Here’s our take on the perennial issue of dressing for your size:KW: Okay. First, I would just like to say that you need to dress for the body you have, not for the body you want.
CM: Yes, but dressing to highlight certain features may simply draw more attention to flaws. Tight pants to emphasize a fit butt may seem great, but it also causes muffin topping (which would otherwise be avoided). Play to your strengths, but not at the cost of revealing weaknesses.
KW: One thing to note when talking about clothing size is that being skinny is overrated. Sadly, if you are skinny, you probably have a small or totally flat chest. As a proud member of this club, I think push-up/padded bras are a terrible idea. Keeping up illusions are too much work. Flaunt the flat chest! Wear scoop neck tops without worrying that you are showing too much cleavage. Revel in the fact that you can wear long necklaces without them taking up residence between your breasts. However, do not wear tops with seaming under the bust. It will make you look pregnant, even if you are a size two. Also avoid tops with darts or other seams which dictate where your breasts should be. They will not end up there.
CM: For the busty amongst us who can pull off clothing with defined bust lines, remember: modesty is key. While v- and scoop-necked shirts balance nicely with wider shoulders and shorter torsos, it’s important to be aware of how these tops fit your body so that you aren’t looking like a “Pimps & Hos” party attendee. If you’re slender, tall, or lanky, go for A-lines, fitted tops and drop-waistlines. Curvy women should go with long, flowing tops and empire waistlines.
EG: If you are bigger on top, it’s generally best to avoid high-necked tops (such as turtlenecks with small or tight collars), especially if the shirts have shorter waistlines. The combination of the short shirt length and extra fabric at the top tend to make busty girls look more top-heavy. Bold stripes are also generally a bad idea. While I am a firm believer in adding lots of color to the wardrobe, black tops are almost always good for creating a streamlined, slim look — especially for busty women.
AA: Something important to know when you’re thinking of buying for your own size, whether you’re busty, hippy, flat-chested or boy-shaped, is that there are a few fail-safe basics for each shape.
I’m thinking things like the classic button-down blouse, which can work for pretty much any size. Of course, there are also guidelines to buying these things. If you’re the owner of a generous pair of breasts, you just need to make sure you don’t suffocate them in tops that are too tight. If you have a little junk in the trunk, get jeans that allow that part of your body to move. Instead of trying to strap your bigger parts down, be nice and ***work*** with them. If that means buying things that are too long or wide, you get to learn to sew! Hemming your own pants and taking in your own shirts will save you money and body issues, because you get to make sure that your clothing fits you the way you want. If you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, that probably means that you are doing something right.
KW: Another basic is the A-line skirt. Skirts can show off shapely calves while disguising thigh circumference, which is always a plus.
EP: A-lines are delightful, but have to be the right length: they should not end at the meatiest part of your calves, but instead just under your knees.
Let’s talk about pants as another important basic, both in the jean and non-jean form. I just can’t handle seeing any more ill-fitting pants. It’s just not okay to buy pants that are too small unless you are going to wait to wear them until you’ve lost some weight — nice jeans can be a good incentive to do just that. No matter how skinny you are (or think you are), pants that are too small will make any skin you have on your hips bulge over your waistline. Do not look at the size of the pants — just look in the mirror when you try things on.
Women with more meat around the lower abdomen should opt for higher rises and wide waistbands. This is especially great for dress pants, because then the love handles are ***in*** the jeans instead of hanging over them. Shaping undergarments are also a great secret weapon, especially if you’re wearing something dressy and fitted. Spanx brand is incredible for the purpose of smoothing otherwise un-smooth tummies.
CM: For the men who may be reading, your pants should sit at your hips. And, belts are key for everyone; use them to catch your pants at your hips. Do not tighten your belt at your waist, and under no circumstances should anyone be able to see any part of your ass.
EP: For women of any size: under no circumstances should the public eye be able to see your midriff, serious amounts of boob, or the place where your butt starts and your back ends. No matter how great you think your body looks, showing skin is not the way to go.
AA: Speaking of pants, perhaps we should address skinny jeans. They are hard to wear — even for skinny people! I guess first and foremost we should just bluntly say that it usually takes a certain body type to manage the shape of skinny pants, but it is certainly possible for non-size 0 people to wear them. I’ve seen it here! It’s good to know some tips as to what looks good with them though, because oftentimes that is what makes people able to pull together this look. Boots and flowy tops are two things that ***always*** look fabulous with skinny jeans. It is possible to wear close-fitting tops with skinny pants, but it usually looks better if you balance them out with a looser top. As far as shoes go, it depends on your style. Skinny jeans look great with boots, as well as flats and heels. Sneakers and skinnies are a harder look to pull off, but I’ve definitely seen it done here on campus, so that’s something to consider.
EG: I definitely think it’s possible to pull off the skinny jean look, even if you aren’t a stick. Skinny, straight leg jeans are especially flattering if you have short legs (I speak from experience here), not least because it saves you the trouble of finding jeans that fit both your waist and butt while still fitting through the legs.
Listen, folks: We can all sympathize with each other when it comes to clothes fitting — or not fitting –our diverse and sometimes frustrating body types. Just remember to wear what makes you feel comfortable and classy and you can’t lose.