A plus size shawl is the perfect accessory for either day or evening, depending on the make of the shawl. You can buy them readily or, if you're of a crafty disposition, you can sew or knit one yourself. A shawl adds an extra dash of style and comfort to any outfit.
Why Wear Plus Size Shawls
A shawl is perfect any time of year. In summer, it's nice to carry a light shawl to guarantee comfort inside air-conditioned buildings. It's also ideal for throwing over the shoulders for a summer evening party. As the weather turns colder, a shawl can be a nice alternative to a jacket, creating a funkier look. Even in very cold weather, a shawl can work well over a jacket or coat, keeping the shoulders warm and adding a bit of style even as you battle the elements.
A fabric, as opposed to knit, shawl can also be nice over any cocktail or evening dress. Many dresses come with matching shawls - or the very similar shrug or Pashmina. It can keep the shoulders warm (or, in a pinch, cover the hair) as you run from car to door for the party. It's much easier to manage a shawl than a jacket or coat and some of them are lightweight enough that you can fold them up inside your bag during the event, if necessary.
Finally, if you want the look of a strapless dress but feel sensitive about arm wiggle, a light shawl will hide the flesh without spoiling the effect of the dress.
Depending on the shawl you want, you don't necessarily have to shop for a specific plus size shawl. What you want to look for is something that is long enough to drape comfortably and look attractive.
You can find shawls everywhere. Any boutique or department store will have a large selection in the accessories department. You might find better selections in knit shops, or shops that specialize in accessories. If you live in a city, you can find them from street vendors (although you should be aware that the quality of these will be considerably lesser). Shawls are so versatile and fun - you can also tie them around your hips for a bohemian look - there is no reason not to have a good selection of them.
Plus size shawls are fun to shop for, since they require no changing. You can easily throw one over your shoulders and take a look in the mirror. It's good to try a few styles - draping, tying, knotting - to see if a given shawl will work for you. They are comparatively inexpensive, but you still want every purchase to be a good one.
Evening dresses will often come with shawls, either as part of the outfit or sold separately. In this case, it's best to be sure it's the right length and width and so buy whatever is sold with the dress. That way, you can be sure of both the fabric matching and the size working.
Making Your Own Shawls
As either a new seamstress, knitter or crocheter, a shawl is an excellent project. Small, with little to no shaping, it is easy to make well and can take as little as a day, depending on what you are doing. Plus, you get the immense satisfaction of creating your own things.
Patterns can be found all over the Internet and many are free. Take a look at Knitting Pattern Central, where many of the patterns can also be altered for crocheting. If you are concerned about the size, you can draw out the dimensions on paper beforehand or hop onto a knitting forum to ask questions. You can also ask for help when you buy your yarn - the sales assistants are always delighted to advise and you might end up sitting down to start your shawl then and there…and be done a few hours later.
Whether you purchase your shawl or make your own, you'll love having this versatile accessory in your wardrobe. It's as functional as it is stylish!