Style Guide:

How to Dress for a Plus Size Frame

Do you struggle with dressing your plus size frame? Dressing for your plus size frame doesn't have to be a hassle! We created this style guide to help you!

Finding clothes that match your style and flatter your figure is a challenge for every woman. Add on the hurdle of being a woman with curves and that can make clothes shopping quite a struggle. We hear you! And we’re here to help.

There’s a key ingredient to having a closet full of plus size clothes you love to wear and that make you feel beautiful. It’s all about the silhouette. When shopping for the perfect plus size dress or plus size jumpsuit--think silhouette first! Get to know the 4 silhouettes that’ll help open up a new wardrobe of figure-flattering, chic, trendy and comfortable plus size outfits!

3 Rules on Choosing What to Wear When You're Petite


Know Your Shape

Plus size women come in all shapes and sizes. Which is why knowing your body shape is essential to guiding your wardrobe decisions. Read our How to Determine Your Body Shape blog now to learn more!


Break the Rules

Gone are the days of following the “curvy guidelines” telling plus size women to wear black, avoid stripes and bright colors. Break the rules! Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident!


Embrace All Trends

Fashion trends are great for plus size women wanting to flaunt or cover up their curves. Fashion statements are inherently eye-catching. Embrace them in areas you want to highlight or away from areas you’re looking to minimize. 

Styling Tips For Plus Size Figures

  • Not too tight, just right -- It’s important to strike the perfect balance between fitted and too tight. When styles are too tight, they pull at the seams, show our undergarment lines and look...well...too tight. Your clothes should glide over your body. 

  • Accessory size matters-- Disproportionately small jewelry or handbags can be outshined by curves, while also making a plus size woman’s body appear larger than it is. Whether for daytime or a night out, make sure your bag is large enough to be seen behind your hand. And opt for larger statement earrings or necklaces that provide a great opportunity to show off your own personal style!

  • There’s no shame in shapewear -- It’s a universal closet staple. Every woman has a moment where they want something to look smoother, more supported or perhaps a bit more cinched up. Shapewear was made to help define & enhance. And what more perfect use for defining & enhancing a woman with curves?!

  • Choose the right neckline -- Choosing the right neckline can change your -- yup, you guessed it! -- proportion! Lower necklines are more flattering as they help to elongate the neck and draw the eye upward.

  • Befriend your local tailor - Sometimes you fall in love with a dress or jumpsuit but it doesn’t fit exactly the way you want it to. Instead of returning it, take it to the tailor! Find the size that fits best in most areas and then have the tailor adjust the piece so it fits you just right.

Let's Get Specific

Now that you understand your body shape and measurements, let’s get more specific. When shopping for plus size pieces, these are the best necklines, silhouettes, lengths, and accessories to look for. 


Flatter your top half with the perfect hemline. Whether it be on your shirts or dresses, it is important to open the neckline and elongate the torso. 


This style elongates your neck, which flatters the bust line by directing the eye upward.


Helps open up the neckline and elongates the torso. 


Ruching and darting keeps the curves in all of the right places. 


No matter the body shape, some silhouettes are universally flattering, however these are the ones to keep as your top three! A silhouette can help define and balance your curves.


This style is universally flattering, but it also emphasizes your waist and hugs all of your best assets!


This silhouette will help in lengthening your frame with its relaxed, yet structured nature. 


Whether it be a fit-and-flare dress, or a peplum top, the tailored waist will help define your midsection. 


Elongate your frame with the overall length of your dresses and skirts. Sometimes it can even be helpful to size up and use a belt to define your waist and create the best length. 


Helps to lengthen your body and make you look taller without the extra fabric. 


Add a belt to define your waist and opt for a more structured fabric in order to feel the most confident in a long or maxi dress. 


This style helps to elongate your body while also allowing you to show off a little leg! 


When accessorizing your frame, it is important to pay attention to proportions. Stand out with statement jewelry, but make sure the length of your necklace hits at the right place of your bustline!


Throw a belt over looser clothing to define your waistline and add a unique touch to an outfit. 

Pointed-toe shoes

Helps to lengthen the look of your legs while also showing off your silhouette.

Statement jewelry

Small accessories can be hidden behind curves. Add a statement necklace to show off your style! 

Outfit Ideas for a Plus Size Body Frame

Put these tips into action and create figure flattering outfits that will have you feeling comfortable and confident. Here are three looks we put together to give you that extra push!

In the office

A jumpsuit is a perfect office look that will allow you to feel comfortable and confident throughout the day. The Bri Chiffon Sleeve Jumpsuit is a perfect option. Her v-neckline helps to elongate the torso and she also has the option to add a belt. Throw on a simple chain belt or a thicker buckle belt in the middle to help cinch in the waist. Her flounce chiffon sleeve also adds a little more arm coverage. Add a pointed toe flat and your favorite work bag. 

Day out on the town 

A lightweight dress with a chiffon flounce is the perfect daytime look! The Sunny little black dress will help to lengthen your frame with its bodycon fit. The v-neckline will also elongate the torso by opening up the neck. Add some statement jewelry and a fun bag and be ready to take on the day! 

Night out with the girls 

Go out with the girls wearing a flattering little black dress. The Elsa Capelet Dress is the perfect look! Her midi length will help elongate your body without all of the extra fabric. She is a sleeveless dress with an attached cape for the extra arm coverage. Also, her scooped neckline flatters the bust line. Add a black pointed toe heel or flat and a statement purse to complete the look. 

Want to know more?

Here are a few commonly asked questions about how to dress a plus size silhouette. 

What if I am between sizes?

Try different sizes whenever trying on clothes! Sometimes you may be one size with one brand and a different size with another brand. You could also take measurements and align them with the size chart provided per product type in order to get your best size! 

What are the best footwear options?

One thing to pay attention to is the lines of your shoes. A quick tip: ankle straps can make your legs look shorter, instead wear a neutral heel to create a leg-lengthening effect. 

Should I dress in all black?

Monochrome looks are IN! But adding a little color or print to your looks never hurt. To make it a little easier, add pops of color through your accessories rather than outfit pieces. Or make a subtle change like a bronze metallic detail, check out our CAxLZ Classics separates to create a monochrome look with all black, or all bronze metallic. 

Shop CA's Plus Size Styles

The next time you’re shopping for clothes (after having read & learned about these 4 figure-flattering plus size silhouettes) we hope you find yourself a little less stressed and a little more confident in your buying process. To help kick off your newfound “plus size styling confidence,” shop our specially curated collection of jumpsuits, fit & flare dresses, sheath dresses, form-fitting dresses & more, below.