5 tips for making clothes shopping for a bigger body more enjoyable
Clothes have such a big impact on how you feel about your body. Waistband too tight, shirt too tight across the shoulders, trouser legs tight, bra not fitting correctly – you’ll be thinking about the changes you need to make to your body (rather than the clothes!), and how you need to lose weight.
But clothes should fit you, not the other way round. Respecting your body means wearing clothes that fit well and are comfortable.
Have a sort out. Get rid of the clothes that make you feel bad. I know clothes shopping isn’t fun as a bigger person though, so here are some tips on how to make it enjoyable, rather than just a necessity.
Do your plus size clothes shopping online
Clothes shopping in a high street store may be difficult, especially for those of us with larger bodies. I understand what it’s like to walk into a shop and be faced with restricted options that don’t fit well… or at all. It’s really hard finding shops that cater to plus size customers in the first place, let alone shops with a good selection of clothing. It’s natural to feel frustrated, but there are definitely good alternatives.
That is why I enjoy doing my clothes shopping online. It’s as if a whole new world opens up when you find a few internet stores you like. You can choose from a variety of alternatives that are being sold specifically for your body shape and size.
Shopping at home is also far more pleasurable than trudging round the high street. No more poorly lit mirrors or fumbling around in crowded, sweaty changing rooms. You get to try on clothes in the privacy of your own home, taking your time, doing it when you feel most positive about yourself. It’s a safe space.
Order a range of sizes ready for tip 2. Remember, you don’t have to keep them all. You’re giving yourself options, and then you can return the ones you don’t want.
Start with the larger sizes
Try on time! Pick a time where you don’t feel rushed and you have peace and quiet. If the kids are running round, the tea is cooking, you’re getting ready to leave the house for work…. you get the picture… that’s not the time for trying on new clothes, especially if you’re feeling a little nervous to do it.
Here’s a game changer of a tip for building confidence when trying on those potential new clothes.
Try on the largest size in each item first. If that is too big, move down a size. That’ll feel good, right?
Now, I’m a firm believer that the actual size of the clothes really doesn’t matter. It does not matter what a number on a label is. But that’s not always how your mind works when you’re lacking confidence and you’re trying to find ways to feel good about your body.
So start with the largest size and work down until you find the one that fits best. It’s far more motivating than starting with the smaller size and having to go up a size.
Don't look in the mirror.... yet!
Once you find the one that fits, don’t look in the mirror yet.
How clothes feel is super important for body confidence. If clothes feel terrible on, you’ll think about nothing but your body. You’ll think about how it’s too big for the clothes. You’ll think about all the lumps and bumps (aka your beautiful shape) but in a way that makes you feel like you need to change them, not embrace them.
Take some time to think about how each of the clothes feel on you, before you think about whether you like the look of them.
Or do you feel the need to adjust it, stretch it, loosen it, undo it?
Or does it sit just right? Is it genuinely comfortable? Does the fabric feel nice? Does it feel unrestrictive and like it was made for your body.
Are you really happy with how it feels? Ok, now you can look in the mirror.
Buy a capsule wardrobe
‘But I can’t afford loads of new clothes!’ I hear you cry.
No, I get it. Clothes are not cheap. Even the cheapest clothes aren’t actually cheap. And even if they are you end up buying more than you need because they don’t stand the test of time. They don’t wash well, aren’t durable, or just aren’t of good enough quality.
It’s not that easy to just buy a heap of clothes though, and it is a priviledged person that is able to do that without second thought.
Start by buying a few bits that you can mix and match to create different looks. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with a few key pieces.
A few select tops and bottoms will give you multiple looks. You can add new clothes over time then.
It doesn’t have to stop at the clothes. Accessorising can take an outfit from feeling casual to feeling glam. From day wear to evening wear. From fun to formal.
A pair of jeans or a casual skirt, and a top, and you could have a casual day look. Dress that up with some sparkling jewellery, and the right shoes, and you’ve got a more blinged up evening look. But partner that skirt and top with a scarf, subtle jewellery, a bag, and the right shoes, and you have smart office look.
Build a collection of items like necklaces, earrings, scarves, belts, and bags so that you can mix that look up.
It’ll be like a sprinkling of magic, and make you feel better about your clothes too.