You probably know Whitney Thompson from one of the many fashion campaigns she’s starred in since being the first plus-size model to win America’s Next Top Model in 2008. But when she’s not in front of the lens, Thompson also loves to share her style advice and promote a healthy body image mentality as a spokesperson for the National Eating Disorder Association.
Most recently, the star teamed up with plus-size shopping site Evans.com to showcase some fashion-forward new looks using her favorite pieces from the label’s spring collection.
“I think the No. 1 thing I would tell curvy women is to not wear clothes that are too big,” Thompson tells PEOPLE. “It makes you look frumpty dumpty. If you are annoyed that you are a size 16 or 18, go home and cut out the tags and never think about it again. Nobody needs to know what size you are — not even you.”
The main thing Thompson loves about the Evans line is the figure-friendly fabrics. “When I started, there was so much polyester on the market. It’s so great that now the plus-size [girl] doesn’t feel like she can’t be fashionable too. I love anything silky and anything with cotton. Anything that breathes, and that makes you feel delicate and feminine, like a woman.” Below, she gives us the rundown on the four looks she put together.
Courtesy Whitney Thompson
LOOK 1: “I absolutely love this outfit. It’s such a fun party dress with the sheer overlay, and it hides any tummy issues you might have. At the same time the cut draws attention upward toward the waist. You just throw your hands on your hips and you have that hourglass shape. You don’t have to suck in all night. And the navy blue feels like a fresh departure from basic black.”
LOOK 2: “This outfit would be a great for work if you threw a blazer over it, and it would also be great to for a night out. Ditch the blazer, unbutton a few buttons. It’s very sexy and fun. The skirt was actually lace, but it’s stretchy material. It’s really soft and comfortable, but it looks really classic. And the top is really modern so it’s a fun mix.”
Courtesy Whitney Thompson
LOOK 3: “The dress underneath is a jersey material and then has a sheer fiery overlay that wraps around. It’s really comfortable, and with that overlay you see a hint of your silhouette and you still leave a little to the imagination. Plus, orange is such a hot color this season. It’s everywhere, and I love pulling out that statement color. Everyone can do it.”
LOOK 4:”I love the boyfriend jean. It’s so comfortable. I think anyone can pull off the relaxed fit. Especially if you throw a cuff on the bottom and add a heel. It doesn’t look like you tried too hard. The shirt is cotton so it breathes, but there is some subtle sheer detailing. It’s just kind of that perfect hint of sexy. The teal necklace is a great pop of color as well.”
Thompson has posed in beautiful dresses plenty of times, but there’s one major fashion moment coming up for her that’s unlike any other: Her wedding day! And her modeling experience helped make dress shopping a cinch; she only had one in mind.
“I think I’m going to wear my mother’s dress,” she says. “I’ve modeled so many wedding gowns that it’s lost the appeal. For a model, it’s a nightmare because you are modeling 100 dresses and they all lace up the back — it takes, like, an hour to put on. But the sentimentality means a lot to me.”
True to her stylish background, though, she’s going to tweak the look a bit to make sure it’s perfect for her. “I want to make sure it accentuates my waist. It’s a November wedding in Scotland, so I want something with lace sleeves.”
What do you think of the looks Thompson styled? Share your thoughts below!