Composite feauring intertwined images of model Bella Hadid and Teen Vogue's editorial assistant Aiyana Ishmael wearing...
Composite. Bella images: Getty, SplashNews. Aiyana images: LOUISIANA MEI GELPI for Teen Vogue

Is Bella Hadid's Style Plus-Size Friendly? I Dressed Up Like Her for a Week to Find Out

And collated the best alternatives.

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Bella Hadid is everywhere. Whether she’s walking the runway for our favorite designers, galavanting across sets in brand campaign shoots, or casually eating a slice of pizza on the NYC streets, the 26-year-old is a staple celeb in our universe. Fashion models are known for inspiring the masses, so much so that it’s quite easy to type in “Bella Hadid style ideas” on Pinterest and strike gold. Lyst even named Bella the Most Powerful Dresser of 2022. 

According to Lyst, the rising supermodel’s outfits sparked a 1,900% increase in searches for similar pieces. Over the past 12 months, she's driven searches for items such as corsets (+70%) and cargo pants (+56%) and made the ultra mini UGG platform boots go viral on TikTok (and subsequently sell out) after wearing them in NYC in September. In just 24 hours, searches for the style increased by +152%.  

It’s definitely safe to say, then, that Bella Hadid has a hold on how a lot of people are currently dressing. And, since the internet is always ablaze about how thin women dress, noting that a lot of styles varying models and celebrities wear only work because they’re on thin bodies, I decided to put this to the test by dressing up like her for a week.

Bella’s style is definitely unique to her personality so getting the Bella essence isn’t an easy feat — although I personally feel that I definitely gave Ms. Bella a run for her money! Bella Hadid tends to play with layers and oversized items. She’s big on sunglasses and manages to stay in vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces, so replicating her style isn’t easy for easy-to-tire shoppers — you really need to dig deep! That’s why when she’s seen in pieces that the masses have access to (hey, UGG!), they sell out immediately. 

Overall, what really makes the outfits is the confidence Bella manages to walk around with. Fashion and style are so intricately connected to our personas. It’s clearly something you cannot fake, so whether you are trying out new things or sticking to your staples, the key is to own it — just like Ms. Bella.

Below, I tried to recreate a few of my favorite Bella looks as closely as I could as a plus-size woman. There were some failures, but it was incredibly fun, so I’d say it was a definite success. (Though I definitely got a few concerned stares walking around the Condé Nast offices in my Bella cosplay in the middle of winter!).

Whether you are looking for inspo or simply here for the rise, here are some plus-size-approved options for the day you’re ready to walk out of the house giving your best Bella.

LOOK 1: The infamous ultra mini UGG boots and barely-there shorts

Composite: Getty Images (L), LOUISIANA MEI GELPI FOR TEEN VOGUE (R)

This look will always go down as a personal favorite just because of how chaotic it feels. Bella truly knows how to be a showstopper. Rocking uber-tiny white panty-like shorts with a leather jacket, UGG boots, and scrunch socks is such a power move. That said, personally, this was the look I was most fearful of. As a larger girl, I don’t always choose the look that’s riskier, but this was a fun moment to really step outside of the box and really push my confidence. Now, will I ever suggest wearing tiny white shorts to your place of work? Absolutely not. But for Bella, I will try anything once. 

The original jacket Bella wears is an oversized western one from Opening Ceremony. I opted for a leather shearling jacket from UGG and being that it was definitely 30ºF outside in NYC when I wore this (that's -1,1ºC for everyone else), I was grateful for a little more winter coverage. This look was fun, and the UGG platform minis are a staple piece in my closet now. As we shared earlier, this specific pair of UGG boots have been sold out for months, but UGG will introduce a similar alternative, the Classic Ultra Mini Braid, on January 16. It is the same silhouette as the Platform style, but this version has been updated to feature the braid design detail that you see in the Tasman style. So mark your calendars for the launch since getting a pair of UGG shoes has become an actual mission!

Clint Shearling Trucker Jacket

Milf Man I Love Fezco Euphoria

ALWAYS Women Workout Yoga Shorts

WOMEN'S SCRUNCH SOCK

Classic Ultra Mini Platform

Wrap Around Fashion Sunglasses

LOOK 2: Model off-duty

Composite: SplashNews (L), LOUISIANA MEI GELPI FOR TEEN VOGUE (R)

This is a favorite for me because of how simple and close to my real style it is. I love any chance to throw on a crewneck sweater, jeans, and some adidas. This look was, of course, the easiest to duplicate because there are several brands in my size with jeans and crewneck sweaters. I wore my favorite pair of blue jeans from ASOS by way of Nordstrom and an Adidas crewneck from Amazon. If you’re looking for a pair without any rips, then your next best option is Good American. I paired mine with a similar style of adidas sneakers because, of course, everyone has been obsessed with the Sambas, so they’re a little hard to find currently, but alas, the brand has many pairs that will give the same vibe!

adidas Originals Adicolor Essentials Trefoil Crewneck Sweatshirt

ASOS DESIGN Curve relaxed dad jeans in lightwash

Armear Small Metal Frame Square Sunglasses Non Polarized Lens

String Ting Candy Apple Wristlet Phone Strap

LOOK 3: Bella giving Sporty Spice teas

Composite: Getty Images (L), LOUISIANA MEI GELPI FOR TEEN VOGUE (R)

This, surprisingly, was one of the more difficult looks to source. Bella is wearing some really fun navy blue drawstring vintage Nike pants, which I so desperately wanted to find a dupe for, but it was harder than anything to find track pants that held the same essence in my size. I ended up pairing some cargo drawstring pants with the look and a Parade camisole crop top, Able button-up, and gray New Balance sneakers. This look is another fun one and feels very on brand with Bella’s style. 

HARRIS BUTTON DOWN BLOUSE

Smooth Sculpt Micro Cami

Curve & Plus Cargo Pants

LOOK 4: Welcome to the party

Composite: Getty Images (L), LOUISIANA MEI GELPI FOR TEEN VOGUE (R)

Bella always finds a way to serve cool girls and this ‘fit reads just that. This was probably the most difficult one to source because I couldn’t find an exact match to the La Detresse two-piece set she was wearing. I opted for an all-black variation pairing a SKIMS shirt with Kinflyte biker shorts, Eloquii boots, Wray jacket, and Target socks. This ended up being a favorite look of mine and something I want to explore more of! Bella plays with levels a lot and manages to create effortless energy around her looks and I'm definitely taking notes.

Women's Waffle Textured Super Soft Over The Knee Boot Socks

Glimmer Embossed Snake Boot

LOOK 5: Schoolgirlcore

Composite: Getty Images (L), LOUISIANA MEI GELPI FOR TEEN VOGUE (R)

This is one of the many Bella Hadid looks that truly felt like a hit. Her quirky style really shined through in this look, playing into schoolgirl aesthetics. The hardest challenge as a plus-size girly was finding a cargo skirt evenly remotely similar to what Bella wore. Surprisingly, cargo skirts do not exist in larger sizes (besides, of course, this close similar I found on Cider). Anything remotely close in color wasn’t the same length or style. One of the many common struggles plus-size girls know is always being forced into a more maternal outfit — which shouldn’t be the case, ever. Finding styles similar to what smaller people are wearing truly is difficult because plus-size clothing is made with a more modest touch than the other majority. In the end, we got a close vibe to Miss Hadid, and this look was a personal favorite. I wore a black top from Parade with Steven Madden loafers and a camouflage tabby Coach purse.

Lush Sculpt Crop Tee

Curve & Plus Solid Middle Waist Cargo Skirt

AusLook Plus Size Shrug

Steve Madden Lotto Loafer

Falke Family Cotton Knee High

Soft Tabby Crossbody 18 With Camo Print

LOOK 6: Always on the go 

Composite: Getty Images (L), LOUISIANA MEI GELPI FOR TEEN VOGUE (R)

Our final look of the week was another simple in theory, slightly more complex in practice. The first piece I looked for was a closely similar style of turtle neck that pushed out, similar to Bella. That proved to be very difficult. I found several similar options to her turtleneck that were darling, but of course, they didn’t come in my size. A lot of this process of finding similar pieces to Bella was me getting my hopes up. I’d Google search intensely the descriptors of each item, find something of similar styling, and boom, be saddened when the largest size carried is an L. It’s also incredibly difficult to find “oversized” pieces, which Bella wears a lot of, especially when you need oversized of a size that seems to already be considered oversized to its creators. The jeans I’m wearing are Eloquii and, truthfully, they are perfect. I sized up to achieve a baggier feel and have managed to wear the jeans three other days outside of this one as well. The cardigan, although not exactly like Bella's, was a close find from Madewell that matched my black and blue Eloquii snakeskin boots (from the 'fit above because gorgeous, gorgeous girls rewear pieces) perfectly.

Plus Cameron Ribbed Cardigan Sweater in Coziest Yarn

Wide Leg Distressed Jean

Wrap Around Fashion Sunglasses


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