The stores, websites and magazines are jammed with the new plus size fall and winter clothes – all in a dizzying array of patterns, colors, styles and lengths. Each highlight a different trend. One screams “Grey is THE color.” The next shouts “Layered is THE look.” And, if that’s not enough fashion confusion for you, stores and websites are loading up with the cozy fabrics and colors of fall, starting the annual migration of the remaining hot weather clothes to the discount racks in the back of the store!
How to Build a Plus Size Fall Wardrobe
Here’s how to tackle cooler weather dressing without losing your mind (or your bank balance!):
- Look over last year’s fall wardrobe, tossing anything that you don’t like, don’t wear or that doesn’t fit you today. (Stop saving those small clothes to wear when you lose 35 pounds! Put them to good use by giving them to a thrift shop.)
- Go with your instincts about your personal style. Are you into casual, classic or trendy dressing? Solids or prints? Bright or dark colors?
- Think about which outfits catch your attention – and why. Was it the style, the color or the fabric?
- Get creative with your clothes and accessories, duplicating looks you like.
- Purchase only what you need to enhance (not replace) last year’s wardrobe.
No matter what your fashion style or lifestyle, a basic plus size fall wardrobe can be mixed, matched and magnified into an expansive number of outfits with these 10 basic “Must Haves”:
- Black or navy dress with sleeves. Look for a style that looks good in the office, at church or at a school function. Pick an easy-to-accessorize neckline. Add jackets or accessories for even more daytime and evening looks. Sources: Lane Bryant and Ulla Popken.
- Boots. Knee-high, flat-heeled boots are always a great choice with skirts or pants. Look for wide calf boots at WideWidths.com and Avenue.
- Dress-length, dark raincoat with a zip-out liner. A long raincoat looks equally good with pants, skirts and dresses. The dark color gives you the flexibility of wearing it day or evening. The zip-out liner gives warmth flexibility. Sources: WomanWithin and Catherines.
- Dark-colored solid 3-piece suit (jacket, pants and skirt). Whether your color choice is black, brown, navy or grey, you can dress it up or down with your selection of top and accessories. Sources: Just My Size and Avenue.
- Knit or fabric vest. Vests are a great wardrobe stretcher – with the ability to show your personality while they enhance a very casual look or dress down a more severe suit look. Sources: Ulla Popken and Lands End.
- Jeans or chinos. No matter what your body shape, size or leg length, you can now find jeans and chinos for those casual events with friends and family. Sources: WomanWithin, Just My Size and Lane Bryant.
- Three to five solid knit tops that would look equally good with casual jeans & chinos or dressed up with the solid suit. Turtlenecks are warm; but, they tend to make you look like you are being strangled! So, if you have a fuller neck, look for v-necks or cowl necks that open up and highlight your face. Sources: Lane Bryant, WomanWithin, Ulla Popken and Just My Size
- Patterned jacket that works with both suit pieces or doubles as a casual look with jeans, t-shirts and this season’s luxurious sweaters. Menswear, novelty prints and embroidered fabrics would be great selections for this wardrobe stretcher. Sources: Ulla Popken and Just My Size.
- Cotton-rich body-slimmer or spandex bike shorts. No ladies, we’re not talking girdles here. We’re talking these terrific inventions as a way for keeping tights up where they are supposed to be! Without them you might be wearing your tights with the crotch down at your thighs by 11AM everyday! Sources: Amazon, Champion and Just My Size.
- Gold or silver hoop earrings. No matter what the occasion or time of day, hoops are always appropriate. If your style is trendy, go for the big hoops. For a more classic look, stick with the smaller (wedding band style) hoops.
Remember: You don’t have to spend a lot to have a great plus size fall wardrobe. No matter how casual or formal your lifestyle, well-made, coordinated separates and accessories will give you the stylish, together look that you deserve to have everyday, no matter what’s on your calendar.