As a whole, Americans are growing larger. According to a 2009 New York Times article, approximately 17 percent of U.S. teenagers are overweight. Yet many teen fashions seem geared toward their waif-thin counterparts. Increasingly, however, teen-oriented shops are adding plus-size lines. Overweight teens need not follow outdated rules, but should dress in ways that flatter their bodies.
1. Proper Sizing
Oprah.com encourages teens to choose clothes that actually fit. Some overweight teens try to hide their bodies in larger sizes, making themselves appear sloppy and larger than they are. Others try to squeeze into clothes that are too small, creating odd lumps and bumps instead of clean lines. Remind your teen that each manufacturer’s sizing is different, so the number on the tag is irrelevant. Encourage her to go up or down a size as needed to obtain the perfect fit.
2. Best Cuts
Plus-size clothing is available in a staggering array of cuts and styles. Encourage your teen to choose items that show off her curves while disguising areas of her body that make her uncomfortable. Seventeen magazine states that girls with hourglass figures look good in wrap dresses, while those with larger rears can pull off skinny jeans in stretch fabrics. Have your daughter experiment with different styles to find those that work best on her.
3. Colors and Patterns
While conventional wisdom held that plus-size girls should avoid horizontal stripes and bold patterns, those rules are outdated. Instead, have your daughter mix patterns with solids in every color of the rainbow. For example, Marie Claire suggests pairing a horizontal striped shirt with a solid blazer or brightly colored pants. The key to fashion in any size is to balance the look rather than letting one piece overwhelm the visual appeal.
4. Accessories, Hair and Makeup
Larger frames can carry heavier jewelry pieces, so encourage your daughter to go bold. A chic purse, pretty shoes or a chunky necklace pulls the eye’s focus, drawing attention away from heavier parts of the body. Help your daughter select a hairstyle that frames her face and teach her to apply light, natural-looking makeup for a polished effect.