In recent years, there seems to have been a rather significant increase in fashion for plus size women size 14 and up. Designers around the world have become to recognize plus sign women as a viable market for selling stylish new outfits. However, it doesn’t mean very much when many plus size women still make poor choices for strategic dressing and styling tips.

Weight shouldn’t be a factor in how stylish and good a woman looks; however, it is important to take a number of tips into consideration. The best way to approach this is to dispel some of the myths that I’ve found many plus size women believe when it comes to the wardrobe.

Forget black!

The most common myth I’ve always heard is the fact that black is slimming. Sometimes, this is true, and it can even be true for more people than not if you wear the right kind of fabric. However, this just isn’t always feasible.

To get an idea what I mean, try this experiment. Put on some tight, black clothing; some pantyhose would work best for the example. The black looks nice and even toward the ankle and calf, but as it approaches the thigh, it begins to stretch and appears greyer than near the bottom.

New season plus size dress

This is the same kind of thing that happens with shirts and pants and the like, so beware of how black washes over. Granted, you might not need to worry if you’re wearing loose black clothing, but then it tends to defeat the purpose of slimming down anyway. As a general rule of thumb, you don’t really need to focus on exclusively wearing black to have a slimming stylish effect.

Forget vertical stripes!

The same thing applies to vertical stripes. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt really slim in a shirt with vertical stripes, and I don’t really care to look like a referee when I go out anyway — that’s not very stylish. Unlike black clothing, vertical stripes have a tendency to draw attention to the crevices you want people to stop paying attention to, so avoid these.

Wearing large prints is usually a bad idea too, but the major myth is that plus size women shouldn’t wear any prints whatsoever. When it comes to smaller prints, this is fine; wearing polka dots can definitely be fun, and some other small prints can convey confidence. It’s better to avoid ruffles, however; they were invented to enlarge the subject.

To know what you would find most stylish on your body means getting to know it well. Often, plus size women just quickly run into a store and pick up whatever fits. We don’t often take long looks at ourselves to see what compliments our features and what draws out the unmentionables; most plus size women are just happy something fits and think that’s worth the purchase.

You are beautiful!

Stand in front of the mirror and pick out what your favorite body parts are. These could be the legs, the arms or anything in between. Just know what you like, because you’ll want to accentuate it.

Jeans & Jackets for plus size woman

Accentuating the smallest point of your body is also a good idea. Even with plus size women, this is often the waist; by placing focus on the smallest part, it will help provide attention there instead of to any flaws. If your smallest point is your waist, you’ll want to put on a belt or wear a jacket that tapers off at the waist before it flairs at the hip. This provides a womanly hourglass shape, making the waist seem even smaller. Wearing a jacket also adds sophistication above all.

Women who lack a clear waist and are apple-shaped will want to choose a different area to highlight. For instance, you can pin a sparkling broach to your blouse’s neckline to draw focus to the bust. Women with long and elegant necks who want to draw attention to the bust can also opt for a scoop or a sweetheart neckline. Make sure you choose a color that will complement your eyes and make them pop as they become the new focal point.

As I’ve already touched upon, there is the common belief that black and vertical stripes will slim you down. Though stripes never seem to work out, the other myths aren’t inherently false; you just need to put a little extra work into it in order to make them work. For instance, a good pattern can have the same slimming effect as black but only when used correctly.

It’s also a good idea to spring for a bit more when you are going out for clothes shopping. Though the cheap clothing at the local department store can save your wallet some abuse, it’s not going to do a plus size body any justice. Polyester is famous for stretching, which brings huge attention to problem areas. Inexpensive fabrics also have a tendency to cling to problem areas rather than camouflage them.

With this in mind, pick high-qualify fabrics like cotton or cashmere and silk, all of which have more structure and less give. In the case of plus size clothing, quality over quantity continues to be a tried and true method for strategic dressing — though you can’t hurt when you have plenty of good, quality pieces in your wardrobe. Try mixing and matching for multiple options of style.

Though not really wardrobe-related per se, I’ve found that getting a good haircut can really make a huge difference. Many overweight women have a tendency to have huge hair, and it probably has something to do with the fact that men tend to love long hair. I’m pretty sure they like healthy hair, though, not long and ratty hair coddled with split ends.

Look in the mirror and see if you need a change; chances are you can do with shoulder-length hair with short trims every few weeks to keep everything nice looking. In addition, this will go a long way with your new wardrobe as well.