Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Got Curves? We’ve Got You Covered
How many times have you begrudgingly opted for a loose-fit hoodie instead of that slinky sheath dress or pencil skirt in bubblegum pink? While it’s a myth that curves don’t mesh well with form-fitting cuts and bold colors, many of us still subscribe to the belief that modest or baggy cuts are more flattering for fuller figures. Often they just end up making us look frumpy.
For all the curvy girls out there, here’s a feel-good guide on how to show off curves in cutting-edge style! While the following recommendations are by no means definitive – fashion is all about owning your personal style rather than adjusting to norms or trends – these style tips can help you make bolder and wiser wardrobe choices that suit your figure.
It’s a misconception that loose-fit or oversized clothes are the best options for those with curvy figures. In fact, they often add bulk to the hourglass body. Opt for fitted clothing or tailored pieces that highlight your curves while accentuating your waist. Ensure that these garments fit just right – neither too loose nor skintight. That means pencil skirts, form-fitting knits and belted blazers are in, while boyfriend shirts, boxy jackets and oversized dungarees are out. An A-line wrap dress in a billowy fabric is a failsafe option, as it drapes the figure perfectly while highlighting your waist. One last tip: never underestimate the power of a good bra! It can make or break an ensemble.
Find a hemline that works best for you. The trick is to avoid designs that cut off at the most unflattering part of your leg, whether that’s mid-calf or mid-thigh. The midi skirt, whether at on-the-knee or below-the-knee length, is the best bet for a curvy figure – but don’t write off the mini skirt just yet! A version that hits the lower rather than the upper thighs will make all the difference. For extra pizzazz, don’t be afraid to experiment with quirky tailoring like asymmetrical cuts, unexpected fabrics like pleather, and street style touches like chain embellishments.
The neckline deserves equal attention. Ideally, your outfit should draw attention towards your upper body, so go for a décolletage-baring design that stops just short of being provocative. Tops with a keyhole cut out, blouses with a sweetheart neckline and off-the-shoulder knit dresses all fit the bill. Of course, sometimes you just want to rock a classic turtleneck, maybe even with a mini – in that case, finesse your silhouette by going for a cropped, slim-fit version.
The 90s-style ultra-low-riding jeans are back, but consider sitting this trend out. Low-riders generally do not flatter curvy figures because they emphasize the midriff and hips. Instead, embrace high-waist denims (and all sorts of bottoms), as they’re great at creating a defined waist while streamlining the rest of the silhouette. Avoid ultra-wide leg jeans as they add extra volume to your lower half. That doesn’t mean you should buck the prevailing trend by opting for ultra skinny jeans. Instead, strike a balance between what’s trending and what feels good on your body, whether that’s flowy slacks, bootcut corduroys or pleather shorts. For a figure-flattering finish, pair the high-waist bottoms with a crop top that hugs the figure.
It needs to be said once and for all: bold colors, snazzy patterns and quirky prints should be embraced rather than avoided by curvy women. Black might be perceived as a slimming color, but it may not be the most flattering color on you – or the most empowering! If you’ve always wanted to experiment with bright colors but felt self-conscious about drawing attention to your figure, now is the time to take the leap. The trick is to aim for a sense of harmony, whether it’s choosing prints that are peppy rather than overpowering, or breaking up boldly colored tops and bottoms with belts in darker shades. Make sure that the style and cut of the piece is absolutely right for you. For example, an A-line dress with an empire waistline flatters curvy body types more than a babydoll dress in the same print.
And remember: even though the hourglass body is commonly associated with ultra-femme aesthetics, you don’t have to go all vintage glam if that’s not your thing. Retro punk – think graphic tees, PVC minis and combat boots – is another style option, not to mention preppy looks anchored with argyle print sweaters and striped shirts.
With its ability to visually elongate an hourglass figure, the pointy-toe shoe is a curvy girl’s best friend. Whether flat or heeled, the right shoes can take an outfit from meh to wow. For weekend brunch dates, this pair of salmon-pink slip-on pumps hits the sweet spot between casual and dressed-up, and can be matched with boldly colored socks for an eye-popping finish. Alternatively, sashay down the street in these long knee-high boots with a killer heel! If you’re looking for shoes to take you from day to night, opt for these bright orange mules with ladies-who-lunch vibes, or these faux patent leather oxfords with androgynous edge. If pointy-toe shoes are too dressy or uncomfortable for you, go for round-toe shoes in block-heel designs that elongate your figure without adding bulk. One last tip: stay away from anything with ankle straps, as they may make your legs look shorter.
Bag size is crucial. For curvy girls with a larger frame, consider a medium-sized tote or shoulder bag that’s proportionate to your figure. A bag that’s too small (hello, micro-handbags!) may make you appear bigger than you actually are. Alternatively, if your bag is on the larger side – think a Boston bag or bowler bag – it could stop you from attaining that streamlined silhouette. If you’re set on wearing your bag crossbody, go for a form-fitting top so it won’t disrupt those long, clean lines.
The same rule applies to accessories. Generally, statement earrings spotlighting the face are preferable to subtle studs that lose their impact in a loud ensemble. But don’t go overboard by pairing shoulder-grazing specimens with prominent bling – they may draw attention away from your outfit! If it’s drama you’re looking for, consider angular golden hoops with faux pearls embellishments – they’re the perfect compromise between diva energy and sleek sophistication. Alternatively, opt for luxe yet low-key hair accessories like velvet scrunchies and sparkly bobby pins to spice up your cute outfits.
There are no hard and fast fashion rules because every body type is different and every styling situation is unique. The trick is to experiment and rethink your approach to fashion while making bold tweaks along the way. That can mean retiring overly tight clothes, mixing vintage vibes with street style touches, or defying conventional wisdom for curvy body types by rocking a striped dress. On days when you’re feeling less than 100% and a cartoon hoodie is the only option that makes you feel good, go for it. Never be apologetic about your style choices because there are no fashion mistakes! This confidence will keep the compliments flowing.