason, tops should fall either above or below the hips, and rather wear dresses or skirts that are knee length or ankle length because if your garments cut you mid-calf, you will appear bigger than you are. Shorter sleeves should cut the arm at its smallest part, so ballerina or ¾ sleeves are ideal.
Choose slacks that drape and hang to make your legs look long and well proportioned. Steer clear of pants that taper at the bottom. Rather choose straight or boot-cut styles to balance the hip and stomach area.
A little more on celebrating your assets…
One of the perks of being curvy is having a naturally bigger bust. The worst thing you can do is hide it under baggy or high-necked tops. Cleavage is sexy! Not only that, it gives you a confidence boost like nothing else can. There are degrees of cleavage — you can show a subtle peek or knock ‘em out with a full-on display.
Here are a few tips to get your cleavage on:
- What you wear under your clothes is often as important as the clothes themselves. Make sure you’re wearing a good, well-fitted, support bra that keeps your best assets at the right level, revealing your waist line.
- The V-neck is your best friend — go for a deep V, creating an invisible line from your neck to your torso, creating a slimming appearance. This directs focus to the smallest part of your body — your torso (under the bust). The deep cut-away fabric also gives the illusion of a smaller chest area and is truly flattering.
- Be careful not to clutter your neckline with chunky scarves, you are adding bust volume.
- Similarly, stay away from shirts with ruffles and bows. These draw attention to your chest, making it appear larger.
- Look for tops and dresses with a seam just under the breasts. It draws attention to the smallest part of your body.
- Choose shirts and dresses that have shaping at the bust area.
Dark colours hide, light colours highlight
So imagine a black dress with a white belt. This will draw attention to your thinnest part. Or black pants and a white blouse which will draw attention from your lower half to your upper half.
Remember that colour plays as much of a role in the attention your outfit receives as the cut, style and fabric. Just because you’re a certain age or size doesn’t mean that you have to dress in dull and drab clothing.
Everybody needs a little colour in their life and all of us have our favourite colours. When it comes to choosing clothes, many women become inhibited by myths about the colours that they can and can’t ‘get away with’. Not only are they missing out on an array of colour options that can actually make them look younger and slimmer, they also end up losing out on the role that colour can play in brightening up and highlighting your features.
‘Colour is an important addition to any wardrobe,’ says Amber Druian. ‘The current colour trends include pastels, cobalt blue, black, white and shine’. And whilst not every colour will suit everyone, it’s important to choose colours that compliment your hair, eye colour and skintone. You can look and feel great with the right colour combinations!
Monochromatic dressing is slimming. Try wearing one colour from head to toe and you’ll immediately notice how much slimmer you look.
Large prints vs small prints
Smaller prints are far more flattering , whilst big bold prints can draw unwanted attention. But don’t avoid trying something different or unusual to add spice to your look.
A word on stripes
When wearing stripes, be aware that horizontal stripes broaden while vertical stripes lengthen. If you’re going to wear horizontal stripes, then make sure they aren’t wide stripes, but rather narrow or distorted lines. These lines confuse the focus and move the eyes up and down, working as a vertical line instead.
More top dressy tips
- Ruched and gathered fabric is flattering and is a great way to disguise tummies. Ruffles are a no-no as they create bulk.
- Some fabric accentuates flaws. Beware of clingy fabric that accentuates your bumps, but also take note that stiff, unforgiving fabric woo’t caress your curves. Fabric needs to be good quality with a high thread count. It’s worth paying more as they fall and hang better, hiding your imperfections and not clinging. Avoid textured fabric and patterns, they’re risky because surfaces created by textured fabrics confuse the eye and make the body look lumpy and bumpy.
- Good under garments are the foundation of a superb look. If your bra and panties don’t fit well, your clothing will never look fantastic.
- Heels elongate, so find a beautiful pair of flesh-coloured heels and add centimetres to your height and elegance to your outfit.
- Amber’s other essential tip is good posture: ‘Standing tall and sitting upright with your shoulders back and your head held high will add inches to your height, make you appear confident and your clothes look even better.’