Dear Budget Fashionista,

I am a plus size, 28 year old college student that is currently working in a pizza restaurant. Where should I start?  I have taken the quiz in your book and it said that I am conservative.

Conservative Plus Size Fashion Tips

Answer: First take a deep breath. A long deep breath. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your closet. First start with the Perfect Ten, the ten things every woman should have in their closet and adjust them for your lifestyle.

As a college student, you might want to focus on purchasing a pair or two of nice jeans, jeans that you can dress up with a nice pair of black pumps and a nice top (don’t wear these jeans to work). Avoid low-low rise jeans and jeans with sequins, embroidery and other types of embellishments (no Baby Phat or Apple Bottom jeans). Look for jeans that have a wider leg and/or a boot cut. Make sure when you sit down the seams of the pants aren’t stressing (you can tell if the jeans are stressing because you will be able to see the seams stretch, like it’s about to pull apart). Try stores like Lane Bryant Fashion Advice: Conservative Fashion Tips for Plus Size Student, Ashley Stewart, Avenue, Marshalls, Ross, TJ Maxx (which often has nice plus size jeans for less than $20) for jeans. Wal-Mart Fashion Advice: Conservative Fashion Tips for Plus Size Student also makes a good quality jeans.

Then you want to look for tops, purchasing at least two tops for every pair of jeans/pants you in your closet. Why? Because you can wear the jeans over and over again and no one will notice, but it’s harder to do the same with tops. Since you’re more on the conservative side, look for collared shirts (wear them tucked in if you have defined waist) and shirts made of cotton, rather than clingy knit materials. Always make sure you iron your shirts. Check out the stores I listed above, but also don’t forget to look at Dillard’s, Macy’s and Lord and Taylor’s, which often have amazing sales on summer items that you can also work during the fall months.

You’ll also want to check out wrap dresses, in black or brown, because you can instantly dress them up (for interviews, meetings, church, etc) or dress them down (for school, night out). Make sure it’s a dress that makes you feel good, feel beautiful, and wraps completely around without showing too much cleavage. Wal-Mart’s George Plus Size line Fashion Advice: Conservative Fashion Tips for Plus Size Student and Target’s Plus Size Mossimo line is a good place to look for these dresses.

Also visit these sites, which have excellent tips and advice for plus size women:
BBW Magazine, Curvychicks Online, and Bombshell Magazine.

Again, start small, even $10 or $20 a month can go a long way in building your wardrobe.