Avoiding the Traps of Matchy-Matchy and Monochrome with Your Plus Size Clothing
Have you ever seen someone wear an outfit that matches too much? They meticulously planned every piece of that outfit. They were going for a constant flow of style. But it’s just too much.
Therein lies the problem. You want to create a look that matches well and has a coherent style to it. Maybe you tend to choose a certain color, print, or pattern regularly. You know what it goes with and you know it looks good on you. But the trouble comes when you overdo it.
Too much of the same color or pattern can be overwhelming to the eye. You want a unique blend of color and style, not a monochrome look or clashing ensemble. This can become a problem for plus-size women over 40.
You’ve been told you have to wear all dark colors to slim your figure. You’ve been told that big prints and patterns are no good – they’ll only make you look huge. And you’ve been attacked with all kinds of other stereotypical fashion advice meant to control and shame curvy women.
Despite all that, there is good news! You don’t have to give up on matching, contrasting, and creating beautiful outfits. Use these tips and some simple planning to create a lovely, balanced style that’s never too matchy-matchy.
What to Match
You don’t have to forget about matching colors entirely. Just find ways to match that will draw the eye in and create a nice touch. Try focusing your eye on pieces that are located near each other.
For example, let’s say you’re wearing a turquoise plus-size cardigan. Wear simple, matching earrings to highlight the color. Then, move away from turquoise and choose complementary colors instead.
Leave the trousers a basic, neutral color. Resist buying matching pumps. Go with a subtler look, like black or white.
Also, consider the intensity of the colors you choose. Bright colors are best matched with bright. Mixing them with muted colors will throw off the balance of your entire look. Matching bold colors and patterns gets intense, but adding a touch of them to an otherwise neutral outfit creates a beautiful look.
Coordinating Your Accessories
Instead of trying to match all the colors and prints, look for a focal point. Start with a colorful patterned scarf, then use those colors as a guide to choose other pieces you will wear.
A handbag in a subtle color picked out of the scarf will complement beautifully. Cleverly chosen shoes can bring out a color found in your blouse. But avoid trying to match loud colors and patterns – they’re best left to stand out on their own.
Remember, trying to match your colors too much can give you a monochrome look that washes out your figure and leaves you shapeless. Creating some contrast is a good way to balance your style, especially with your accessories.
You may feel that matching your earrings and necklace will look alright. After all, most times they are bought together.
But it can be too much, especially if you’re wearing bold colors that are also in your top or scarf. Try mixing things up and wearing different complementary colors instead of making all your jewelry the same.
If you can’t choose over gold or silver, mix them together. Afraid you’ll be breaking some essential rule of fashion? No way! Worn next to each other they will look great. Don’t be afraid of what the fashion police say. If it looks great and creates a look you love, go with it!
Subtle matching is easy with accessories. Pairing the colors in your necklace with a color in your skirt can bring the entire outfit together. Don’t be afraid of colorful chunky accessories as well. They’ll add a fun touch to your look and go perfectly with your plus size style.
Making It Work with Your Wardrobe
Think about what’s in your closet. Can you coordinate a few outfits without matching too much? Choose two or three colors and see what different shades you can come up with.
If they are all cool colors, mix and match them to create a great combo. Then toss in a touch of something bold – like a red purse – for a little pop of color.
Don’t fall into the trap of being too matchy-matchy. Focus on expressing your unique individuality and finding the sheer elegance of a perfect combination.
Open your mind as you survey your closet. Don’t be held back to only neutrals, only exactly matching accessories, or any other limitations. With a little planning, the options are endless.
If your wardrobe has become too monochrome, pick up some new pieces that bring color into your style. Local stores usually have lackluster options in plus sizes, so shop online instead.
There are many designers focusing on clothing for mature, plus-size women – you’re sure to find lovely, colorful garments to add to your collection.
Do you try to match your clothing or take more of a bohemian approach? What about accessories? Which limitations make your fashion sense want to run the other way? Please join the conversation below, and share your great matching finds.
Stephen Hadley, founder of Generous Fashions, has exclusively designed plus size clothing since 2002. In 2009, he relocated to Bali to handcraft fabrics and garments from his home studio for generousfashions.com and his Etsy shop. Sign up for the Generous Fashions newsletter for new arrivals and member discounts.