Ok, so now that you’ve what body shape you are lets disregard that and really look at the areas of your body you need to be comfortable with and why. One of the things you’ll need to know to find clothes that really flatter you is what parts you want to reveal and what parts you want to conceal. What are your best bits? What parts do you really like? And nothing is NOT a valid answer here. I cannot stress enough how much you are who you are and your body is the shape it is and that’s perfectly fine. Accepting and learning to love yourself the way you are is very freeing.
I gained weight when I was pregnant with my son. So I swore I would loose that weight before I bought nice clothes. Well it’s been 17 years and I’ve still not lost all the weight but I have decided I’m not waiting anymore. I deserve to have nice things, to look and feel sexy and beautiful right now! That doesn’t mean I’ve given up my dream of actually shedding the extra pounds. Quite the opposite in fact. The better I look, the better I feel and the more I pursue my dreams.
So, that’s what you need to do. Look in the mirror and see what’s really there, dispassionately. And not compared with someone else. Look at you. Do you have a great butt? And just because its big doesn’t mean its not fabulous. Look from all angles and no criticism. This is about acceptance not punishment and more important than that it’s about getting a solid base for choosing clothes that will flatter you, right at this moment in time. It’s also important to decide how you feel about it. From a clothing standpoint what you need to know about is:
BREASTS: Do you have big boobs or small? Is this a good feature for you? For me, I have big breasts, which can alternatively be a huge problem or a great asset. Though I have great cleavage I don’t like to have it on ‘display’ as I find I’m often having conversations with men’s foreheads.
SHOULDERS: Shoulders can be broad, narrow, sloping, rounded, square or skinny. Whether or not you like your shoulders the fit of clothes and the outfit in particular will be greatly affected by the sleeve of the top and what works best with your particular look. My shoulders are square and I really like them.
ARMS: I have heavy arms with great big ole bat-wings that just wave around and are not in any way flattering at all. You might have nice arms, in which case I hate you. Other arm issues are muscular arms or bony arms. For me this is a definite conceal!
WAIST: Do you have a waist? Are you long waisted? I have a short, narrow waist which is overemphasised by large breasts and hips. Think Jessica Rabbit, but, you know, after she’s scarfed a couple dozen tubs of ice cream. Is this a good feature for you?
TUMMY: Do you have a flat stomach? Do you have strong muscle definition? Are you curvy? My tummy is not one of my best features and I tend to carry a lot of weight there – a definite pot belly. For me this is an area that I want to hide. You might feel differently. This really is all about what you think of yourself.
HIPS & BUTT: Is it big? Mine is big. Woe is me. Actually I kind of have a love hate relationship with my butt so choice of pants and skirts are very important to me. Theres nothing quite like the shock of catching a glimpse of myself from behind and thinking ‘what the hell is that? Oh, right.’
THIGHS & LEGS: Legs can be short and stumpy or long and willowy and, obviously, will be treated very differently. Saddlebags (widening of the thighs) are another common issue and need careful attention. Do you love your legs?
ANKLES: Basically they come in slim or not. I am in the not category, which means certain styles of shoes will not work well for me.
Get to know what bothers you and what doesn’t
I’ve always been guilty of looking at other women’s bodies, to criticize certainly but aimed at me, not them. It was a stick that I used to beat myself with, and sometimes still do. My thighs are not as slender as hers or my butt is freakishly large.
This consistent hatred of our bodies is a part of our culture and it serves no purpose at all. Nobody is perfect, not celebrities, not models, not that hot chic walking down the street. When that finally got through to me I looked at my own body more dispassionately, sure still with the view that I’m going to change it, but also with a view to make the most of it right now. I’m not getting any younger and I’ve always dreamed of being stylish and I just don’t want to wait any longer. That means dealing with my body the way it is now, and if you’re truly serious about looking good, you need to as well.
Find those parts of your body that you love. Maybe you have fantastic hair, or slender hands with awesome nails or the most fabulous legs. Maybe you’re just gorgeous. Whatever it is, find something because it needs to be the focus of your outfits. By highlighting your best features and minimizing your worst (or what you think are your worst) you’ll feel so much better and when you feel better, you feel more confident and that makes you look better, and then you feel better and so on and so on.