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body shape

Fashion

Reader Q&A: “What are your tips for dressing when you’re curvy?”

11th February, 2019
Ashley Graham, model Jada Sezer and Robyn Lawley all know how to accentuate their figure

I always love hearing from my readers especially if there’s a burning fashion question they’d like answered. Late last year, I heard from a reader, Steph via my Facebook page who sent me the below message as she was on the hunt for a dress to wear over Christmas.

Hi Kate! Love your style!

I was wondering what fashion tips you could suggest for a curvier women like myself I am self conscious of my arms and upper body.

What kind of dresses would you suggest? Any tips would help I’m looking for something for Christmas Day.

I knew I wanted some expert input with Steph’s question so reached out to celebrity stylist (and someone who I’ve worked with on several occasions) Jess Pecoraro. Jess styles everyone from Jesinta Franklin to model Georgia Fowler and has worked with brands like Witchery, Topshop and eBay so I knew she’d have really useful and practical tips to share. Read on for some great tips for accentuating a curvy figure.

What are five key pieces a curvy woman should have in her wardrobe and why?

1. Good quality undergarments are just as important as clothing so invest in items that fit well and are made from quality fabrics to help with support and shaping the body correctly

2. A classic style black dress, this can be an A-line style, wrap style or
even a slip as it will be the perfect go-to for anything last minute.

3. Dark denim jeans or a dark trouser, the style may vary depending on
what you prefer but it’s a [wardrobe] must which can easily be dressed up or down.

4. Shirting that is slightly fitted and that isn’t too boxy. It’s another go-to
piece to have in a few colours.

5. A nude pump as they elongate your legs and are perfect for all occasions.

Are there any particular styles or silhouettes a curvy woman should avoid?

Styles which are boxy or have minimal shape are no go as they add extra volume and don’t show off your curves.

What’s the key to dressing to flatter a curvy figure?

Paying attention to the fit and fabrication of clothing is key. Select items that emphasise your waist as well as your curves by considering items which have a waist band, are slightly more fitted or are in a wrap style.

Is there a particular part of the body that a curvy woman should try and focus on with what she’s wearing?

This is very personal and may vary on different bodies yet focusing on your waistline will help show off your curves and give your body an overall nice silhouette.

Are there key accessories a curvy woman should have in her wardrobe? If so, what?

Key accessories to invest in are nude heels and sandals which will work back with any look and won’t add any extra volume to an outfit. Also a mix of neutral and black waist belts to style over dresses, shirts and even blazers to help define the waist line.

What are your tips when it comes to colour and patterns and prints when it comes to a curvy figure?

Bold block colours and darker shades are always best. Coloured panels also work and can give the illusion of a print without it being to over the top as long as the panelling is on the side which lengthens the body. Prints can be a bit tricky as they can sometime add more volume so go for more graphic and vertical lines.

What are your tips when it comes to swimwear for a curvy figure?

Go for simple shapes and darker solid colours. Higher cut briefs give the illusion of longer and leaner legs and for extra support try a bra style top or one piece with thicker straps (in built wire will give a better shape). A panelled one piece with side ruching will help draw attention away from your tummy area.

What are some go-to brands for curvy women? 

You can follow Jess on Instagram at @jesspecoraro

Fashion

My tips for dressing when you’re petite

5th December, 2018

A few weeks ago a lovely reader named Melissa messaged me on Facebook asking me for tips on how to dress when you’re petite. She found that often clothes would be too baggy and would look like they were overwhelming her frame. I can definitely relate! Finding things for your shape when you’re diminutive in size and stature can often involve a few extra steps to ensure the right and most flattering fit. If you’re in the same boat then rest assured that there are some easy ways to have a great wardrobe that works for you.

Get everything tailored

This is my number one tip to anyone, especially when you’re petite. Find yourself a great tailor that you like and start getting your clothes altered to fit perfectly. Often buying off the rack can mean that clothes can be a little too loose, too long or just not sitting perfectly and it pays to take the time to get everything tailored to fit. This is especially true of pants and jeans which can often be miles too long. The added benefit of getting clothing tailored is that you’ll always look polished. Win-Win.

Go for cropped lengths

I tend to favour anything cropped, especially when it comes to pants and jeans. I’ll usually make sure that my pants hit at the ankle or slightly above as I’ve found this can help elongate the frame. If you’ve got a pool of fabric gathering at your feet it can look messy and also end up making you look even shorter.

Consider proportions

If something has too much volume it’s going to really swamp you so always pay attention to the proportions you’re working with. Try to go for pieces with structure as opposed to anything too floaty as this will help define your shape. Anything high waisted is great as it draws the eye upwards and ends up giving you a longer looking frame. Also if sleeves are too long try rolling them or pushing them up so you don’t look like you’re walking around in oversized clothing.

Avoid clunky shoes

I avoid anything with too much bulk and gravitate towards a streamlined aesthetic. Most of my heels tend to have a stiletto heel as I’ve found this helps elongate my figure and looks more in proportion. As for flats, I don’t really do flatforms or styles of that nature as I’ve found they just look too bulky. I go for sleek flats, sandals and slides that are quite minimalist in nature and don’t have too much extra ‘padding’ to them. Even my boots these days tend to be of the sock boot variety as I like the tighter fit compared to regular ankle boots.

Incorporate a fitted silhouette

I steer clear of anything too voluminous these days as I’ve found a fitted silhouette is far more flattering. I’m not saying you need to live in bodycon dresses 24/7 but you do need to be mindful that what you’re wearing is cut close to the body in some way. At a minimum, I like to keep one aspect of my look streamlined. Whether it be a pencil style skirt, a fitted top or a dress with either a tight top or bottom or a close fitting pant, there’s always got to be one element of my look that’s a little more figure hugging. This avoids the issue of looking like your clothes are wearing you and not the other way around.

Once you’ve found ways in which to ensure that your clothes fit perfectly, dressing when you’re petite doesn’t seem so much of a drama. In fact, you’ll probably learn to appreciate even more that good things really do come in small packages.

Do you have a fashion question you’re dying for advice on? Leave me a message below and I’ll answer it in a future blog post.