Embrace your curves, flaunt them and style yourself the way you want. With fashion finally stepping out of its non-inclusive shell, women of all ages, sizes, height and shapes are seeing themselves represented in media. From Rytasha Rathore to Pushtiie Shakti and Akshaya Naik to Huma Qureshi, everyone is representing an array of body images, helping women gain confidence and self-love. And this is just the beginning of the fashion journey for plus size women.

TC46 connected with influencer Nisha Mansharamani, known as The Plus Size Womaniya on Instagram, to understand the state of fashion for plus size women in India. Here, she talks about how it represented, brands that are creating fun clothing for this audience, and how to style yourself with confidence.

Plus-Size Fashion: The Meaning & Representation

Plus-size fashion to me is about evolving size inclusivity. Plus-size women represent 68% of shoppers globally, which means all of us in our own way want to display our personalities. The body-positive movement has given women of all shapes and sizes the confidence to embrace their curves and it leads to demand globally for stylish clothes for plus-size women. It is finally becoming a norm, where many international brands are advertising and manufacturing clothing that fits both small and plus-sized women alike regardless of their size, aiming at producing high-quality fashion for all.

However, the representation of plus-size in India hasn’t really been accurate. When Indians think of fashion, trend, style and glamour, they do not picture a plus-size model. Plus-size women are still discouraged to try bright colours, stripes, bold print, fancy fabrics. Clothes are mostly cut to be made into one size, loosely cut to disguise the form. For plus-sized women in India, it is challenging to explore or find their sense of style.

Scope For Progress In The Indian Fashion Industry

Thanks to globalization, we are now discovering masses of plus-size women that are re-evaluating their fashion choices and spending options. There is a huge market for it and I think the brands should boldly venture into it. Moreover, the plus-size consumers are loyal to the brand that caters to their needs due to the lack of choices. What brands have failed to understand is, the key to achieving size inclusivity is having a correct balance of design, proposition and silhouette. 

I’m still happy to see that the plus-size brands are now growing and offer inclusive plus-size clothing. For years, finding good fitting lingerie was a challenge for us big women. This was overlooked by so many brands. However, In 2019 Parfait launched in India with an aim to cater to plus-sized women and offer trendy and glamourous lingerie. I believe women of every size can look and feel good. I also believe that our representation in the industry needs to improve and I do see a change on the horizon.

Favourite Brands & Instagram Stores To Shop From

Some of the brands and Instagram stores I would recommend are:

  1. Urbanic.com: Basically Urbanic is sort of a replacement for Shein. The outfits are trendy, stylish and offer a variety of collection to choose from. Their fashionable jumpsuits and polka print dresses are my favourite.
  2. H&M: My go-to brand for bottom-wear, especially. Great fit and comfortable fabric. I love my pants/cig trousers and jeans from H&M. Also, the store has some amazing statement accessories to pair with your look OOTD.
  3. FabAlley: FabAlley is my choice for work-wear, subtle, pastel colours. Mostly picking my brunch outfit from here. Also, it is affordable.
  4. ChubbyChicsClothing: A fresh size-inclusive brand for western wear. Easy on the pocket and comfy fabric. 

5 Outfit Ideas & A Comprehensive Lookbook Style Guide

1. Workwear

Look 1

Top: H&M

Bottoms: ChubbyChicsClothing

Shrug: Ajio

Wedges: Amazon

Look 2

Top: MaxFashion

Culottes: PlusS

Shoes: Myntra

Tip: Try to pair your outfit with a coat, blazer or shrug. Good footwear is a great investment too. You can opt for lace shoes, flat shoes, peep toes, wedges.

2. Ethnic Wear

Kurta: ALL

Leggings: Local store

Kolhapuri chappals: Street shopping 

Tip: Use pastel colours, colour blocking or go with one colour tone. Accessorize with earrings, bracelet or simple two-piece bangles, and a nose pin.

3. Date Night

Dress: Shein Bodycon Velvet dress

Stilettoes: Catwalk

Tip: Put on a fabric that fits well, accentuates your curves. Accessorize with a simple necklace, earring studs and a clutch.

4. Vacation Wear

Look 1

Top: Forever21

Outfit: Street shopping

Boots: MaxFashion

Look 2

Dress: Urbanic

Casual Shoes: Truffle Collection

Tip: Don’t. be afraid of vibrant colour pop in a comfortable fabric. Go all out try a short jumpsuit or a polka dress.

5. Night Out

Top: Shein

Skirt: Shein

Boots: Forever21

Tip: Style skirts with high boots and a short dress with a jacket. Or pair your jeans with a leather jacket and high boots.

Tips For The Growing Plus-Size Fashion Audience

I feel fashion is a great way to express your authentic fabulous self. Your uniqueness is what makes your character; it’s who you are and it’s beautiful. 

  1. Don’t be afraid of colour. Besides black being the obvious choice, go for colours that enhance your skin tone, try colour blocking, wear bold colours and large prints (even stripes).
  2. Confidence is sexy. It’s a deep inner knowing that you are a Queen and you slay with confidence every time you step out of your house. 
  3. Get your sexy on! Whatever size you are, don’t be afraid to try some good lingerie. Open up to experimenting and let your inner diva out! This is for you to feel beautiful and embrace your authentic self.
  4. Re-invent fashion (upcycling). Tap into your existing wardrobe and try turning it into a new look. The key is matching it with your footwear. It completely changes the feel of the outfit.
  5. Balance your outfit, an important concept in fashion. It is like painting a picture of your OOTD or OOTN in your head. For instance, if you’re going to wear a loose-fitting top then you must pair it with straight fitted pants. Break the rules, flaunt your curves, and wear a belt to create a shape, pair it with a necklace or a scarf.
  6. Practice more self-love. Own your story, break up with your insecurities; a scale doesn’t define your worth. Feel good, wear well, eat well and do well. Be a whole package!