The sweater is perfect. It’s made of the softest cashmere in a color that brings out your eyes and makes your skin glow. The cut is somehow simultaneously comfortable and sexy. It’s on sale. It was basically meant for you. But there’s a problem: the size number on the tag. Maybe that number is bigger than you want it to be. Maybe you’ve had a weight loss goal in the back of your mind for a few months or years and have vowed not to buy any clothes until you reach it. You sigh and put the sweater back on the rack.
We’ve all had this experience, haven’t we? Whether it’s passing up a gorgeous garment at the store or wearing a pair of stretched out, holey leggings long past their prime because we don’t want to size up. Here are some of the weight-related justifications we use to put off buying new clothes — and why you should ignore every one of them.
“I don’t want to invest in clothes when I won’t be this size for long.”
The thought process here? "My current weight is just a temporary state, so buying clothes that fit me now is a waste of money. I’ll buy clothes when I have hit my goal weight."
Why it’s BS: It’s a fact that your body is going to change with time. You might lose weight. You might gain weight. The weight you have might change shape. The only guarantee is that your body will change. Which is why waiting until you reach an arbitrary weight to buy clothes you love is a no-win game.
Clothes can be altered. Clothes can be sold. Clothes can be swapped with friends. In the meantime, you have to get dressed every day, and you might as well love the clothes you have right now.
“I don’t deserve nice things.”
There’s a certain brand of martyrdom that can justify the wearing of faded, tattered clothing when your body doesn’t look the way you want it to. The logic? "I am bad for being this weight, so I don’t deserve to wear nice things or take any pride in my clothing choices."
Why it’s BS: Repeat after me: The shape and size of your body have no moral implications. Being heavier/curvier/thicker/sturdier/softer is not “bad.” Being smaller/thinner/lighter/firmer is not “good.” Tying your self worth to these superficial measures is a vicious cycle. When you believe your body is proof that you’re bad, every choice becomes a punishment, including the clothes you wear every day. It’s a vicious and complex cycle. A relatively simple first step toward a more positive view of your body and self? Wear something beautiful. Something that makes you feel fabulous and stylish and fierce.
Because guess what? You are.
“My weight is fluctuating so much right now, I wouldn’t even know what size to buy.”
Whether you’re losing weight, gaining weight, or a combination of both, sometimes picking a jean size feels like a game of roulette.
Why it’s BS: Even as your body changes — or maybe especially as your body changes — it’s important to have clothes that fit and make you feel good. Just practically speaking, there are many ways to get around the fear of sizing out of something quickly. Buy pieces with generous amounts of spandex that can shrink or grow with you, comfortably. Give the slouchy aesthetic a whirl with an oversized dress that can accommodate your body (and look great) even as it changes. Set aside a portion of your shopping budget for alterations. Buy a badass belt and cinch in tops and dresses that are too big.
“Clothes don’t look good on me right now.”
This idea usually comes from a combination of personal body image issues and media messages that tell us how clothes (and women’s bodies in clothes) are “supposed” to look. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because your silhouette looks nothing like Jennifer Lawrence in a particular dress, you don’t look good. And why would you want to buy clothes that don’t look good?
Why it’s BS: There’s no size limit on looking fabulous, and if you want proof, look to the amazing crop of fashion bloggers and Instagram stars proving that fact on the daily: @itsmekellieb, @nadiaaboulhosn, @yourstruelymelly, @foreign_curves, @plusmodelmag, and @fatgirlflow, to name just a few.
“I can’t handle shopping when I’m not feeling good about my body.”
Shopping can be stressful and disheartening in the best of circumstances. When you’re struggling with body image issues, trying on clothes and dealing with harsh dressing room lighting can feel impossibly daunting.
Why it’s BS: Two words: online shopping. Find an online retailer that offers free shipping and easy returns (coughNORDSTROMcough) and pick out a few pieces in a few different sizes to try on in the comfort of your own home, with the aid of a glass of champagne and “Flawless” blasting on your living room speakers. As God intended.
“I can’t pull off the styles I want at this weight.”
You might yearn to wear bright colors, bold trends, or dress like a minimalist Danish designer, but you have a deep-seated belief that certain aesthetics are reserved solely for the tall and thin. Instead, you dress to hide your body. You’d rather not draw attention to yourself now, but someday, when you lose weight, you’ll wear what you really want to wear. Right? Right?
Why it’s BS: The only factor that determines whether or not you can “pull off” a certain style is confidence. And the only way to build that confidence is to buy yourself that sequined bomber jacket and hit the town, ideally with your most validating friend in tow.
A great resolution to pair with #DitchTheDiet2017 is to have more fun with fashion. Make a list of the styles you would wear if you had your “ideal body” and then choose a few and incorporate them into your real life wardrobe, right now. Because really and truly, what are you waiting for?