"When you are confident, you are beautiful. Period. And while confidence can certainly come from being fashionable, beauty is more than just the right clothing on the right person. People who are kind and generous, brilliant and brave will always be beautiful to me, regardless of what they wear or what they look like. Their goodness gives them confidence, and confidence is beautiful.
I get it, though; it’s hard sometimes to feel confident. I’ve been six feet tall since I was 13. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t self-conscious about my height. Plus my body has changed a lot over the last few years, and those changes have been hard to get used to. My weight has fluctuated dramatically between being pregnant (twice), giving birth (twice), nursing a baby for over a year (twice), dealing with postpartum depression, and taking various medications to address that. After my first baby my chest got bigger and my bum got smaller, which felt super weird. Now, almost four years later, my boobs have deflated, my hips and backside are growing, I’ve got a mama belly, and my hair—which used to be pretty curly—is almost entirely straight now. Often I scarcely recognize the girl in the mirror.
Still, I’m more confident in my style and happy with my body than I’ve ever been. Maybe it’s because I’m finally pinning down what colors, patterns, and cuts of clothing speak to me. Maybe it’s because the older I get the less I care what other people think. It certainly helps to have a husband and children who think I’m marvelous just the way I am!
I’ve found a few brands to which I am very loyal because they make tall sizes that work well with my body shape. There are a few styles that I consistently feel good in, such as fitted tops with A-line skirts, and I will always have a pair of my favorite straight-leg jeans. That said, I also like to play with proportions. Rolling cuffs, tucking things in, and layering different items can completely change the way an outfit looks on my body. I adore the look of cinched waists and full skirts, and I generally prefer a classic, well-tailored pieces to flowy, unstructured ones. Lately, however, I’ve been wearing a lot of loose woven tops and skinny jeans. They’re more comfortable for my current lifestyle and I feel good in them. I see no reason to set strict rules for my wardrobe. Like I said, playing with proportion and trying new things can be fun.
I guess that’s why I don’t think there’s one right way to dress for my body type. I find clothes that I feel good in and I wear them how I like, regardless of what figure-flattering priorities the style experts tell me I should have. I’m never going to have a thigh gap or magnificent cleavage, but that’s not going to stop me from wearing my favorite skinny jeans or a bathing suit I love.
Clothing shouldn’t prevent us from doing what we want. If I’m too worried about breaking an ankle in my heels, I’m not going to dance. If I’m self-conscious about my tummy in a bikini, I’m not going to have much fun at the beach. So my only style advice is this: wear what enables you to be your best self.
You don’t have to buy into trends you don't like, nor do you have to have a closet full of someone else’s “wardrobe staples.” (I don’t own a blazer OR a white button down shirt. So there.) Take inspiration from Pinterest or fashion week or blogs or the girl down the street, but don’t feel obligated to dress exactly that way.
More importantly, don’t get down on yourself for not being a certain size or feeling comfortable in a certain style. Fashion fits everyone, after all! If you don’t feel confident in your current clothing, experiment with different colors, cuts, and proportions. Explore some different styles until you find something that feels right for you. Wear clothing that makes you happy and that let you live your life the way you want to live it. When you do that, you’ll glow!"
- Jen from Nothing Comes of Nothing
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