The warm weather is on the horizon and any of you who endured the polar vortex probably reached a point where you truly believed you should sell all of your warm weather clothes to individuals in even slightly tepid climates. However, one of my favorite parts of the warm weather season is SUNDRESS SEASON! IT’S COMING! Now for those of us with plumper frames sundresses can be as much of a blessing as a hinderance!
Now, as you’ve probably come to realize I am about encouragement and less about judgement. I want you to find a summer time dress that makes you feel AND look good. So here are my top 5 tips for finding the right dress for a plus sized frame.
1. Don’t be afraid of your legs or your arms. If you are uncomfortable bearing your arms as many of the plus sized women I know are, I think it’s important to know you are almost never as big as you think you are. But this said there are hundreds of clothing stores such as Mod Cloth, Torrid, Old Navy, and even Target that have made a killing selling cropped cardigan sweaters that are usually 2/3 to 3/4 length sleeves that button right below the bust. These and bolero sweaters are usually made out of lightweight knit fabrics that breathe and feel fantastic. They also class up an outfit and they usually come in an array of colors.
What about those thighs? One of the biggest hot button issues for woman in general is a hatred for their legs. I too fall in this category, maybe you have knobby knees or thighs that make your lower legs look dwarfed. Whatever your body shape, don’t think that covering up with a maxi length sundress is always the answer. Maxi length sundresses are certainly an option, but I find they are warmer than shorter dresses. Without going to the other end of completely scandalous mini skirts, find a dress or get one of your sun dresses hemmed to right at the knee. It lengthens the appearance of your legs in proportion with the rest of your body. Asymmetrical skirts such as the “mullet” skirt are very popular right now. Try it on! You never know what looks good! In my experience the best mullet skirts on lucious curves are dresses like the one pictured below where the front comes right to the knee and the back is the length of a maxi dress. Or a Mullet skirt that is very slight. This also helps with the problem of skirts that tend to “ride up” because of curvier backsides. This is now a non-issue.
For hemming go to your local dry cleaner that also does alterations most hems are only $10-$20 to have altered.
2. Sundress should not be synonymous with scandalous! Just because you can show some skin doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave something up to the imagination! I have had many busty freinds ask me “how can I look less like a stripper in a normal piece of clothing?” For those of you who have a large bust like myself avoid overlapping fronts as seen here. However, those of you who may feel you are small chested compared to your fellow curvy friends, these tops can enhance what you have and don’t look as revealing on your figure. In this same vein if you have a large bust and aren’t going for an impressive and eye pulling décolletage avoid v neck sundresses. Find something with a rounded neckline. You will find that a round or boat neckline in a sundress with pull more attention up to your shoulders and face. If you’re going for an everyday look avoid dresses that are more than 3″ above the knee as this is an appropriate length in professional dress codes as well. Wearing flattering clothing is about flaunting what you have, but not bearing all.
crossing front tops on larger busts can give the illusion of spilling out everywhere! but if you have a smaller bust it can be just the right amount of lift!
3. Please wear the proper support. Just because it’s that time of year where the skin is showing doesn’t mean you can neglect the proper support. Now I’m not saying pull out the spanxs, common it’s warm for crying out loud! You want to feel light and airy not like a hotdog at the gas station. If you wear a strapless dress find a strapless t-shirt bra, or t-shirt underwire bras make causal wear look so much better. Lane Bryant sells a very nice t-shirt underwire that is comfortable, it has the option to reposition the straps, and the ability to be switched into a crisscross or racer back bra! Plus it’s cotton! this means your girls can breathe too! Now for my more petite busted friends, just because you don’t have a lot for gravity to weigh you down doesn’t mean you should neglect your bust either. A nice cotton bandeau, or dresses with built in sports bras keep your chest feeling as cheerful as the newly sprung flowers!
click picture for link to this bra.
4. Don’t be afraid of a print, but find a print that corresponds to your proportions.
Prints are a perfectly acceptable and beautiful thing in a sundress, however, I will say it time and time again. When you get past a certain size smaller prints are just an obstruction to your natural beauty. Take the dress on the left, if you were to make this in say a size 22, it now goes from being a cute yellow flowered sundress to looking like a gazebo couch cover. It’s nothing personal its an issue of ratio. Now take the pattern on the right, the flowers are larger, one cluster is roughly the size of a hand spread out, put on a larger figure it keeps you looking like a normal sized person and not a piece of upholstery. Everyone has different opinions and preferences on patterns. Find a pattern you both love and like on your body!
5. Find something that is comfortable and makes you feel beautiful! You can have all of the great advice in the world about what looks good on your shape, size and figure, but if you don’t love what your wearing and you feel uncomfortable it is going to show. Sundresses to me are about confidence and the feeling of the sun on your skin.
This spring! Get excited about the warm weather and don’t shroud yourself in at tent, you are a unique and beautiful person, find a sundress that says something about you, no matter your shape or size!