Size Matters: Style by Size

Fashion is a form of expression and what better way to express yourself than with style designed for your size!


In the past four years I’ve been a size 12, post-baby, then down to a size 4, when baby got active, and now back to my pre-baby size 8-10. Despite this body roller-coaster, I’ve managed to stay stylish at every size thanks to my years as a fashion writer, gaining influence from top designers and trend-setters alike. What I’ve learned is that fashion isn’t one size fits all and that trends don’t always translate well in real life. But, finding pieces that flatter is an exciting challenge worthy of any fashionista. Here are the tips, designer picks and style secrets, according to size:

Size 0-4

Size Matters: Style by Size

Alice + Olivia skirt and crop top

It’s easy to assume that a size 0 or 2 is the ideal where everything flatters but many women with a small frame have just as hard a time as any other size. For example, as a size 0 teenager, I couldn’t find an evening gown to wear to a wedding that didn’t look like I was playing dress-up! Anything with too much fabric and weight can completely overpower a size 0-4. Instead, opt for cocktail length dresses with cut-outs to add dimension and prints to bring attention to your svelte figure.

For everyday wear, skinny jeans and a fun tee will make for an enviably easy look. Keep your accessories light but on-trend with long pendants – too many statement pieces can overpower slender gals.

Size 6-8

Size Matters: Style by Size

Mary Katrantzou street style

There are plenty of options for a size 6-8 in mainstream and high fashion but the trick is to find items that will make you stand out from the crowd. Experiment with color, prints and shapes that a size 0 might not be able to pull off. A bold printed dress can be your go-to piece, accented with equally impressive accessories like an oversized watch. For work or formal occasions that call for a more streamlined look, choose an accent piece, like a printed blouse with a classic pencil skirt or a bright scarf with a shift dress to keep the attention on you and your fab body!

A billowy blouse and skinny ankle jeans make for weekend chic – in a bold color and with added accents like distressed denim.

Size 10-12

Size Matters: Style by Size

Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress

Being a size 10, I know it can be tricky to find pieces that flatter your curves without making you look bigger than you are. Shapeless sheath dresses don’t work, and neither do boxy tees with low-rise jeans. Instead, try wrap dresses, belted shirt dresses, fit and flare styles and high-waisted denim.

Diane von Furstenberg – whose famous wrap dresses will work on every body type – and Donna Karen are among the few top designers that seem to have the curvy silhouette in mind. Pair any of their dresses with your favorite heels for an instant signature style. Top off your whole look with chunky accessories, like an extravagant Alexis Bittar necklace to bring attention to your décolletage.

Size 14+

Size Matters: Style by Size

A classic trench to top off your look

Plus-size style is about flaunting your curves, not hiding them. There’s no print or pattern to avoid (yes, even horizontal stripes!) because looking good isn’t about looking thin, it’s about finding pieces you love. It’s easy to go to your little black dress for all occasions but, instead, try a solid color, like orange or cobalt blue. Have fun with your style and play with textures and shapes, like ruffles and asymmetrical cuts.

Designers like Vince Camuto and Ralph Lauren have fantastic plus-size lines with cocktail dresses, tunics, perfectly fitted pants and denim. Just add a standout coat, like a classic trench, and you have a plus-size look coveted by all sizes.


Fashion is a form of expression and what better way to express yourself than with a great sense of style designed for your size.

Avatar of Pegah Aarabi

After obtaining her Honors B.A. and postgraduate journalism degree, Pegah has written and researched for a variety of magazines and newspapers, with celebrities, fashion and travel being her topics of choice. Now settled in Toronto, she has lived in many corners of the world, including the U.S., Switzerland, and Japan. In her spare time, she divides her love unevenly between her poodle, chocolates and shopping.

Reader Discussion: 34 Comments

  1. Avatar of Elisa Chambers

    Elisa Chambers

    I hear a lot of people say that just because I’m thin, I’ll have an easy time finding clothes to wear. Honestly, that’s not the case. It’s so difficult to find a size that fits just fine. I feel like a hanger even though I’m a size SMALL. No matter what size you are, you can have difficulties in finding what clothes to wear. I highly suggest that you find a brand that caters to your body shape. Personally, I already have 3 brands that I’m loyal to and I buy my clothes there all the time.

  2. Avatar of Sharon Burgess

    Sharon Burgess

    Letting my mom read this because she’s very beautiful but thinks she needs to wear big clothes. I feel sad for her.

  3. Avatar of Stella Dunn

    Stella Dunn

    I’m definitely going to take note of this. Thanks, Urbanette, as always.?

  4. Avatar of Megan Nelson

    I remember this YouTuber who tried following advice about what type of clothes would suit her body shape. She felt really awkward in it and she felt like it doesn’t look as good as her old clothes. I must agree though that it doesn’t.

    • Avatar of Renee Bryan

      Renee Bryan

      I forgot her name but I also saw her too. The one who calls herself a modern vampire?

  5. Avatar of Allison Jordan

    Fashion is very complicated sometimes. When you buy online, they’ll say it’s plus size but then it’s not. It’s very disappointing because it can make people feel like plus size is just a little over normal size. People should stop doing this and manufacturers too. It messes up with people’s self-esteem. And then there’s those who say it’s a small size but it’s too big so those who have small frames feel like they should just buy in the kid’s section. I really hate how this fashion thing is.

  6. Avatar of Janice Wood

    Janice Wood

    So far, I find it very effective to use stripes that are horizontal so I don’t look big. For thinner people, you might want to do the opposite.

  7. Avatar of Tami Ruiz

    Tami Ruiz

    How about the ladies who are more than Size 14? ?

  8. Avatar of Megan Smith

    Megan Smith

    I find that certain prints also flatter different body shapes. It’s very helpful to mind the lines of the clothes as well.

  9. Avatar of Mona Parks

    Mona Parks

    I don’t wear body fitting clothes because I sort of feel awkward in it. Like the literal body hugging ones. They’re very annoying to wear and I prefer something that’s comfortable. I tried researching about what to wear for certain body types but I don’t know, everything doesn’t look good on me. Articles are saying that this one is flattering and stuff, but none of it are true. They say those who have larger frames should wear something not too loose so that it can show their curves, but nobody wants to see those flabs.

    • Avatar of LINA


      Hah, a lot of magazines do that and I don’t believe it either.

  10. Avatar of Felicia Blake

    Felicia Blake

    I hate being classified into sizes but yeah, we need it. How on earth are we going to find our clothes?

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