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5 Tips to Identify Curve Friendly Clothing in the Wild

  |   By Holly Jackson

I’ve written a lot of posts here about where to find curve friendly clothing online, but what do you do if online shopping isn’t your thing?

Today I’m handing out some tips to figure out whether a piece of clothing you’ve discovered is curve friendly or not, whether it’s in Bergdorf Goodman or a thrift shop.

1. Look for simple shapes.

The reason so many curvy shoppers gravitate towards sheath dresses and fit and flare styles? They look great, and they’re almost always guaranteed to fit. When shopping for clothes, look for basic silhouettes cut along more traditional lines. Slim cut tops with slightly flared skirts work while shirts and sweaters in narrow cuts are also a safe bet. Avoid baggy clothes that can read as boxy or ill-fitting, unless you want a more draped look.

curve friendly clothing

Neu by Shani Leis Dress
via Anthropologie

curve friendly clothing

Left of Center Medora Tee
via Anthropologie
 
 

curve friendly clothing

Tahari by Arthur S. Levine
Seamed A-Line Dress (Plus Size)
via Nordstrom

curve friendly clothing

Lauren Ralph Lauren Zip Shoulder Rid Knit Cotton Tee
via Nordstrom

2. Princess seams are your friends.

Princess seams in clothing are long rounded seams sewn to create a curvier shape. They’re the backbone of traditional vintage style clothing, but can be found in many modern style items as well. Once you know what they look like, they’re pretty easy to identify. These can be found on anything from dresses to button up shirts, so take a close look at construction when you’re shopping.

curve friendly clothingEverly Princess Seam Fit & Flare Dress
via Nordstrom

curve friendly clothing

City Cherry Dress with Princess Seams
via Biu Biu

3. Acknowledge potentially problematic items, like sleeveless dresses or button up shirts.

Depending on your wardrobe needs and body shape, you may have to break down and buy a few items from specialist companies. Button up shirts tend to be one of these items, but sleeveless shirts and dresses can be just as frustrating. It’s easy to find a piece of sleeveless clothing that “fits,” only to realize that your bra shows through the armhole. You can correct this problem through alterations or buying from specialist companies — or just avoid these kinds of pieces entirely.

curve friendly clothing

Classic White Cotton Shirt
via Biu Biu

curve friendly clothing

Maddie Dress
via Pepperberry

4. Find some brands you like and stick with them.

I’ll be honest: this is how most curvy shoppers get by. It’s how I buy most of the time. When you find a brand that works for you, make sure you go back to them when you can. If you can find multiple brands, that’s even better.

curve friendly clothing

James Perse Vintage Fleece Sweatshirt Dress
 
curve friendly clothing
Lauren Ralph Lauren Ribbed Wool Sweater Dress
via Bloomingdales
 
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Marina Rinaldi Diana V-Neck Dress
via Bloomingdales
 

Many curve friendly clothing brands come with higher price tags, only because cutting for curves requires more construction and better design elements. Even if you can’t afford high-end designers at full price, flash sites like Zulily and Gilt have made designer clothing much more accessible for the rest of us. You can find high-end brands at thrift stores for a fraction of the original price. Look around for one near you and make friends with the owner.

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Armani Cap Sleeve Fit and Flare Dress
via Neiman Marcus

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Alexander McQueen V-Neck Pleated Dress
via Neiman Marcus

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Zac Posen Cap Sleeve Cocktail Dress
via Neiman Marcus

5. Ask your friends (or the internet) about what they wear.

The internet has given us so many gifts, but one of my favorites is clothing groups that focus on curve friendly clothing for busty women. There are several on Facebook, but there are also bloggers who focus primarily on this area. If you shop locally, ask your curvy friends where they get their clothes. I know ladies who regularly score great pieces from everywhere from Dress Barn to Neiman Marcus, so there’s stuff out there at every price point and in every location. All you have to do is ask!

What about you? Do you have any shopping tips for finding curve friendly clothing? Any favorite curve friendly clothing designers?

Featured Image: Neu by Shani Leis Dress via Anthropologie

 

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Holly lives in an old house in New Orleans with her husband, two dogs and far too many bras. By day she runs The Full Figured Chest, the preeminent lingerie copywriting and marketing firm in the industry. She is the number one recommended copywriter by The Lingerie Journal and her blog was recently featured in Lucky Magazine as one of the top three lingerie blogs online.
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