Tuesday, July 2, 2013

clothes shopping? read this:

1.      There is no such thing as a "figure flaw."  Your body is not flawed, no matter what.  There are only clothing shapes that are flattering vs. unflattering...and even that is subjective.  You get to decide.  Try to experiment without judgment.
2.      You don’t need to hide any part of your body.  Camouflage is for the military.  Just look for ways to accentuate what you like, that alone can distract from what you might be less comfortable with.  The big picture is more about finding that sweet spot of pleasing proportion. You’ll know it when you see it.  Once you do, don’t settle for less ever again.
3.      Wear your favorite colors.  Chances are if it’s your favorite color, it looks good on you.  Either way, always choose colors that bring out a glow in your skin tone and make you happy...it is truly amazing how much of a difference good color choices can make.
4.     Speaking of color -- black doesn’t automatically make you look thinner (and it’s not about that anyway).  Clothes that fit properly can create a smoother line on your body, which is often perceived as more flattering -- color has nothing to do with that.  You can play with color density to focus attention the way an artist does:  lighter shades highlight, by comparison darker ones tend to recede. 
5.      Shop accessories with intention.  Accessories can create style, direct focus and completely change perception.  They expand any wardrobe manifold.  One necklace can turn a plain tee & jeans into something elegant or trendy.    A belt can transform a sack into a pretty dress.  Accessories shouldn't be an afterthought, they are the punctuation, the finishing touch that completes even the most simple outfit.  That doesn't mean they always have to stand out, just that they are always an essential compliment.
6.      When shopping, if something is too small, SO WHAT?  Size doesn’t matter, it’s only a guide to finding the best fit -- and fit is everything.  Move up to the next size with no self-recrimination.  If that’s not available, just move on to the next garment.  There are enough pretty things out there in the "shopping universe"...just keep looking until you find the best ones for you.  No. Big. Deal. 
7.      There is no way manufacturers can possibly create garments that fit every body properly...our shapes are all too diverse.  So a lot of clothes won’t work right off the rack, regardless of size.  Take control of your clothing and be willing to tailor whenever needed...even if that ends up being all the time.  It is WORTH it.  Buy less, get better fit.  You will be much happier.  Really.
8.      Accept what you can’t change.  Yes, theoretically we can change our weight/size...even influence our shape a bit.  But certainly not instantly...and let's stop worrying about all that anyway.  When you get dressed, simply focus on looking the best you can in the body you are in right now.  Because right now matters more than any other time, and you deserve a beautiful now. 
9.      Don’t compare yourself to anyone else EVER.  It's pointless.  There is only one you, with your own unique beauty that no one else can possess.  So how can you possibly compare the incomparable?  Sure, it's ok to consider others as people to potentially emulate and learn from if you find them admirable and worthy, but you'll never be just like them, nor will they be like you.  Oh, and if someone else ever tries to compare you to another person, they're the one with issues -- it’s a reflection of their own insecurity or ulterior motives.  Don’t buy into it. 
10.  Last but not least, be comfortable and enjoy your clothes.  When all is said and done clothes are really just a practical necessity, yet we’ve sure created a lot of issues surrounding them.  Try not to lose perspective.  It's not about trends, money, size or age.  What you wear isn’t who you are...it’s just a temporary reflection, part of a fleeting representation.  Choosing your clothing should be practical first, and then beyond that it can be creative, fun and even confidence building.  But it’s still just fabric on your body.  It can’t change who you are; clothes have no inherent power.  Only you do...so use it to shop well.


The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

Great advice,

Jean said...

I love this, will have to read it again to make some of it sink in. X

Rita said...

I love this advice. At 48, my body is really changing--and not in the fun ways it changed at 18, dang it! I've been struggling with knowing how to dress it. These tips are ones I'll take with me into the dressing room the next time I try to find a pair of jeans I can love.

Kayleigh said...

Jane -- thank you so much :)

Jean...I'm glad you liked it, I hope it continues to resonate with you, thanks!

Rita -- I hear you! My body has been thru so many changes. Now at nearly 50yo I think I finally sort of get it (or at least more of it than before, lol). Dressing whatever body you are in to it's best potential is really the universal advice I wish all woman could embrace. When you concentrate on shape and fit it takes the burden off your body...when something doesn't look right it's not YOU, it's the garment. Try something else.

Good luck with your jean shopping and thanks for the comment :)

Arianna said...

Great post, Kayleigh :) I've been feeling kinda down this week when it comes to self-confidence. Chronic illness has changed my body, and now I'm underweight and have a deformed back and such. Certain styles that most people my age are wearing just don't work for me, but I'm learning that's OK. Hah, I've never been the type to follow the crowd, anyway! I like doing my own thing :)

Anonymous said...

This is perhaps the most measured, sane advice I've read in some time. I, a mere male who's known for his practical appraoch to attire, will probably print this out & distribute it among some of my more overly fashion conscious, body-type-uptight female co-workers.

Unknown said...

This is SO true!! I'm learning to accept myself as I am only now. It's hard, but worth it.

And the thing about wearing black is something I wish more people would realize. People around here wear sooo much black, and it's just not flattering. It's such a huge joy to see a non size zero woman wear pretty colors instead of black (or dark blue, brown, gray)! That always makes the wearer of the colors look so much better!

soulbrush said...

All good- now tell my body that!