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30 Closet Staples Every Curvy Woman Needs In Their Wardrobe

And 29 curvy fashionistas to show you how to work em'.

Style

The best thing a woman can have is options, and thanks to online shopping, curvy women now have a sense of freedom when it comes to fashion. Each day, brands are finding ways to become more inclusive to sizes beyond XL because of the advocacy of curvy fashionistas who refuse to not take up space, who demand attention, and admiration...because why the hell not?

No matter what size, every woman needs foolproof pieces that will embrace and flatter each curve on her body while being multipurpose. Shopping for the right fit can be a daunting task for any woman, let alone curvier women who do not have the option of having their sizes in store to try on. But fear not sis, we got you!

We gathered up the expertise of 29 curvy fashionistas of all different shapes and sizes to sound-off on what they thought were essential pieces that every curvy girl needs in their wardrobe. Representation matters the most, and after seeing these beautiful women work it, it's time for you to make sure you are equipped with the wardrobe that will have you feeling confident enough to overdress for one occasion and shake a 'lil something the next!

1. A fashionable sneaker.

"I love that sneaker brands are taking women seriously. The styles have come a long way. I love that sneakers are not only comfortable but stylish and functional. I love wearing sneakers with a dress or a nice pair of denim or even a suit." - Essie Golden

2. A bustier or lace bra.

"Every girl needs lingerie. Lingerie is not only for when you want to serve up sexy for bae, it is perfect for when you want to feel good about yourself by yourself. Lingerie is the beginning of a great look because it complements what you are wearing. Lingerie can also be worn as a top in some cases. A suit with a bustier or lacy bra is the perfect look and it screams bold and sexy." - Maui Bigelow

3. A bold statement top.

"A statement top that says something dramatic and shows off a great deal of personality." - Idorenyin

4. A sexy yet breathable dress.

"A sexy dress you can wear without Spanx or girdle because after 30, don't nobody want to be hooked up at every occasion (laughs)." - Kamari Richardson

5. A luxurious faux fur jacket.

"A luxurious faux fur jacket because it can really change your life if you let it."- Chardline Chanel

6. A block heel/booties.

"Block heels and/or booties if it is cold, preferably cream or black because they are way more comfortable than stiletto heels and they look good with almost any outfit. They also elevate the look. You could wear a tee and jeans throw them on and bam! Your outfit is fire."- Brenda S

7. A good pair of jeans.

"A good pair of jeans is a staple piece that when they are fitted correctly on a curvy girl and they are also comfortable. You can always switch it up on them! From a fresh pair of kicks to a stunning pair of heels!" - Shawna V

8. A dress that screams "the dress".

"'The dress' is that one that makes you feel the most beautiful or the sexiest or the most confident. It can be your go-to for a girls' night out or dinner with your love. Everyone deserves a garment that makes you appreciate yourself just a little bit more." - Yanique Holder

9. A statement coat/jacket.

"A statement coat/jacket because on days where you are feeling plain. A good statement coat/jacket will make any outfit." - Bianca Gale

10. A combat/utility boot.

"Every curvy girl needs a pair of combat/utility boots! Truly a staple in my wardrobe, I can rock them with a slip dress, jacket, and wide-brimmed hat, or ripped jeans with a white tee and moto jacket. I love a great pair of lace-up or studded combat boots."- Laudie J

11. A bodycon dress.

"Every curvy girl should own at least one bodycon dress that flatters their shape." - Alissa S. Wilson

12. A black blazer.

"A black blazer. It's essential because it is versatile. You can use it to dress up an outfit, but can also be used casually. You can wear it with a cute top, jeans, and heels for a night out on the town, or you can roll the sleeves up and wear it with a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of Chucks (or J's)."- Sasha Renee

13. An oversized denim jacket.

"Oversized cropped denim jacket (it accentuates curves and the waist)!" - Aspen

14. A polka-dot ensemble.

"Polka dots because fashion should be fun and what's more fun than polka dots?"- Faith Lasha

15. A chic jacket.

"Moto jackets are my favorite. It adds a little edge to your outfit but still can be modest."- Chante Burkett

16. A duster jacket.

"Dusters are a big girl's best friend. They can help dress up or dress down any outfit. Extremely versatile and can be worn year-round. It's like a cardigan on steroids (laughs)!"- Courtney Arlett

17. A flowy maxi-dress.

"A flowy maxi dress: A maxi is an effortless way to create sophisticated drama with just one piece. I absolutely love them." - Thamarr

18. The perfect peplum top.

"Inherently chic, the peplum is a plus girls' best clothing item when she wants to minimize her stomach area and accentuate the hips. And they are back on trend again. Find one with an asymmetrical hem for an edgy take on this nostalgic style that is here to stay." - Nikki Free

19. A convertible dress.

"A convertible dress A dress that you can tie and wear in a variety of ways. It doesn't matter the silhouette (flowy or form-fitting) but why have curves and not show them off a bit? Confidence is the best thing when dressing up. It always elevates ANY and EVERYONE outfit." - Jen Jeanpierre

20. Thigh-high boots.

"Thigh-high boots - sorry but I think every woman should have at least one pair. Nothing turns heads quicker when strutting in with good boots." - Yasmine

21. The perfect black belt.

"The perfect black waist belt! So crucial for cinching the waist and emphasizing the hips. It's great to have in a bunch of colors but you can do so much with a simple black belt." - Nzinga Imani

22. A crop top.

"A crop top. Period. We can wear them too." - Sesali

23. A well-made trench coat.

"A well-made trench coat (I've launched two that I designed with Tamara Malas)."- Kelly Augustine

24. A classic jumpsuit.

"The perfect jumpsuits allow you to transition from season to season as a wardrobe piece. Layer up with a jacket, blazer, duster, or not at all if the weather is on your side. Jumpsuits flatter almost every shape, define the waist and hug all the right curves." - Marinda Diane

25. A midi wrap dress.

"The wrap dress is flirty and fun. It hugs your curves at the right places and can easily be layered with a turtleneck and a knee-high boot for a chic look in fall or with a sneaker and denim jacket for a cute date look in spring." - Taelor Pawnell

26. A track suit.

"A track suit - yes anyone can wear them, but they hit different on our bodies! Plus, you can dress them up or down." - Nastasiaa Guy

27. A luxe bag.

"A signature designer bag. Nothing says fashion like a luxe bag. If you're not a girl who does a monthly splurge on bags and shoes, try investing in one luxe bag. My favorite is the Louis Vuitton Neverfull bag." - Ty Alexander

28. A faux leather top.

"Let's face it, leather and curves are a sexy yet sinful mix. By combining with softer textures, you are able to pull off an elegant look, but at the same time give off the hint that you have a sexy little secret." - Zaniah Boykin

29. Dependable shapewear.

"Shapewear is important for curvy girls (and other women) because it smooths things out. Shapewear also pull things together for me. As a plus-size woman who loves her curves, I am not afraid of form-fitting pieces but I want to assure that I eliminate or smooth things out as much as possible." - Maui Bigelow"

30. A sexy bathing suit.

It's all about comfort because once you are comfortable that helps you be as confident as you need to be inorder to enjoy your time near the water. Bikini, two-piece, fat-kini, one piece, you name it. Just rock it!" - Zaniah Boykin

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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