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August 15, 2011

How to Find Plus-Size Looks for Fall

Full-figured fashionista Ashley Falcon picks the season's must-have cool-weather pieces for every shape and size.

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ashley falcon

Photo Credit: Perry Hagopian

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For fashion diehards like me, fall means the return of real clothes. No more flimsy sundresses, silly flip-flops, and canvas totes. Those of us who have been thinking about fall trends since the shows last February finally get to wear them. As you can imagine, I live for September, even though, at 200 pounds, I'd probably have better luck spotting a Kardashian in a muumuu than locating designer fashion in my size (currently 18, if you must know). Nonetheless, I've devised a killer — and totally achievable — shopping guide of the most flattering runway-inspired pieces, all available for fuller figures. Here it is, my ultimate fall-fashion checklist:

The colored pant. Juicy, bold slacks electrified the runways of Yigal Azrouël and Prabal Gurung this season. While I get that most big girls loathe the idea of drawing attention to their legs, the Orange Palazzo Pant from U.K.-based Evans is cut extra roomy in the hips, which means it won't cling to your problem areas. (You'll pay another $20 or so to have it shipped stateside.) Tone down the Cheez-It hue by pairing it with a sweater in a safe, always-flattering neutral like gray, cream, or navy. Trust me, this smart, confidence-oozing ensemble will win you either a promotion or a phone number if you play your cards right.

Lacy details. Where Lanvin goes, I follow. For fall, the legendary house was all about edgy, sophisticated lace, which, if done correctly — no peekaboo undies, ladies! — screams "Sophia Loren on holiday in Palermo." Studio M's take on the look is an ultra-flattering dress with a deep V-neckline and double layering designed to camouflage bulges. I'm certain this fetching number, which is already hanging in my closet, will see some serious mileage during the Christmas season.

Polka dots. From Marc Jacobs to Marni, fall runways went mad for spots this season. I love this trend on big girls — playful and flirty, they're a welcome break from the sober black duds we usually sport, right? Check out Avenue's sheer black-and-white-dotted shell (worn with a black cami underneath), an all-purpose winner that can be worn to work under a blazer or cardi (any color!) or with jeans on weekends. And at $30, it practically pays for itself.

Geometric prints. The key to wearing over-the-top patterns, which often make objects in mirrors appear larger than they really are, is to wear scaled-down versions of the print. I'm obsessed with Rena Lange's collared silk button-down with a subtle box pattern evocative of Hermès, detailed with a Tory Burch — esque grosgrain panel. Paired with navy slacks or a dark-wash denim, this shirt screams money. I don't know about you, but I love when my clothes say that.

Got a fashion tip you swear by — an under-the-radar plus-size brand or a style that always looks good on you? Share it at marieclaire.com/biggirl. Until next time!


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