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As a plus size black woman, it can be so difficult to find flattering, comfortable outfits to wear and feel confident in! With African American plus size boutiques, few and few between, finding ways to embrace the curves doesn’t seem to be getting easier! While size inclusivity still isn’t the greatest in the fashion world today, it is still easier now than it has ever been to find basics and fun pieces that actually fit. Yay! Here are some of the best ideas of plus size clothing for black women – 5 outfit ideas you can put together with items you may already have in your closet, or by picking up a couple of awesome pieces that you can wear again and again!
Hopefully these outfit ideas can be a helpful spring board towards being more confident in putting flattering outfits together on your own. There are ideas for a couple of casual options, a couple work options, and an awesome athleisure look. Similar items are linked below so you can start putting cute outfits together as soon as possible!
Work Outfits for Plus Size Black Women
The basic formula for this outfit is: High waisted, slim fit skirt + looser fitting shirt + heels. Boom. The best thing about this outfit (besides that you’ll look amazing!) is that it can be customized infinitely! Different styles of shirts, details on skirt, different colors and patterns…the sky’s the limit! The main things to keep in mind are the balance of tight and loose, and the high waist on the pencil skirt. Your natural waist (above your hip bones) will most likely be the smallest part of your torso, so this is a very flattering place to accentuate! Of course heels aren’t required, but they will elongate the leg and add that extra something to a polished work look.
The linked shirt is a flattering basic with great reviews that comes in a wide array of colors and prints, and up to a size 3x. The skirt has cute detailing, great reviews, comes in huge variety of colors and prints and up to a size 3x. I linked pumps with fun straps, they come in wide fit and in several colors. The reviewers also say they are quite comfortable and they’d be a great basic or pop of color depending on which ones you choose!
This is such a chic look for work that is a fun play on a suit, with a trendy twist. A high waisted, slim leg trousers + simple top/tank + flattering blazer are essential plus size clothing items for every black woman’s closet! You can play around with this outfit so much! try a cute button down or dressy top with the pants, make a statement with a loud print on top, try a flattering pointy toe flat instead…don’t be afraid of wearing slacks and still looking fashionable!
The similar pants I found come in a bunch of color options (including this almost exact stripe!) and up to 3x. They have awesome reviews, too! Tank is a great basic with a flattering fit, great reviews, and comes in several colors/ prints in sizes up to 3x. This jacket is a great basic blazer in sizes up to 4X and in 3 colors. The best thing – it’s stretchy! It will give you the polished look of a blazer without the uncomfortable, crunchy tailoring of an actual suit jacket or blazer. By the way, Chicwe brand is a great option on amazon if you’re looking for classic, yet trendy pieces with a lot of high reviews and variety! Shoes are wide fit, have great reviews, and are a perfect basic or pop of color because they come in 31 (!!!) color/ print options.
Casual Outfits for Plus Size Black Women
This outfit formula couldn’t really get more simple: its all about the pants!! Find yourself a good pair of skinny or slim fit jeans that hit at the narrowest part of your waist, and you will be able to rock a million different looks! The key is to make sure your waist is accentuated, so try not to wear too long of tops to cover up all those curves. Tuck in your shirt halfway or all the way, or wear a cropped top! This “outfit” idea can be customized in every way! Tuck in a graphic tee and throw on some sneakers, or stick with cute pumps and a dressy top and you’ve got a hot date look. Skinny jeans are also awesome for pairing with layers like long cardigans, flowy kimonos, or fashionable jackets!
These jeans! Theyre number one best seller in women’s jeans on amazon – they have awesome reviews from women of all sizes. They come in 4 washes, up to size 20, and are slimming, flattering, and comfy. Dress up or down with shoe and top choices! I also found a very similar lace shirt that comes in 4 colors, and up to 3x. It is totally see through, like in the inspiration pic, so a cami would make it more conservative for casual wear or the work place… haha but we won’t judge if you want to flaunt it on a hot date 😉 The shoes are pointy toe flats, because a pointy toe elongates the leg, even if you don’t feel like wearing heels! They have great reviews, and come in wide width and in 20 colors and patterns!
The basic silhouette of this look is any slim fitting shirt tucked into a high waisted, flowy skirt. It would work with any shirt that isn’t too flowy! A good rule of thumb is to pick whether your top or bottom is flowy or tight, and do the opposite on the other. Tight top + loose bottom, etc. Another way to make sure your skirt outfits are flattering is to keep the accentuated waist visible. Tuck in your shirt all the way or partially in the front to keep all eyes on that figure and not cover it up! Okay last tip – the model in this picture also has a seriously awesome shoe choice – a nude shoe will make your legs look miles long! Especially if your skirt/dress hits below the knee, a nude shoe will add length and make your look extra flattering.
The linked skirt comes in a million colors (not quite, but almost, haha), and in sizes up to 3x. It has great reviews and buyers say it is super forgiving and flattering, and easy to dress up or down. This same outfit would be so cute with a tee tucked in and sneakers for a casual look, or a slim shirt and heels! Heels come in a bunch of fun and plain colors, and in wide width. Sneakers come in wide and extra wide (yay!) and a bunch of color options, easy to pair with a million different outfits, and have great reviews.
Athleisure Outfit Idea for Plus Size Black Women
It can be hard to find trendy, athletic plus size clothing for black women! A couple tips: Find high waisted shorts or leggings – accentuating the natural waist (narrowest point above your hip bones) will be the most flattering, especially in tight clothing like athletic/workout clothes. A fun, popular athleisure look is a cropped top or sports bra with high waist leggings. This allows your figure to shine, and even show off a little skin, while still remaining conservative. You can add a jacket for extra coverage like the model, too. Pair with cute tennies and you’re good to go!
There is an insane variety of colors of these leggings! They come in capri and full length, and in sizes up to 3X. They have almost 15,000 reviews (!!!) with 4.5 stars overall. Plus, the price is right! Curvy reviewers report that they’re flattering, not see-through, and comfy. Sounds great to me! The top comes in 6 colors, and sizes up to 3X. They have great reviews for plus size wearers on comfort and style. Keep in mind this is not a high impact work out top! It’s meant to be more stylish than supportive for intense work outs.
So, how do I dress my plus-size body to be more flattering?
Not all plus-size clothing for black women is created equal. It’s hard to answer the question, “what makes clothing flattering?” because it’s not the same for everyone, and it’s not the same for every plus-size woman, either! I’m not going to pretend to be the world’s leading expert on dressing every body flatteringly…but I have watched a lot of What Not To Wear in my time! In reality, though, I have found some great tips online and in real-life practice that can apply to nearly (if not all) body types – allow me to share them with you!
1. Tailored Pieces
It is natural as a full-figured woman to gravitate towards looser silhouettes in an effort to camouflage or cover up their body. Boxy or overly flowy clothing can actually add volume to your body and won’t show off any of your curves! Fitted shirts and bodices, structured jackets, well-fitting (read: not baggy!) jeans will all do your body favors! The key is to highlight your body’s natural shape and not to cover it up entirely.
2. Waist-cinching Silhouettes
An accentuated and cinched-in waistline is always flattering. It creates or enhances the infamous hourglass silhouette, which can be an amazing way to maximize your curves. Adding a belt is a simple way to define the waist (just make sure it’s not a super-wide one), as is looking for pieces with ruching or other accents/slimming at the waist.
3. Open Neckline
Consider showing off some skin instead of closing everything off! The neckline/shoulders, as well as a tasteful amount of cleavage, can be an incredibly flattering and sultry addition to an outfit. Plus, showing off some skin in that area can draw the eye upward and highlight your face, which is always a good thing!
4. A-Line Skirts and Dresses
An A-line skirt or silhouette is an awesome option for anyone who carries more of their weight in the lower half of their body. The simplicity of this is that nips in at the waist and then glides over the hips and upper legs, thereby creating the illusion of a balanced, hourglass proportion. Tucking in a fitted or tailored blouse (or, alternately, wearing a dress that just has a cinched waistline and flowing skirt) maximizes this effect at your waistline. Wearing a shirt that falls below the waistline can create an opposite effect by widening the waist and drawing attention to your hips and wider areas of the body.
Sorry, no list of figure-flattering clothing would be complete without including shapewear! Not all plus size clothing for black women will fit every body shape so you might have to smooth some unwanted curves out a bit. After all, all shapes and sizes of women can definitely benefit from applying shapewear, because it just makes clothes easier to wear! Shapewear really isn’t designed to make you three sizes smaller, although a lot of women see it that way. Rather, its purpose is to create a great base to layer clothing on top of by smoothing any lumps and bumps. There are body-slimmers in a ton of varieties — from bras, bodysuits, and tights, to high-waist biker shorts. There’s literally one for every body, and every outfit.
Well, there you have it! Hopefully you’ve been left with some great ideas and encouragement to start putting together flattering outfits. Plus size clothing for black women doesn’t have to be a mystery, and the greatest tip I can leave you with is: PUT SOMETHING ON AND OWN IT! Your body isn’t a problem and you have worth and value just the way you are. Get out there and rock that bod!