I love the TLC show What not to Wear. The hosts Stacy and Clinton are the kind of people I want to be friends with. I love the advice they give and the clothes they advise. Just watching the show for the past several years has made me a wiser shopper and a smarter woman.
I love clothes and I am guilty of several bad shopping habits. I buy for the body I want and not what I have. I buy without trying on. I choose quantity over quality in most things. But still, I hear them in the back of my head most days.
I read a fantastic article this morning from the Washington Post by Jennifer Huget about Stacy London and her take on fashion, style, and body image. I loved it and many lines rang true for me.
"The body-acceptance movement holds that so long as people are generally healthy, the number on the scale or the size of their jeans is immaterial." This is so true, and so so hard to live by. I wish that the number inside the jeans didn't matter so much to me. I know in my head that I am the only person that sees it, but there is still an irrational voice that insists it should be smaller, smaller, smaller. That voice is way too loud when I shop, especially online. Plus, I also know in my head that I look better (and smaller) in clothing that actually fits properly.
"'Whether you're as healthy as you should be or not, that doesn't disallow you to look your best,' London says. 'Style is only possible from a place of self-acceptance.'" In fact, feeling good about yourself on the outside will only inspire and motivate you to become better on the inside too. Having "style" per se, means that you value yourself enough to go to lengths to be choosy about your appearance. Style is a very conscious decision, and you have to care enough about yourself to make it.
Find perfection in the imperfection. Amen! If you don't recognize and accept your flaws, how can you improve them? Or, in the case of clothing, HIDE them! We look better (and feel better) when our flaws are camouflaged and our assets are accented.
"'The sweat-shirt phenomenon is a slippery slope,' she says, 'and a symptom of something deeper. Style is the instrument you can pick back up when you want to regain some of the confidence you've lost.'" Again, this is about self-worth and self-confidence. The outward projection - clothing, posture, hairstyle, makeup - really shows the world how you value yourself. I am worth taking the time to do up. I am worth matching outfits and maintaining a haircut. And I want everyone to know it.
I loved this article. I love Stacy London even more for it now. She is so real and so right on. I want to be her friend. I want to invite her over so we can drink wine and she can organize my closet.
This particularly rang true to me since I am entirely focused on wedding dresses right now. I am afraid to try on yet (my self-confidence is fragile, at best) but I am ready to start looking in real life and not just on the interwebs. There are a lot of gorgeous dresses out there and I am ready to find Mine. And I know that it's not about the size or the latest trend. This dress, more than any other dress, is about how it makes me feel. I deserve to find the perfect dress.
And I cannot wait, by the way. I am so excited just to go look. Dress shopping is one of those "it's really real!" moments for me. It's sinking in.