Fascinatingly, there are many people out there who do not understand the concept of clothing. According to the Webster Dictionary, clothing is defined as “garments in general.” You put on clothes in order to clothe yourself, as is customary in polite society. And yet, there are always lists of items “fat girls can’t wear” (I would link, but I don’t want to give them the clicks and anybody who really wants to can Google ’em). Strangely, these grumpy disgruntled jerks expert fashion critics do not seem to understand that plus size women can, indeed, wear these items in order to clothe themselves–and when styled well, as with any outfit, they will look fantastic.

If you like a trend or a piece of clothing, you should try wearing it. We have previously discussed at length why plus size women should wear bikinis and why it’s ridiculous to insist that fat girls cannot wear crop tops. Instead of policing ladies’ bodies (an activity the Internet loves doing, as shown by the responses to one of our intern’s recent posts), perhaps recognizing that women–no matter their size–can and should wear whatever pieces they want. The following are the styles that many people claim fat women can’t wear, and why they should regardless.

1. Skinny Jeans

I have heard the phrase “they’re not skinny jeans if you’re not skinny” more times than I can count, exclusively from people who think they’re more clever than they are. (Ha ha! I get it! Because lol literal!) But as anybody with one-third of a brain knows, “skinny” refers to the style; they are “skinny jeans” because they are tight to your skin. Plus size women are told not to wear “mom jeans” or high waisted jeans or any jeans that are not specifically designed to make them look thinner, which is absurd and impractical–and expensive, TBH.

2. Tight Clothes

Speaking of which, for some reason, many people (and designers, for that matter) think that all plus size women should be wearing tents. Ill-fitting, floppy tents. These are typically boring, drab, and overall “blah” because they completely disregard the shape of women’s bodies. Form-fitting dresses can look amazing on plus size female figures, so don’t let this arbitrary rule scare you away.

3. Crop Tops

We’ve already talked about this quite a bit, but seriously: anybody can wear a crop top. Just put it on your body and wear it. Some methods of styling it are certainly better than others, like a pretty midi-length skirt with a same-color crop top or a pair of high-waisted shorts with a crop top, but those same tips go for non-plus size women, too.

4. Short Hair

13 Styles Plus Size Women Are Told Not To Wear, But Should Anyway

Photo: Shutterstock

I know I’m guilty of being afraid of looking “ugly” to people after changing my hair, but it’s entirely different to be told that you straight up cannot wear a certain haircut because of your clothing size and supposed face shape. (It’s also an inaccurate, lazy myth on the part of some ladymags that all plus size women have “round” face shapes, but that’s a rant for another day.) You can pull of a pixie cut, I promise.

5. Oversize Clothes

I know this seems in contradiction with #2, but that’s one of the fascinating things about pseudo “style guides” for plus size women–and all women, for that matter. They simply do not make sense and often oppose other equally silly rules.

6. Sleeveless Tops

Just because you don’t have Michelle Obama‘s biceps doesn’t mean you have to suddenly sacrifice your style (and comfort, because it is crazy humid this summer).

7. Big Patterns

Yes, this really is a thing people say overweight women shouldn’t wear, and that we should simply wear teensy tiny patterns because that’s how we can trick people into thinking we are teensy tiny.

8. Bikinis

You know how we feel about bikini bodies. (You put a bikini on your body, and voila! Bikini body ahoy.) Plus size women need not be banished to the realm of “tummy flattening” tankinis and skirted swimsuits.

9. High Heels

So, apparently plus size women look like “a hilarious tragedy waiting to happen,” but I’m pretty sure that if you can walk in heels (I personally cannot, but that’s for other reasons and also general clumsiness), you should. You should right now. Put them on at your desk and strut all the way to the coffee machine.

10. Thongs

13 Styles Plus Size Women Are Told Not To Wear, But Should AnywayAccording to the article from #9, fat ladies can’t wear thongs. I debated including this on the list because I think thongs are generally uncomfortable for literally everybody, but if you really want to wear them, go grab 5 for $26 at Victoria’s Secret this afternoon.

11. Short Shorts

Hiding your thighs for work makes sense for everybody (unless you work at Hooter’s, because they will fire you), but if you want to wear short shorts, pop ’em on and go out.

12. Horizontal Stripes

You know what’s awesome about horizontal stripes? They make your boobs look enormous, so regardless of how they supposedly look terrible on big hips, I’m plan on wearing some horizontal stripes with high-waisted short shorts for my date tonight. Take that, Internet (who will totally not be seeing my outfit, but whatevs, it’s the thought that kind of counts).

13. Small Purses

13 Styles Plus Size Women Are Told Not To Wear, But Should Anyway

Photo: Shutterstock

There are actual guides to which purses look “best” with your body type. (Spoiler alert: The ones that look “best” are the ones that make you look thinnest.) Just grab the best bag for the occasion. Nobody will be thinking, “Good lord, why didn’t she put her laptop in a clutch?”