How to Dress Professionally When You Are Plus Size

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Unfortunately, we have an alarming statistic to share with you, but we promise we have a solution and an optimistic ending to this blog post. At least 10 percent of women have reported being discriminated against based on their weight in the workplace. Weight bias in the workplace is a real issue, and we at Chic Soul we want to take a stand against it. It should be clear to all that being plus size has absolutely nothing to do with the level of professionalism any individual possesses. Regardless of shape or size, women should be recognized for their accomplishments in the workplace–not their bodies. 

Weight bias has also bled over into fashion as many plus size women find it difficult to search for workwear that was made for their bodies. However, when it comes to plus size fashion, more plus size boutiques are beginning to prioritize workwear for the curvy body. This is critical because clothing plays a big role in how women feel, and when individuals wear clothing that they feel confident in, their productivity skyrockets. We feel that plus size women should be able to have access to clothing that fits them well and makes them feel confident in the workplace, which is why we have put together a plus size workwear style guide. 

full figure woman on laptop

Dressed to the Nines

Dresses are perfect for the office because they don’t require much thought, but they always look stunning. Always be sure to consult your company’s dress code to make sure your dress doesn’t defy any company policies. 

Wrap Dresses–Plus size wrap dresses fit in well at any office, and they are also a confidence booster because they will hug your curves just right. Stick to neutral colors and stay away from bold patterns for a more professional look. 

Midi Dresses–Midi dresses were made for the office. They have the perfect hemline that’s not too short or too long. Layer with your favorite sweater or cardigan for a more professional look. 

Maxi Dresses–If you’re worried about dresses being too short or not appropriate for the office, dress plus size maxi dresses up with a blazer or a duster cardigan. 

full figure woman Maxi Dresses

Jump to the Top

While we are on the topic of dresses, don’t forget the garment’s distant cousin, plus size jumpsuits. These all-in-one garments are perfect for the office and you may even stand out and get extra style points as we don’t see jumpsuits in the corporate world very often! If you think your favorite jumpsuit might not be office appropriate, pair it with a blazer or cardigan. 

Top it Off

What you choose to wear as a blouse or top says a lot about your work wardrobe. Do you love to embrace bold or trendy patterns? Or would you rather keep it simple and load up on accessories? Either way, we have you covered with some cute blouses that will make you feel your most confident at work. 

Tie-Waist Blouse–Embrace your curves with a tie-waist blouse. Just because you are at work, doesn’t mean you have to hide under clothing that drowns out your figure. Make a statement with these work-appropriate plus size blouses

Tunics–If you like to wear leggings to work, but feel that they leave you feeling a little exposed in certain areas, try pairing them with plus size tunics. These tops are long enough that they almost fit like a dress, and they can provide you with an extra layer of confidence at work. 

full figure woman on phone

Accessorize with Outerwear

If you work in a business casual environment, now is your time to indulge in cozy plus size  cardigans. While cardigans may give off “comfy” vibes, they also look very sophisticated when they are thoughtfully layered with an outfit that complements them. Styling tip: If your outfit is mostly made up of neutral colors with very little patterns, you can spice things up with a bold, printed cardigan. And vice versa, if you have a bold look, mute it a bit with a neutral cardi. Want to spice things up a little bit? Some simple but cute jewelry is an easy way to make your outfit feel a little more special.

Confident Pants that Work

Of course, the staple of any good work look is a well-fitted pair of pants, jeans or leggings. Here are our favorite styles to wear to work. 

Casual Day Denim–If you work in an office environment that promotes a business casual dress code or at a company that hosts casual Friday, invest in plus size denim that hugs every curve just right. However, you should avoid wearing destructed denim to work as it may be viewed as unprofessional. 

Leggings at the Office?–Yes, we think leggings at the office are a great idea. They have become more widely accepted in recent years. Make sure you pair them with structured pieces like work-appropriate blouses or blazers. 

Professional attire doesn’t have to be boring! Use your work attire as a way to show off a different sense of style and develop a uniform that works for you.