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Stacy London and Clinton Kelly taught me from a young age that fashion is for everyone. Each week my mom and I would watch episodes of What Not to Wear when I was growing up. I learned tips and tricks on how to dress all bodies. For example, accentuate the waist, do not be scared of a bold shoe and invest in the basics. But I never took those tips and tricks into consideration as an 8-year-old. Now, as a 21-year-old young woman, I am finally learning the importance of those tips.

The process of becoming a fashionable person has been a long one for me. Two years ago, I started a fashion Instagram page so that I could see fashionable plus-sized women. This Instagram page started as just a place for me to get inspiration for what might look good on my body. However, the page developed into a way for me to show my style, work on posing and get comfortable with my body in front of the camera. Here are the main tips I learned from starting and running my fashion Instagram page:

1. You can be plus-sized and still be trendy.

Being a bigger woman is hard when it comes to finding clothes. It is hard to find cute clothes that fit well and look good. Plus size women cannot always walk into any store and find something to wear. If you can find something to wear, it may be a moo moo, shapeless or crazy expensive. However, if you know what stores to go to, you can still be trendy and plus-sized! My favorite places to go to find trendy, plus-sized clothes are Fashion Nova Curve, American Eagle, Walmart, Target or Loft. These stores have good quality clothing, a wide variety of styles and are not too expensive.

2. Bold print and patterns are your friends!

Everyone has heard that black is slimming, but I am not slim to begin with. I used to let the idea of an article of clothing, a color or a print being “flattering” or “slimming” control my style. I was so concerned with looking smaller that I stayed away from prints and only wore solid, dark-colored clothing. Since starting my Instagram, I realized that patterns look great on all body types. Patterns add a flare to your style and take a good outfit to the next level. If you can add florals, cheetah print, stripes or geometric designs into an outfit, your outfits will have that pop that makes them stand out from every other outfit.

3. Accessories can make or break an outfit.

Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize! Bring in a bold earring, a statement necklace or a nice belt. The shine from jewelry or a golden belt buckle is always something that looks nice with your outfit. However, be cautious to not over-layer with your accessories. Limit your accessories to three to four pieces to avoid the outfit looking busy.

4. Clearance, sale shopping and Walmart are lifesavers.

Claudio Schwarz

This tip is simple and saves you money. Before investing in a $30 tank top that will be out of style by next season on a popular clothing site or store, check at Walmart, TJ Maxx or Marshalls first. These stores often have the same cute and in-season clothes, but instead, the price range is $5 to $20 cheaper. Invest in basics that will last you a long time, but shop clearance for items that will go out of style.

5. Your style does not have to fit inside one box.

My last and favorite tip that I learned is that you do not have to have one cohesive style. Fashion is about exploring, taking risks and trying out new types of clothes. You never have to stick to one realm of fashion. Try out athleisure, e-girl, trendy, cozy or business casual. Have fun with it! Try it out to find if it is a style that you like. If you like it, add it to your wardrobe more. If you do not like it, then you know what to avoid while shopping.

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I am a senior at Florida State University. I am studying media communication studies, hospitality management, and recreation/tourism/events.
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