Wear What You Like, Not What’s Most Flattering

Poly Styrene, the queen of IDGAF style back in the '70s. | Image Source: X-RaySpex.com

Poly Styrene, the queen of IDGAF style back in the ’70s. | Image Source: X-RaySpex.com

Recently, we’ve received a few comments about style and body image. One reader said they wish they could pull off knee socks, but might need to lose weight first. Another said that skinny jeans are only flattering if you have thin legs, and aren’t curvy with some junk in the trunk.

Listen girls, we need to talk. F’real. I’m going to be honest: Sometimes I look back on some of my style choices and cringe. Sometimes I didn’t dress in a way that was most “flattering” for my body type, and I look back at photos wondering why I thought oddly fitted shirts and oddly cut skirts were so cute. Now I know that wearing the right bra can really transform the way my clothes fit, and I know how to layer in a way that doesn’t look thoughtless. But as someone who loves all sorts of funky styles, from punky combat boots to mod inspired dresses to oversized color block sweaters straight from an episode of Fresh Prince, I cringe at the idea of forfeiting my favorite styles just for the sake of dressing in a way that flatters my body type.

For example, I have big feet. Mainstream style advice would advise me–and most people–against wearing shoes that make your feet look bigger. But guess what? I love Dr. Martens boots; I have about five pairs of Docs and I have no plans of giving away my collection anytime soon, because I just love to rock ’em! Another example: Skinny jeans. I love a cute pair of fitted jeans, especially if they’re a little cropped at the ankle and high-waisted. But oh no, shock and horror, I’m a size 10 with some sizable thighs! According to common fashion wisdom, I should stick to something more flattering like boot cut jeans. Um, no thanks, I’m good. I think I look great in fitted pants, thank you very much, and that’s all that matters.

Here’s the thing we need to remember: We don’t have to follow fashion rules, especially since most of them are super restrictive against girls who don’t have a model’s body. What, are skinny people the only ones allowed to wear whatever they want? Can I get a hell no? Whether you’re skinny, fat, pear-shaped, curvy, flat chested, whatever, you don’t have to follow any rules if you don’t want to!

I read an amazing quote about this from Gabi Fresh, a plus size fashion blogger with a pretty stellar sense of style. In a blog post titled “Fun Not Flattering” she shows off some photos of herself wearing a drop waist dress. She said, “I’m fully aware that’s because drop waists are not considered a ‘flattering silhouette’ for curvy girls, but that made me even more determined to find them! …I know some might think this dress makes me look bigger, but (in case you’re new to this blog) I couldn’t care less. Clothing should be a way to express yourself, not slim yourself down.” It’s amazing how such a simple statement can make you question the way you approach your own personal style. Clothes are allowed to be fun. Style is supposed to represent you. Life is too short to ignore wearing baby doll dresses just because you have wide hips and they don’t cinch at your waist. If you see a baby doll dress that you love, wear it with pride!

At the end of the day, you can wear exactly what people say is most flattering for your figure and still feel miserable because you’re not wearing something that feels true to you. If you’re still feeling skeptical, look at it this way: The real allure of an awesome outfit is all about how you wear it–the confidence and happiness that you’re filled with–as opposed to how much skinnier you look wearing it.

So the next time you fall in love with a piece of clothing you love even if it makes you look a little wider or boxier, tell yourself, eff it! It’s time to rock a style that goes by your rules, not someone else’s!

What styles rules for your body type do you ignore? Is your style more focused on clothes that are wild and fun or clothes that are cute and flattering? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!


10 Things Plus Size Girls Can Wear No Matter What The Haters Say

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Posted in: Body Image, Fashion & Beauty
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