Growing up plus size meant that I learned some really bad habits about dressing myself early on. Hitting that 'woman' body at 12 and trying to stay in fashion was hard. I was in denial that I was a size 12/14 (thanks baby birthing hips that hit early in puberty) and because middle and high school are cruel arena's I ended up spending those years in oversized jeans and sweatshirts being told that I was fat when in reality I was pretty healthy. I was using baggy clothing as an armor against their words.
By the time that I was actually learning about fashion, I had two babies, was up multiple pants sizes, and didn't really know who I was as a person. Through clothing and businesses and spending time in self growth I was able to discover myself more as a person, but my fashion sense was still a step behind. How I was dressing myself didn't match the mindset I was trying to achieve, which then dragged down my mind. I was still prone to sizing up to cover my rolls, wore things that didn't match my body shape, and I wore plain simple clothing because I didn't want to pull attention to anywhere but 'my pretty face'. It was just a different suit of armor. I had a few items that made me feel AMAZING and I always had such great days in- both mentally and just life happenings. I realized then I really needed to learn about styles and patterns and more to dress myself better.
I started trying new patterns and prints. I pushed myself into styles that were out of my zone. And even still then, I realize now looking back, I was trying to cover up, but in more accurate sizing. I was buying things that flowed over my zones of worry- the areas that were bumpy and curvy and not smooth. I may have been showing confidence and smiling more, but I was just living in a new version of dressing myself in fashion armor. I was showing others how to cover themselves up- but fashionably. Was I really doing anything better?
At the end of March when I went through a business change up, I was exposed to my current company that focuses on vanity sizing, meaning as the size goes up, they adjust where and how things fit to actually accentuate and fit that body size better. It was a total game changer.
Even though I was gravitating towards styles that still covered me up, they showed and fit my body in a way no other items had! It started to give me the confidence to branch out into styles that weren't necessarily my style in a true sense. I started sizing DOWN to actually show my shape- my mom belly and all!
I started wearing crop tops- something I told myself last Summer I wanted the confidence to wear this year. I wear off the shoulder tops and dresses. I'm wearing high waisted pants. I'm wearing things that show my legs and belly and and and. I have shown my bare arms more in the last three months than I ever have in my life. Each bulky, oversized item I stopped wearing was like another piece of armor gone. I'm showing my body and being unashamed about it.
That didn't mean I stopped wearing things like sweatpants or oversized shirts- I just made sure they weren't the only options I have. I wanted to balance myself out more to cover all of my tastes and styles.
I stopped questioning 'does this outfit actually go together and look ok on my body' and evolved to 'I feel amazing in this outfit and it is comfortable so I am going to wear it'- which is honestly the energy we should all strive for. I embraced my body completely and went with it.
I learned that my style was anything that made me happy to get dressed in the morning, not just put things on to meet the societal requirement of wearing clothes. It wasn't the magazine standard of 'if you are a bigger woman you need to cover up more' anymore.
If you are in a place of covering up, don't just throw everything out and start wearing things that show your body off- take it at your own pace. Work in one or two items at a time that are different for you. That show your shape. Pick a color or pattern that you have always wanted to wear and WEAR IT! Because believe it or not- you CAN. Wear things that make you HAPPY in a way that people can see it.
Clothing is not meant to hide us, it is meant to accentuate our beauty. It can show our personality and give us a stunning appearance. Use it that way!