How to Dress when You Are Fat

Three Parts:Making Good Clothing ChoicesShowing Your ShapeDressing For Men

Learning to dress for your body type is an important skill to develop. Even if you are overweight, this is possible to do. Learn how to accentuate your positive features and feel more confident with what you’re wearing.

Part 1
Making Good Clothing Choices

  1. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 1
    Know what designs work best. Avoid horizontal stripes and excessive patterns. These will draw unwanted attention to your body that you may be trying to avoid. Solid colors are a safer choice if you want to appear slimmer.
    • The tried and true rule is that black is generally very slimming and flattering. Sticking with darker colors are a safe bet because brighter/lighter colors draw attention to your body and are less effective at camouflaging certain trouble areas.
    • If you do choose a pattern, think vertical. Any vertical stripes or patterns that flow vertically will follow the length of your body and elongate it rather than cutting it off like horizontal patterns would.
  2. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 2
    Wear a bra that is the right size. Statistics show that many women wear the incorrect bra size on a daily basis. Go to a store and get professionally fitted for a bra. The store clerk will make sure you figure out the exact right size for you. If your bra is too small, it can make you look top-heavy; if your bra is too big, it will make you look frumpy. [1]
    • A well-fitting bra can also have a minimizing effect for women who feel they are too top-heavy.
  3. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 3
    Invest in some shapewear. Wearing shapewear garments under your clothing will help slim your figure, smooth out lines, and give you better posture. All of these are good things that will help your clothes look more flattering.[2]
  4. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 4
    Choose the right accessories. A wide belt (not a skinny belt) will help hide your tummy if that is a problem area for you.[3] Sparkly earrings or exciting headbands can draw attention away from your body and direct people to look elsewhere.[4]
  5. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 5
    Pick flattering shoes. In general, shoes that stop at your ankle or have ankle straps will make your legs look shorter and cut off the smooth lines of your body.[5] Instead, go with some tall boots or ballet flats. And of course, heels make everyone’s legs look great.

Part 2
Showing Your Shape

  1. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 6
    Avoid big fabrics and tent dresses. It is a common practice to think that wearing oversized clothing hides your figure. In reality, though, it only accentuates the features you are trying to hide. Wearing clothes that are too big just draws attention to the fact that you are trying to hide behind your clothes and makes your silhouette less distinct. This will make you look bigger in the long run.[6]
  2. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 7
    Choose pants that fit. It is easy to think that wearing pants that are too big are more flattering than pants that are too small (we all want to avoid the dreaded muffin top!). But the fact of the matter is that both options are equally unflattering. Pants that are too big hide your shape and make you seem bulky. Get a pair of nice fitting jeans – or if you can’t find one, have a tailor create a pair just for you from some you already own. A perfectly fitting pair of pants will go a long way.
    • Additionally, aim for boot-cut pants. This style is slightly wider at the bottom and will make your hips and thighs look more proportionate.[7]
  3. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 8
    Select a skirt. Pencil skirts are great for curvier girls because they go with the natural curvature of your body. They hug you in all the right places and help your hips/thighs look more balanced, much like boot-cut jeans.[8]
  4. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 9
    Wear an A-line or Empire style dress. These styles will accentuate your curves, while still camouflaging your tummy, thighs, or butt. The flowy lower half of the dress is much more flattering than a fitted type that will show every bulge or imperfection.
    • A universally flattering style for most body types is the wrap dress. [9][10]
  5. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 10
    Emphasize your waist. No matter what size you are, it is better to show your figure than to not. Choose clothes that emphasize your waist. Even larger ladies have hourglass figures and it is important to show them off. This means wearing clothes that fit properly and accentuate your features, rather than trying to simply hide them or cover them up. Use colors and patterns to your advantage to draw attention to your waistline with vertical stripes or an interesting belt.[11]

Part 3
Dressing For Men

  1. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 11
    Get the right fit. Larger men tend to think that hiding underneath baggy clothing will camouflage their size; however, this is not true. Fitted clothes are simply more flattering (and more comfortable!) than clothes that are too big. Baggy clothing looks sloppy and unappealing.[12]
    • Similarly, clothes that are too small will only highlight your extra weight. Wearing clothes that fit right is important.
  2. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 12
    Avoid thick clothing. The heavier the material, the more it adds to the bulk of your body. Thick sweaters and shirts can make you look bigger than you actually are. Plus they can contribute to more sweating, which is a common problem for larger men.[13]
  3. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 13
    Steer clear of the casual. Most casual clothing is less attractive on larger men. Baggy clothes and thin t-shirts won’t do any favors for a heavy man. The fact is that fitted trousers with a blazer will look better on a larger man than jeans and a t-shirt will. Try dressing up your everyday wardrobe a bit to find things that are more flattering and make you feel more comfortable.[14]
  4. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 14
    Keep it simple. Clothing that has too much going on pattern-wise will only accentuate your body and draw more attention to your frame. Try sticking with solid prints or minimally patterned items. This will help flatter the shape of your body, rather than bringing the eye directly to it.
  5. Image titled Dress when You Are Fat Step 15
    Maintain normal body proportions. Make clothing decisions that keep your body proportions intact. For example, if you have a larger belly, don’t wear your pants underneath your gut. This will make your paunch more noticeable and pronounced. Instead, wear your pants at the normal level around the naval. This will mask your extra belly fat somewhat and maintain the normal proportions for your body.[15]
    • If you have trouble keeping your pants up wearing them at this level, try suspenders instead of a belt. They are stylish and will fix this problem for you![16]


  • Have a positive attitude and be yourself.
  • Ignore negative comments or people.
  • Wear colors that you like and that suit you.

Article Info

Categories: Plus Size Fashion