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?
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!
Feeling comfortable on the edge,
Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.