Saturday, September 20, 2008

Every Stylish Woman is Not a Size Two

While it's true that a lot of vintage clothes are smaller than a lot of women today, not all vintage clothes are tiny. At the Xtabay, Liz makes an effort to make sure the shop's stock of dresses, blouses, coats, and suits always include larger sizes.

These photos of Ashley show just how terrific a woman with a double-digit size looks in vintage clothing. If you--like me--haven't been a size six since grade school, here are some suggestions to make the most of your figure:

--Many women are most narrow just below their busts, and a dress that hugs the body at that point can be really flattering. Vintage clothes are great, because so many dresses were cut to emphasize the natural waist rather than the nook just above our hips we're now used to thinking of as our waist.

--Find the feature that you like the best about your body and play it up. I know it's obvious, but it really does work. Ashley is lucky to have great legs, an hourglass figure, and gorgeous facial bones, so she has a lot to work with. But most larger women have an enviable decolletage. (Give the girls a little moonlight, as a friend would say.) If you have a waist, wear something that shows your shape. If you are more apple-shaped, chances are you have great legs. If that's the case, choose a dress that hits just where your calf slopes in below the knee.

--Stay away from bulky clothing. That counts for coats, too. A boxy coat will just make you look like a chunk of wool. A formless skirt that drops straight from your hips will make you look like one of those doll torsos crocheted on top of a toilet paper roll cover. Not good. The photo below of Ashley shows a great coat for a curvy gal.

I bet you thought double-breasted coats were off limits. But these buttons are placed to make the most of an hourglass shape.

--Larger women can often wear bold prints and dramatic colors well, usually better than their less curvaceous friends. Why not take advantage of this fact and phase out some of the black in your wardrobe? Wear a lipstick-red beaded choker or a four-inch rhinestone brooch.

--Finally, and this applies no matter your size, whatever you do choose to wear, wear it like you own it. Walk with confidence and smile at all those heads that turn to look at you.


  1. Thank you Angie! The number one thing I hear everday at Xtabay is why is everthing so tiny? It simply isn't true! I'd love to mention that the gorgeous Ashley, who looks so terrific in these clothes, is a modern day 16. I was shocked at how slim she appears in these items. Just because the 50's prom dress in the window(which was worn by a tiny teenager) is a size 2--doesn't mean that Xtabay isn't packed with exquisite, tailored LARGER sized clothing along with some of the tiny little party dresses...

  2. Even though I'm a smaller size, I've definitely noticed that a lot of vintage clothing runs very small, especially when you go back to clothes of the 1940s and earlier. I just wanted to post that I think you look wonderful in those clothes and I wish all women, regardless of their size, had your fashion sense. Or, rather, I just wish all women were confident regardless of their size. The clothes are less important than that.