Curvy Girl Chic's Allison Teng: The Key to Prints Is to Wear Them With Confidence

05/05/2014 at 05:51 PM ET

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 will be contributing regularly to the site. This week, she’s all about the right mindset for getting dressed to perfection. Leave any questions you have in the comments!

Allison Teng Curvy Girl ChicCourtesy Allison Teng

Over the years, I’ve been told many times that plus-size girls shouldn’t wear prints. The usual reason? “They make you look bigger.” But I’ve never worried about that. Here’s why: A lot of the way you look comes from how you carry yourself. If you seem self-conscious and look like you want fashion advice, people will usually give it to you (whether you actually want it or not). But if you present yourself like you should be wearing a bold print or style and just own it, no one’s going to question it.

At first, I tiptoed into the world of prints with stripes and polka dots — they just seemed easier. But these days, I can’t get enough! Printed pieces are such a great way to make a statement, and if you’re worried about flattering your figure, there are plenty of patterns that add visual interest without bulking you up.

RELATED: See what else Allison has to say about plus size style!

This H&M dress is a great example of that. Because the print is small and tone-on-tone, it isn’t in your face. The sheer fabric keeps it from looking heavy, and the waist is elasticized, which gives some shape. If you wanted, you could belt it to break up the pattern — but personally, I love the look of a flowy, uninterrupted print. The sleeves are full-length, but I pushed them up. It’s a great way to show a little skin in a piece that is otherwise covered-up.

I added Torrid heeled sandals so the dress hits about an inch off the ground — maxidresses that drag on the ground drive me crazy — and a navy and gold Monika Chiang bag, which I love because of the detailed handle and woven suede. The result is an easy outfit that’s perfect for anything from weekend brunch to a retail therapy session!

What’s your policy on prints? How do you wear them?

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