If you鈥檙e like us, you鈥檝e likely become obsessed with AMC鈥檚 brand new show Dietland based on Sarai Walker鈥檚 best-selling novel of the same name. The series tells the story of Plum Kettle (played by actress Joy Nash), who is the ghostwriter of the editor to one of New York鈥檚 hottest fashion magazines. On the show, Plum, a visibly plus-size woman, is always looking fierce, fabulous, and trendy. This is in large part to Katie Riley, costume designer and fashion impresario.

Here, Riley, who lives and works in New York, debunks the biggest myths about plus-size fashion and how women of all shapes and sizes should feel empowered to dress how they want. (Photo via Erik Madigan Heck/AMC)

Myth 1: Stick to dark colors

Riley thinks that this myth couldn鈥檛 be further from the truth. If you love a color, just go for it, and embrace shades that complement your skin tone rather than your waistline. Another tip? 鈥淚f monochromatic [brights] feel overwhelming, try mixing in neutrals or a contrasting tone in accessories,鈥 she says. Add in shades like black and navy to metallics and animal prints to make highly pigmented hues feel less intimidating.

Myth 2: Don鈥檛 mix prints and patterns

One of Riley鈥檚 favorite styling tricks is pattern mixing, and she recommends it to every one of her clients. 鈥淚t鈥檚 a playful and sophisticated way to work with your clothes,鈥 she adds, noting that if you鈥檝e been looking for ways to add interest to your wardrobe, this is it. She suggests unconventional pattern pairings, like florals or stripes paired with plaid. 鈥淚t鈥檚 really all about what makes you feel confident and strong,鈥 according to Riley.

Myth 3: Miniskirts aren鈥檛 for everyone

Who has time for such lies?! 鈥淭his is so not true 鈥 it鈥檚 about finding the right mini for you,鈥 Riley says. The silhouette of your itty bitty mini is just as important as the length. One thing that she suggests is trying on different shapes of short skirts (who knew?). How the cut lays on your curves will determine what cropped style is best for you.

Myth 4: Keep accessories quiet

Riley knows the power of statement accessories to punch up a simple outfit (like a T-shirt and jeans). Don鈥檛 be afraid to sidestep safe choices and dare to stand out with a bold bag or a head-turning bright necklace. 鈥淚t can transform a look and really dress it up!鈥 the costume designer, who also worked on Mozart in the Jungle, explains.

Myth 5: Light colors make you look bigger

According to Riley, 鈥淚t鈥檚 not about the value of the hue, it鈥檚 about the fit and how you feel in the pieces.鈥 People will sense if you are unsure or self-conscious in your clothes. Covering up or constantly tugging is a telltale sign that you鈥檙e second-guessing your choice. But, in the end, balance is key. Lighter colors don鈥檛 automatically translate to an unflattering outfit, but lack of proportion will. Riley, who also worked on MTV鈥檚 Finding Carter, suggests for those who might find an all-white ensemble daunting is to try pairing a white T-shirt or a light-colored blouse with a dark denim bottom.

Myth 6: It鈥檚 hard to shop for plus-size fashions

Listen up: we all know that it can be difficult to find clothes that are fashionable, functional, and flattering. But we鈥檙e introduced to new brands, new designers, and new looks every single day 鈥 trust and believe that there are options out there that fit your needs.

Riley notes that the fashion market is finally starting to understand that every woman has the right to look and feel amazing in her clothing. Brands like Universal Standard, Eloquii, and Premme聽are just a few of the names redefining plus-size shopping. High-end designers, however, are just starting to see the potential in this demographic. Online retailer 11 Honor茅 launched last year to address this very void in the market and has since partnered with body-positive labels ranging from Prabal Gurung and Christian Siriano (both longtime supporters of inclusive sizing) to TOME and Jonathan Simkhai.

Myth 7: Oversized clothing makes you look smaller


Well-tailored clothing is the way to go 鈥 no matter if you鈥檙e a size 0 or a size 32. Oversized items can add unwanted bulk, but mostly they can hide your natural curves and mistakenly add volume to your frame. Riley tells us that folks should pay attention to where seams fall on their body and not be afraid to visit a tailor. If a seam is off-center, warped, or stretched, it鈥檚 time to revisit your fashion choice. 鈥淚 am a big believer in finding a good tailor. Sometimes a small adjustment can make a big difference,鈥 Riley adds.

Want more fashion advice? Follow us on Pinterest.

Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.