'I teach women how to dress in a 'flattering' way for their body shape. It's not a dirty word.'

Did you know that the definition of the word flattering is 'full of praise and compliments', it isn't 'hiding parts of your body and making yourself look smaller'?   

The word flattering has become a dirty word in the plus-size fashion space, a word that can be seen as offensive and make us feel uncomfortable. 

But for me, the word flattering means so much more!

As a plus-size fashion content creator, I use that word a lot in the videos I make and not everyone likes it. 

However, I want to explain why I use the word flattering and how I've reclaimed it to fall in love with getting dressed each day. 

Watch: Inside My Wardrobe | Comfort and Joy. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Over the years my body have changed and evolved.

I have been in between sizes — smaller and bigger — but one thing that has made getting dressed easier every day is understanding my body shape and finding pieces that suit my shape. 

I mean finding styles and silhouettes that work for my body, compliment my features and enhance my curves. 


It definitely doesn't mean finding styles that hide my body or styles that make me look smaller. 

Understanding my body shape changed the way I shop. 

Triangle, inverted triangle, oval, hourglass and rectangle — they are the main body shapes we see — and these can look different for everyone. 

Referring to your body as a shape isn't a bad thing! 

Understanding our body shapes has evolved so much over time. Gone are the days where your body is compared to a fruit and you feel like you need to be a size eight in order to wear specific clothing! 

Now days, understanding your body shape gives you power — the power to dress with confidence each day. 

For me, I am an oval body shape, with my shoulders, waist and hip measurements all being very similar. This means that I can use different styles of clothing to create shape in my waist and accentuate my assets. 

As a plus size woman, online shopping has become the norm. This means having to buy items of clothing without actually trying them on. 

So knowing my body shape and understanding what silhouettes are the most flattering on my body is essential. 

I now consider myself a bit of a pro at online shopping, very rarely do I need to return items because I always know what to look for. 

So what are the specific styles that work best for an oval shaped body? I show you my top recommendations below. 


Fitted yet floaty dresses.

A style that is more fitted in the bust and falls from under the bust, floating beautifully over my curves is always the best option. It creates shape but also makes me feel comfortable. 

Image: Supplied.

 Little Party Dress Imogen Black Dress, $89.95.

Image: Little Party Dress.

This dress is the perfect silhouette- with the v-neck, coming in under the bust and then floating out into a beautiful skirt. 


Adrift Wendy Chambray Wrap Dress, $199.

Image: Adrift.

This true wrap dress from Adrift is perfect for the oval body shape — crossing over the tummy giving great coverage but drawing the eye to the neckline. 


2. V-neck, curved hem T-shirts. 

This style creates shape across the bust and skims over curves, making it a great option. 

Kennedy's Boutique Hannah V Neck Basic T-Shirt, $59.

Image: Kennedys. 

This tee is a must-have! The curved hem creates shape and it's a little longer at the back, giving great coverage over the bottom! 

Sussan Australian Cotton Swing Tee, $39.95.

Image: Sussan.

 A swing tee is such a good options for so many body shapes! This one from Sussan is such a good shape! And it's so affordable.

3. Cropped or ankle-grazer jeans.

A high rise, straight leg that just grazes the ankles creates balance. 

Levi's Ribcage Straight Ankle Jeans, $159.95.

Image: The Iconic.

Levi's 501® Crop Jeans, $111.

Image: The Iconic. 

I swear by these pairs of jeans — they are high-rise, they are full button fly so they pull in everything and they are a rigid denim so they work with your body! 

4. Body-skimming skirts.

A high rise, elastic stretch waist band skirt is a great option to fall over the curves and flatter your shape.

Image: Supplied.

 City Chic Madelyn Skirt, $69.97.

Image: City Chic. 

A bias cut silk slip skirt is such a flattering style for the oval body shape. It skims the curves and the bias cut instantly creates shape! 

Proud Poppy Carrie Maxi Skirt in Night Flora, $89.95.

Image: Proud Poppy.

A skirt that gathers at the waistband and has stretch will fall so beautifully, especially if you want to cover your tummy area. Proud Poppy are the queens of these style skirts! 

5. Soft blazers.

Long line blazers with minimal shoulder padding that come in slightly through the waist are great for accentuating an oval body shape.

Image: Supplied.

 Motto Black Oversized Blazer, $229.95.

Image: Motto.

The oversized blazer is so on trend, but for me this blazer from Motto Fashions is a great in-between style. Coming in at the waist but still showcasing the oversized features!

6. Tailored pants.

Image: Supplied.

Fayt Downtown Wide Leg Pant, $99.

Image: Fayt. 

 A tailored pant that has a little bit of stretch is a perfect style! Fayt's pants are 10/10 and they are a wide leg so they create balance to all body shapes! 

Love Your Wardrobe Stella Wide Leg Pant, $149.95.

Image: Love Your Wardrobe.

Structured pants don't always have to have a zip and buttons! Love Your Wardrobe do the best tailored style pants and they are drawstring waist which means you can wear them as high or as low as you need! The slinky fabric also helps them sit so nicely! 

But that doesn't mean I don't wear other styles and silhouettes. 

Because I understand my body shape, I can wear almost anything — I just use my knowledge of my body to make that specific style work for me. That might look like adding a belt, tucking in or even cutting a pair of jeans to the right length (not for everyone).

Flattering doesn't have to be a dirty word. It doesn't have to be offensive or derogatory — flattering can actually be a great, powerful word to help you take control of your styling and feel confident in what you're wearing. 

Happy shopping!  

Feature Image: Supplied. 

For more from Melissa, you can follow her here.

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