Growing up with a different body than others and wanting to be a fashion icon has been the great opposition of my life. Imagine me 12 years old with a middle part, crying in department store dressing rooms because I couldn’t find a damn thing that could 1) fit my body & 2) something I wanted to wear. I just couldn’t seem to find anything for my outside that matched the best version of myself in my head. develop
I imagined myself as some fashionable Parisian wearing a chic pairing of neutrals (with a bold red lip of course) carrying a bouquet of fresh flowers in one arm and a precious straw basket with fresh bread in the other.
You must be asking yourself, “Lillie, isn’t that kind of you, like right now??”
And I’d reply, “I’m closer to living that lifestyle than in previous years, yes.”
And you may ask, “How’d you get there?”
And I’d tell you, “Keep reading…”
Like any plus size girl before the #BodyPositivity movement, if you wanted to be a fashion queen (or at the very least, wear clothes) you had to make it work. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years that can help you start dressing in the way that’s truest to you:
1. Be Inspired
People ask me what are the hottest trends at the moment & I could rattle off a handful of stuff I saw in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, but trends should be inspiration and not guidelines.
What do you like and what do you want your clothes to say?
Take some time to write down words that would describe your ideal style, what do you want others to think when they see you. Don’t get bogged down with all the things you think you can’t wear. Challenge that thought and keep asking why not? Know how I became a person who wore bright red lipstick? I started wearing bright red lipstick.
Also draw inspiration from places, other people, art, colors, and eras. Save that inspiration on a Pinterest board or folder in your phone and use it as a reference
2. Be Kind
I blamed myself for years for having a body that was seemingly not made for clothes. I was plus size, but I didn’t even fit the “acceptable” plus size mold. The styles that I liked often didn’t come for my body type.
Do not blame yourself, blame the societal norms that prioritize only certain kinds of bodies and the corporations that enforce those norms and play on our insecurities. Whether you are tall, short, fat, skinny, or somewhere in between: you are not the problem.
So love your body and stay true to what you like. You will find it.
Take some time and do some research. Go through style hashtags on instagram and save outfits you like or follow people who have similar body types to you. Use Pinterest and check out brand websites. Look around and see what others are doing and what you like and don’t like.
Having styles you’re looking for and an idea of how you’ll pair them makes buying clothes so much easier.
At the end of the day, you just gotta go and try stuff on. I did this through thrift stores because I could try on a lot of different styles, brands, fits, textures, and colors all in one place.
It takes time, but you don’t know what something looks like on you until you try it. Once you get a better knowledge of your preferences, it really narrows down what you’re looking for in stores and where to find them.
Your style should be a true reflection of your best self. The moment I chose not to settle for just what “fit” and wear what made me feel good about myself, my entire personality transformed. Your style is an extension of you and how you move in this world. Let your style choices empower you to be your truest self.