Curvy Girl Chic's Allison Teng: How to Tackle Layering & Tricky Prints!

08/11/2014 at 09:00 AM 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 contributes her thoughts on finding the perfect outfit to the site each week. This week, she gives great tips on how to approach layering and bold prints — at the same time!.

Allison Teng dressing tipsCourtesy Allison Teng

I don’t wear a ton of maxis — I really like my legs, so I usually show them off! That being said, I wanted to experiment with a couple things in this look. The first being creative layering (i.e. An H&M crop top over an ASOS Curve maxi dress), and the second, conquering a tricky trend: stripes (or, in this case, stripes on stripes!).

Let’s start with the layering: The key, I’ve found, to successfully pulling off layers as a plus girl is to choose lightweight fabrics for your base layer. The jersey fabric that the dress is made with (find a similar one here) is pretty thin, so it wears really well underneath another item, even a more structured fabric like the knit on the crop top. If you layer with multiple heavier materials, you’re going to look like you’re drowning in them. This maxi dress isn’t clingy, but it does still show off my shape, which is also an important principle when layering. You don’t want to look bulky and totally lose your figure in the fabric. For this reason, I also like to stay away from layered fabrics with tons of ruching and gathering. Instead, keep things streamlined and body-skimming. Mega-bonus: This is yet another great way to rock a crop top (shop this style) without showing a lot of skin!

RELATED: See even more wardrobe tips from Allison here!

And then, the stripes: This can feel like a really daunting pattern to wear; there are so many misconceptions about stripes being instantly widening. I don’t think that’s true. Stripes are one of my favorite patterns to wear, and narrower stripes, like the ones I’m wearing here, have a dainty, subtle feel that doesn’t make you look bigger. Thicker, chunky stripes stand out a lot more and have more of a widening effect (but if you like thick stripes, I encourage you to experiment and make them work for you!). I chose stripes set against two different neutral backgrounds, because a.) neutrals are always easy to wear, b.) the navy dress creates a lengthening, column-like effect and c.) the juxtaposition between the two neutrals helps define my waist. A win-win-win!

A pair of heels or wedges with a maxi is always a great way to lengthen your look—my wedges are by Two Lips. Since there is already a lot of print going on, I kept my other accessories simple with a Jason Wu for Target satchel (similar one here) and an oversize Michael Kors watch.

I promise, ladies, it really is possible to conquer multiple fashion obstacles — in one look!

What’s the best way you’ve turned a trend around to work for you? What are your tricks for layering? Sound off below!

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