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chic woman wearing plus size

Style depends not on the size tag nor body shape. Size is just a number. Who hasn’t heard this saying before? Read this post for tips and outfit suggestion to look chic in size 14 and up, and to be happy with your size.


  1. Why Is Style Independent of the Size Tag?
  2. Outfit Suggestions How to Look Chic in Size 14 and Up
  3. Why Size Doesn’t Describe Your Beauty
  4. What Are the Secrets of Great Style?
  5. Size Charts of Selected Countries
  6. In a Nutshell How to Look Chic in Size 14 And Up


Why Is Style Independent of the Size Tag?

My late mom and Granny Hannah wore a US size 16 and 22, respectively, when they entered menopause. The family album witnesses that women over 40 wearing size 14 and up can look chic in midlife. Entering midlife does not mean turning frumpy. Size is just a number, chic is independent of size.



Outfit Suggestions How to Look Chic in Size 14 and Up

  1. A well-fitted dress can instantly make you look pulled together.
    • Diagonal lines and V-necks elongate. A wrap dress offers both these feature and also makes big boobs look smaller. More on dressing when top-heavy.
    • A hugging sheath looks work appropriate and can be styled sexy for date night. Hugging means at any side, you can grab half an inch of fabric without problem. One inch (2.5 cm) is a good ease.
    • The seams of Princess cut dresses (coats, blazers) lead the eyes up and down and give the illusion of height.
    • Go for simple pattern and ornaments – read polka dots of pin or confetti size, not cup size. Leave the latter for Minnie Mouse.
    • Vertical stripes or long necklaces have the same elongating effect as vertical seams. The same applies for vertical pocket lines. Hidden pockets that are just visible as vertical lines are a great option that does not add bulk.
    • The best sleeveless look for all women is a straight cut as it does not add bulk to the arm.
  2. Go for form-fitting or form skimming sleek pants.
    • Look for straight fit thru the leg and clean lines. This tip applies also to capris.
    • Go for dark colors or washes.
    • Watch the size of the pockets. If they are too small they make your bum look huge. It is all about proportion.
    • Go for jeans with a bit of spandex. They are comfy and flattering.
    • Pants with a vertical crease have a slimming effect.
    • Only buy crisp fabrics with tight structure like woven cotton, denim, wool because anything that becomes baggy with wear will look frumpy.
  3. For skirts go with fabrics that have a bit of stretch and a structured cut like a formfitting pencil skirt that hits just below, at or just above the knee, or a draping mini skirt that hits about 3 to 4 inch (7.5-10 cm) above the knee. Look for sleek cuts that show off your curves and don’t hide them.
    • Solid in dark denim, black, navy, chocolate, graphic pattern or vertical stripes are great choices.
  4. Remember that vertical lines are great for you! Use this knowledge also in the choice of your tops.
    • Go for sleek (not tight, not baggy) cardigans.
    • V-necks and unbuttoned shirts are your friend. But watch the location of the second button! No gaps please!
    • If you are busty, corset-type tops are made for you.
    • Scoop, boat and V-necks are great for you.
    • Tops that slide of the shoulders look sexy on your body type.
    • Show for wrap or faux wrap tops.


Why Size Doesn’t Describe Your Beauty

We all agree that Marilyn Monroe is one of the top style icons for the Bombshell style. She wore a size 8. Oprah claims to be a size 14. Lady Diana Spencer wore a UK size 14 (US 12) at her engagement, and a size 10 (US 8) at her wedding when she became Princess of Wales. Salma Hayek is a US size 0 to 2, but sometimes 4. She needs a lot of tailoring because of her curves. Khloe Kardashian wears a US size 6 to 8.

Looking at these iconic women one has to come to the conclusion that size is just a number. Its only purpose is to give you a broad orientation to navigate thru the racks of clothes to find your perfect fit.


Pro tip: Learn to love shape-wear. It really helps to give a smooth fit of pants, skirts, button-down shirts, and dresses.



What Are the Secrets of Great Style?

What’s the secret of all these women to look awesome no matter what the size tag says? They don’t care about the number, but about fit. Now how can you be happy with your size and look chic? They (or their stylists) are aware of the following, and work accordingly:

  1. Wearing clothes that fit you well make you look your best. Never buy something that fails to fit or cannot be altered to fit. Every designer cuts the size X differently. Therefore, take always three sizes in the fitting room: The size you think you are, one size down, and one size up. Then try them all on. Buy the one that fits best.  Alternatively, learn finding your size by measure.
  2. Be sure to have items tailored if needed. If you wear a different size at the top than bottom – like I do – always remember: A tailor can nip something in easily, but to let something out might not work. When you are petite, ask whether they do alteration for your petite frame. In a dress, for instance, you don’t want the waist hanging on your hip. More style tips for petites. When you are tall, make sure the waist of the dress hits the right spot as well. See also this guide to dressing for big and tall people.
  3. Make illusions work in your favor. To appear slim, vertical seams like a Princess cut work in your favor. A well tailored dress or jacket can easily give the illusion that you lost 11 lb (5 kg). Vertical thin stripes lead the eye up and down. Therefore, you seem taller than you actually are. Long necklaces do the trick as well. Heels elongate the body, and are one reason to wear heels. Avoid any horizontal lines – whether it is pockets, darts or stripes – to look tall and/or lean.
  4. Work with color to accentuate or hide features. Choose dark and light colors where you are the widest and slimmest, respectively. Unless you are naturally a deep color-wise or have a long neck, avoid black close to your face. It often showcases forehead lines.
  5. Make sure the proportions are right and use them consciously. On jeans, pocket flaps or tiny (large) pockets make your bum look huger (smaller) than it actually is. When you want to appear more curvy, consider to wear tiny pockets or flaps. Use hems strategically to camouflage a wide part or to show-cast a slim part. For example, you don’t want cropped pants or boots hit where your calves are at their widest. More in this guide on choosing pants. Not sure about what’s you body shape? Then take this free body shape  quiz to find out.
  6. Never buy clothes that are too small with the intend to loose weight! It is just a recipe for frustration, and a waste of money!



Size Charts of Selected Countries

Still not convinced that size is just a number for broad orientation?

US/Canada US UK Europe Italy Australia Japan
2 XS 4 32 36 6 5
4 S 6 34 38 8 7
6 S 8 36 40 10 9
8 M 10 38 42 12 11
10 M 12 40 44 14 13
12 L 14 42 46 16 15
14 L 16 44 48 18 17
16 XL/1X 18 46 50 20 19
18 1X/2X 20 48 52 22 21
20 XXL/2X 22 50 54 24 23
22 3X 24 52 56 26 25
24 3X 26 54 58 28 27

Recall: Size doesn’t matter, fit does.


In a Nutshell How to Look Chic in Size 14 And Up

Finding the perfect fitting clothes is key. To achieve this goal size doesn’t matter, but the fit. Of course, some clothes add bulk due to their material or cut. In this case, you can make vertical lines work for you so that you even look slim in a waterfall cardigan and not look fat in a shearling coat. Vertical lines are also a great way to look slim when winter layering to stay warm.


Stylist tip: Great fit makes you look more confident and love your body. This love and confidence show and make you look your best.


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