Lingerie shopping can be a difficult process for anybody. There are just so many stores, so many sales, and so many actual pieces of clothing that it can all get quite overwhelming. Throw in the added concern of finding sexy and flattering options in the plus-size category and you can really have your work cut out for you!
Fortunately, there are plenty of amazing pieces of lingerie out there for us plus-sized women, and no, it doesn’t all have to come from specialty stores who cater to people with larger frames. The options can come from just about anywhere, so long as you take the right approach and figure out a few strategies.
So without further ado, here are my four best tips for your next lingerie shopping spree.
1. Browse For Inspiration Just as you might be getting ready to search through catalogues, websites, and fashion blogs to get a handle on upcoming fall fashions, why not take some time to browse for plus-size lingerie inspiration? Fashion, after all, can be contagious, and sometimes all it takes is seeing the right combination on someone with a similar body type to help you to realize what you might want to be shopping for in the first place!
I loved the approach taken by Bustle in an article about a year ago showcasing 13 “gorgeous and empowering” items. Instead of writing in vague terms about what a plus-size woman may or may not be comfortable wearing, the writer compiled a list of stunning photos of women with various body types showing off some really sexy looks (and also included the links to buy some of the clothes therein). In the end, they’re only 13 ideas out of the tens of thousands of lingerie combinations out there, but it’s not a bad place to start for inspiration.
2. Shop In Stores, Not Online I know, I know… Online shopping is incredibly convenient. The selection is endless, and it often even winds up being the cheapest way to shoot. But it’s also by far the most difficult way to find a good fit, particularly for something as intimate as lingerie, which needs to be comfortable!
For this reason, I always recommend that people shop in stores for their undergarments, whether they be petite or plus-sized. You can try things on to your heart’s content, and while you may start to feel a little self-conscious after too much time in the changing room (I’m not sure why, but I sometimes do), it’s there for a reason. Try, try, and try some more until you find those perfect pieces that fit well, look good, and keep you comfortable.
3. Learn How To Flatter & Camouflage Obviously the intent of most any lingerie purchase is to flatter, but after reading an article on how to choose lingerie by Adam & Eve, I started thinking of this in a different way. In that article there was a section on “how to camouflage problem bits,” and while I don’t love the characterization of any body part or type as a “problem,” the underlying idea is worth keeping in mind when you go shopping.
Basically, the idea is to find lingerie that might hide or conceal parts of your body you’re not particularly proud of – or- emphasize those bits that you’re very proud of! There are suggestions such as wearing a babydoll to flow low if you’re self-conscious about your hips or wearing bustiers or camisoles to emphasize a proud bust. It’s up to you how to address the specifics, but the concept of buying lingerie to show off your body exactly as you like – rather than just to fit well and generally look good – can take your unmentionables game to the next level!
4. Target Material You Trust Cotton is kind of the gold standard for everyday wear, but if you’re like me, you kind of just wing it beyond cotton. I’ve never really had a go-to material. Given my preference for trying things on in person; if I like how it feels, I’ll go with it! I still support this general approach, but Plus Size Living’s article on plus-size lingerie selection tips got me thinking about being a little pickier in regard to materials.
They pointed out some of the more common sense things, like the comfort of silk and satin (or, as they put it, “make you feel like royalty”), but the observation that really caught my eye was that “sheer mesh… both conceals and shows off!” I’m not sure exactly what this means, but it made me consider the versatility of different materials in a new way.
So those are my tips! Best of luck on your next shopping spree.