Used to be that plus-size clothes were nothing but big, shapeless styles in a limited color palette. Today’s landscape offers on-trend selections galore, and über-retailer Talbots is a leader in the $30 billion-a-year plus-size business. Talented Talbots exec Michael Smaldone demonstrates that certain styles will flatter all.
Michael Smaldone, the company’s chief creative officer, says size is irrelevant to good styling; rather, what’s key are quality fabrics, flattering prints
and clever accessorizing. Here, armed with a rack of clothes and two models, he shows us his favorite “any size” looks.
Get the skirt’s fit right (no pulling across the front) and choose prints wisely: This large-scale floral—a big spring trend—is more flattering on curvy figures than an equally trendy geometric design.
A universally flattering style that’s crazy for curves. Smaldone’s advice? “It’s an easy dress to accessorize. Anything from chunky necklaces or beads to layers of chains will work, and longer pieces will create a slimming vertical line.”
The wrap is tailored but sexy and equally perfect for work and weekends. Smaldone says the styling flatters all “because the cross over design follows and accentuates the curves of the body.” The bright coral hue is a key color for spring and looks great paired with neutral accessories.
Dress: Diane von Furstenberg silk blend dress, $265; 646-486-4800
Success is in the details: Keep lines narrow and uniform; control the skirt’s volume. A lighter-weight denim makes this skirt less bulky, in a style that’s feminine but not froufrou. For maximum slimming, says Smaldone, “pleats should lie flat over the abdomen and release gently over legs.”