5 Celebrity-Inspired Styling Lessons for Full-Figured Women

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Americans have a seemingly worshipful relationship with media and celebrities; notoriously, the focus of this relationship has been on appearance, more specifically an unhealthy devotion to body image, but a closer look at runways, red carpets, and reality television shows a clear, dramatic shift taking place.

More and more celebrities reflect realistic body sizes and shapes, and as a result, they also demonstrate effect strategies for styling and dressing that we can use in order to look and feel our best. For those of us with full figures, here are 5 lessons from fashion-wise celebrities that we can easily apply to our everyday looks:

Full-Figured Women

Lesson #1: Above All Else: Wear Your True Size

First of all, we are not really hiding anything by dressing in a size or two larger. I must admit that I tend to dig out the baggy clothes under the guise of “comfort” when I am feeling less confident because of weight gain or bloating, but those baggy clothes actually make us look larger than we really are. Dressing our bodies in the appropriate size allows us to see reality; we can focus on our assets instead of trying to hide our perceived physical flaws.

Dressing in a size too small can be an even bigger issue—at least for those around us. Though we should be proud of our curves, no one wants to see too much of us in public. No matter if the too-small or too-tight clothing reveals a bit more cleavage or any hint of undergarments, check your sexy self at the bedroom room! Properly-fitted clothing highlights your femininity while showcasing your style and sophistication.

For evidence of celebrities dressing their true size in elegant and chic fashion, look no further than Jennifer Hudson’s stunning blue Roberto Cavalli gown on the 2013 Oscars red carpet. This sparkling piece showed off some of her best features while gracefully hugging her curves, a fashion ideal for evening elegance without showing too much skin.

Lesson #2: It is All About Tailoring

Every woman should become close friends with her local tailor. Clothing from a department store, or even an upscale boutique, is created for an “average” wearer and produced for masses, not for individuals, and, let’s face it, none of us are the cookie-cutter “average”.

Even if you have taken lesson #1—been true to your body and found the right size—to heart, you cannot expect an item off the rack to fit you like a glove. To ensure your wardrobe really does make you look your best, spend a few dollars and enlist the services of a tailor, especially to accentuate your curves (our link tip: visit Navabi.co.uk, an online store for women plus size dresses).

For this spring, tailoring is essential for this season’s structured blazers and military looks. Make sure your bright blazer and your military-inspired pants are tailored for a look that would make Gwyneth Paltrow or Kate and Ashley Olsen proud.

Lesson #3: Embrace Color

For too long, full-figured women have tried to hide in “slimming” black, but bold, bright pops of color speak volumes about your confidence. Although all-black (or any neutral) can be a chic option, a wardrobe of any single color is neither slimming nor stylish. Color, contrary to popular belief, does not make us look “bigger”; how a piece looks on you is more about the size, the style, and the shape.

Most importantly, seek out wardrobe items that fit your body shape and dress in blocks of color. For example, if you are an apple, look for a shift dress or a wrap dress, ideally in a bright color with matching heels.

If you are still working up the confidence for the neon, embrace the neutral shades and add bright, fun accessories to draw eyes to your best features. For celebrity inspiration, look to Sarah Jessica Parker and Rhianna for trendy and beautiful color blocking models, and for the ultimate in curvy color confidence check out Jennifer Lopez’s wardrobe with eye-popping pinks and yellows.

Lesson #4: Pattern is Your Friend

For years, full-figured women have been told to avoid large stripes or busy patterns, but patterns, like bold colors, can emphasize your assets and broadcast your self-confidence. Patterns do not have to be subtle or muted; choose graphic prints and bold patterns, such as this spring’s black and white checks or powerful polka dots, to draw the eye to your best features.

For example, Khloe Kardashian sports a sheer brilliant blue and black polka dot blouse over a short skater skirt for a feminine flair, and Fan Bingbing’s eye-catching black and white checkered dress from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2013 collection is tailored and tasteful with her feminine head band, classic makeup, and peep toe platforms.

If you are not quite as committed to pattern as Jennifer Lopez with her wide horizontal stripes, choose accent pieces that flatter your best feature. For example, this season’s graphic leggings are the perfect match for thin and shapely legs.

Lesson #5: Last But Not Least: Don’t be Afraid to Accessorize

No look is complete without updated and trendy accessories. Full-figure fledging fashionistas sometimes spend so much time, energy, and cash on finding the perfect wardrobe pieces that we overlook the power and the versatility of accessories—the jewelry, the scarves, the bags, and especially the shoes. The best reason to invest in trendy accessories is that they are a relatively inexpensive way to update and revitalize your wardrobe while drawing attention to your assets.

This spring the mantra is “More is better,” so go for wild and unique statement pieces that really draw attention. Consider investing in a bright, bold, and over-the-top clutch or Lady Gaga-esque pair of pumps.

Bring all eyes to your fabulous face and elongate your neck with chunky and bold jewelry, especially chain link pieces, or incorporate the metal or transparent trends with your shoes, bags, and bangles. Combine any of these trends with a thin belt at the smallest point of your waist to show off an hourglass figure, or elongate your legs with graceful and stylish heels.

If you are looking for accessory inspiration, check out Sarah Jessica Parker turning heads in her neon Nicholas Kirkwood platforms or Olivia Wilde’s graceful donning of a slim belt at Calvin Klein Collection’s Fall 2013 runway. As these celebrities show, choosing a chic accessory can boost our confidence and polish our look.

As we embrace celebrities with proportions that reflect healthy body images, we will find more and more fashion inspiration. Incorporate trends and fashion-forward looks that accentuate your best features and your confidence will be clear to the world.