Today I want to talk about the importance of styling outfits and putting all of your wardrobe to work, including those impulse buys that are probably just collecting dust in the back of your [my] closet.
One of the missions of my blog is to help women like me style outfits. But have we ever really considered why styling is so important?
Impulsivity & Living in Scarcity
Sometimes I find an awesome piece of clothing, impulsively buy it, feel giddy about my find, then leave it on a hanger in my closet forever. I think this happens because I’m obsessed with clothes and shopping, obviously.
But also as a plus size woman I know awesome pieces, the ones that make your heart skip a beat, are few and far between. Living in this scarcity makes me think: I must buy X before it sells out in my size or I will be full of regret! Cue sound of the credit card machine [swipe]!
Time & Prioritizing
But the biggest reason clothes hang unworn in my closet is that I never took the time to style them.
Although many outfits come together in my head quickly. Sometimes it actually takes time and effort. And let’s face it, life is busy, and putting together outfits can seem like a “guilty pleasure” or a luxury that our schedule doesn’t allow.
But, if you are like me, you have a closet with barely worn garments that are costing you time and money. It takes time to shop for new pieces and obviously it costs money.
Clothes Can Change How You Feel
And if that doesn’t give you motivation to dig out those pieces out of the back of your closet, think about how amazing you feel when you look put together. Or how great it is to wear something unique or interesting. That’s priceless!
I can easily think of moments when people have stopped me on the street or at work to complement my outfit or ask me where I shop. That’s the best feeling!
Looking Polished at Work
And looking put together has career benefits as well.
Last year an important executive at my [former] company stopped me in the ladies room to tell me how nice my outfit was. We rarely spoke or ever had reason to interact, but it was nice to know that she knew who I was and thought I looked polished and professional.
And to further prove my point, I remember what I was wearing- a black pencil skirt, red flats and a blue pinstriped shirt that didn’t fit and I thought I might throw away. But the weekend before I had taken the time to play with the shirt and found that when I belted it with a wide belt I could actually make it look like it fit.
Had I not taken the time to style an outfit, maybe I would have missed that moment of connection.
Let’s Start Styling!
So let’s turn over a new leaf. Let’s carve out time to go through our closets and try to put together some looks. If we need pieces, like a new accessory, make a shopping list.
And donate those pieces we’ll never wear so that someone in need can have them. My favorite way to donate clothes are via those donation dumpsters, because if I have to make an appointment to donate, it’ll never happen. I just load a box up, drive around with it in my car, and the next time I see one, I dump my clothes in.
For a great list of questions to ask yourself while going through your closet, check out this post on The Everygirl.
And when looking for outfit inspiration, be sure to use my blog [obviously], my Pinterest boards, and my Instagram.
18 thoughts on “The Importance of Styling Outfits – Plus Size Edition”
I have a piece like this. It’s a perfect fit blouse from Maurice’s. I have a pear shape so it’s a good fit except for the hips. I’m not sure what to do with it.
Thank you for your comment. I have a couple of suggestions to try: 1- Could you wear it tucked in under a skirt, such as a pencil skirt, that you can wear high-waisted, covering the too tight part? Some skirts I wear up to my bust. Or 2- Wear a cami under it and leave buttons open at the top and bottom, buttoning just under the bust. You could even add a belt (this is what I do with that pinstriped shirt I mentioned in the post). Hope you can find a way to make it work!
Alexa, I absolutely adore your styling! Thanks hun, keep up the good work of plus-size empowerment!
Thank you for the kind comment! 🙂
What a wonderful post! Thank you! Sometimes we don’t need “new”, we just need a new perspective! Thanks for the reminder!
You’re welcome, Jennifer! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!
I’m very inspired by your pins and what you wrote about styling outfits. If you have styling tips pins please let me know.
Do you put outfits together and leave them as a set on a hanger or do you mix and match?
I try to mix and match as much as possible to get the most out of my wardrobe. Thanks for reading!
Very good article to read; lots of tips. I found it by accident when doing my never-ending trawl for help with clothes. I am just over five feet tall, plus size with short legs and heavy thighs, and a large belly thanks to two ‘gyny’ ops. Apart from rent-a-tent, I have constant trouble finding what to wear… lol If I buy bootleg jeans, by the time I have taken them up about 12 inches, they are almost straight leg but look funny. Any suggestions in general?
Sounds like you need to shop for petite plus sizes. I’m not sure what’s available in New Zealand, but I know that Lands End and Talbot’s offer petite plus size. Torrid has awesome jeans that come in “short” which is great for shorter people. I’m working on developing a list in my guide: https://www.alexawebb.com/shop-my-favorites/where-to-shop/
Hope these help! Thanks for reading!
Thank you thank you thank you so much for the article it helps so much and now I have an idea as to what to wear with what….funny because I buy things and they match with other things I have already purchased.
You’re welcome, Leia! I think we all have pieces that we could be getting more use out of. for sure!
I have to say I love your site! I’ve bought a few things from your ideas and some have worked and some have not, but I think I need some help? I’m 5’8, pear shaped, and C cup. I am really embarrassed about my lower belly pooch. I have a hard time finding tops and dresses. And if I do, either they’re horizontally striped (makes me look even wider) or so low cut that I don’t have the boobs to show off. I get the tunic thing, but the whole skirt pulled high with a belt makes me look wide too. Am I doing something wrong? LOL! Any suggestions for girls like me?
Thank you! Glad to hear at least some of my suggestions have worked! With a pear shape, you want to try to balance your smaller shoulders with your wider hips. You can wear puffy or ruffled shoulders (like this jacket would be great: http://rstyle.me/n/cnih69cau7p ). You will also look good with large statement necklaces and scarves, which draw the eye up. As for the boob situation, if it is an issue of too much fabric (meaning, the top fits your hip, but then gapes at the top), you may have to have your clothes altered. Or try Eloquii’s viola fit: http://rstyle.me/n/cniiabcau7p which is for women with a hip measurement 1 to 2 sizes larger than their bust measurement. And you can try eShakti who offer custom sizing for a nominal fee.
Another trick is to try a-line, empire waist, and babydoll cut tops and dresses. These are fitted at the top through the bust, then flare out. I love to wear these cuts and then add a shorter cropped jacket or cardigan on top, letting the under layer flare out over my hips and lower belly.
If you read my proportions post: https://www.alexawebb.com/plus-size-proportions-1216/ , try to have a visual line somewhere at 1/4 or 1/3 of the way down. You are really going to want to elongate your legs to balance out the hip to shoulder ratio.
I hope some of these tips are helpful. I would also recommend reading Garner Style (she is pear-shaped) http://www.garnerstyle.com/ and https://www.instagram.com/glitterandlazers/. She is also pear-shaped and just pretty rad in general. 😉
Wow! Never thought much about my style! Your post is inspiring. Could I get a couple of pointers? I am a plus size hour glass (ask my DH). I love long (ankle or floor length) skirts and cardigan jackets that are long. Any ideas?
You should totally resell those cast offs on Poshmark! I would buy from you and then you would have $$ to shop some more!
I know! I hope to move sometime this year. And I am NOT taking all of these clothes to my new house. LOL. So, one project will be sorting, selling, and donating!