This the second installment of “Feeling Fabulous with Dr. MC,” a space for me to share style, and fashion advice for those of you in larger bodies. This was initially intended for a print magazine, but due to some technical snafus I will share these articles with you directly on the blog. So many of you have responded positively to the previous post on sweater dresses, and I am so excited to share this latest post with you on how to rock bold linear patterns in your wardrobe.
I never thought I would rock a plaid dress or skirt, having never liked the pattern and felt that it would not flatter a larger body. Now I think the opposite, having realized that linear patterns like plaid look fabulous on all bodies. This is also not just a Christmas fabric. A 1980’s-era Kelly green plaid ensemble typically reserved for the holidays may or may not bring you fond memories, but rest assured there are plaid options for all seasons in different color palettes. It has made a huge comeback, can be found almost everywhere, and I love it!
In the early 2010’s when the word “hipster” was being thrown about with wild abandon, we started to see the rise of handlebar mustaches, artisanal suspenders, and a resurgence of plaid everything. Thankfully some of the more outrageous aspects of this trend have subsided, but plaid remained and it is still going strong.
One of my favorite recent finds is this City Chic plaid dress. At first glance, brands like City Chic may seem pricey, but I will tell you to watch their sales. This plaid dress cost me about $20 and I typically can refresh my wardrobe with City Chic garments without ever having to pay full price (we will talk more about cost-accessible wardrobe options in future posts too).
The trick with wearing any bold pattern like plaid is the cut of the garment. You may need to explore different cuts to find what is most flattering for your body shape. This City Chic option has a loose t-shirt fit which is flattering on my body. It also has short sleeves, another cut that can be tricky for larger bodies, but these sleeves are not tight, so not only does it look good, but it is comfortable too.
I even enjoy pairing a plaid pencil skirt with a solid top. Some of my favorite patterned pencil skirts are from LulaRoe. Their Cassie skirts are very stretchy, and the patterns are lots of fun. The sizing is also generous. I’ve noticed some plaid pants in plus sizes as well, which I am tempted to try. I don’t typically wear pants, but patterned pants with a looser top would look nice. I always look for tops that are a little longer, especially if I wear a pattern on the bottom. I am not trying to hide my body, but I prefer how I look when the top is a little longer, and the bottom is bold. As they say in the dance world, it creates a better line.
Now let’s talk about plaid accessories. I love scarves, and plaid of all styles are part of my regular wardrobe, from Buffalo plaid to tartan, tattersall, and everything in between. Of course, one could go the luxury route and purchase Burberry plaid, but I find other plaid scarves to be just as beautiful. I am pictured here holding one Red Buffalo plaid scarf by Ralph Lauren, and also have on a White Buffalo Plaid shawl from Amazon (I adore the fringe). Both were under $30. Beyond those, there are tons of other options to fit a variety of budgets. I have plaid scarf variations for all seasons. One of my spring favorites is a turquoise, purple plaid shawl by COACH that reminds me of the colors in peacock feathers. I pair that scarf with a solid dress highlighting one of the scarf colors, add some peacock earrings, and maybe a feather in my hair if I am feeling fancy.
Aside from scarves, you can add a splash of plaid elsewhere in your ensemble. Statement earrings such as these by Johnnie Johnnie Goods in plaid patterns are a nice touch to any outfit but don’t stop with jewelry. I have seen plaid shoes that are adorable! For example, Betsy Johnson has released several plaid booties with rhinestones that top my list. Additionally, Unique Vintage has some very cute options.
Have fun coordinating various aspects of your outfits. Frequently my earrings match my scarves, or I have a matching pocketbook to a scarf or my handbag matches my jewelry and more. It baffles some people. Like the scene in the show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” when Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) meets Benjamin (Zac Levi) for a date and her shoes and pocketbook match (all of her outfits are amazing), but Benjamin looks at her in awe and asks her how that happened. She smiles coyly and responds, “witchcraft.” I greatly enjoy it when my accessories match or my shoes coordinate with the same pattern as another accessory. Be bold, don’t be afraid of wild patterns or bright colors!
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