Nicolette Mason is our go-to authority for everything plus-size. Read more about her inspiring (and gorgeous!) point-of-view on her blog, here.
Let's face the most obvious problem with the majority of fashion rules for plus-size women: By and large, most of the rules relating to plus-size women are designed to encourage whatever insecurities they may have and shame them into hiding their body, rather than empowering ladies to actually just wear whatever they want to wear! Needless to say, I'm not really a fan of the former school of thought. Sure, not many women want to look bigger (though I guess size-two style bloggers in harem pants missed that memo), but fashion-forward mentalities are rarely about flattering one's body, but rather about making a stylistic statement. So, why can't that be a part of dressing plus-size bodies, too? I say they can be.
Bottom Line: Rules are meant to be broken. Wear what you want to wear; wear what makes you happy!
“Head-to-Toe Black is The Most Flattering”—While I certainly love my monochromatic looks, I’m also in love with the bright, punchy colors that Jil Sander, Gucci, and Prada’s spring collections made me lust after. Now if only my budget (and waist-line) were more accommodating... Plus-size retailers have followed the direction of fashion’s heavyweights (no pun intended) to offer plus-size individuals similar runway-influenced styles. Colorblocking isn’t limited to a size number!
“Avoid Denim, Especially Skinny Jeans”—I was completely baffled when I came across a column on what plus-size women should avoid, and found that the columnist discouraged the use of denim, insisting that they only highlight problem areas. As for the “skinny jeans” part? False! Actually, if you are concerned with clothes being "flattering," a slim, fitted cut can elongate the length of your legs, creating a slimming effect. But more importantly, skinny jeans are a good look. I'd hardly recommend you saddle up with a pair of boot cuts, right? A great pair of well-fitting jeans are an essential part of every wardrobe!
“Never Wear Horizontal Stripes!”—I get why stripes can be intimidating, really, but there are so many new cuts, shapes, and silhouettes adorned with simple stripes—there are just too many cute options to dismiss the notion of horizontal stripes entirely. The key with styling stripes (on any body shape!) is to pay attention to fit, shape, and colors, and using these factors to help create balance in your outfit. If the thought of all-over stripes is still too much, you can break up patterns by adding a third piece, like a cardigan, blazer, or vest.
"Wearing White Will Make You Look Bigger Than You Are"—The only reason one should avoid wearing white is if they’re accident-prone and have a habit of spilling coffee on themselves (which, admittedly, includes me). That said, it’s summer, and there’s always at least one occasion—be it a weekend in the Hamptons, a boat trip, or a famed White Party that will call for an attention-grabbing white number. That other rule about not wearing white after Labor Day? I think you can throw that one away, too.
"Don't Wear Loose Clothes Or Long Layers"—Actually, oversized clothing has been a favorite for plus-size bloggers and stylists—just the same as they have been for girls of the size-12 and below set. It doesn’t hurt that the generous cuts of on-trend, oversized pieces from H&M, American Apparel, and ASOS make number-sizing virtually irrelevant, opening up purchasing power to a wider range of body shapes and sizes. The ease and comfort of oversized, layered pieces and their versatility in styling makes them a great trend for all bodies—not just the thin ones. If you do desire a more fitted silhouette but with the draping offered by the oversized look, all you have to do is grab a simple belt to throw on top.