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Fashion tips for the chic, curvy woman

Never let the fear of a full-figure get in the way of a vibrant personality.

Through my years as a fashion and beauty columnist, I have met many beautiful women who have developed an aversion for the way they look simply because they were not skinny and straight-figured like the models in magazines, TV or online. This, in my opinion, is absolutely ridiculous. Curvy women were the rage during the Renaissance Period and have, with the rise of Beyoncé, Kate Upton, Christina Hendricks and Kim Kardashian, enjoyed a resurgence in desirability.

Uptown/Downtown celebrates the ultimate feminine figure with fashion tips to show off those luscious, vivacious curves.

Use proper foundation garments

They are known by many names: shapewear, girdles, compression wear, foundation garments, etc. Foundation garments are created to smoothen the lines of our bodies, redistributing the fat and making the flab compact. These factors result in a more streamlined silhouette. Don’t get us wrong, you will still have your curves! But the curves will be smoother, firmer and more refined to the eye. Foundation garment brands we like are Triumph, Maidenform, Lady Grace and Spanx.

Asymmetrical cuts give the illusion of length and chop off several inches of horizontal space.

Stretch fabric is a friend

Fabrics such as cotton knit, jersey, stretch crepe and double-faced viscose have a lot of  “give,” fall better and are generally more  forgiving to the plus-size person. Make sure that the cut of your clothes skim your body. We said “skim” not “squeeze.” Wearing stretch fabric does not give you the license to wear clothes that are way too tight for your figure. We do NOT want to look like a human longganisa. No. Just NO!

Color blocking works

Our eyes naturally follow lines and blocks of color. Color blocking helps direct the eyes’ attention to particular features of your body that you want to highlight, at the same time, diverting attention to features that you would want to hide. Dark panels on the sides of clothes shave off inches while bright-colored panels or blocks stand out.

Rusching and diagonally-gathered pleats create a lengthening appearance, cover up jiggles and bumps and give an elegant look to many outfits.

Use dark colors

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, dark shades diffuse attention. It also has a slimming effect. It is no wonder then that a lot of larger women opt for darker hues. But one can go over board with this rule. I would suggest using dark-colored fabric in combination with bright accessories. The dark hue will be a great backdrop for a lovely colorful necklace or bracelet.

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Asymmetrical is in

Asymmetrical cuts give the illusion of length and chops off several inches of horizontal space. Use this cut on tops to present a longer, leaner torso or at the hemlines of your dresses for the illusion of longer legs.

Clothes in dark shades diffuse attention. It also has a slimming effect.

Big, bold jewelry is best

Curvy plus-size women can definitely carry off chunky jewelry! By all means, play around with large bracelets and colorful necklaces, hoop earrings and fist-size pendants! Speaking of jewelry, prioritize necklaces and earrings over bracelets and rings as these draw attention from your body to your lovely face!

Know your proportions

For the “pear shape,” choose short to medium tops that fall above your hips. For the “apple shape,” balance out that heavy top by using A-line or full skirts. For the “rectangular shape,” wear fitted blazers with shoulder pads to make your waist appear smaller. The “upside-down triangle shaped” women would be better off wearing palazzo or relaxed-fit pants to balance their narrow hips and legs with their broad shoulders.

Color blocking helps direct the eyes’ attention to particular features of your body that you want to highlight.

Hourglass figure rocks

Many curvy women have ample busts and hips and are blessed with a relatively small waist. V-necklines enhance a woman’s top assets while belted or waist-defining dresses show off a whittled midsection.

Rusching works

Rusching and diagonally-gathered pleats create a lengthening appearance, cover up jiggles and bumps and give an elegant look to many outfits. Consider acquiring some pieces in this cut in your wardrobe.

Yes to bright colors & prints

Never let the fear of a full-figure get in the way of a vibrant personality. If bright colors and joyous prints help you express your inner joie de vivre then by all means, go for it! Nothing is more beautiful than seeing a visual display of happiness. Nothing!

Photography by Joanne Zapanta-Andrada • Model: Leni Eudela • Clothes by Verso (Landmark) • Accessories by Eric Manansala

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