Style tips for the circumferentially challenged
October 9, 2009 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Plus-size ladies, please help me be fabulous. [UK]

I'm a young, pear-shaped, quite overweight woman (in the process of sloooowwwly losing weight fwiw). I carry all my weight around my stomach and hips, my top half is almost disproportionately small. I always wear the same thing: Tops or long-line tunics, and jeans/trousers. I've never worn dresses or skirts all that much. I feel like they make my midsection look even bigger.

The problem: The top/trouser combo is both boring and, worse, occasionally frumpy (because larger tops that fit my hips are sometimes too big for my upper body).

So basically, what other styles can I try that will work with my body shape and WON'T be frumpy? What UK shops can I go to apart from the high street staples? I love accessories, so any tips regarding those would be much welcomed as well.
posted by Ziggy500 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Start with and the fatshionista livejournal community.
posted by ferociouskitty at 10:04 AM on October 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

I'm a big fan of the wrap dress. It accentuates your curves without calling attention to your midsection.

The same goes for halter dresses.

The trick to looking put together and not frumpy when it comes to fashion, for any body type, is to focus on playing up your assets rather than hiding your flaws. Everyone has assets and flaws. You might feel comfier knowing you're hiding something you're self conscious about, but you'll feel more confident knowing you're accentuating something you feel good about. I think that's the point of flattering clothes -- when you feel good about what you're wearing, you have more energy, you stand up straight, you just feel better.

Torrid is a US plus size clothing company for young women. They have a a lot of cute stuff that's designed specifically for plus sized women -- it's not just regular clothes a few sizes up. I also really like that they use actual plus-sized models (note to the plus sized clothing industry -- if you show me something on a size 10 lady, a size 18 lady is only going to be irritated at you, she won't have a clue what it will look like on her). I don't believe they have a UK shop -- someone in the UK might have a comparable suggestion, but if they don't, even though you'll have to pay an import tax, the exchange rate should still make it worth it!
posted by pazazygeek at 10:15 AM on October 9, 2009

b & lu
posted by Sophie1 at 10:17 AM on October 9, 2009

Wrap dress, wrap dress, wrap dress! Should be able to find those all over the place.
posted by Neofelis at 10:31 AM on October 9, 2009

Manolo for the Big Girl is a great source of style suggestions and sale info for online retailers. While they're US-focused, information about UK and European retailers does crop up.
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:11 AM on October 9, 2009

I hate wrap dresses with a passion. I'm a size Largeish on top (L) and probably a lot lot larger than that on the bottom.

I've found that wearing a flattering top that flares out at the bottom, along with a skirt that isn't snug can give a bit of a nice line. Even if it means that the waist band is far above my belly button.

Also, no sleeves shorter than about the elbow- to help elongate your line.
posted by tilde at 11:20 AM on October 9, 2009

larger tops that fit my hips are sometimes too big for my upper body

Have someone take them in at the shoulder or neckline; make it part of the style. I did that with a shirt that was both too big and had a hole right where the V of the neck met.
posted by tilde at 11:25 AM on October 9, 2009

a great shop in south London that provides a great service!
posted by errspy at 11:56 AM on October 9, 2009

A-line dress, A-line dress, A-line dress. Wrap dresses are OK but most of the styles I've found are in very clingy fabric that kind of defeat the point if you want to flatter your bottom rather than frame it. (Though nothing wrong with that!) Anything that flares away from the hips and has structure is what you want. And no more tunics! At least not without a belt that hits at your natural waist or empire waist for delineation. Otherwise they're a one-way pass to Frumptown.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 1:10 PM on October 9, 2009

I asked a similar question a few days ago and got some good answers there. I asked specifically about dresses, which you may or may not want, but there's good general info about hiding that midsection.
posted by widdershins at 1:30 PM on October 9, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the brilliant suggestions. I wish there was a Torrid and a Kiyonna here, what beautiful dresses! Well now I know what next month's paycheck is going on...
posted by Ziggy500 at 5:05 PM on October 9, 2009

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