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Designers in the past did not pay much heed to the plus size fashion as they did not deep it worthy of their time and effort. However, these days the fashion is not limited to regular or skinny women. It’s all about sizes and plus sizes have their own unique place in the fashion world. Women of all sizes including regular size (small, medium, large) and plus sizes are being catered to the fashion industry both in retail and online stores.

Usually, it was used to be difficult for women to find a variety in plus size options but there are quite a lot of options available now. On one hand if it is easier to find clothing for the curvier and heavier women, it can also prove to be extremely confusing when it comes to differentiating between regular and plus size clothing.

It is not even only the numbers. Plus sizes are more than just numbers. You need to master the sizing system and also pay attention to other details like the cut, fit, style, silhouette and the fabrics that are suitable for your body type.

Different Sizes

Sizes may not be the only difference between the regular and plus size apparels but they are definitely a major difference. In the US clothing industry, sizes 14 and above are usually considered “plus size,” but the recent surveys have revealed that the plus size for an average of U.S women start from size 16. This line of clothing is easily identified with an ‘X’ written after the size and the increase in ‘Xs’ means larger proportions and measurements. A regular size dress will not carry this letter, so if you are more on the petite side, avoid wearing the ‘x’ sizes meant for more curvy and voluptuous women.

If you are shopping at stores like Target or Macy’s the sizes often range from 1 to 4 with the number of ‘Xs” to match the different proportions of the various voluptuous body types. Thus, size 1 is the same as XL, 2 is XXL etc. Your bust, waist and hip measurements can help you identify your plus size at the stores you are buying from.

Complementing the Figure

The characteristic of a true plus-size fashion is that it always complements the figure like the empire waist cut that is commonly seen in plus size tops tends to flatter most of the body types. On the other hand, the low-waist pants and skirts are more suitable for the regular size than a plus size because they emphasize more on the stomach.

The plus size means busty and jackets with buttons placed under the bust line are more suitable for the plus sized women. The plus sizes require more structure than the regular sizes to accentuate the body’s attributes and mask its imperfections.

Colors and Patterns

When it comes to colors and patterns the regular size has the liberty of all-white designs but as far as the plus-sizes are concerned, designers still have their reservations. Although, they don’t just play around with black, they do prefer colors and patterns in medium sizes to balance and camouflage the challenging pits or folds on the body. If you are a plus sized woman, then floral, animal prints and elaborate geometrics are the patterns that you should go for. It is better to keep smaller patterns at bay because they have a tendency to make the apparel look larger and are rarely used. Horizontal stripes and simple stripes also tend to highlight the width.

Fabrics & Materials

You can experiment with lots of different materials and fabrics including silk or the standard cotton. For the plus-size on the other hand, it is better to stick to fabrics similar to jersey that characteristically flow rather than clinging to the body. To prevent those extra folds to be starkly visible, it is better to avoid silks and similar materials and go for stretch cotton or the denims especially if your body weight keeps fluctuating.

The Cost Difference

The biggest drawback of plus size clothing is that it is heavier on the pocket as compared the regular size apparels. A regular size top is less expensive than plus size top. The major reason for this difference is that making the plus sizes is more time-consuming for designers and they also require extra fabric than the regular dresses to come up with this genre. It has been estimated by fashion gurus that there’s almost a ten percent differences in the expenses of plus sized designer outfits as compared to regular sized outfits. Coming up with figure friendly designs and patterns for curvaceous women is also requires time and patience.