Modest dressing looks good on every body type, but it has some distinct advantage for those of us with fuller figures. This is not because we want to cover up and “hide” – heaven forbid. Rather, modest cuts give us the freedom we need to make a beautiful fashion statement that embraces our size… and our lifestyle.
Tight Doesn’t Make Right
Plus-size women have natural presence, and the right skirt choices can help them make the most of it. While it’s certainly true that “real women have curves”, it’s also true that when women’s curves are the focus of attention, modesty tends to go out the window. In other words, if your mid-section is encased in tight, slinky material, it doesn’t matter if your elbows and knees are well covered – the total effect is eye-catching, and not in a good way.
Let’s look at some of the fashion secrets that allow plus-sized women to choose a skirt that shows them off to their fullest advantage.
Flowing and Fashionable Skirts
Maxi, midi or to-the-knee, every skirt length can compliment the more generous figure.
Skirts that go to the ankle or even the floor are not just for formal wear. Long skirts can add elegance to everyday dressing, creating a line that draws attention away from the hips and tummy. Ramp up this “camouflage” effect by choosing a skirt with flowing detail in the lower leg area – or dramatic pleats that begin at the knee.
Mid-length flared skirts can also create an elegant line. A generous cut that includes lots of extra material creates a flowing, attractive drape that moves with you. Alternatively, you can look for a “tiered” skirt that offers a wider silhouette, while providing visual interest all the way down.
Classic, to-the-knee skirts come in a variety of styles that can work for plus-size women. Whether you’re looking for a stretchy pencil-skirt, or a more structured design, your skirt should make you feel confident about the leg you choose to show. Don’t forget to “test drive” your choice by sitting down – even in front of a mirror – and verifying the knee-coverage before you make your purchase!
Waist Not Want Not?
Women of generous proportions tend to pair their skirts with tops designed to de-emphasize the waist, by hiding it altogether. But remember: a waist is a terrible thing to mind! So keep an open mind while shopping for your next skirt, and consider waist-conscious designs that dare to define your shape. Who knows – you may decide to tuck in that tee shirt after all!
Whatever your personal style, creating a polished, put-together look is more than a matter of wearing the garments that you love. In fact, no matter how keen your fashion sense, individual clothing pieces can only take you so far. Wearing modest clothing basics does not need to be boring. For the finishing touch, remember: it’s the little things that help you make a fashion statement from head to toe.
To transform your clothes into outfits that work, save room in your closet for these top ten accessorizing essentials:
- Jewelry: Understated Jewelry: Just because a necklace, bracelet or set of earrings is subtle doesn’t mean it can’t have a major impact. Complete any look – and show you care – by choosing earrings that can be seen beyond your hairline. Choose a necklace that harmonizes with the collar or neckline of your top. A delicate bracelet or two adds a feminine touch that complements any outfit, and is appropriate for work or leisure activities. Signature Jewelry: Dressing modestly doesn’t mean fading into the wallpaper. Invest in a few bold pieces that express the strong woman you are. Whether you go bright, colorful, or “chunky” in your choice, signature jewelry adds pizzazz to your everyday wardrobe, and provides that extra measure of glamour to special occasions.
- Scarves: Take a look at your basic wardrobe. What are your favorite color schemes? What are some favorite items that work together – or don’t? A few scarves or shawls with “bridging” colors can turn isolated tops and bottoms into beautifully coordinated outfits, and increase your fashion flexibility.
- Spring Flats: Fashion polish starts from the ground up, and colorful flats are a great way to get your look off and running. Great under pants or skirts, basic flats help you move smoothly from casual occasions to more formal events, without missing a beat.
- Black Heels: These are the shoes that can lend an air of authority to your work outfits, and add fashionable propriety to the dresses you reach for on special occasions. You may have to invest some time shopping for the perfect black heels that are both beautiful and comfortable, but once you find them, they’re a joy forever.
- Strappy Sandals: For that special party or event, you don’t have to go high in the heel. Whether neutral or “out there” in color, strappy sandals put sophisticated elegance on your feet.
Just add sunglasses and a bag to accessorize any outfit
- Sunglasses: Obviously, sunglasses are great for hiding tired eyes and shielding you from the sun’s glare. But psst! Their real beauty is how, by just sliding them on, sunglasses make you feel like a star.
- Leather Handbag: A well-made, roomy purse with a strap and plenty of pockets is a must for any woman on the go. Choose something solid, functional and not too flashy – after all, how many of us want to transfer our everyday essentials from bag to bag depending on what we wear?
- Clutch Handbag: An accessory that changes the entire atmosphere of an outfit, the evening clutch is an elegant, easy way to transition between a look that says “getting through the day” and one that says “going out for the evening”.
- Weekend Tote: You take care in the way you dress. Why ruin the look by tossing your weekend clothing into something that’s less than beautiful? Doubling as an extra-roomy purse for your “off” hours, the weekend tote is one piece in which you can go to town, and choose splashy colors or materials that express your sense of fun.
- Fashion Watch: Now that so many of us are carrying cellphones and other devices, the humble wrist watch has emerged as a major fashion statement. Use an eye-catching wrist watch to offset bracelets and bangles. The watch puts a little business into your fashion pleasure, while getting you where you have to go – on time and in style.
Whether heading out to the store, jogging through neighborhood, or striding into an important business meeting, women who choose a modest lifestyle have got it covered. And more and more, modest, yet fashion-conscious women are choosing leggings to complete outfits that are characterized by just the right balance between “coverage” and “cool.”
Long Black Leggings
Leggings offer comfort, confidence and an amazing variety of modest fashion options. Under a skirt, tunic or dress, leggings of different lengths are a smooth, breathable layer that provides a snug sense of support – without the struggle or “snag” of traditional tights or pantyhose. At the same time, leggings bridge the gap between those body contours we want to see, and those we think should be kept under wraps.
Adding leggings to your wardrobe is a great way to bridge the seasons in style. Paired with boots or funky socks, leggings provide colorful layering options that allow you to extend the usefulness of a summer outfit into the fall. When spring rolls around, just ditch the socks for a pair of sandals, throw a kicky scarf around your neck, and you’re in business.
Leggings are also a natural choice for modest exercise clothing. They give you the easy-going mobility you need to stay covered – and forget about how you look – while you concentrate on reaching your personal best. Leggings keep you feeling strong, too; an athletic, sporty silhouette can be a great motivator – whatever your workout routine.
Perhaps the best thing about leggings is the variety of modest fashion choices you can make. Coordinated with the color of your top, it’s easy to use leggings to create a sleek, top-to-bottom look that de-emphasizes your legs and draws attention to your dazzling smile. But modest clothing doesn’t equal dressing demure – with the huge variety of colors and patterns out there, leggings also stand front and center, offering a playful, yet modest fashion statement.
Modest fashion is attainable while on a budget.
In truth, most of the time you only need a few items to refresh your wardrobe. I am a bit partial to basic pieces, because I am always on the run with my 4 kids. I have to be in and out of the house in a hurry, and the last thing I want to worry about is what I am wearing. I own a few must have items that not only look great all year round, but are also affordable!
- Long black pencil skirt – The knee length black pencil skirt is a great versatile piece in your wardrobe. It is a staple item that is classic because it can be worn anywhere at anytime. The great thing about this modest fashion item is that you can wear it with a variety of shirts and it is a style that is never outdated. Celebrity mom, Victoria Beckham, often opts for this modest fashion choice and looks extremely confident and chic. Designers also like the knee length pencil skirt and was featured in Christian Siriano’s fall 2010 collection, Gap’s fall 2011 collection as well as Ann Taylor’s collection.
- Knee Length Straight Denim Skirt – I just adore straight knee length skirts, especially in denim! The knee length straight denim skirt is great for winter and summer and can be worn to many occasions. You can dress it down with a pair of flats or dress it up with a pair of heels with the right accessories. The denim straight skirt has also been a favorite among celebrity moms such as Courtney Cox and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Long Black A-line Skirt
- The scarf – When you are wearing basic modest fashion items, have some fun by adding colorful scarfs! The scarf is the easiest way to update your wardrobe and it is also the chicest way to cover up. It has been spotted on many 2011 runway shows, such as Yigal Azrouel, Kenzo, Just Cavalli and William Rast.
- Long Black A-line Skirt – The long black A-line skirt is also a great fashion basic item! I have several long black A-line skirts because they are so comfortable without looking sloppy. Whatever shirt I put on always looks better with a long black A-line skirt.
- Basic ¾ Sleeve Shirt – The ¾ sleeve cotton ribbed shirt is a definite must have in your closet! This basic T comes in a variety of colors, and looks great with a long black A-line skirt and a knee length straight denim skirt.