Full-figured women too often are told what they should and shouldn't wear. Denise Alden, owner of Bombshell Boutique in St. Paul, dispels myths and misconceptions about plus-size style:

Plus-sized women should wear only loose, billowing garments.

"Oh, no. I don't care what size you are, you will always, always, always look better in clothing that fits you rather than hides you."

Plus-sized women shouldn't wear horizontal stripes.

"That depends on the width and color of the stripes, doesn't it?" said Alden. "Really, it's all about proportion. One of my favorite tops is ivory with navy stripes."

Plus-sized women look frumpy in long skirts.

"I don't think this is limited to plus-size women. The wrong skirt length on anyone can either look scandalous or matronly. More often than not, knee-length flatters many of us."

Plus-sized women should wear shapewear every day.

"I think shapewear should be deployed strategically, when you're willing to be slightly uncomfortable for an event," said Alden. "But every day? Not a chance!"

Plus-sized women should aspire to an hourglass silhouette.

"I confess that I often fall back on this silhouette," said Alden. "There's something about the proportion that's very pleasing. That being said, there are other silhouettes out there, and I think finding a pleasing proportion and balance is more important than striving for any one type of silhouette."

Sally McGraw