Fashion magazines, websites and the general public are always proffering lists of dos and don’ts and rules for how curvy women should dress. They provide “helpful” advice on what is or isn’t “flattering” to curvy women. But did we ask for advice? I don’t think so. Do we want rules to govern how we dress ourselves? Certainly not. Should we limit our creativity and avoid certain fabrics, patterns or styles because someone on the interwebs has deemed them “unflattering” for curvy women? Hell no.
I think we can all agree that curvy women should dress how they like, in what makes them feel fabulous and comfortable, rules be damned. And yet still, so much time is spent pontificating on what items or styles of clothing curvy women should avoid, so much paper and space on the web wasted on creating myths about what we shouldn’t or can’t wear.
Let’s debunk some of those myths with some hard evidence, shall we? Below I’ve linked to some examples that break all the rules and bust these myths wide open. I’ve included a mix of rule-breaking inspiration from ready-to-wear, curvy celebrities, and our own talented Curvy Sewing Collective. I hope this inspires you to do some myth busting sewing yourself, too!
Myth #1: Curvy women shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes.
This is a pervasive one… and totally unfounded! Narrow or wide, horizontal or vertical, curvy ladies look good in all stripes.
Myth #2: Curvy women shouldn’t wear big or bold prints.
Really?! I beg to differ. Curvy women look amazing in big prints, in my opinion, and should rock them with pride.
For example, check out how gorgeous the plus-size models look in the enormous prints in the Marimekko line for Target, how great Melissa McCarthy looks in a large-and-in-charge print on the cover of Bust, and big, bold florals from Eloquii:
And have a look at the lovely ladies of the Curvy Sewing Collective, beautiful in big old prints… Sandra in a large-scale floral Myrtle, Meg in a giant floral Anna, Debbie’s Lady Skater in delightfully large scale circles:
Myth #3: Curvy women shouldn’t wear small prints.
This one makes me laugh… according to these rules curvy women are allowed to wear neither big nor small prints? Only solids for us, I guess.
The CSC looks fabulous in a dainty print: Jessica in a butterfly dress from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book, Mary’s floral McCall’s 6696, Alicia in a springy floral Butterick 5997:
Myth #4: Curvy women shouldn’t wear bright colors.
Oh wait, scratch that: only dark, somber colored solids for us curvy gals. Kinda takes the fun out of dressing, doesn’t it? I contend that curvy women look amazing in color, whether it be jewel-tones, neon, or pastels.
The CSC is killing it in curvy colors… Kelly in a bright, mixed print Shirt Tail T, gorgeous green McCall’s 6503 from Tanya, Seven Stitches’ Washington Dress in purples and pinks:
Myth #5: Curvy women shouldn’t wear mini-skirts/skinny jeans/close-fitting clothing.
Gosh, this is exhausting. And patently false. Wear what you want, work it, flaunt it, own it.
Myth #6: Curvy women shouldn’t wear maxi dresses.
Exhausting and confusing. We can’t wear minis AND we can’t wear maxis? What exactly does that leave? Sigh. I say swathe yourself in the maxi-est maxi you can and sashay around…
Phew, that was a lot of myth busting and rule breaking. But there are still more myths about curvy dressing out there… Which ones did I miss? Which myth is your pet peeve?