The Monochromatic Outfit:

A Plus Size Fashion Tool

By Yolanda Early

The monochromatic outfit is a great look for plus size women. This type of outfit makes the wearer look taller and slimmer. The look is simple and easy to pull off. It’s also a great alternative to black. Learn how to put this look together, and you’ll have a fashion tool for life.

A literal interpretation of the monochromatic outfit is head to toe in one color. This can work incredibly well or look incredibly tacky. If you choose to go this route, make your outfit as simple as possible. A dress with matching sandals looks chic. On the other hand, matching slacks, shirt, jacket, shoes and accessories can look overdone or old-fashioned. Limit the number of pieces you wear and edit carefully.

Another interpretation of this look is to wear variations of the same color. Take blue for example. There’s navy, cobalt, sky, royal, powder and many others. You can create an outfit using two to three shades or more depending on how it’s done. Imagine wearing dark washed blue jeans with a cobalt blue top and steel blue heels. Got it?

Nevertheless, here are some guidelines to help you put together a figure-flattering monochromatic outfit.

1. Choose colors wisely. Head to toe mustard yellow may work on the runways, but plus size women have to be more picky. Mix and match bold colors with understated ones. Always go with shades that suit your skin tone.

2. Balance proportions. When you choose colors, keep your body shape in mind. Use darker colors on the larger parts of your body and lighter ones on smaller parts. If you’re top heavy, then wear lighter colors on the bottom. If you’re bottom heavy, then wear lighter colors on top.

3. Play with texture. Liven up your monochromatic outfit with fabrics that have added visual interest like suede, lace or tweed. Go for materials with built-in details like ribbing or quilting. Break up a simple color scheme by mixing and matching textiles. Pair leather with silk or tweed with satin. Also, try fishnet pantyhose or patterned tights.

4. Put prints to work. Wearing a monochromatic print is a great way to include multiple shades of a color in your outfit. It takes the guess work out of it. Just add coordinating solids and you’re set.

5. Accent with accessories. Choose accessories that add pops of color to your ensemble. Use them to draw attention where you want it. Try a waist-cinching belt to emphasize your curves or a colorful scarf to bring the focus to your face.

6. Take risks and have fun. Monochromatic doesn’t have to mean boring. Let your personal style shine through.