We all have that go-to all black outfit, dress or jeans in our closet that we turn to when we need an ultra-flattering, curve-hugging look. You can never go wrong with a black outfit for many reasons. The shade is flattering, it pairs well with everything and even if you’re wearing a tracksuit, an all-black outfit will still make you look sleek and sharp. What’s not to love about an all-black ensemble?
For decades, curvy women have been told that black is slimming and flattering and that we should stick to that shade when creating outfits. And studies show that most plus size women buy a lot more black clothing than their thin counterparts for these reasons.
Flattering outfits are a big part of plus size fashion. When plus size fashion was first created, the messaging around it was all about flattery. Clothing was largely used—especially for plus size women—to highlight the body in flattering and slimming ways. And now, women of all shapes and sizes create outfits that are slimming, contouring and flattering. And black is usually the color of choice when styling these looks
But what if we told you that you could still create a flattering, curve-contouring look with bright and bold colors? Well, it’s true! By utilizing certain techniques and styling tricks, you can virtually wear any color in an extremely flattering way.
It’s time to get outside of your all-black outfit comfort zone and dive into bold colors and patterns! Try these colors and techniques to create a flattering and head-turning outfit!
Can’t Go Wrong with Black
Obviously, as mentioned above, black is one of the most slimming colors. If you’re looking for a simple, flattering look that you don’t have to throw much energy into, wearing an all-black outfit might be the best option. And while we’re going to share many more interesting slimming colors, it’s always a great idea to keep a black outfit in your closet that can be ready at a moment's notice.
You can also use black accessories to minimize or accentuate parts of your body that you want to flatter. For example, if you’re wearing a white plus size maxi dress, but you find that it drowns out your figure or makes your figure look bulkier, add a black belt to your midsection to minimize your waist. This styling trick will break up the continuity of the white, and since black is a minimizing color, it will appear to shrink your midsection.
If you’re someone who loves bold colors, printed tops and an outfit that is made up of different contrasting colors, color blocking is a really unique and fun way to create an outfit that is both eye-catching and flattering.
Let’s say you wanted to minimize your midsection while making your bust look more enhanced. To do this, you will want to prioritize a color-blocked garment that has a lighter color on top and a darker color on the bottom—like the sweater below. The darker color will slim your midsection while enhancing your bust.
Here at Chic Soul, we do not discourage anyone from wearing certain colors or patterns because they aren’t “supposed to be” flattering. We believe you should wear whatever makes your heart sing! With that being said, if you are someone who prioritizes flattery when styling your looks, stripes can be your best friend or worst enemy. Typically, horizontal stripes can make a figure look wider and vertical stripes can elongate a figure. However, there are times that you can even use horizontal stripes to flatter your shape.
If you love horizontal stripes, use garments that have lots of small stripes for a flattering look. You can even look for garments that have stripes that are a variety of widths and thicknesses. These contrasting stripes guide the eye across your body and can give you a flattering outfit. If you like to embrace vertical stripes, try styling an outfit with thick, bold patterns. These big and bold stripes will look so good on your curves!
Stick to Darker Hues
If you’re used to an all-black ensemble being your go-to flattering look, trying working in other darker colors to your wardrobe. Darker reds, greens, blues and grays can really help you slim and flatter your silhouette without too much extra work or thought. While also working in more color to your wardrobe, identify pieces–like dresses that hide a belly bulge–to help these flattering colors to minimize and highlight areas you want to show off or hide.
The Dos and Don’ts of Monochromatics
No matter where you look, you will find advice telling you to stay away from monochromatic outfits if you want to create a look that is both flattering and stylish. But at Chic Soul, we don’t believe in depriving ourselves of the trends and colors we love. So here is our advice on how to get the most flattering monochromatic look. A monochromatic look is an ensemble that uses either one of the same color or multiple shades of the same color. For example, if you wanted to wear an outfit that was gray, you may add in lighter and darker shades of gray to create contrast.
When creating monochromatic looks, keep in mind that darker colors and shades will always be more flattering. So, use darker shades on the areas you want to minimize while using lighter shades in places you want to add volume. If you are opting for more neon or bright colors as opposed to neutrals to create your monochromatic look, you may want to use accessories to add emphasis to certain areas to ensure your figure isn’t lost in your outfit.
Red Gives Black a Run for Its Money
If you thought black was the most flattering color, you may want to think again. There are many style guides that point to red as the most flattering color for women. And we may understand why. Not only does red streamline your figure and naturally highlight your favorite features, but this color also demands attention. Red can boost confidence, as well, making it a clothing color that does both flatter and enhance your mood, which is probably why it has been deemed one of the most flattering colors.
Next time you need a flattering look that also makes you feel and look like a goddess, maybe turn to the color red. Whether you add in red accents or you have a red bodycon dress on your plus size birthday outfit ideas mood board, you’ll love the effect red has on your figure and mindset.
Using Neon to Your Advantage
When women think flattery, they may not think about wearing neon or bright colors. But you can absolutely create an outfit with neon accents and clothing that plays up the parts of your body you love and flatters the rest. Similar to the color-blocking method, you will want to strategically place neon colors on the areas of your body that you want to add volume to. For example, if you would like to create the illusion that your bust is bigger to balance out your curvy hips, a neon top paired with black skinny jeans will balance out proportions to help you feel confident.
Accessorize Your Way to a Flattering Look
While the color of clothing is very important in creating a look that is both stylish and flattering, accessories play just as much of a role, as well. It’s important to keep a few accessories in your closet that can help you snatch a look together and emphasize parts of your body you want to show off. One accessory we swear by for flattering looks is a belt. You’ll want to have a few belt options so that you can use this accessory for any look.
We recommend getting a black belt and a favorite color of your choice. The way a belt can assist in creating a flattering look is by adding it to the waist to cinch any kind of garment. A black belt will slim your waist and a neon-colored belt can also cinch your waist if you are wearing all black—while adding a pop of color.
When shopping for the perfect belt, you will want to keep size and thickness in mind. A thin belt will do the opposite of flattering your figure if you have a curvier frame. So, stick to belts that are on the thicker or wider side. Another accessory that women may not think of when it comes to creating a flattering outfit is shoes. While usually an afterthought, the type of shoes you choose to wear with your flattering look could make or break an outfit. If your look is streamlined and sleek, but you add a clunky sneaker or flats, you may contradict your outfit.
However, if you top off any flattering look with a pair of low or high heels or knee-high boots, you’ll find that your figure will look elongated. And, of course, we can’t have a complete outfit without a statement bag! Whether you are into huge purses or small clutches, larger bags will also help complement your figure.
Oftentimes, when wearing a small crossbody, your figure can come across as larger because the bag you are carrying is so small. However, when you finish your look with a large handbag or tote, it actually makes your body look a bit smaller. With that being said, you don’t have to hide your favorite crossbody away in the closet forever. We say that if you love the bag, wear it!
It’s Not Always About Looks That Flatter
At Chic Soul, we hope to empower women with clothing. We realize that there are so many “fashion rules” that plus size women are told they need to follow. But plus size fashion has evolved so much over the past decade and plus size women have access to new styles, clothing and trends that they once never had. And with the evolution of full-figured fashion, these rules that society imposes on women with curvier figures are obsolete. However, we also realize that plus size women may still want to follow these rules because they felt comfortable embracing certain styles—and we totally recognize that!
Dressing for flattery isn’t just something that plus size women do. Women of all shapes and sizes prioritize flattering clothing, and most women prefer to dress in flattering clothes. We believe that clothing is here to compliment you, your figure and your style, as well as boost your confidence. So, with all this advice, the most important tip we could give you is to dress the way that makes you feel best. If flattering isn’t in your vocabulary, that’s fine. And if you are trying to break out of the societal norms and rules, but you also want to prioritize dressing to flatter your shape, then that is okay, too!
So now that you have all the style advice that you could ever ask for when it comes to creating flattering looks, are you feeling more confident? We hope so! Remember: No matter what you wear, you deserve to feel gorgeous every single day!
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