One thing I have learnt over the years is how to dress for my body shape. When I was a teenager all of my friends were slim size 8s and I was a curvy size 12. I wanted to wear the same clothes that they did and it got me down that they didn’t look quite as good on me.
Not just in the media but from school friends too, there is so much pressure for young girls to look a certain way and from the beginning of high school I was very self-conscious about my figure. I didn’t want to be curvy. I wanted to be thin. For years I yo-yo dieted. I just couldn’t accept that I wouldn’t one day have the figure I dreamed of. However, whenever I lost weight I would always somehow get back to being a size 12 because this is my natural body shape.
When I was in my third year of university, something finally clicked. For some reason I finally accepted that I needed to accept my curves and to adapt my diet for more realistic, achievable and healthy goals. Obviously it is different if you are naturally slim and have a fast metabolism but if you struggle maintaining a size 8 I have learnt that it really isn’t worth making yourself miserable for. I accepted that I’m never going to have a perfect figure but that is okay, as long as I am happy and healthy. I continued exercising on a regular basis but I didn’t beat myself up if I wanted some biscuits or a bar of chocolate. Finding a healthy balance and having a bit of what you fancy is the key, in my opinion. However, I still go through phases where I am unhealthy or don’t have time to exercise… but that is just life!
After accepting my curves, I started to learn what type of clothes suited my figure best. I’m not your typical curvy girl with an hourglass figure. I am pear shaped, so I am quite small chested with a flat stomach but I have a mahooosive behind, which is something I embrace and am proud of. I went through a phase in university where I wore revealing clothes that were too small for me because I thought it would somehow magically make me look thinner.. but if anything it made me look bigger than I actually was. It was not a good look.
JACKET – URBAN OUTFITTERS, TROUSERS, TOP – TOPSHOP, BAG – ACCESSORIZE, BOOTS – BOOHOO, EARRINGS – ASOS
Wearing high waisted wide-leg trousers or an a-line midi skirt that cinches me in at the waist definitely highlights the areas of my body that I feel most confident about, while skimming over my legs which are my least favourite part of my figure. As well as the above mentioned, I also tend to go for culottes and plisse trousers which have the same effect. Fitted tops with lots of colour and patterns is a good way to bring attention to the smaller parts of my figure and to distract from my curvier assets so that my shape looks more in proportion. A heeled boot is also great for elongating the legs, which I think helps to make them look slimmer.
It does annoy me sometimes when I try on an item of clothing that I have been dreaming about but it doesn’t quite look how I imagined it to. Something I have been dying to wear is a suit but I have yet to find one that is flattering on my curves. Trousers and skirts in general can be difficult because most of the time they are too tight on my bum and too big on my stomach, big bum problems ay? This is why I opt for certain shapes and materials that are flattering and will help me feel more comfortable and confident. Something I am still on the hunt for is a pair of knee high boots, I have wanted a pair of these for yeaaaaars but I can’t find any that will even fit over my legs!! So if you know of any gorgeous knee high boots that fit a curvier girl, let me know!
It makes me feel really sad when women tell me they aren’t confident enough to show off some skin or to wear a bikini on holiday. I think everybody has body hang-ups but you need to love yo’self!!! Take some time to appreciate what you do have. If you are curvier, embrace it!! If you are slim, embrace it!!! Finding clothes that will make you feel confident and show off your lovely figures will help you not only accept your shape but to love it! I know it sounds silly but if you really are unhappy with your body, maybe look in the mirror and compliment yourself once a day. You will probably feel ridiculous doing it but over time I think this could help.
It wasn’t until I left university and began my life as a working adult that I realised my dress size is absolutely not the most important thing. There are so many things that should be more of a priority, including physical and mental health, finances, work and just being happy. I still love putting an effort into my appearance but it doesn’t bother me if I gain or lose a bit of weight here and there as long as I am healthy. By all means, if you want to lose weight or to change something because it will make you happier or healthier, go for it! However, please do not put yourself through misery because of what others may think or to try and look like someone else. It isn’t worth it.
I hope this helps anyone who may be having a bit of a confidence wobble. x