She serves up style advice for all shapes, but The Curvy Fashionista blogger Marie Denee is putting a ban on the term flattering. "It suggests you're trying to look presentable for someone else," she tells InStyle. "We all have these situational hang-ups about what we can and can't wear, and sometimes we don't even know where they came from. I always encourage people to step outside of the box. Find a fashion rule you've always abided by and break it." We asked Denee to dish on some of the trickiest summer trends, and, here, she explains how to make each one work for you—regardless of your body type.
What seasonal style hang-up do you hear most often from your readers?
People who are insecure about their thighs always complain that they can't wear shorts, but it's just a matter of finding the right fit.
What's your secret?
You're not going to look good unless you are comfortable, so choose a pair in a length that doesn't show off too much. I like the hem of my shorts to fall where my fingertips graze my thighs. But if you prefer more coverage, Silver Jeans carries denim styles in a variety of lengths.
Should they be fitted or loose?
If your shorts are so tight that they are riding up, you're never going to feel confident, so go a size up. If you don't like the boyfriend look for denim, invest in a pair of dressy shorts and style them as you would trousers or a skirt. Lane Bryant makes citrus-colored styles with matching jackets that I'll wear in place of a cocktail dress.
What's a common misconception about summer dressing?
That wearing white will make you look bigger. If you have curves, you should opt for structured pieces. Fit-and-flare styles play down a fuller tummy and give the illusion of hips, and shirtdresses add polish. Wear eyelet, lace, or leather materials to draw attention to the areas you feel the best about.
Cotton-nylon shirtdress, Eloquii, $90 (14-24); eloquii.com
So many of us dread swimsuit shopping. Any tips?
Finding the right suit is just as much about quality as it is about fit. How well it's made will determine how much it will support you.
What should you look for?
Make sure the seams are reinforced with double stitching. Gently pull on the straps to see if they snap back. If they do, then the material has enough stretch to be supportive. If you have a large chest, choose top styles that have a hook-and-eye closure, which will brace your chest better than ties and won't cause your neck to get sore.
Nylon-spandex maillot, Sorella Swim, $89 (10/12-22/24); sorellaswim.com
Stretch mesh dress, Jibri Plus Sized Apparel, $180 (10-28); jibrionline.com
Best way to share engaging shots on social media?
I use a Samsung Galaxy Edge because it has the most extensive editing tools. I also like Instagram's Layout app. Special effects, like the mirror image, get the most likes from my followers.