Breaking the rules about what to wear

I've seen a few blog posts and campaigns on the internet around which decry the idea that there should be rules about what to wear to flatter the body you have.

"How dare somebody tell me what to wear!  That's body shaming"

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I will be honest and say that a few have been on plus size fashion blogs with women declaring their right to wear what they want, but it's a common sentiment across the spectrum.

​Now I appreciate that you can wear whatever you want, and I would encourage every woman to be bold about colour choices in clothes to stand out in, rather than merge into, the background in a sea of black, and I do think that it's wonderful when larger women want to draw attention to themselves rather than hiding and feeling not worthy of attention, however, the reason for "rules" is because some clothes shapes and colours will do far more to make you look fantastic than that Lagenlook dress which completely swamps and hides your fabulous hourglass shape (whether you are a plus sized or if you have a slightly larger tummy than you did when you were in your 20's) or your liking for wearing a belt when your tummy is larger than your hips - because "everybody knows it if you wear a belt it shows off your waist". Well, I'm sorry, it might show off your waist, but for all the wrong reasons!

So go ahead, you can wear what you like, and what you feel drawn to/fits your personality/you're comfortable in/you're confident in, but you might see yourself in photos later and not like the results so much as if you were to wear things that worked with your body shape, colouring, scale, and proportions.

Rules can be broken

But the thing about these "rules" is that rules were made to be broken. As with other rules in life, you can decide to break them - but knowing the consequences is often the deciding factor about whether breaking the rules is worth it!

Now you might think you know the rules that work for you but, if you've gleaned this information from watching TV programs or reading magazines, you may have half the story. Gok Wan puts a belt on every woman he meets, Cosmopolitan try to get all their readers into skinny jeans (albeit with lycra) and, whilst some information is correct, it doesn't allow for the nuances of your particular shape in a way that a consultation with a trained image consultant can.

Me Breaking the Rules!

What really set me off writing about this is my particular rule breaking has been bolstered by the purchase of a couple of new pairs of Uniqlo leggings whilst I was in London recently. The reason that I shouldn't wear leggings is because I have short, fat, hairy legs*, however leggings are really practical for running errands, easy to pull on, stretchy, and comfortable to wear - and they have a really bad rap for exactly those reasons too as they are worn in a *very* dressed down way by a lot of women and can look terrible, even if you haven't got short, fat, hairy legs like me.

Confession: I break my own rules about what to wear πŸ˜€ 

#selfimage #coaching

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So the way that I try to wear my leggings is:

  • With knee length boots - ideally with heels to physically lengthen my legs (and it's best that the boots should be the same colour as the leggings to create a visual illusion of unbroken, longer legs)
  • With a longer length tunic that hides where my legs start (or finish!)
  • With the cardigan, or coat, that creates a vertical line that disguises the width of my thighs  
  • By choosing a decent heavyweight fabric that doesn't go see-through when stretched (to show the colour of my underwear)​

And that's where the Uniqlo leggings are great. They have a fantastic range of leggings, jeggings and cords in a number of colours (just like their cashmere and wool jumpers). However, since they are a Japanese company, they don't make clothes in much beyond a size 16, which is a shame.

So there is an example about where I will break the rules to fit my lifestyle and preferences but, since I know the consequences, I take steps to minimise the impact- maybe I could describe it as bending rather than breaking the rules? πŸ˜€

"Breaking the rules about what to wear" - leggings: A blog post by Gillian Lewis: Spectrum, a Colour Me Beautiful trained Image Consultant

Looking much better in the after photo!

Whilst there may be some Image Consultants and Personal Stylists who will expect to dress you in the latest fashions and diet to within an inch of your life, I don't want to do that.  I want to help you feel great about yourself, to give you increased self-esteem, and I realise that for a lot of women, getting it right on the outside helps you to start to heal the negative image you hold of yourself on the inside.  

Yes, you might want to lose some weight.  Yes, you might love to have a bigger/smaller/longer/shorter..... bust/bottom/legs/arms/nose (delete as necessary) but that might not be realistic in the short term (or ever) so working towards a place where you love who you are right now will serve you more than being your own most critical voice.

So when I say there are rules, I'm not body shaming you - I'm trying to help you with some body love!​

What are your rules?

If you would like to know what rules work for you (to be able to break them with confidence)....

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* For those of you who remember Morecambe and Wise :-D​

I'd love to hear your comments on this post

Gillian Lewis
FOLLOW ME

Gillian Lewis

Self Image Coach at Gillian Lewis: Spectrum Coaching and Consultancy based in Darlington, County Durham, UK
What on earth is a Self-Image Coach I hear you ask – it’s cross between a Confidence Coach and Image Consultant.

I help clients become happier and more confident by giving them a Makeover from the Inside Out to change their internal and external view of themselves.

I'm not really interested in fashion, just what clothes can do for your self-image - that's where the Forget Fashion blog title originated, so I won't be doing much commentary on the latest catwalk styles.Instead, I write about things I come across in life that make me reflect.Sometimes it's serious.Sometimes it's just fun.Hopefully you'll like my writing style, find what I write about interesting and enjoy the experience.If you do, share the love using the boxes below - thank you πŸ˜€
Gillian Lewis
FOLLOW ME
About Gillian Lewis

What on earth is a Self-Image Coach I hear you ask – it’s cross between a Confidence Coach and Image Consultant.

I help clients become happier and more confident by giving them a Makeover from the Inside Out to change their internal and external view of themselves.

I'm not really interested in fashion, just what clothes can do for your self-image - that's where the Forget Fashion blog title originated, so I won't be doing much commentary on the latest catwalk styles. Instead, I write about things I come across in life that make me reflect. Sometimes it's serious. Sometimes it's just fun. Hopefully you'll like my writing style, find what I write about interesting and enjoy the experience. If you do, share the love using the boxes below - thank you :-D

Comments

  1. I wear my leggings exactly like you – can’t stand it when women wear them with short tops? What’s that all about?

    • They haven’t looked in the mirror??? πŸ˜€

      Actually, what I’m often told by my clients is that they can’t look at themselves in the mirror, which breaks my heart. They fuzz out the details of themselves, so maybe they don’t see the full picture. And there are a lot of images of young women with legs up to their armpits who do wear their leggings like that, and look fabulous, so maybe there’s a bit of emulation going on? The thing is that following fashion, and guessing it will work for your body because it’s in all the shops and other people wear it and look good, isn’t always the best thing to do.