This post is a reader request for not one but two lovely ladies. As I'm sure you are all already well aware, being a larger size doesn't mean you can't be beautiful, stylish or indeed a well-dressed Goth. This is going to be the first of several posts about plus size fashion, I hope you enjoy it and possibly find it useful. :3
Source: Not Made To Measure
Ladies with generous curves need to pay more attention to undergarments and the foundations of their outfits. Many typically Goth-beloved styles are structured in a way that is flattering to the fuller figure, such as corsets, basques and other items with boning, which gives plus size Goths a bit more freedom than plus-sized women in mainstream fashion - I'm sure most of us will agree that a corset has a bit more va-va-voom than your average support garment from M&S.
Good foundation garments - most particularly, a well-fitting bra - should be comfortable, and size certainly shouldn't make you afraid of buying sexy lingerie. Just make sure that it is appropriately supportive and fits well - your bosoms shouldn't be exploding out of the cups or strapped down as though you are straitjacketed, but a properly fitting bra improves posture and immediately flatters your figure, making you curvy not dumpy.
2. Yes, black is slimming, but...
Shiny materials like silk and PVC reflect light and can make you look larger. This doesn't mean you shouldn't wear them - just keep them to flattering areas; for example highlight a perfectly rounded posterior with a pencil skirt.
3. Wear clothes that are the right size
It may be tempting to cover up with baggy shirts but you could actually be making yourself look bigger than you are; plus hiding yourself away by swamping yourself in fabric does nothing for your self esteem. Clothes should loosely hug your body.
4. Smaller patterns are more flattering
Which is great news for a Goth chick - spider webs, stars, dagger print, skulls etc. all tend to be smaller prints than the great big graphic, geometrical and floral prints splashed over a lot of mainstream fashions at the moment.
5. Disguise a rounded stomach
Cardigans, waistcoats and jackets which stop on the waist are always very flattering and cropped styles don't have to look mainstream; you could rip the sleeves off a cropped denim jacket and add studs and patches, or look out for pretty pieces in velvet. We all know the old trick of wearing a thick, elasticated belt for instant oomph at the waist, but if your stomach is bigger than your bust this may only serve to highlight a problem area - use caution. Tunic tops create a longer silhouette.
6. Bear in mind your body shape
Find out your body shape here. Most plus-size girls are apple, pear or hourglass-shaped.
Pear-shaped girls can accentuate a small bust and shoulders by wearing frills and lace in this area, which is the best excuse I ever heard for buying that Victorian jabot you've been lusting after. ;-) Broad collars or lapels are also flattering, as are dramatically puffed or flared sleeves. Avoid tube or fishtail skirts for obvious reasons.
Apple-shaped girls may wish to wear tops with a slightly lower or scooped neckline to draw the eye away from a heavy midsection. Corsets can do wonders for the apple-shaped figure as they add definition at the waistline whilst pushing the bosom upwards.
Hourglass girls would do best to avoid baggy or shapeless clothing and instead put Christina Hendricks to shame by embracing their fabulous figure.
7. Know your allies
Voluptuous vixens may sadly struggle to find clothes that are both gorgeously Gothy and plus-size on their local high street. Whilst, as ever, I urge you to check out secondhand shops everywhere you go, there is a rather excellent list over yonder of online stores stocking a decent range of plus size Goth clothing. There is also a longer list of similar resouces here.