A typical dressing room scenario for me goes like this:
“This looks too big”, “This is skin tight”, “This is NOT flattering”, “What the HELL?!”, “Nope”, “I need to go to the gym”, “My boobs are taking over the world”, “Ughhhhhh!!!!!”
Usually, there are clothes all over the dressing room floor, and I am left feeling defeated and unhappy. Then, I go to Sephora and buy a new lipstick. Problem solved.
Does this dressing room scenario sound familiar? (Please tell me it’s not just me!) Like the ladies before me have told you, every single body is different, and each body has its own ways of being BEAUTIFUL. We just need to figure out how to work with our body shape, instead of against it, and find ways to flaunt our strengths and cope with the rest. Or so I’m told.
So what is my confession?
It’s hard enough being a woman at times, but I have to be this combo skinny-fat strawberry shaped body that tortures me since I don’t always have a clue of how to deal with these idiosyncrasies. On my worst days, I feel like my chest is taking over my entire body! The opposite of Deborah and her pear shape, I most resemble the strawberry shaped body, aka an inverted triangle.
I am very top heavy with broad shoulders and a big bust, but with a smaller waist and tiny legs. This is extremely frustrating, because for bottoms I am usually a size 4-6, but I need to go with a large for the top. I have a very hard time wearing button front tops, because the buttons look like they’re going to pop off at any given moment. I wind up buying larger tops to compensate, which make me appear bigger than I actually am.
Enter the dressing room scenario- clothes on the floor, hangers everywhere and me angrily calling my Mom crying that “NOTHING FITS!” and it’s all her fault!
I am trying hard to change my way of viewing all this.
The TV show “What Not To Wear” has been a guilty pleasure of mine. Often, women on the show get upset about their body shape and size, and I watch with rapt attention. The host, Stacy London, sits them down and tells them “It’s not you, it’s the clothes! So put that shirt back on the rack and move on!” London is constantly saying how differently sizes run, and “If you feel bad about yourself because a size 12 is what fits, take a Sharpie and write 6 on the label.”
While that suggestion is very cute as a psychological ploy, I find that I am now more interested in finding effective strategies for dressing for my strawberry shaped body. And dressing for your body shape is of interest to most women, many of whom follow Allison’s regular Tuesday posts on this topic. With that as my inspiration, I have begun a list of what to wear and what not to wear that is easing my dressing room freak-outs.
-Colored or patterned pants Wearing fun pants will take peoples eyes away from your broad shoulders and chest, and down to your bottom half! This summer, I am a big fan of harem pants with a pattern! And they are so light-weight and flowy, too. And if I wear a plain, unfussy, sleek black top, my silhouette as a whole starts to take on more balanced proportions.
-V-necks V-neck tops are amazing for strawberry-gals like us, because they work WITH your shoulders and add balance to your whole frame. My favs are from Target, I own one in every color!
-Wrap tops/dresses Anything with a wrap-like detail is great, because wraps will draw an illusion to balance out your top half and bring the eyes to the smaller waist and hips that you have.
-Fullness When shopping, look for bottoms that are full, such as wide leg pants, full skirts, flared dresses. Fullness=volume!
-Accessorize I LOVE playing up outfits with fun accessories, like wearing chunky bangles and rings to draw attention down.
-Bra Fitting While it’s crucial for all women to wear the right size and style of bra, it is IMPERATIVE for a strawberry. The right bra can control things in ways that a dressing room hissy fit can’t! If you are unhappy with the way your bras work with your shape, have a professional help you with a fitting. It’s not nearly as embarrassing as it sounds!
–Distract! Eye-catching shoes, handbags, and lipsticks work for EVERY size and shape! Have you ever seen a pair of killer shoes or a drop dead gorgeous purse or red lips that couldn’t distract? Nuff said.
Overall, I am moving toward accepting my strawberry shape the way it is. Although my shopping experiences are still frustrating at times, I understand that the best thing I can do for myself is to accept my curves and gracefully work with them!
Do you have a strawberry shaped body? Share your confession and your strategies with me! PLEASE!!