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Five Tips for the Perfect Plus Size Outfit

by Morgan Kairey January 25, 2015

5 tips for the perfect plus size outfit

There is a bit of work that goes into this, because the struggle is real when it comes to getting dressed and feeling put together when we’re walking out the door.  Part of building that confidence comes from being able to reach into your closet and know that what you’re about to pull out will work for you.  In order for this to happen, I’ve put together five tips that have helped me, and are certain to make your life easier!


Closet organization is super important when it comes to getting dressed.  Why so complicated?  Well, knowing what you have is key and where it is--- the second key.  When you organize your closet it also helps you note what you have, what you should get rid of and what you need.  A good rule of thumb is to get rid of things you haven’t worn in six months.  Of course, mind seasonal items, but you get what I’m talking about… that dress from last summer you never wore and still don’t plan to?  Let it go!  Have a piece waiting for that ten pounds to melt off?  Get rid of the guilt and let someone else enjoy the frock.  You will feel lighter and have room for new things in the closet.  Plus, this may free up needed space; when your closet is too crowded it can be tough to move things around and really see what’s inside.  Color coordinating also really helps me.  If I am in a hurry and I need my purple pants, I know exactly where to look.  If color isn’t your thing or your wardrobe is majorly monochromatic, organize by item: pants, blouses, dresses.  This really helps things get seen and WORN.



A solid foundation is the key to any good thing. Castles, relationships and wardrobes share this in common.  When it comes to this you will need a few keys things.  First is a good bra.  This is an investment in time and money, but trust me, a good bra can make you look and feel loads lighter.  If you’re one to wear shapewear, a few good pieces of shapewear in your trousseau are a must.  I love a high-waisted short and a full body option that I can wear my own bra with.  If you are looking for something with lots of structure, Ardyss and  Shaped by an Angel are two brands I love.  If you want a bit of smoothing without too much compression, you can opt to layer shorts underneath thin garments.  Good underwear is also a must.  You don’t want tons of seams or to be pulling and fidgeting with panties that roll down.  Take the time to find a brand you love and buy them in every style and color.  As for basics, a great  plus size blazer, a little black dress and something you can wear to a wedding are must-haves.  You want to make sure that you invest in key pieces you can reach for in a moment’s notice.  A pair of skinny jeans are a must right now too.  SWAK has some amazing  plus size skinny jeans you must try.



Get inspired! Whether it’s  Pinterest, Instagram or good old glossies, get some style advice from sage fatshionistas.  If you’re looking to figure your style out, see which looks you’re drawn to over and over by creating a vision board, and soon you’ll see what looks you love.  Knowing what you like and shopping with this mindset helps streamline the process and create a cultivated wardrobe.  Instead of shopping for random odds and ends, knowing what style you’re looking to recreate or communicate is important.  Inspiration can come from lots of things.  Love the  Kardashians?  Obsessed with  Pretty Little Liars?  Knowing what you like is key.  Don’t think you can pull off a certain trend? Try everything at least once, and modifying trends to work for your taste and figure.



So often I see women, plus and straight size, in clothes that do not fit them properly.  If this is something you are guilty of, stop settling for less and take small measures to make your clothes fit you MUCH better.  Often a garment fits you well in the arms but large in the waist; for a few dollars you can have it taken in.  This small investment will pay off in the long run and you will feel so much better about your look.  For the longest time, especially when the oversize trend was in, I bought clothes that were WAY TOO BIG.  It was some sort of combination of body dysmorphia and laziness, and it resulted in me looking sloppy.  Showing your silhouette is flattering and can accentuate curves.  Don’t drown your frame in drapery attempting to look smaller or mask trouble areas.  Try clothes on, get them altered, wear what fits and adjust what doesn’t.  Read size charts when shopping online and you will be much more pleased with the fit of your clothes.  Check out our  "how to measure" video for more help.  We all want to look amazing, right?  A well fitting garment can offer that boost of confidence you crave.



Other than a smile, accessories really complete any look. You want to make sure that you are prepared for your outfits and don’t walk out the door at half-mast.  When shopping for accessories, bear in mind what you own, what hardware any shoes or bags you wear regularly might have, and what look you are going for.  Know what’s on trend and what should be passed on to a local charity or thrift store.  Metallics are very popular right now, and never go out of style.  Take good care of them by keeping them away from open air in pouches, or jewelry boxes.  A few fab accent pieces are also great “staples” to keep.  Whether it’s a gorgeous silk scarf or a denim vest you’ve had forever, these accessory pieces will come in handy when trying to create an interesting outfit, just make sure they’re accessible.  Shoes can also cause curvy girl conundrums, as wide widths can be tough to come across in trendy styles.  Visit, Zappos and  Barefoot Tess for trendy shoes in large sizes and wide widths.  As a size 11, I’ve learned my lesson!  If there is a sandal I love available in two colors, comfortable loafers in more than one hue, I’m ordering them!  Some department stores may not offer large sizes in store, but ask and often they can order them for you.  Nordstrom, a popular department store here on the west coast, has a yearly “over and under” sale.  All shoes under a size six and over a ten come out at once… it’s a beautiful site to see.  Make friends with a sales associate at your department store of choice. and ask them to email or call you when your size comes in!



Hopefully these tips have helped you focus and reframe the way you look at your closet and shopping in general!  Read more blogs like this on the SWAK Style Blog for loads of inspiration and style news.

Morgan Kairey
Morgan Kairey

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