Plus Size Clothing

Dressing Fearlessly: Throw Out the Style Rule Book

A version of this post first appeared on 60 & Me.

Fear holds us back. It holds us back from saying what we feel and doing what we want. Fear even controls what we wear.

Remember the last time you put on your favorite outfit and loved it? But then you had a nagging doubt…

“Can I really get away with this at MY age? Am I just too big to make this work?”

If you let this type of fear take over, it will dictate your every fashion decision. Don’t let it! Here’s how to break away from the stereotypes so often imposed on mature plus size women.

Change Your Perspective

There’s a tide of change pushing aside the so-called ‘style rules’ women used to let control their sense of style. Many plus size women have heard these before:

“Prints and stripes are risky. Stay with black, it’s safe and slimming. Bright colors are a no-no, go with darker shades.”

The same goes for “age appropriate” clothing – it just winds up being restricting, restraining your ability to express yourself naturally with your outfits. These rules take away the fun of fashion.

Break the rules of what is typical, safe, or appropriate for your age and size. Instead, dress appropriately for your personality, your style preferences, and the occasion.

Break the Rules: Color and Print

Choose prints that enhance your body shape. For some women that means large, abstract patterns – such as tie dye and batik. These keep the eye moving and distract attention from problem areas.

How many times have you been told no stripes? Ignore that nonsense. Just make them work with your body.

A neat pinstripe can add air of elegance. And stripes both horizontal and vertical can create a super cute look. Remember,  too, that not all stripes are made the same. Thin, thick, and shifted stripes on your outfit each create a unique, refreshing look. Try a wide diagonal striped top with an abstract pattern for an eye-catching effect that complements your figure.

As for color, you don’t stick to all black and neutrals. Experiment with different colors and tones that work with your skin complexion and fit your personality. Remember – there are no rules!

Break the Rules: Fit

Body and age shaming comments tell you to hide away your curves and weight. They’re made out to be bad things you should be ashamed of. Terrible.

Shatter those rules by embracing your mature, curvy physique. For some women, this means wearing body contouring dresses that dramatically highlight their curves. If that’s not your preference, go with a more conservative look that still gives you a natural feminine shape. The point is to not be forced into large, shapeless clothing.

Here are some ways to embrace modern fits and not be controlled by body or age shaming:

Try slim-cut jeans in a heavy denim with a little stretch. You’ll get a smooth, updated look that’s also super comfortable.

A flowing skirt in a vibrant color with a cute blouse makes for a beautiful, casual outfit.

Sleeveless dresses and open-shoulder tops are perfect as the weather gets warmer. Go with what makes you comfortable and confident.

Fearless, Fabulous Fashion

Get rid of the fashion fear factor! Embrace a mature, modern approach to style that throws out the rules of yesterday. Instead, discover your own rules of fashion. Take back control of your style.

Remember, your clothing is an outward expression of your inner self. Stand tall and let everyone know you have nothing to fear. Your attitude will triumph over any stranger’s petty glance of disapproval.


Stephen, Your Designer

“There is an amazing feeling of artistic accomplishment when all the parts come together into one harmonious aesthetic. It's a connection with who you are and the elements you choose to express yourself visually. This is what making clothing is all about for me. It's like when a songwriter hears his first written notes from a voice or a baker who has practiced a recipe and nails it or a figure skater who exceeds her own expectations. I express my sense of art in clothing. I see things in color, shape and texture. I react to the touch of silk on my skin and my eyes are aware of how color combinations make me feel. My goal is to bring all of these intuitive notions to garments that are sized for larger women. If I can accomplish this then I have reached my goal.” – Stephen

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