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Clothes are super powerful. They're a reflection of mood. They portray what you've got going on I think on the inside. They're a statement. They're an expression of your personality. Or maybe they're a way to blend in and not stand out in the crowd. We all have our preferred way of dressing, for whatever reason that may be.
But what happens when those clothes just don't fit anymore? What happens when our bodies change, because our bodies do change don't they over time. My body is certainly not the same size as it was when I was younger. For some it is mortifying, that horrible feeling of a need to go up a clothes size. But why is that such an issue because there's nothing wrong with that? What is actually wrong is when you wear clothes that don't fit well, and they're uncomfortable and tight, and they hurt by the end of the day. We've all done that thing haven't we. where you put your top on properly, and then you pull the bottom out at the front, you wedge your arms up in there and you do some funny dance, stretching the top out in front and to the sides, and all you're doing is temporarily stretching it. Then you spend the rest of the day pulling it out, pulling it down, readjusting it, and you can't enjoy your day because you're too busy thinking about your clothes.
Your clothes are designed to fit you, not to the other way around.
So what do you do? If clothes shopping is a traumatic experience for you as it is for some people, or even if it's just not fun, there are ways to make it better.
Put yourself in a position where you're not going to be upset or stressed by what's around you. So for example, I know there are certain shops where if I go in I'm not going to wear anything in that shop. Those clothes in that shop are not going to fit me because they do not create clothes for my shape and my size. That's fine. I'll go to a different shop. Move on, go to shops that are going to stock clothes for your size and your shape and your style.
I do a lot of clothes shopping online because the other thing I hate is going into fitting rooms with arms full of clothes. I've got three sizes of everything, because I don't know what size is going to fit. Clothes shops' sizing is crazy. I like to do that at home instead. I use online shopping. I place an order, have things come to the house, and then try them on in peace and quiet at a time when I feel comfortable.
When it comes to clothes sizes and how they make us feel, I truly understand the issue with going up clothes sizes. What it's taken me a long time to realize is that these labels on clothes are irrelevant. They are just numbers, and those numbers aren't even the same throughout the shops that you go to. It's not standardised so you never know which size to pick up, and that is one reason why you should not worry about what number is on that label in your clothes.
Another tip is to pick up several sizes and start with sizes bigger than what you think you are. Go two or three sizes above what size you think you are and then you try on from largest to smallest, and find the one that fits you. We always start with the smallest don't we. We'll try and squeeze into that one and then we'll might try the next one if that doesn't fit. No, no, no, no. Start with the bigger one and come down until you find the size that fits you. Honestly, that is a much, much happier way of trying clothes on.
When you find your size don't worry about it because nobody cares. Nobody knows. Nobody's judging you. The cashier doesn't know what size you've picked up because they're not looking. And when you get home and you put those clothes on, is anybody saying, "Oh, what size is that?". Nope. What they're likely to say is, "Oh, new top? That's nice". If it is going to bother you having those sizes on those labels, cut them out. Then after a while you're not even yourself going to remember what sizes they are. You're just going to know that you've got those clothes and they fit you. And that's the way it should be.
My request to you is that you take a look at the clothes in your wardrobe and decide which ones you're comfortable wearing and which ones you're not, and you remove the ones that you're not comfortable wearing from your life. Choose a couple of pieces that you do like. If you've got the money to go and buy a few new pieces, even if it's just one or two, get yourself a couple of key pieces that you really like. They don't have to be anything fancy or expensive. You can build yourself a little capsule wardrobe. You can get some mix and match things that will work for all different situations. You know, trousers that you can dress up or dress down. Tops that you can dress up or dress down. It really doesn't have to be a big outlay to replace some key parts of your wardrobe. Every now and again, if you can do it, treat yourself. See it as an opportunity to try new things if you want to.
You will feel so much better for wearing clothes that are comfortable and that fit you.
Essentially those clothes are going to look better on you too. They're going to look better on your body. Clothes that don't fit do not look good on your body. This isn't about how you look to other people, but clothes are designed to look nice on you and you have a right to feel good in your clothes.
Isn't it funny what we assume of others based on the clothes that they're wearing. Can you imagine if what others thought was not a problem for you? What would you do if your body size wasn't an issue? What clothes would you wear? Would you dress the same? Would you dress differently? What freedom would it give you? How would you move in your clothes? How would you walk? How would you hold yourself?
How do you move into that? You start by wearing the right sized clothes. You start by being comfortable in the clothes that you're wearing because you will not be moving into body confidence if you're wearing clothes that make you self-conscious.
Most of my blog posts are taken from podcast episodes, where I discuss the topics in much more detail, along with answering listeners' questions and some fun features like the Great Food Debate.
The podcast is available on most streaming services, or the full list of episodes can be found here on the podcast page.