How To Dress For Your Body Shape When You're Plus Size

There’s plenty of guidance out there for how to dress for different body types – we have expert guides on how to dress for apple shape and pear shape bodies ourselves – but plus-size styling for these body types can be a little more nuanced. We want everyone to feel comfortable and stylish, no matter their body type, so we’ve put together a guide on how to dress for your body type when you’re plus size to help you get the most out of your wardrobe.

Our plus size collection at Kit and Kaboodal is designed to ensure that you can enjoy plus size fashion to its fullest. As extensive as our mainline range of clothing, our plus size collection includes styles to suit all kinds of plus size body shapes. Read on for our top plus size styling tips no matter what your body type:

1. Break The Plus Size "Rules"

It’s important to mention that when it comes to styling for different body types, plus size or otherwise, there shouldn’t be any rules. The secret is that style ‘rules’ are simply guidelines, and the only rule you should follow is ‘wear something that makes you feel fabulous.’ None of our plus size style tips are designed to cover up your shape – quite the opposite!

2. Showcase Your Curves

While over the years plus size women have been advised to skim over or cover up their VBO (visible body outline), we know that this style of advice isn’t for everyone. Showing off your curves can be an empowering way to dress, and we’re all about fashion that empowers women to be their most confident selves.

Choose Fitted Not Tight

When it comes to showing off your curves, it’s important that you understand the distinction between dressing in tight clothing and dressing in structured clothing. Fitted and tight are not the same thing – tight clothing will hug your body in all the wrong places, whereas fitted and structured clothing will flatter your form and highlight all of your best bits.

3. Go Bold

Another ‘plus-size rule’ we want to banish is that plus size women should stick to neutral colours and avoid bold prints such as stripes. We want our Kit and Kaboodal women to choose bright clothing and patterns of any kind that show off their personalities. Everyone deserves to feel confident and fashionable, so if bright and bold dressing is for you, don’t hold back!

4. Skim If You Want To

Not every woman will be comfortable with showing off their curves, and that’s completely fine too! Shapeless doesn’t have to mean unflattering – shapeless chic can be just as fashionable, especially if you indulge in our Lagenlook trend. Lagenlook is all about loose layers in different fabrics and textures, making it the perfect choice for plus size women who prefer to skim rather than showcase their curves.

How To Style Lagenlook For Plus Size Shapes

Lagenlook works for every body type, but our top tip for Lagenlook is also our top tip for plus size styling with tops and tunics – leggings, leggings, leggings. Striking a balance between loose, flowing garments and structure is a great style tip for everyone, no matter their shape or size.

5. Dress To Impress

Whilst there are no set styling rules, there are some tips you can follow when choosing the best plus-size dresses for your shape. Step out in style for that next special occasion by following these simple tips to shop for flattering plus-size dresses:

  • Linen dresses: Stylish, breathable and floaty, a perfect choice for a summer holiday or wedding. Temperature regulating and easy to style up or down 
  • Maxi dresses: Shapeless chic at its best! Perfect for the summer season and great for those that like to skim their curves and feel confident covered up. Pair with a wedge platform for ultimate summer style!

  • Semi-fitted styles: Whether choosing a figure-hugging wrap dress or accentuating your curves with a belted number, nothing says body confidence more than emphasising those curves! A great choice for sophisticated dressing that's filled with empowerment!

6. Top Up Your Casual Options Too

Plus size styling shouldn’t be dismissed on off-duty days! By knowing which casual styles best suit your shape, be it apple, pear or hourglass, you can stock up on your favourites for those ‘go to’ options when you want to dress casual but still feel amazing! 

  • Off-the-shoulder tops: a perfect pick for pear shapes! Showing a little shoulder helps to balance out those gorgeous, pear-shaped curves! Choose a bold bright and pair it with neutral leggings or jeans for a stunning, sophisticated look.

  • Peplum tops: If covering up your middle section makes you feel super confident, then a peplum top is a perfect choice. In a fit and flare style, the extra, flared trim can look super elegant! Pair with jeans and heels for casual drinks with the girls!

  • Wrap-tops: figure-hugging and flattering no matter what your shape, they accentuate all of your best parts! Great for showing off your curves both day and night!

Which Plus Size Body Type Am I?

Confident, plus-size dressing all comes down to understanding your body type and being empowered to make styling choices that make you feel amazing in your own skin. That’s why at Kit and Kaboodal, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you identify your shape so that if you are feeling overwhelmed by clothing choices, you’ll know exactly where to start when identifying the clothing pieces that will accentuate your favourite features and make you feel more confident in your own skin!. Remember our golden rule, if you feel confident in what you’re wearing, then that’s the only validation you’ll ever need! 

Apple Shape

Those with an apple body shape generally have shapely legs, a full bust and width around the middle. A fuller figure has similar measurements to the chest, waist and legs.

Top Tips For Dressing Apple Shapes:

Embrace those curves! Tone down your midsection and choose styles that accentuate your waist, such as belted dresses and high-waisted jeans. 

Pear Shape

Pear body shapes usually have a small bust, a narrow waist and a curvy, more shapely bottom half. 

Top Tips For Dressing Pear Shapes:

With pear shapes, it’s all about balance. Accentuate your top half with horizontal stripes, patterns or embellishments and save dark colours and straight lines for your bottom half to balance out your body shape.

Hourglass Shape

An hourglass body shape has a well-defined waist, well-proportioned bust and hips and a rounded bottom for a naturally balanced shape. Figure-hugging clothes look great on an hourglass shape, so have great confidence in your curves!

Top Tips For Dressing Hourglass Shapes:

Most things suit hourglass shapes, but if you really want to embrace your curves, fitted clothes that are belted around the waist will look amazing on you, creating a figure-flattering silhouette. 

Rectangle Shape

Rectangle body shapes are just that, rectangular, because the shoulders usually are the same width as the hips. A small bust and undefined wait complete this shape that looks best when curves are accentuated and straight lines are avoided.

Top Tips For Dressing Rectangle Shapes:

Look for ways to create curves and a more feminine silhouette whilst avoiding straight lines. Fitted blazers with shoulder pads that add definition, details around the bust and shoulders paired with low-rise jeans or pencil skirts with belted waists can really transform a rectangle shape for your most confident dressing yet.

Inverted Triangle Shape

Inverted triangle body shapes are generally more top-heavy, with broader shoulders and narrower hips and legs. Balancing out the body by adding the illusion of volume and curves to the bottom half is a great way to accentuate this beautiful plus size body shape!

Top Tips For Dressing Inverted Triangles:

Lots of styles suit this shape, which tends to be of a more athletic build. Wear clothes that accentuate your bottom, or that are bold and patterned and pair them with open necklines or strappy tops that minimise the broadness of the shoulders without reducing your natural curves and bust. Avoid shoulder pads or embellishments around the shoulders.

Diamond Shape

With a diamond shape, the waist is usually the widest part of the body with the bust and shoulders slightly smaller than the hips. With shapely lower legs and arms, this plus-size shape is dressed best when the waist is defined and volume is added to the shoulders.

Top Tips For Dressing Diamonds:

Look for clothes that elongate the body, define the waist and add volume to the shoulders. Slim down your bottom half with straight fit bottoms and darker colours. Go for bright colours on top with belted waistlines and capped sleeves. Shop our plus-size collection at Kit and Kaboodal, with perfect choices that are suitable for all plus-size body types and feel fabulous every day!