Women come in all different shapes and sizes, but as every woman knows, it can be a nightmare trying to find clothing that fits like a glove. It is especially difficult for the size 18 queens out there. Why is it so difficult to find clothes that flatter your shape?
If you have ever felt as though it's impossible to find cute clothes in size 18, whether it's all outdated style or poor fits, then Cotton Dayz would like to make the process a little bit easier with the Complete Guide to Size 18 Fashion.
The first area of challenge? It's the boobs. If you're on the larger end of the spectrum, it can be difficult to find a top that fits right. The same is true if you're on the smaller end of the spectrum. When we are all so uniquely made, it makes perfect sense that one size 18 doesn't necessarily fit all. Then there are the legs – what do you do when you're a size 18 in the waist, but your legs are a 14 or a 22? It's a nightmare, especially if your legs are your greatest asset. It's all about learning to embrace your curves and accentuate your favourite bits and bobs.
A lot has changed in fashion – plus-size clothing used to be bland, boring, and frumpy. But now that more stylists and brands recognise the beauty of diversity, there is more to choose from. That doesn't mean it isn't still a challenge to find something that fits well. What does it even mean when experts suggest you dress for your body type? If we come in all different shapes and sizes and one size doesn't fit all… then you need to find women's clothing that works for you. First thing’s first – you need to identify your body type.
Every woman on the planet would like a wardrobe teeming with clothes she can slip on and wear confidently and comfortably. There's no reason you can't have that, but the problem is that most style guides or fashion advice targets a certain body type and ignores the plus-size woman. Or if they do recognise plus-size women, they're all lumped in together. You don't need to be a size 12 to show people what you're working with.
Once you have identified your body type, you can start choosing clothes that work for you.
The UK's Adele and Kate Winslet are perhaps the most famous apple-shaped stars on the planet. Apple-shaped bodies are top-heavy, and they generally have slender arms and legs. To dress to impress as an apple shape, you need to divert the focus from your midsection. V and scooped necklines help make your waist look smaller by creating an illusion of a long torso. A-line jackets, knee-length dresses, and skirts are also a great way to minimise any lumps and bumps. As far as your bottom half goes, straight legs offer volume that will balance with your top half. What you don't want to do is wear oversized or tight-fitting pieces that will draw attention to your midsection. You might think skinny jeans will show off your incredible legs, but they will also draw attention to your fuller upper body.
You might be a rectangle body shape if your measurements are uniform, and you have a straight waist. It doesn't matter what size you are – you don't tend to be very curvy. Cameron Diaz has a rectangle body type, and this shape is best suited to wrap dresses, flared bottoms, and block colours.
Women with the pear body shape have heavy thighs, full hips, and often a fuller backside. Pears like US superstars Beyonce and Meryl Streep generally have narrow shoulders, wider hips, and a smaller bust. The key to dressing a pear-shaped body is to accentuate your waistline by playing up your top half. This helps to strike a balance to create a proportional silhouette. Short jackets and wide necklines are ideal. Jumpsuits are a pear's best friend. Avoid hip or backside embellishments and pockets.
The hourglass shape is typified by full hips, backside, and bust, with a small waistline. Hourglass-shaped women generally experience an even distribution of weight gain. Marilyn Monroe is perhaps the most famous hourglass shape, and she knew how to dress to show it off. High-waisted skirts, slim-cut bottoms with a mid-rise, and empire waists are the perfect way to show off your natural lines.
Renee Zellweger is an inverted triangle. Inverted triangles have broad shoulders, and their upper torso tapers at the hips, which makes their upper half seem heftier. They are typically slimmer in the rear, hips, and legs. You want to direct attention from your upper half to create a balance between the two. This body type is perfectly accentuated by wide-leg pants and tunic tops. Tops that draw focus downward and flared bottoms and skirts finish the job. Dark colours on top balance well with bold bottoms and shoes.
The beauty of a piece like the maxi dress is it suits every body type, the difference being how you choose to accessorise. For the apple body, an A-line maxi. And for the pear shape, wider sleeves. Hourglass bodies suit just about any maxi dress, while the inverted triangle is best suited to wide sleeves, floral patterns, and dark colours.
If only it was as simple as working out your body type. How do you address such features as a small or full bust, large calves, or full arms?
Whether your bust is on the smaller side or is fuller, a great bra is the foundation of everything. A great bra can minimise, enhance, and more importantly – support. For those with a smaller bust, a padded or moulded bra can offer you enhancement. You can also add volume subtly with sweetheart necklines. A plunging neckline, however, will draw attention to a small bust. Tops that gather at the waist are also an excellent option.
You should aim to get a bra fitting on an annual basis to adjust for weight fluctuations. You can narrow the width of your bust by elongating your neck with U and V necklines. High necklines are a no-no, as are boxy cuts, statement jewellery, pockets, and ruffles. You can counter your large bust with wide-leg pants and flowing skirts and dresses.
Sleeveless is not your friend if you have fuller arms - unless they're fairly toned. Cap sleeves are probably the worst option because of where they tend to stop – a cap sleeve will make your arms appear larger. So, opt for elbow-length sleeves or three-quarter lengths. Don't choose tight fits.
The best way to manage large calves is to check your hemlines. Midi dresses are the worst option – they hit right at the widest part of the leg, which makes your legs look shorter than they are. Either opt for a knee-length dress or a maxi number that hits your ankles. Ankle-straps and stilettos can also create an unflattering look, so opt for platforms, wedges, or stacked heels instead. When shopping for size 18 clothing for large calves, look for a slight flare or a boot cut to balance your thighs and calves.
Every shop seems to have different size 18 measurements. Please remember, the size 18 measurements in Australia:
Bust – 117cm
Waist – 99cm
Hips – 124cm
These measurements are true for Cotton Dayz, whether you're looking at size 18 dresses, size 18 tops, size 18 shorts and more. If you're shopping for size 18 dresses, you may want to pair these with size 18 slips to create smooth, flattering lines.
What are you waiting for? Start shopping for Cotton Dayz dresses, tops, skirts, and more right now. They're designed to fit women Australia wide. Be sure to look out for exclusive offers and your size fit. As per the size guide, you will see that the Size 18 correlates to a 2XL, so you can immediately filter the clothing category of interest down to a size 18 and 2XL, or you can simply search all and filter with the size.
Shopping can be frustrating when sometimes only a size 20 will fit you from one shop and a size 16 from another – so be sure to use size charts to ensure you get the right size 18 clothes that make you look and feel fabulous.