How to NOT dress for your body type.
Body positivity has been a struggle since I can remember. I am not small (or really just tall) enough to be a “model”, which means half the the styles I love on Pinterest won’t look on me like it does on them. I am also not big enough to be “plus sized”, so searching plus-sized fashion doesn’t help either. When you search “normal sized person”, you still get a mix of the two former searches with an occasional gem but nothing substantial. I look to IG accounts, such as @gofitjo and @tanyaburr, for realistic expectations for outfit inspiration for a normal body type, but, for the most part, I have had to find my own way through this uncharted territory.
I actually took my measurements and entered them into an online calculator (like this one) to tell me what shape I am, and it turns out I’m one of the less than 3% of women that “doesn’t fit into a category”. Very helpful... lol. Why doesn’t fashion literature reflect that our bodies are just as unique as our personalities? In the spirit of frustration, I’d like to throw a different spin on the “dress for your body type” post.
"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt
Your first and most important step in this process is to learn to humbly love and accept your body. Even the sentiment of “comparing yourself to yourself” can give you the mindset that "you're not good enough now." Setting goals is important, but it’s also just as important to admire where you are at through every stage. As a mom, I totally get feeling gross after your body was destroyed by the hurricane that is carrying and birthing a tiny human. It's time to be proud of your body, no matter what it has been through.
Here is my advice on how to "dress for your body type" that doesn't have to do with the actual cut and shape of the clothing. It's all about finding a personal style that reflects how you feel about yourself.
If you want to look smaller/ bigger/ etc., choose items that do that for you.
We all know black is thinning, and tapering your waist gives you an hourglass look. Wearing skinny or flared jeans can make your legs look longer or shorter depending on your build... In the end, choose clothes that make you feel best about yourself. Since I am short, I've been told that high-waisted jeans (especially cropped ones) make me look shorter... and I don't care. My "problem area" is my lower stomach, and I like how high-waisted jeans hide that. I have been wearing them since before they made a comeback, and I will continue to do so after they go back out of fashion because I love the way the make me feel.
A personal style is a combination of high-quality classics with the trends (or former trends that you still love) thrown in the mix. It’s that simple.
Personally, I'm addicted to neutrals. I feel like you can never go wrong with a good fitting pair of jeans and a white tee. When I want to mix it up, I will throw in a trendy (or formerly trendy) accessory, such as a choker or straw bag. If your go-to outfit is something colorful, then invest in some high quality colorful pieces. You want your “classic” pieces to last a long time, while your trendy items aren’t worth the splurge.
Don’t feel like you’re stuck- you can always change your style.
If you’re hanging around people that hold you accountable to “how you used to dress”, then ditch them. You don’t need that kind of negativity, girl. My style has drastically changed throughout the years, especially in my Palm Beach to Denver move, and I plan to keep changing as I grow and discover new items that I like. So be brave and buy that thing that "you would never wear". In the end, all that matters is if you like it.
Don’t buy new pieces for “when you lose/gain weight”. Buy clothes for where you are at NOW.
You deserve to feel stylish throughout any weight loss/ gain journey you are on. Wearing clothes that feel too tight or too loose will effect your self-confidence. If you are trying to lose weight, then buying clothes that fit you through every stage will help keep you motivated. (If that feels like it will be too expensive, then there are plenty of low-budget and thrift store options.) If you are trying to gain weight (or are growing a new life), buy at least a few staple pieces to get you through. I was so much happier during my pregnancy when I finally splurged for some stretchy band jeans and a couple of belly-friendly t-shirts.
If I didn’t drive the message home, dressing for your body type is all about how you feel in your clothes. Dress in a way that makes you feel confident- even if that’s in sweatpants and heels. If you feel great, then it will show. ✖️