I didn’t enjoy shopping until about four years ago. The problem was that I was stuck on the size on tag instead of what fit. I had to make a shift.
I wanted to share my story on how I got real about my size and started loving clothes again. Let me know if you can relate…
This was the cycle I would go through a few years ago, before blogging: I would go to a store, scoop up a bunch a clothes that were “my size”, not try them on, and buy them. I was pretty sure that they would fit and didn’t want to deal with the disappointment of trying it on. I was already a Large and was upset about that!
When I would get home, I would just put the items in my closet. I was sure they would fit me so why bother trying them on? Then, when I decided to wear one of the items that I just purchased, the frustrating part would begin. The item was way too tight. It was super tight (you know when a top is a struggle to get on but you keep trying anyway, then you wonder if you will be able to get out of it).
The feeling that I was “too big” always left me feeling frustrated and defeated. Back to the store it would go AND I was convinced that it must be that the brand “ran small”. But I knew that really wasn’t the truth…
The feeling that I was “too big” always left me feeling frustrated and defeated.
That was me a few years ago. I would go through this cycle of dissatisfaction and disappointment almost every time I went shopping.
A little background on me: I was much thinner when I was younger. Up until about graduate school, in my early 20s, I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted. I could wear whatever I wanted.
Things changed as I finished up grad school, had kids and got into my career. My body changed. Long gone were the days of being a size 8/10. The gym was hard to keep up and my metabolism was a lot slower. I insisted that I was a size Large and these brands just needed to get it right!
I let go of my obsession with the size on the tag of my clothes.
What changed for me was that I had to buy new clothes for work. I used to be in a position that entailed multiple meetings a day and called for more formal professional outfits. I tended to wear Ann Taylor and Banana Republic dresses. I changed positions to get more of a work-life balance. My new position required clothing that was still professional but functional. I could dress more casually. However, I needed to feel comfortable and be able to move.
At the same time, I didn’t want to spend too much. That’s when I decided to do change things up!
I let go of my obsession with the size on the tag of my clothes. I shifted from being fixated on being a “large” hoping to get back to my good old “medium” to just trying on stuff to see what fit.
Here’s how: I was at Target (shocking, I know) and just started getting items in X-Large and even XX-Large. I tried them on. The strangest thing happened.. not only did the clothes actually fit, but I also felt better. I could just breathe, move, and actually sit down. I felt like everything I tried on, despite being a larger size, just fit better. This opened the door to creating more outfits, using color, and developing my style. This is what ultimately led to my blog.
The fixation on the size on the tag was also about a deeper issue, not accepting myself.
That’s how I was able to start Mixing Up pieces in different ways (like this outfit) and get my long lost mojo back! I stopped trying to be something I wasn’t and collecting clothes I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) wear. I get more into my some of the shopping rules that I now follow in another post How I Avoid Buying Items I Won’t Wear.
The thing is that no one sees the tag anyway! But… people can see if you are wearing the wrong size. So forget the tag and focus on fit is what I say now. Grab a range of sizes when you go shopping. Be open and focused on fit, not size.
The fixation on the size on the tag was also about a deeper issue, not accepting myself. I wasn’t accepting myself “as is”. I was buying an item and hoping that I would fit into it. The idea in my head was that once I reached that point, that I would be happy. That would be the better version of me. This internal deficit model wasn’t inspiring or healthy. I can’t even describe how much happier and confident I feel after I accepted myself. By accepting what is and building from there, I am living in the present. I am enjoying me, with curves.
Are you going to ignore the size on the tag too? If this post resonates with you, let me know!
… Because getting dressed (and living life) should feel good!
Rather listen to this post instead of reading it? Check out Episode 04 “How I Started Shopping For My Shape” of the Don’t Mix In podcast. Join me as I dive into the topics on this post. Don’t Mix In can be found on Apple Podcasts and pretty much anywhere you find your podcasts! If you are into what you hear, be sure to subscribe and leave me a review.
You can always find me on Instagram @mixitupwithcurves
This post was originally posted in March 2018. It was updated in November 2018.