These 11 fashion tips for plus-size women will help you pick the right clothes that flatter your figure, make you look gorgeous and fabulous.
Considering that most fashion brands make clothes for slim women, it’s often hard to dress well when you are overweight. Being plus size doesn’t mean that you cannot look beautiful and fabulous.
Not everyone can or want to look like supermodels. However, that shouldn’t stop them from looking absolutely gorgeous.
Just check out celebrities like Queen Latifah, Oprah, Melissa McCarthy, and Rebel Wilson. They don’t try and hide the fact that they are curvy and you shouldn’t too.
All it takes is a little will and the knowledge to pick the right clothes. Without further ado, the following are our list of 11 fashion tips for plus-size women.
Start with Contouring Undergarment
Picking the right underwear is incredibly important and should be the first priority when picking clothes for any attire. Wearing shapewear underwear can contour and shape your physique while providing support.
Shapewears not only allow you to fit inside dresses much more comfortably they ensure your body looks toned and slimmer than it actually is. Shapewears also help you to tuck in that tummy and hide those unflattering areas.
Never Dress Too Tight
The last thing you want is to try to fit inside clothes that are not meant for you. Understand the difference between well-fitted clothes and clothes that are uncomfortably tight. If the tightness of the clothes makes the lines of your underwear visible from outside, you have gone too far.
A Plus Size Fur Coat is Your Friend
Statement jackets and blazers are a great choice for curvy women, especially ones who have a pear shaped body type. A jacket add volume to the upper body, which adds symmetry to the overall attire. Plus size fur coats are a great choice if you live in a cold climatic region. There are many online fur stores that sell plus size fur jackets for women, so you should have plenty to choose from. If you don’t want to buy real fur, consider a faux fur jacket as a replacement.
Best Fashion Tips for Plus-Size Women: When In Doubt Choose Black
Black dresses and darker shades work better for curvy women than lighter shaded clothes. Black fashion items also look more glamorous and can be paired well with statement jewelry and leather bags.
Pencil Skirts to the Rescue
Pairing a pencil skirt with a loose blouse or a shirt is a great combo. Make sure to pick a color that compliments the color of your shirt. Blue shirt and black pencil skirts work really well so do a simple white shirt and jet-black skirt. Be sure to wear matching pump shoes to complete the look.
High-Rise Denim to Tuck in That Belly
Low fit jeans are not really a good choice for curvy women. Mainly because they end up accentuating the belly area instead of contouring it. Pick classic blue jeans that has a high-rise cut. Pair the blue jeans with a flowing top and consider donning a summer jacket to add a bit of layering.
Let Those Locks Loose
Ponytails and short hairstyles do not look good on people who have a roundish face. The best hairstyle for overweight women is the casual long-hair look. Try and add volume to your hair by adding curls and leave the hair down to make your face look slimmer.
Don’t Forget to Accessorize
Accessories can greatly add to your personal style and make you look fabulous. Everything from chunky necklaces to large earrings can be used to create a complex look. Pick up a pair of good sunglasses for those summer mornings. Also, build a collection of bags that pair well with your dresses.
Pick Empire Line Dresses
Whenever shopping for dresses choose items that have an empire silhouette. These dresses usually have a low neckline and the waistline is just under the bust. The shape and cut of empire line dresses help hide your flaws while accentuating your beautiful curvy physique.
For These Fashion Tips for Plus-Size Women to Work, Know Your Measurements by Heart
Knowing your measurement will help you pick clothes off the rack and try them on with confidence. It shields you from the disappointment of picking a dress only to find out it’s too tight. This way you reject the clothes before you become too attached.
Physical stores often lack the collection of plus-size online stores. Shop for plus size jackets and coats from online stores instead of going to a brick-and-mortar store. Pick an online store that has a great plus-size offering of reputed fashion brands. It also helps to know which brands and sizes fit you the best.
Shopping for or as a woman can be stressful, more so a plus-sized woman. As a fashionable plus sized woman, it can feel almost impossible to find the right outfits. However, don’t fret, because with a little bit of patience and planning, you can leave the house looking absolutely chic every single time. Here, we have five very helpful styling tips for the fashionista plus-sized woman that will have you not only dressing better, but also feeling better.
1. Have a go-to outfit
Some days, you wake up and just want to throw something on without thinking too much about it. Days like this are the reason why you should already have a go-to outfit. Your go-to outfit can be worn on any typical day and should be comfortable enough for you to wear throughout the day. For instance, a good day to day outfit you might want to consider comprising plus size women’s graphic t shirts (if that’s more your style) along with a relaxed, yet chic pair of mom jeans and a pair of comfy slides to bring the ‘laid back yet cool’ look together.
2. Dress for your body type
It’s very easy when shopping as a plus-sized woman to assume that just any plus-sized outfit would do. However, that’s quite far from the truth. It is still important to shop for your body type, as certain outfits are designed to flatter some body types, but not others. For example, if you have a pear-shaped body, an A-line dress will look amazing. For an oval-shaped body, a belted top with wide-leg jeans would have to look absolutely gorgeous. The whole point is to dress in the most flattering way for your body. If you are unsure of your body type, you can always check online for a guide.
3. Have your clothes tailored to your body
Sometimes, the difference between a drab outfit and a fab outfit is good tailoring. Tailoring is important when it comes to dressing as a plus-sized woman because it ensures that your getup fits and hangs in all the right ways. Also, sometimes, you might find an outfit that you love but just it doesn’t come in a size that fits you properly. Taking it to a tailor can be the simple solution to that issue since they can adjust the outfit in a way that makes it look attractive to you. If you are worried about where to find a tailor, the good news is that a lot of department stores come with tailoring services for an added cost.
4. Invest in a good shapewear
Plus-sized or not, every woman needs to invest in some good shapewear. Shapewear provides you with just the right amount of support, lifting, tucking and cinching underneath your outfit so when you do finally put on your garment, you look effortlessly more refined and put together. Besides, a good undergarment ensures that your clothes sit a lot more comfortably on your body. Finding some good Shapewear can be quite the task, but it is recommended that you shop in-store rather than online so that you can find the perfect fit.
5. The right shoes complete every outfit
You could have put together the perfect outfit, but if you neglect your shoes, then your outfit will be lacking. Investing in good shoes is the ultimate styling tip for any woman, period. Nevertheless, as a plus-sized woman, a good tip when shopping for shoes is to avoid any shoes that make your legs look shorter. Rather, opt for shoes that elongate your legs and give the appearance of clean lines. A good pair of classic pumps always gets the job done to pull your look together.
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Oh, how we all love curves, but as everything in excess overkills, so do curves. Nonetheless, we, at Dusbus have a winning formula for every situation. So, take a look at 10 plus size styling tips that we are in awe of, so you don’t hide your curves but flaunt them in style and confidence.
1. Find The Best Fitting For Your Silhouette
Neither too fitted nor too loose dresses would work for your silhouette. Do not let your dress squeeze you up, as it makes your blubber more apparent. An oversized dress, on the other side, might give a bigger illusion of your body. Also, not all dresses might fit you the same, so try different sizes and find the one that looks the best on your silhouette. Do not forget, it is important to feel comfortable in what you wear.
2. Get A Shapewear
Shapewear is an arsenal to cinch your larger parts, especially the tummy, thighs, and glutes. A good shapewear will smoothen your body, even if it calls for some squeezing underneath the dress you wear. Get a body briefer if you need perfection or a tummy tucker might as well do some trick.
3. Define Your Waist With Wide Belts
Wider belts not only help in defining a smaller body part but also create an illusion of a curve if you feel you look too broad. Most dresses can be enhanced by adding a suitable belt to it and even if your dress comes with a waistband style, you can still put a wide and ornamental belt on your waist to look slimmer. You can also plead down the extra fabric of your shirt or dress and hide it under the belt.
This is something additional. We think you will like it:
4. Choose The Right Sized Hand Bag
Just like the size of your dress, your bag also contributes to how big you look. The formula is to carry a bag that is proportionate to your body. Too small bag will emphasize your body size and a larger bag will overall give a fuller feel to your appearance. So, choose the right sized bag that does not catch the attention.
5. Accessorize Right
A long chain will give your neck and upper torso an elongated look, unlike a choker, which apparently chokes your neck and makes it look thicker and shorter. Chains and necklaces, long scarves are the best accessories for your body to make it look longer, thinner, and better shaped.
6. Pick the High Waisted Bottoms
Tuck your flab under high waisted pants, skirts, or jeans and pick relatively longer tops and tees, peplum cut, and similar styles that hide the waist of your bottom wear. This is known to give the best slimming effect among all styles. When you pick dresses too, peplums work the best.
7. Contouring Effect
Contouring is seldom counted as a curvy fashion tip, although it gives an instant result. Give your face a major make-over with this makeup technique that’s taking the girls around the world by storm. Contouring has significant power in sharpening your cheekbones and jawlines with the help of light and shadows. You can pick powder or pencil, liquid, or solid contouring kit and specialize in contouring with the help of some D-I-Y videos from YouTube on how to slim down your face. The idea of creating illusion using dark and light shades of makeup at certain areas on the face to make it look better structured and well-toned is magnificent and you will instantly feel the difference and gather compliments.
8. Get A Better Bra
If investing in lingerie means hoarding some baby doll dresses, thongs, and lacey bras, you need to think beyond. The best fit is what works, and not how your lingerie looks in the drawer. Get the best-fitted bra you can, because if you are blessed in the boob department, your ill-fitted bra does a lot of damage to your assets.
To ensure your bosoms spill out from the cups, get a perfect coverage bra for your t-shirts and polo necks and an unlined demi bra for a deep neck, cleavage-revealing tops and dresses.
9. Get Boyfriend Shirts And Shorts
Style guide for curvy women is never complete without this one. Boyfriend shirts with loose-fitting and sleeves rolled up to have been quite a trend in the last few years and now it’s time for boyfriend shorts! These are high-waisted, cuffed shorts with more butt coverage to give you a comfortable feel, flattening your thighs and waist and exaggerating the right areas.
10. Skip Camisole
If your top is either a deep neck or see-through, get a lacey bralette and skip adding up a layer to your bra with a camisole. Plus size lace half cami works best under such tops and dresses to reduce the amount of fabric your wear that adds layers and thickness to your attire. Most plus size styling tips will suggest you to minimize the fabric layers, choose less flare in dresses, and pick up dresses that do not need an undershirt or lining.
Hey, reader! While you’re here for tips on dressing curves, check out our fashion picks inspired by the tips. In any Glamour story featuring a shopping bag icon, you can instantly shop a selection of related products, curated by us. Check out our picks to your left on desktop and right on mobile. Happy shopping!
Susan Moses has styled everyone from Britney Spears to Queen Latifah over her two-decade-plus career—and she’s learned a few things in the process. OK, more like a book’s worth of things. Which happens to be fitting (pardon the pun): In 2016, Moses released her debut title, The Art of Dressing Curves. Glamour spoke with Moses about the style advice women with curves—plus size or not—need to know about getting dressed.
Read on for her top eight style tips for curvy women:
1. Strike the right balance between fitted and too tight. “There’s a difference between being squeezed up in a dress and a dress fitting your body nicely,” she says. “You shouldn’t see lines of any undergarments through the dress—that’s when you know it’s too tight!”
2. Everybody should have a shapewear arsenal. “This is universal!” says Moses. “Every woman needs a little bit of cinching, smoothing, and support sometimes. Generally, smoothing in the tummy and hips can make us look more refined and polished in our clothes. The number one piece that women should have is a body briefer.”
3. Don’t wear leggings as pants. “There is way too much personal information on the streets of many cities because of this trend. Leggings are not pants. They are meant to be worn underneath clothing. That’s why they are sold with hosiery and accessories in department stores.” (Hint: Get a pair of skinny jeggings instead!)
4. When in doubt, reach for a pencil skirt. “To-the-knee is the most flattering hemline on everyone,” she says. “It elongates your curves and gives your body good balance.”
5. No outfit is complete without the right shoes. “Pay attention to the line of your shoes,” says Moses. “Avoid straps around the ankles—they can make legs look shorter. A classic pump in a neutral will give you the cleanest line and make your legs look longest.”
6. Shop through any weight changes. “Do go shopping and invest in the essential pieces, even if you gain [or lose] a few pounds. The most important thing is to wear clothes that fit and to feel you look your very best at every size.”
7. Carry the right size of bag. “You should have a bag that is proportioned to your body,” she says. “Too small is not good! For day I like a medium-size structured tote. At night, if you can’t see the bag behind your hand, that bag is too small.”
8. Tailor your clothing. “A good tailor is every woman’s secret weapon. There’s no substitute! Most department stores and boutiques offer tailoring services too. Wearing clothes that fit and hang properly on your body can make the difference between terrible and terrific.”
Points 3, 6, and 8 are excerpts from The Art of Dressing Curves: The Best-Kept Secrets of a Fashion Stylist by Susan Moses, published by Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
For too long, girls with petite frames have been told what they can and cannot wear as a result of their short stature. Well, vertically challenged fashionistas: The buck stops here. Today, we’re debunking five common fashion myths regarding short girls everywhere. Read on for our styling tips and tricks for how to successfully break these archaic fashion rules once and for all.
Knee-High Gladiator Sandals Will Swallow Your Legs: The key to wearing knee-high gladiators as a girl with shorter legs is balanced proportions. At 5′ tall, Kourtney Kardashian keeps from looking squat in the sandals by showing off her legs in shorts. A tailored romper is a great way to get the look without feeling like you’re revealing too much.
You Can Never Wear Flats: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (5’2″ and 5’3″, respectively) prove you don’t have to teeter on your highest stilettos to look and feel dressed up. At this year’s CFDA Awards, the duo opted for flats over heels with their all-black ensembles. Follow their lead and expose just enough of your ankle so you don’t look like you’re drowning in your clothes.
Maxi Lengths Will Overwhelm Your Frame: The secret to pulling off a maxidress if you have a petite frame lies in the waistline. Nicole Richie appears taller than her 5’1″ frame actually measures, due to the nipped-in waistline, plus a hemline that hits right at the floor.
Midi Skirts Are Never Flattering: Since moving to NYC, 5’1″ Vanessa Hudgens’ style has been spot-on. Most recently, she championed the midlength pencil skirt, proving to petite girls everywhere that this trend can also work for them. Go for a high-waisted silhouette and pair with a crop top to give the illusion of a longer legs.
Ankle-Strap Heels Will Make Your Legs Look Stumpy: Old fashion rules maintain that short girls should avoid ankle straps, for fear of looking too squat. But check out how Miroslava Duma, at 4’11” pulls them off. The strap on her sandal is on the thinner side, allowing her to reveal just the right amount of skin in a midlength dress.
More styling tips and tricks:
Trim your own bangs, layers, and everything in between.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you go rogue with a pair of scissors at home, but if you can’t make it to the salon right now and are in desperate need of a little trim, it’s perfectly fine to give yourself a quick fix at home.
The key is to start small with a few careful snips. Right now is not the time to decide you want bangs (yes, you!). We recommend saving big changes for the pros, but to freshen up your layers, trim your (already-existing) bangs, or nab split ends at home, we’ve rounded up the best instructional videos below to help you cut your own hair at home. A few pointers before you get started:
Invest in a pair of styling shears.
Put down the kitchen scissors! The dull edges could potentially give you even more split ends (plus, ew, cross-contamination). Instead, invest in a pair of razor-sharp styling shears designed specifically for the task, like Equinox Professional Shears. This will give you the best-looking cut (and the healthiest hair) possible.
Cut less than you think you need to.
You can always take more hair off, but you can’t add back what you’ve already chopped! If you’re cutting your hair while it’s wet, remember it will look even shorter once it dries.
Work with your natural hair texture.
Snip hair when it’s dry if your strands are curly or wavy so you can get a better idea of what the final look will be. If you have straight hair, cut while it’s wet or dampen it with a spray bottle first to get the cleanest, sharpest lines possible.
There are a lot of style rules out there, especially ones that apply specifically to plus-size women. Who made them, and why do we follow them? It’s time to throw the style rulebook out the window.
Plus size makeup myths
I find myself very lucky that while growing up, I didn’t encounter too many style “rules” related to my size. It wasn’t until I worked retail at a popular plus store that I ran into plus-size women who told me all sorts of crazy “rules” they followed, such as “I can’t go sleeveless” or “I can’t wear skirts.” The ones most surprising to me were the makeup and hairstyle rules.
In the midst of my research to find and disprove these myths, I found several pages that claimed to be “pro-plus-sized women,” but only served to limit a woman’s style and further instill insecurities. One article started, “If you think fat and beautiful do not go well with each other, think again. To be beautiful, you need not be size zero… The truth is that plus-size women have all the right curves and a beautiful voluptuous body.”
Not a bad start. However, this article went on to tell women that they shouldn’t wear a liquid foundation, bold eye makeup or neutral lip color as it will only draw attention to their flaws. Other “tips” were ones that all women should follow when wearing makeup, regardless of size. For example: Match your foundation and blend.
The real rules
I met with Jessica Frieling, photographer, makeup artist and stylist, to discuss these myths and get some makeup tips to help contour my face. She had never heard the “no liquid foundation” rule and grew up wearing liquid foundation, and she scoffed at the “no garish eye makeup” rule. In fact, she did a photoshoot with rainbow eye makeup.
Start with a good base
Jessica applied concealer (Make Up For Ever Full Cover Extreme Camouflage Cream) and a liquid foundation (Make Up For Ever HD Foundation) on my skin after applying a primer on my clean and moisturized skin with a latex-free sponge. She went back with the concealer on a pencil-shaped brush to cover any blemishes, and finished with a powder to set the makeup (Make Up For Ever HD Powder).
- Concealer tips: Use a shade lighter than your foundation. Apply with a brush or your fingers and blend toward the edges. Apply around your lips, just above the bow, to make your lips look fuller.
- Foundation tips: Apply with a sponge (the same sponge you used to apply your primer). Apply in a stippling motion for even coverage.
Pick a bronzer with little to no shimmer. Try MAC Bronzing Powder in bronze.
Apply with a brush to the hollows of your cheeks (suck in your cheeks and make a fish face to find the hollows). Apply from your hairline in the hollow about 2 inches, and stop about where your jaw hinges. It’s important to not take the powder too far. Blend the powder into your hairline, applying darker closer to your hairline. Also, apply the bronzer lightly to your temples and along your jawline, where you would naturally have shadows.
Experiment with color, shimmer and liners. Don’t forget mascara. Use a light shadow to highlight under your eyebrows and the inner corners of your eyes.
Finish the look
- Clean up foundation with sponge.
- Apply blush to the apples of your cheeks then sweep into your hairline. Try Bella Bamba by Benefit.
- Finally, apply a bronzer/darker blush powder, as a bronzer this time. Consider Honour by MAC, and provide warmth to areas where the sun would normally hit you, like your forehead, nose, chin and cheekbones.
- Finish lips with a natural color for day — Jessica used Rosewood by Prestige — and top with a gloss in a taupe/pink shade. Apply gloss to the middle of lips. If you want a bold lip, check out Lime Crime Velvetines in red velvet!
This is a lot to do on a daily basis, and it took a bit longer than my normal 10-minute face, even with a professional doing it. But it was so worth it for a special event. Use the tips and tricks from above that suit you, and implement them into your daily routine. Take the extra minute to add contour. This could be applied over your foundation, then add some mascara and lip gloss, and be out the door.
Convinced that you’re bound by certain style guidelines if you’re over a size 14? Get ready to change your mind.
The Old Rule:“You Should Never Wear White”
The new rule: The key to a flattering garment comes down to fit, not color, says celebrity stylist Susan Moses. “White does not make you look larger if you find the right pieces, just as black will not make you look smaller if it doesn’t fit properly,” says Moses. (The exception: On camera, wearing white can make you appear bigger.) When shopping for white clothing—Moses is a fan of white jeans and white ruched dresses in particular—avoid flimsy fabrics, which will highlight any bumps. Instead, pick materials with substance and structure; not only will they provide support, but that extra thickness will ensure your undies won’t play peekaboo whenever you’re in the sun.
The Old Rule: “Button-Down Shirts Are Unflattering”
The new rule: “Button-down shirts complement curves,” says stylist and former Biggest Loser contestant Nicole Brewer. “Look for one that has stretch and design details that create shape, like darts, ruching, and wrapping.” For an even more slenderizing silhouette, “layer the shirt under a blazer, jacket, or cardigan—it will shrink the appearance of your midsection and elongate you,” says Brewer.
The Old Rule: “Bright Colors and Prints Will Call Unnecessary Attention to Your Shape and Make You Look Bigger”
The new rule: “There are no rules when it comes to color—just make sure it complements your complexion,” says Amy Spivok-Richman, a Macy’s group vice-president who oversees the plus-size category for the department store. Adds Nancy LeWinter, the editorial director of the plus-size online shopping mall OneStopPlus.com, “Even bright red can be slimming when the cut and fit flatter your shape.” (If you’re still nervous about jumping into Technicolor waters, dip in a toe first: Start with small, vibrant details—shoes, jewelry, or bags—before trying bigger pieces.) As for prints, “make sure they’re in proportion to the scale of the body,” says Moses. “If a larger woman wears a tiny print, it may get lost.” An especially forgiving option? Watercolor prints. “One color melts into the other and it’s really flattering,” says Moses.
The Old Rule: “Dressing in Monochrome Is Always Slimming”
The new rule: Use it, don’t abuse it. Monochrome can indeed work wonders by creating one long, lean, continual line; but simply throwing on random pieces in the same shade can also make you look sloppy. To avoid that trap, “play around with different fabrications. Add an item with texture or a material like chiffon—and accessorize with a pop of color—rather than wearing the same fabric from head to toe,” says Frances Freixas, chief creative officer for Fashion to Figure, a national plus-size retailer. The hue also matters: “People love nudes, but it shouldn’t be the exact same color as your skin tone or there will be no delineation between where your clothes end and you begin,” says Brewer.
(To buy: Eloquii polyester-blend dress, $98, eloquii.com. City Chic faux-leather jacket, $91, citychiconline.com. Mynt 1792 viscose-blend pants, $158, heygorgeous.com.)
The Old Rule: “Stripes Are the Enemy”
The new rule: Don’t indiscriminately draw the line at stripes. They’ve gotten a bad rap, and—truth be told—with some justification: Chunky, straight-across horizontal bands won’t do anybody any favors. But there’s a whole world of stripes that are using their powers of optical illusion for good. “Many designers are now making stripes that are asymmetrical, making you appear smaller,” says Brewer. Look for stripes that angle inward to help slim your waistline. More trade secrets: Thinner stripes tend to make you look more svelte than thick ones do, and a dark background with lighter-colored stripes is far superior to the other way around.
The Old Rule: “Following Trends Is Too Risky. Just Stick to the Basics”
The new rule: If it floats your boat, by all means go for it. The trick is to adapt a trend in a way that works for your shape. Dying to wear a crop top? Opt for one that’s cut longer and pair it with a high-waisted pencil skirt. Want to give color-blocking a go? Wearing multi-toned pieces can be slimming if the vertical panels and darker shades are positioned on the areas that you want to downplay. Even hard-to-pull-off harem pants get the green light. “Find a pair with stretch and draping,” says Brewer, noting that women who carry their weight on top look especially good in this cut because the pants balance the silhouette. “I hear so many women saying ‘Oh, I could never wear that,’ ” says Marie Denee, founder of the style blog the Curvy Fashionista. “How do you know if you haven’t tried? You might have already dismissed something that could be your best friend.”
The Old Rule: “If You’re Plus-Size, an Empire Waistline Is Right for You”
The new rule: Despite what you may have been told, there’s no such thing as a one-style-fits-all solution—not even the Empire waist. If you’re smaller-busted or more bottom-heavy, the Empire waist can indeed fulfill its intended purpose “by drawing the attention upward and focusing on the waist and décolletage,” says Brewer. However, women who carry most of their weight in the midsection or are full-busted should steer clear of the style—or risk an unwanted maternity look.
The Old Rule: “Baggy Clothing Hides a Multitude of Sins. The Bigger the Better!”
The new rule: About the only thing that cocooning yourself in yards of billowing fabric will accomplish is to make you appear much larger. “Bulk isn’t great on anyone,” says LeWinter. Instead, show your shape “in clothing that follows your curves; it doesn’t have to be clingy. With new technology, fabrics have the perfect amount of stretch to give a smooth and sexy look without riding up or looking too snug.” When you do wear items with more volume, practice moderation—no exaggerated cuts—and team them with something more fitted. (Think a flowy trapeze top over slim ankle-length pants.) “Volume on either the top or bottom is okay, as long as it’s not all over,” says Spivok-Richman. A head-to-toe billowing look doesn’t flatter anyone.
The Old Rule: “Fussy Details Like Ruffles Will Only Draw Unwanted Focus”
The new rule: Put those details to work for you! Of course rocking a massive fabric flower on your least-favorite feature is an awful idea. But when properly placed, little extras can be like waving a sorcerer’s wand. “Ruching is really good at forgiving areas where you need a bit more support by creating shape without adding volume,” says Moses. “Curved princess seams in the sides of jackets and shirts will give you more of a designated waist.” And, yes, even ruffles can do their part. “Be strategic about where they’re placed—vertical ruffles on one side of a skirt or dress are elongating, and they’re also pretty on sleeves, cuffs, and the hem of the skirt for drawing the eye,” says Moses.