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should plus size women wear pleated skirts

There are a lot of articles out there that tell you what looks good and doesn’t look good on a plus size body. Unfortunately, more often than not, those same articles are more about telling you what to wear and not reminding you that the best outfit is one that you feel good in.

Your biggest goal when choosing clothes should always be to dress however you feel most confident. That being said, knowing what styles look great on plus size bodies is also helpful.

So, should plus size women wear pleated skirts?

Yes, pleated skirts should be worn by curvier and full-figured women. Even though pleated skirts do make your hips appear bigger, this isn’t always a bad thing! Plus. the way that pleated skirts hug the waist while flowing over your hips and tummy actually has a slimming effect on your tummy. 

Below, we’ll talk more about how pleated skirts look on a plus-size body, as well as why you should wear them and how to choose a pleated skirt that flatters your curves.

Should Plus Size Women Wear Pleated Skirts?

Yes, plus size women should absolutely wear pleated skirts. Even though pleated skirts can make you look bigger around the hips, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can also change the way that pleated skirts look on your body by choosing certain designs or fabrics that have a slimming effect.

The reason that some people say plus size women shouldn’t wear pleated skirts is that they draw attention to your midsection, particularly your tummy and hips. With that being said, choosing a pleated skirt that is fitted around the tummy actually provides support and makes you look slimmer.

Do Pleated Skirts Make You Look Bigger?

Pleated skirts can draw attention to your hips and tummy, especially if they are billowy in that area or squeeze your tummy, making it appear bigger than it is. Even though pleated skirts usually make your hips look bigger, you’ll usually find that the fit and style of the skirt matter more when it comes to how it looks on your body.

Furthermore, while pleated skirts can make your hips look bigger, it’s not to say that they will. It also doesn’t mean that the right pleated skirt won’t flatter your curves. Bigger hips are attractive to some people, especially for biological reasons!

Historically, it’s believed some men are drawn to women with bigger hips because they are associated with fertility. This doesn’t mean that some people won’t be attracted to your look (and that’s okay!) What really matters is that you love how the pleated skirt fits on your body.

Are Pleated Skirts Slimming?

Yes, pleated skirts can be slimming. Even though pleated skirts give your hip a wider appearance, the way that they grip the waist while flowing over your stomach and hips can actually hide your tummy a bit. This is especially true if you choose styles and patterns that look good on the plus size body.

Does Pleat Size Affect How Slimming a Pleated Skirt Is?

Yes, pleat size can affect the overall apperance of a skirt on your body. This is especially true for full-figured women that might have a little more of a tummy.

A good rule of thumb is choosing mid-size pleats, rather than those that are especially wide or especially narrow. Narrower pleats don’t camoflauge the belly as well, while wide pleats create a bulkier shape that can make you appear heavier than you are.

How to Wear a Pleated Skirt with a Tummy

While some pleated skirts have a slimming effect that draws attention to your curves in all the right ways, other pleated skirts add bulk to the body or draw attention to areas like your tummy. These tips will help you find pleated skirts that flatter your body.

Buy the Proper Size

One of the most important fashion tips that I can give is to choose clothing that fits your body well. Clothing that is too small tends to shift and move out of place (just like too-small undies that roll down at all the worst times) and larger clothing just looks baggy and adds bulk to your body.

With pleated skirts, it can be tempting to choose something that’s tighter around the waist. The problem with these styles is that they might cut into your skin, causing your tummy to bulge out over the skirt and resulting in an unflattering look.

Instead, opt for a skirt that fits well in the tummy without being too tight. You should also consider a fit that fits well around the smallest part of your waist, since accentuating that area gives you a slimmer appearance. Accentuating this area is something you should consider when choosing dress sizes, too.

Pick the Right Fabrics

Skirts come in a lot of different fabrics, such as twill, silk, satin, cotton, polyester, and other various blends. When it comes to something like a pleated skirt, it’s best to choose one made from a sturdy fabric that isn’t going to weaken or stretch throughout the day.

While satin and silk are smoothing, they are softer fabrics that don’t usually provide that support you want. They also tend to shine rather than being matte, which can draw attention to your midsection instead of flattering your curves.

Some types of cotton are a good choice, though that’s going to change based on how sturdy they are. You’ll also want to watch for shrinkage in the dryer with cotton fabrics.

Twill patterns are one of my favorites because they are sturdy and hold everything in place like I’d like. I’ve also had some luck with blended fabrics that are well made.

Choosing Colors and Patterns

I’ve never been one to shy away from those bold clothing choices that I love, regardless of how it looks on my body. I’m a firm believer that you should wear whatever you want as long as it fits!

That being said, for the ladies that do want to wear a pleated skirt without drawing too much attention to their tummies, it’s best to avoid big, bold patterns and high-saturation colors like neon green and or red.

You should note that this is a general rule and it doesn’t really apply to every outfit. For example, if you wear a red skirt with a high statement top, attention is going to be drawn to the top half of your body and not your tummy or hips.

When it comes to patterns, choosing a smaller pattern usually has a slimming effect. For example, a pattern with small polka dots is going to have a more slimming effect than a larger one.

Again, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all rule. Just look at all the various colors and patterns in the above Youtube video. All these women look fantastic, even the various patterns and colors of their skirt. You might also nice how much the top makes a difference in the overall look of the outfit.

Consider a “Midi-Style” Skirt

Midi-style skirts are higher-waisted skirts that are narrow at the waist, flare out a little, and become narrow on the legs before flaring out again at the bottom. The shape of the skirt looks a little like a bell and is similar to a maxi skirt, but shorter.

Usually, midi-skirts go from mid thigh to below the knee, whereas maxi skirts go to mid calf or as low as the ankles. I prefer midi-style to mini-style because they let me show a little leg without worrying about my butt showing if I sit down or need to bend over.

Midi-style skirts are by far some of my favorites to wear as a plus size woman. I prefer twill fabrics because they offer a good amount of tummy control and usually go with a length that sits just above my knee or a little lower.

Final Word

Should plus size women wear pleated skirts? Absolutely! Pleated skirts can draw attention to the hips and tummy, but choosing a pleated skirt that fits well and that is made from a supportive fabric can help with that. Certain styles and patterns are also more flattering on the plus size body.

Hopefully, the style tips provided above give you some insight on how to choose an overall look that is going to make you feel confident in a pleated skirt. It’s a look that really works for the curvy woman, whether you’re looking for something cute and casual or headed to the office.

Camila R.

Camila is a body positive blogger and fat activist that's focused on helping people of all sizes live life big! That means accepting yourself at any size and just enjoying life! She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two chihauhuas.

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