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Since I can remember, I have struggled to find my own style.
I’ve never been fashion-forward so I wore what everyone else was wearing and hoped I looked half decent. As I grew older, my body changed. Since high school, I have been plus-sized. I currently wear a 16-18 in dresses and pants, and an extra-large top.
There are many options available for women who require larger sizes. However, I have yet to find the right style for me. I’m usually stuck with pattern designs I dislike — no more polka dots and florals, please — or clothes that uncomfortably cling to my body.
I hide my body and shape with baggy clothes that cover up the parts I don’t love. I want to be excited about shopping for clothes and have a capsule wardrobe that only contains the things I love.
Erica Ball, ex-celeb stylist and the creator o of Erica Ball Style, a personal styling blog and fashion blog.
Ball received photos of six of my most current outfits and she offered her advice on how to make them flatter my petite, plus-size body.
These cotton culottes are my safe haven when paired with a sleeveless shirt and flats
One: Mustard-colored top, black culottes, and black flats.
I have a tendency to hide my body, rather than finding clothes that help me shine. So I reach out for garments that cover areas of me that are shy.
These billowy pants are my favorite, even though they make me look wider in the middle.
Ball agreed, pointing to the fact that the open pockets in the pants could be what is hiding my curves rather than highlighting them.
“I recommend having pockets sewn shut or looking for pants without pockets for any woman with curves,”She spoke. “The extra fabric on the pockets adds bulk to the hip area.”
She also said that people under 5’3″ were not eligible.” should avoid cropped pants like culottes, which make us appear shorter than we are.
“She said that you can lengthen your legs by wearing pants that hit at the ankle but are slim and straight.
I recently added a skirt in denim to my wardrobe
Look two: Black spaghetti-strap top, light-wash denim skirt, chunky black sandals.
I hadn’t worn denim skirts since the early 2000s but recently felt the need to wear one. The skirt is usually paired with a loose spaghetti-strap shirt and chunky sandals.
Ball stated that the length of the denim skirt is perfect because it’s slimming and forms-fitting.
“Where it hits just above the knees is the right place for more petite women and helps to lengthen the appearance of your legs,”She spoke.
Ball stated that she isn’t sold on spaghetti straps. “too delicate”For my frame.
“A wider strap or a short-sleeve top will look more flattering on you and help to balance proportions,”She explained.
For casual looks, I opt for jeans and black flats
Look three: Black spaghetti-strap blouse, cuffed jeans, pumps
I wish I had more jeans that worked for my 5’1″ frame. I have to roll these up to make them wearable.
To avoid this, Ball suggested I get these pants professionally tailored to look more polished.
“Ask the tailor for the original hem to be reattached. This means that the jeans won’t look like they were hemmed.” she said “Make simple, inexpensive adjustments to your clothing to instantly enhance your look.
She also suggested that I do the front half-tuck to my shirt to define and polish my waist.
This dress is my favorite because of its breathable cut, stretchy texture, and versatility.
Look four: Fitted mustard T-shirt dress, cream shoes.
I favor T-shirt dresses with no sleeves, but they may not be the best fit for my body.
Ball stated that T-shirt dress really work for my figure. But, he had some suggestions for how to improve this look.
“I like this neckline and sleeve length on you, but I would make this dress slightly shorter,”She added. “A few inches below the knees will show off your legs and elongate your body.”
Her main problem with the dress is its color, which she called “disappointing.” “a hard color for anyone to wear.”She stated that form-fitting pieces can be made slimmer by using darker colors such as black, navy, and charcoal.
She also suggested that I try a dress featuring ruching. This can help me achieve a more flattering shape.
My work outfits consist of a dressy blouse and comfortable, business-casual trousers
Look five: White top with ruffled sleeve, black fitted pants, and black heels
I prefer pants with no buttons and zippers. They’re more comfortable in my stomach and waist area. Although I like the outfit, the shirt is too frilly and not very breathable.
“I like everything about this look except the same thing you don’t — the ruffles on the sleeves,”Ball stated. “Just like pockets and pleats that add the appearance of bulk to your bottom, the extra fabric of ruffles adds the illusion of wider arms.”
She suggested I look for streamlined blouses with cleaner lines and avoid all sorts of billowy sleeves — which also fits my vision for my minimal wardrobe. Ball suggested that this piece could also benefit from a front-half-tuck.
She gave me a thumbs-up on the fit and length of my pants, stating that they are comfortable. “look taller and slimmer.”
“The slim silhouette of these pants versus the pair in your last photo elongates your legs beautifully,”She spoke.
These pants and heels were a favorite of the stylist.
Sometimes I pair the look up with black pumps. Ball said that this is a great option. “heels lengthen the body.”
This dress is brighter than the ones I usually reach for, and I love it.
Look six: Royal-blue fitted gown, black kitten heels with bow.
Although this dress isn’t muted or neutral, I love the bottom half. I also like how it feels on me. I can stand, sit, eat, breathe, and stand normally.
Ball said that the silhouette of this dress works because it shows off my legs, and the structure highlights my curves.
She suggested that I ask a tailor if the ruffles could be removed, which I don’t like, to make the sleeves more clean.
Ball liked the color too and said it flatters her skin tone.
I love the comfort of kitten heels.
She was a big fan of my love for kitten heels.
I am a plus-size female who values comfort and can only tolerate high heels for 20 second before I have to be glued in a chair for the remainder of the night. These are super comfortable and chic — and, most importantly, I feel good in them.
“Kitten heels are totally on-trend,”Ball. “Being comfortable and chic is the key to elevated but practical closet essentials.”
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