As a way of getting to know my readers, I ask e-mail subscribers a series of questions and I’ve noticed a pattern.

When asked, “What do you struggle with most when it comes to racing fashion?’”

How do I dress a curvy, fuller figure?” hits my inbox A LOT!

So, this blog is dedicated to all the non-stick-thin-waif-like-model types out there who have trouble finding beautiful, flattering race wear.

Thank you to all the plus sized women from the Field Fashion Community who provided valuable input on this one, together we are going to help you look your curvalicious best at your next race event!

First, let’s look at shapes and styles.

Fabrications and Silhouettes for Larger Sizes

If you are a plus size woman, the most important lesson is to not be afraid of figure fitting clothing. Curves are in (Thanks Kim, Khloe and all the other sisters). There’s no need to hide your body, and covering up with a boxy shape is unflattering anyway.

Dahyna Heenan wearing pink racewear

Image credit: Dahyna Heenan

Try choosing a thicker fabric with some stretch in it. These fabrics will mould to your body and hug you in the right places. Even scuba fabric is fast becoming a favoured option among many.

Fit and flare shapes are also widely popular, as a lot of curvy women have an hourglass figure. Use a belt to accentuate your waist.

fit and flare dress

Image credit: Emily Walsh (left), Dahyna Heenan (right)

If you are pear shaped, you can opt for skirts and tops that define the waist. A skirt that has a thick waist band, or large pleats, looks great too.

Ruching is flattering, as well as dresses that drape over the waist.

Emily Walsh wearing racewear dresses

Image credit: Emily Walsh

Plus Size Dressing Tips

  • Don’t be scared to try new things. I hadn’t worn a full dress to the races before this year- now I love them!
  • Feel comfortable. This is of utmost importance to enjoying yourself. Don’t put fashion before comfort, or you’ll have a bad day.
  • Shop for your shape. Sifting through a bunch of size 8 lycra numbers is not going to make you feel good. Know what suits your shape and enjoy the shopping experience.
  • Show off your best feature. Focus on what you like most about your body and accentuate it.
  • Work with your height. Don’t choose a length that cuts you off at the wrong point.
Klara Coates wearing blue racewear dress

Image credit: @racingsavvy

Dressing for Your Body and Staying on Trend

When dressing a curvier figure, being comfortable is important, however, part of the judging criteria in a FOTF event is the element of fashion. If you’re going to enter the competition, you need to consider trends.

Klara Coates wearing blue racewear dress

Image credit: Emily Walsh

If you are short and curvy, a midi length full skirt may not suit you. Luckily, current trends are not just about the shape and silhouette of clothing.

Trends can be incorporated through colours or fabrications, prints, textures and through your millinery and accessories. Wear an outfit that suits your shape, then accessorize with an on-trend piece of millinery or earrings, clutch or necklace.

Dahyna-Heenan wearing pink lavender racewear dress

Image credit: Dahyna Heenan

Dahyna opts for a fashion forward bag and halo to complement her outfit here.

Dahyna Heenan wearing black racewear dress
If you do want to wear a trending outfit, grab a trusted friend and hit the fitting rooms. Try a bunch on. If you fall in love with something, it might just need a bit of tweaking and tailoring to better suit your figure.

The Importance of Undergarments

Think of undergarments as the foundation of your outfit. They create a nice smooth line in dresses and can hide underwear lines. The right undergarment can give you an hourglass shape, hide lumps, bumps, dimples and make you feel that little bit more secure.

When choosing undergarments, it is important to get the right fit. Your local bra store will be able to fit you, so that your bra holds you in and without leaving you with nasty overhang.

Undergarments don’t have to be expensive either, it just depends on where you shop.

The favourite brands for shapewear are Target, Simone Perele and Nanzy Ganz.

Racewear undergarments

Racewear undergarments

Shoes for Comfort and Style

Nothing puts you in a worse mood and makes you want to go home quicker than having sore feet caused by uncomfortable shoes. It is important when choosing shoes, curvy or not, to find ones that are comfortable, have a sturdy heel and are slimming and suit your look.

The favourite brands for shoes with a little extra support and comfort are ASOS, Shoes of Prey, Wittner, Long Tall Sally, Nine West, Zara and Diavolina.

high heels for plus size ladies

Bridal shoes and leopard shoes in dune colour

Look for a padded sole and wide toe option, which many shoes brands have and if you find a super comfortable pair that you LOVE, then why not buy it in another colour or two.

Heel heights vary from 2cm to 20. The taller heels may be more appealing as they elongate your legs, but for the sake of walking comfortably and for a long period of time, shorter heels are always best!

A Quick Note on Millinery

Millinery is important when considering larger silhouettes because you want your overall appearance to be balanced. All styles will suit curvy women of course, but having a larger piece will help keep everything in proportion. Halos, wide brim hats, crowns, tall perchers and structural pieces work well.

Dahyna-Heenan with black and yellow millinery hat
Dahyna Heenan Millinery

Dahyna Heenan Millinery

Image credit: Dahyna Heenan

Hint: if you have put an outfit together and are not sure which millinery would suit, take a photo of you wearing your outfit and use PicCollage to help you ‘try on’ a number of different styles. You can see a variety of hats from different milliners and race enthusiasts on Millinery Market.

5 Instagram Accounts to Follow for Inspo

One of the best things you can do for fashion inspo is to follow some savvy fashionistas on social media. Instagram is my platform of choice as I love scrolling through hundreds of images and being able to search hashtags or check out different brands.

If you look at a brand’s tagged photos you can see photos of every day people wearing their clothing and styling it in their own way.

Here are 5 great Instagrammers you can follow for some inspo.

Dahyna @dahynaheenan

Racewear photos from Dahyna Heenan Instagram

Photos from Dahyna Heenan's Racewear Instagram
Dahyna is one of the lovely curvy ladies who helped provide me with some great tips for this blog and most of you would recognize her from FOTF events. Dahyna has a great sense of style and puts together beautiful outfits from head to toe. She has won many FOTF events and has taught herself to make millinery for the past few years.

Sally @curvyracing