Magazine article Ebony

Look Your Best at Any Size: Gone Are the Days When Plus-Size Fashion Was Synonymous with Dowdy and Bland. When It Comes to Full-Figured Style, Curvy Women Are Wearing Beautiful Clothes and Showing off Their Shapes. No Matter What Your Body Type, This Step-by-Step Guide from Full-Figured Fashion Experts Can Help You Be Stylish at Any Size

Magazine article Ebony

Look Your Best at Any Size: Gone Are the Days When Plus-Size Fashion Was Synonymous with Dowdy and Bland. When It Comes to Full-Figured Style, Curvy Women Are Wearing Beautiful Clothes and Showing off Their Shapes. No Matter What Your Body Type, This Step-by-Step Guide from Full-Figured Fashion Experts Can Help You Be Stylish at Any Size

Article excerpt

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KNOW YOUR BODY: Accurately assess your body shape and be observant about what styles flatter your body type. "Once you know your body, half the battle is won," says stylist Darius Baptist, who has outfitted full-figured beauties Tocarra and Shirley Murdock. Be honest about your proportions in order to begin building a solid wardrobe.

INVEST WISELY: "Don't skimp on that clothing budget," says author and former plus-size boutique owner Deborah Gregory. "Plus-size women cannot get away with wearing cheap, poorly constructed clothing. You will look better in clothing that is well-made." Gregory suggests splurging on custom tailoring. "Plus-size women have to rely heavily on their tailor for a comfortable, custom fit. Fitted pieces are always more flattering."

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FUNDAMENTALS FIRST: Create solid style by building your wardrobe around staple pieces. Women with curves should opt for classic shapes with clean lines. "Simpler silhouettes can be the most flattering to fuller shapes," says Maria Minns, executive vice president of Ashley Stewart, a full-figured fashion retailer. Minns recommends wider-leg pants and wrap dresses, and blouses as key pieces that complement curvy shapes.

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FOCUS ON FIT: "A common mistake full-figured women make is buying clothing too small, too tight or too short," says Gregory. "Women tend to focus on numbers and sizes, but it doesn't matter that you have on a size

22," adds Mia Amber Davis, a plus-size model and actress. "No one knows the size but you. It's more important that your clothes fit comfortably without pulling, gathering or gapping."

SHAPE UP: Invest in foundation garments to provide comfort and control. "Buy a body-shaper to look more streamlined underneath your clothes," advises Davis. …

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