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Saying Yes To Crop Tops
The idea of a bigger woman showing a swath of stomach skin was once seen as a total fashion faux pas. And it typically was, considering that the only way we could make that happen was with an accidental reveal while stretching in a shorter shirt or tighter top. Now there are actual intentionally cropped tops on the market, and no matter what Oprah's magazine says about it, you don’t need a tight tummy to look good in them. Not content with just a crop top, I decided to take my cropping to the next level with a matching cropped set. This look took me from business meeting to barstool without coming up short.
Eloquii Printed Tie Hem Top, $59.90, available at Eloquii; Eloquii Printed Crop Flare Pant, $79.90, available at Eloquii; Henri Bendel Southstreet Drawstring Bag, $398, available at Henri Bendel; Henri Bendel Gansevoort Square Sunglasses, $135, available at Henri Bendel; Chan Luu Moonstone Choker, $145, available at Chan Luu; French Sole Trance Heels, $195, available at French Sole.
Minimalism Doesn't Have To Be Boring
It’s genuinely surprising how often I’ve seen critiques that plus-size women cannot wear minimalist outfits. I’ve seen it dubbed everything from sloppy to bland — claims that women who wear above a size 12 cannot possibly pull off things that are sleek and structured. But you know what? Fuck that noise. You can look phenomenal in minimalist outfits. Stick to the same color palette and look for print-free pieces in bold silhouettes, and pair them with uncomplicated accessories.
Hackwith Design House Button Up Dress, $240, available at Hackwith Design House; Henri Bendel West 57th Schoolbag, $278, available at Henri Bendel; French Sole Trance Heels, $195, available at French Sole; Nickel & Suede Black Suede Leather Choker, $35, available at Nickel & Suede.
Leggings Can So Be Pants
I know, I know...I’m sure some of you are screaming at your screen that leggings are not pants, but hear me out. It all comes down to the fabric thickness. If your trusty basic black pair doesn’t pass the underwear test, then it’s best to layer longer tops and dresses over them. But if those suckers are opaque in all lighting, then they’re pants in my style book! Pick a pair with textural interest, like this vegan-leather patched design, and style them how you would if they were skinny jeans.
Eloquii Miracle Flawless Pieced Faux Leather Legging, $79.90, available at Eloquii; Hey Gorgeous Short Sleeve V Tee, $69, available at Hey Gorgeous; Simply Be Floral Print Bomber Jacket, $64.99, available at Simply Be; Ellos Chelsea Bootie, $99.90, available at full beauty; Chan Luu Black Spinel Pendant Choker, $220, available at Chan Luu; Henri Bendel Gansevoort Square Sunglasses, $135, available at Henri Bendel.
Busy Prints Are A Delight, Not A Disaster
Every archaic size-based guideline is always about camouflaging those “trouble zones” that literally make up my entire body. Any print will draw attention to that area, the saying goes, but since when is attention a bad thing? The key to tackling this trend is to stick to a similar color family; in my case I went with gray and chose a top and skirt that had complementary yet different patterns. I added a third standout print with my shoes — an easy way to sneak in another contrasting design without overwhelming the entire ensemble.
Ashley Stewart Button-Front Striped Duster, $34.65, available at Ashley Stewart; Rachel Rachel Roy Pleated Snakeskin-Print Skirt, $25.99, available at Macy’s; Chan Luu Black Spinel Pendant Choker, $220, available at Chan Luu; VYE EOP Sunglasses, $55, available at Fab; Kooba Blythe Top Handle Bag, $298, available at Kooba; Aldo shoes.
Body-con Dresses Are For Showing Off Curves
I love all my curves and edges, but one curve I don’t typically intentionally showcase is my VBO. (That’s visible belly outline, to you non-VBO owners.) But if I don’t suck in my stomach with shapewear, it’s clearly going to present itself. The only style rule to follow is find what fits your comfort level — whether that’s skintight or just curve-skimming — so you aren’t stuck adjusting your outfit all night long. This tank dress was my fave body-con pick, thanks to side-seam ruching that gave me a little extra material to work with.
Rebdolls Essential Tank Dress, $27.50, available at Rebdolls; ASOS Curve Premium Bomber Jacket, $105, available at ASOS; Chan Luu Moonstone Choker On Light Brown Leather, $145, available at Chan Luu; French Sole Trance Heels, $195, available at French Sole; Matt & Nat Parabole Bag, $130, available at Matt & Nat.