How to Add Color to a Plus Size Wardrobe.

Summer can be a scary time for many plus size women. Dressing for summer means uncovering parts we don’t usually want to highlight! I know that throughout my fashion career working with plus size women, my clients did not want to draw attention to themselves with bold colours. They dreaded baring their “wings” (or whatever nickname you have for them) in their summer wardrobes!  And yet they were envious of all the great summer looks that were out there. I am here to show how you to work around these things and embrace bold colours so that you will look and feel amazing!

Curvy Women and Black, Navy, Brown…

The Best Color in the World is the one that looks Good on you!

 Coco Chanel

  We curvy girls tend to hide in dark colors. But when the sun comes out it’s time for a change. Everyone their happy color that not only make you feel good but gets compliments.  Just as Coco says, the best color is the one that looks good on you!

For me it’s various shades of coral, turquoise, chartreuse (bright green) and yellow. And course it wouldn’t be summer without white! Fair warning – everything you will see on this blog is mine – it really is in my closet! –However, you will see that I practise what I preach and shop for the long haul.  Meaning that some of the pieces will have been bought over a period of years and aren’t available now.  But my goal here is to illustrate how to go about creating a wardrobe that is uniquely yours and makes you feel like you have stepped out of a magazine.

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Your favorites are probably going to be different than mine

That’s perfectly OK.  The important thing is to select those colors where people say – My but you look nice today – and keep wearing them year after year, season after season.  Another bonus of this way of shopping is that you don’t need to keep changing your wardrobe to suit fashion’s whims!

Summer Fashion Tricks for Plus size Women

The trick is to select three to five colours that you can mix and match to create various outfits within your entire plus size summer capsule collection. Then over time you can look for new pieces to keep things current. A new plus size blouse or T-shirt, a lovely asymmetrical cardigan, or the perfect pair of Plus size cropped jeans will freshen the collection.

Soon your friends will start commenting on how well coordinated your outfits are! But you don’t do it all at once. You shop your favourite colours year to year – even better when on sale! Having a color and wardrobe capsule plan will help you create amazing pulled together outfits without having to spend a fortune or work hard to make it happen.

Monochromatic Approach for Plus Size Dressing

I know it’s a mouthful! All it means is you wear the same colour top and bottom. The trick of using one shade from head to toe  visually elongates (and slims) the body making you look taller. Adding shoes in the same colour will also continue the flattering line. And isn’t it a lovely change from all black?

Coral Plus Size Skirt with Asymetrical hem
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My coral outfit is an example of Monochromatic dressing. It has a skirt that is relatively fulI with an asymmetrical hemline (I will include a separate shot of it – so you can see its “quirky” lines) paired with a coral long tank. Together they create a dress look even though they were purchased in separate seasons.

The long tank is an ideal piece to have in your plus size summer essentials as it is a great

Plus Size Coral Shell
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layering piece to mix and match with other items in your capsule collection. I would strongly recommend that once you find a style you like – buy it in several colors, you won’t regret it!

The decision on whether your top or bottom piece should have more fullness will partially depend on your body shape. And you can find specific styling tips for the various body shapes in the Style Fundamental page on my website. If you don’t know what Plus Size Body Type you are – check out the page where you will get directions on how to identify your shape and tips on how to dress.



Coral Monochromatic look for Plus Sized Women
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This plus size tip is all about proportion – slim on top, fuller bottom or if your top a fuller A-line top go with slimmer  bottoms such as tights, straight leg pants or a straight skirt.

I get it. Too often we want to hide behind volume, thinking if our tops and bottoms are oversized we will look smaller or that no one will see our bodies. Unfortunately, that is not the case. And perhaps worse, we feel and look sloppy! The goal is to learn how to showcase our shapes and curves!


Adding Layers of Color to Plus Size Outfits

With a head-to-toe coral silhouette, you can opt to to continue the monochromatic look by adding a third piece in the same colour.  Or you can have some fun and add colour! I decided to add a yellow jean jacket for some contrast. The jacket is deliberately a bit shorter so as not to interfere with the shape of the skirt.

Plus Size Yellow Jean Jacket
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(By the way the jacket and has a lot of stretch in it so it’s very comfortable to wear, another tip to keep in mind when shopping for essential pieces.) Rolling up the sleeves shows a bit of arm which draws the eyes upwards away from hips, another slimming tip! And of course, It also does double duty by covering the dreaded upper arms, great in a movie theater or anywhere the A/C is working hard.






Accessorize the Heck Out of It

You will quickly figure out that I am an accessory nut! I love them for many reasons. Accessories allow a plus size woman to draw attention to the parts of me I love! The bold necklace here picks up the colour of the yellow jacket and works perfectly tying everything together.

Bold Citrine Necklace
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And Now Something for the Not so Bold of Heart?

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Maybe you want to decrease the wattage a bit?

Not so comfortable with all these brights? I’ve got you covered. Here I’ve changed it up by pairing the jacket and skirt with a Multi coloured sleeveless T. It softens up the look by adding softer colours of the coral as well as wisps of white and soft blue. The softer shade linen coral jacket harmonizes with the rest for a slimming, if overall lower voltage effect.




Make this Tip Your Own
Softer colours for Plus size women
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Okay maybe Coral and Yellow are not your thing! However, the same thing can be done with Turquoise and Green or Peach and Sage or Lilac and Banana yellow or…. You get the idea.

And maybe jewelry this chunky isn’t for you- you can replace it with a coordinating chiffon or silk scarf looped loosely. But the principles of dressing for your body shape, using colors that flatter you and working the proportions of every look translate for every plus size woman.

6 Tricks For Plus Size Dressing:

  1. Select 3-5 “happy” Colors to mix and match in your Seasonal Capsule
  2. Use one colour top to toe to create a longer base look.
  3. Layer Complementary or Contrasting colors to break up the look
  4. Use your Body Shape Tips  to help create proportions that accentuate your most attractive curves
  5. Find pieces in fabrics that are comfortable to wear and have stretch and body
  6. Use Accessories to draw the eye to your best features

After so many years as a plus size woman, I have figured out how to be a confident, fashionably plus size woman, who gets stopped often to hear how much other admire my look, my style.  You can achieve this look with colors that make you feel wonderful. Be sure to subscribe to my blog for more tips on how to be your best you! For some additional tips on how to break colour rules (and others) check out Breaking the Rules: 

See you soon!


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Lynda has worked in various parts of the fashion industry for 40 years- yes that means she is not that young! She has worked with designers, studios, retail and manufacturing companies. But as a Plus Size woman her most rewarding moments has been helping other Plus Size women learn to look their best. Not a clone of someone else’s idea of what a Plus size woman should look like – but their own individual selves. Her blog is intended to help and inspire other women to be as confident as she is – meeting the world every day.

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