What To Wear Now: Playing With Volume

Oversize pieces and loose styles have been on-trend for a while now, and there is something to be said for the sheer comfort of clothing that doesn’t restrict movement, or potentially highlight any bits that you wish would stay in the background. Additionally lots of flowing fabric always lends some statement-making drama to a look.

However, it’s not always that easy to work this trend without looking shapeless, sloppy, overly casual, older or larger than you actually are. That said, you don’t need to be a six foot tall glamazon or incredibly slender to make this trend work for you. Let me show you how:

Keep Things In Balance – In Two Different Ways. If you’re reading this site, you’re already familiar with the concept of maintaining proper proportions for the most flattering fit, and this can work in two different ways with oversize or voluminous silhouettes.


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The first and we dare say the most common way to balance things out is pairing a flowy top (like this swing-style tank from Old Navy) with slim bottoms (like these Rockstar skinny jeans, also from Old Navy), or vice versa. However, this can backfire if you’re wearing the oversize piece on the largest part of your body – you might just look lopsided. In that case, you can opt for the second way and go for maintaining equilibrium by wearing the oversize piece on your slimmer half.

Go Oversize All Over. This is where fit matters the most. Although oversized pieces might be somewhat looser and either more flowy or more boxy than the rest of your wardrobe, they still need to fit properly if you want them to look intentional.

For instance, a loose top or dress should still fit properly at the shoulder, and wide leg pants, culottes, or full skirts should nip in nicely, perhaps most flatteringly with a high waist like these wide leg pants by Elevenses (at Anthropologie). A harem-equse style like these Bailey 44 joggers works too.

Show Some Skin. This will make it clear that you’ve got a figure underneath all that draped fabric. Going sleeveless or showing ankles and calves with cropped pants, collarbones with off-the shoulder tops like this pin-striped tee by Splendid, or even wrists with bracelet length sleeves all work in this regard.

Pay Attention To Detail. At least when it comes to your accessories. To keep an oversized piece(s) from looking sloppy, you want to keep your accessories sharp, architectural, and on the formal side. Not only does this add some shape to your overall ensemble, it can upgrade the seemingly casual appearance of looser clothing. A block heel like these Stuart Weitzman sandals or a classically structured handbag like the Givenchy Pandora can both help ground a look.

Keep Things Luxe. Silk, satin, velvet, and anything with a liquid drape or flow to it can also make oversize or volume-heavy pieces seem purposefully luxurious, if not downright decadent. This Topshop shirt combines a striking silhouette with a rich olive silk – the perfect piece to pair with skinny jeans, shorts, or even culottes if you want to get daring. A more classic option would be this slouchy silk charmeuse top by Ramy Brook.

Embellish It Up. Beading, embroidery, lace, and other embellishments take an oversize piece from basic to elegant. For instance, this embroidered tank from Floreat is just sweet enough, and the draped style is ideal for hot summer weather.

And finally, be sure to buy pieces that are meant to be oversize or loose-fitting – don’t just go up a couple sizes to get the look – the silhouette will be all wrong. After all, you want to keep things proportional and make your look intentional if you want to play with volume in a fashionable way.

Pictured above:
1. Old Navy Pintuck Swing Tank for Women, Now $26

2. Old Navy High-Rise Rockstar Skinny Jeans for Women, Now $32

3. Kaimana Wide-Legs by Elevenses, $69.95

4. Bailey 44 Krugar Park Jogger Pants, $218

5. Splendid Striped Off Shoulder Tee, $88

6. Stuart Weitzman Inpower Leather Block Sandals, now $186

7. Givenchy Pandora Mini Saffiano Box Shoulder Bag, Black, $1,690

8. Topshop Sleeveless Side Tie Tunic, $34.99

9. Ramy Brook Harriet Top, $275

10. Lila Embroidered Tank by Floreat, $148

– Jaqueline Zenn

Image Layout: Fountain Of 30

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