Plus-size Fashion Color Coordinating

Women's Plus Size Color and Trends Guide

Women's Fashion Color Help

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Choose and wear a dash of color in your wardrobe with confidence.

On this page:

Current Fashion Trends

Not Everyone has a Sense of Color

Choosing Your Clothing Colors for the Day

Fashion for the color blind

Seasons Past Fashion Trends and Colors including Clam Diggers and Capri's

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Current Women's Fashion Trends

Plus size Women's 2011 Fall Fashion and Colors

Here's what we're going with for fashion color for fall 2011


If not red, then certainly vibrant, bright colors! I had heard that after WWII, the fad was to "celebrate" with red shoes to liven an otherwise drab wardrobe, and hopefully the end of tough years. Wouldn't it be great to celebrate an upturn in all things in the United states!

On the other hand, London everyday clothes seem to still be in muted grays and muted darks especially plums. Take a look at Poetry - one of my new favorite clothing collections in sizes to US22. Several main line US catalogs also feature grays and muted darks as blackberry and plum. Come on and brighten up!

For fall 2011 style, we are seeing the "Mod" look of the late 60's and early 1970's. If you have watched, this style has been slowly creeping back with wide bottom pants reminiscent of bell bottoms of that era. Also, the minimalist style is coming back. For people like us, "minimalist" means very little shaping or "Design" and some may say "The bag".

The New York Times seems to agree with these fashion trends in ready-to-wear - which is off-the-rack clothes for most of us.

If you are talking fall 2011 couture, you may see Valentino also has some women's fashions with the 60's mod look, while Christian Dior has chosen to go with a vibrant colored "clown" look. Come on! Gucci, as seen in WWD is in the bright color category, but with jade greens and bright blues of neither mod nor minimalist design. Go figure!

2012 Resort Wear - Travel wear for women

If you're vacationing this fall, winter, or into spring 2012, find yourself some happy neon bright colored accessories!. Yep. Neon is back, but now for grown-ups for holiday travel and resort wear.

The great thing about this is that no matter your size you can enjoy the neons in accessories - purse, shoes, hat - especially if you choose the rest of your outfit in white or all balanced neutral colors (gray, beiges, taupes, whites. off-whites or even black for after the sun goes down.)

Brights and whites, with big hem pants are real trendy, but hold on! Big girls need to wear brights and bold colors sparingly. Best to go for bright accessories, unless you want the Christian Dior look.

2011 Summer Fashion Color

Blue hydrangea is the big hit this year! Many intense shades of blue from cobalt to sapphire take center stage in fashion. wear it long, or short, in skirts, shorts or dresses. There's an old saying come back again, "put a little blue in everyting you do." It's certainly true for this seasons fashion color. Pair it with silver bracelets and you are good to go almost anywhere.

Blue is not just a fashion color for clothes, but stands out in accessories - shoes and bags, autos, pottery and splendidly in the garden shop.

2010 Summer Colors

Summer 2010 women's fashions favor "off" colors - the red is bluish or fuchsia or magenta; the yellow is gold; the blue is more teal or aqua or turquoise towards cyan, and gray (gray) has continued, though not quite as strong as in the past winter and spring.

Any size any shape lady can enjoy the clunky cuff bracelet this season. Rhinestones, pearls, bangles and bands --- almost anything goes! There are elastic banded bracelets, open cuffs, and even bracelets with hinges!

Big prints are in, but spare yourself. It used to be said, "She's a big girl, she can wear that big print." Not true - especially in plaids and checks. No way. Avoid at the cost of multiplying the impression of your size.

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Not Everyone has a Sense of Color

We aim to help both the color unconscious and those hampered from being reasonably fashionable by being truly color-blind.

One would like to believe this lady did not deliberately choose this combination.

Let's take a closer look.

The top and the shoes coordinate nicely. The pants would not have been my first choice, but excluding the socks, it barely misses being a fashion color crime. What happened with the socks?


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Choosing your colors for the day

Limit your outfit to Two or Three colors

How do you choose colors that work together for your wardrobe?

Wearing side-by-side colors from the color wheel above will produce a look that flows, unifies and likely slims. And the same is true when you wear tops and bottoms in different shades of the same color.

Choose 2 or at the most 3 of any adjoining colors on the wheel. Do not add another color!


Choose tints and shades of the same color, but remember if you choose a very light and a very dark piece, it will not have as much of a slimming effect. The most effective unifying color combination is no combination - wear all the same shade of the same color. You can accent it with complimenting or contrasting colored jewelry. Wearing 2 contrasting (also known as opposite colors) colors or very contrasting shades of the same color will not be slimming, and may add emphasis where you don't want it. And please do not add any more colors to your outfit - unless it is a solid neutral**. Most often these are unflattering combinations for plus-sized women.

Here are a few color combinations that pretty much don't work together for women's clothing pieces: red with brown, red with purple, red with green, lime green with brown, pea soup green with brown, yellow with taupe, yellow with army green, green with orange.Theoretically orange should work with purple, but it doesn't as it is way too contrasty.

Very few clothing colors are "pure". You can find purple-reds and orange-reds. You can find greenish blues and purple-ish blues. Unless the manufacturer er or store offers companion pieces, it may be hard to match or coordinate the colors. Greenish blues do not work with purple-ish blues, and the same is true for most any other color. Really look at what is called the underlying color shade or tone.

What are neutral colors?

**Almost all shades of gray are neutral. Grays can be gray-brown, or blue-gray so watch for these variations. Almost all shades of beige are neutral. Then we have creams, off-whites, whites, stone, and sand or many clay colors. Taupe, or greige are supposed to be neutral, but taupe is often quite pinky gray and doesn to work with a lot of other colors. Greige is gray-beige which needs to be set against other colors to test their workability. Black is often considered a neutral. Brown is not a neutral color.

If you wear true neutrals, they will work well with lots of color choices, but don't overdo how many other colors you wear with them at one time.

More to come later on choosing clothing colors that work.


Fashion for the Color-Blind

Let's do color shopping rules first.

If you shop in stores, be sure to ask the sales clerk what color he or she says the article is. Or you could ask another shopper! Refine the color identification. If it is red, ask if it is cherry or raspberry, or if it is green: lime or forest, etc.

Start a fashion color journal! If you are likely to forget what color an item appears to be to those who are not color-blind, write a description of the article in a book and note the color or shade in the journal too. Refer to it when choosing your outfit for the day.

Or separate your clothes and accessories in drawers or shelves by colors you have had identified.

It is better to shop on-line or through catalogues! Both on-line shopping and catalogues tell you the color choices of the clothing or accessory. This saves you the trouble of asking someone to identify the color for you.

Then you can still use the journal or color separated approach to assembling your outfit.

The most common color-blindness is red-green and often the colors cannot be distinguished from each other. The lady pictured above may not have known the socks were the colors and pattern they really are!




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Seasons Past Fashions Trends and Colors

2007-08 Fall and Winter Plus Size Fashion Trends

No single color has burst on the scene for this fall and winter, but these are leading the pack::

Empire waist tops have come on the scene big time, and that's good for us plus-sized women. These are longer tops that nip below the bust and flare out. Usually they are longer than last year's shorter tops and they can cover bottoms and upper thighs when long enough! They can diffuse an apple or banana middle nicely too.


2007 Plus Size Fashion Summer Trends Notes

Quiet Crochet
The trend has diminished somewhat, mostly to crocheted accented tops, some even with a fashion look of the 70's!

Unspectacular Summer
So far, this summer has not burst with anything particularly new - no stunning change in colors, nor style, except maybe a few more vertical stripes turning up in tops and pants - which is great for plus size clothes for us. Vertical stripes are almost always slimming!

I'm Seeing Spots
Seems many places are offering one thing with dots! It's more like a summer fun idea rather than a trend. I've seen dresses, blouses and even shoes in dots! These are great fun, but choose small or even tiny dotted patterned items - except for shoes - where any size dot will do. Large dots - 1/2 inch in diameter or larger will make the item, and you, look much larger.

Crop pants, capris and clam diggers

You've just got to see the fashion workshop about these!

2006 Plus Size Fashions - Trend Notes

Chocolate is in!
Well for me, chocolate is always in, but I don't mean the color. Shades of brown made a big splash in casual and dressy wear. Is this a good plus-size fashion trend? It depends on your skin tone, the shade of brown you choose and the style of the item you choose.

Clamor for Crocheted!
Crocheted tops and sweaters, jackets, even skirts trimmed with crocheted edges appeared everywhere. Is this a good plus-size fashion trend? Cropped anything isn't the most figure flattering for us, and it was hard to find longer crocheted sweaters that covered our hips. Crocheted items are good for cover-ups as they are cool on warmer days, but cover your forearm nicely. Sometime special care is needed for washing such as drying flat, and a little fabric softener helps with a sometimes abrasive feel.

Big Bag!
This is great for us! Large purses- almost as big as a tote or carry-all! These are proportional to our size. Forget the tiny handbags and go for one of these. The trick of course, is not to fill it.

Clams and Crops
Clam diggers, crop pants, high-water pants, and shorter pants by any other name that fall way below the kneecap and above the ankle gained enormous popularity this year. But the old adage, "what is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right", should be applied here. Observe other plus size women in these pants and notice how it visually redistributes all the weight upwards towards the middle and the "bottom". It is an out-of-balance style for us. They are wonderful for gardening!

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About Plus Size Belts
Sure some ladies think you're not quite dressed without a belt, while others wear tops un tucked for a more casual look. Full hourglass figures can wear a belt, but our apples and pears shouldn't want to accent the middle. If you are an apple or pear (See page 1) and can't live without it, get a thinnish belt to match your pants color - even jeans. It will give you the polished look you want without drawing attention to what you'd prefer not to emphasize. Also, if its too tight, it will magnify your size!