Over the last few months, I've had several requests to style people on my blog that have a different body type than I do. Guys, I have to be honest in saying that I was so hesitant to do this.
First of all, I am just naturally petite and I am totally okay with this. I'm confident in who I am and generally work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle especially since eliminating gluten from my diet. Secondly, I have always been of afraid of this stigma: "Why is this size 2 trying to tell me how to dress? She has no idea what will work best for a size 16."
The truth is you guys, figuring out what style works and what doesn't, is a game of trial and error for everyone. Believe me, I still try things on and think "no way, this is awful on me" more often than you probably think. However, there is a process that can help you step up your wardrobe and that's what I'm focusing on today. As my hair colorist Gwen says, "Style doesn't have a size."
HOW TO DRESS FOR YOUR BODY TYPE
- Be confident in who you are and embrace your body. If you constantly use negative terms to describe your body or if you are constantly putting yourself down, you likely will not find much success in shopping. Likewise, if you are shopping for a body size you wish you had, this experience will not go well and you'll end up with a bunch of pieces you can't wear. Embrace who you are, figure out your favorite features, and highlight them.
- Be willing to go on a 4 hour shopping trip and try on a variety of pieces. Like I said guys, it's all about trial and error. Sometimes you have to spend more time than you may want to figure out what looks good and what doesn't.
- Find 5 stores that you know you'll find pieces you love, and make those your go-to. Once you spend some time doing a little research on stores where you know you can find pieces, make those your first stop when it's time to shop.
- Utilize accessories such as belts to accentuate your favorite features. So many people are afraid of accessories like belts or maybe you just forget about them. Accessories can totally change up a look and are necessary for your wardrobe. Just don't overdo it because that can happen quickly. For example if you want to wear big hoop earrings, don't wear a chunky necklace. Try something more subtle.
- If you're using clothing to hide, you're doing it wrong. Unless maybe you're trying to cover up a baby bump, but often we buy things that are way too big because we are trying to hide parts of ourselves. In turn, our clothing gives us no shape or dimension. This leads to you being unhappy with your wardrobe and feeling like you have nothing to wear.
The back story on this post: a follower and fellow Butler grad, Ali, was one of these people that reached out to me. She volunteered herself for this project which turned into a Trendy U Shop Local Mini Session at Sweet Olive & Co. I'll let you read her experience below to see what she gained from this partnership.
"If 16-year-old me saw 26-year-old me, she would undoubtedly have an absolute panic attack. That toned, tan, manicured cheerleader wouldn’t even recognize this (sometimes haggard) woman.
Somewhere in the midst of a full-time job, entrepreneurship, marriage and dog-motherhood, I’ve lost a bit of myself. That has become more and more clear over the last few months as almost every day, I’ve thrown on a pair of black dress pants with a (typically wrinkled) shirt.
Add feeling self-conscious about weight gain to a closet full of boring clothes that mostly don’t fit and there I was, not feeling very good about myself. That’s why I reached out to Steph – I knew she could work her magic to take my wardrobe from drab to fab and help me feel more confident.
Steph and I met up at Sweet Olive at Hamilton town Center for her 'Shop Local Mini Session'. With sizes small through 3X, there’s something for just about everyone at Sweet Olive. Right away, I spotted things I wanted to try.
Together, Steph and I pulled four outfits we thought would work well for me. As I tried them all on, she gave me tips on how to take each outfit to the next level. I learned that making slight changes like doing a half tuck with a shirt, cuffing my jeans or adding an accessory can make a big difference and really make a drab outfit feel new. I kept an open mind and tried things I had never tried before and it totally worked in my favor!
Although I didn’t feel pressure to buy anything, I chose to purchase several of the pieces I tried on with Steph. As a bonus, she had a code for me to use to save on my shopping at Sweet Olive. I was already excited about what I was buying, but the savings made it even better!
Though my time at Sweet Olive with Steph was short, my mind shifted. I felt confident. I really believed that it doesn’t matter what size I’m wearing (because no one knows that anyway!), but instead, it matters how I look and feel in an outfit.
When I left, I headed straight to Old Navy and bought some basics and a few trendy pieces I could style based on Steph’s recommendations. After I got home, I cleaned out my closet and removed all the things that don’t fit so I could see what my real options are each day. Going forward, I plan to implement Steph’s advice of removing one piece from my wardrobe for every piece I add.
If you have the chance to do one of Steph’s 'Shop Local Mini Sessions', I say, jump on it! If you go with an open mind, I know you will leave with a new outlook on your wardrobe and hopefully a boost of confidence too, just like I did!
Thanks, Steph! You’re the real MVP!"
Thanks so much Ali for working with me on this! For more info on my Trendy U Style Sessions, click here.
Cheers to Monday.
PS- This article from Stitch Fix does a great job of explaining flattering styles for various body shapes.