Size and Shape

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After the not-so-great review of Studio Movie Grill I gave yesterday, I’m happy to bring a good review in today’s post, along with maybe a little talk about positive body image and girl power. Huzzah!

I feel a little awkward giving advice about body image since I’m naturally pretty thin and maybe haven’t had the same struggles as other women have, but hear me out.

I’ve often had friends compliment me on what I’m wearing, and then they tell me they couldn’t “pull off” something similar because they’re not “skinny” like me. Listen up, ladies. If you’re under the impression all clothes would look good on you if only you were a size 2, you’re wrong. I know this because I am a size 2, and not everything looks good on me. I come out of plenty of dressing rooms empty handed.

The thing is: women aren’t just sizes; we’re also shapes. There’s no way one pair of jeans (or dress, or whatever) – even if it comes in different sizes – can be right for everyone! It takes work – and maybe it takes more work for some than others – but you just have to find clothes that are made for your body. No blog reader of  mine should ever think she’s too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too busty, or too whatever to wear great clothes!

Some style advice-givers (like here and here) say that “dressing for your body” means accentuating the best parts of your body and hiding your flaws, but I feel like that’s the wrong way to look at it. What they mean by “flaws” is usually “the biggest part of your body,” and I think that sends the wrong message. Please remove the word “flaw” from your dictionary. Thank you. Instead, I suggest just getting comfortable with whatever your shape is and figuring out what makes you feel awesome and confident. If you try on something that doesn’t make you feel awesome and confident, then learn to laugh about it. Don’t compare yourself to other people – those bitches are probably jealous of something you have, too!

Here, I’ll start. While I have a very small waist (rough life, I know), my hips are relatively wide in comparison. Sometimes when I tell people I have wide hips, they think I’m calling myself fat. No. I am neither blind nor an idiot. I’m just stating a fact about my shape that I’m perfectly fine with. Still, having curves on the bottom is usually my biggest challenge when it comes to dressing my body. That striped mini skirt I wore in yesterday’s post? It works because the side panels break up the horizontal lines. On my search for a striped skirt, I tried on A LOT of duds! There was one that made me look like wider than I thought was humanly possible (that was one I had to laugh about). But pants are the worst.

Have you ever noticed how much J. Crew I wear? Dresses, sweaters, shoes, jewelry…but never J. Crew pants. Do you know why? Because they never fit me. Check out the J. Crew fit guide: no matter what the size, there’s a 10″ difference between the waist and hips. I have a 12″ difference. So when I get a size big enough to fit my hips properly, I have an extra 2″ of waistline just hangin’ out. Not cute. I have this problem with the majority of pants I try on. That’s why I was very happy to receive these jeans from a new line called Poetic Justice made specifically for curvy women. Check out their fit guide: 12 inches, folks! They’re also very affordable and the quality seems great so far – sturdy but not stiff.

So if you’re like me and every pair of pants has a big gap in the back, I can confidently give Poetic Justice the SASS (Sarah’s Awesome Stamp of Satisfaction)!

And if you’re not like me, that’s great, too. 🙂 If you have a different challenge (not flaw), I would love to hear how you’ve learned to make it work for you. Leave me a comment below!

Jeans* // similar Turtleneck // similar Jacket* (under $40) // similar Boots // Lips “Romantic”

*Jeans provided courtesy of Poetic Justice; jacket provided courtesy of Lucky B Boutique.

18 thoughts on “Size and Shape

  1. I’ve got a belly, earned via genetics and childbirth. Twice. I’ve learned to overcome this challenge by doing some serious camouflaging. Prints, patterns, ruching, fabrics that skim rather than hug, tunic length, cropped length, empire waistlines…yep, I’ve tried them all. And I can be pretty assured that any one or any combination thereof will allow me to feel fab in almost all outfits I create. ;p

    M @

    • I think you do a great job of dressing your bod! I know there are a zillion women in your same position, whether that “belly” comes from slowing metabolism or kids or whatever. It always makes me sad to see those women wearing clothes that were clearly in their closets many years ago – THAT is what makes your body LOOK like it’s flawed. It’s really the clothes that are flawed because they’re meant for someone with a different (not better, just different) body.

  2. I have the opposite waist/hip proportions – at my thinnest at the start (ha!) of grad school, it was maybe a 5″ difference. Even now, its still about 4″… Given my proportions, I gravitate towards the blousy top and skinny jeans combination. Low-rise pants a few years ago were my savior, but needless to say I do not participate in the crop top phenomenon! (Really enjoyed this post!)

    • Oh wow! So maybe if I gave you some of my hips we could both wear J. Crew pants? 🙂

      And I don’t know if you like to go for clothes that give you more of an hourglass shape (on the bottom anyway), but you might trying going for fit and flare dresses. They make you look like you have this cute little waist and then whether you have hips under the dress is just a mystery! (I like them for the opposite reason – because I don’t have to worry about whether my wide hips are making any weird optical illusions.)

  3. Amen, sister. I am a curvy gal myself and wear things that “skinny people wear” – I hate this term. I love skinny jeans, flow-y blouses, sheath dresses, etc. But like you, I also have a small waist compared to both my chest circumference/shoulder width, as well as hips/thighs. I also have the hardest time with pants – many of the ones I like are made for a person who is straight up and down with zero curves, leaving huge gaps in the waist. That’s why I’m not shy, I’ll take things to the tailor or do it myself. And I have a hard time with blouses too – because so many of them are cut for someone who has a large chest and an equally large waist.

    Anyway, I totally agree that we need to dress our body shape and not our size. There is so much emphasis on size. We should chuck sizes out the window and say WHO CARES? 🙂 wear what looks good on YOU!

    love this outfit, btw.

  4. I have a very short torso so tucking things into pants can be a challenge for me. So instead I focus on wearing tops that draw the eye up or tops that are long enough to elongate my torso. I couldn’t pull off the tucked in top you have on today, but I could totally wear the same thing with an untucked turtleneck and look FAB! You’re right, it’s all about finding the pieces that work for you and wearing them in ways that make you feel amazing.

  5. I’m with you…just because I’m a smaller size, doesn’t mean everything looks good on me! Also, just because I’m a size 2, doesn’t mean life is always happy/easy/perfect. We all have struggles, we all have parts of our bodies we don’t like. Its not a flaw, its just me.


  6. I use to have the same problem finding pants. I played competitive softball for 8 years (and was a back catcher for the first 4), so my thighs were massive, and my waist was smaller. I would be able to fit into a six 6 waist, but would need an 8-10 for my legs.

    Fortunately for me, I out-grew playing sports, lost most of my muscle in my legs, and subsequently weight, so I can fit into a 4 jean, 2 skirt now. But AG jeans are fabulous for that problem! They sell them at Anthropologie. And while I prefer how the Rag and Bone fit now, the AG were a favourite of my for a few years.

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