elizabethcarmona2014
October 27, 2014 01:00 PM

Welcome Allison Teng, 27, of Curvy Girl Chic, who is joining us as our resident plus-size style blogger. She was featured in the March issue of PEOPLE StyleWatch and contributes her thoughts on finding the perfect outfit to the site each week. This week, she gives great tips on how to use layering to your advantage — plus, what to look for in a great pair of skinnies! (And if her items are sold out, we’ve linked to similar styles below — happy shopping!)

Courtesy Allison Teng

Here, I really wanted to create a trendy-yet-comfy go-anywhere outfit that could easily transition from day to night. I started with a super soft, cognac leather Michael Kors jacket (similar style). I’m just starting to wear brown tones — I never thought they worked on my skin, but I’ve realized that lighter shades are actually pretty easy to wear. I paired the jacket with Torrid skinny jeans. The jeans are super form fitting — basically a second-skin legging — so I went for something longer and flowier on top with this New Look Inspire blouse (similar style). The blouse flares out over my hips, and since I’m an apple shape, I like adding volume to my hips to balance me out.

When I incorporate flowy silhouettes like this into my look, I like to find a way to pull them into my body a bit so I don’t lose my shape. This can be achieved with a belt, or with an added layer like a leather jacket. The jacket pulls everything in, and because it is fitted at my natural waist, it adds nice definition to my middle. The jacket is slightly cropped so you can still see the flowy hem of the blouse, which I like. Varying hemlines is an easy way to add interest to your look. They can also hide what you want to hide and show what you want to show. It’s all about strategic layering!

RELATED: See even more wardrobe tips from Allison here!

Going back to the jeans for a second — here are a few curvy girl denim-related tips I’d like to share with you guys: Whoever said that plus size girls can’t wear skinny jeans is totally wrong! Skinnies are great for showing off your legs. If you’re worried about wearing something form-fitting, opt for a darker wash — it’s much more forgiving than something lighter. Also, make sure the pockets on your jeans lie really flat — no lumps or bumps — and go for tonal stitching rather than contrast. It looks more streamlined and won’t break up the line of your lower half. My favorites are hit-at-the-ankle styles for the most lengthened look.

I chose a sleek, taupe Phillip Lim for Target crossbody bag (similar style). I love bags with adjustable straps, especially if I’m going to sling them across my body. For me, the drop length needs to be between 24 and 25 inches (the standard is usually 21-22 inches.) If you’re an avid online shopper like I am, figuring out your ideal strap length before you make a purchase is highly recommended. I finished off my outfit with a long gold necklace and nude Cole Haan pumps to continue the lengthened effect.

How do you use layers to your advantage? What qualities do you love in a flattering pair of jeans? Sound off below!

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