How to style a curvy body shape (Plus Size body) | Justine Leconte

How to style a curvy body shape (Plus Size body) | Justine Leconte


Hi everyone. It’s Justine. You may already know my series about how to dress for your body type. In that series, I tackle the apple, the pear, the inverted triangle, the hour glass and the rectangle body shapes. Now some of you wrote to me and said “You know, I don’t recognise myself in those types. I’m actually curvier than that.” Others said “I’m a plus size girl. How do you think I should dress? What would apply to me?” And actually I didn’t mention that as a body type because it’s a matter of size. You know for fashion design purposes if you’re plus size, you’re still an apple, or a pear or another type. However, since so many of you asked for that I’m going to try to answer the question in the form of how to style and dress a plus size body shape or curvy shape the best way I can. And to be sure we talk about the same definition: I understand plus size or curvy as being something that looks like this This. Or this. Okay? Now let’s give it a try. So this video will tackle the following elements in that order. What actually makes you curvy? What are the characteristics of your body? Then I give you tips or kind of tricks to style for your body shape. Then I’d like to have a look at two celebrities who are plus size and we’ll learn from them And their stylists about how they do it. And to finish I’d like to give you recommendations of silhouettes and types of clothing that really work well for you. First let’s talk about what makes you a curvy girl. And that’s actually the most challenging part in this video because, as I said, it depends. Some girls will say “My problem zone is my chest. I find my breasts too big. When I wear t-shirts, it pulls here on the side horizontally and I feel uncomfortable.” Others will tell you “My problem zone is my waist.” Others will say “Well definitely my hips.” And the other group will say “Well I hate my legs” So once you’ve said you’re plus size, you still don’t know what to do with the information, so to say. The one thing that you guys have in common is that you have problems to find clothes in stores, that actually fit you even if it’s your size on paper because, and that’s what I can tell you as a fashion designer, most brands make patterns for a size S a model size S with no curves and then they just scale up the pattern two by two and you end up with a size that actually fits you on paper but that looks like no real person. Yet you do want clothes to fit, right? Because… because – Right! Conclusion: If you’re a plus size girl, you still have different proportions Plus size is not a homogenous body type. Right? So how do you do it? What’s the best strategy to style your body type? Here it goes. You need to define, identify the part of your body the zone that you like most that’s the zone you want to highlight no matter where it is your arms, your waist, your legs your shoulders , it doesn’t matter. Find that zone, so to say, and then highlight that zone and build all the rest of your outfit around it. Let’s have a quick look at celebrities and see how they do it. The first one is Adele. Adele typically wears longer sleeves at least below the elbow. Her hem on dresses is always below the knee. I think always, no exception. She rarely shows any cleavage And she always has a marked waist. When you look at her, you can immediately see which parts of her body she likes and which ones she doesn’t like. And this silhouette, this dress shape, is really flattering on her. Actually, it’s the perfect outfit for her. Another good trick is to wear big sleeves. On that outfit she does it really well. It makes your core, which is hips, waist, torso, look thinner. And that’s quite smart of her. The second example I really wanted to show you is Amy Schumer because she’s quite the personality, right? But she’s also a plus size model so she’s more body positive and body confident than Adele. And that’s quite a contrast you will see. Her dresses are always shorter, usually mid-thigh, at least above the knee. She often has a cleavage It seems to be a part of her body that she really likes to show. She doesn’t mind wearing bare arms on red carpets and she likes to show her shoulders. She plays with decorations and drapery and that’s another smart trick for your body type. Now those examples were red carpet – I’m with you – so let’s switch to ready-to-wear. And I’ll show you types of clothing that can work really well – really well – on your body. The first technique was to have large sleeves They can be all large and flowy all along or just flare at the bottom. Like you saw on Adele – that’s a very smart technique. The other one was using decorations and drapery to attract attention away from your silhouette so that you have to look at the decorations first. So that’s the Amy Schumer technique. Those were the two first ones. Then if you’re going to wear jeans or or pants made of stiff fabric that doesn’t stretch – jeans are a good example – then it doesn’t matter if you take them in low-waist or high-waist but take them loose The waistband should not compress your belly otherwise you’re going to feel uncomfortable. Next thing that works well for you: an empire waist. So it starts at the top, on the breasts, and just below the breasts, it starts to flare out towards the waist. When you’re looking at the waist make sure it’s long enough to not show the pot of your belly between the pants and the top. Or you go for really cropped really, really cropped just below the breasts, and very boxy because it will make your waist optically look thinner. So that’s also a smart technique. Since we’re talking about cropped, the things that you should avoid though are pants that are six-eighths or or seven-eighths of the full length. I would go for full length or really short. But with something that’s just a bit cropped it can make your legs look shorter and that’s not just on you, it’s on everyone! Let this be clear. One more thing about the waist. If you feel uncomfortable with your waist another method is to wear a jacket or cardigan or something on top, or a blazer that you leave open and that’s in stiff fabric because it will stand a little bit stiff in front of you and it will also make your waist look a lot thinner so nobody’s going to notice if you had too much food for lunch. That also works for every woman, by the way. PS: and for men. The shoes that match the leggings, the tights, or the pants that you’re wearing will also visually, colour-wise, extend your legs. That’s another way to make you look taller. Next step. When you look at fabrics while you’re shopping you have thin fabrics, you have heavy fabrics that are stiffer. Go for the stiffer fabrics because they’re not going to follow all the contours of your body so precisely a.k.a. they will hide your flaws. Everything you’re not completely comfortable with is going to disappear under the thick fabric. If you’re looking for a dress now for example, a festive look you can go for one that’s fitted at the top then at the natural waist it starts to flare out and it ends somewhere between mid-thigh and mid-calves. That’s the Adele technique. That’s perfect for a party. Or you wear a cardigan on top. Those are two examples that I found on Pinterest. One more tip. If you’re not happy with your outfit and you can’t find the solution in clothes then why not think of accessories? You could use a statement necklace that hangs at the height that you want to highlight it’s going to distract from the rest of the outfit. Or you add a purse Or you play with fancy shoes You play with makeup You have many more options to create the image you want than just the clothes. If you would like more inspiration than that I also created a Pinterest board on my page You’re welcome to look at it I selected outfits that I find smartly and smoothly proportioned on plus size girls or curvy girls so it will give you more combination ideas, so to say. And I added more articles – everything is below – on instagram accounts that you can follow other tips You will see. If I find more, I’ll put more. Now do you feel better equipped to tackle your wardrobe and build your outfit strategy? If yes – thumbs up! Thank you very much! If no – leave me a comment below and ask me your remaining doubts and questions and I will do my best to answer all of them. If you haven’t subscribed to my channel yet you can go ahead and click on my head – no pun intended. Here are two more related videos on the matter of body type, how to measure the pear-shaped type. I’ll see you on Sunday for a new video maybe even before. I thank you so much for 10 000 subscribers on this channel. Take care. Bye.

100 thoughts on “How to style a curvy body shape (Plus Size body) | Justine Leconte

  1. The reasons I make my own clothes is because I’m tall and curvy and clothes that fit look like old lady-wear.

  2. I'm plus size and know my body shape but I'm short 5ft 3 this can mean that things that work on other plus size people with my body shape don't work for me…being short makes it all more difficult

  3. So, Does that mean that being plus sized; the classic body type shape is out of the question for us??

  4. Hi Justine really like your channel! But I have another question: I have a lot of bust and hip but a small waist. Somehow though I always feel uncomfortable putting a belt or something because it also draws attention to my tummy right under the small waist. I am especially uncertain about trousers and jeans.

  5. Amy Schumer is not plus size. A plus size celebrity would be Melissa McCarthy. Sizes 12-14 even 16 are not really plus size. That is size of average woman. Size 0-6 are the minority, but designers design for them because everything looks good on these super thin bodies.

  6. Justine, I can't thank you enough for this video! My daughter is getting married in a month and I've changed my diet (95% plant based), am exercising, and have lost 25 pounds (yay!). However, all of the toning won't get rid of my belly in time. I've been dreading going dress shopping but now you've given me great information and hope. THANK YOU!!!

  7. I am 12/10 upper body and 14 hips with ok legs I like the empire cut because I found it feminine but I am not tall i think feminity it is important

  8. I like your suggestions and ideas but to be honest I'm a visual learner ! I love more photos of what your talking about or even before and after photos on models ! The dos and Do not !
    I was on medication that caused me to gain weight ! So I've become busty and curvy ! I've gone one size larger so things fit better . I'm ok with my busty top ! But weight ( I'm losing ) is in my hips/ butt) yet my legs are thin ! In winter I dress ok but in summer its harder for me ! I'm ok with my tops but not sure about my pants ( shorts ) . I'm also not sure about accessories ! I have to work at that ! ( earings , jewelry – rings bracelets and I'm not big on belts to restrictive for me ) …thank you for your tips . I'm off meds that made me fill out and losing weight but I'm still going to be curvy .
    I like Swing tops , kimono and Water fall type jackets, I also love French cape look I have two in wine and black & white , for fall . anyway in 2019 unsure of look . I'm older but look much younger ! People think I'm in my 30s to early 40s and I'm 60. I'm trying to keep stylish .
    What are your suggestions !

  9. I dont consider your models a good representation of "plus sized" women. These ladies look very proportioned and can wear a lot of items. Your info is irrelevant for true plus sized women.

  10. I like your videos,Good job.Can you make videos about different types of tops for different body shapes and sizes?
    Love from Nepal

  11. Justine… New to your channel, and I love it! Please do a video of how French Women wear and tie their scarfs. The dimensions and “how to”
    Also, loved your video on French fragrances. Please, please. Which are the top fragrances an aristocrat would wear?? You have an understated
    elegance which is compelling.

  12. I went to a higher end consignment shop today because I am trying to add nicer and more high quality pieces. It was fun and I got a few nice pieces. It was good to try a variety of shapes and textures but staying in my neutral black/gray.

  13. As a twen I was hourglass but now am apple. Problem: very small 1,55 meter, overweight, big breast but very narrow shoulders. Slightly smaller hips.
    How to dress?

  14. My height is 168CM, my weight is 62kg, and my body type is rectangle. I don't know how I can dress to look good for my shape. It is really hard for me, so It would be great if you can help me out. I need your advice. And thank u in advance!!!

  15. Hi. I just found your channel today and have watched a number of vids on different topics. I have to say though, I'm having a hard time with this one. The fashion industry has a lot to answer for, and anyone calling Amy Schumer and women who look like her and even many who are smaller, plus sized is a huge reason why so many girls and women have body issues. It's one thing to be heavily obese, like many of the 'body positivity' models but most of the 'plus-sized' models are simply a little on the chubby side and that is a whole different ball game. That pic of her with the black and white dress is beautiful. Both her cleavage and her legs look amazing, so I'm not surprised she likes to show them off.

    Curvy doesn't mean plus sized or fat, and I wish to heaven that people would stop using the term to describe larger women. All sizes; skinny, slim, average, large and very large women can be curvy and they can all also not really have many curves.

    Also, height makes a big difference, as does proportion and whether your body is torso or leg heavy. The vast majority of models are not only tall but have very long torso's and that makes a big difference to how most clothes look. I'm about 5'3" with a short but wide torso so there are very few inches between my boobs (or I also look at the space between armpit and waist) and my waist but my legs are long. When I'm smaller I look fairly hourglass as I have a largeish bust. Unfortunately, right now, I'm at my very largest and I look like a brick as even though the weight is all over, including my legs, there are very few if any 'curves' to be seen, but when I'm smaller I look like I'm all legs and boob. And I see lots of women like me, of varying sizes and not all are fat or 'plus sized'.

    Personally, I think Adele is beautiful, but sometimes wish she would actually show a little more, the second dress (beautiful color btw!) with a lower neckline was much more flattering, as were the ruffles but I didn't care for the volumes of fabric which I think adds bulk. Her high collars do nothing for her shape IMO as if you have a large bust, a V shape at the neck, even if you have something contrasting under it does so much to make the top half look less boxy. Anyway, those are my thoughts!

  16. Hi, Justine! I appreciate that you get straight to the point and are funny ,kind, and so very knowledgeable. Watching your videos is like a mini course in fashion design.
    One thought: A video for changing out your old wardrobe into a new one to suit the body you have now (gained or lost weight etc,) would be great too. What three or four pieces should one start with? Thank you

  17. thankyou for all your advice!!! love your channel
    I find the clothes for plus size ( for me) make me feel like i"m wearing a moo moo

  18. I’m definitely more of an Adele. I hate my arms in particular. But, a few years ago now, I discovered that a very 50s style (same silhouette as Adele’s first dress) is definitely the most flattering for me.

    So I found it, and I stuck to it! Circle skirts and petticoats, and cute little cardigans, and belts cinching my waist. I’ve gone up and down in weight quite a bit in the last few years, and I find that when I’m smaller, I can do more of a 40s silhouette, and when I’m bigger, I do 50s better. And, not only are there always vintage repro and rockabilly outlets online, I’ve found City Chic to be the best non vintage.

    Here’s one massive plus to the style I wear- you’re far more likely to find big, useable pockets in the skirts and dresses! Yay for pockets!

  19. Great information but I'm plus size in the U.S. and when I look for clothes they're a lot larger than this. Since you also agree that sizing isn't represented properly, perhaps a video on real plus size?

  20. Here, 'curvy' is a euphemistic new politically Correct way of saying 'big' without mention g the word 'fat' but a curvy woman is not the same as a large rotund or statuesque rectangular shape woman. There are 2 types of truly curvy or x shape, large busted etc female. There is the larger, fuller curvy figure and there is the neat, small, thin, petite curvy x shape. Both will be hard to fit but it is important to distinguish the 2 types of curvy woman and to not describe every large woman as 'curvy' because, clearly, not all large women are xshape curvy, busty types. Some are very tall, solid, rectangular shaped, especially in Australia and so different dress rules apply to these that would look dreadful on a large curvy type or even a slim one eg the boxy looking jacket without darts etc suits such women but not curvy ones. Ever tried buying a little suit jacket as a curvy woman? Vitually impossible! You need many darts but they have none. So best get one tailor made or make it yourself. The petite slim, neat curvy must be distinguished from the large curvy x shape because the petite one has to be careful about any print or texture of the fabric. If it is too big or the texture too obvious, it will completely overwhelm her small body. But the big curvy woman can get away with more, if she wears it correctly. I wish women in Australia would stop describing all big women as being 'curvy' when, clearly they are not. And distinguish between the slim neat curvy type and the fuller curvy x shape figure. They are very different. Even if a tiny petite curvy type puts on weight, she is more likely to end up as the rounded tubby type and loses her curves, rather than as the bigger boned, larger curvy figure type, who will retain her curves, even if she is indeed fat, like some such sporty type x shapes are ie very large and curvy but big boned and firm, muscular etc. Often with large strong thighs and hips.

  21. Um but curvy is not same as plus size? Curvy is having wide hips. Being plus size is being overweight. Kim is curvy but not plus size? (Plus size is actually no shape at all)

  22. Size American 16 and measurements 45-33-50. I’m somewhere between a a pear shape and hourglass and I don’t know if emphasizing my waist is doing me any favors because it makes my hips look huge.

  23. I am a curvy plus size person. I prefer dresses with princess seams. One company I have found that I really like is Holy Clothing. Their dresses go from mini to floor length(on me), from sleeveless to long sleeve with fitted or flared sleeves. Most do not have a set waist but most have a self tie belt. All have some type of embroidery. These are good dresses for me as if I find a dress that fits my top and bottom they sag at my waist and look messy with the tie belt I can nip the waist in and the rest of the dress hangs nicely.

  24. This is why I buy clothes from plus size stores. I can wear normal size clothes but when I buy the lowest size in plus size it fits my curvy body perfectly. The shirts are long so when I bend down because I have a bigger butt the shirts come down over my butt when I bend down.

  25. Hello,
    I am Plus sized and an apple shape. I find what works best for Me is Empire waisted tops and dresses. I like it if these have a thick, structured belt but NOT TIGHT, belt for just under my Bust. I also wear bell sleeves or short sleeves, never cap sleeves. My pants are usually always high rises to cover a large belly and the Flowiness of an Empire style covers this trouble spot nicely. It also makes it appear smaller.

  26. I really appreciate this video however I would prefer if you didn't assume that plus-size women "hate" any part of their body or that any part of their body is a "problem".

  27. This was amazing helpful and I am happy to say they are some of the techniques I have learned to used. What is extremely frustrating is finding clothes at most stores that is actually suitable for curvier ladies. The same clothes made for smaller women, just in larger sizes rarely works just as you have said. It takes a lot of leg work to find things that do.

  28. Hi justine, i love your style and your suggestions. Just wondering do you like leggings and shorts pants. I think french women dont like leggings . Or im wrong? Thank you! Cheers from ny.💝😘

  29. I have a hard time finding pants either they are to short,or the waist is to small.One day I went to the juniors section and the pants fit perfectly and they are cheaper!

  30. My plus size pet peeve: Manufacturers make the top or blouse bigger but the sleeves in the upper arms are not big enough. I am a 2X but often feel like the sleeves are going to rip out. I am also busty and shirts seldom allow sufficient room.

  31. My main issue 😂 s that as anplus size hour Glass shape I have a hard time wearing tops especially since tunics are the trend on all types and sizes of clothes. I see them in pear shaped women and they can be very slimming but in me they hang out from my boobs and makes me look fatter than I am..like a pregnant 56 year old. I would love to see more fitted shirts. I can see but I have a hard time even sewing my own shirts. If you could make that Justine I would worship you all the way from Alabama

  32. Every time I go shopping I re-watch your styling videos.
    Very big warm and flowery 'thanks' from me. Thanks Justine

  33. I have trouble to i am 6ft tall but big all over i like to wear sleeved tops in the past wore skirt but can't now trying to loose weight at the moment i think I've lost a bit. But to hart to find nice top most shops with big sizes do tops but most with out sleeves . Go on line to dress lilly love there tops they would suit me but im a size 28. So can't get it .

  34. Hey, I just found you the other day and I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH. That you take into consideration all shapes of people and that you care so much about ethical sourcing. Your videos have been super inspiring.

  35. Thank you for this information! My problem is that I know what I need to look for but have trouble finding it in stores.

  36. I think this video plus the ones where you explain why/where clothes don't fit because the design is cut wrong is the most helpful. I actually have the issue where I am loosing weight and don't like my 'in progress to my new body' so I will have to work on that.

  37. I am a plus size petite and can not find clothes to fit in stores, I however have tons of eshakti.com dresses that I wear daily and feel beautiful in. I find I can wear any style as long as it isn't too bare and fits correctly. I hope this helps someone out there.

  38. Curvy and us size are two entirely different female body types, though some curvy women can easily end up as plus sized, if yhey don'tconsta tly diet to co trol and maintain their famousnhourglass feminine figures. So, the same tules do not apply for hourglass petite, slim girls, as apply to the plus size big hirls, who can basically wear a kaftan sack affair inice fabric and look great in it. Whilst the slim petite curvy would drown in such a get up. She needs well tailored, figure hugging outfits that keep the same li e from top to bottom, no hacker jackets in contrasting colours, no boxy blazers, big sloppy jumpers, dolman sleeves, puffy sleeves, bomber jackets, Alice In Won derland or Cinderella skirts etc, though i do love my Little Red Riding Hood cape I wear with all black figure hugging top a d slacks. It is not a fitted thing but can just dramatically fling off my cover at the opportune moment and reveal my petite curvy man eating shapely feminine silhouette to any big bad wolf game enough to get close enough to touch his big bad beard…

  39. My problem is my thick thighs inside and my stomach that is bloated most of the time … no matter what I wear I look pregnant !! Could you help me out please Justine ? Thank you 🙏🏻

  40. Iblove your videos, but i am disappointed that you use tue word curvy in a context of plus-size. I dislike sugar-coating it and no, marilyn monroe is curvy. Kim k is curvy. Curvy has less to do with body weight, more with shape. (hourglass or pear) i hate this tiptoeing on eggshells around overweight people and ruining a good word for the rest of us. Words are there for a reason.

  41. Shape has.nothing to do with size or weight..You can be so cury but.not fat.Kate Moss example…You can be fat…but have no butt or chest….etc etc.and many examples…

  42. Justine, thank you 4 ur tips. But if you have heavy, big, low-hanging breasts, you cant wear an empire waist! What then? I ask for waist cinching at the natural waist but the catalogues dont listen. They are losing a lot of money this way…there Is a market! You are a lovely girl, with a charming personality!

  43. @6:29, just wanted to mention that lovely black and white dress on the model is a maternity dress. I found that image when I was looking for plus size models for garments to make for my plus size friends. The monochromatic shoes/leggings work great. I suggested to my plus size friends that they start emphasizing their legs, and they love the look of a tunic (nearly knee length) with a knee length or just above knee length skirt. It can be very flattering on a plus size body. I've made tunics, skirts, and sheath dresses for my plus size friends, and they love the look. It can camouflage a large bust, a large abdominal area, and a large waist and it puts the entire focus on the legs. This video gave me some more tips for sewing for my plus size friends! Thanks so much.

  44. Piggybacking on your comment about thicker fabrics, I would recommend plus size women wear more natural fabrics, like silk, linen, and wool, as well as cotton and blends like linen-cotton. These fabrics will camouflage the less savory bits of your body without hugging every curve like jersey knit fabrics. I know natural fiber garments are way more expensive for everybody, and I would be surprised if much even exists for plus size women based on what my plus size friends tell me. You can always find a tailor to make you a few garments. It's expensive, but you will get exactly what you want and it will flatter your body and make you feel amazing. Because of the miserable availability of quality garments for plus size women, which I had no idea about until my friends told me, I consider sewing garments for them a form of social activism. 🙂

  45. My biggest frustration is finding that so many "plus-size" clothes are just sized up. But I am very body positive and even go out in crop tops sometimes. I call it Body Love Therapy

  46. I had to stop the video to comment that Amy Schumer is not plus size by any stretch of the imagination! Also, plus size in the range of Adele is still pretty safe. It would be nice to use some samples of women in even larger plus sizes. Now I'll get back to the video…

  47. I feel that you did not provide much advice for the hips and butt area. It is very difficult to accentuate while still looking classy.

  48. Justine, you are so wonderful! But please please please get a good swingy layered haircut for your long hair. You just look draggy, sorry, I don't mean to hurt you, but you need to take care of that long hair.

  49. I think it is so unfair that most plus size shirts are boat neck. Most of us don't have ten-inch wide necks! I hate having my bra strap show and it looks messy. Why aren't there more collered, V or scoop neck options?

  50. THANK YOU for saying that plus-size bodies come in all of the shapes as regular sizes! I’m a rectangle, my bestie is a pear, and we wear the same size (16 US). Missed size trousers fit me but not her. Regular size tops fit her but not me. 🤷🏼‍♀️

  51. What about going on a keto diet (selective fasting) and going to the gym? I guess I am just a stupid man, but many of people's problem are self-created.

  52. I think the most important thing a plus sized woman should have is an expert tailor. Clothes too baggy or too loose make you look bigger.

  53. Please make a video about "hip dips" which is a dip between your upper thigh and hips. I have hip dips but i have rather large hips which makes an awkward shape and I hate wearing pants bc of it. I look disproportionate

  54. I love the effort and quality you put into your videos, Justine. Thank you so much for that! <3 And you're always so nice, respectful and give great information. I'm a fat pear (sorry for the statement) and right now I'm struggling so much with clothing. After watching this I realized how wrong I've been picking my leggings. This video showed on my feed right on time. Thank you for the tips!

  55. Normally I love your videos, but this came through my feed and I have to be honest: I’m totally OVER with plus size being called curvy. As a small and also curvy woman who wears a size 2p curvy fit, it’s now impossible for me to find clothes online because doing a search for “curvy” results only in plus size results. And that’s what shows up in my side bar and banner ads now too. So frustrating. Curvy does not mean plus size!!!

  56. U look amazing on a slight curly on the ends of ur hair. And I like it if u cut ur hair on bust area. 🙂 thumbs up to all ur videos. Keep it up! 🙂

  57. I hv a waste line directly under my breast which make my considerable behind look like it's sitting on my back. No way to fix that.

  58. A size 34 pants fits me perfectly and flaunts the curves so well, I just learnt about that recently, I've been fitting clothes randomly before and had trouble getting a good outfit

  59. I have wearing empire line tunics mostly and today I came to know about its benefit….. My size proportion is 39-33-39 (centimeters)…… Do I fall in rectangle body type or houglass?….. I think it's somewhere between….. Please help

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