Fashion For Real Women
 


What To Do If You're a
Petite, Plus, or Tall Size

What can you do if you aren't an "average" size? What choices do you have if you're a petite, tall, or plus size, and every clothes-shopping trip you take becomes an exercise in frustration?

Well, don't give up! There are a number of things you can do-IF you understand a few basic tenets. Let's review them:

1. Don't Expect Chocolate In A Sea of Vanilla

The fashion industry offers the largest bulk of its merchandise in "standard sizes", which encompasses women sizes 4-14, 5'4" to 5'8" in height (European sizes 34-44 and 1.6256-1.7272 m), who also have an hour-glass shape. Because so many women fit these parameters, this is the most profitable ready-to-wear market.

If you don't fit this description, your choices are considerable reduced...but not non-existent. You just can't go into a regular, "vanilla" clothing store, and expect to have success in finding your non-standard size. If you do find what you need, consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, head for specialty clothing stores.

Some online options include:

Petite Size

La Petite Femme
http://www.lapetitefemme.com

Talbot's Petites
http://www.talbots.com

The Petite Wardrobe
http://www.thepetitewardrobe.com

Plus Size

Avenue
http://www.avenue.com

Carabella
http://www.carabella.com

Elisabeth
http://www.elisabeth.com


Tall Size

Column Clothing
http://www.columnclothing.com

Design Elevations
http://www.designelevations.com

Tall and All (UK)
http://www.tallandall.com


2. Understand Your Body

Have a large bust but small hips? Have large hips but no bust? Need one size on top and another size on the bottom? Then accept it and move on. Your goal is to dress the shape you have, not the shape you wished you had. Yes, it's common sense advice...that's ignored much too often, I'm afraid. Accept your body and move on.

3. Learn Some Sleigh-of-Hand Tricks

You can appear larger or smaller depending on what kind of clothes you choose. Some elements to beware of include:

*Lines - horizontal lines on a garment will make you look wider; vertical lines will make you look taller and thinner.

*Color-light colors will make you look larger; dark colors will make you look smaller.

*Texture-smooth textures make you appear smaller; chunky or shiny textures add bulk

4. Experiment With Different Elements

Once you've found clothes that fit your shape and size, try experimenting with different clothing elements to bring about the desired effect.

For example, if you're heavy...

*Try adding a long beaded necklace or pendant to your ensemble to give you a slenderizing vertical line.

*Avoid clothes that add visual bulk, like chunky sweaters, horizontal stripes, or light-colored
fabrics.

*Opt for monochromatic looks, blending colors from head to toe.

Or, if you're very thin...

*Use gathers and soft fullness to visually add pounds.

*Use multiple layers to create fullness and interest.

*Wear contrasting colors on top and bottom.

Once you understand your body shape and realize that you're going to have to hunt down retailers to serve your petite, tall, or plus size body, your clothes-hunting duties become a lot less frustrating. Make a list of stores where you know you can find clothes that fit, and stick with them. Ask for recommendations from family and friends. Go online and look around. Then, experiment to find what looks best on you.

=======================================================

Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and creator of Plus Size Style, a seminar that offers dressing tricks for plus size women. Visit her online at  fashionforrealwomen.com  .  Plus Size Style


Click here to return to the free articles page

 

FREE Fashion Tips!

Clothes That FitSign up for our FREE ezine and get the How To Find Clothes That Fit Report instantly!

Further Training

Discover your best style and colors

Wardrobe Magic

Look great every day yet save a ton of money on clothes

Define your style and stretch your budget with accessories.

Accessory Magic

What ultra chic women know about accessories that you don't

Want to make more money? Here's how.

Business Wear

Business wear secrets your competitors don't want you know.

Nail the dress code every time

Occasion Magic

Crack the dress code to easily determine what to wear when

Look fabulous head to toe

Beauty Any Age

Beauty secrets of the well-groomed and fabulous

_____________________

What Our Readers are Saying...

"You have helped me so much!!! My closets are beautiful because of you!"

Patricia Brown
San Francisco
, CA



"I've found your adobe book and your articles absolutely invaluable. Your advice is applicable and practical."

Fay Grant

Charleston, SC

 

 

“I wanted to thank you for your terrific newsletter. It is always so informative and has helped me to dress better, consider purchases and refine my style.  What I have found is I am spending less money, looking better and have a smaller but more versatile wardrobe. Thank you for all the valuable information and extra confidence to dress with success and style!!!” 
Debra Quartermain
New Maryland, Canada