Updated: Jan 21
WARDROBE BASICS FOR WOMEN WITH CURVES
Good basics form the foundation of every women's wardrobe. As a personal stylist, I am never surprised when I edit wardrobes to discover that many women do not have good basics in their wardrobes. Especially basic tops! These key pieces are versatile; they help make it easier to build outfits effortlessly and create multiple outfit combinations. In my experience of working with curvy women, I feel they struggle with finding good basics that cater to a bigger bust or concealing their tummy. In this post, I have included my suggestions of the best tops for these pain points. I will also be discussing a few of the main basics that many of us tend to wear i.e leggings, jeans, t-shirts, jackets, and cardigans. All the key basic items that we can throw on quickly to make easy-to-wear outfits.
Firstly, I always advise my clients to buy the very best quality they can as they will most certainly last you a good few years. Although, white t-shirts never stay white that long so, I personally wouldn't spend lots of money on a white t-shirt. This is the one basic item that will need to be regularly updated. Also, when buying basic tops focus on key neutrals i.e. navy, white, black, grey as these neutral colours will practically mix and match with lots of items in your existing wardrobe. Sometimes, you may want to seasonal update your wardrobe with a basic top that adds a pop of colour to your outfits. It's a great way to create a statement when layering under clothes.
The high street shops were never great for catering for us curvy women but over the recent years that has all changed. There are so many options out there now. You just need to know where to look. I am also conscious about people's budgets here so, in this blog, I have tried to select a good mix of highstreet basics at reasonable price points.
NOTE: To shop any of the items below please click on the image to be directed to the shop.
BASIC TOPS FOR A BIG BUST
A scoop or V-neck basic top is the best option for bigger busts. Why? The v neckline gives the illusion of an elongated torso. A scoop neckline breaks up that area drawing the eye to the face. However, I work with many women who want to dress modestly so a V neck isn't an option especially if they are culturally inclined to cover up. There is a clever trick around this; You can wear a higher neck basic top but then add a delicate necklace that will create the V neckline which also helps draw the eye down.
Riverisland does a great range of basics from size 14-28.
One of my favourite high street stores for budget and quality is Marks and Spencer. I find their V-neck basic T-shirts sit higher on the chest perfectly covering the cleavage and the length of the sleeve is just right. A lot of my clients will vouch for the M&S basics since I have introduced them in their wardrobes. The quality is good weight 100% cotton and most importantly it is sustainably sourced. Note: These sell out fast so it's best to stock up early before they sell out in spring.
The M&S cotton T-shirt comes in colours Navy, Black and White. Sizes range from 6-24. Click photo to be directed to the shop site.
Brands to KNOW
Online niche brand Fairlie curved designs clothes specifically for bigger busted women. Their basic collection includes Vest tops, T-shirts in higher scoop, and v neck styles. They also have dresses and much more!
Uniqlo is a real favourite of mine, their basic tops have a brilliant heat technology in their garments that helps regulate your body temperature. If you are someone that may sweat a lot then it is worth trying their T-shirts. These items also wash really well.
Good American offers quality basics from T-shirts and jeans that are great for women with curves.
Next has a good small "Fuller bust range" of basics that are worth trying.
Yours Clothing is a winner for many of my plus-size styling clients. They do budget-friendly T-shirts/tops that hang well on a curvy frame and come up a bit longer if you like to wear them loose.
Hobbs does the best scoop neck quality tops. They are double-lined so, avoid any lines showing from your bras. My clients also say they are super comfortable to wear dressed up or down. Pair with smart trousers or pleated skirts.
See below for a selection of basic tops.
Good American basic T-shirt. Click on the photo to buy.
Your basic tops don't all have to be plain. Riverisland is currently selling a great range of cut-out basic tops that can be dressed up for a night out or dressed casually in jeans and trainers for relaxed vibes.
I love this basic wrap detail top that creates interest to a simple look.
Uniqlo's thermal tops are perfect for winter as they will keep you super warm. They come in a variety of colours and styles. The sizes vary from XS- XXXL. Click the photo to visit the store.
Basic tops to conceal a tummy
Concealing a tummy can often be a problem area for many of my clients. When shopping for basics look for tops with a slight A-line.
These soft jersey tees from HM are a good option. Don't be afraid to tuck in your tops as this will give you some shaping and cleverly highlight your waist.
Basic EVERYDAY tOPS
Marks and Spencer HEATGEN™ thermal polo neck long sleeve tops are so versatile to wear as a base layer. The outfit ideas with this item are endless. Wear under a jumpsuit, summer dresses, cardigans, and gilets to maximize wear from the pieces you already own in your wardrobe. Here are two ideas for layering a printed and plain polo neck top with a simple black shirt dress from Next.
A printed polo neck will add a new dimension to your outfit. Mixing with other colours through accessories also adds interest.
Layering a polo neck under a dress can totally elevate the whole look as well as keeping you warm in the colder months.
A classic Breton is one of my go-to basic tops to wear casually with jeans.