You CAN wear a crop top at any size!

You CAN wear a crop top at any size! Three curvy women get a confidence- boosting makeover to prove figure-hugging dresses and midriff-baring outfits work for every shape

  • Celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage is supporting Plus Size Fashion Week
  • Gave three women who are size 18 and over a confidence-boosting makeover 
  • Kristina Barnett, 27, from Bristol feels she’s ‘not allowed’ to wear bikinis
  • Lisa Chafel, 51, from London wants to set a confident example for her daughter  

Many of us would like to be more body confident, but despite the fashion industry gradually becoming more diverse many plus-size women still struggle to find fashionable clothes they feel comfortable in.

And even more crucially, pulling off the right outfit is often a matter of having the confidence to do so.   

Ahead of ahead of UK Plus Size Fashion Week, starting on 5th May, celebrity stylist and designer Lucas Armitage has given three women a makeover to prove you can make bold style choices at any size. 

One of his candidates Kristina Barnett, 27, from Bristol admitted that she wants to be more bold with her choices but is knocked back by people making cruel comments to her on the street. 

Meanwhile Lisa Chafel, 51, from London wants to set a good example for her daughter by being more body confident.  

Lucas teamed up with celebrity make-up artist Lisa Little, whose philosophy is that everyone deserves to be beautiful, and hairdresser James Johnson to create three bold looks. 

And the results defy the idea you can’t wear crop tops or figure hugging outfits if you’re plus size. 

Kristina Barnett, 27, Bristol, Cece Bryan, 34, from London and Lisa Chafel, 51, from London have all struggled with their fashion confidence 

Kristina Barnett, 27, Bristol

Size: 20 – 22  

NHS administrative assistant Kristina battles with her self-esteem as she’s regularly subjected to cruel comments about her size.

‘I think most voluptuous woman struggle with confidence on a daily basis,’ she explained. 

‘I could walk in a shop and not find my size which is a regular thing, so I’m limited to what I can and can’t purchase. 

Kristina’s look 

Crop top: Boohoo, £12 

Trousers: Boohoo, £20

Shoes: M&S, £35

Earring new look £3.99 

‘This for me is a really big knock because I love my body, but walking down the road I get comments made to me. 

‘And I’m also made to feel as though I’m not meant to wear crop tops or bikinis when I walk into a shop, all due to there being such a stigma and a gap in the market.

Styling tricks  

Crop tops are often something plus size girls may be fearful of rocking, but I feel the standard rule book of fashion is redundant and it’s all about creating your own style rules. 

Kristina has a great shape and the crop top and high waisted trousers are perfect to show of her amazing body. The playful print gives a current vibe which we have seen in the likes of Cardi B and Stefflon Don. 

For me this is a powerful look that says plus size girls can also rock high trend exciting looks. 

Kristina Barnett, 27, Bristol feels like she’s excluded from wearing the crop tops and bikinis she wants to buy because she’s a size 20 to 22 

Slimming hair trick 

Stylist James Johnson said: ‘I tonged Kristina’s hair in opposite directions to create that loose tousled image. 

‘By volumising and waving the hair around her face with the ends straight, it’s helped to extend and elongate her face shape, contouring her face perfectly.’ 

Kristina’s verdict 

The makeover was amazing. It really boosted me up and made me feel like I’m not wrong for wanting to show my body how I want to show it. 

Confidence boost: Kristina shows off her curves in a crop top and trousers by Boohoo 

Celebrity make-up artist Lisa Little, who has worked with Gemma Collins, perfected Kristina’s look 

CECE BRYAN, 34, LONDON 

Size 22-24

‘I am a proud mother of two beautiful girls that I adore, love and treasure with all my heart,’ Cece explained.

Cece’s look 

Dress: Pretty Little Thing, £25

Court shoe: Lipsy at next.co.uk, £55

Earnings: The Timeless, £25

Spanx High Power Shorts: £35

‘I have come through depression and dealt with anxiety. I want to embrace my so called flaws and understand what I used to see as an imperfection it is actually my perfection. 

The stylist’s verdict

Cece has an amazing figure and this kimino dress shows of her curves to perfection, the drapey fabric is non clingy and easy to wear whilst the knot detail perfectly draws attention to her waist. 

For a perfect silhouette we used a Spanx high power shorts to smooth out and enhance Cece’s natural shape. The earnings add a finishing touch and the bold court shoe adds personality. 

I love using an unexpected colour in a shoe for a mixed up look which creates a modern contemporary feel. 

Cece Bryan, 34, from London wants to learn to love her so-called imperfections 

Cece looked stylish in a silver dress from Pretty Little Thing and The Timeless earrings 

Slimming hair trick

Cece has amazing hair. The short style really gives her an empowering look. 

‘By having a short shaven do, Cece really exposes her naturally pretty features, a must do for anyone brave enough to go for the chop, or the shave.’

Cece’s verdict 

‘I have learned and understood how to love the body that I am in.

‘I am proud that I can hold my head high and say that I am me and be proud of that.

I hope I have inspired other ladies that are in my position now by letting them know that what society sees as perfect is not true, being who you are is perfection.’

Cece has come to realise that being yourself is where true ‘perfection’ lies 

LISA CHAFEL, 51, LONDON 

Size: 18 – 20  

The full-time mother who is retraining as a make-up artist wants to be more confident to show a good example to her daughter. 

Lisa’s look  

Dress: M&S, £59 

Shirt: M&S, £39.50

Trousers: M&S, £39.50

Shoes: Lipsy at next.co.uk, £55

Bangle: Les Gourgettes, £219

Earring: New Look, £5.99

‘I’ve definitely struggled with confidence and still do. I think we all have at times. But as I’ve “grown up,” I try not to let those insecurities and doubts stop me from doing what I know, in my heart, is the right thing for me. 

‘You realise that it’s such a waste of time and energy. Of course, as a mum, I worry for my daughter growing up in such an image-obsessed society. 

‘But I’m also seeing so many strong, proud, beautiful, young women celebrating diversity and being positive role models, that I think she’ll be alright.’

The stylist’s verdict: For Lisa I wanted to ramp up her existing sense of style – she loves florals and has dabbled in kimonos and blouses. 

I choose a versatile dress which I styled open like a duster- the matching trouser gives a sense a real senseof style and gives her floral look a chic update. 

Lisa felt super chic and empowered int this versatile look. The dress can be worn with denim and t shirts for more causal vibe. 

Lisa Chafel, 51, from London wants to set a better example for her daughter in today’s image-obsessed society 

Lisa wears a wrap dress styled as a duster coat with matching trousers from M&S 

Stylist James gave Lisa a side parting to show off her cheekbones and eyes 

But together they give her the perfect powerful work look – or of course she can rock it as a dress too almost like a 3 in 1 garment! 

Lisa’s verdict: It was such a treat to be pampered by top hair and make up artists and have a stylist pick out an outfit for me. 

It’s not something I probably would’ve picked myself, but I think it captured exactly what I was hoping for – fashion-forward, sophisticated yet fun & funky.

Slimming hair trick 

‘Straight away from looking at Lisa I instantly saw her amazing cheek bones and eyes,’ James said. 

‘To enhance this and show them off, I gave Lisa a side parting, sweeping the top of hair to the side.’ 

Lucas Armitage is talking at the UK plus size fashion week event this Saturday from 5:30pm at the Yard in London’s Shoreditch. For more information visit ukpsfw.com

Left to right: Hair stylist James Johnson, Kristina Barnett, Cece Bryan, stylist Lucas Armitage,Lisa Chafel and make-up artist Lisa Little 

 

 

 

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