Plus Size Summer Style

The lovely Maribel asked me for some ideas for summer outfits. She's a mom on the go, doesn't want clothes that are crazy expensive, and petite, and I wanted her wardrobe to reflect that. Here are some ideas that can be modified to any size or budget. Enjoy!

Plus Size Summer Styles

Old Navy Plus Size Summer Style

I tried to think of activities and occasions for these outfits. Maribel lives in California. I started with Old Navy, which has affordable basics that come in plus sizes (and petites, too). You'll notice that many of the pieces repeat, because versatility is my number one rule when it comes to purchasing clothes. Use the colors that you like--these are just suggestions! Luckily, ON had the outfits ready--there are more! Simply search for plus size (bonus, no piece is over $30).

forever 21 trends

Just for the heck of it, I thought I'd include some current trends that even moms could love (btw, Maribel, I'm older than you!) from Forever21.com
  • We all know neon is huge this summer, and while neon accessories are an easy way to style the trend, why not try it in other ways? I like these neon shorts and skirt--balance it out with a neutral shirt.
  • This lace top is light and airy, just how we think summer should be. Not a fan on the tank? Try a short sleeve version. Again, perfect for layering.
  • I cannot get over my obsession with colored denim. But instead of super bright colors, try a creamy lemon, like these.
  • I like this trendy high-low skirt because it hits right at the knee, but still covers in the back. This would make an excellent pool-to-dine transition piece too.
bottoms plus size fashion summer

old navy forever 21 tops plus size

You'll need some basics to achieve these looks, and I pulled examples from ON and F21.

  • A maxi skirt--while maxi dresses are still all the rage, I think a skirt is more versatile. I admit, I was worried I'd be too short for one, but that's just not the case!
  • A basic skirt--I featured a lovely printed one in the second set, but try a bright color too. Just be sure the back doesn't ride up!
  • Khaki shorts--Bermuda shorts might be best if shorts tend to ride up on you. But I've never had a problem with the ones pictured.
  • Denim shorts--these from F21 are little more dressy, and that's why I like them.
  • Capris--a summer staple. Try in the linen variety, too. Try some that have varying lengths. I personally have had no problems with white ones while watching little ones, but a basic black or khaki will serve you well. Denim is so cute, too.
  • Dressy jeans and pants--for those cooler nights (or you don't have time to shave your legs!)
  • Tanks--another summer staple. Dress them up, layer a brighter color with a neutral, or layer with a button up shirt or cardi.
  • Tees--another basic that can be dressed up or down, according to occasion.
  • Blouses--you can still look casual here. Mix it up with a skirt.
  • Cardi--feel free to sub a button up shirt here too. Again, great for cooler nights. I use mine to hide my arms.

What summer trends are you loving?


  1. Elle this is such a great collection of items! Maribel would really appreciate it. The collection is very versatile and in my opinion suitable for almost everyone! It's not summer here but this season I'm loving that Peplum is back, and easier to find! I love that style :)

    Elle, I hope you can stop by and have a look at this inspirational post and join in on the giveaway

    http://vanishaslife.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/connection-to-timor-little-to-big.html :)

  2. I LOL at the "you don't have time to shave your legs". hahaha Soo true!!!

  3. amazing outfits! i love white capris and bright flowy tops for the summer

  4. Great picks! Your "Basics" list is bang on:)

  5. I am seriously loving the first Beach look - so gorgeous! :)

  6. I would so burn in those clothes if I wore those to the beach.

  7. All of these are great! I think I need to go visit Old Navy. I will definitely be referring back to this post when I get stumped about what to wear. I love that you also gave us a list of staples!

  8. Perfect for California! It's so casual out here, so those outfits work really well all year long.

  9. These are great choices! I love that you selected versatile pieces because I think that is a must.

  10. good idea, and very cute stuff!

  11. Summer trends I'm a fan of- stripes, white shorts/pants, coral and turquoise (both together and separate), maxi dresses/skirts and boat shoes. :)

    Great post- Old Navy is one of my go-to's for basics.


  12. great outfits elle! old navy really has some cute things this summer, plus 20% off today!!! i've ordered some things for my upcoming road trip. :D

  13. I like all the brightsand neons you picked in the first 2 sets :)

  14. Great items!

    xoxo Sootjeelina <3

  15. These are all such cool looks! I especially love the second Old Navy board. I'm hoping to try out the neon trend, though in small doses at first.

  16. Lovely post, you have a keen eye for chic and classic outfits. The clothes idea are great, very versatile and achievable no matter which part of the world we're in.

  17. Aw! Elle! Thank you for doing this!!! I am in love with all the outfits!!!! I still can't believe you are older than me! so not true! you look at least 5 years younger!!!

    And yes very versatile!!! :D I can't thank you enough... :) I hope it helps others that are 5'1 like me and plus size at the same time...

  18. What fabulous choices, Elle! I'm so getting excited for summer. I just actually dropped like $150 online at Old Navy because they were having 20% off today and I needed my summer basics! Beach house Friday! :)


  19. Love these! I'm a new forever 21 convert...my friend visited from Japan last year; apparently there's one in Tokyo that she had never been able to go to, so she was so excited when we had one here! I had never been inside...they have really cute, pretty affordable stuff. I'm all about Maxi dresses...the skirts seem like a good idea though. That way you could get a little more shape to your body if you wanted it?

  20. Those creamy yellow jeans need to find their way into my closet. Like yesterday.

  21. This is a great summary of the summer trends, thanks!

  22. I love Old Navy and I love neon. Great picks!


  23. I was just at Old Navy, and I love their colors!

  24. These are great summer ideas for anyone. Love the round up, especially how affordable everything is.

  25. very very VERY cute outfit ideas here! and i love that you are thinking of all sizes! i wish MORE DESIGNERS did that!


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