If you are a Plus Size woman, you probably approach parties and special occasions with a certain amount of trepidation.
Well, we are here to tell you that evenings and special occasions, including weddings, are the times when you can really shine, when all the advantages you have over your skinny-minnie sisters should be turned to your advantage.
Glowing and Gorgeous
If you don’t live on a diet of lettuce leaves, you should probably have smoother, younger-looking skin. Show it off by always wearing the right colours. Even before you have applied a tiny smidgen of make-up, the right colours make you glow and make you appear even younger than you probably already look.
To quote Coco Chanel: “The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you”.
We would add that it is also the colour in which you feel your best. If the colour of a garment doesn’t make you feel good, don’t buy it. It will just sit in your wardrobe reproaching you for your poor choice every time you spot it.
If you haven’t had your colours analysed so that you are aware of your best and most flattering colours, go for it! In the long-term it will save you lots of money because you will never finish up with clothes you love on the hanger but which do nothing for you when you put them on, or with wardrobe orphans which don’t match anything else that you own.
If you do decide to have your colours analysed, use a consultant who is registered with the International Federation of Image Professionals. Not only will your colours be analysed by a professional who really knows what they are doing but you will get a neat little handbag-sized book of your colour swatches to keep on hand when you shop online or to take with you to the shops.
If you don’t want to spend money on colour analysis here is a quick way to check whether a particular colour really suits you. It is called the Blink Test and it works like this: stand in front of a large, well-lit mirror and hold a piece of fabric in the colour you are testing under your chin. Close your eyes for the count of 10. As you open them, do you see you or the piece of fabric? If it’s you, the colour is right for you; if it’s the colour, it is wrong for you. This test is also useful in the fitting room when you are trying something on. Do remember it may be the depth or tone of a colour that doesn’t work for you, e.g a mid-tone, blue-based green may look fabulous on you while lime may make you resemble a corpse.
Flaunt that Bosom
You may think of your more generously proportioned bosom as a liability, but women pay thousands for breast augmentation surgery, or “boob jobs” as they are known by the tabloids! When it comes to evening and party-wear, you can flaunt your assets in ways you cannot in a work or daytime environment. The first step to being proud of your bosom is to buy a really great bra that ensures your boobs are where they should be and not on your waist. If you already own that bra, make sure the straps haven’t stretched through frequent washing.
Choose a dress or outfit that showcases your bosom. If your top and bottom half are in proportion, choose a dress as it is less fuss.
But if you are bigger on top, with slim hips and legs, choose evening separates, so that you highlight your bosom but also show off your slimmer bottom half.
Shake that Booty – or bottom, as we more politely call it.
If your rear is more amply proportioned than you would like, just keep in mind how Kim Kardashian has built an entire career (and a huge fortune) around her bottom – and relax! There are lots of ways to make what is rather negatively referred to as a pear-shape look fabulous.
The cut of a dress can have a real impact, so always remember to check the back-view when trying on and at all costs avoid anything cut on the cross, which is a cut that only suits women with very boyish shape and no curves.
Then there are evening separates, such as skirts, trousers, tops and jackets, which are put together in ways that slim your bottom.
If going for a skirt or palazzo pants, remember that gathers and pleats at top hip (i.e. at the waistband) as a rule make hips look wider, but a really wide, full skirt (especially if you are slim on top) can look totally fabulous – it seems counter-intuitive but give it a try and see!
If your bottom is your issue, try to hunt down really fabulously well-fitting and flattering trousers in a dark neutral (i.e. black, navy or chocolate brown) possibly in a fabric appropriate for evening or party wear, though, if the jacket and top are dressy enough, you can get away with jeans (especially black jeans) on the bottom.
If you take the evening separates route always ensure that any top or jacket does not finish at your widest part – it should either be several inches shorter than your widest part or several inches longer.
And, of course, there is shape wear, which can really make a difference to how your hips and bottom look in a dress, skirt or trousers. See a selection here.
Show off those shoulders
Your thinner friends may have skinny hips that look great in a pair of jeans, but sometimes when you are very slim after age 50 you can be somewhat scrawny around the shoulders and neck. That is where, as a Plus size woman, you have the advantage. If you have lovely shoulders, the time to show them off is at parties and glamorous evening occasions.
Yet another challenge for a Plus-size woman is when she is on show as the Mother of the Bride. Take centre stage, flaunt all your assets and bathe in the spotlight. Here are some stunning MoB outfits in Plus-Size and some Bespoke MoB outfits that you can have made to fit you perfectly.
Accessories are always important for party wear and occasion wear and especially if you are Mother of the Bride. The key essential for a Plus size woman to keep in mind is about proportion and scale. Your hat should always be big enough to balance your frame, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear a huge hat, just one in the correct size for you; shoulder-width if a brim hat and not too tiny if a fascinator. Wear bold jewellery to give an added sparkle.
For more MoB fashion tips, see The Mother of the Bride – Get It Right, the newest SoSensational Mother of the Bride blog