Our seasonal motto: Beat the heat and look freakin' phenomenal doing it.

May 31, 2021 @ 11:30 am
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Plus Size Summer Outfits
Credit: Lydia Hudgens

It's no secret the fashion industry has a long way to go in terms of inclusivity. That becomes especially obvious when shopping for plus-size summer clothing, when option to beat the heat feel awfully limited. Even scrolling through street style galleries, most warm weather outfit inspiration comes in the form of tall, slim body types, posing in tight dresses, skirts with short hemlines, and extra cropped everything. Of course plus-sizes can wear these looks proudly, too, but the lack of representation gives society a different impression, and that's where the problem lies.

So, if you're searching for plus-size summer outfit inspiration that exclusively caters to people with curves, you've come to the right place. Here at InStyle, we strive to serve up plenty of combinations and ideas for all shapes and sizes, no matter what season. With summer only weeks away, we've rounded up some of the best plus-size summer outfits we could find via Instagram, which will hopefully inspire your seasonal wardrobe picks.

Slip Dresses

Not only are slip dresses comfortable, they're also super versatile. For example, you can throw a jean jacket over top to keep things casual by day, then ditch the denim and slip into a pair of strappy heels for a rooftop happy hour at night.

Jumpsuits

On days when it's too hot to put any extra effort into your outfit than absolutely necessary, a jumpsuit will be your saving grace. It's a done-in-one ensemble that looks great as-is, and while you can accessorize with strappy sandals and chunky bracelets if you're heading out on the town, you can also keep the look low-key with white sneakers and dainty jewelry.

Midi Skirts

Not too short and not too long, midi skirts are just right for warm summer days that turn into cool summer nights. Plus, they pair well with most tops in your closet, so experiment with button-downs tied in the front, crop tops, and graphic tees. And don't be afraid to mix and match with colors and patterns; somehow it all looks good in the end.

Gingham

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: Bold patterns and checkered prints look amazing on every body. That being said, if you'd like to dial down the design, simply pair your statement piece with monochromatic, matching accessories, like a black sun hat and heels.

Bralettes

Once you find the right bralette for your cup size, you'll want to live in it. To transform this undergarment into an outer garment, wear it as a summertime top with high waisted shorts or a skirt.

Graphic Tees

Speaking of graphic tees, dust off your old band T-shirts and Hot Topic purchases, because this summer the trend is coming back and coming in hot. Mix and match your favorites with frayed denim, bike shorts, or fully embrace the throwback look with skorts. As for footwear options, there's nothing cooler than short-shorts and summer boots, but we definitely recommend switching to sandals when temperatures skyrocket. 

Smock Dresses

This writer has been on the hunt for the perfect summer dress, and smock dresses might just tick all the boxes. Another done-in-one option, smock dresses are roomy, but still have some structure to them. They can be belted or worn as-is, and are appropriate for virtually any occasion from bridal and baby showers to Sunday brunch or a walk on the beach.

Anything Cottagecore

Peasant dresses with puff sleeves were everywhere this spring, and it doesn't look like the trend will fade out for summer. You could fully embrace the cottagecore aesthetic with floral patterns and straw hats, or give a subtle nod to the style with statement sleeves, pops of lace or ruffles, and bow or button details.

Your Bathing Suit

Whether you're on vacation, hanging by your pool, or just lounging around the homestead is irrelevant — if it's too hot to exist in real clothing, swimwear is always appropriate. And if you have to hop on a zoom call or make an iced coffee run, no problem: Just throw on a button down and a pair of shorts for a quick "outfit change."