Successfully choosing fashionable plus size tops is often a matter of taking the time to actually try on tops to make sure they fit and flatter one's body.
Sizing is not uniform with different clothing lines and in different places, which can make it difficult to select a top on the basis of the size indicated on its label. It is also true that different body types are often flattered by different styles, so it is important for someone who is buying plus size tops to be aware of her body, and to select a top that accentuates her best features while minimizing figure flaws. Finally, when trying on plus size clothing it is very important to wear good, supportive undergarments so as to ensure the best fit and to develop a good understanding of how the garment is going to look when worn in public.
While it is possible to purchase plus size clothing online or through catalogs, it is almost always a good idea to actually try on clothing from a particular brand to understand its sizing system. By going to a store and actually trying on garments before making an online or catalog purchase, one can avoid the disappointment that results when the wearer finally receives the item and finds that is the wrong size. If somebody absolutely has to purchase their clothing without trying it on, they should solicit help from a friend to take accurate measurements of their body, and then match these up with retailer's size charts.
In almost all cases, plus size tops look best when they are "fitted." This means that the top fits closely to the body, without being tight. Loose tops can make a larger person look even larger than they actually are. Many women who buy plus size tops find that empire-style bodices can be very flattering, as they fit most closely around the ribcage, which can the smallest part on a woman's body. If a woman has a large tummy, she may wish to look for a top that has a large “band” of fabric just under the bust and that extends to midway across the abdomen, which can help minimize the tummy and not give her the appearance of being pregnant.
Other considerations should include the color of the top as well as whether it is suitable for the wearer's lifestyle. Many people find that tunic-style plus size tops with v-necks to be the most versatile type of plus size tops, as one can change the appearance of the top by wearing a camisole underneath the top. This can create a more modest look for daytime wear, and the cami can then be removed for nighttime. In addition, wearing a camisole in a contrasting color to the fabric of the top can give the top a new, fresh look.