Dress for Your Body Type – Embracing Your Body

Ever hear the term “inner beauty”? A touch of confidence and self-acceptance really does influence how you are perceived; proudly upright posture and a bold smile can make all the difference when making a first impression. However, today’s society bombards women with images of an idealized body type and, as a result, very few women feel they measure up. Good news is that your physical attributes don’t have to dictate your sense of self-worth or attitude.

In actuality, a very tiny percentage of the female population looks like a supermodel and, with the crazy amount of airbrushing most visuals undergo, even supermodels don’t measure up to societal standards. Most women experience changes in body size and shape over their lifetimes due to childbirth, stress, being over-scheduled, illness, hormonal changes, the aging process, and a multitude of other factors. The majority of women feel they are too fat, too thin, or are somehow dissatisfied with their body type. Women have been immersed in programming of what beauty “should” look like since childhood, and many ladies feel as though they do not meet that standard. It’s time for a revolution, and it starts in your mind.

Build your foundation. Invest in good undergarments that you enjoy. For starters, you absolutely must have the right bra. If you are a larger lady, you may feel tempted to minimize your body size by choosing a bra without enough support. But a good quality bra that lifts your assets will create a lovely hourglass silhouette and can give the appearance that you dropped ten pounds! If you are smaller on top, you can achieve that hourglass silhouette with a bra that fits properly and has just the right amount of comfy padding.

The key is in the fit, and there are trained professionals to help determine the best bra size for you. Be honest with yourself about what makes you feel comfortable – if you’re most at home in sports bras, embrace this instead of consistently readjusting underwire. If you are spilling out over the sides of the bra, do not properly fill out the cups or have the back straining upwards along your spine, you are wearing the wrong size and this will undoubtedly show on your face.

When we feel heavy, it is tempting to want to hide under a huge smock, which does no favors to our silhouette or confidence. Instead of shopping with the mindset of “what’s going to cover my flabby arms or round tummy?” ask yourself “what’s going to flatter my favorite asset?” instead. If you’re favorite part of your body is your ladylike neck, your long legs or perhaps the tattoo on your right shoulder, find garments that highlight this feature. Decorative embellishments will guide the eye, and don’t be afraid to show a little skin.

Find colours that flatter your warmer or cooler skin tone, and wear bolder, brighter hues to emphasize your beloved qualities while downplaying those troublesome spots with darker tones. If you’re hunting for a dress for a special occasion or wedding (a time in which even the sanest of us can freak out), find a garment that nips the smallest part of your waist or torso. When shopping, the first priority should be comfort – make sure that you can painlessly breathe and move around without the garment falling or threatening to rip. Luckily, more and more retailers like Torrid, Kiyonna and David’s Bridal cater to plus-size so it’s easy to find designs that are meant to embrace your curves rather than squeeze them into larger versions of garments cut for juniors.

On the other end of the spectrum, many women look longing at plus-sized women and long for the softness that made Marilyn Monroe a star. If you bemoan being “too skinny”, you can easily make your appearance va-va-voom without having to stuff tissues into your bra. Lighter tints will make areas look more voluminous, horizontal patterns will emphasize your curves and flared articles will do wonders, whether it is with your pant-legs or an A-line dress. As with curvy ladies, use beautifications to emphasize what you have, whether it is with a sparkly neckline that underscores your bust or a colorful scarf around the waist.

You know what looks great on every body type? A spectacular pair of shoes! Shoes can give your ensemble a cohesive look by uniting all your elements, or they can be the statement piece that really pops. Whether you find really awesome shoes on clearance at the end of the season, or spend big bucks on the hottest designers and latest trends, few items in your wardrobe will give you a better return on your investment than quality footwear. You don’t need to rock stilettos to put a pep in your step; you can slide on flats that incorporate decorative buckles or a bold design and still feel yourself walking taller and prouder.

Treat yourself to the spa as often as you can, or have a spa day at home with your daughters, sisters or friends. Make homemade facial scrubs with natural ingredients like honey and oatmeal, and have fun giving each other pedicures and manicures. Not only are these treatments beneficial for your appearance, they provide a great bonding opportunity and nurture your mind, body and spirit. For a little something extra, consider splurging on a massage that will relax your body and leave you feeling pampered and truly “worth it”.

Never compare yourself to anyone else. Admire the unique beauty of the women in your life as you celebrate your own. Learning to love the skin you are in is one of the biggest challenges you may ever face. As you meet that challenge, your life is changed and your relationships are transformed, especially the most important relationship you will ever have: the love affair you have with yourself. You are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece with your own individual beauty. Goddesses come in all shapes and sizes, so learn to compliment your body rather than deny it.

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