Plus-size shopping (minus the stress)
Photo: Girlfriend

For plus-size girls (size 16 and up), fashion can be a tricky beast to tame. But never fear! Girlfriend - with help from some seriously fashionable plus-size women - has the tips to help you look and feel like the babe you are.


Ignore the rules
You may have heard various fashion rules that curvy girls are supposed to follow, like never wearing horizontal stripes or avoiding clothing that is too baggy or tight. Forget 'em. 'I think fashion rules make us feel bad about our bodies and they totally restrict our options when it comes to figuring out our personal style and expressing ourselves,' says plus-size blogger Gabi Gregg (gabifresh.com). 'One of the most liberating things you can do is ignore fashion rules. Start shopping based on what you like instead of what you think will make you look thinner!'

That means everything - from bodycon, oversized and leggings as pants to cropped tees - is absolutely fair game. If you love it, there's no outfit that's out of bounds.

If nothing is forbidden, that means you're able to:

Try on everything
Just because you're plus-size doesn't mean you can't play in straight-size shops. According to stylist and plus-size blogger Hayley Hughes (fashionhayley.com), 'Sometimes a smaller item may actually fit you perfectly because of the cut, or with a few alterations it could be made into the perfect dress'. Gabi also reckons bigger girls shouldn't be restricted by what's on the label. 'You'll be surprised how much can fit you that isn't marked your size, whether it's bigger or smaller than what you'd normally wear.'

Trying everything on is a great way to:

Find your personal style
Trends come and go, but finding your own fashion voice will last waaay longer than a season. The trick is finding clothes that make you feel like a million bucks. Think you've got amazing legs? Flaunt them in a pair of short-shorts. Got curves that kill? Highlight your hourglass figure in vintage-style pencil skirts. Fun prints and bright colours are easy ways to draw attention to your favourite bits, even (or especially) if all of your body is your favourite.

You'll have a lot more options to choose from if you:

Get online
There aren't too many brick-and-mortar plus-sizes stores selling cute threads. Luckily, the internet has come to the rescue! There are piles of plus-size shops and designers selling their wares online these days. 'I shop mostly online and my favourite site is Asos,' says Gabi.'They have consistently amazing on-trend stuff.' Hayley flies the flag for Aussie brands. 'I love City Chic, and in terms of independent Australian plus-size labels, I love 17 Sundays and Gisela Ramirez.' Other great stores are Nakimuli, Jibri and Domino Dollhouse. Before you buy, measure around your bust, natural waist and hips, and consult each site's size guide to get the closest fit.

But most importantly!

Have fun!
'My ultimate tip is to get out there, experiment and have fun with fashion,' says Hayley. Get out of your comfort zone. Make mistakes. At the end of the day, fashion is basically a grown-up version of the dress-up box you had as a kid.

Words: Frances Lockie. Pic: credit: Girlfriend.