For anyone who reads fashion magazines, peruses the weekend papers or subscribes to their favourite retailer’s emails, you’d be forgiven for thinking that clothing is only worn by 22 year old, size 6 women. It’s hardly a representation of the diversity seen on the streets.
I’ve often said to my clients, if only we didn’t have to wear clothes we wouldn’t have to care about what suits our shape, be bothered putting outfits together or even go shopping!
The truth is that we come in all shapes and sizes but this is not reflected in the images we see advertising the brands we love and wear, and spend our hard earned money on.
Fashion and personal style doesn’t stop at 22 and size 6!
Fashion and style is confronting on all levels, not to mention for men and women who are plus size. It’s unrealistic for many people to admire a look in a fashion magazine or on a mannequin and visualise it on themselves.
Even stores and brands who do offer sizes above a 14 don’t model their clothing on bigger models. I think those retailers are doing themselves a disservice. I have the experience and knowledge to know which brands work for plus size men and women, because I’m in the stores every day working with them and my clients. But for most people, what they see on a model, in a magazine or on a billboard, does not reflect how a style or item of clothing will work on them. Hence, that same person may not walk into a store and become a paying customer.
My clients are often surprised when I mention the stores I plan to take them to. Mostly because they have a preconceived idea of whom that brand caters to, and they don’t see that as being them.
Many plus size women and men feel that the fashion world doesn’t cater for them, get anxious about walking into new stores or trying on new styles. The reality is that there has never been as much plus size fashion as there is now. Not that you’d know that by looking at anything fashion related; pages are still filled with very tall, fairly young and very thin models.
The most important thing is to find your own personal style and like any size, identify your assets and choose clothing that accentuates these parts of your body. Ask yourself, what parts of your body do you like most? What are you comfortable showing off in your clothing? If you’re not sure, ask a good friend. Friends are great for alerting us to our strengths and telling us what they are envious of.
Next time you shop, make sure you choose pieces that flatter your assets, draw the eye to what you like and take the focus away from what you don’t like as much. Look at yourself in a full length mirror and ensure your look is proportioned from head to toe.
Trust your instincts. When you put something on and don’t feel wonderful in it, don’t buy it. But do keep an open mind. If something’s not perfect (which if it’s off the rack, it often isn’t) can it be tailored to fit you better?
Fashion magazines and the like a great for inspiration and can help us identify the style we like and the look we want to achieve. The key to developing your own personal style is understanding what works for you, regardless of your size, shape or age.
So look beyond the slim young thing promoting your favourite brand because the fact is, you’re more likely to be their paying customer and your size probably awaits you in store.