With designers creating an array of apparel that suits the client’s body type and is visually appealing, the plus size trend reiterates that true fashion is being comfortable in your own skin
– esther c
Coco Chanel had once said: “Fashion is architecture; it is a matter of proportions.” Yet, we discriminate when it comes to curvy women. Fashion, by default, is illustrated by trim and slender figures, starting from sketches, mannequins to models. Plus size, to say the least, is the last thing a woman wants to hear from the salesperson when out shopping. However, there’s a new wave of Indian women who are not shy of embracing their curves with Parineeti Chopra, Huma Qureshi and Sonakshi Sinha leading the Bollywood brigade. Taking a cue, designers have stepped in with ‘plus size fashion’. In deference to the needs of clients, they are now creating a range of apparel
that suits their body type and is visually appealing as well.
Plus-size fashion encompasses apparel ranging from sizes 14 to 24. These have long been characterised by down-market, back-of-the-store racks of drab tent-dresses, garishly decorated blouses and polyester pants. “Plus size girls and women should not wear clothes which are tight on them and accentuate their ‘big’ areas; rather they should pick or go for a more comfortable fit with an elegant cut,” explains designer Natasha Lalwani.
Speaking about the basics in plus size fashion, designer Priyanka Parekh suggests, “The main focus when buying women plus size clothing is to create a trimmer silhouette that makes the eye go up and down, instead of side-to-side. For this you need to pay attention to what details you put on your body frame and how you combine the colours of your outfit. Secondly, it’s extremely important to select details that are scaled to your body size. For instance, if you wear a dainty necklace, you’ll emphasize your large proportions. But, on the other hand, you can strategically put
on a couple of extra necklace layers to create a fuller look that complements your body scale.” Taking off from Priyanka’s body-of-scale aspect in plus-size fashion, designer Babita Malkani suggests, “Avoid tented, over-sized tops and pants, instead, opt for monochromatic outfits, vertical motifs and prints.”
With more and more people realising that plus size clothing is not anymore about uniformly dark colours and unshapely silhouettes, retailers and merchandisers have entered the race. We have stores – online and offline – dedicated specifically to such customers. Designers Armaan Randhawa & Aiman Agha add, “With worldwide acceptance of bigger framed and curvy models/actresses, the term has picked up as well, which is enabling women of different sizes to accept and cherish their body.”
GUIDE TO ROCK PLUS SIZE APPAREL
Clear the clutter: Ditch those old, ill fitting clothes and find styles that accentuate your curves. Designer Sanchita Jhulka says, “Darker hues absorb and can create illusions. A white or pastel shade can be paired with a darker co-ordinate like a jacket, scarf or some trimmings. Long hemlines are best for taller ones. A midi with a tapered look goes best for the apple shape. Wider necklines and strappy blouses go well when you are bothered with the extra inches on your torso.”
There is more than Black: Monotone shaded apparel can be nearly as flattering, or even more, than plain old dull black. “Using additional colours around your face will bring focus to your skin shade, face shape and eye colouring. Black is an all-time favourite, but if you want to add a little colour to your wardrobe, I’d suggest colours on the lines of navy blue and emerald green. Darker tones camouflage flaws,” Jyoti Sachdev Iyer suggests. Anisha Shetty says lighter and softer hues for tops, when teamed with bottoms in a darker shade, while Kashish Gupta bets on A-shape and long flowy maxi dresses in dark colours.
Be bottom right: “If your hips happen to be a problem area for you, try selecting a plus size jean that slightly flares out at the bottom to balance the volume along the hip. A straighter or mildly flared leg pant will elongate your legs, having them look longer. Add an incredible pointy-toe high heeled shoe for even more long legged illusion,” say Kiran Jaisinghani and Meghna Agarwal of Myoho.
It’s all in the patterns: The size of the pattern should match the proportions of the wearer. “For someone tall, a larger pattern looks good. Should you be petite, choose less massive prints to avoid overwhelming your outfit with pattern,” Kiran and Meghna warn.
Size matters: A shorter body frame can look even shorter with overly long plus size tops, jackets and sweaters. Amy
Billimoria explains, “Plus size women look great in longer lengths and vertical patterns that help create an illusion of
length and make them look slimmer. Darker hues, empire line cuts, flowy fabrics are best suited for plus size women. Cutting the look by mixing a solid and print are a big no-no. Create optical illusions by playing with the same colour palette and make the legs look longer always. Team the look with good heels.”
Layers, no good: “Avoid too loose and layering outfits like cowls, drapes, loose flowy dresses,” says Anisha Shetty.
Sujata and Sanjay suggest straight cuts. “The style quotient can be taken up a few notches higher with either bold lip colour, scarves, sunglasses.”
This plus-size trend only reiterates that true fashion is being comfortable in your own skin whether you are an
XS or XXXL.