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Six common mistakes by curvy women and how to avoid them

Tan Wei Lin

CNA – It’s no surprise that the most common fashion mistake curvier women make is wearing baggy clothes. After all, they are easy to wear and seemingly cover up parts of the figure that you don’t want to draw attention to.

However, baggy clothes don’t do a thing in terms of defining or even visually slimming a curvy figure and is the chief cause behind a careless appearance – the last thing a woman wants to be called is sloppy.

To get around this fashion faux pas, you need garments that fit you correctly. How do you know what fits? Scroll on for simple tips to look smarter, sharper, and ever more stylish.

Super loose tops and dresses may be comfortable to wear and help conceal bulges that you do not want revealed, but they aren’t all that flattering for curvy women. Here’s why: They tend to look shapeless on the body, particularly if you have a figure that leans towards a rounder silhouette.

If your aim is to look smart, stay far away from oversized anything. Opt instead for tailored styles and a size that actually fits you well. Oversized, baggy clothes won’t make a curvy figure look smaller or slimmer, in fact, they make you appear larger.

For the record, hiding your curvy body in sacks is not the way to dressing better. Truth be told, oversized garb only make you appear bigger. PHOTO: CNA/ISTOCK

Structure is crucial if you want to look pulled-together. In other words, go for tailored, fitted (but not tight-fitting) silhouettes when shopping for clothes – it will give your figure definition.

Think cuts that visually highlight or create straight lines, instead of emphasising your curves; and buy them in fabrics that skim your body, rather than hug it. Some styles that work well for curvy women are shift tops, and A-line or fit-flare dresses.

Also look out for tailoring elements that further define your figure – such as darting details under the bust and dresses that are cut with a slightly nipped-in waist.

Soft materials like knits and jersey do not have structure, which is why these fabrics are mainly used for casual styles like tees. They also tend to drape and cling – particularly thin knits – depending on whether they are worn in a baggy or tighter fit. This means they project a casual vibe, and can sometimes look sloppy and unflattering if not worn in the right style, cut and even colour.

Go for a more structured knit or choose them in a darker colour (which will, to some extent, de-emphasise certain parts of the figure), or opt for clothing in stiffer fabrics like cotton and blended fabrics that do not drape and cling as much as jersey does, while providing better structure retention.

Have you noticed how an Oxford shirt can instantly make one look sharper?

Collars will tend to look formal, but this also depends on the style and height of the collar, as well as the fabric of the garment in question (go for a pointed, higher collar and fabric that is stiffer).

Shirt dresses have the same effect, which is why they make an indispensable addition to your work wardrobe. Best of all, they also are a figure-flattering garment style for curvy women.

The cut of the pants can make or break your look. The loose cut of wide-legged and palazzo pants can prevent chafing but visually, does nothing to score you fashion brownie points and may even cause you to appear shorter and – gasp – wider. Whereas a boot or straight leg that magically evens out the hip-thigh ratio is infinitely more flattering. The same applies to jeans – pick a darker colour or a figure-flattering gradated wash for a more pull-together finish.

Belts can be an invaluable fashion accessory, even if you are very curvaceous or have a belly.

Remember how we said that oversized, baggy clothes tend not to be flattering on curvy figures?

Well, you can make a billowy dress work for you by cinching it in at the waist with a belt.

The newly invented waistline will define your waist and thus your overall silhouette.

Belts are also essential for tightening how your pants fit around the waist and improving the way they look on you.

Can’t find pants or jeans that fit both your waist and hips perfectly? A belt can sometimes help solve such a fit issue.