Formal fashion for plus sized women

25 August 2017
Formal fashion for plus sized women
Formal fashion is something many women are starting to pay more attention to. It can prove crucial in your attempts to look good in the workplace, while smart looks can also offer a sophisticated edge to your outfit choice for social gatherings. However with numerous articles online outlining tips on how to dress for plus sized women, we’ve looked at whether they’re actually relevant to suits and formal dress, and how you should go about putting your looks together.

You’ll find some of the commonly found “tips” for plus sized women below – along with our take on each of them.

“Steer clear of bright colours”

The idea that bright colours can exaggerate your curves is one we’ve heard often, and to some degree it’s true. However, this isn’t necessarily a reason to stop wearing them. It’s more a matter of how comfortable you feel wearing them, and you pair them up with other elements of your outfit. If you can pull them off with confidence then by all means do so, putting together outfits should be done with the aim of looking and feeling good and if bright colours play their part in that then don’t shy away from them.

When incorporating bright colours into a smart look, you’ll want to be mindful of not making it look too casual. If you’re wearing a bright shirt then tone down the colour of your jacket and trouser/skirt, and vice versa if you opt for something like an all-white suit. You can also throw in bright accessories to add a hit of colour, whether it be in the form of your shoes, handbag or even a shawl.

 “Wear dark colours”

So they say dark colours are slimming? Yes, it’s true to an extent but something that’s often overlooked is that the fit of the garment is just as (if not more so) important as its colour. Wearing an ill-fitting black top will make you look bigger than you actually are in most cases – so if you plan on wearing dark colours to give yourself a slimming look then be sure you pay attention to how they fit.

This is where tailored smart garments are especially useful. With a large portion of suits coming in navy or black, finding dark colours is hardly ever an issue, however with tailored pieces you can also ensure the fit is just right to help flatter your body.

“Avoid bold patterns”

The notion that bold patterns can attract unwarranted attention to your figure is absurd and shouldn’t be a reason to avoid them. While insecurities might lead some women to not want eyes drawn towards them, which is completely fine, others shouldn’t feel the need to do the same if they’re unbothered by the attention.

It should also be noted that bold patterns can draw attention towards your look and away from your figure, while also giving you room to get a little more creative with your outfit. For example, a blazer with an eye-catching check or hound’s-tooth pattern can give your look some serious character, a far-cry from the reserved looks which are often recommended for plus sized women. 

“Don’t wear button down shirts”

We’ve left this one till the end with good reason. As a tailor, it’s hard for us to see how people can be recommended to avoid button down shirts altogether. We can understand then some ready-made shirts might not come in the right measurements to allow buttons to be comfortably closed while ensuring the rest of the shirt also fits well, but that’s why we offer services such as our bespoke shirts. Our bespoke shirts are made in accordance to your body, so they’ll always fit how you want them to.

Button down shirts are a great accompaniment for a suit and so it’s helpful to know there are alternative options if you can’t find ready-made shirts that fit well.

Final words

You can’t assume there are concrete rules which govern how to dress given the fact we all come in different shapes and sizes. While there are a few fashion faux pas that you should avoid, an awful lot of it comes down to how your clothing fits and the manner in which you team up each element of your outfit to not only complement one another, but also complement yourself and the event it’s being worn for.
Abbas Mahmood
Abbas Mahmood
As a lifelong purveyor of fashion, Abbas has been writing for Hemingway Tailors for 2 years, keeping readers up to date with style trends and delivering a regular insight into the world of tailoring.
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