“I order all my clothes from abroad since no Indian brands carry my size. And even if they do, there is hardly any variety,” and “I have to pay a ton just because of my size. I have to either compromise on style or budget.” These are some common problems you will hear across India from plus-size women trying to shop. While fashion is fabulous and Indians are making headlines with talented designers and flourishing brands, no one can deny the pitiful state of plus-size shoppers.
So how do you find plus-size fashion and tips on styling and shopping served with a side of body positivity? Here are some social media influencers who are making women love their bodies, shop efficiently and style fashion pieces to flatter their beautiful figures!
What It Means To Be Plus-Size In India
For starters, you are relentlessly reminded that there is something wrong with your body and you need to change it. From weird diet suggestions to downright horrible workout routines and “cleanses” to shapeless fabrics sold as “clothing”, the average plus-size shopper is expected to go through an agnipariksha to be worthy of fashion. When it comes to plus-size fashion, the major problem is the elitist attitude of the fashion industry that believes fashion exclusively belongs to a select ‘thin and light’ slice of the population.
- No Plus-Size Representation: When one of India’s biggest fashion weeks, Lakmé Fashion Week, wanted to host the first-ever plus-size fashion show in India, they needed to do an open audition. The fact that India doesn’t have plus-size models in the Indian fashion industry speaks volumes about the discriminatory attitude towards plus-size bodies.
- Lack Of Plus-Size Clothes: Brands that have a plus-size range internationally don’t retail it in India. Not just clothes, but even lingerie shopping is a task.
- Misrepresentation Of Plus-Size: While plus-size starts at size 16, the fashion industry often depicts women as small as size 8, as plus-size. Misrepresentation is making it even harder to normalise plus-size bodies.
- Limited Styles & Options: From drab designs to ill-fitting garments, the plus-size sections of most Indian brands lack options. Recently, a beauty giant launched its own lingerie brand that proudly displayed a plus-size model, yet the sizing is limited and not plus-size friendly.
5 Plus-Size Fashion Influencers To Follow For Styling & Shopping Tips On Instagram
1. Sakshi Sindwani
Sakshi Sindwani is challenging norms & quite fashionably so. With 270k+ followers on Instagram and a loyal audience of 77k+ subscribers, she is bringing her charm and positivity to social media. Her videos offer lookbooks, styling tips, guides, outfits from scratch and hauls. She shows you how to shop for lehengas at Chandni Chowk and Sarojini Nagar and tips, tricks and hacks to style a plethora of clothes. Learn how to try the latest fashion trends as a plus-size woman, style Indian wear in a bunch of different ways, adopt a celebrity look and so much more with Sakshi on Instagram. Recently, she collaborated with the brand Alaya By Stage 3 and launched her collection, Inara’20, which redefines affordable and inclusive festive wear.
2. Aashna Bhagwani
Fashion and lifestyle blogger and social media influencer, Aashna Bhagwani is one of the most successful Instagram influencers in India. As a plus-size woman, she shares her journey of self-love and body positivity along with shopping, styling, makeup and more such content. Having grown up watching her grandmother manage a boutique, she was always surrounded by clothes and different fashion styles. She is highlighting the issues faced by a majority of plus-size women in India. On her Instagram, you will find tips on how to create a variety of looks, style Western pieces with Indian wear, find the right clothes and more. Aashna is always on the lookout for opportunities to inspire designers all across the world to create more size-inclusive clothes. You can read her blog, Beyond That Bouffant, or visit her Instagram page for more.
3. Tanesha Awasthi
The name behind the blog, Girl With Curves, Tanesha Awasthi is part of the “curvy blog” movement and often speaks about her views on body positivity and self-acceptance. As a fashion blogger, stylist, consultant, and media director, she is breaking stereotypes in fashion for plus-size women. Her personal style is modern, sophisticated, classic and ladylike, with a touch of edginess on occasion. On her blog, she shares beauty and lifestyle tips and a whole lot of experience-based content. She aims to share with the world about beauty beyond size and self-confidence. From recreating celeb looks to styling varied clothes and all about the latest fashion to showcasing brands with plus-size collections, she truly is every plus-size girl’s inspiration.
4. Neha Parulkar
As India hosted its very first plus-size fashion show in 2016, Neha Parulkar charmed all fashion lovers as she strutted down the runway with poise and confidence. A model and body-positivity influencer, she is relabelling fashion for plus-size women. Through her Instagram account, she promotes the message that a plus-size woman can be anything and everything she wishes to be. With the tagline, ‘plus & proud’, she shares inclusive brands you can shop, tips on styling plus-size fashion and a whole lot of body positivity on her Instagram page. Her focus on providing online shopping destinations that are plus-size friendly is what makes her stand out from a crowd of influencers.
5. Diksha Singhi
Blogger Diksha Singhi is a rising social media influencer, penning down her thoughts and experiences at Always A Little Extra. From donning a swimsuit with confidence to sharing the struggles of plus-size women, she is changing how people perceive beauty. On her Instagram page, she tries on outfits from Bollywood movies, shares styling tips, and how to pick the right clothing pieces along with her workout routine and healthy recipes. She recently launched her own brand, A Little Extra that sells bright, colourful and stunning jewellery that matches her personality. From sarees to kurtis and workwear to athleisure, she shows you nothing is beyond reach for a plus-size woman.
10 Shopping & Styling Tips For Plus-Size Fashion
- Don’t be afraid to rock prints and designs. The key to any look is confidence!
- Cuts that define the waistline tend to add a sleek look to the outfit. If this is the effect you’re looking for, add a belt or try empire lines.
- Make sure you wear the right size and fit of lingerie. This will help you feel confident and comfortable.
- Bodysuits are a fabulous option to add oomph to a certain outfit. A pair of loose pants with a well-fitted bodysuit will make for a gorgeous outfit.
- Wearing one statement piece at a time is a great way to start. Go for a monochrome look or try colour-blocking.
- When experimenting with prints, you could choose to accentuate one part of the body like the torso, midriff or bottom with your choice of cut/fit.
- High-rise jeans are a great option for getting the “long legs” effect. Pair them with comfortable heels and your OOTD is ready!
- While layering, choose light layers and preferably those that accentuate the waist so your curves aren’t hidden!
- Lightweight fabrics like cotton, linen, georgette, and silk further enhance your curves.
- Bodycon dresses and skirts that show off those stunning curves are absolutely welcome.
15 Plus-Size Fashion Brands In India
- Half Full Curve
- The Plus Size Store by Meera’s
- Nexus by Lifestyle
- FabAlley Curve
- The Pink Moon
Fashion has come a long way and carving the path for future generations are models and influencers like Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring, Chloe Elliot and Raeann Langas. Even in India, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Huma Qureshi and many more made body positivity a no-more taboo subject. While health and well-being are always a priority, the absence of options and representation of all bodies is a must. Take a sneak peek at these badass ladies and style yourself with confidence!