My Number One Tip for Dressing for Your Body Type

We’ve heard it all: plus size women shouldn’t wear small prints, petite women shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes, and pear-shaped bodies should enhance their bust to “even out” their body shape. These fashion rules that shame, restrict, and control the way we get dressed every morning have gotten out of hand, and it’s time for some new policies to take their place.

As a personal stylist, I’ve worked with women of a variety of shapes, backgrounds, and insecurities. However, something that most of them had in common was their concern for dressing appropriately for their particular body type.

While taking measurements, reading up on all the fashion blogs, and experimenting with looks might help gear you in the right direction, there’s an easier solution to the issue.

I have two words for you: find inspiration. Whether it’s on Pinterest, a walk in your city, or by reading up on your favorite magazines, there’s a trick to looking beyond yourself. By looking for outside inspiration, you’re allowing your mind to explore possibilities beyond what the world has restricted you to.

One of my favorite things to do for my clients is to show them pictures of women with similar body types dressed professions, chic, and more than anything, confidently. I like to think of this as the “4-minute mile” rule of styling. Most of the time, we create limits in our mind that restrict us from performing at our potential. We think that because we’ve never been able to style a pencil skirt, that it must mean that it’s not for us.

Think short girls can’t pull off boyfriend jeans? Think again. The trick is all in the styling, presentation, and of course, the way you carry yourself. Inspiration opens our minds to new and improved possibilities.

So, the next time you’re getting ready to apply yet another fashion rule to wardrobe, give yourself the benefit of the doubt and see how others are breaking, bending, and rewriting the rules that are oh, so overdue for revision.