Plus-size outfits come in a variety of fun, engaging prints and styles. But after you've found the perfect additions to your wardrobe, you may feel that there are a few finishing touches left to add. In that case, consider spicing up your look with a few strategically chosen accessories.
Accessories can do wonders for helping a plus-sized outfit come together with style. Used correctly, accessories also help you accentuate your strongest assets while minimizing the areas of your figure you'd prefer to emphasize less. Well-chosen accessories add pop and flair to your look and help you stride down the street with confidence.
As of the mid-2010s, 67 percent of American women wore a size 14 or larger. So if you wear plus-size clothing, you have plenty of good company — and no matter the size or shape of your figure, you can rock a plus-size outfit with the help of amazing accessories. In this guide, we'll teach you how to accessorize plus-size outfits and show you some of the best plus-size accessories to help you look and feel great both at home and out on the town.
What Accessories Should You Add If You Want to Appear Slimmer?
If you want to enhance your physical presence and give yourself a slimmer look, you don't necessarily have to hit the weight machines or cardio room. Below, you'll find some accessories that can help in giving you that slimmer appearance:
When it comes to handbags, it's all a matter of proportion. If you have a statuesque, curvy figure, you'll probably want a full-sized bag as well to balance the proportions of your entire ensemble. When you carry your bag on your shoulder, it should not cut off the blood flow to your arm or dig into your shoulder or armpit — it should hang naturally at your side and provide an eye-pleasing complement to your figure.
When you're choosing a bag, keep an eye out for styles like full-sized totes, hobo bags, and oversized shoulder bags. A bag that loops across your body can work — just make sure it's long enough not to make you feel uncomfortably cinched in. It should also be substantial enough to set off your figure and outfit in an aesthetically pleasing way. A larger bag can give the illusion of a slimmer waist or hips, so use a bag with some presence to your advantage. Just be careful not to choose a bag so large it ends up calling more attention to your figure.
The style of your handbag can also make an incredible difference to the cohesion of your outfit. To catch the eye and accentuate your figure, your handbag should have a little pizzazz. If you enjoy bright colors, choose a bag with bold, brilliant hues or patterns. Or choose a bag with shiny metallic accents to captivate attention and complement your own sparkle.
The perfect style of belt for a plus-size outfit often depends on your body shape. If your figure is well-proportioned in the bust and hips, but your waist naturally curves in, any belt, either thick or thin, is an excellent accessory. It accentuates the slimness of your waist and shows off the curves of your figure in a flattering way. You can also use a belt to create a waist for clothing that isn't naturally tailored, thus adding an extra flattering hourglass effect to your figure.
As with a smaller handbag, a diminutive belt may get lost against the rest of your luxurious clothes and accessories. You need a substantial belt that can stand out. Try a glossy, chunky, eye-catching belt, or go for a belt covered with intricate designs or studded with rhinestones if that's your style.
On the other hand, if you tend to carry your weight around your midsection, the addition of a belt at your waist may not emphasize your figure in the same flattering way. In that case, choose an outfit that works without a belt to tie everything together. Or consider wearing a sensual, slinky belt slung low around your hips to accentuate your curves in that area rather than near your stomach.
Glasses and Sunglasses
Fortunately for the bookworms of the world, glasses are more fashionable now than ever. Bold, Warby Parker–style frames are in, and you can capitalize on this trend to focus attention on your beautiful face rather than on your waistline. Big plastic frames help focus attention at your eye level, and colorful or tortoiseshell frames can do the same.
In the summer months — or whenever the sun is shining brightly — the inherent allure and appeal of stylish sunglasses will work in your favor as well. Don dramatic, oversized shades to accentuate your face and make passersby marvel at the potential Hollywood starlet in their midst. With your eyes looking so glamorous, no one will think twice about a little extra curvature in your figure.
To accentuate your face rather than your lower regions, try hair accessories such as headbands. Headbands come in a variety of bright, attractive color patterns to focus attention upward and away from your midsection. Other accessories like clips, barrettes, hair sticks and decorative combs also work to wonderful effect. There are always a variety of hats to choose from as well, from cute ball caps and cowboy hats to knitted beanies in the winter and floppy beach hats in the summer.
With jewelry, proportions are crucial as well. Tiny, dainty earrings may not work as well as more substantial pieces, so try larger pieces that draw the eye. You can add multiple kinds of jewelry, as well. Instead of wearing a single slim ring on your ring finger, try multiple coordinating rings on both hands, along with a few bracelets or necklaces. Just be careful not to create the perception of too much clutter or busyness about your figure. To use jewelry to accentuate your curves, try:
- Bracelets: With bracelets, thick styles tend to work better than slender ones. Choose wide cuff bracelets, or try a slinky stack of bangles or bracelets that extend up your arm. With multiple bracelets, you can really make a statement, especially by choosing pieces with a little texture, such as beads or stones.
- Brooches: An attractive brooch helps complement your figure by focusing the gaze at your neckline rather than at your stomach or hips. If it fits your tastes, go for a hefty, statement-making brooch that can't help but command attention.
- Earrings: With earrings, though sparkling studs look fantastic on just about anyone, expand your range of choices by opting for larger dangling earrings or bold hoops. Especially for women with fuller faces, large earrings stand out and provide a pleasing level of contrast to help make your face look slimmer, along with your physique. With plus-size outfits, drawing the eye lengthwise is an excellent strategy, and just about anything with length that can swing or swish by your ears will attract attention and set off your attire beautifully.
- Necklaces: With necklaces, as well, more is often better. Try coordinating chains of different lengths, or choose large pendants to attract the eye in a flattering way. As with earrings, drawing the eye in a vertical rather than a horizontal direction is key, and long pendants or elegant lariat necklaces help make that happen. One caveat to this rule, though, is that an oversized necklace can make an ample chest look even bigger, especially if it comes down to your bust area. If that's the case, choose more modest necklaces, and think about wearing flashier rings or earrings instead.
- Rings: With rings, try chunky silver pieces on both hands, or go for coordinating, eye-catching colors. Large-stoned cocktail rings are also a great option. And even if you don't care for huge, flashy gemstones, you could try larger turquoise rings or fun metallic rings instead.
- Watches: Even though watches are functional, a sophisticated, eye-catching watch can still count as jewelry. If it fits your taste, choose a solid, substantial watch, maybe a shiny silver watch or one with a large, luminous face. The goal is to attract attention to your best features, and a beautiful watch can help you show off your nice hands and wrists instead of your waistline.
Statement-making pieces of jewelry are often a plus-size outfit's best friends, but be careful not to pile on the glitz and glitter. Choose your pieces with a judicious eye — if you're already wearing a shiny stack of bracelets, a necklace and one or two rings are almost certainly sufficient. It's often a great idea to choose one area to accentuate with serious bling and complement it modestly with the rest of your jewelry choices.
Ponchos, Jackets, Vests and Cardigans
These stylish pieces of outerwear work great as accessories to complement your outfit and provide you with coordinating layers. And though they can provide extra coverage for your figure, you don't have to use them to hide your curves — rather, you can let your natural beauty shine through.
The long lines created by open, draping cardigans and vests help create the appearance of slimming length, and shorter jackets and ponchos help draw attention upward, away from the midriff. Many are also tailored to skim your curves for a flattering effect. Though bulky winter shawls can sometimes make your figure seem larger, lighter pieces are great choices for enhancing your look without expanding your silhouette.
Scarves can be great additions to a plus-size outfit, both in the winter months and all year round with lighter dress scarves. Use scarves to accent and coordinate your appearance, and try colorful dress scarves to draw attention to your face and neck rather than your waistline. Or use a pretty fringed scarf to add some texture and movement to your outfit and attract the eye.
When you're scouring your closet for accessories that make you look slim, shoes might not be the first items that come to mind. But a slim, elevating shoe can give the appearance of length and slenderness to your entire silhouette. Unlike with bags and jewelry, you usually don't want to go with oversized, chunky shoes — rather than making your figure look thinner in comparison, they tend to make your overall appearance look boxy and bulky.
Instead, try shoes that give a slimming, lengthening effect. Even though your high heels may pinch your toes and give you blisters, there's nothing like heels to lengthen your muscles and give you the appearance of a long, lean silhouette. If you'd rather not wear three-inch stilettos, even kitten heels can help give you this smoothing and lengthening effect.
If you struggle to keep your balance in heels, you can also go for fun wedges give you some lift while still providing you with ample support. And low-vamp shoes — shoes that are open on top until the toes, exposing the top of your foot — also help give you long, lean lines.
Minimalist styles, such as stylish sandals, are useful for helping you avoid chunking up your figure. But the shape of your shoes has a tremendous impact as well. Choose pointed shoes if you can — the slender point at the toe helps add to the slimmed appearance of your figure. Pointed flats can do wonders for your look if you prefer an alternative to heels.
It's also helpful to avoid extremely strappy shoes like gladiator sandals because the crisscrossing straps break up the lean lines of your legs. Especially if you have plumper calves, consider low-backed shoes that make your legs look longer and give your figure some extension for a flattering effect. Low-cut booties tend to look great as well.
What Sizes of Accessories Should You Add to Appear Slimmer?
In general, the best accessories for plus-size outfits are substantial pieces that can draw the eye, accentuate your favorite parts of your figure and hide other areas. Chunky necklaces and rings, oversized bags and bracelets, and long, dangling earrings and pendants help you bring attention to your sense of style and flatter your figure at the same time.
Of course, shoes are a notable exception. Choose slender, elevated, pointed shoes to lengthen your silhouette for a slimming effect.
What Colors of Accessories Should You Add to Appear Slimmer?
When you're trying to slim and lengthen your figure, you can choose from a nearly endless palette of colors. Try a few different shades and styles to determine what works best for you, like:
Conventional wisdom suggests that black has a slimming effect because its darkness helps camouflage fuller areas of the body. Though you don't have to dress as if you're going to a funeral every day, a few black accessories in your wardrobe can do wonders for giving the appearance of a smooth, streamlined figure. A black fitted jacket or wrap can add some elegance to an otherwise casual outfit and help slim your physique as well.
However, black is far from your only option for neutral, slimming tones. Blues, greens, violets, maroons — all of these can help provide a slimming effect as well with their low-key coverage. Try choosing a navy blue handbag with matching pumps, or consider mauve or maroon for a bit more pop.
It's often said that wearing bright-colored clothing can make the plus-sized figure look even bigger. That doesn't have to be true — the right cut and fit can make all the difference, and a well-fitting red blouse can look fantastic on a person of any size or shape.
However, if you've always shied away from bright-colored clothing because you didn't want to draw attention to your figure with sizzling neon colors, bright accessories can be a huge boon. Far from revealing what you don't want revealed, strikingly colored accessories draw the eye to your sense of style and flair. You can also place bold accessories to emphasize your most luscious assets while reducing others — such as by showing off a rocking bust with multicolored jewelry while reducing the appearance of a fuller stomach.
Sparkly, shiny metallic accents do a wonderful job of directing attention just where you want it to go. Silver and gold jewelry can be a great bonus, but metallic accents on a handbag also do an excellent job of directing the gaze. Even slim, pointy, sparkly heels do wonders to direct attention to the lines of your legs for a slimming effect.
What Styles of Clothing Coordinate Well With Slimming Accessories?
Well-chosen slimming accessories work best with an outfit that's equally well-thought-out, so let's consider some colors and styles you can wear to help pull all your accessories together into a cohesive and beautiful look:
- Solid colors: Solid colors help minimize curves and create an overall slimming effect. However, you don't have to create an entirely monochrome wardrobe — everyone needs some color and pizzazz — but a few solid shirts, dresses or entire outfits can help flatter your shape. If your handbags have vibrant floral patterns or bright stripes, coordinating with a solid-colored outfit helps prevent clashing styles.
- Substantial prints: Generally speaking, it helps if your clothing's prints are proportional to your body shape. Tiny polka dots may not complement a fuller figure well, but more substantial, eye-catching prints harmonize with your natural curves to help flatter your appearance. Watercolor prints also make for an exceptionally flattering and forgiving style. With watercolor prints, each color bleeds into the next, creating a soft, blurred effect that can minimize curves and help give the appearance of a more streamlined shape. If your handbags, scarves and other accessories tend to be solid colors, contrasting them with printed outfits can help you create an appealing ensemble.
- Fitted fabrics: It's often best to choose fitted, supportive fabrics rather than flowy, unstructured garments, which can end up hanging off your frame and making you feel as if you're wearing a tent rather than clothing. Tailored, supportive clothing helps accentuate all the right curves to give your figure a confident, flattering shape. Fitted fabrics also give your accessories a solid background to work with. A flowing scarf and a flowing blouse might bleed into each other visually, but the same scarf would complement a fitted blouse or jacket beautifully.
Ways to Approach Accessorizing a Plus-Size Outfit
When you're planning your approach to accessorizing a plus-size outfit, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Let your creativity flow: When it comes to accessorizing to create new looks, there are few real limits. Though you don't want your style to cross over into gaudy rather than glamorous, it's always great to bring some imagination to your look. Don't be afraid to stand out with the accessories that express your personality the best.
- Be brave and adventurous: Just because you're plus-size doesn't mean you have to dress conservatively. If you don't want to wear black, even though people have always told you black is the most slimming color, go for a more vibrant look instead. Choose brightly colored belts to cinch and accentuate your stylish waistline, or choose jewelry with dazzle and flair to focus attention upward, on your face and throat.
- Make your style your own: Remember that the advice given here is just that — advice, not rules set in stone. Maybe heels don't work for you, or maybe big, chunky jewelry just doesn't seem to suit you. The trick is to balance out your look to give an overall impression of beauty, style and coordination. Even if you love wearing ballet flats or clunky boots, you can still draw the gaze with a bright, beloved handbag at your hip or a sparkling pendant on your chest to give your figure some length and keep attention focused on your most captivating assets.
- Embrace your curves: With the help of a few complementary and enhancing accessories, you can show off your curves and figure like never before. By using stylish accessories to accent your look, you can show the world that bodies of all shapes and sizes can be fashionable and attractive. As you explore slimming accessories, remember to embrace what makes your figure uniquely yours.
Contact Perfectly Priscilla for Flattering Plus-Size Clothing and Accessories
Accessorizing plus-size outfits is easy and enjoyable with Perfectly Priscilla. We offer clothing in sizes ranging from 10 to 25, so you'll be sure to find something flattering in the perfect size for your frame. Our exclusive styles and sizes offer you an enormous range of choices, and our array of fun, pretty, slimming accessories will help you put together quality outfits you'll love time and time again.
Contact us today to learn more.