August 04, 2014 01:00 PM

Welcome Allison Teng, 26, 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 deal with big, bold prints.

Courtesy Allison Teng

As we’ve discussed, prints can be tricky for plus girls. But that doesn’t mean they should be off-limits. Quite the opposite, actually. I think any girl, of any shape, can wear prints — she just needs to use them strategically. Case in point: This Diane von Furstenberg dress. (Shop it here in a similar style.) I’m totally obsessed with it (DVF is one of my fave designers). I noticed the print first — it was timeless, but felt different than anything I’d seen before. When I tried the dress on, I loved that the print faded out at the bottom, which had an instantly elongating effect on my legs. And, because the silhouette is fairly simple, I felt like I could opt for a busier print. It’s all about balance (a busy silhouette + a busy print = too much).

RELATED: See even more wardrobe tips from Allison here!

With a boxier silhouette like this, you can’t go wrong with adding a belt (mine is from ASOS Curve) to show off your waist. Skinnier belts are a great option if you’re short-waisted like me — thicker belts tend to hit too close to the bust, making your waist look boxy, rather than defined. The material of this dress is thin and silky, which I’ve found makes boxy shapes much easier to wear. The dress just kind of skims over your body. Also, I love that belting the dress shortens it just a bit to show off a little more leg. With a loose-fitting dress, you want to reveal some skin so you aren’t too covered up.

To amp up the simple silhouette, I went with a pair of Torrid heels with pops of metallic, and a studded Hearts clutch — both accessories with major attitude. Embrace glitzier pieces, plus girls! Sparkle and metallic works on anyone. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to call attention to yourself. Never feel like you have to hide!

What’s the best way you’ve turned a trend around to work for you? Share it in the comments!

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