'If You've Got it, Flaunt it' - Styling Secrets of Plus-Size Celebs

'If You've Got it, Flaunt it' - Styling Secrets of Plus-Size Celebs
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'If You've Got it, Flaunt it' - Styling Secrets of Plus-Size Celebs

Go Monochromatic Like Octavia Spencer

Octavia Spencer has been a true style star this awards season, showing up in a series of monochromatic dresses in unusual colors like oyster and turquoise. “It’s a strategy that’s great for lengthening and slimming a curvy frame—without wearing black or navy,” says style expert Gretta Monahan. “She also knows just where a sleeve should end so it covers up fullness at the top of the arm but still shows skin. We’ll be looking to her for more style secrets in the coming months.”

CURVY STYLE TIP: Seek out memorable colors that you don’t see or wear every day. And don’t break up the look with clashing accessories or scarves—monochromatic is majorly slimming.


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Master the LBD like Adele


Few women know their way around a little black dress like Adele. The songstress has ‘em in every shape and silhouette, some with swiss dots, others with lacy trim…the list goes on and on. But this Burberry number is one that Monahan cites as especially flattering: “It’s a combination of the detail at the neck—great for pulling focus to her stunning face—and the straight skirt. A skirt that flows down like this will always be more slimming than a fuller style.”


CURVY STYLE TIP: LBDs don’t have to be boring. Keep your eye out for styles with a bold, unusual focal point and a slimming silhouette.


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Try a Trench Like Oprah


“Oprah Winfrey proves that you don’t need to wear a gown to look amazing after dark,” says Monahan. “From the rich lustrous fabric to the dramatic collar and deep, sexy neckline, this trench definitely says ‘evening.’ And I love how the softly skirted bottom skims over her lower body.”

CURVY STYLE TIP: Invest in a knockout evening coat made of brocade, satin or raw silk. Worn with slim pants and heels, it’s as formal as a cocktail dress but with more coverage.


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Spotlight Your Legs Like Christina Hendricks

Monahan is a die-hard fan of Mad Men's Christina Hendricks: “She uses the Marilyn Monroe style principles—if you’ve got it, flaunt it—and makes sure her hair and makeup are a continuation of her sexy look. She also shows more leg than many curvy women, which adds sensuality and keeps her gowns from looking constricting or tight.”

CURVY STYLE TIP: Legs are a wonderful asset to highlight. Instead of a side slit, which can be tricky to control, look for a gown with a (not too high!) front slit.


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Choose a Column Gown Like Queen Latifah

Women are always told to accentuate the waist, but if you don’t have a defined waist to begin with and your shoulders are broad, try out a column silhouette with details at the top, instead. “This strategy makes Queen Latifah look even more statuesque than she already is—and makes her upper carriage appear more delicate,” says Monahan.

CURVY STYLE TIP: When a column dress fits well (no pulling or sagging), it’s incredibly elegant and slimming. Add a fun color or detail and you’ll look like Hollywood royalty.


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Drape & Define Like Melissa McCarthy

“It’s easy to go overboard with draping but Melissa McCarthy’s gown has just the right amount,” reveals Monahan. “By limiting it to the waist area, you create definition without looking busy or adding bulk. And thumbs up to the allover sequins—someone as vivacious and hilarious as Melissa shouldn’t shy away from sparkle.”

CURVY STYLE TIP: Draping and shirring add drama and shape to a dress, but they’re most effective when limited to a few areas.


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Wrap It Up Like Jill Scott

If you have an hourglass figure like Jill Scott, chances are you have a few waist-defining, curve-skimming wrap dresses you wear to work. “But don’t think they’re just for day!” notes Monahan. “In a dressy fabric they’re a fabulous choice for evening, too. I love how Jill’s look is shimmery, sexy and hits her in all the right places!”

CURVY STYLE TIP: Look for evening versions of the always-flattering wrap dress. Think satin, lace, metallic or a classic color with glam details.


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Balance Your Bust Like America Ferrera


If you’re busty, many necklines can make you look top-heavy if they aren’t cut just right, warns Monahan. “Deep scoops, v-necks, squares…they’re all tricky. But America Ferrara’s asymmetric neckline beautifully slims her bust and draws the eye to her gorgeous collarbones and face. Plus, the cutout lets her show sexy skin in such a classy way.”


CURVY STYLE TIP: Sexy necklines don’t have to be plunging or gravity-defying. Look for asymmetric necklines and cutouts that highlight your collarbone instead of cleavage.


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Choose a Contrast Color Like Kelly Clarkson

“Kelly nails it in this classic, body-skimming LBD!” says Monahan. “Every closet should have a dress like this—all you need are killer heels in a contrasting color and you have a red carpet-ready look.” (If you can’t find one that fits as beautifully as Clarkson’s, get as close as you can and take the dress to a tailor.)

CURVY STYLE TIP: Perfect-fitting LBD + playful colored heels = evening wear perfection.


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Skim Your Silhouette Like Mo’Nique

When style bloggers discovered that Mo’Nique’s silver frock was from one of Tadashi Shoji’s ready-to-wear collections, similar styles ($300-400) quickly sold out at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales. Why all the fuss? “The length of the skirt and the elegant neckline are perfection, showing off Mo’Nique’s collarbones and calves—and they’d do the same for anyone who wears a size 12 or larger,” reveals Monahan. “Oh–and it doesn’t hurt that the icy metallic sets off her diamonds!”

CURVY STYLE TIP: You don’t need to spend thousands for a dress with great construction and opulent details.


Photo Credit: Getty Images (Photo Courtesy of iVillage)


Plus-size celebs are throwing Hollywood a curve ball this red carpet season. Fashion maven Gretta Monahan shares their style secrets. Check out the gallery above to see the tips and tricks of Adele, Oprah, and Melissa McCarthy.

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