Livin' La Vida Lucia

A Fashion Foot Forward for Curvaceous Women

New Year, Same You…But Better

By Lucia Rossi

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It’s a new year so time to try dieting and exercising again, right? Wrong. This is the time where the term “New Year, New Me,” is constantly being thrown around, but what if you’re happy with the “old you”?

The coming of a new year does give off this pressure for change and improvement; especially when it comes to body image. However, being a “new you” shouldn’t necessarily mean becoming what society deems as a better you. It should mean encouraging you to be your “best you” and a “happier you” in whatever terms that may mean for you.

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Instead of changing your body, simply changing your style can make you feel new and fresh with confidence. It’s this positive attitude that will take you from frumpy to fabulous. This is the year you accept yourself and size becomes merely a number.

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First, you gotta know what works on your body. Just because you’re plus sized doesn’t mean you can’t follow trends and partake in them. You just need to know how to make it work in your favor. Sticking to classics is fine, but where’s the fun in that?

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You need to know your body shape in order to figure out what to wear. If you have an hourglass figure, lucky you! You should show it off. Put emphasis on your shape with cute dresses, skirts, and belts. If you have a “pear-shaped” body, meaning you carry your weight in your hips and legs, avoid leggings and go for A-line and skater skirts. If you’re a fan of jeans, go for skinny or straight-leg style jeans in a dark shade. If you have an “apple-shape” and tend to carry weight around your stomach and shoulders, wear full length cardigans and jackets as well as long flowing tops. Think about what your favorite parts of your body are and draw attention to it, whether it’s your curves, legs, or décolletage. Take the time to recognize and appreciate your strengths.

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Now that you know what you want to accentuate, it’s time to draw people’s eyes with the right use of colors, cuts, patterns, and accessories.

Here is a list of quick fashion tips to help put you in the right direction:

-Draw attention to a flattering area with a colorful statement piece whether it’s a necklace, belt, or shoes.

-If you love patterns, don’t go for large bold prints. Try smaller sparse prints that will be more complimenting.

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-Have fun with your makeup and nails. Go for bright lips, glittered nails, and a slick cat eye. Change it up according to your looks.

-This goes for your hair as well. If you feel like you need a style change, get a haircut or a dye job. That would definitely give the feeling of a new you.

-Ever heard of the rule no stripes? Horizontal stripes are the ones you should avoid because they make you look wider. This is fine if you’re wearing a horizontal striped top to help make your bust appear larger. Diagonal and vertical stripes are ideal for plus size clothing though.

-Ruffles on clothing tends to make you look larger than you actually are. Only wear it if you’re trying to add emphasis somewhere.

-Ruched clothing is great if you want to wear bodycon dresses or bathing suits. It looks like bunched up fabric that makes you look tighter and smaller.

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-Avoid “tent” clothing or overly large shapeless garments. You don’t want those loose plain one-size dresses or long broomstick skirts. You know it’s not flattering and it will only drag down your confidence. Remember, effort is key.

-Bare careful with button-down shirts. They can look really complimenting, professional, and mature but only when it fits right. If you feel the fabric pull on the buttons then it doesn’t fit.

-Carry your confidence in your posture. Keep your head up, shoulders back, hips centered over your feet, and back straight. Glide across the floor as you walk, don’t bounce or shuffle. Do the ole’ book on the head trick to help you if you need to. You will look better in your clothes by improving the way you carry yourself in them.

-Wearing white and bright colors are totally fine if you’re sure they are accentuating your positive traits. It’s all about the fit of it.

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-Make sure to avoid flimsy, cheap, thin fabrics that can show off anything unsavory, or makes it possible to see your undergarments. Pick materials that have strong substances, structure, thickness and support.

Speaking of underwear, they are much more important than you may realize. It’s the foundation of your entire look. You need proper support for your health as well as your beauty. Wearing the right bra size will give you proper lift as well as help prevent back pain. Try getting fitted in several stores or learn how to measure yourself at home from online. As for your underwear, you can lose a bit of girth around your thighs and hips by wearing high-waisted firm cotton undies. You should have full coverage to help give you the support you need, so no thongs. It may not be so sexy, but at least you will feel comfortable and give your figure more shape.

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When it comes to shopping in-store and online, you should definitely know your measurements. As much as it may annoy, stress, or disappoint you, you need to know your size in order to dress well. Get a soft measuring tape and write down the size of your neck, bust, underbust, waist, hips, and thighs. Remember, they are only numbers and do not define you as a person. It’s just a necessary evil in the fashion world.

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Shopping doesn’t have to be a bothersome, uncomfortable, self-esteem crushing experience. Take a friend who’s positive, accepting, non-judgmental to a fun day out shopping. Try on different sizes to see what looks and feels good. Try sitting down, lifting your arms, walking, and make sure nothing rides up.

If you love something but it doesn’t quite fit right, then consider getting it professionally altered to your size and body shape by a tailor or seamstress. This may take up extra time and money, but will pay off in the long run if the item is high quality and will last you a long time.

Be sure to shop for accessories too! Plus size women can pull off larger jewelry better than anyone of a smaller frame. Pick out bold, fun jewelry and pass on the small studs and pendants. Long dangly earrings elongate the neck and thick bangle bracelets make your wrists appear thinner.

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The same thing applies to bags. Wearing a large bag makes you look smaller. When it comes to footwear, you should avoid small, slim, delicate shoes. Think about trying wedge heels, or equestrian-style boots that will give the illusion of slender calves. These can go with all kinds of skirts and pants.

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If you feel like shopping in person doesn’t cater to you well, there is always the internet. This is when your measurements especially come in handy. Online stores probably have an even wider selection anyway. Some websites you might want to check are: Forever21, Boohoo, Missguided, Rue21, Modcloth, Torrid, Target, Asos, Moddeals, Charlotte Russe, Lane Bryant, Macy’s and Nordstrum.

If you feel like you need even more inspiration check out these beautiful curvaceous female blogs: Xocrystalcave.com, nicolettemason.com, curvygirlchic.com, and gabifresh.com.

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