How to dress a size 16

Updated March 23, 2017

There are some fashion faux-pas that all women need to avoid in dressing--looking bigger than we are or choosing colours that don't match our skin tones are some basics. Dressing for a size 16 is no different, but in case you want a few tips on how to shop for your size 16 body, learning the most flattering styles and clothes is a great start to transforming your look and your wardrobe.

Choose fabrics that compliment your body. Light flowing fabrics like silk, and non-clinging fabrics like basic wool and lightweight knit fabrics are a great choice, while bulky stiff fabrics or stretch Lycra fabrics tend to be unflattering. Most natural fabrics are also a great choice.

Buy the right size and fit. While it is often tempting to shop down a size to encourage ourselves to diet or exercise, buying the proper size for your current self can make the difference between a stunning outfit and a fashion blunder. Always try on your clothes and if you feel you will get the best fit for your body by going up or down a size, do so. You can always tailor down from a larger size to fit your body perfectly.

Wear the right undergarments. Wearing a great bra or panty can make all the difference in the fit of your clothes. This means that great dressing starts from the basics up; your bras should fit you well and the proper fitting panty will keep you from getting those lines that all women dread showing through their clothing from their undergarments. Having a good slip in your wardrobe is also a great idea.

Highlight your assets. With all fashion, the goal should be to draw the eye to the areas we choose to highlight. If you love your waist or your legs, choose fabrics and clothing that will attract attention there. That means adding a belt, to show your curves, or wearing a nice calf length skirt to show off your legs. Patterns can be a great way to do this as well. Vertical lines are always slimming, but diagonal patterns and designs will do the trick just as well.

Make a clean line by wearing one colour. Though monochrome style isn't always the most fun, remember that black isn't the only way to go. However bright or light you want to wear your outfit, a simple long dress or pantsuit is a great way to give a clean silhouette and compliments every figure.


Accessorise: Don't forget that adding your own style to every outfit is what makes or breaks the look. Pairing your own personal jewellery, shoes and other accessories is a must.

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About the Author

W. Nicole Barclay has been writing and editing professionally since 2004, focusing on the fashion and retail industry. She graduated from Parsons the New School for Design and holds a Bachelor of Science in history, international affairs and archeology from Northeastern University. She has completed master's degree work in public policy and nonprofit administration at Northeastern University and The American University in Cairo.