Clothing Tips from a Plus-Sized Gal

Clothing Tips from a Plus-Sized Gal

I get so, so many emails asking about my clothes.  Being a big girl, it is a challenge to look good and be modest. I thought I’d share some of my tips.  Keep in mind that I despise having my picture taken.  You will be looking at them and think to yourself, “Come on Lisa…smile already!”  I don’t know why I look like I am not smiling.  Being non-photogenic is my curse.  Looking at my pictures is yours.

1.  Always be on the lookout.  If I am in a store and have a few extra minutes I make a quick scan of the plus-sized clothes.  It is easier to shop for a general look than try to find something specific.  Since I have such a short list of items I will wear, I can look pretty quickly.

2. Know what looks good on you.  If you haven’t ever done it, take a long afternoon (without kids!) and go to a store that has a large plus-sized section and try on literally everything.  Try different sizes, different shapes, things you would never wear, things you can’t afford.  You aren’t looking for something to buy, you are looking for the right size and shape for your body.  It will be obvious what looks terrible and what isn’t too bad and maybe, if you hit a jackpot, something that actually looks pretty good.  Take a friend if you need an opinion, but make sure it is an honest friend.  Now you know what looks good and you and you can focus your wardrobe on that.

3. Know your colors.  If you don’t know what colors compliment your complexion, do this….stand in front of a mirror and have a bunch of clothes (or you can use pieces of paper), in all different colors.  One at a time hold them up under your face and see which ones really make your eyes pop or your skin glow.  I know that I look better in white that off white.  I can wear pinks, blues, etc.  If I wear orange I look like I am near death.  I won’t wear a color that looks bad on me no matter what the hot trendy colors are.  You can always accent with the trendy colors, but stick to your most flattering colors in your clothes.

4. Mix and match.  I don’t buy many dresses because I like to put together different outfits.  So I buy basic skirts and tops that I can change around. I have basic t-shirts in all of my best colors so I can throw them under other shirts.

5.  Accessories are a plus-sized girls’ best friend.  We may not have a lot of clothing options, but we can wear almost any of the accessories. Shoes, necklaces, rings, scarves, etc. can make or break an outfit.  There is a balance between looking great and looking like you are a fat girl that tries too hard.  But don’t be afraid to wear several accessories.  A scarf with a flower pin or great shoes and a statement necklace can distract from a huge stomach and lunch lady arms.

6. Don’t put yourself down.  We all have struggles and one of mine is my weight.  I wish it were different and I am working on losing weight.  But for now this is my size.  It is my body and I should love what God gave me and who He created me to be.  There is no reason I can’t look really nice.  Don’t let your weight keep you from looking your best and dressing pretty.  You are beautiful and amazing no matter what your size!

I hope some of these ideas will help you on your journey to looking nice and appreciating what you are.

Be sure to check out my series on embracing modesty where I give more tips for plus-sized gals AND teens!


  1. Thanks so much! This is all so 100% true. I had trouble finding clothes until I took the time to try hundreds of different pieces on to see what worked for me. Now, it’s just finding stores that have affordable and stylish plus size clothing for a 27 year old!

  2. Those, my friend, are fantastic tips! My colors change throughout the year depending how tan I get. ;)
    Love your photos…they display kindness, gentleness, and a sweet heart.

  3. Well my dear I guess we won’t be sharing clothes. :( OH no we could but alas I wear off white and black and salmon and other lovely shades of orange whereas you wear pink and blues and all those shades that make me look yellow… and ill.
    Thank you for all the lovely ideas! I ADORE your outfit with the red sandals and red and white checked purse! Now I think I need to hit the thrift stores and teenie bopper shops for some cute lightweight necklaces…. (heavy ones make me feel like someone is strangling me and gives me an odd gagging feeling in my throat… its a weird malady that struck when I was pregnant with our middlest and has stuck around, ha ha!)

    Have a wonderful day!!

  4. Love the denim skirt with the ruffles. Where did you find it if you don’t mind sharing? I am always looking for a denim skirt. Love your posts on clothing. I struggle with this so much!
    Thanks again!

  5. Beautiful…

  6. Thank you so much for this post!! I love it & you are soo super cute!!!

  7. You always look wonderful and are beautiful. I struggle with weight too and am short…two hard things in trying to look nice. I usually wear skirts and tops, if I can’t find a skirt I will make one!

    This is a great post – I love your denim skirt…I can’t find one I like.


  8. Great tips! Thanks!

  9. Yes, we want to hear more tips!

    I smiled at your description of your good and not good colors. Many years ago, when Beauticontrol cosmetics had just begun, two consultants gave a program at a group meeting I attended. Of course the first “sort” was the white/ecru which determined whether you needed warm or colors. When she put the off white to my face, the lady said, “Get something that color, and anytime you wear it, tell people you’re sick. They’ll believe you.” I have never forgotten that.

  10. Isn’t’ photo-phobia a funny thing. I think you look wonderful in these photos. I, on the other hand, look *awful* in photos, and my hatred of having my photo taken is half the battle…. I look so odd and tensed!

    Love the outfits … and yourself :)

  11. Fabulous post!!! My absolute hands down favorite is the outfit with the pop of red shoes!!! You look so lovely! Now the question is…how did you get so many cute outfits on with your hair and makeup done with all those kids!! Please tell me those were different days…no wait – tell me it was all the same day…surely you couldn’t have had your makeup done on 67 consecutive days?!? I don’t think I am able to shower on 7 consecutive days…!

  12. Thank you for these tips. I am always inspired by how absolutely adorable you look in skirts! Since I have been plus-sized, I have felt more comfortable in jeans, and practically live in them. But it is so hard to find flattering skirts. If I lived in Texas (or anywhere near it), I’d beg you to take me shopping with you!

  13. Ok – here’s your laugh for the day! I thought your post title was ‘CLEANING Tips from a Plus Sized Gal’ and I was wondering how on earth cleaning was affected by size! Oh my! My brain is foggy today! As for your actual post – it’s great! I’m a plus sized gal too and finding clothing is a royal pain in the toe as far as I am concerned! I sew quite a bit, but I’ve been discouraged by the immodest pattens for us plus sized gals. Also the price of fabric and notions just goes up and up. Thrifting is often my best bet, but I don’t get out to shop much at all because of health issues. I need to remember your tip about accessorizing – I often forget to do that and I know it makes such a difference – drawing the eye away from the negatives! I do have a color family I know I cannot wear on certain days – when I am jaundiced I cannot wear yellow or green – everyone asks me if I’m having a bad liver day and somehow it makes me feel worse. Thanks for all the great tips! I love your outfits!

  14. Great tips Lisa. I am tall so finding clothes for me is a pain too,and when I do find them,they are ridiculously expensive. I can never shop sales for myself.

  15. Thank you, thank you for sharing your tips! I’d love to know who designs plus sized clothing and thinks we need to dress in something my 90 year old grandmother likes or something cut so low I have to worry about even leaning forward slightly. There has to be a happy medium out there somewhere!

  16. Love the denim ruffled skirt!!!!!

  17. I think you look darling! Super Cute. I too am plus sized and should really wear the knee length skirts more often….but I do not enjoy tights! I liked all of your outfits very much!

  18. You look wonderful and a such a dear to share the ideas. I love them! I want your denum skirt! I picked up a few tips – thanks for sharing.

  19. Lisa, I want you to know that you are a beautiful woman!!!
    I myself am plus sized and also struggle with finding clothes that fit and are modest. I believe most plus sized woman struggle with self esteem. Why is it that we always think we have to be thin to be beautiful or have our picture taken!
    I always feel “frumpy” with whatever I am wearing, so I thank you for your tips and pictures.

  20. Andrea@Familyconnect :

    I really enjoyed reading this, thank you

  21. Great post & tips! I’m not a plus size, but my bust is plus. I struggle finding the right clothes. When I find a top that looks good, I buy it in several colors. Although I know the types of tops that look best, it is sometimes hard to find. Grab them while you can.

  22. Wonderful tips! I used to be a skinny-mini up until I had my son (three years ago). I have definitely let myself go; to the point that I don’t find myself beautiful anymore so I don’t even invest the time to polish what I do have. After all, no one takes care of or invests in something they don’t love, right? This post inspires me to take more time to care for my appearance and do my best to lose the weight I’ve grown to despise.

  23. Good tips!
    I shop almost exclusively at CJ Banks – everything coordinates, everything is modest, and the back 1/2 of the store is always on sale

  24. Love it!!! I struggle with my weight, too, but you look FABULOUS!!! Thank you for sharing these tips!

  25. I’m a plus size gal — buy a lot online. I like longer tops so sometimes I buy a plus size dress that is too short for me but I modify it and turn it into a top. Use the extra fabric to make an accessory to go with my outfit. GREAT tips!

  26. Girl, you are fabulous and beautiful! You’re always so darned cute in all the pictures I see of you. Just smile already. And by the way, just know that I will be taking a picture of you. Probably just a head shot, though. Perhaps a selfie of us together. So I can blog about meeting you. With photographic evidence. Tee hee.

    Can’t wait! :-)

  27. You do look beautiful in these photos! And I LOVE your front porch!!!

  28. I think your photos are great! I think it’s frustrating to shop for clothes no matter what size you are. I’ve had 3 back to back to back pregnancies, so I’m dealing with a lot of body issues right now. I completely agree with embracing the size that you are in the present. I love your outfits : )

  29. Great post and great tips! I love your sense of style : )

  30. Hello! I came from Pinterest! So glad I found you. I added you to my google reader. Appreciated this post!

    Missionary wife and mum in Australia

  31. You look absolutely adorable! You have put together some striking outfits that by no means are frumpy (I struggle with the curse of frumpy). Thanks for the photos and encouragement.
    Minister’s wife in MO

  32. You are very cute! Love your outfits and thanks for the post and the tips and encouragement!

  33. Julie McCraney :

    You are a lovely girl, reminding me of my daughter. Your pictures and outfits are perfect-especially the white with red sandals. I am a fading redhead, refuse to dye it, and taking it like it is. My favorite colors are jewel tones, wear pink almost every day, and worst color is beige or off white. Enjoyed your comments while grand babies are napping. Joshua just turned 2 and Julianne is 10 months. I keep them every day and barely have time to think. It’s a great blessing

  34. Found you through Pinterest, and so glad I did. It is so difficult to find clothes that fit correctly and are modest without looking like you are wearing a tent. Looks like you’ve done an excellent job finding things that look great on you. Thanks for the tips.

  35. You make a lot of good points and I like your outfit choices! I’ve also found that as I age (and my hair color now comes out of a bottle to hide all the gray) the colors that look good on me have changed. It’s so weird!

    Lisa, I LOVED GETTING TO MEET YOU FACE TO FACE!!! I hope we bump into each other again some time! You are a pleasure! In the meantime, see you on Instagram and Twitter! ;)

  36. Thank you for an inspiring post!!

  37. I think you look fantastic! I love the red shoes and checkered red bag.

  38. That was lovely! I found your article on pinterest and I was so blessed, please do give us some more tips!

  39. What a great post! You are just beautiful in your outfits. I especially loved the tip about colors for yourself. I know when I wear red people are always asking, “are you not feeling well? Are you sick??” So I stopped wearing red. LOL!

  40. You’re so adorable, girl!

  41. Found your article thanks to the wonders of Pinterest. As a plus sized, short person finding clothes that fit is absolute torture for me! Thank you so much for the tips. I know I look good in shades of pumpkin and paprika so I hope to find something this season. Thankfully, the yellow craze seems to be over. I look horrid in that and neons (why oh why did that fad return?)

    • Crissyanna, I hear ya! It’s not easy to find things that fit. And oh my goodness yellow is a killer. Is there anyone that really looks good in it? Have fun finding some pumpkin and paprika! Don’t forget scarves too. They are great for finishing off an outfit and can be worn so many cute ways! Lisa~

  42. I enjoyed reading your tips. I know what works for me because I have tried so many things on. I know what materials are a NO NO! Pay attention to what materials are not flattering while you are trying all those clothes on! Make a mental note because you may be able to find some real steals online once you know what works for you. I now am confident enough to shop online because I have what works for me down pat. I am all about scarfs, and gorgeous earings! And… my favorite tip of all time… layering!! Layering is a plus size girls best friend!!! A tank, with a t-shirt, and a a little something over it, and then throw on a cute scarf! All set!! This is by far my favorite way to go!

  43. Lisa, I have to tell you honestly that when I clicked on your site and saw your picture, I thought, ” What a pretty lady and how photogenic she is!” Later, I read your comment about thinking you are NOT photogenic. Well, from my perspective you are oh, so wrong. Blessings to you and thank you for your blog.
    In Him,

  44. I know what you mean about finding the right clothes. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Lisa, you look GREAT in pictures! I love the way you accessorize. I appreciate the way you know the colors and styles that work for you.

    Have you shopped at Catherines? It’s NOT your grandma’s clothing store anymore. Yes, the clothes can be expensive but they are ALWAYS on sale and the clearance prices are FABULOUS! Also, the clothes are good quality and last and last and last. I have clothes from Catherines that are 5 years old and I refresh them with new tank tops and new accessories and still look great.

    A few tips from me, if that’s ok… color looks great on everyone! If you’re not comfortable wearing a button-up colorful top, wear it open over a tank top and skirt/pants the same color as the tank. The tank and skirt/pants make a long straight line that is slimming and gives the impression of height (a plus for the 5′ 4″ and under crowd.) If your height is an issue, wear contrasting colors in the tank and bottoms of choice to make you look shorter.
    If you have a “problem” area (mine is my abdomen) don’t wear anything that draws the eye to that area…a stripe across my abdomen is like a neon sign, screaming “look here.” Same with pockets and placement prints (a focal flower, etc.) All over prints are good because they don’t draw the eye to any one area. If your bust is large but your tummy isn’t, wear prints across your tummy to draw the eye down from your bust. Conversely, if yur bust is small and your tummy large, wear tops with print across the bust and solid colors on the tummy. The print draws the eye up and gives the impression of a slightly larger bust. If you’re short, long tops make you look shorter. If you’re tall, short tops make you look taller. The best bet is to try everything on.

    One last tip, the right bra makes a HUGE difference! Get and bra fit and try on bras before buying them. Try on potential new tops with the new bra to see how they’ll look all together.

    Thanks for your tips! :)

    • Hi Rebecca! Those are wonderful tips….thanks so much for sharing. I haven’t been to Catherine’s in years because I did think it was kind of “old lady”. I will definitely check it out again.

      If you haven’t seen it yet, I’m doing a whole series this year on modesty and I am including many tips for me (plus-sized) and my teens )who are not plus-sized).

      Have a great day and thanks again!


  1. […] series on Modesty for Women of All Ages.  Part 1 here, or check out last year’s post on Clothing Tips for the Plus Sized Gal.  I like her perspective because even though she dresses more conservatively than my family does […]