Are your beliefs about your body restricting your authentic expression?

I have been learning a lot about life lessons based on my version of reality this week. It started with a realization that it’s wrong of me to assume that when people don’t help me it’s because they don’t want to. This approach presumes that there is something wrong with me or that I have done something wrong. I am considering the possibility that they don’t help because they either don’t have the tools to help in the way that’s most beneficial to me or they simply don’t know how to help me. This shift in my perception has changed my perspective on my past and present circumstances. I feel lighter and happier because I believe something different.

The same concept carries over to today’s outfit. Fashion is an authentic form of self-expression for me and having a Pinterest board has really helped me identify looks I love and why. However, the general assumptions I had were the looks on my Pinterest boards (and even some of my favorites on the forum) are inspirational and most of them I’ll never be able to pull off because I’m not thin. I believed this rightly or wrongly until today. The shift in my thinking came from the realization that I can only express the self I believe myself to be. So, if I think something is wrong with my tummy, for example, and other people think it’s perfectly fine, then I am not likely to express myself with outfits that outline my tummy. This would be true even if the outfit would look perfectly fine on me. Until today.

Today I gave myself permission to try out a “thin lady’s”outfit and I think the proportions work. I admit I was urged to try this look only out of desperation because I wanted to wear my new seersucker blazer with red trousers. The only problem is I don’t have any red trousers -- I only have red skinnies. I am amazed that my belief was so strong that these pieces together on me would look lumpy, cheap, and tacky that refused to even try them on together in the privacy of my own home. Amazing how we hold ourselves back without being conscious of it.

Have you avoided certain looks/outfit combinations because you believe they can’t work on your body? What looks have you’ve avoided (pictures please)?

(I hate to post and run but I am volunteering today)

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Debra replied 9 years ago

    Well I don't know about a 'thin ladies outfit'
    You look FANTASTIC !!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Nebraskim replied 9 years ago

    Well, my whole life I've avoided "skinnies," because I'm not thin. I have never even tried them on.

  • Joy replied 9 years ago

    I'm constantly drawn to clothes that overwhelm me and are better suited to a tall woman.
    You look amazing! You have a beautiful figure. There is nothing lumpy, tacky or cheap about this outfit. We all need to experiment, don't we, even with what we "know" won't work.

  • Krista replied 9 years ago

    Yes. I do this all the time. The only way I've been able to rectify it until now is to be aware of the fact that I'm choosing a different outfit (read: more flattering to the eye of my insecure self) because of my beliefs about my body and aim to be a little better at challenging the belief the next time it comes up. I've actually made some good progress over the last year - I now tuck tops into pencil skirts and wear belts at the waist of a skirt, but I still struggle with other types of outfits that I aspire to wear because I am self-conscious about certain parts of my body. I don't have photos available but I will say that the thought of full tucking a blouse or top into the waistband of pants or trousers gives me the hives, even though this is a look that I adore on others. Also any knit tops that skim too close to my body are now off-limits because I no longer like how they look on me. I just feel so exposed. I'm very busty and I have no friends who are as busty as I am, so I'm extremely conscious of how I look. It doesn't help when occasionally there are jokes about how much bigger my boobs are than the others (and I don't care what anyone says, the comment "oh, I'd love to have half of what you have, Krista, you can give me some" is still hurtful and doesn't make me feel better about the fact that I have watermelons for breasts //end rant :().

    So, yeah, I think my beliefs about my body are limiting how I express myself with my clothes. I have many items of clothes that are not really my aspirational style but I feel comfortable and fashionable in them, so I just keep trying to accept that there's a disconnect there for me. The only thing I can do is keep trying to work with the beliefs and take my time addressing them. Self-acceptance is a process, after all.

    Sorry for the brutal honesty. Must be the full moon :)

    On another note, I love your seersucker blazer and red skinnies outfit. You look radiant and I applaud you for challenging your perceptions of yourself. Very inspiring!

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 9 years ago

    Our thoughts can really do a number on us. Fantastic job seeing through to a much happier truth. You have an incredible body and you dress it so well. Love this look and in fact have the pieces to recreate it...

  • ironkurtin replied 9 years ago

    Great post in many many ways!

    You are gorgeous. Love the outfit! You look super tall and lean.

  • Peri replied 9 years ago

    I do this too. Proportionally I'm a little bit bombshell...DD bust on a small frame. I'm insecure about it and don't buy things that show that off.

    But isn't that great about clothes? That's it's my choice to highlight or not? I don't feel it is limiting me...I can do the vavoom if I want but most of the time I don't want.

    But you are talking more along the lines of judging ourselves more harshly than others do. Very best friend thinks I'm nuts about the boobs and should go bombshell all the time.

    Anyway....LOVE that outfit on you!

  • Peri replied 9 years ago

    Oh, another thought...if my authentic self is not bombshell and doesn't want the attention, then no...I'm dressing my figure in a way to make my look express my authentic self, not an inauthentic one.

    Good thing you are the lawyer and not me...I don't express my arguments very well!

  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    DV, you look sensational! I love this outfit -- the punch of red with the fresh seersucker. It's a fantastic end-of-summer transitioning to fall look with the brown and tan accents. 

    I have always questioned the (general) advice about no shorter jackets with skinnies, or always wearing looser, more voluminous tops with skinnies. To my eye, a tucked top or a hip length jacket can work extremely well with skinnies on quite a few different kinds of bodies. Maybe not everyone in the world -- but then, there is no look that works for absolutely everyone. As you say, it's a question of tweaking proportions to work for us, personally. 

    Like Joy, I am often attracted to looks that would suit someone larger framed and/or taller than I am. In analyzing the reason, I discovered that I crave a bit of drama, so now I am looking for other ways to express that -- without the overwhelming swathes of fabric. 

    Also -- and more in line with your idea, I tend to avoid lower necklines because I am small busted and as I age my chest is becoming quite thin. So that is a perceived 'flaw." But sometimes it feels annoying and limiting to reject so many different tops that I like. Recently I experimented with one that I think works okay on me. And nobody ran away screaming. Mr. Suz even liked it. 

    For me, another HUGE step was trying booties with dresses. My legs are on the short side, my calves are proportionately shorter, and I have a relatively short foot, as well. So all in all, I do not think it is the most flattering look for me. I think this is a "tall, long-legged woman's" look. 

    various fit and weather issues mean that my winter footwear pretty much has to include booties or I won't be able to go outdoors at all. And I happen to like skirts and dresses. 

    So I've been wearing booties with skirts for the past two years. It is still a process of getting the proportions right (as you know) and I very much feel that I am still learning. I often feel a little insecure and concerned about figure flattery when wearing booties with skirts. But I just try to take it in small steps -- choosing mostly hose that tones with the skirt and the booties to lengthen the line -- aiming to get my skirts tapered or hemmed just so, and so on. 

    Why bother? Because besides practicality, wearing booties instantly modernizes my outfits a bit, and that is important to me too. 

  • FlorenceFearne replied 9 years ago

    First, you look amazing! Even better than the girl in the inspiration pin! 

    When I was in my teens, i had very minor keratosis pilaris on my upper arms.They were just a bit uneven/blotchy, and a little bumpy. Very minor, as I said. I was always aware of it, but I assumed no one noticed. And then someone asked me what was wrong with my arms. I haven't worn a sleeveless garment in over 10 years now. My arms have cleared up, but they are still not perfect. So even though I know it's irrational, the best I have managed thus far is a mid-bicep short sleeve, and I still feel naked and awkward. 

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    I echo what Dana said.

    You look absolutely gorgeous, and I'm thrilled you had the better judgement to try the outfit. You just never know if something is going to work unless you give it a whirl. And, our eyes adjust to a look. And our style preferences change. All excellent reasons to keep on trying and exploring new outfit combinations. And your results are stellar. Well done.

  • replied 9 years ago

    You look fantastic.  Great post on self-discovery and enlightenment. 

  • Marlene replied 9 years ago

    This reminds me of a conversation I had in a dressing room with a woman a few weeks back.  We both came out of our cubicles to see ourselves in the community mirror.  She was trying on a knit dress...She was a couple inches taller and her figure was decidely more curvy than mine is.  When I first saw her, I was like WOW!  That looks great!  She looked at herself with doubt and said that this dress was WAAAAY outside her comfort zone and she felt "fat" in it.  I was astonished because I saw a VERY flattering dress.  So I told her that she looked amazing and I would LOVE to have those curves.  She looked at my boyish figure and my feeble attempts to create curves where there are none and she started chuckling...we all want what we don't have!  She decided to get the dress and try something new.  I hope she enjoys that dress and she can celebrate those curves.  I can only imagine, based on seeing her reaction to her image in the dress, she has gone through life avoiding certain items because they are for "the thin woman".

    The only clothing item I specifically avoid because of a major mental block are full skirts.  I feel like I have ONE CURVE and its my bottom and I HATE drawing that much attention to my rear end.  Logiclaly, I am a size 4 so it doesn't make sense.  But I have had some comments about my "fat bottom" in the past and voices from my subconscience whisper to me whenever I try one on.  Its a true disconnect.

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 9 years ago

    Oh, my! You look gorgeous in your thin-lady's outfit, DV! I'm so glad you tried it, and I'm glad you wrote this great post to share your discovery with us. I need to come back and contemplate it. I don't know what my blind spots are about myself and fashion at the moment, but will have to consider that. I do know that YLF has inspired me to try a lot of things I would not have come up with one my own!

  • Beth Ann replied 9 years ago

    Challenging our assumptions and reframing our experiences is essential to living well and without frustration.

    I hear you about self-editing.  Sometimes it's very hard for me to imagine how a garment will look on my body from the catalog shot of the model.  It doesn't help that I live in words and sound (not surprising for a singer), not in visuals.

    We have to dress outside the box more often --- at least try things on and see what happens.  I try to remind myself that "all bodies are in 3 dimensions, not 2.  We all curve."

    This is stellar.  I wore my red jeans and my chambray jacket last spring.....and should pull it out again!

  • shedev replied 9 years ago

    You look lovely, DV, you pull off so many looks beautifully.

  • Adelfa replied 9 years ago

    I love this question but am having trouble answering it because I'm not sure what constitutes authentic self-expression for me! But as I look for it I can try to make sure that my beliefs about my body aren't interfering with the search!

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Nebraskim – I think you should at least try one pair. That’s how I started. I wasn’t sure I would be able to pull it off. My first pair was 2 sizes larger than my regular size to ensure they fit and bought on sale. If I hated them on then I wouldn’t feel bad for “wasting” the money.

    Joy -  I have never seen you wear something that overwhelms you. I love your outfits and I believe it has a lot to do with proportion

     Krista – I am so glad you got past your fear of tucking. I had the same issue (a little too round in the torso area due to tummy and boobs). I understand where you’re coming from on the issue of having friends who have smaller cups, not wanting to wear tops that skim the body. I can’t tell you to abandon your comfort zone because I understand the lecherous looks that will ensue as a result. I do think there is hope because you now tuck when you hadn’t in the past. Eventually (unless you want to pursue surgery) you should aim to embrace them. I’m not saying put them on display by wearing a deep v to
    your navel ;-) but you shouldn’t feel the need to hide who and what you are
    because of other people’s behavior and their issues (you’ve got more than enough of your own!). I’m just glad that you’re open to the process of doing something different and addressing your body issues head-on rather than even if it’s just a little bit at a time. 

    TraceyLiz - I'm going to play around with this silhouette too and see if I can mix in different pieces. I can't wait to see your version.   

    Peri -- I so understand your feelings around wanting to abandon the default bombshell look. You certainly don't have to be one simply because your body lends itself to that style -- because as you said that's not an authentic expression of you. I love your point about choosing to highlight or not. What I had to realize a number of years ago that just because I didn't highlight the body part in an outfit doesn't mean that the body part can be ignored or that it is mysteriously disappeared.

    Suz - you are so generous with your personal journey -- thank you! I tried to follow that general advice about voluminous tops over skinnies for the longest time. I couldn't do it well because I hated the icecream cone silhouette it gave me. So as much as I love surrendering my waist it's not flattering, but I thought I had no where to go if I wasn't wearing a tunic length cardigan or top with skinnies. I noticed that you wear a lot of crew necks, boat necks and button front shirts -- I thought it was an extension of your style preference I never assumed that you took issue with your chest -- interesting. Oddly I have always assumed that a smaller chest looked more tasteful in low cut tops than a larger chest. To my eye, a cleavage-bearing top looks too overt on a curvier woman because it's obvious she's blessed in that area so to do form-fitting plus cleavage to looks cheap (under most circumstances).  I am also glad you tried out booties with skirts. I'll get around to trying it out myself. You're right that it modernizes skirts instantly. I have long legs and I am sure that unless there is some tone matching the look will make my legs look shorter too -- so you're not alone. I am not sure it's your body more than it is the look of booties with skirts.

    FlorenceFearne - Your story is exactly what I'm talking about. It's been 10 years and although your arms are fine you feel naked without longish sleeves. Thank you for sharing. Perhaps you can be coaxed into a short-sleeve in time.

    Angie -- I am working on it. I just love seeing different looks on different women's bodies because it gives me the courage to try something new. It's one of the primary reasons I love the forum. It's just amazing to me that I had this issue with skinny jeans that I wasn't necessarily consciously of. Now I'm looking for areas where I'm resistant to stepping out of my comfort zone.

    Marlene - It's great that your recognize your "fat bottom" bias. I say play around with different lengths -- I am a huge fan of full skirts and it's too cute a trend to avoid. On the other hand, I certainly understand what it means to have a body part you feel is out of proportion to the rest of your body. It feels so conspicuous. So long as you don't pretend your butt isn't there, I don't think your closet will miss a full skirt if you hate them.

    Firecracker -- I can't wait to see what you come up with when you think on this more.

    Beth Ann -- I love the first line of your response. Challenging yourself I'm guessing is the down payment on a life well lived. Very inspirational. You beautifully summed up in one sentence what took me probably 2 pages to figure out. Now, I want to see the red jeans and chambray ;-)

    Adelfa - You make an excellent point. As you hone your style preferences it is important that you don't discount a look as "not for you" simply because of an erroneous assumption you have about your body. It's so much better to be aware of that now than later.

  • Kristin L replied 9 years ago

    Your outfit looks incredible! I'm very proud that you're realizing how what you think can affect... well, everything. And that you're giving yourself permission to do it. 

    Did you find the article I was talking about in Instyle? I can e-mail you a copy if you like. I think what the author of that article was getting at was that some of the smaller patterns can get lost on on some people. Anywho, I read it and thought about your post.

  • MsMary replied 9 years ago

    What a wonderful post, Day Vies!  Thanks so much for sharing your insight and that fab, fab outfit!!

  • Jaime replied 9 years ago

    Your post is brilliant in a few ways: you point out the importance of re-checking our beliefs, you point out the importance of not blindly accepting conventional wisdom as truth, AND you look positively radiant and brilliant in your outfit. Thanks!

  • DonnaF replied 9 years ago

    Interesting; food for thought and chewing on.  Maybe someday I will at least try on that VC tube skirt, but I really have foot/shoe issues so I don't have the appropriate footwear to make it work.  Thanks to Angie, I tried on a pair of ankle strap sandals that to my surprise looked pretty good and to my disappointment were about 1/4" too high.  But I think my bigger issue is wanting/buying clothing for a fantasy life. . . .

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    K - you'll need to send me a link to the article. I googled it and can't find it. Thanks for the reminder

    Shevia - I truly believe as so many ladies have pointed out already that we have to recheck our beliefs because we're not even paying attention to the mirror -- because the outfit never makes it on to our body. We keep telling ourselves things that we haven't even road tested.

    DonnaF - Someday should be today. My hope is if you are attracted to that look you could find a way to make it work for you. I didn't really have the excuse that these things weren't in my closet I just got it stuck in my head that I couldn't.

  • Karie replied 9 years ago

    Great post, DV! For me, it is anything, anything, ANYTHING that might even remotely show my tummy. I could do sit-ups, crunches and Pilates until the cows come home and that thing will not flatten out! Combine that with nothing much going on up top, and well, it's just not a pretty picture. I have just recently begun to try the semi-tuck. Baby steps, my dear, baby steps...

  • Diana replied 9 years ago

    Well, this pear just bought a horizontal stripe tube skirt and likes it! I have to credit Angie and all the fab striped skirt ladies for convincing me to try it in the first place, and to stick with it through all the rounds of not quite right tube skirts.

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Karie -- I feel your pain on the tummy. I am glad you've waded into the semi-tuck waters. The outfit you posted is dreamy. I love aqua and white the black accents give it a little structure.

    Diana - YAY! That skirt seems to work on a lot of people. I am sure you will have lots of fun with it.

  • Ingunn replied 9 years ago

    DV, you are stunning in that outfit, and the colors are divine. You knew I adore light blue with red, right? The proportions are right indeed, and you look very fresh and polished. I also enjoyed to read your insights and life lessons. I agree 100% - most things and actions can be perceived in so many ways, and how you think of it influences your feelings about it. You are giving yourself a gift of wellbeing by managing to keep up a positive mind set, and not giving in to read a lot of negativity into other people's comments and actions.

    I'm in general anxious about looks that make my hips prominent. Thus, I find pencil skirts and sheaths very challenging on me, however I love the look on others.Maybe it's the lack of balance on top that bothers me. I'm also not comfortable with outfits/styles that strays too far away from my style personae. I don't "do" boho very well, for example. I tried mixing white jeans with a linen tunic dress, and all of a sudden boho felt right for me. 

  • replied 9 years ago

    You look absolutely gorgeous.  You are one of my people to watch because you always get it right.  

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Ingunn -- I am so glad you wear pencil skirts skinny jeans and sheath dresses any way because it would be difficult to create your amazing capsules without those key pieces. You always look wonderful. I am glad you posted your boho look. I struggle with that style myself but I think you have made it your own because it nods at the style but you haven't lost yourself to the point where you look like you're wearing someone else's clothes. Thank you for sharing your story and picture!

    Gabrielle - thank you -- that is so sweet of you to say! 

  • Joan Joplin replied 9 years ago

    You look great! I'm glad you tried that look.
    I don't think I dress to hide anything. I my mid teens I made peace with the fact that I have what I would call a "visible" body. I wear a 28J bra (28M in US sizing) and that attracts a lot of attention. But I like my body, and I like my small waist and I wear things that highlight my body. I do avoid styles that "fight" my body type, but that often means avoiding things that conceal my form and sticking to things that emphasize my curves. I know that I do get stared at more often than my friends, but I'm also more modest than many of them. I just have an unusual body type that stands out in the crowd and I've learned to accept and then embrace that.

  • Hil replied 9 years ago

    Day Vies - I have spent a lot of my adult life fighting my body and believing the way I look doesn't translate into lots of current trends. As an example, I think that whilst I love things that are geeky cool, hipsterish type stuff, they look fab on skinny young things, but on an overweight mid-thirties mom, they will just look frumpy and awful. I have only just gotten brave enough to try a semi tuck!!!!

  • Gaylene replied 9 years ago

    As you point out, it takes a certain bravery to try things that run counter to that internal voice and risk a potential negative encounter with someone who helpfully wants to "police" what we wear. I suspect for many of us the solution is to find certain situations where we can feel a bit freer to express our personality. That's one of the reasons I like to travel; in situations where no one knows me, and where I am unlikely to meet the people I encounter again, I don't hesitate to show off my athletic calves in a skirt. The funniest part of this was the admiring looks that I got in some of the Mediterranean countries where a solid-looking leg was obviously not considered to be totally unattractive by at least some of the men that I encountered. ;)

  • FlorenceFearne replied 9 years ago

    @Hil - I'd love to see you rock some geek chic. And I bet if you posted an item or two that you really like, the ladies of the forum would happily help you figure out how to style it so it flatters. I'm even volunteering to lead the charge! If you post it, I will help (or try). :D 

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Hil - I love Florence's suggestion. I think you should post somethings and we (the forum) can help you figure out how to make it work for you. No sense in denying yourself what you obviously like because you're not young and thin. There is no rule that only the young and thin get to enjoy great trends while the old and fluffy are relegated to frumptastic offerings. I would have to empty my closet if that were true.

  • Janet replied 9 years ago

    This is tricky for me. At what point do the realities of my body become my personal beliefs or perceptions? I would dearly love to rock the kind of detailed and interesting pants I see on slimmer-legged ladies, but I just cannot bring myself to do it. I gravitate towards looks that are worn by willowy types (after all, rock chicks are usually pretty skinny), but I'm pushing 50 and decidedly not willowy. I've got boobs and I've got hips, and there are a lot of looks out there that appeal to me that just don't look "right" on my body. I try to push my limits but sometimes that results in some unfortunate mistakes. Other times I manage to push the boundary of flattery and get the balance right enough to make me happy.

    Other women with bigger bodies than me unabashedly wear bolder looks, it's true, but I have to stay true to my personal combination of aesthetics and emotional comfort.

    But enough about me! DV, this look is fantastic on you and I cannot imagine why you would not wear it and enjoy it often! You have a wonderful sense of style.

  • CocoLion replied 9 years ago

    You look really good in pants and skinnies.  I think these types of outfits work well on you.  You have toned, straight and long legs.  I have never seen you look bad in pants or jeans.  

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 9 years ago

    I have a feeling I don't think in terms of complete looks or outfits so much. I have just started on Pinterest and so far my only board is one that I used in searching for handbags. I haven't gotten to pinning looks yet. I think more in terms of specific garments and try to envision how I might wear them with things I have. And yet, I do see complete looks or outfits and think I'd like to wear something like that. I don't usually get around to intentionally copying the look; my inspiration is more amorphous or perhaps even subconscious. You have me thinking about trying to use Pinterest to gather looks I'm drawn to, as an aid in evolving my style.

    Meanwhile, what I've come up with for a look or style that I have avoided is skinny-heeled shoes. I just bought the Donald Pliner Tillie boot at NAS, and it's pretty much a departure for me. I have avoided this heel profile--in favor of thicker, blockier, more substantial-looking heels--because of my calf shape. I always felt little heels looked out of balance and just not pretty with my calves overpowering them. (I did buy one other pair of petite heeled shoes about a year ago, some brown Cole Haan pumps that I unfortunately do not wear because they turned out to be uncomfortable. I just need to do Angie's wet-foot trick, now that I know about it, but haven't gotten around to it.)

    Now, I'm not sure that petite-heeled shoes are part of my authentic self-expression, but they are a style I have admired on others but avoided for, like, forever. Until now.

    P.S. Also, I wouldn't have dreamed of even trying on a high-vamped shoe like this with a dress, until YLF.

  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    DV this is a brilliant thread and I have been pondering your topic question for a few days now.

    I have a lot of beliefs about my body that have caused me to create a lot of personal rules about what I do and don't wear.  Some are realistic and help me to dress the best for my figure, some are are restrictive and unnecessary but birthed through the belief that if I can't look as good as the model wearing it, then I shouldn't bother.

    Thanks to YLF, I have slowly been breaking free from some of my own rules, and have started to embrace the body I do have as opposed to the one I don't have :)

  • Jeanie replied 9 years ago

    You look great!  I like the oversized look of Marni (such as in the photo below) but I definitely have in my mind that it is a 'skinny women' look.  I am very large chested and know that those oversized unstructured lines don't look best on me.  Still I am drawn to the look but I have never tried it.  Such a great topic.  We will all learn so much!

  • rute replied 9 years ago

    I believe we can always find a way to make a trend work for us! 

  • AnnieMouse replied 9 years ago

    Thank you for this post. The limitations we set upon ourselves due to our personal interpretations of our bodies can do a number on our minds, I agree.

    I needed to hear it articulated this way today.

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Janet - I think your outfits are amazing and your shoe collection is the stuff of dreams (at least it is for me). I am not sure I would have know that you believed your body type did not fit the style of clothing you loved. I know we all live in out heads and believe that I'm the only one who can't wear ____ but this thread had crystallized that other people think it about themselves too (albeit a different body part and article of clothing).

    Firecracker -- I love those booties on you! I am so glad you posted. It's so great to see women breaking free from these self-imposed rules (especially when there's a really nice pair of booties involved).I think if you love the shoes get them and use muted color on your legs to distract you from your internal dialogue. I found nothing objectionable about your legs in skinny heels. I do in full disclosure have a strong bias for refined footwear.

    Deborah - I think we're in the same boat. I have now become hyper-vigilant looking for the the next rule I impose on myself that says I can't wear ____. I haven't found it yet (probably because I'm still reeling from this) but I am sure there are still more I have not yet become aware of. I just love that YLF is a wonderful safe space to debut those looks that make us insecure.

    Jeanie -- I understand about volume and a chest ;-) ! I agree with Rute now that there is a way to make look work for any body shape. I just think it's a matter of finding volume + shape.

    I so appreciate everyone's input to make this an interesting thoughtful discussion thread. Thank you! 

  • Eliza replied 9 years ago

    Appreciate this thoughtful post.  You look amazing in that outfit.  Double take worthy. You are so good at creating beautiful lines with well cut items that fit perfectly.  Elegant.
    It is interesting to see the responses because the bottom line is we all have body characteristics to stir into our efforts to create a functional wardrobe that is happiness inducing.  We can be so hard on ourselves, following rules and assumptions that often mean we miss opportunities. Thanks for another wake up call.

  • Elly replied 9 years ago

    I've definitely felt that way before.

    I'm fairly tall, broad shouldered, and built on the muscular and curvy side depending on my activity levels.

    I'm not into the overtly feminine, but I find many of my favorite looks either come off as "in your face curvy" on me, or simply make me look big/frumpy/chunky.

    I don't change my style to reflect what flatters me persay, but I definitely am guilty of not figuring out how to wear things I do like in a way that doesn't make me feel self-conscious. I need to work on that.

    For example-- I would love to work a pair of skinnies to show off booties, but can't get over the fact that I tend to look like a hip hop music video extra in them. I also struggle with the "roomy" trend, because although I like the look if the styling isn't just right you totally loose the fact that I am not as big as my shoulders and hips are all over, and one wrong piece can make me look more "mommy of 3 who gave up on my appearance" than "young, cool professional".

  • Janet replied 9 years ago

    Such great insights here. In a way it's comforting to see others here whose style I admire have some of the same kind of concerns I do. We all adjust our love for some styles to suit our bodies.

    The look below is a great example of something I wish I could wear. But I can't imagine that style of short/skirt looking right on my body. There are a lot of looks like this that make me sigh. I don't wish to be 20 years old and a size 2, but it sure would make it easier to wear something like this. I'm pretty sure that if I posted a pic of me in this, the feedback would be kind but not encouraging (the last time I bothered trying a miniskirt and posting it for feedback, even with tights, taught me this). :-) I don't believe this is an issue of age-appropriateness, because I can think of a few 40-somethings here who would get the green light to wear this. So, it comes down to body type. I just have to find other interesting cuts that work for me. Hence my love for jackets. :-)

  • Asingh replied 9 years ago

    You look great, DV! And isn't dressing-up a lot about experimenting! :)

  • Irene replied 9 years ago

    I have tried trends that I thought wouldn't work for me -and they didn't. Like tucking tops (short torso, long legs and big bust... just no) into pants or trapeze dresses (hello, tent-shapeless-woman). But then again, I am a perfectionist.

    Btw, you look FANTASTIC in that outfit.

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Irene I think we have the same body (short torso, large bust, long legs) ! ;-) 

  • MsMaven replied 9 years ago

    Outfit by outfit you are knocking me out with your style.  I appreciate your courage in trying different styles that should be against the "rules" that have been drummed into our heads through magazines and books.  

  • Von replied 9 years ago

    I love this outfit! Those red skinnies look awesome with your jacket.  You look well put together and stylish....not well put together for XYZ shape or size.

    I personally have been trying to get to the point where other people's problems are not my own.  I have (what I think) is a gigantic butt.  The butt Sir Mix A Lot wrote the song about, and no's all out back!  I am also busty on top and I feel like I have spent my life minimizing myself to not be offensive looking or attention grabbing to others.  I'm sure lots of you ladies know how hard it is to hide bustiness in today's age of *fitted everything* and hide your butt until "boot legs come back" LOL!!

    I'm sloooowly getting to the point of accepting what I have (great curves!) and feeling like it's OK not to dress like a dumpy frump every day at the office in order to look like I'm straight built, because there's no hiding that I'm not!

    I say rock those red skinnies! I hope you did wear that outfit out, or plan to in the future.

  • Vickie KY replied 9 years ago

    You look great. I just got some red pants. I am going to try and put together an outfit based on yours.

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Von -- I completely get where you're coming from. It's hard to not feel as if you should conform your body to the standard when that's all you see -- especially in office environments. I did indeed wear that outfit on Saturday and I'll wear versions of that outfit from now on because I know that I can.

  • columbine(erin) replied 9 years ago

    DV, you are an articulate and inspirational lady and I always enjoy your posts. I'm not around much because my husband is deployed and baby is having medical issues but had to say that.

  • anne replied 9 years ago

    DV this is such an interesting post and thread and I have been following it closely.

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Columbine - I hope all is well with you, your baby and your husband. I'm glad that this thread can be a bright spot for you.

  • columbine(erin) replied 9 years ago

    Thank you DV.

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