Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dressing Your ''Age''

This week I have come to a realization -- I need to ''re-think'' my wardrobe, and dressing for my age and body type aren't as easy as they once were. Sometimes I wish that I had a personal stylist, who knew how to cover up the unflattering parts of my body and could effortlessly make my curves work for me. But alas, most of us don't have it that easy.

I have never experienced this problem before. In high school I was a size 2 and most everything I put on was flattering... because, how bad can you REALLY look when you're 5'9 and skinny (I wish I could go back in time and tell this to my younger self). College was pretty similar, as sizes 4-6 are still pretty easy to accommodate. However, now I am in a totally different ball park as my body has taken on new twists and turns, forcing me to be more conscious of materials, how things fit, and patterns that flatter and do not. It's hard work, especially when you aren't used to putting this much effort into an outfit.

Yesterday I was in American Eagle, returning some jeans that I bought online. I have shopped here for an (embarrassing) 13 years, and so it's become very comfortable. As the years have gone by, and my body has changed, I have found myself making purchases that don't really do my body the justice it deserves. I am shopping out of HABIT. Well, yesterday I was looking at some of the tank tops when a sale's lady came over to me and stated that I should probably be looking at the t-shirts, because they ''are a looser fit, and look flattering on ALMOST any figure.'' Ouch.

Then I realized, these clothes are made for teenagers. I am not a teenager, therefore I do not have a teenager's figure. Also.... sorry sale's lady, but women with curves can find flattering clothing outside of the ''baggy t-shirt'' realm. I left without making a single purchase.

I have been battling this decision for the past year: how do I dress for my ''new'' body. You know, the one that has resulted from puberty (thanks, genes). Habits are hard to break, and as I wandered aimlessly around the mall I realized how lost I felt not knowing how to progress. Then, on the drive home, I vowed to explore other options and open my mind to the endless OTHER possibilities that were available to me. I also vowed to be easier on myself, and more aware of my body type and the changes that naturally take place as one gets a little older.

I have been looking on ModCloth for a while now, but never dared to purchase outside of my comfort zone. I also explored a few other options, and found that there is a lot out there for everyone - and the effort can pay off.

I ended up getting this and this in replace of my high-school-wannabe American Eagle jeans, and as silly as it sounds the whole experience was pretty freeing.

Moral of the story: It's hard to be honest with yourself, especially when it comes with your sense of style. HOWEVER, dressing your age and for your body type don't have to be daunting tasks. Don't let skinny, heartless store clerks tell you that you'll only look good in a baggy t-shirt simply because you can't fit into their 00 jeans. Curves can be beautiful, too. They are natural for most women who progress past the age of 16. Smile. Nod. Repeat.

This month I plan on exploring other stores and experimenting with different fabrics, patterns, and styles. Maybe a few ''outfit posts'' will be in the near future, as I discover what works for my body and what doesn't. In the meantime, I'd love to hear about some of your favorite places to shop!


  1. Kara, I always love love love to read your posts. They always mean so much! I'm for serious. Ha. About the body changes, I completely agree...except I've never been lucky enough to be a size smaller than 7 since highschool. Though, I would LOVE to be even that size again! Anyway, I understand exactly where you're coming from. I work at a stupid retail store now and honestly...their jeans do NOT fit my big behind and you know what? I'm ok with that, because them jeans can't handle my curves. Ha. Or...so the more optimistic side of me would say that. Over the few years of my 20's I've had a lot of realizations with myself, seeking for a more mature and more "me" look. I've actually never bought anything from Modcloth either and it's sooooo crazy that you mentioned it, because I was scouring over the site like 3 minutes before I read your post! AWESOMENESS. I've also discovered such shops as Top Shop, UO, and ASOS. Not sure if that's your kind of liking, but you never know! I'm so sorry that this comment was sooo long! And, I'm sorry I never got back to your email. I really enjoyed that you wrote me though and I will reply back to you soooooon! Have an awesome day and enjoy those two cute ass pieces that you got! ;)

  2. Michele,

    Thanks for the comment! I also really like shopping at UO... unfortuantly my ass doesn't fit into any of their jeans... but I love their dresses (just bought 2 from there actuall, haha) and their tops as well! Will def be looking at Top Shop and ASOS, and I'll let you know if I find anything good!


  3. AMEN to this!

    I feel the same way - I was always an Abercrombie & Fitch wannabe. Do you know of that store? Their clothes honestly, could fit toddlers. They are not meant for college-aged women! I eventually came to terms with this, and now I love buying clothes at more accomodating *and cheaper* places! I love Target, for example. I depend on Forever 21 for some trendy pieces, but normally I stick to inexpensive and universal looks that won't go out of style.

    That saleswoman was a creep! Don't let her get you down. She can have fun working at AE all she wants...

  4. Hey , I was going to say the same as Michelle.

    I am 30 next month (gasp) and Topshop has some great stuff, although what ever you do, do NOT try on their jeans!!!!!

    Other than that People Tree, thrift and vintage are my favourites. I always go for plain-ish clothes and unusual jewellery. - A nice necklace will fit how ever many burritos i eat!!

    You are not alone xx

  5. TC:

    Try Gap. I get all my jeans from there. They have casual ones and really nice dress denim ones for an office. I also find great pants and capris at J-crew. I never ever shop online ....so you might want to go into the stores first and find your size before you order some jeans. Hope this helps!!




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