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Stylist, Former Plus-Size Model Offers Tips For Full-Figured Fashionistas

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Finding stylish clothes in plus sizes is finally getting easier.

Fashion-forward stylist Reah Norman showed CBS2’s Sibila Vargas how women can pull together trendy outfits that flatter fuller figures.

“We may alter things a little bit differently or tweak them, and put them together a little bit differently, but we want the same trends, we want the same fits, we just want it for us, in our size, in a flattering way,” said Norman, a former plus-size model and the executive fashion director for Plus Model Magazine.

“We’re an online magazine. We publish every month like a print magazine and we focus on the plus modeling industry and also on plus-size fashion,” Norman said.

As a stylist, Norman finds joy in inspiring women to take chances with fashion, regardless of their size.

“I can help plus size women, who maybe don’t want to be the size they are, and help them just feel really comfortable in the skin they’re in today,” Norman said.

Norman has been a loyal Lane Bryant customer for years and says there are financial benefits to shopping at stores that cater to plus-size physiques.

“If you are shorter than 5’8” or taller than 5’8” you want to be able to find pants that fit you lengthwise and not have to have them altered,” Norman said.

Norman says you can avoid spending $20 on alterations by making sure to shop at stores which specifically offer petite, medium and tall lengths.

“It’s very frustrating to even find something like a boot as a plus-size woman,” Norman said.

That’s because the width often doesn’t allow the zipper to get up past the calf. You can avoid spending $20 extra at the shoe repair shop stretching out a boot by looking for stores that sell boots with extended widths.

“We want to have the same options at the same prices that anyone else has,” Norman said.

The same goes for fashion trends.

Norman brought a size-14 model to show CBS2 some fashion tips.

She recommended giving sequins a chance in the daytime. Shimmer doesn’t have to be reserved for evening or special events, Norman said.

Her official rules of the moment:

Fashion tip #1: Consider trying on a “statement” skinny jean or pant. The “statement” refers to animal prints or a bold color.

“That’s one of the misconceptions with plus sizes — is that you can’t wear prints or that prints are going to make you look larger. When, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.”

Fashion tip #2: Try everything on.

“I think when you’re shopping the key is always to try things on, because there are things that don’t always have hanger appeal or that you automatically think aren’t going to work for you,” when they do.

Fashion tip #3: Try it on in more than one size.

“Each retailer is so different with their sizing, we definitely need to get away from being boxed into ‘we are one size.’ You can be a size 18 in one store and a size 22 in another just depending on how the garment is cut.”

Fashion tip #4: Be kind to yourself in the dressing room.

“Think about a certain part of your body that you do love and make that positive.”

You don’t have to be a model to get Norman’s full-figured styling expertise. She offers her services to anyone in need of wardrobe help.

Contact Reah Norman at ReahNorman.com.

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