Linda Arroz knows plus size fashion. Being a "woman of size" herself, she has spent many years educating others about the dos and don'ts of plus size clothing. From an image consultant and magazine editor, to Spiegel spokesmodel and fashion guru -- she has done it all. In between overseeing Makeover Media, a publicity firm that "offers public relations and business development services to upscale lifestyle firms," and spending time with her family, Linda Arroz took some time to answer some questions for readers of LoveToKnow Plus Size.
Plus Size Do's and Don'ts
LoveToKnow (LTK): What do you see as the dos and don'ts of plus size clothing?
Linda Arroz (LA):
- Avoid tugging and pulling on your clothes, especially when rising from a chair or desk. This behavior sends subtle signals to everyone that you are uncomfortable or your clothing doesn't fit well.
- Understand your proportions and work with them, regardless of what size is required. Remember, there are no standards in sizing, so you might wear an X in one style or brand, and a size 24 in another. Don't let that bother you, no one is going to see the size tag.
- Sometimes oversize is overkill and can make you look even bigger, particularly if you have small or sloping shoulders. Snug and body conscious clothing can actually make you look slimmer if the fabric, size and appropriate intimate apparel are all considered.
- Necklines can be your best friend. If you have a full or round face and or a shorter neck, avoid jewel and crew necks. Choose more open styles, like a scoop. Sweetheart necklines are flattering for anyone, especially if you have a larger bust.
- Noting the details and tailoring on clothing can work for you, or against you. If you are much larger below the waist, you might want to enhance your waist, or you might want to avoid jackets with big flap pockets at the hip. Monochromatic color schemes, i.e. tone-on-tone or all the same color can allow someone with a thick or short leg to wear a shorter hem line.
- Certain shoe shapes can appear to elongate the leg, especially a shoe shape with a longer toe box. Avoid ankle straps if you have a thicker ankle.
Shopping Trend Insights
LTK: Do you think fashion designers are keeping up with the growing demand for plus size clothing?
LA: At the department store level, we do see some names like Ralph Lauren, but the department stores really missed an opportunity. While most of them do have a department for larger sizes, the selection is small. And for the most part, it is very difficult to purchase all lifestyle apparel items in plus sizes at the department store level. Bathing suits, intimate apparel and sleepwear, as well as special occasion dresses are still very hard to find at retail, especially in a department store.
However, we got over our need to have a brand name make clothing for us, and more options are available now.
- Stores like Lane Bryant and Torrid offer great style at an affordable price
- Some of the pop stars who make clothing know to dress all their fans, no matter what size, so we are seeing a lot of current and trend items available to larger teens and younger women.
- Brands that sell on HSN and QVC are forced to make the collection available to all their viewers, so we have a lot of other means to purchase clothing now.
- Catalogs have also added larger sizes or specialize in larger sizes, and the customer is now used to these different ways to shop.
Thoughts on Designer Trends
LTK: How do you think fashion designers are doing when it comes to creating new and flattering looks and styles for plus size ladies?
LA: I like what I see for the most part. I would like to see Federated's private label brand, INC, offer more styles in the larger sizes. They edit the collection and I don't feel they realize larger women come in different shapes, and they typically choose the most unflattering print in the collection to offer in the bigger sizes.
LTK: What could they do different?
LA: Be more aware of the vast range of shapes that larger women come in, offer more contemporary silhouettes and trend items, not be afraid of selling to us. We have big pocketbooks too.
Expert Background: Linda Arroz
Linda Arroz has a diverse background in the beauty and fashion industry. Her expertise includes being a certified image consultant and teacher, spokesmodel for Spiegel, freelance stylist, and Editor-in-Chief of Big Beautiful Woman Magazine.
Linda shares more about her Makeover media in her own words: "Makeover Media is a boutique public relations firm that offers public relations and business development services to upscale lifestyle firms. Meaning food, fashion, fitness, wellness, beauty, spa, and some corporate accounts. Over the years we have worked on some interesting accounts, have produced our share of red carpet suites during the Oscars and garnered great media placements in magazines like InStyle, newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and TV shows like Entertainment Tonight and The Today Show. I continue to be quoted on a regular basis in newspapers and still appear on radio and TV shows occasionally."
To learn more about Linda Arroz, please visit her about page on the Makeover Media website.