50 plus size experts to follow + their best tips

When putting together this post, what started off as a small ‘best of’ list has become an epic list of brilliant advice thanks to the amazing response I received from style experts around the world. From finding the lipstick that will make you feel you can take on anything to the importance of following your gut – these people know what they‘re talking about. Here’s the fashion insiders you should be following. Bookmark them quick.

Editor: Anna Geradts

Tanesha Awasthi, blogger, @TaneshaAwasthi

Wear what you love and wear it with confidence. A woman who feels amazing in her own skin, owning her personal style, is always in style.

Maryam Navabi, co-founder of navabi, @navabiFashion

What I learned from having my own plus size boutique is that many women who have a great sense of style are unhappy with their clothes because they don’t fit how they should. Most of the time the problem is the lingerie. A lot of the women who came into my boutique didn’t wear a bra or they were wearing one but it wasn’t the right fit, most of the time because it was too small. The result was that it clinched in at the bottom or back and you could see unattractive lines underneath the clothing. Therefore, my first tip to all lingerie that is not only sexy but also emphasises your curves in the right way. When you’re wearing the right lingerie you’ll notice how much better your clothes fit and will instantly feel much better. My second tip is about your hair, because it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, if the hair isn’t right because your roots are showing or it’s become unkempt, you’ll look tired and unstyled. The right colour and cut will make you look great even in the most boring outfit.

Susan Moses, author of The Art of Dressing Curves@SusanMosesNYC

Don’t abandon the belt. Every woman has a waist. There is something about a little cinching that raises the sass bar, so go for it. When purchasing belts try on different widths, styles and colours. You’ll discover a new level of confidence when you find that belt that takes your style to the next level.

Heidie Lykke, founder & creative director of Carmakoma@carmakoma

Fashion and beauty cannot be defined or stigmatised by a label with a number in the neck. Girls, attitude is everything.

Oliver Dörrer, buyer at navabi, @navabiFashion

Try something new every day.

Billie Bhatia, Fashion editor at ELLE UK, @billiebhatia

Invest in a great white shirt. There is nothing more stylish than a crisp white shirt worn with confidence. You will instantly feel polished and put together.

Clementine Desseaux, model, @BonjourClem

Style is not about size, it’s about being daring. Daring to be yourself and true to what you love regardless of what society and magazines tell you.

Miriam Lahage, chief merchant at navabi, @MLahage

When you find the silhouettes and combinations that look like you, feel like you, make you feel comfortable you score. You have found your key easy pieces. A crisp white shirt, slouchy t-shirt, great fitting simple trousers, slouchy soft leather biker jacket, chunky ankle boots, and you are done. You can build on them and use them as your base uniform.

Find the lipstick colour that is yours, that makes you feel powerful. No one knows how little sleep you got if you put on your sunglasses and that great lipstick. Buy multiples in case it is discontinued.

When you have a new fashion piece and you are trying to decide how to wear it, go back to your key pieces and style it right in. Mix in unusual pairings – asymmetric jersey dress with the biker jacket, denim shirt paired with a serious skirt and chunky ankle boots.

By developing your own key pieces, you will soon discern which new trends are right for your own style aesthetic and which trends to enjoy on other people.

When a women is confident and comfortable, she presents herself in a powerful way. Who doesn’t love that?

Marie Denee from The Curvy Fashionista@MarieDenee

When it comes to style, I see it as a personal journey. Your confidence, tastes, and style aesthetic change as you evolve and to have the most fun with your personal evolution, why not apply this to your style? Step out of your box, try new silhouettes, dip your toe in new patterns and colourways. Push yourself beyond your limits and have a little fun with it. You never know what you will like and how these steps will further you along in your own personal journey. You may find a new sense of self, a renewed confidence, or boldness that you never knew you had. I know that this has been my story. Why not give it a whirl?

Katianna Tsotakou, visual merchandiser at MAT@matfashion

Be bold. Don’t be afraid to wear prints and bright colours. Just keep in mind your body frame requires you to work strategically with the correct prints, colours and styling techniques. You can never go wrong with vertical details and patterns. Colour highlights the area where you wear it, – so make sure you know which parts of your body shape you want to draw attention to.

Reah Norman, stylist & fashion expert, @reahnorman

The most important tip that I always share with my clients and readers is to embrace the stylist within you. Step outside your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to try new silhouettes, brands, prints, colours and wardrobe combinations. We all get stuck in a fashion rut when shopping and a garment may not have ‘hanger appeal’, so push yourself to try on something fresh and new for your wardrobe. Style it out different ways, accessorise it and wear it with confidence. Be your own stylist.

Aglaë Dreyer, model, @AglaeDre

My advice is to always look at the glass half full. I live my life by this rule and it has always helped me, particularly accepting and later absolutely loving my curvy body.  Always wear what you love and what makes you feel beautiful. When I dress I always like to show my ankles, waist, neck and my wrists. I also love to take care of my curves by moisturising my body as often as possible and by eating not according to a diet, or guilt, just pleasure.

Leonie Theissen, Head of Customer Care at navabi, @navabiFashion

When you’re trying to find the perfect fit, my advice is to familiarise yourself with your own measurements and body shape. When it comes to buying plus size fashion the search can sometimes be frustrating, but if you’re looking online there are lots of shops which give you the exact item measurements and tips for which styles suit your body shape. That way you can avoid any disappointment.

Allison Teng from Curvy Girl Chic@CurvyGirlChic

Don’t be afraid to try new things. It’s great to have a signature style, but fashion is fun and part of the adventure is trying new things you don’t think will ‘work’ for you. You never know, you might just find your new favourite look.

Ali Tate, model, @ali_tate_cutler

Body positive doesn’t just mean loving your body even while treating it badly. It also means loving your body so much that you only want to do kind things to it. When you treat your body kindly, it glows. Drink a green juice once a day if you can, use organic beauty products and skip out on all those nasty chemicals. Do yoga, meditate and laugh a lot. These things will make your body and soul positively radiate and after that you can wear whatever you want because you can make it all look good.

Cheryl Coucher, Head of Buying at navabi,  @navabiFashion

This is who I am – embrace your shape and be proud of your curves. If you have a favourite part of your body then show it off. It may be your toned legs, great curves or your décolletage. Always remember a great undergarment will give you a flattering smooth silhouette which will make you feel comfortable and confident.

Dionne Markelo from Supersize My Fashion@Supersizemyfash

Don’t shy away from bright colours and a little sparkle. You deserve to be seen.

Pia Thesbjerg, Head Designer at ZHENZI,  @zhenzi_fashion

For me it’s always been about the accessories. Being a plus size woman and a designer I tend to wear a lot of black. Mainly because I am surrounded by so many colours at work everyday. So I wear jewellery; like big earrings, statement necklaces, rings and bracelets (however never all at once). Shoes can make an outfit and give you a killer posture, especially heels. But if you don’t feel comfortable in heels, there are so many other options out there. Go for flats in colour, glitter or print. The bag is a girl’s best friend, whether it’s a big shoulder bag for everyday use, a satchel, tote or a clutch for going out it can change an outfit completely. I own a lot of bags. And then there is make-up, it can highlight your best features and bring some colour to your look. Think red lips and a cat-eye or a nude lip with a smokey eye. It can make you look sexy without showing any skin.

Georgina Horne from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust@FFigureFBust

The right lingerie is what makes an outfit. Make sure you get a decent bra and a pair of well fitting knickers going on under your fabulous clothes.

Gesa Hergarten, buyer at navabi,  @navabiFashion

Be daring and pick an item you wouldn’t usually wear. If you tend to live in trousers, why not try a dress. Find the right shape for you and I’m sure you will love it.

Perelandra Beedles from Pamper and Curves@pamperandcurves

My style tip is to think of seasonal fashion as art. You can love it, appreciate it but don’t have to hang it on your walls. Incorporating new trends doesn’t have to mean following fashion blindly. Find your own groove and then incorporate the latest trends via colour palettes, shapes or fabric. Buy pieces that will work with your existing wardrobe and try and buy quality where you can. One or two really great pieces from a brand like navabi will last for years. It’s the opposite of fast fashion – it’s authentic, beautiful and unique.

Anna Juul Jepsen, Designer at Zizzi, @zizzifashion

Be true to yourself but remember to always be curious when you are out looking for your new wardrobe essentials.

Bethany Rutter, social content executive at navabi, @ArchedEyebrowBR

You’ll never look better trying to dress like someone else than you’ll look once you figure out exactly how you want to dress.

Marius Hesse, buyer at navabi,  @navabiFashion

A little hippy never killed nobody!

Isabell Decker from Dressing Outside The Box@isabell_decker

Stay true to yourself and never let others tell you what to wear and what not to wear. Fashion isn’t only an expression of your personality but is also supposed to be fun. Believe me, there is no more beautiful and exciting look than being yourself.

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Naomi Griffiths from Diamonds ‘n’ Pearls@Naomi_Griffiths

If something makes you feel good, WEAR IT. Don’t waste time fussing and worrying over fashion ‘rules’ while instead you could be spending that time wearing a piece of clothing that makes you feel perfect.

Janina Kurrek, designer at Manon Baptiste

Since I’m 5’10, I like to stick to the motto ‘tall woman, big print’. I also think women with a small and defined waist should accentuate it with feminine dresses in tailored silhouettes.

Hayley Stewart from Curves And Curl@curvesncurlsuk

Change your newsfeeds. If you’re starting out on your journey towards body positivity or maybe it’s just stalled a little bit, make sure your newsfeeds are full of body positive people and accounts. Follow other people with bodies like yours. Follow people who preach body love. See all the different bodies out there. Flood your timelines with all the wonderful sorts of humans in the world (especially ones that look like you) and remind yourself every day that there are so many types of beautiful – you are one of them.

Lottie Moor from Lottie L’Amour@Lottie_Lamour

Don’t be afraid to be bold – mix prints, hold your head high as you walk down the street, raise your hemline – whatever a bold fashion move is to you, try it. I promise you that you’ll receive the most amount of compliments on your outfit on days where you’ve really pushed the boundaries that you usually operate in. Fashion is as exciting as you make it.

Julia Sonntag, designer at Yoona

Make the minimalism trend more feminine by choosing soft pastel hues.

Kat Henry from The World Through Kat’s Eyes,  @henryskat2014

Be unapologetically you. Your body, your style, your choice. Don’t be afraid to step away from the norm, outside of your comfort zone. If you like something, wear it and own it. The only opinion you should be worried about is your own. Your confidence is your best accessory.

Sophie O’Reilly from Sophie’s Plus Size Wonderland@SPlusSizeWonder

Fashion is for everyone. If you want to wear something wear it. Be proud, be confident and most importantly embrace your body whatever size it is.

Stephanie Yeboah from Nerd About Town@NerdAboutTown

Dress with confidence, be fearless and be unapologetic in your style. Always remember to dress for YOU and go with your gut instinct.

Nancy Whittington-Coates from Sugar, Darling?@SugarDarling

There is just one thing that completes absolutely any outfit – a confident person inside it. Wear what makes you feel great and hold your head up high and you will always be the brightest star in the room.

Becky Barnes from Mrs BeBe Blog@mrsbebeblog

Find your personal style, wear what makes you feel amazing, not what the magazines tell you to.

Kitty Wood from Kitty Rambles A Lot@kittywoodphoto

Challenging yourself is so much fun. It doesn’t have to be rocking your VBO or a fatkini, it’s all the little steps that are important too. Wear a colour you wouldn’t usually. I never wear blue so I like to push myself and see how I can style it into an outfit I still consider ‘me’.

Hollie Burgess from Pretty Big Butterflies@PBbutterflies

It may seem hard at first but stop thinking about what others think about you. The sooner you stop letting others influence how you feel about yourself, your confidence will grow.

Zoe Meers from I Knew I Was Next@ikiwn

Dress for yourself in ways that make you feel happy and bold. Take inspiration from other people but never let anyone make you feel like you have to spend more and more money to be fabulous and fashionable, you don’t need to. Your confidence, strength and self love comes from inside your big, beautiful brain and swells up from your heart. The rest will follow.

Emma, blogger at Lovedrobe@_Lovedrobe_

Look in the mirror each morning and say something you love about yourself, out loud, and start your day with confidence.

Charlene Flash from Food Glorious Food@charleneflash

Be bold, do not be afraid to colour block or wear clashing prints.

Chanel Boateng, blogger, @chanelboateng

Do not feel afraid to wear COLOUR. Stand out like a sore thumb in spring, it also helps brighten your spirit.

Chloe Pierre, blogger, @ChloePierreLDN

Always invest in great quality shapewear. It’s the make or break of the perfect outfit.

Georgina Grogan from She Might Be Loved@GeorginaGrogan_

Always experiment with fashion, even if it’s something you’d never go for before, you may end up loving it.

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Donna Grant from All The Fs@donnatastic

Don’t get hung up on the number on the tag. The cliché is true; size ain’t nothing but a number. Go to shops you wouldn’t usually visit. Try a smaller size. Try a larger size. It really doesn’t matter.  I have a variety of sizes in my wardrobe. What really matters is how you feel in that dress. If it makes you feel fantastic, who cares how it’s labelled. I don’t.

Hanna Suhonen from Hanna Wears@hannawears

Don’t be obsessed with the size on the label, shop for the fit you want. I’m mostly a UK size 24-26, but there are items in my closet between 14-32 depending if I want a tight top or an oversized dress, for example. Try things on outside of your size, you might be surprised.

Katha Zwink from Kathastrophal@katha_strophal

The most beautiful accessory? Your smile.

Ela from Conquore@elabonbonella

My secret to success is ‘do it with your heart’. Whatever you’re dealing with, if it’s your work, personality, style or lifestyle, let your heart decide. If you do so and you’re in it with passion you will be more successful than people who do it half-hearted. Your passion will increase your motivation and acumen.

Steph Kotalla from Miss Kittenheel@MissKittenheel

Mix and match. I like to mix different styles of patterns. I’m drawn to opposites which together create harmony, for example wide leg trousers with a tailored top or vice versa. A big print with a big print looks too noisy to me and so does a small print with a small print. I like contrasts that complement each other: geometric, stripes or checks combined with free forms, floral prints, paisley, animal prints, small and big, discrete and bold. More than two prints can be too much though, even if they are in the same colour family.

Shahidah from La Deutsche Diva@ladeutschediva

Always be dressed well. You can only make a first impression once.

Vanessa from Be Real, Be Plus@be.real.be.plus

Plus Size Fashion
There is no division into thin and thick in fashion. “You can only wear that if you’re skinny” – put this sentence out of your mind. Horizontal stripes, bright colours, mini skirts. Basically, everything goes. Pay attention to your body shape and accentuate your assets.

It can be difficult to get out of your comfort zone, for example with tight clothing, edgy cuts, bright colours or prints. If you don’t dare to go for it in the beginning, go for accessories. A bag with a big pattern or bright shoes can make every outfit cooler.

Body positivity
It cannot be said often enough: You need to see the whole person in the mirror. We tend to look at our flaws hypercritically and we don’t notice what’s beautiful. Voluptous bottom? Great hair as well! Little tummy? Amazing legs, too. Dare to find yourself attractive.

When you receive a compliment, the person who is giving it to you probably means exactly what they are saying. Believe it, say thank you and feel great.


Anna Geradts

Editor: Anna Geradts

Head of content at navabi. Born fashionista and world wanderer. Loves the sea, exotic climes and discovering hidden places.

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