Last Edited: 5 Mar, 2024
Author: Cristina Holm

Best clothing for curvy women

You are beautiful no matter what shape or size you are, but what and where to shop?  I am here to help.

We women are so critical about our bodies, so let me start by challenging you… what part of your body do you love?

Focus upon all your best bits and learn to create visual illusions and balance when dressing the parts of your body you do not like.

So, I hear you say, how do I do that?

Well this blog will give you tips on exactly that.

Now, you do need to understand your shape, so here’s what to do:

Check out my blog on body shapes, that should give you an idea.  Here is the link:

Body Shapes blog

However, if you still remain unclear, check out my other website, My Secret Stylist, where by simply adding just four key measurements, you can not only understand your body shape, but also be guided to which styles of clothes (for all garment types) will look best on you.

This is a subscription service, which costs £35.99 for a year, however you can also sign up on a monthly basis for just £5.99.

Another option, if you have an iPhone or iPad, is for you to download an app I created a few years ago now, called My Shape Stylist.  It’s free to download and you similarly pop in your measurements to see what primary shape you are.

Plus, for a small fee, this app shows you which styles are good for you and also shares the styles you should avoid.


In order of budget, here are examples of the brands / retailers I recommend, by budget, along with a few links for you:

(£) Dorothy Perkins, Freeman, New Look, Roman, Yours

(££) Curvissa, John Lewis, Next, Phase Eight, Wallis

(£££) Bombshell, Karen Millen, Masia, Ralph Lauren, Saint & Sofia

“Focus on your favourite parts of your body and make sure you show them off.”

Want to hide my tummy, what to do?

Although I want you focus on your best bits, I know that sometimes this will fall on deaf ears.  So here are a few tips that I know you’ll appreciate:

Wear slightly looser fit around the front of your tummy.

Focus on your smaller part, which may be your under bust, however be careful with princess seams & empire cuts, as these can appear to create even more tummy.

If you have a looser fit top or blouse have a seamstress add a few darts at the back so it creates waist and brings it in where your smallest part is.

Ruching or gathering around the tummy also works well, as this will create the illusion of a smaller tummy.

Want to hide my bum, what to do?

When wearing a dress make sure the fabric glides over your bum.  Shapewear can help with this.

When wearing trousers, jeans or shorts, make sure the rear pockets are either small (and avoid sewed in contrast thread) or choose styles without pockets altogether.

Avoid any embellishment or flaps and buttons as the detail draws attention and has the opposite effect you’re seeking.

Try not to wear bulky cardigans and jumpers with hems that stop around your bum and thigh as this will only accentuate and make you look broader than you are.

Want to hide my thighs, what to do?

Wear trousers and shorts with straight leg designs and avoid those that are too tight.

Choose designs and fabrics that glide over your thighs.

If you want to wear shorts, choose knee length options and avoid mid thigh length styles.

My bust is too prominent, what to do?

Best ways to minimising the appearance of your bust are as follows:

Firstly make sure you wear a well fitted bra.

Brands I recommend to go to for the best construction bras for a bigger bust include:

Panache, Fantasie, Curvy Kate, Freya and Bravissimo.

Secondly, make sure you choose the right neckline.

A V-neck top is best as this opens up your neck area.  However if you prefer wearing higher neckline tops the trick is to use accessories like a necklace to draw attention away from the bust or wear with a thin scarf which glides over the bust.

Want to hide my arms, what to do?

Always choose semi fitted sleeves.

Avoid tight fit but also avoid big flowy sleeves as the former accentuates the size and the latter draws attention to your arms.

Wear elbow length, 3/4 length or long sleeves.

If you’re comfortable in a sleeveless dress, a little bolero or jacket works a treat.

You can also wear a jumper or blouse over a dress as long as you make sure they are not too bulky or oversized for your frame.

And finally remember this.  I am here to help if you ever need it.

You can look fabulous whatever your size or shape when you wear the right colours and styles.

Cristina Holm

Cristina Holm is one of the UK’s leading personal stylists. Cristina is based and operates from her studio in Warfield, Berkshire (United Kingdom).  She serves clients locally and internationally.

Cristina is also the founder of My Secret Stylist, the UK’s best kept clothes shopping secret.  For only £35.99 per year, you can find and ‘see in seconds’ clothes which complement your body shape across all the popular brands.  For more information, go to