4 Plus Size Fashion “Rules” to Ignore



If you’re anything like me, growing up chubby made you aware, whether consciously or unconsciously, of some very strict rules on how bigger girls should dress. Maybe you excitedly picked out a cute top or some adorable patterned shorts and saw your mother scrunch her face and pull you aside for a quiet, self-esteem destroying but well-meaning conversation. Or maybe you heard someone else make a throwaway comment, maybe even on some sitcom, and you came to quickly understand that the world did not want to see your thunder thighs, no matter how easily it permitted your pop’s pot belly. Either way, by the time we get to college, most of us plus size girls have a code well beaten into our brains of what we can and “can’t” wear. And honestly, it’s taken three years of college for me to finally break free from a lot of those often arbitrary rules. Here are a few that I felt were worth passing on.

  1. Crop tops

I don’t even think anyone feels like they have to tell you this one. Somehow it’s just ingrained in any little plus size girl that crop tops are a no go.  We grow up feeling certain that crop tops are only for girls with belly’s flat enough to iron on. Well, if no one has told you otherwise yet, I will now. Crop tops are not just for skinny girls. In fact, crop tops can, and often do, look amazing on plus size girls! Whether they are longer and cut off flatteringly at the top of a pair of high-waisted shorts or are shorter and actually show a bit of skin, they serve excellently to break up the line of your body. By breaking that line, your mass looks more evenly distributed. I especially recommend a boxy crop top look for pear-shaped girls who want to add a little more balance to their figure.

  1. Horizontal stripes

Talk about a tale as old as time. I feel like I’ve been fed this one since I was old enough to understand what horizontal meant. So, like a good little chubby girl, I adhered to it as best as I could, which is a darn shame since I am, and always have been, a sucker for a good striped tee shirt. But, eventually, I caved and bought one. And then another, and then a striped dress. And I loved it! I don’t know who sold this lie, but the fact is that a classic black on white stripe looks nice on just about anyone. Stripes are the most unobtrusive and basic of patterns and yet they can add a touch of interest to an otherwise plain outfit. Of course, a poorly fitting garment won’t look any better with a few stripes slapped on, but that is more the fault of the garment itself. So, please, next time you’re shopping, don’t overlook a good piece of clothing with a good stripe pattern!

  1. Short shorts

Ah yes. The dreaded short shorts. Whether you’ve been banished by others to the realm of awkward Bermuda shorts and jorts, or it’s been a self-imposed exile, I come with the joyous news that you can, and should, return to the land of stylishly cut shorts! This is because, most of the time, the key to finding a flattering pair of shorter shorts isn’t necessarily in the length, but in a variety of other features. Material, cut, color, pattern, and whatever you wear it with can make or break a pair of shorts. I recommend going out of your comfort zone and really exploring what combination works for you. Maybe you need loose, linen-y material, or maybe a high-waisted mom jean short is more the vibe that works for you. Either way, I promise, you can hardly get worse than knee-length khaki monstrosities, so go out and explore a little!

  1. Skinny jeans

I saved the best for last. Skinny jeans often have a bad rep, whether it be from straight guys insisting with a sneer that they’re never going to wear them, or from well-meaning parents suggesting that a boot cut “might be a better fit for you, honey.” But the truth is that skinny jeans aren’t here to hurt you; they’re here to help. They’re here to free you from the yards of unnecessary fabric that turn your thick thighs into elephant legs. The fact of the matter is that if your legs are fat, they are fat, and nothing short of a diet change and regular exercise has a chance of making them any less fat. So, instead of trying, and usually failing, to hide your legs in baggy, shapeless pants, let the world see that yes, you have thunder thighs, but you also have amazing calves and the cutest knee dimples. The thing to remember is that when it comes to jeans, other plus size clothing, and life in general, trying to hide our faults often just points more attention towards them. Instead, it’s better to put our strengths at the forefront and just move on with things.