Have you ever been with someone who is shopping for new clothes and tries on a dizzying number of items only to leave empty handed? Did you see things they tried on and didn't like; what did you think? We all have that fantasy of having that model figure. The reality is we have to face the facts and our body type, size and shape, and what we can afford.
Let's start with the little tricks that are used at many of the better stores. That gorgeous to die for dress on the mannequin is carefully styled to get your attention. It is usually a size zero or something close to it. The mannequin shape and size is also designed for you to see a nominal figure. Dresses are pinned back so there is no loose fabric. Lighting is carefully arranged to bring out the colors, and draping of accessories is used sometimes to show a complete look. This is a good example of a look you can learn from. Whether it is what you like or not, this may be a style that the store is presenting in their seasonal line.
I always kid the associates that sometimes I wish I was a mannequin because everything always fits perfectly on it! I know I am a size 10 and sometimes a 12. I like to eat healthy (clean diet) and I know my body type. My style is built around mid-range fashion and nice accessories. My trademark is roses and I build my wardrobe around that theme whenever I can. Sometimes it may be shoes, a skirt or something really unique or interesting. Most of the associates know me already and know my taste and in many cases remember what I bought last. This really helps because they don't try and sell me things that don't fit my taste.
Your style is all about you. How you feel, carry yourself and express yourself. It doesn't matter what your weight, size and shape there is a style designed for you. It's not about what looks good: it's about what looks good on you!
I want to be blunt to those who are sensitive about their size--Get over it, you are beautiful too! There is no excuse for not having style in plus sizes. I started there honey! I love Talbots and Lane Bryant because they have beautiful fashion scaled to fit you. Macy's is great for value and Nordstrom's is awesome for midrange fashion. We all have things to hide and the fashion designers are woman too and take care of you with color, folds in the fabric, or the way the lines are designed (and a great scarf can take you from drab to fab!). It goes back to body type, see below.
My body shape favors pencil dresses (and skirts, so I go to stores that work for me, like WHBM, Ann Taylor, or Cache'. I know the sizes will be true and it is just a matter of finding the right look for me. Sometimes I don't even have to try the cloths on because I know the fIt, other times I need to see the look on my body. This is what you need to feel. So I not only go for a look but a feel of the fabric, is it comfortable? I look for form fit and function. What was I looking for today? I have said it before--When shopping for a particular dress, wear one which looks similar. It sets the mood and purpose. The salespeople see your current style and it gives them something to "size you up" by, it sets the bar of your taste.
Style is that extra step of playing, what is unique to you. A pin on a gorgeous dress, scarf, coat, jewelry hair pin can say something about you. It sometimes achieves balance in a look that is bold or revealing, add interest or directs conversation to something treasured, simple or interesting. I use earrings, or pins, necklaces or flowers for fun. I have jewelry from my mother that I pair with things that I use to honor her, these are special to me, so I talk about that.
Style includes so many things including the way you carry yourself, presentation, makeup, shoes and cloths, any one of which can be your trademark, such as those 5-inch heals! I know tall and big people who look fantastic because they proportion their size to who they are with a style that blends. Large or bold jewelry can be just the thing you need in this case, to balance size.
If you are lucky and get a chance for a personal consultation do it by all means. Recently I have had the most wonderful time interacting with some wonderful ladies trying on various looks. It can be so much fun, and everyone wants to see how their clothes work for different people. I found new looks that I never imagined would work for me. I found colors that I knew would not work for me, but tried them anyway and sure enough they agreed. While you are at it play with accessories--ask to try on a necklace or ask what would work with this, jackets, sweaters even shoes. At this fitting they had a few different shoe colors to try.
It is also OK to bring with you what you would like to match, often I will spend the day looking for a dress that will work with new shoes or a jacket. Sometimes just feeling comfortable with a second opinion on what you think will work builds your confidence in making the right choices. Don't be afraid to PLAY!
So look for those trademarks that are you. We all have things that we love that are special to us, find it and bring it into your unique style.