Lots of you have asked me, not only why, but how I’ve found the courage to take pictures and post about the clothes I try on (whether it fits or not) on social media for, basically, the world to see.
I post my so-called try-on sessions because I know I’m not the only one out there who has felt like clothing stores are out to get curvier women like me. Or have felt ashamed throughout the whole process and have decided to avoid trying clothes on before buying and instead just settle for big baggy pieces that will undoubtedly “fit” us.
I know the feeling when you’ve tried on the entire store and yet nothing, NOTHING zips, buttons, or moves past your shoulders or thighs. And I was at one point too familiar with the feeling of defeat and angry tears whenever I walked away empty handed. You guys, I know exactly what all of that feels like. Exactly.
You’ll hear me mention this a lot, but the day my Type 1 Diabetes almost killed me really made me realize that my fears were just in the way of me living my life. Why was I scared of people seeing my body and me being proud of it? My body survived when it shouldn’t have, and there is absolutely no shame in that!
So from then on I decided that I was going to use my fears as a key to an opportunity. My try-on sessions are an opportunity to show other girls, women, anybody really, that we shouldn’t feel the need to be perfect, we should be able to wear what we want, and that there is no shame in being smaller or bigger than what society deems acceptable. What I would have given to have someone like me to look up to when I was a 9 year-old crying because I just didn’t understand why clothes weren’t fitting my body.
I also think it’s important to show how different cuts of clothing from different brands fit me: a 5’6”, size 14, 27 year-old Latina woman that loves fashion, doesn’t live in a big city, and has a strict budget. Someone many of my followers have been able to relate to.
Anyway, let’s get into some tips and things you should know so that your next trip to the fitting room ends with you yelling the F-word…..obviously I mean FABULOUS!
Before Heading Out of the House
1. Style your hair and/or do your makeup: This will help you know what the clothing is going to look like on you during your everyday.
2. Wear a head-to-toe style staple outfit: In other words, don’t wear the one top in your wardrobe that doesn’t go with anything else (unless you’re shopping for complimentary pieces, of course). My favorite shopping outfit consists of a white button up, black leather jacket, blue jeans, and accessorize with dainty pearls, a red lip, and some basic flats (or boots or sandals depending on the time of the year).
3. Do your research: Before I go shopping, I will browse Pinterest for outfit inspo, or check in with some of my favorite bloggers. This helps me stay in the know and look out for interesting style ideas and combinations.
First 3 Things You NEED To Do When You Walk into a Store & Start Shopping for Clothes
1. Look around. Make sure that this particular retailer's aesthetic and personality compliments yours.
2. Look at the mannequins to gather outfit and accessorizing ideas.
3. Find the clearance section and find out about the store's promotions going on that day.
Know That One Size Does Not Fit All
Many times, during my try-on sessions, I pick up clothing in sizes ranging from Large to 14 to 2X. It’s not that I don’t know what size I am. It’s the opposite actually. I have a pretty good understanding of my body, my shape, and what flatters me the best. And so when I walk into any and every clothing store, I know I need to forget all about my insecurities and frustration surrounding a number and focus on the goal which is to find something I feel great wearing.
And especially when shopping at affordable, discount stores, you’re bound to find a range of sizes and variations within them.
I know many people will shop the one size they think they are, and if that clothing item doesn’t fit, they don’t even think about going up or down a size because that would be like admitting there was something wrong with them.
This is FALSE!
What is wrong is the way clothing retailers have handled the issue of vanity sizing. Vanity Sizing is when clothing is labeled a smaller number than it actually is, which is an issue that has caused manufacturers to basically make up what dimensions a size can be. For instance an XL at Forever 21 may be the same as an XS at the GAP or an M at H&M. What a hot mess!
So don’t even stress about the number. Just find what fits and flatters your body the way it is now (not 5 years ago, not 8 months in the future, NOW!).
Leaving Empty Handed is OK
Just because you walk into a store and into the fitting room with a dozen clothing items doesn't mean you're guaranteed to find something, or even obligated to buy. Even if everything fit, if you are not in love, and I mean obsessed in-love with a clothing item, don't buy it.
It's just a fact that almost as soon as we leave the store with an item, we like it less. So if you're already second guessing the way those jeans fit your tush, you're probably gonna hate them once you try them on at home.
Life is too short to be buying mediocre clothes. Buy only what you love. Everything else is simply not meant for you, and that's okay.
I hope some of these tips and tricks will help you become a bit more comfortable in the fitting room. I should mention that it takes time. Don't expect to be a pro after the first try. I know I'm not. How about we try together!?
If you ever have questions or would even like me to help you with a try-on sesh, let me know! I'm totally open and excited to help in any way!
Thanks for reading!
-The B of V