Home > Body Confidence > Clothes Are Your Employee, Not Your Employer

Clothes Are Your Employee, Not Your Employer


I went shopping last week and spent the vast majority of the time in a fitting room thanks to a very helpful personal shopper who retrieved everything and anything I could possibly want to try on.  While I waited between outfits, I was privy to the conversations going on around me.  Usually I’m too preoccupied with trying stuff on or fetching clothing myself, that I don’t pay attention to what is being said, but this time, with little else to do but wait, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversations.  One woman was talking to her daughter on her cell phone, another woman was going over the merits and consequences of breaking out of her current classic style rut with a friend and then there was the conversation that really captured my attention: a woman lamenting to her sales associate I could never pull that look off.  I don’t know what look she was referring to, but it was irrelevant, I was intimately familiar with this woman’s sentiments.  As someone who spent the better part of her high school years and young adult life addicted to fashion magazines, I knew exactly what this woman was talking about.

For a long time I felt the need to make clothes look good. I wanted to be worthy of the season’s hottest silhouette and styles, even if it didn’t flatter or honor my shape and size. I would get super frustrated when I tried something on and I didn’t look anything like what was styled for me in my fashion magazines.  There was good reason for this: I wasn’t built like anyone in a fashion magazine and I erroneously thought I should be.  It wasn’t until after I had my first child that I learned the value of dressing for my body and discovered how choosing the right styles for my shape and employing a skilled tailor would make the clothes serve me, not the other way around. It’s a simple shift in thinking really:  I’m the employer, clothes are my employee.  Now that I know this, fitting room meltdowns are a thing of the past. When I shop, I pass over racks and racks of clothing that don’t flatter me and I quickly narrow my choices down to pieces that do.  Knowing that my clothes work for me is no small boost in confidence either, it’s a lot easier to carry myself well when I know my clothes fit, hug and hang on my body in all the right places.

If you’re ready to have your clothing work for you, then check out what I consider the bible for dressing any size and shape: The Pocket Stylist by Kendall Farr.  If you like the idea of having a real live person assist in your clothing choices, find out if your favorite department store has a personal shopper or stylist on staff and make an appointment with her (I’d still do my own homework on my shape, though). This service is free and having that objective opinion can end up saving you time and money.  You could also hire a freelance stylist for more choices that aren’t limited to a specific store.

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