5 Body Positive Style Tips: Putting an End to Fashion Limits
For years, fashion has been so limiting, and it’s partly because we allowed ourselves to believe that certain body types shouldn’t wear certain styles. I’m here to tell you that you can wear whatever you want, because it’s your body. Take back your power. Put whatever clothing you want on your body, and if someone doesn’t like it, they can mind their own damn business.
With that little mini rant out of the way, I’ll admit that I’ve always had issues shopping. I’m not skinny, but I’m not always considered plus-size, and I’m only 5 feet tall. In fact, I had a style blogger email me and tell me that I mostly fall into the mid-size category. I didn’t even know that was thing.
To be honest, I utterly hate sizing, labels, and all of that garbage. As someone who struggled with an eating disorder, it’s much easier for me and my mental health to say I am size happy.
However, Target doesn’t have that size, so I have to be specific. My size ranges, because my body fluctuates a lot. I range anywhere between a 10 to a 16. It depends on the fit of what I’m buying and where it hits my midsection. I went shopping this weekend for a new skirt, and I tried on both a denim and cotton skirt. The demon was a 12 and the cotton was a 14, so it really depends. I also always have to try things on, because bodies are weird- beautiful, but weird.
Thankfully, we are coming into a time where you can see more and more women embrace their bodies. I let out a squeal every time I see curvy mannequins wearing the same crop tops as the standard mannequins. We are getting more diverse options, and I’m loving it.
Whether you’re a straight size, mid-size, or plus-size, all bodies are beautiful, but all of those, whether they are categorized or not, are vastly different. No two bodies are exactly the same, even if they share the same size. This can make shopping a challenge.
Body Positive Shopping Tips
Since we are all unique and built differently, just because something is our typical size, doesn’t mean it will always fit. What you see is NOT always what you get, and as I’ve been learning to love myself and embrace my curves, shopping has still been a challenge at times.
I don’t break down in dressing rooms like I used to, but I find myself trying on so many size options before I even find a good fit. Its challenging when every brand and company handles sizing differently. Sure, there are sizing standards and charts, but my experience with those has been so wishy-washy and all over the place. It can make shopping difficult for even the most body positive queen.
Body Positive Inspired Shopping Tips
- Grab a few sizes to try on rather than only getting a single size. I always grab my usual size, the size below, and the size above. I try to have variety, because not only does my body change, but the size that I may wear at one store can be different from another store. It gives me options without stressing me out too much. Plus, it saves me time from running back and forth, and sometimes, walking back for a different size can mess up your confidence. Remember that you’re not the problem, darlin’. It’s the pants.
- Know your basic measurements when shopping online. I’ll be honest, I don’t know my measurements off the top of my head. I keep a measuring tape in the drawer anytime I shop online though. I hate trying to guess, because if it shows up and is the wrong size, it can be a blow to my body confidence. I used to fear that tape, but those numbers don’t define your worth, so don’t let it overwhelm you.
- Read product reviews. I always read reviews to see if something runs small, true to fit, or big. I like to know what I’m getting myself into, so I can prepare myself. Plus, people sometimes share pictures of themselves in the reviews, and I prefer seeing how clothing looks on everyday people as opposed to styled models.
- Find your favorite fabrics and cuts. Some fabrics have more give than others, so know what you like and what has some wiggle room. I’m a denim loving lady, but I’ve been branching out with my fabric choices for bottoms. Learning about what fabrics look and feel amazing on my figure have sent my confidence up a few knots, so it can be really helpful. Knowing the cut of something is also really handy. I’m a chesty lady with thick arms, so having my tees fit just right can feel like a challenge. I hate elastic, so knowing what I like, how something will hang on my body, and what it’s made out of can go a long way when picking out pieces.
- Love your body, and step outside of your box. I’m combining these, because I had a hard time learning to love my body without going outside of my comfort zone. It showed me that I had nothing to fear, and wearing things I never thought I would made my confidence climb. Remember, all bodies are different, but all bodies are also beautiful. Those differences should be celebrated and dressed how YOU want. Don’t put limitations on what you can wear, because you can wear it ALL.
Try and Try Again
I don’t always like saying shopping is trial and error, because that means there’s something wrong or not right, and like I said, it’s not you, it’s the pants. I think that trying something on and it not fitting shouldn’t be something you internalize or take to heart. That specific piece of clothing didn’t measure up to you. It didn’t deserve your magic anyway.
I actually used to hate shopping, because I thought that if I had to keep searching, I was failing. That was so far from the truth, and now that I’ve learned to not only accept but love my body, shopping is pretty damn fun.
Fall is coming fast, and I’m so thrilled. Some of favorite clothing styles and patterns are on point for this fall season, and I’m not usually a super trendy person. I used to live in hoodies, band tees, and jeans. I hardly wore anything that fit my body, because I thought fit meant something was tight.
This past year has really opened my eyes to fashion and everything I was missing out on, because I was insecure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a minimal effort kind of girl. Usually, my kids are rushing me to get ready, but I still find ways to make some stylish outfits.
I want to put out there that loving fashion and dressing outside of the jeans, tee, and sneaker basics doesn’t make you high maintenance. I’ve actually heard a few people call me that and say that I’ve changed, because I dress a bit differently. And you bet your ass I’ve changed, and I’m falling more and more in love with myself as I continue to learn and embrace fashion in a way I never thought I would.
A few years ago, my fall style consisted of flannels, bootcut jeans, and plain long sleeve shirts- usually a bit baggy. Now, my closet is filled with animal prints, tops with cuts-outs, leather, lace, skirts, dresses, and so much more variety than I’ve ever had. I still love plaid and flannel, but I’ve now grown to love those prints in other ways.
I also used to stick to blacks and greys, and while my preference is still rooted in dark colors, I have patterns, maroons, greens, and colors I would have never worn before. All of this change is because I genuinely started to embrace my body and wanted to branch out and show it off more.
Don’t Fear Style
I love the tips I shared, but I will always be a voice that tells you to wear what you love, but don’t fear fashion or style. Erase any preconceived notions, and step outside of your box. You might like something that you never imagined if you go the extra mile to try it on.
Shopping isn’t always easy when you have body reservations and insecurities. You deserve to love your body though. It’s time to stop hiding and break out of that self-loathing style bubble.
Love what you wear, and wear what makes you feel fierce. If you do that, you’ll always look good, because beauty is a mindset. Marry your body and mind to show your style.
I’d love to hear about some of your favorite trends or pieces for fall. Remember, you’re beautiful.
-With Love, Jenni
Here’s a few of my favorite fall outfits that I would have never worn before, but these outfits have pieces that are staples in my go-to weekend style- animal prints, plaids, crop tops, and knotted shirts.
The snakeskin skirt was made by Erica from Grand Fash Life. She is magical, and this skirt has become a date-night favorite.
Personally, I don’t know if I’ll ever not love plaids and animal prints, regardless of trend or not. I have also become a bit obsessed with knotting my shirts, because it takes a loose fitting shirt and makes it hug my curves more. It’s a part of my style evolution as a result of loving my body. I could talk about clothes all day, so I’ll say bye again. Have a wonderful week, beauties!