To the woman refusing to buy clothes until she loses weight
+ ageless style link-up
Have you gained weight recently or sometime in the past and been unable to lose the weight? If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you will know that I have gained a substantial amount of weight in the last few years but instead of being on a diet journey to lose the weight I am on a journey to gain body acceptance and body confidence.
A big part of having body confidence and embracing my ever more curvaceous physique has been to learn how to dress to flatter the new, fluffier me. But I didn’t wake up one day and say, “Hey, I’m so excited to go buy a size 10, 12, 14, 16…!” Nope!
I had many days of tears in the closet. Sweat pants. Crazy crash diets to try to avoid reaching across the next size marker. Sweat pants. Thoughts of self-disgust. Not so crazy diets. And again (and sometimes still) sweat pants. Because let’s face it, sweat pants are awesome and were invented by sweet angels who love us.
I’ve had plenty of dressing room near melt downs that resulted in walking away empty handed instead of going to the next size. There was a time I was so depressed to have to buy a size 10 or go to a size large indicated by the letter “L”. I had made such a fuss over it, that my husband would continually tell me, “You’re making way too much of the 10’s and L’s”.
go BIG(er) or be uncomfortable
Fast forward many jumps to the right and a continued climb up the size alphabet and I was T.I.R.E.D. Tired of creating muffin top where there wasn’t one to start with. Tired of coming home with belly aches because the unforgiving, too low-waisted pants had squeezed my innards out of their rightful positions. Tired of feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable.
When I FINALLY decided I didn’t have anything to lose by trying on a bigger size, I was amazed by the difference in the way I felt and looked. I’m not overstating by saying “AMAZED”. I physically saw with my own eyes that I was worth being clothed in well-fitting garments. Think of it this way: If you lost weight, I know you wouldn’t wait long to buy smaller clothes, right? Then ask yourself these questions:
Would you stuff your child into clothes so ill-fitting that they are uncomfortable?
Would you wad up a beloved wedding dress in tiny storage bag to be wrinkle and likely ruined?
make mine a large – it’s not a bad word
If you can relate to any of those scenarios but don’t think you can psychologically handle the “up-fit”, here a few thoughts and exercises you can employ to help get you over the hump.
Get inspired. Start by looking for some fashion inspiration. This was HUGE for me!!!! (Pun not intended but it works) But compare apples to apples. Pears to pears. Scrolling through mounds of skinny, young chick style will only bring you down and give you an unfair perspective of yourself in similar outfits.
Go shopping. Go it alone if you don’t have fashionable confidant or you feel too embarrassed about the sizes you might have to try on. You’re baby stepping and it’s VERY important that you feel as comfortable as possible.
Brick & Mortar
Game plan. Plan to only visit a store or two on this outing. Allow yourself plenty of time but don’t overwhelm yourself with a mega shopping day. Make it an easy day and plan to have lunch at a favorite location or treat yourself to a special drink.
Great expectations. Choose stores that have styles that are age and size appropriate. For instance, if you know you’re possibly going to be above a size 12 or 14 don’t go to stores like Loft or Banana Republic. They do NOT go above a size 14 in their brick and mortar locations. For this exercise I suggest staying away from stores that size for juniors even if they offer a plus sized line. You may be able to add pieces from these places later but for today let’s keep the lines and cuts more forgiving.
The pluses. If you’re a plus size or possible an in-betweenie (what I call the woman who can wear both misses and plus size depending on the fit) consider large department stores that carry a greater variety of sizes and departments as well as stores that cater to the curvalicious among us. Lane Bryant, Catherine’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s are a few that come to mind.
Underwear. Wear proper fitting underwear. The ones that don’t cause extra lumps and bumps. Be sure you are comfortable.
Ask for help. Not all sales associates are created equal, however they most often know how their particular store clothes are sized and will be able to help you. If you get one that makes you uncomfortable or is not helpful, politely move on for the day. This is not a day to feel bad.
Comfort is key. Speaking of comfort – take a water and dress light and easy so you don’t have a hot flash melt down. (We’ve all been there!)
Cyber-shop it. If you really can’t handle heading out in public, shop the internet. This is also a great option for the plus sized woman as there may be more options available to you. (You’re probably already getting tired of reading so I’ll cover the particulars of this method in another post.) 😉
Woman: Where do you shop?
Me: All over really. But wherever I find clothes that are flattering to my body and are comfortable.
Woman: I’ve gained weight, have nothing that fits and I have a wedding to attend SOON!
Me: Try here, here and here.
A couple of weeks later I found out that because she would NOT buy a bigger size, she didn’t go to the wedding.
This is a paraphrase of a real exchange made through some Facebook comments following an outfit post.
Stop missing out on life and look better than you have in years by loving yourself enough to dress the body you have at the moment. What it can do for your body confidence just might be AMAZING to you too.
Size up and live WITH Body Confidence!
I know a lot of you might be thinking that buying bigger clothes is like throwing in the towel on weight loss. The truth is, that buying bigger clothes hasn’t caused me to gain any more weight. I only walk in more confidence now, dimples and ALL. I promise that if you’ll give it a try, it doesn’t hurt like you think it will.
Oh, and cut the tags out if you must. We’re getting older and we just might forget what size we had to buy anyway. 😉
Dressing to the Nines (or the 16’s)
This month’s theme for our Ageless Style Link-Up is “off shoulder”. This dress from Lane Bryant is the perfect example of both the off shoulder trend and sizing up.
The dark chambray fabric feels cool on my skin and because it’s the right size for me (14/16) it’s not pinching anywhere. AND when I have a chance to add elastic inside the sleeve like I show you in this posted sewing hack for keeping off shoulder style OFF of the shoulders, it will be perfect. (also here)
I feel so girly wearing it. And The Hubs digs it too. And a big plus for me is that the off shoulder style keeps this long, denim style from looking too “Sister Wives” here in Amish Country. 😉
It could be a great look for an outdoor wedding with wedges like I’m wearing here. Or dress it down a bit with some sandals or flip flops for a cookout with friends.
It’s also perfect with playing with art statues in the park!
TALK to me!
If this post hits home and has helped you out, I’d love to hear about your shopping trip. What I really want to know is how you feel once you’re wearing a flattering outfit in a size that feels good. Do you have at least a little more body confidence? Hmmm?
YOU can do this!
Shop the above items or similar below:
And for that inspiration I talked about before, look no further than ALL these lovelies in the style link-up. Find someone who looks like you and be inspired to body confidence. If you’re a blogger, visit at least a couple of the links and scroll to the bottom to link up your style post.
LINK UP GUIDELINES
- Have fun and make some new friends! Please visit at least 2 other links.
- Please link to your actual post and not your blog’s homepage.
- Please link back to the Ageless Style Link Up in your linked post.
- Feel free to use #AgelessStyleBloggers in all of your social media posts
- Please follow each of your hosts on at least one social media channel via the links below.
Ana ~ Mrs. American Made blog, bloglovin, instagram, pinterest, twitter, facebook
Daenel ~ Living outside the stacks blog, instagram, pinterest, twitter
Debbie ~ Fashion Fairy Dust bloglovin, instagram, pinterest, facebook, twitter
Diane ~ Fashion on the 4th floor blog, twitter, facebook, instagram, bloglovin
Jennie ~ A Pocketful of Polka Dots blog, instagram, twitter, bloglovin
Jill ~ Doused in Pink blog, pinterest, facebook, instagram, twitter, bloglovin
Nicole ~ High Latitude Style blog, pinterest, twitter,facebook, google, instagram
Paula ~ Dimples on my What blog, facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, twitter
Shelly ~ The Queen in Between blog, instagram, bloglovin, Pinterest, facebook
Yvonne ~ Funky Forty blog, twitter, facebook.com, bloglovin, instagram, pinterest
I love this chambray dress with the wedges! I thoroughly enjoyed your post, thoughts on acceptance, and dressing for where you are now.
Fantastic post!! This also applies to how your body changes with age. You have a great bustline, Paula, and the chambray dress shows it off wonderfully. I learned a while ago that I was no longer going to EVER tuck anything in, so I didn’t need to care if the leg part of jeans fit wonderfully, but the top part not so much. I wear loose tops since my midsection gets thicker with age, and tight, super-stretchy jeans and feel great — but if my longish top ever lifts up, oh what a funny sight!! But who cares what is underneath, if I feel good about what the rest of the world sees.
I so agree Ellen! When our hormones are driving the bus, the “course” just isn’t the same whether we gain or lose weight. My waist is no longer a line to be “marked”. It’s a moving target. 😉
“It’s not the size you wear. It’s how you wear your Size” I love this dress on YOU and the off the shoulder trend fits you to a tee. I am an “in-betweenie” with a muffin top and shop everywhere. Do not sleep on JC Penney, I find so many affordables there.
Love the quote Neti. I’m a shopper all over. JCP, Target, Eloquii is another goody. Gap and Old Navy some have fantastic extended sizes too.
You encouraged this gal! Struggling with the body changes the last couple of years @ 52. 5’2″…and eyes of blue 😉…and very pear shaped these days! At a loss what and how to wear the styles anymore.
It’s a real struggle Robin and I get it. I just got to the place that I figured if I spent as much energy learning to flatter this evolving body as I did lamenting it and dieting I might get somewhere good. I still have some days that I long for the more svelte me, but I don’t want to linger and lament over it. Glad to have you here!
Thank you. Loved your dress. I found one styled like it on clearance at Dress Barn here in Texas. WooHoo!😁
I am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog. I am a 14/16 and I love fashion!!! I love Macy’s, Penny’s Lane Bryant and TJ Maxx. You are beautiful and I look forward to more shopping stories and fashion ideas!!!
Oh YES Mikki, TJ Maxx is an excellent choice. Right now I’m also loving Eloquii and Torrid for some things – how did I fail to mention them! So glad to have you here. I’m thinking of dedicating a series to just underwear for the “softer” girls, so keep an eye out.
I love this dress and you look great in it. Thank you for such an inspiring post. I have fought my weight for years and just when I think I have accepted what size I am now something happens and I am back on the diet wheel.
It’s a constant battle Victoria. I know a blogger who has said that body confidence is like lipstick, it has be touch up every so often.;-)
You look really great in this dress Paula. I think it is great that you accept and simply dress well, whatever size. I know plenty of larger women who are actually the most stylish of anyone I know!!!
Great post Paula. Body confidence/acceptance is something that I think most of us struggle with on the daily. You look amazeballs in this dress! Not sister wives in the least…just beautiful! 🙂
You seriously inspire me! Every time I read a post, I get a little more confident in my new size….
You have such a positive outlook and I admire that!
Hot flashes, gaining weight, dimples, and all, are my new look. Trying to embrace menapause with a smile, you have helped me so much on how to shop and still look beautiful!
Colleen, I’m so glad to have been an encouragement to you. There are days that I still struggle with all of it – hormones, weight, bad hair… you name it. But I have to remember (and you too), it’s a process. I’d love to wake up one day and never think of it again… but then I’d wouldn’t have started this blog to bring those of us struggling with these changes together. 😉 XO