13 Genius Curvy-Women Styling Tips We Can Learn from Ashley Graham

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13 Genius Curvy-Women Styling Tips We Can Learn from Ashley Graham
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Photo: Allison Kahler/STYLECASTER/Getty Images

Since breaking out on the modeling scene five or so years ago, Ashley Graham has been a leader in changing the way the fashion industry and society view women with curves. And though the 30-year-old is far from being the only curvy model working right now, there’s no denying that many look up to her for body confidence and fashion advice—especially for tips particular to curvy women like herself.

MORE: Every Time Ashley Graham Boldly Called for More Size Diversity in the Fashion Industry

Ahead, we’re looking at Graham’s easiest, most mind-blowing style tips for curvy women. From the go-to “test” she does every time she shops for jeans to the bikini hack she uses to save herself from big boobs-induced neck pain, check out Graham’s most genius fashion advice for curvy women. We swear: You won’t look at shopping the same.

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Ashley Graham
Start by Finding the Perfect Bra

First things first, Graham believes that every woman needs a proper-fitting bra, which might be why she's launched her own collections with the lingerie line, Addition Elle. In her experience, Graham has found that curvy women often choose bras that are too small, creating weird proportions and discomfort. Once you experiment and find your perfect size, Graham is a huge proponent of wearing lingerie as streetwear.

"Find the perfect bra to create the perfect silhouette," Graham told Glamour. "My motto is it starts with the bra. Plus, you can show your lingerie off underneath your clothes—it will make you feel all kinds of sexy."

Photo: Getty Images
Ashley Graham
Wear Clothes with Strong Shoulders if You Have Bigger Hips

For curvy women with big hips, it's all about proportions. To balance the proportions of your hips, Graham recommends wearing a fuller skirt or pant legs. (No skinny jeans here.) She also recommends balancing proportions up top by wearing something with stronger shoulders, such as cape blazers.

"If you have bigger hips, a fuller pant or skirt will balance them out better than a skinny cut will—a strong and sharp shoulder can also do the trick," she told Glamour. "Think: the currently trending gaucho pants and cape blazers."

Photo: Getty Images
Wear Cross-Body Clothes to Create Curves

For Graham, "creating a waist is key." One of the easy ways she does this is by wearing cross-body clothes that drape naturally across her midsection, giving her a flattering hourglass shape.

"Creating a waist is key on any body shape. Cross-body draping works to create curves through the midsection—like my favorite Vivienne Westwood dress," she told Glamour. "Or get your pieces nipped in the waist by your tailor."

Ashley Graham
Avoid Jeans with Patchy Fading

Jeans with patchy fading or discoloration is a no-no in Graham's book. Jeans with fading in just the thigh or calf draw attention to unwanted areas, which is why Graham recommends searching for a smoother, even-toned wash.

“The worst thing that you can get in a jean," Graham told Vogue, "is when you have fading just in the thigh or just in the calf because what it does is it creates attention to those areas.”

Photo: Getty Images
Ashley Graham
Wear Neoprene Skirts in Lieu of Spanx

Graham swears by neoprene skirts in lieu of Spanx. Because it can sometimes be uncomfortable adding another layer of Spanx underneath an outfit, Graham recommends finding bottoms made out of neoprene, which she believes smooths out your lower half and gives you a more flattering silhouette.

"They smooth you out comfortably so you don't need Spanx," Graham told Redbook.

Photo: Getty Images
Ashley Graham
Wear High-Waisted Bottoms if You Carry Your Weight Low

Knowing that she carries her weight low in her stomach, Graham is a fan of wearing high-waisted bottoms (such as pants or skirts), so everything is "tucked in." She pairs high-waisted bottoms with crop tops so she can show a sliver of skin, while flattering her silhouette.

"I love crop tops! If you haven't worn one, try it paired with a high-waisted skirt or pant to keep you tucked in," Graham told Glamour. "My tip is to at least have my belly button covered, since I carry the weight in my stomach low, and that's most flattering."

 

Photo: Getty Images
Ashley Graham
Add Edge to Your Outfit with a Moto Jacket

Thinking your outfit looks figureless and bland? Graham recommends adding some extra edge with a motorcycle jacket. The hardness adds chicness to any dull look.

''A moto jacket can turn a potato sack into a chic look," Graham told Redbook.

Photo: Getty Images
Ashley Graham
Do the 'Squat Test' When Shopping for Jeans

Not sure if the jeans you tried out in the store will last all day long? Try Graham's "squat test." The model revealed her test in a video for Vogue, which showed her literally squatting and doing lunges in the store to see if her jeans rode up or down. If they stayed in place, that's when you know you have a good pair.

"When in doubt, do the squat test," she said.

Photo: Getty Images
Go Down a Band Size in Strapless Bras for a Comfier Fit

Feeling like your strapless bra is too tight? Simply go down a size in the band. Graham revealed her tip on Instagram, where she explained that going down a band size in strapless bras allows for more comfortable pressure on her girls.

"Tip for wearing a strapless bra- go down a size only in the band. Keeps the girls lifted without suffocating them," she wrote.

Ashley Graham
Tie Your Bikini into a Cross-Back to Ease Neck Pain

Experiencing neck pain from halter bikini tops? Graham has the hack for you. In 2017, Graham revealed that she uses body activist Allison Kimmey's halter-top bikini hack to ensure that her boobs aren't weighing down her neck. Essentially, the hack is to tie your bikini into a cross-back to evenly distribute weight and relieve the pressure on your neck. You can follow a video of the hack here.

Photo: Instagram
Ashley Graham
Wear a Shorter Top if Your Bottom Is Baggy

Like most of us, Graham likes wearing baggy clothes for comfort. But when you're swamped with oversized attire, it can be easy to lose your figure. To combat this, Graham recommends wearing a short top (such as a crop top) to create the illusion of a waist when you're wearing baggy bottoms.

"I like baggy clothes. Curvy girls can look great in looser-fitting clothes; you don't always have to wear body-con," she told Glamour. "The trick is that if I'm wearing a baggy top and bottom, the top is short. If it hits around your belly button or slightly above, you create the illusion of a natural waist with the clothing."

Photo: Getty Images
Ashley Graham
Use Bodysuits to Tuck Yourself in

Graham is a huge fan of bodysuits. She recommends them for curvy women who like tucking in their clothes but hate when something becomes untucked. Graham is also a fan of wearing bodysuits for extra sexiness.

"They're so sexy with boyish bottoms, and you never have to worry about them coming untucked," she told Redbook.

Photo: Getty Images
Ashley Graham
Stop Paying Attention to Size

Believing that customers are too fixated on the size of clothes instead of how they fit, Graham advises curvy women to forget about labels and listen to your body. More often than not, Graham will go up and down a size until she finds the right fit. She recommends finding clothes that look good—no matter what the number on the label says.

"Don’t pay attention to the size, pay attention to the fit. I always try on clothes in multiple sizes and, sometimes, I have to size up or down to get that perfect fit," she told Savoir Flaire.

Photo: Getty Images

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