Susan Moses has styled everyone from Britney Spears to Queen Latifah over her 20-year career—and she’s learned a few things in the process. OK, more like a book’s worth of things—and this week her debut title The Art of Dressing Curves hit shelves. To celebrate, Glamour talked with Moses about the tips every woman with curves needs to know about getting dressed. Read her top eight here!
1. Strike the right balance between fitted and too tight. “There’s a difference between being squeezed up in a dress and a dress fitting your body nicely,” she says. “You shouldn’t see lines of any undergarments through the dress—that’s when you know it’s too tight!”
2. Everybody should have a shapewear arsenal. “This is universal!” says Moses. “Every woman needs a little bit of cinching, smoothing, and support sometimes. Generally, smoothing in the tummy and hips can make us look more refined and polished in our clothes. The number one piece that women should have is a body briefer.”
3. Don’t wear leggings as pants. “There is way too much personal information on the streets of many cities because of this trend. Leggings are not pants. They are meant to be worn underneath clothing. That’s why they are sold with hosiery and accessories in department stores.” (Hint: Get a pair of skinny jeggings instead!)
4. When in doubt, reach for a pencil skirt. “To-the-knee is the most flattering hemline on everyone,” she says. “It elongates your curves and gives your body good balance.”
5. No outfit is complete without the right shoes. “Pay attention to the line of your shoes,” says Moses. “Avoid straps around the ankles—they can make legs look shorter. A classic pump in a neutral will give you the cleanest line and make your legs look longest.”
6. Shop through any weight changes. “Do go shopping and invest in the essentials pieces even if you gain [or lose] a few pounds. The most important thing is to wear clothes that fit and to feel you look your very best at every size.”
7. Carry the right size bag. “You should have a bag that is proportioned too your body,” she says. “Too small is not good! For day, I like a medium size structured tote. At night, if you can’t see the bag behind your hand, that bag is too small.”
8. Tailor your clothing. “A good tailor is every woman’s secret weapon. There’s no substitute! Most department stores and boutiques offer tailoring services too. Wearing clothes that it and hang properly on your body can make the difference between terrible and terrific.”
Points 3, 6, and 8 are experts from The Art of Dressing Curves: The Best-Kept Secrets of a Fashion Stylist by Susan Moses, published by Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.