Shopping can be the stress-relieving, mood-lifting activity that a lot of us women crave, but body confidence can soon put everything on hold. Over the years, some of us have developed a crazy addiction to shopping, and not just any shopping; dress shopping. We can’t help it! The rails upon rails of shiny new outfits still with those labels attached are just too tempting to ignore. However, here comes the tricky part. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own body shape and at some point, everyone struggles to find the right clothing to flatter their shape and size. It’s the most saddening part of a joyous task! This can then deeply have an impact on your confidence and how body positive you are.
Instead of spending time noting down their measurements and converting these into the correct dress size, we tend to just grab the size we usually wear, perhaps try it on for peace of mind, and then purchase it there and then. Sometimes, if we like the look of it on the hanger, we buy it, even though it may not look the best on our body shape. Even worse, we may refuse to buy a particular item because we simply aren’t confident about wearing it. Our society has made it difficult to look and feel good in what we choose in the past, but it’s important to remember that we are all beautiful in our own skin. We should feel confident in whatever we want to wear, all the time!
No matter what size you are, what shape you are, which style you like and which you don’t like, there are steps we can take to be more body positive and to feel more confident in buying an outfit we like instead of one that our peers deem appropriate for you. In the end, it’s your own opinion that matters, not everyone else’s.
So, imagine you’ve seen that ideal dress for this year’s Christmas do or for the wedding of 2019. There are some things holding you back from making that purchase. You might have some issues when it comes to body positivity, and that’s okay. By teaming up with Alterations Boutique, leading suit and dress alterations specialists, we bring you our top 5 body positive tips for dress shopping!
Know your measurements
Whether you buy in store or shop online, it can be hard to know the correct size for your body shape if you don’t know your measurements. Getting measured accurately with a tailor or seamstress is the best option, and once you know your waist, hip and bust sizes, you can easily convert these into the most accurate sizes for you.
When you shop online, you’ll often find a handy size guide which converts your measurements into your usual sizes you’d find in a high street clothing store. It’s important to remember that not all sizes in different stores are the same, which brings us nicely onto our next point
Don’t stick to one size
This is a big one. We’ve all gone into one store thinking we’re a size 12. Then, we go into another store and find out that a size 12 simply doesn’t fit. We then get sad about it, thinking we’re putting on weight when in actual fact, sizes differ from store to store. It’s just the world of fashion!
Instead of forcing yourself to buy that size 12 just to keep your mind happy, embrace the fact that sizes everywhere aren’t consistent. It’s okay to buy a size bigger or smaller if it will fit your body better. The last thing you want is to buy something that’s too tight or baggy. Just think; clothing size is just a number
Find out your shape and what suits it
Some people are pears. Some are hourglasses, and some are rectangles. Not a clue what we’re talking about? Body shapes, of course! We all have a body shape, some of them are more defined and easier to identify than others, but when you do identify them, you can begin to find styles and dresses to suit your biggest assets.
Your shape may mean you have a larger upper body in comparison to your lower half or that you are completely balanced from top to toe. Whatever your shape, there are fabrics to highlight your best bits or to draw attention from one body part to another to keep you in proportion.
Get inspiration from others
These days, there are so many body positive people around that it can be easy to get inspired. Talk to people of a similar size and shape to see what works for them or start following fashion bloggers or Instagram icons. It’s good practice to do some research and see what colours and style suit different people and which could also look good on you too.
When trying on clothing, it’s always good to get a second opinion too. Getting the thumbs up from the fitting room assistant or a friend you’ve dragged shopping with you will make you feel a million dollars.
Go out of your comfort zone
There are no set rules for what you can and can’t wear, just recommendations. Feel free to venture out of your comfort zone and experiment with different colours or patterns. Sharing your findings or giving advice to others with what you find is something you shouldn’t be shying away from either!
The hardest thing to do is wear something you love and flaunt it in the outside world. Overcoming that initial step and walking around feeling great is a hard thing to do for the first time, but when you do it, you’ll want to do it more and more! Body positivity isn’t far away. You just need to take a few risks every now and then.