Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Ella Halikas’ tips for rocking trends at any size

Model Ella Halikas shares how to be stylish at any size.

Model Ella Halikas shares how to be stylish at any size.

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While fashion trends ebb and flow, one thing’s for sure: Confidence and creativity never go out of style. Take it from Sports Illustrated curve model Ella Halikas, who recently recreated two of model-actress Julia Fox’s famously skin-baring styles, writing in her empowering Instagram captions: “Thick girls can rock this ‘fit, too.”

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Halikas, who hit the runway for Miami Swim Week 2022 and appeared in Sports Illustrated’s 2021 swimsuit issue, is known to show off her sense of style both on and off the catwalk. If you’re looking for tips on sporting celebrity- and model-worthy styles yourself, follow Halikas’ advice for finding looks you love at any size.

Copy your favorite celebrities’ outfits

When Halikas saw Fox sporting a teeny, low-rise skirt—as social media bemoaned the Y2K trend resurgence—she sought to prove the style statement’s return isn’t all bad news. “I kind of looked at [the social media reaction] as motivation to prove people wrong that you don’t have to be very small to wear this and rock it,” she says. She recreated the iconic look by cutting apart an Aritzia crop top and an Amazon dress, showing off the homemade matching set in Instagram posts that earned a like from Fox herself.

Whether it’s rising to the occasion with low-rise, thinking Barbiecore pink, or copying a look from your favorite influencer, don’t be afraid to take celebrity-loved trends for a spin. “Once you just do it once or twice, you start to make a habit of going for pieces that you normally wouldn’t go for,” says Halikas, who also recreated Fox’s iconic Calvin Klein underwear grocery store look.

The key to making stars’ fashion your own? Letting your own confidence shine through. “I think getting over that fear of ‘I can’t wear this because I don’t look like her’ was really empowering for me but also [for] so many people that saw it,” Halikas says of her celebrity-inspired looks.

Channel celebrity style with a pair of over-the-knee boots.

Channel celebrity style with a pair of over-the-knee boots.

To put your own spin on Fox’s (and Halika’s) style, strut your stuff in a high-heel boot like the Vince Camuto Fenindy Over-The-Knee Boot. The shiny style is sold in black in women’s shoe sizes 5 to 12.

$110 at DSW

Copy Julia Fox's famous look with a simple tank and a pair of scissors.

Copy Julia Fox’s famous look with a simple tank and a pair of scissors.

Pair that show-stopping shoe with a basic tank like the Scoop Neck Cami from Torrid. The top, which has a 4.8-star rating and over 430 reviews, comes in white in women’s sizes M to 6X.

$20 at Torrid

Show off your curves with cute crop tops

If you’re looking for a more everyday look than Fox’s leather and low-rise combo, consider showing some skin with crop tops instead. “Have a few staples that you love, wear and repurpose,” says Halikas. “Whether it’s one top with biker shorts or one top with jeans,” she adds, you can create “different looks from so many staples.”

A basic crop top is a versatile style staple.

A basic crop top is a versatile style staple.

Try the H&M+ Ribbed Top, which comes in white in women’s sizes L to 4XL in a pink pattern. Halikas recommends pairing similar styles with a flowy pair of trousers or white-wash, boyfriend-cut jeans.

$10 at H&M

The right crop top can also do double-duty from a night out to a workout. Halikas often wears a crop top with a blazer, biker shorts, gold jewelry and “some cute sneakers” to go out, noting that “you could take off the blazer and the jewelry” to exercise in the outfit.

For a versatile athleisure style statement, try the Lululemon Invigorate Crop Top in a neutral shade. “Lululemon has some great options,” Halikas says of the brand—and from our testing, we agree that Lululemon makes some of the best athleisure. Shop this particular stretchy, sweat-wicking top in women’s sizes 0 to 20 and nine colors.

$68 at Lululemon

Keep it simple with matching sets

Sometimes you just don’t want to put that much thought into your ‘fit. The solution? Matching sets that make getting dressed a no-brainer. “No matter what, even if you don’t feel like getting ready, put on a matching set—whether it’s a cute maxi skirt and a crop top or a cute flowy [outfit],” says Halikas. “Just things that make you feel confident and make you feel good when you wear them.”

Matching sets take the guesswork out of getting dressed.

Matching sets take the guesswork out of getting dressed.

For a monochromatic moment—one of Halika’s favorites—consider Meshki matching sets like the Kara Ruched Front Mini Skirt and Sara Square Neck Crop Top. The coordinating pieces are available in white, blue and tan in women’s sizes XS to XXL.

$49 at Meshki

$45 at Meshki 

Stock up on seamless underwear

To rock an over-the-top outfit, you may feel more comfortable having invisible coverage underneath in the form of seamless undies. Whether sporting a spandex look or shooting on set, Halikas swears by Skims. “I always have to bring them for castings and shoots,” she says of the go-to garments, which she calls “a really big [style] hack for me.” The Kim Kardashian-owned, size-inclusive label’s offerings include the Free Cut Mid Waist Tanga, a classic bikini style available in 11 colors in women’s sizes XXS to 4X.

$16 at Skims 

A sleek bodycon dress turns up the style.

A sleek bodycon dress turns up the style.

Top the easily hidden underwear with a standout style like the Skims bodycon dresses, which Halikas also favors. Consider the Soft Lounge Cut Out One Shoulder Dress, for a look you can dress up or down with your accessories. It’s available in four colors in women’s sizes XXS to 4X.

$78 at Skims 

Make string bikinis a warm-weather go-to

Don’t be afraid to dive into skimpier swimsuit styles. “I think the notion [that] curvy girls and plus-size girls probably want to cover up more is just false,” says Halikas, recalling Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day giving her a “super small” string bikini for the runway. “I think it opened my eyes,” says the model, who now “always” opts for string swimsuits. “[As a person with a curvy body], we can still join the trend of the micro bikini.”

Don't shy away from skin-baring <a href=swimsuit styles.” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU0MA–/–~B/aD0xNjg4O3c9MzAwMDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/″/>

Don’t shy away from skin-baring swimsuit styles.

Try the Mesh Top String Triangle & Swirlfriend Cheeky Plus Size Bikini Set from Cupshe, one of the suits Halikas rocked on the runway during the brand’s Miami Swim Week 2022 show. The colorful two-piece comes in patterned pink in women’s sizes 0X to 3X.

$37 at Cupshe 

Show off your shape with bodysuits and leggings

A basic bodysuit accents your shape.

A basic bodysuit accents your shape.

If you’re looking for hot trends that work for colder weather, find a bodysuit that covers without concealing. Halikas says that “everyone should invest in a good” long-sleeve black bodysuit for wearing under a blazer or coat for fall and winter. Good American offers a classic crewneck option; we at Reviewed love the brand’s jeans, and shoppers rave over the Good Form Crewneck Body, with one praising its “lovely fit” and “amazing quality” fabric. Shop it in white and black in women’s sizes XS to 2X.

$105 at Good American 

Another body-contouring style staple: black flared leggings. Halikas calls the pairs from Artizia “chef’s kiss,” and says she wears them “almost every week” with a bodysuit and sneakers. Try the TnaChill Atmosphere High Kick Legging, which comes in 20 colors in women’s sizes 2XS to 2XL.

$30 at Aritzia 

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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Sports Illustrated model Ella Halikas’ tips for fashion at any size

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