First of all, can I just say that I LOVE all of the comments on my latest Facebook post! Please check them out because they are so inspiring and add your thoughts if you haven’t already. I wanted to know how tripped out people get about their size and how it relates to getting dressed in the morning. I also wanted to find out if people felt like they were being represented by the fashion industry (including blogs and celebrities). The reason I asked this questions is because I get tripped out all the time and it’s really pissing me off! Let me explain …
Standing at 5 feet 5 inches, I am a size 4, 33-year-old woman who eats right, exercises, and takes care of herself spiritually/emotionally. I work hard, love my job, have a few really great friends, the best dog ever, and I just generally love my life. Even with all of that, I fall victim to comparing myself to others and feeling like if I were only a few inches taller and a dress size smaller then everything would be perfect. It’s stupid, silly, and absurd but some days that is just my truth.
One of my missions in life is to help women get dressed and love what looks back at them in the mirror. I teach women how to dress for their body types, personalities and lifestyles – no matter what their size. To me the post powerful tool as a teacher is your own experience, and I definitely have the experience of not liking what I see in the mirror. Is it because I work in fashion and am inundated with images of tall and skinny on the daily? Or it is because my Instagram feed is full of “real girls” aka bloggers who are really just models without a contract who have posed and filtered themselves to look extra skinny? Or could it be that the celebrities who are most celebrated in the fashion industry are twigs?
Don’t get my wrong, there is nothing wrong with being thin, but I feel women of all sizes should be celebrated and represented equally when it comes to fashion. I feel like the fashion industry is all about extremes – either its size 0 models or its plus size (which is pretty warped as well, since when is a size 8 plus size?). Where are the size 6 girls? Or the ones that are under 5’9″? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could shop online and see what each garment looked like in a few different sizes? Yeah, I’ve heard it a thousand times, “that would be too expensive” well this is billion dollar industry there has to be money somewhere to make a change.
All ranting aside (damn that felt good) I can’t change the industry overnight, but I do know how I’ve dealt with my own issues and have helped my clients through it as well. So without further adieu here is how you can look great at any size.
Like I said before, I can’t change the inspiration that is out there (yet- but I do have a few ideas). The style inspiration that Who What Wear, Style Caster, and the likes serves up are going to be unrealistic. My advice, try to see past who is wearing it (if the person doesn’t best represent you) and make it personal to you. Do you love a dress that XYZ model off-duty is wearing but you know it would never look that way on you? Look past the big picture and figure out what you really love about the dress. Maybe it’s the color or the pattern? Once you figure it out you can shop for a piece inspired by that look but that works for you.
When it come to fashion, fit should always come first! If you want to look and feel great at any size then wear what fits. This is hard for a lot of women, because we tend to get really attached to the number. It is important to remember that all clothing is not cut the same. A size 4 for one brand could be a size 8 for another. Its crazy but the reality is that we don’t have standardized sizing in the US. So try on multiple sizes and buy what fits the best.
Second most important thing to remember when getting dressed is knowing your body type and how to dress it. When you don’t do this, you pay the price in the form of a jab to the old self esteem. This actually just happened to me today. I wore a shirt a few months ago, this really cool Marc Jacobs striped top from the 2013 runway, for a TV segment. Definitely not body type friendly but I was sitting down so no one would notice. Well a behind the scenes pic surfaced on Facebook today and I look like I’m carrying twins. Now I want to burn down the internet and that top. If I had listened to my own rules I wouldn’t have that dark cloud over my day.
I talked about creating a style uniform a little while back and have actually implemented my own style uniform. Let me tell you something, life changing! Having a uniform that works for me has kept me from being a slave to trends. Being a fashion slave usually results in becoming a fashion victim. Not cool. When you get swept up in the trends that don’t work for you and your body, you run the risk of not looking and feeling great. As cute as those harem pants may look on the Photoshopped model, is it worth you feeling bad about yourself when they look like shit on you? Just something to think about.