Style guide: Tips and advice on dressing curves

Have you got curve appeal? Oh yes! Dress to impress with our guide to dressing curves

dressing curves
The fashion world has shifted, and we couldn’t be happier. Read these tips on dressing curves

Fashion comes in all shapes and sizes and as Coco Chanel once said: “it’s to do with ideas, the way we live”. And these days it seems the fashion industry is finally recognising that. For after many years of skinny models dominating the scene, fashion insiders are at last realising that dressing curves is just as important.

Last year plus-size supermodel Tess Holliday caused a storm when she appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. While many people loved it, some hated the idea. But what it did do was provoke discussion and marked a definite shift in the way fashion is presented.

Tess Holliday on the cover of Cosmopolitan October 2018

And what a relief for the vast majority of us who don’t conform to unrealistic ideals. In the UK, for example, the average dress size of a woman is a size 14 to 16. 

Furthermore, with a growing number of plus-size fashion bloggers, it demonstrates a huge demand for showing that all women can do fashion and be stylish whatever their size.

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Who’s dressing curves online?

Try following @Brummymummyof2 on You Tube and Instagram for a humorous look at fashion and family life. Check out her blog too.

Model Tess Holliday has an Instagram account @tessholliday, on which she also posts regular pictures of herself in outfits, with details on where to buy them.

The Girl With Curves blog was founded by designer and influencer Tanesha Awasthi in 2011.

Danielle Vanier, who is based in London, describes herself as a “fat person who loves fashion, accessories, shows and jewellery”.

Mum and plus-sized fashion blogger Hollie writes about being a mum, as well as style, confidence and wellbeing. She sometimes includes discount codes on some of her recommendations, which is a bonus for those who regularly read her blog.

Style tips

  1. Always stock up on the basic jumpers and tops, which are versatile and can be worn with trousers or skirts. Jumpers can be used for layering over blouses and shirts and tops can be layered under cardigans, as well as being dressed up with the right jewellery, accessories or scarves.
  2. A good pair of ankle boots can make a winter outfit. A pair with a more pointed toe can help to elongate the leg, making them more flattering than knee-high options. The great thing is they go with jeans, either skinny or wider leg, leggings, skirts of any length teamed with opaque tights for the winter months, as well as helping to vamp up a dress.
  3. Comfortable black trousers with an elasticated waist and a smart black top are staples to keep in the wardrobe as they can be used as the building blocks for an outfit. A good pair of black trousers go with anything as does a black top. Worn together, you can then add a patterned cardigan or wrap, coloured or patterned footwear and different types of jewellery to create an alternative look
  4. Longline shirts in a variety of patterns and styles are a great addition to wardrobe and can look so flattering with trousers and leggings or tucked in with a skirt.
  5. A dress which flatters your curves will be a great go-to for a party or special event. If you aim for something with a pattern and a contemporary look you could also wear it for the office to switch up your workwear options.
  6. Jumpsuits are also a great option for showing off your curves and proving your fashion credentials. Ankle boots or trainers can give your outfit a daytime feel. Change into heels and add jewellery and a clutch bag for the evening and you’re ready to go.
  7. A good coat can make an outfit and there is a lot of choice on offer. A longer coat with a belt can flatter curves, whether in a smart wool version or a padded waterproof one for the winter months. A shorter biker-style jacket can look great teamed with midi skirts or dresses and a longer blazer will dress up trousers and a top.

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Where are the best places to shop?

  • Primark now stocks sizes ranging from double extra small to double extra large
  • Debenhams stocks Quiz, which is a great option for glam pieces
  • Dorothy Perkins has a Curve collection going up to a size 28
  • New Look and H&M have plus-size collections in store and online
  • Matalan also has its Papaya Curve range, which goes up to a size 28
  • Yours, which has stores in Hanley, Stafford, Burton-upon-Trent, Tamworth and Telford, stocks sizes 16 to 36
  • Evans, which has stores in Hanley and Burton, also stocks fashion from sizes 14 to 32
  • SimplyBe.co.uk provides fashion choices up to size 32

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