What Not to Wear
|Love green? Own it.|
You give a lot of advice about what to do. Do you have any advice about what not to do? (Question inspired by Dear Sugar)Don't wear things that make your skin crawl. Don't wear something just because everyone else is wearing it-it might not be for you. If you like some element of it, sure, give it a try. Don't spend a lot of money on trendy things; fabric and fit matter more than most anything else when it comes to how often you'll wear something. Don't be afraid of online shopping or of buying something without trying it on. Grow to know your own body so well that you can tell how something will look on you immediately. Don't shy away from trying it on anyway-that's half the fun. Don't assume you know what will suit you or not-try it on, try it on with other pieces of clothing that you own and know and love. Don't try on pants without a shirt on-no one looks great in pants and no shirt. No one. Don't talk to your body like it's a terrible driver on the road in front of you or your middle school frenemy. Don't talk to your body with anything other than the words you'd want your one day daughter to use to describe her own body. Eliminate words like "fat" or "ugly." Become familiar with words like "strong," "able," "flexbile," "powerful," "feminine," and "just right." Don't use the word "too" when thinking about or talking about your body, unless it's like this "Yes! I feel too damn sexy to stay at home on the couch!" or "You are too beautiful." Don't think about "matching" or "shoulds." Does it match is code for "can I pull this off?" Let me let you in on a secret, yes, you can. You just can. If you believe you can pull it off, you can. So try it. Don't wear it for the first time to give a major presentation, but try it in a subtle way, out with friends who love you. Then, once it feels right, wear it for the presentation. Don't worry so much about what "people" will say. Who are these people? Who I see every day are not these people. My people are loving, kind, and supportive, and the others? I could care less. That's their cross to bear, not mine. Matching two colors exactly won't change their bad attitudes, and it might just make your creative heart go to sleep and not wake up again for a long time. Don't wait to be a 90 year-old woman to have purple hair and an I don't care-I like it attitude. Start now. Wear the things you really like and really want to wear. If you don't know what they might be, go to a store that generally carries your size, and try on a mountain of clothes. Try on expensive clothing that you can find the knock off version of, try on cheap clothing that you can buy and experiment with. Try things on that will make you giggle and hoot and send pictures of to your best friend with the disclaimer FOR YOUR EYES ONLY! Try on the clothes that you would wear if you lived in Miami, New York, Dallas, Oregon, Chicago, Paris, or Sweden. She might surprise you and find her way into your life. Don't feel badly about returning things if you get them home and hate them. Don't make yourself stuck with them! You know who cares? You! You know who doesn't care? The company you bought it from! Go back, talk with a sales person (or not), and find something better. Something that you love. Don't settle. Don't tell yourself that it's good enough. You deserve to feel amazing in your own skin, and someone out there has made clothing that will help you feel that. Don't stop until you find it. Don't shy away from asking for feedback. Try this: "I'm really excited about wearing red after always wearing black. Don't I look powerful?!" for anyone who might need a little urging in the right direction to see you how you're starting to see you. Don't buy into what fashion wants to tell you about your body-it's bullshit. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and if you're surrounded by real people who don't get that, it's time for some education. Grab a national geographic, cut out some images from the 4th Trimester page or of Olympic athletes or of Venus or of anyone before an industry decided that tall skinny white and young was the only way to be beautiful. Become a shapeshifter, a wearer of costumes and turner of the most important head: your own.