No one wants to admit it, but we aren’t all built the same. It’s taken me 24 years to admit but I’m not supermodel skinny, and—even if I suddenly come to love exercise—I never will be.
Anyone who doesn’t fall in the “normal” size range knows what a hassle it is to find stores that make clothes that make you look beautiful and feel confident. But it can be done. You don’t have to sacrifice fashion for comfort, you just need to know where to look.
1. Know your measurements, not just your size.
This is essential if you don’t want to lose your mind while shopping. Once you’ve got your measurements, you can know whether a specific company runs a bit smaller or larger than others. We all know this is an issue, and it pains me to say that I will never be able to buy clothes from some stores. No matter how cute, some stores are not facing the reality of women coming in all shapes and sizes: a “small,” “medium,” and “large” can mean entirely different things depending on where you shop. This is especially important when it comes to buying a bra. If you wanna be a Victoria’s Secret model, that’s awesome, but make sure you are buying the right size. Knowing your measurements will help you with this; you can check the measurements that the stores use to determine different sizes. Bingo.
2. Don’t try to squeeze into a smaller size.
We’ve all been there and the temptation is hard; we’ve all bought a size that we’re close to as motivation, and there’s nothing wrong with this if you are genuinely on track to getting there. But when you buy something because it’s the only size they have left, or you are in denial that it’s really not your size, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. I know it’s hard, believe me, but remember how (literally) gut-wrenching it feels to realize that you’ve gone up a size and your favorite jeans don’t fit like they used to? Now remember that buying clothes that are too small will make you feel like that all the time. All together now: NOPE.
3. Yes, online shopping is hard.
As evidenced by this post about plus-size shopping from Buzzfeed, online shopping is unfair when you aren’t the same size as the model. Even when companies do have models in all sizes they still make great use of Photoshop to make the pictures perfect. Comparing yourself to someone who is made (and paid) to look great in what she’s wearing isn’t fair. Instead, choose stores that cater to bigger sizes, and are therefore more likely to pick advertising images that are based on their real customers. I like to go to shops that are making clothes just for people my size. It can be even harder if you are shopping for a special occasion or trying to get some nicer clothes for work. Eloquii is one such shop that is making clothes just for plus size women, and their clothes and prices are great.
4. Don’t be scared!
I won’t lie: I find shopping to be stressful. I drag friends and family along to validate my choices. To tell me that they aren’t just flattering, but a good deal. I still get discouraged sometimes, but I have learned to keep my pesky negative thoughts at bay. My value, ultimately, doesn’t come from my clothes—it comes from me, and being confident enough to wear them with pride. Be yourself and wear your clothes with pride!
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