It wasn’t until after my first child that I realised I can’t keep ‘making’ my body fit into clothes, the clothes need to fit MY body, regardless of what size they are!! But you certainly don’t need to have a baby to realise this.
You see our bodies change day to day, whether it be due to eating a meal, fluid balance, moving your body, illness, menstrual cycle, lack of sleep etc. Your body is meant to fluctuate depending on what is happening in your internal/external environment. Your body is not meant to stay at the one weight or always fit comfortably in your clothes and that’s because no one day is ever the same.
Trying on clothes is so damn hard because of several factors:
· Going out and buying clothes often only happens once a year or so for many people
· We don’t choose the sizes that will fit us comfortably
· Shops vary in the dimensions of their clothes so even though two pairs of pants may be a size X, one may fit great, the other not at all
· We’re not used to being in our underwear in front of a full size mirror and bright lights
· We don’t buy/try on clothes to fit our body, we hope that our body will fit into a certain size or type of clothing
· Our bodies change day to day, so what may feel comfortable one day, may not be so comfortable the next
Here are some things you can start doing NOW to enjoy buying new clothes and feeling good in them:
1. Stand in the mirror at home in your underwear or in the nude and admire your body, Just start with once or twice a week and build up from there. It may help to say an affirmation like “Look how amazing my body is” or “I am so unique, my body has been made especially for me” or “My stretchmarks/cellulite/belly etc (the particularly things you usually pick at and wish you could change) are not there for me to change, I embrace everything about my body”
2. When you start to get more comfortable with looking at yourself, plan some easier types of clothing trips, such as buying a new jacket, shoes, hat, or sunglasses, and then once that breaks you in, start with the things you find harder such as jeans, tops, bathers and underwear. Don’t throw yourself in the deep end to start off with, you have to learn to swim first by getting yourself used to a) being out of your comfort zone (home) in terms of looking in the mirror and b) actually looking at yourself with new things on and being ok with the fact that some things will not always fit you how you would like and that that’s ok
3. When trying on clothes, always pick out two sizes, the size you ‘usually’ wear and the size above as you will find you may fluctuate between two, and sometimes three, different sizes, depending on the day and the store. Try on the size above your ‘usual’ size first, if it fits nicely, don’t even bother trying on your ‘usual’ size. Allow yourself to be open to a range of clothes sizes, remember that they are not all made the same, and neither are we.
4. Get into the habit of buying pants that have a bit of elastane in them. I mentioned before that I changed my way of thinking about clothes after I’d had my first baby. But this wasn’t actually the first time I had been exposed to feeling good in clothes. In the past, before baby 1, when I had chosen jeans that moved with me rather than jeans I had to breath in to do up, I always felt more comfortable and confident. It wasn’t until after baby 1 where I literally didn’t have a choice but to change my view of clothes and start embracing the fact that stretchy clothes and clothes I felt comfortable in were the way to go as I could no longer just ‘breath in’ and fit into things.
5. If you want to feel good in clothes, you HAVE TO CHOOSE THOSE THAT ACCENTUATE WHAT YOU HAVE AND WHAT YOU LIKE. If you love your legs, choose dresses that are above knee length to show those pins off, if you have boobs that need to be shown off, wear a top that shows off their beautiful shape, it is important to accentuate the parts of you that you actually like rather than focusing on the parts you want to hide. Finding what works for you takes practice, you have to try things on, be ok with the fact it may not suit you, and try a different shape on. V-neck t-shirts do not suit me one bit, but scoop neck t-shirts suit me much better, something I didn’t know until I tried it out and practised.
What is it about trying on clothes that you don’t like? Or if you are finally comfortable with trying on clothes, what has helped you to overcome the process?