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!