Stylist Shares How to Improve Outfits to Make Me Look Slimmer, Taller

  • I asked a stylist to improve six of my go-to outfits to help me feel more excited about clothes.
  • The stylist said I should try fitted pants that hit my ankles to make my petite frame look taller.
  • She suggested doing a front half-tuck on my tops or wearing a ruched dress to flatter my curves.

I have struggled to find my personal style for as long as I can remember.

I have never been fashion-forward, so a lot of my sartorial choices meant wearing what everyone else was and hoping I looked half decent. But as I got older, my body changed. I have been plus-sized since I was in high school and I currently wear a size 16 or 18 in dresses and pants and an extra-large in tops.

There are many options for women who need larger sizes, but I can’t seem to find a style I love that works for my body type. I’m usually stuck with pattern designs I dislike — no more polka dots and florals, please — or clothes that uncomfortably cling to my body.

I often hide my size and shape behind baggy clothes that cover the bits I don’t love. But I want to feel excited about buying clothes and build a capsule wardrobe filled with only things I like.

So I consulted with Erica Ball, former celebrity stylist and the creator of Erica Ball Style, a personal styling and fashion blog.

I sent Ball photos of six of my current go-to outfits and asked her advice on how I can make them look better on my petite, plus-size figure.

These cotton culottes are my safe place when paired with a sleeveless top and flats

The writer wearing an orangey shirt with black, loose pants that hit at her calf and black flats


Look one: Mustard-color top, black culottes, black flats.

Pascale Mondesir

I have a habit of hiding my body instead of finding clothes that help me shine, so I reach for garments that cover parts of me I’m shy about.

So I love these billowy pants, though I think they make me look wider than I’d like in the midsection.

Ball agreed, pointing out that the open pockets on the pants could be what is burying my curves instead of highlighting them.

“I recommend having pockets sewn shut or looking for pants without pockets for any woman with curves,” she said. “The extra fabric on the pockets adds bulk to the hip area.”

She also said people under 5’3″ should avoid cropped pants like culottes, which make us appear shorter than we are.

“To elongate your legs, have pants that hit at the ankle and are a slim straight fit,” she said.

I recently added a denim skirt to my wardrobe

The writer wearing a black spaghett-strap top with a light-denim skirt that hits just above her knee and black chunky sandals


Look two: Black spaghetti-strap top, light-wash denim skirt, chunky black sandals.

Pascale Mondesir

I hadn’t worn a denim skirt since the early 2000s, but I recently caught the urge to wear one again. I typically pair the skirt with this flowy spaghetti-strap shirt and chunky sandals.

Ball said the length and cut of the denim skirt is great because it’s form-fitting and provides a slimming effect.

“Where it hits just above the knees is the right place for more petite women and helps to lengthen the appearance of your legs,” she said.

Ball said she’s not sold on the spaghetti straps, which look “too delicate” for my frame.

“A wider strap or a short-sleeve top will look more flattering on you and help to balance proportions,” she explained.

I reach for jeans and black flats for a casual look

The writer wearing a black sleevleess top with cuffed jeans


Look three: Black spaghetti-strap top, cuffed jeans, and pumps.

Pascale Mondesir

I wish I had more jeans that worked for my  5’1″ frame. I have to roll these up to make them wearable.

To avoid this, Ball suggested I get these pants professionally tailored to look more polished.

“Ask the tailor to put the original hem back on. That means the jeans will not look like they were hemmed,” she said “Simple, inexpensive alterations to your clothing will instantly elevate your look.”

She also suggested I do a front half-tuck with my shirt to define my waist and make the outfit appear more polished.

I am a fan of this dress due to its breathable cut and stretchy texture

The writer wearing a mustard-color t-shirt dress with white shoes


Look four: Fitted mustard T-shirt dress, cream shoes.

Pascale Mondesir

I lean toward shapeless T-shirt dresses, but I’m not sure if they are the best cut for my shape.

Ball said T-shirt dresses really do work on my figure, but had a few suggestions for upgrading this look.

“I like this neckline and sleeve length on you, but I would make this dress slightly shorter,” she added. “A few inches below the knees will show off your legs and elongate your body.”

Her main issue with the dress is the color of it, which she called “a hard color for anyone to wear.” When it comes to form-fitting pieces, she said, darker colors (charcoal, navy, or black) can make anyone appear slimmer.

She also suggested I try a dress with ruching, which can also help me achieve an even nicer shape.

My work outfits typically consist of a dressy blouse with comfortable, business-casual pants

The writer wearing a white shirt with ruffled sleeves and ankle-length black pants with heels


Look five: White top with ruffled sleeves, black fitted pants, black heels.

Pascale Mondesir

I prefer pants without buttons and zippers because they’re smoother and more comfortable in the waist and stomach area. I like this outfit but the shirt is a bit too frilly for me, and it’s not that breathable.

“I like everything about this look except the same thing you don’t — the ruffles on the sleeves,” Ball said. “Just like pockets and pleats that add the appearance of bulk to your bottom, the extra fabric of ruffles adds the illusion of wider arms.”

She suggested I look for streamlined blouses with cleaner lines and avoid all sorts of billowy sleeves — which also fits my vision for my minimal wardrobe. Ball said this piece would also benefit from a front half-tuck.

She gave the fit and length of my pants a thumbs up, saying they make me “look taller and slimmer.”

“The slim silhouette of these pants versus the pair in your last photo elongates your legs beautifully,” she said.

The writer wearing black fitted pants and pumps


The stylist liked these pants and heels for my body.

Pascale Mondesir

Sometimes I pair the look with comfortable black pumps, which Ball said is great because “heels lengthen the body.”

This dress is brighter than what I usually reach for, but I love it

The writer wearing a fitted cobalt blue dress and kitten heels


Look six: Royal-blue fitted dress, black kitten heels that have a bow.

Pascale Mondesir

This dress isn’t muted or neutral like I prefer, but I really like the bottom half and how it feels on me. I can sit, stand, eat and breathe normally.

Ball said the silhouette of this dress works well because the length shows off my legs and the structure of it highlights the curves I have.

She also suggested I see if a tailor could remove the ruffles, which I don’t like, to provide a cleaner sleeve line.

Ball also liked the color and said this shade flatters my skin tone.

A close-up of the writers kitten heels with a bow


I love how comfortable kitten heels are.

Pascale Mondesir

And she was on board with my love of kitten heels.

As a plus-size woman who prioritizes comfort, I can only tolerate high heels for 20 seconds before I need to be glued to a chair for the rest of the night. These are super comfortable and chic — and, most importantly, I feel good in them.

“Kitten heels are totally on-trend,” said Ball. “Being comfortable and chic is the key to elevated but practical closet essentials.”

Click to keep reading more style breakdowns from Insider’s Fashion Clinic.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *