Plus-size fashion rules to break

Marie Claire

Who says curvy girls can't rock stripes?! Dare to wear the hottest trends with these no-fail tips from fashion diva Nicolette Mason.

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Breaking the Rules

Big girls are forever being told what not to wear, that everything from stripes to pleats to booties (even ponytails!) are off-limits to us. Is it any wonder that so many full-figured women cling to their boring black separates—the "safest" things in their wardrobes?

Thankfully, my years working in fashion have taught me some invaluable lessons about how to pull off pieces traditionally thought of as no-no's for anyone beyond a size 6.

Follow these foolproof tips and brace yourself for some serious style points.

(And follow me on Twitter @NicoletteMason for more myth-busting fashion advice!)

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Photo: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D

MYTH : Horizontal stripes enlarge a big frame.

TRUTH : Break up the pattern with a blazer or colored pants. Très chic—for all figures.

TOP : $29.95, H&M+; for stores.

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Photo Credit: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D

PANTS : $378, Lafayette 148 New York;

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Photo: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D

SUNGLASSES : $95, Warby Parker;

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Photo: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D

MYTH : Top-heavy women can't wear knits.

TRUTH : Look for body-skimming silhouettes in metallic for a pulled-together take.

SWEATER : $34.95, H&M+; for stores.

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Photo : Richard Majchrzak/Studio D

MYTH : Peplums add volume.

TRUTH : A streamlined pencil skirt with a peplum creates an hourglass shape.

SKIRT : $52, ASOS;

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Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

MYTH : Black is the most flattering color for fuller figures.

TRUTH : Solid, bold hues are equally slimming.

"How amazing does Amber Riley look in this juicy tangerine number? Love the skinny belt, which creates an hourglass silhouette and offsets the volume of her skirt."

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Photo: Getty Images

MYTH : Full skirts make bottoms look bigger.

TRUTH : Soft pleats at the waist camouflage the rear and the tummy area.

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Photo: Richard Majchrzak/Studio D

MYTH : Patterned pants draw attention to a heavy bottom.

TRUTH : Worn with heels and a solid top or blazer, they add pop, not pounds.

PANTS : $89.50, Talbots;

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Photo: Courtesy of Yves Saint Laurent

SHOES : $1,095, Yves Saint Laurent; (212) 980-2970.

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Photo: Courtesy of

"A showstopping necklace draws the eye up—ideal for balancing out your skinny jeans, white trousers, or patterned pants."

NECKLACE $445, Dannijo;

More from Marie Claire:

How To Look Great in Every Photo

Top 10 Beauty Products That Will Change Your Life

30 Ways To Spice Up Your Relationship 

10 Steps To Work Your Way To The Top

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