Most clothing stores have a limited idea of what design styles flatter curvy figures. The plus size fashion section can be bland, full of baggy clothes that look like something your mother wore in middle age. But these are far from the only options when it comes to curvy fashion.

Curvy women are as varied in shape and size as thin women, and the design styles that flatter their figures are varied as well. Not all fashion retailers appreciate the full potential of curvy fashion, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t options out there. Here are ways to find design styles that show off your curves, rather than hiding them.

First, Consider Your Body Shape. Body shape is different from body size. Curvy women come in all different kinds of body shapes and a size 16 woman can technically share the same body shape as a size 4 woman. Do you have more of an apple shape, with a curvier top half of your figure and a slimmer bottom half? Is your silhouette more pear shaped, with fabulously curvy hips and legs and a slimmer torso? Or do you have an hourglass shape, with pronounced bust and hips? The design styles that suit you best will likely have more to do with your body shape than your size.

Don’t Hide Your Curves, Embrace Them. 

Sometimes curvy women are shamed into wearing baggy clothes that hide their curves. Not only is this not necessary, but it typically backfires and creates a frumpy sense of style that no one wants. Instead, embrace your curves with form fitting clothes. Women with an hourglass shape especially look great in fitted jeans, tops, and dresses. V-necks, wrap dresses, and peplum blouses all look excellent on curvy women.

Layers

Whether it’s a waist length bomber jacket over your favorite dress or a trench coat with a cinched waist over your work ensemble, layers look great on curvy figures. Layers look great on all kinds of curvy figures. If you have an hourglass figure, take your pick. With a pear or apple figure, consider adding layers to the slimmer half of your silhouette to add more balance and volume.

curvy model in a dress

Dresses

Elegant formal dresses, fun and flirty sundresses, and yes, wedding dresses all look great on curvy women. In fact, with an hourglass figure, a belt to cinch the dress or a waist length jacket over a dress can help to bring out the best in your curves. Often dresses for plus size women are designed to be flowy and loose fitting, but don’t be afraid to choose something that hugs your curves. A-line dresses are a great choice for curvy women, especially hourglass women.

curvy model in high-waisted shorts

Pants

According to Amy Spivok-Richman, Macy’s vice-president, “Dark to medium washes look best on curvy figures.” Not only are dark wash jeans a design style that flatters curvy women, but they look best on curvy women. Form-fitted dark wash jeans are a must for your wardrobe, whether you go for an embellished pair for added flair or a simple boot cut. High-waisted pants and shorts are also a trend that just seems to fit with curvy women, pardon the pun. High-waisted jeans both have a slimming effect and embrace your natural curvy figure.

heels

Heels

No one rocks heels like curvy women. They’re popular among shorter curvy women, to give them a little bit of height, but there’s something about the added boost of a good pair of heels that really adds to a curvy silhouette. Kitten heels make for great office shoes, while pumps and peep-toe heels are a flirtier option for a night out. Avoid platform heels or too clunky heels unless you’re really eyeing them. And of course, heels go nicely with your wedding dress (although for the sake of comfort, most brides prefer flats and that’s totally fine).

Most of all, wear what you love! Nothing looks more flattering to any figure than comfort and confidence. If you see a dress in a store that you fall in love with, try it on! Don’t worry about whether it will flatter your figure. Think about how it will make you feel. If you’re happy with your personal sense of curvy fashion, it will show in the most flattering way possible.

At Fan-C-Designs, we don’t want curvy women to be limited to one or two design styles. That’s why we offer a wide variety of wedding dresses for curvy women, from fitted mermaid dresses to a-line princess dresses to simplistically elegant traditional dresses. We want to provide options, because the truth is curvy women look great in a wide variety of fashion trends.

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