Comfortable in My Own Skin and #SpreadTheKindness Link Up #9

Do you ever just not feel comfortable with your own body? Nothing fits right? Nothing feels right? And you get stuck in a style rut of baggy ill-fitting clothing that will simply hide it all? This has happened to me…especially since having children and turning 40. My body is not what it was 20 years ago, 15 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Even in my mid-30’s when I had reached a weight and clothing size that was quite foreign to my former athletic self, I still was able to comfortably wear tight tops and even tuck them in.

Then I had children, then I turned 40, then perimenopause set in, and all sorts of things began to change. Let’s face it, our bodies change as we get older and those bellies don’t stay as tight as they once they did…unless, of course, you have hours a day to spend at the gym. Which I don’t…nor do I have the desire to work out like I once did. I also really like food. And I put lots of cream in my coffee. And I drink a pot of coffee every morning.  And I eat bagels and pizza and chips.  So I need to be comfortable with the consequences.

Before I began my blog about a year and half ago, I was in a style rut. I was hiding underneath oversized clothing and was more focused on feeling physically comfortable in my clothes than on feeling mentally confident in what I was wearing. So I made the decision to start wearing things that make me feel confident. After all, confidence is one of the most beautiful accessories you can add to any outfit!

As I began to define my own personal style, I realized that there are certain pieces of clothing and accessories that I am drawn to more than others. I also realized I can adore the way something looks on someone else, but it doesn’t mean that it will look good on me. Actually, it doesn’t even mean that I would consider wearing the same thing. I just enjoy admiring pretty things on other people. But realizing what flatters my body is more than half the battle of gaining confidence in my clothes and feeling great in my own body.  I read once that we should not try to make our bodies fit the clothing we buy, rather we should buy clothing that fits our bodies.  (I wish I remembered where I read that so I could give proper credit, but alas, my memory fails me.)  In any event, it is a great rule to follow when choosing clothing.  I don’t care what the size number says or if it is plus, misses, or juniors…if it fits me and I am comfortable and confident in it, then I will wear it.

I started evaluating what parts of my body make me feel less confident. And how I could downplay those parts while accentuating the parts of my body that I love. For example, I am a large-chested woman, but it is a quality that I really am uncomfortable flaunting. I do not like my cleavage to be visible. Like not at all. It makes me very uncomfortable and insecure. So I have discovered ways to dress my body to downplay the size of my bust. Hence, my scarf obsession! Scarves hide the cleavage if my shirt is low cut and they also minimize my breast size in just about anything I wear.

My midsection is a huge problem area for me, too. I never lost all of that baby weight. Probably never will. And I doubt I will ever do 1,000 sit ups a day like I used to during my college years. And I won’t go for a run (the boobs, people, they get in the way…it is not a pretty sight. Although my husband gets a kick out of it when I try to show the kids how to do jumping jacks! Ha. I could injure myself, for real!) So I tend to be drawn to oversized tunics and dresses that flow away from my midsection and do not cling to my bust. Although I do have to say that I have always been drawn to oversized tops even at the height of my best physical fitness.

That being said, I like my legs. From years and years of being a competitive swimmer, my legs have managed to maintain an athletic shape even after half of a lifetime of being sedentary. So I often wear clothing that accentuates my legs. This works with my oversized tunics and dresses because I can wear tights or leggings or skinny jeans and they balance out the oversized shape of my preferred tops. I also am very high waisted, so finding pants that sit comfortably around my waist is always a challenge, especially when I carry my weight in my midsection. It is much easier to find comfortable waistbands in leggings (duh) and jeggings than it is in trousers or dress pants which tend to sit uncomfortably on my hips or around my widest part.

Every once in a while, I do put together outfits that fall outside of my formula of tunic or dress and leggings. But I seem to always come back to this formula. It works for me. I am comfortable in my clothes. And I am confident in my body when I dress like this. What works for you? Have you discovered the perfect outfit formula for your body?

Outfit details
Dress: Shelbee’s Shoppe (Sold Out).
Sweater: Old Navy (No longer available).
Velvet leggings: Old Navy (No longer available).
Boots: Target (Old.)
Scarf: Target (Old, but similar here).

And speaking of having body confidence, how fabulous was Lady Gaga on Sunday night?! I understand she is experiencing some criticism about her outfit and her body. WHAT? She rocked that crazy outfit with confidence and she looked amazing doing it!

Now on to the link up! Thanks to you all for linking up with me every week and for doing your part in #SpreadingTheKindness! Your favorites from last week were…

Jess of Elegantly Dressed & Stylish shared a fun post about Rena of Fine Whatever in her Spotlight On: Over 40 Style: Fine Whatever Blog. First of all, kudos to Jess for doing such a wonderful job at #SpreadingTheKindness in her Spotlight series.

Second, it was so much fun learning more about Rena in this post!

And Audrey of Five Foot Nothing looks brilliant in her Polka Dots, Stripes, and Ombre!

Feeling comfortable on the edge,


Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.


I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

62 Responses

  1. Love your style! So cute!

  2. A big part of what I do is help women find clothes that make them confident. You have figured that out for sure! I love this cool print. I loved Lady Gaga and can’t believe they are criticizing her body. So ridiculous! I would kill to be in shape like her. Thanks so much for the link up and have a great week Shelbee!

    • Kathrine, thank you so much for the lovely comment. And thank you for spreading your wisdom about body image and finding confidence in clothing. It is an important message for many women! Have a fabulous week!


  3. I think that is the advantage of getting older, that we can appreciate what we have in terms of our bodies!!
    As for Lady Gaga—I only wish my midsection looked like that, ha ha!!

    • So true, Jodie! All of this. Especially wishing my midsection looked like Lady Gaga’s. Although, I’m guessing that she does a bit more exercise than I do!


  4. “I need to be comfortable with the consequences.” Heehee.
    It felt like you were talking about me (except the kids and boobs part).
    I do the tunic top/skinny bottom ratio too.

    My kindness this week [rest of the month] is sketching muses for Black History Month.
    My link is something FUN!

    • ps. Thank goodness for our athletic activity in our youth. At least we still have our legs!

    • For real, Anne! I do! There are consequences to my eating habits and sitting on the couch with my laptop all day! We definitely share a fondness for the big top, skinny legs outfit ratio! It is so flattering. And it makes me feel “cute” even at my advancing age when “cuteness” seems to make way for “respectable”! Ha! I love your kindness mission as usual! And yay for COTD!


  5. Thanks. I needed that. I am an older woman and just cannot find my style. Either clothes are from my much younger days, or too young for me. Help…..

    • Heather, I am glad it was helpful to you. My best advice without knowing you at all is this…find a store that you like the clothing…the styles they carry and the price point. Go when you have lots of time and don’t feel rushed. Anything you see that appeals to your eyes, take into the fitting room. All of it. Take multiple sizes if needed. Explain to the salespeople that you are struggling with finding your style and what suits your body and your personality. I find they are much more helpful that way and much more lenient with weird limits to how much you can take into the fitting rooms. Try it all on. Mix and match pieces. Try different sizes. Try different colors in the same pieces. Even take dressing room selfies if necessary to see yourself from a different perspective. Ask for input from the salespeople or even other customers in the fitting room (I do that often and you would be surprised how willing other women are to help you out!) Be patient with yourself. Try not to get discouraged. If you discover that nothing in store is really working, move on to the next store and repeat the process. When something makes you feel fabulous, buy it! If it doesn’t feel quite right, put it back. I really hope that helps you to rediscover your edge! And remember, you are fabulous, you are beautiful, you are you!


  6. Confidence is definitely the best accessory and you have it in spades, as you should! Love that pretty tunic! And I can’t believe the criticism of Lady Gaga. Her performance was amazing, she is talented as hell, and looked absolutely fabulous!

    • Laura, thank you so much for this comment! I so appreciate it! I actually did not see what the critics were actually saying about Lady Gaga, but I saw some folks posting about it on Facebook and they were astonished. I decided to not even read what was being said because it is all so ridiculous. She is a confident, beautiful, talented woman as you said and good for her! We women need to continue to support each other in that way!


  7. I hear ya with the over 40 body issues! I’ve been the same weight for 7 years but my 42 body is way different then even my 38 year old body was! Aging is so fun!! Haha!!

    • Oh, it is an interesting ride, isn’t it, Jaymie?! I only wish I had the confidence that I have now when I had the body which looked great in a bikini! But when I had the body, I certainly didn’t have the confidence so I covered it all up! Aren’t we women silly like that?!


  8. Love your prints in Winter!!!

    I’m back at blogging as a brand ambassador of Los Angeles-based indie brand Team Baciano – come check out this fab piece I am wearing from their collection!!!

    Happy Tuesday!


  9. Michelle, your message on self acceptance is fantastic and you look fabulous. You and I have similar fashion challenges related to our changing bodies and your styling tips are spot on. But most important, is your courage to embrace the changes and your ability to honor them rather be ashamed by them. I love the dress … is it one of the ones you bought in LA? Also, thank you for the shout out on Jess’s Spotlight On feature and for the link up.


    • Rena, thank you so much for this lovely comment! Self-acceptance is so important. How can we expect others to accept us as we are if we can’t even do it ourselves? I wear what makes me feel confident. Some things I don’t feel as confident in and then I just don’t wear them again. Now, I don’t have the confidence to wear what Lady Gaga has on…but I do have the confidence to wear something a little risky…coming soon on a blog post next week!

      And yes, this dress is from our LA trip!


  10. Just wait till you turn 50! Lol! I never had a belly! And now I can’t get rid of it anymore! Haha, oh well I don’t want to say no to delicious food either. I love the ,, bracelet,, is it a little scarf? Great color!

    • Thanks so much, Nancy! But we only get better with age, I think! And you look fabulous. That is actually a giant ribbon that I turned into a scarf that I turned into a bracelet!


  11. I feel more confident since I started blogging. I am very shy. I have watched you grow from this blog Shelbee. Your confidence has grown too. Thank you for hosting. I’m hosting my first link-up on Thursday. I hope you can make it x

    • Laurie, blogging definitely has helped in the area of confidence. I think just taking the photos of yourself in different outfits helps you define your style better, too. You can look at it from a new perspective that way. And you always look fabulous! I am excited for your new link up! I will add it to my link up list.


  12. Really great post, Shelby. I particularly enjoyed the quote you shares, as it is so true. I am Loving the colors and pattern of your tunic! It is such a striking piece and you styled it wonderfully.

  13. Thanks for hosting and posting. Even men are taught not to be comfortable in our own body. It is the way our society is, they don’t want you to accept yourself. I always say if the person looking back in you in the mirror is ok with it then screw society.

    • I agree with you completely, Patrick! And thank you so much for sharing a male perspective on the issue. I know my husband has ups and downs with his body as well. And at this point in our lives, we find each other attractive and are confident in ourselves, and that is really all that matters. Age makes us wiser and not-giving-a-damn-about-stupid-issues keeps us healthier!


  14. I am turning 40 this August and yes, it is crazy how our bodies do change. I do work out, yet my belly will never be in a bikini again as I honestly don’t think any amount of workouts will tone it after having kids… I’m a little nervous about what changes my forties will bring me, but I’m trying to be as optimistic about it as I can! I honestly think you look great and I would have thought you were in your thirties! I love that colorful print on your dress and I have to say you are so great at accessories! I have a pair of black velvet leggings and I wish I had gotten them at ON! I got them with Stitch Fix and I bet I paid a lot more! haha! I love them, tho! So comfy and soft!


    • Carrie, thank you for this wonderful comment! You know, the body changes are a little bit crazy, but the confidence and security and don’t-give-a-damn-about-stupid-shit-anymore-attitude that comes in your 40’s is well worth dealing with the body changes! Although the perimenopausal symptoms that I often experience are no laughing matter either…ugh…but I will save that for another post! And you also look fabulous for 39…so don’t worry about entering the next decade. Embrace it and it will be fabulous! After all, 40 is the new 30, isn’t it?! (Btw, I picked these leggings up on clearance and if I remember correctly, they were $6.99! Score!)


  15. Such a fun printed tunic Shelbee !
    and yes, blogging does make you look at how you dress differently and I always find the positive side of it.

  16. Confidence is definitely the best accessory! I love your tunic dress, gorgeous colours. Lady Gaga was amazing, I think she’s just fabulous…and what a voice!

    Emma xxx

  17. Such a cute look and fun pattern! I agree with you – Lady gaga rocked it!


  18. What a fun pattern! You look absolutely beautiful! Hope you had a great weekend.


  19. Being comfortable in our own skin isn’t easy–but as we get older we gain a wisdom and acceptance that “we are who we are”, and you are gorgeous. Great blog post. XO Susan

    • Wow, Susan! Thank you so much for this incredibly kind compliment! Wisdom and acceptance are definitely two of the most amazing things that I have gained with age. And I wouldn’t go back to my 20’s for anything because of that!


  20. Shelbee, you are a wonderful woman and blogger. I love your honesty and your free and easy style. While I don’t have much in the boob area, I do struggle with my hips, but like you said, it’s about finding what you love and what works for you…for each of us. Blogging has definitely been a help in that area, especially when I see so many others styling such cute outfits and it is by no means body dependent. I think what really helps is seeing myself in photos. I can look at those and say, “Oh that really works, or no not that.” It has helped figure out what my style is and what works for me to help me feel good. Love your blog, lady. Keep up the fabulous work! – Amy

    • Amy, thank you so much for the amazing comment! I agree with you completely about blogging being super helpful in defining my personal style. And I really appreciate your blogger support! Thank you. Thank you.


  21. Thanks for linking up to the Ageless Style Linkup!

  22. As always an inspiring blog post to read, I agree with you totally. I’m sort of comfortable in my body, wish I could shed the half stone I put on last year, but not going to the gym and with, like you, my love of all food its so difficult.
    Your outfit looks super on you- the colours work well. Nice to link up with you Shelbee. x Jacqui

    • Jacqui, thank you so much! And you should be comfortable with your body because you always look fabulous! Keep enjoying that food…I know I will. At this stage of the game, I want to enjoy the little things (within reason, of course, and still maintaining my health). So I will eat what I love and wear giant tunics to hide it!


  23. Yes to all of this! And I thought I had confidence, til I met you! Then I realized I cared waaaayy too much what others thought. Anyway, great post and it is time to get rid of my “perfect fit t’s and long sleeves perfect t’s” from ON. They stop short right at my now newly thickest part, waist, hips and belly. As a competitive runner for over 10 years, I never had to worry about my body. I had amazing metabolism too. Two kids and upper 30’s later, plus almost no running leads 35 pounds more than I have ever been. I too love food (and adult beverages) so I have to find a balance. Thanks for all of your styling tips and friendship. I didnt think little ol’ 5’4″ foot me with larger thigh area could rock the skinny jean and tall boot trend, but I just had to find the right way to do it! With confidence!!! You always rock the prints and mixing them. I used to think my edge was crazy socks. Now I know it is soo much more than that! Thanks girl, love ya! I’ll never forget our “sassy” photo shoot. We have both come a looooong way since then 😉

    • We have come a long way! And I am so proud of your magnificent pattern mixing mastery yesterday! It was brilliant! Hey, did you ever think of starting a fashion blog?!

      Love you.

  24. I think the older you get, the more comfortable you are with your body. I also believe that confidence is the best accessory! Love the print of your tunic and your winter layers!

    Doused In Pink

  25. Nice prints! Looking great in your attires 🙂

  26. Ah yes those moments where we all hate our bodies. Every women goes through it, I’d love to meet one that doesn’t. Looking great though regardless of how you are feeling 🙂 Would love if you can stop by and link up to

  27. Beautiful blouse! Really love the prints!
    Edwige |

  28. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style.

  29. Thank you SHelbee for having me in the spotlight there . It is funny, I had body issues in high school and some in my 20s, finally in my 30s and 40s + I am accepting. It is a big thing! I am also a swimmer and it is good to find things that you like about yourself . ( everyone). Love the pattern of your top and the camel sweater looks perfect with it. Too much time is wasted in life not accepting ourselves.
    Have a great weekend
    jess xx

    • Well said, Jess! It is so important to start accepting ourselves as we are. I am learning how to dress my body in the most flattering way without being concerned that certain things just don’t work for me. And it is what it is. I also think it is important for all of us to understand that every woman (and man) struggles with their own demons whether they be body image or something else…no matter what size we are, what age we are, what color we are, what kind of hair we have, how tall we are, etc. Cheers to positive body image!


  30. I really identified with your comments about your body shape since I have the same body type though I am much older. I love your outfit in this posting and it gave me some ideas. I just signed up to be notified of your postings.

  31. Thank you so much, Clare! I am so glad that you could identify with me and that you were inspired with new ideas from this! Have a fabulous day!