I Tested 5 Popular Fashion Aesthetics As A Plus-Size Editor – Who What Wear


Welcome to I Tried It Month, where we’ll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article every day that features a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including everything from trying new beauty treatments to copying the most risqué runway looks of the season.

With a handful of plus-size shopping-friendly options emerging, those on the outside looking may believe that it’s easier than ever to get dressed for plus-size people. In some ways they might be correct—Yes, technically there are a bit more brands that carry some level of extended-sized options. However for larger-bodied personal style enthusiasts, the gap is still gaping and many other problems (lack of in-person retail shopping, increased price points for extended-sized goods, etc) persist. With these issues in mind plus fashion, folks are still and will continue to get dressed and experiment with fashion.

As a plus-size fashion editor, I wanted to try out dressing in some of these trending fashion aesthetics we see growing in popularity on the internet, Tiktok, and Instagram by the day. How difficult is it really to embrace my inner ballerina? What would Wednesday Addams do if she was plus-sized? These are questions I sought to answer as I dug through the online retail world (and my closet) in search of the right pieces to bring these aesthetics to life.

Ahead check out the culmination of that journey as I test out if it’s possible to get dressed in five popular fashion aesthetics as a plus-size person.

This aesthetic consists of what you might imagine someone who is a lover of all things literature, art, and history to dress like. Perhaps you’re channeling a quirky professor or a cute boy in a coffee shop that loves poetry. Whatever way you decide to interpret this aesthetic tends to lean on combining lighter-colored separates you might see in an academic setting( as opposed to its Dark Academia counterpart). 

This one wasn’t too difficult to tackle. As long as you have trousers in warm neutrals like browns, creams, or grays, you can test out a combination of layered button-down tops, sweaters/sweatshirts, vests, and blazers. There is a pretty solid variety of these sorts of separates available on the internet, and this look does include pieces most people own too. I do think loafers are a perfect shoe to tie together these vibes. I will note that I used a pair of loafers from ASOS that are wide-foot friendly, and it isn’t always easy to find stylish wide-width shoes online. 

To bring this ballet-inspired aesthetic to life, I felt it important to include an element of the quintessential pale pink and ballet flats. I know that shrug-like pieces are often added to a dancer’s look, so I found these turtleneck sweater sleeves from Eloquii to top it all off. Finding ballet flats in a wide size range is relatively easy. I did have trouble finding a short wrap skirt that really felt right for this look, so I pivoted to focus on including the right colors rather than an actual look that a ballerina might put together.  

Goth-inspired looks have been trending since the release of the Netflix hit “Wednesday”, but fashion people especially in larger cities like NYC have been wearing all-black looks for quite some time now. However, I wanted to wear pieces with more details that made a look that seemed extravagant and romantic the way I perceive actual Goth enthusiasts to dress. I personally wanted to go for a more femme, romantic look, so I paired this luxe billowy, tiered-sleeved top from newbie brand Nary Resort with a black skirt and striking boots platform heeled boots. 

I do really feel like even more so than the clothes themselves accessorizing with layers of silver jewelry can make all the difference in bringing to life a goth-like look. I  also think it’s a bit easier to dress in gothcore than some of the other aesthetics just because of the sheer availability of plus-size black clothing. 

Ahead of the release of the live-action “Barbie” movie, the fashion set has been embracing loud Barbie-pink clothing. Honestly was probably the most difficult for me to find a wide variety of options. Since the style is so specific on top of the already slim plus-size pickings it was harder to throw together than I imagined it’d be.

I think if I  approached Barbiecore with a wider lens including a range of hyper-femme colors and looks would make it a bit easier to tackle. However, I do feel like the (slightly large) dress I landed on from ASOS screams Barbie especially paired with bright white accessories.  

Cottagecore’s take on how someone might dress who lived in a rural farm-side cottage is a bit unrealistic, but that’s part of the charm. Chunky cardigans, ruffle details, tiered flowing dresses, and skirts are what immediately come to mind when I think of this aesthetic. 

I decided to lean on some pieces already existing in my closet such as the Free people cardigan and Old Navy button-down (sold-out). I paired these with a long-tiered skirt from Anthropologie and chunky taupe clog-like Mary Jane shoes to tie it all together. I do believe cottage-core vibes can easily be replicated quite easily especially because it’s been popular for much of the last five years so there’s been time for existing cottage-core-friendly brands to catch up with extended options. 

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