Big girls are forever being told what not to wear, that everything from stripes to pleats to booties (even ponytails!) are off-limits to us. Is it any wonder that so many full-figured women cling to their boring black separates—the "safest" things in their wardrobes?
Thankfully, my years working in fashion have taught me some invaluable lessons about how to pull off pieces traditionally thought of as no-no's for anyone beyond a size 6. Follow these foolproof tips and brace yourself for some serious style points. (And follow me on Twitter @NicoletteMason for more myth-busting fashion advice!)
MYTH Horizontal stripes enlarge a big frame.
TRUTH Break up the pattern with a blazer or colored pants. Très chic—for all figures.
TOP $29.95, H&M+; hm.com for stores.
PANTS $378, Lafayette 148 New York; lafayette148ny.com.
SUNGLASSES $95, Warby Parker; warbyparker.com.
MYTH Top-heavy women can't wear knits.
TRUTH Look for body-skimming silhouettes in metallic for a pulled-together take.
SWEATER $34.95, H&M+; hm.com for stores.
MYTH Peplums add volume.
TRUTH A streamlined pencil skirt with a peplum creates an hourglass shape.
SKIRT $52, ASOS; asos.com.
MYTH Black is the most flattering color for fuller figures.
TRUTH Solid, bold hues are equally slimming.
"How amazing does Amber Riley look in this juicy tangerine number? Love the skinny belt, which creates an hourglass silhouette and offsets the volume of her skirt."
MYTH Full skirts make bottoms look bigger.
TRUTH Soft pleats at the waist camouflage the rear and the tummy area.
MYTH Patterned pants draw attention to a heavy bottom.
TRUTH Worn with heels and a solid top or blazer, they add pop, not pounds.
PANTS $89.50, Talbots; talbots.com.
SHOES $1,095, Yves Saint Laurent; (212) 980-2970.
"A showstopping necklace draws the eye up—ideal for balancing out your skinny jeans, white trousers, or patterned pants."
NECKLACE $445, Dannijo; dannijo.com.