They say “Everything is bigger in Texas” and, as it turns out, that includes me. I have been hesitant to comment on this because size should be non-issue. I follow people on social media for all kinds of reasons and not-a-one of them is their size. However, you’d have to be blind not to realize that the most popular accounts are those with slim young women. As a women in her 40s, I’m here to say, you’re going to have to do more than look pretty if you want my attention, ladies. Write well, be entertaining, tell your story, interact authentically – those are much more endearing to me than a great photograph while wearing expensive clothing and looking nonchalant. I went on a spree where I unfollowed anyone who took photos of their legs with coffee in bed, or stood pigeon-toed looking down whimsically. ENOUGH ALREADY. Fortunately, there are many inspirational women on social media representing the body positive message – and I’m not talking about the “workout 4 times a week and eat clean” body positivity, I’m talking women sharing who they really are. In particular I enjoy Stasia who promotes “inside-outside congruency,” and Allie who encourages everyone to “just be you” and talks openly about how much happier she is having let go of the desire to be a certain size. These women are KILLING it and there are many more. Who are your favourite body positive peeps? Who should I be following?
Anyhoo, I’m not posting this to elicit a bunch of reassurance or anything, I’m good. I still love me, I’m still grateful that my body works so well. I just find myself in a position of having gained some weight since the transition to Texas started and I thought it might be helpful to share how I’m dressing around it. It should be noted that I am a tall woman, THANK GOD. I have gained more or less 20lbs since my bunion surgery and can still get into most of my clothes albeit they are tight and uncomfortable. My height is a blessing and not everyone has such leeway. Whatever your leeway, if you find yourself above your usual, here are a couple of ideas how to dress:
1. Clothes that fit well
I can get most of my pants done up but there is a significant amount of muffin top and nothing that can be smoothed out with a fitted layering tank. Instead, thrift yourself some bigger pants. No one knows what the tag says but you. It’s a simple fact that one looks slimmest in clothes that fit and, well, vice versa.
I think everyone knows that I prefer dresses precisely because, unlike pants and other clothes with fixed waistbands, they are usually very forgiving and accommodate a weight range. But one example…
I’m not talking fitted sheath dresses, body con dresses and the like. I’m talking about the rest of them. When you thrift dresses, make sure there’s some room to grow or shrink to maximize their wearing potential! As for wearing clothes that are too big to try and hide the sitch… just don’t. It doesn’t work. You’ll just feel frumpy. That is why I decided not to keep my LulaRoe t-shirt dresses. They’re a little too roomy, they give me no shape and I felt hidden every time I wore them.
In contrast, my two Eileen Fisher t-shirt dresses are just fitted enough…
They show my shape without being clingy. I could easily wear these with leggings/jeggings in the winter, plus or minus 20lbs. BUT, back to pants. You may have noticed that during this Texas cold spell, I have not been wearing my beloved JBrand collection much. That’s because they’re tight. Instead, I’ve been wearing my forgiving jeans, like those light-wash distressed jeans. I also thrifted pants that fit me right now…
I have been wearing my $6 jeggings constantly (wearing them as I type, in fact) and now have included the Pilcro and Babaton joggers in my regular rotation along with my Paige crops.
I spent $45 for 4 pairs of pants to get me through this season of life and that is an investment in my emotional well-being. No one wants to stand naked in their closet feeling terrible because nothing fits. So go thrifting, spend a little to replace a few of your pants and anything else that doesn’t fit well from tops to coats to bras, then wear the heck out of them until the season is done.
2. Outfit Formulas
To take the guess-work out of getting dressed on a daily basis, find a couple of combinations that make you feel good and repeat them with minor variations. Two that I have been favouring are:
Short over long over skinny… (some examples above and…)
Long cardi skinny pants
3. Hang Onto You
The size of your clothes does not change your personal style. If you like stripes and bold colours, keep wearing them! If you like neutrals and minimal jewelry, keep wearing them. If those outfit formulas don’t work for you, no prob, find ones that do. If you enjoy experimenting with fashion, keep at it! There are lots of women at all sizes wearing crop tops and high waist pants and doing their thang and I love it! Don’t be afraid to accessorize, wear a bold red lipstick, put on some sparkly jewels, carry your best bag. My hypothesis is that if you keep up your individual style throughout life’s weight fluctuations, you and those around you won’t really notice because it’s non-issue.
In the same vein, I will close with a shot that is me hanging onto me, me having fun with my hobby, learning a new skill. A shot that makes me laugh every time I see it…