Plus-Size Clothing Shopping Tips

plus size woman

Just because you're a larger woman doesn't mean that you have to wear the boring, ultra-drab clothing that's commonly available. Our average dress size is going up and there's an increasing number of women who want to look fashionable and chic without looking frumpy. Fortunately, designers are listening to consumers and are creating attractive, plus-size fashions for women.

Still, it's difficult to find larger clothing in many areas of the country or they're very limited. What's more daunting, is choosing suitable styles that will disguise flaws (we all have them) and help us look slimmer. The following tips will help you choose the most flattering clothing when out shopping.

Make Sure it Fits

One of the main problems women have is wearing clothing that doesn't fit properly. Too loose and it adds bulk, too tight and bulges are showing. Make sure you use the fitting room and check your back for bulges. Know the stores return policy before buying. Smart manufacturers pre-shrink their garments so look for this on the tags.

Wear Updated Undergarments

Undergarments are the "foundation" on which we wear our clothing. Weight fluctuates and it may be necessary to shop frequently or keep two sizes on hand. Underwear that gives proper support and minimizes budges will make you look ten times better.

Check the Length

Longer blouses and shirts are more flattering, plus they're very much in style right now. In style or not, they'll help elongate and cover your mid-section. For those that fall well below the hips, define your wait with a belt, sash, or scarf.

Avoid Patterns

Of course, not all patterns are unflattering but many of them are too busy and will make you appear larger -- small patterns in particular. Favorite designs aside, stick with monochrome or two colors.

Choose Handbags wisely

Depending on what you need to carry, try to choose a medium to large handbag or tote. Smaller purses have a tendency to look puny on a large woman and thus, make her appear larger than what she really is. Find something that will accommodate what you need to carry and have space to spare.

Shop Online

The Internet is a vast resource for plus-size clothing. The trick is finding a store you're comfortable with. Check stores and familiarize yourself with their styles and size charts. Not all clothing is created equal and sizes vary by the brand. Always measure yourself first and again, check return policies.


You can find new and used clothing on online auctions such as Ebay. It's amazing how many people buy garments and don't wear them because they don't fit or they don't like how it looks on them. Because of this, you can get some great deals. What's good about used, near-new clothing is that it's been washed and already pre-shrunk for you.

People who sell clothing through auctions regularly are those easiest to buy from. They will have all the information you need listed on the page and will often include detailed measurements. If you don't see these, ask the seller to measure it for you, from armpit to armpit, and top of shoulder to bottom of hem (for shirts or dresses.) Your best luck will be when these measurements match up with something you already own that fits you well. Find your favorite garments, measure them, and write the results down for future reference.