Dressing for Your Body Type

Style Tips

Highlight. Don't hide your body. Stop dressing for your body type.

“How should I dress for my body type?” is probably the most commonly asked question that I get asked as a personal stylist. As soon as some people hear that I’m a stylist, they immediately want to know, “What would look good on me?” It makes sense – you ask doctors your medical questions, so, ask your stylist your style questions. Here’s the thing. Personally, I don’t believe in dressing for your body type. I don’t. I believe that “dressing for your body type” is an outdated, fat phobic, approach to telling women how they should look.

If you’re a frequent visitor here, you know that I’m a “rules were meant to be broken” kinda gal (see this post about wearing white after Labor Day, if you need a refresher). My style tips are suggestions, and I always encourage you to take what resonates with you and leave the rest. My suggestions are meant to inspire you, but of course, do what’s best for you. You have to love what you’re wearing.

My Favorite Advice

Here’s the best advice that I can give any woman, whether she’s a client or not: focus on the parts of your body that you love, and highlight them. Stop thinking about what you want to hide.

If you’re focusing on hiding parts of your body, because you’re worried about your “body type”, you’re setting yourself up for a negative mindset about your body. You will spend your entire day concerned, thinking about if that part is hidden enough. You’ll be fidgeting with your clothes, doubting your outfit, and not feeling confident. When you’re fussing with your clothes, you aren’t fully present in your day. You’re taking up precious brain space with concerns that could have been prevented.

Instead, think about highlighting your favorite part(s) of your body, and you’ll immediately feel good about yourself. You will walk around, tackling your day, feeling like your gorgeous self! And that’s exactly how it should be!

So, what’s your favorite part of your body? It’s ok if this is a difficult question to answer. It’s also totally ok, if you have several answers! I mean, the goal is to love yourself completely, but we’re all at different parts of that journey.

How to discover your favorite part(s) of your body: If you don’t know, ask!

If you are having a hard time answering the question, what is my favorite part of my body today, I want you to try something. Take a minute, and connect with yourself. Take a few slow deep breaths – take a slow deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then you’ll want to close your eyes, and take at least two more breaths the same way – in through your nose and out through your mouth. Once you feel grounded and more connected to yourself and your body, ask yourself, “what is my favorite part of my body today?” Listen to what comes up. Allow your inner voice to provide your answers, not your ego. (Your ego can be a nasty bitch, so let’s keep her out of this.) As soon as you feel like you’ve received your responses, write them down.

If this process still has you struggling with discovering your favorite part of your body, let’s do a full body scan. I mean it. You haven’t read all of this, just to continue to not have a favorite part of your own, beautiful body. We’ll get there, babe.

Start with your head. Is your hair your favorite part of your body today? How about your eyes? Maybe it’s your lips? Your cheeks, your nose, your chin? How about your neck? The color of your skin?

Keep going, it’s ok if you end up with multiple favorites, just take note as you go.

What about your shoulders, your chest, breasts, or arms? Your waist, belly, or butt? Maybe today, it’s your thighs or your calves! It could even be your feet, especially if you have a new pair of shoes you can’t wait to wear.

You have a favorite part or two…now what?

Let’s show it off!! I’ll give you some examples to give you some inspiration, and then I want to hear what your ideas are!

“Susan, how can I show off my hair?” Glad you asked! Take the time to wash it, and style it! Maybe do something different with it today, or treat yourself to a blow out!

“Eyes?” Do your eye makeup today, or get a lash lift (Sarah Elizabeth Face is my absolute FAVORITE for this). Wear a color that really makes your eyes pop! What colors are my personal favorites for your eye color?

Brown Eyes: Gold

Blue Eyes: Fuchsia

Green Eyes: Purple

Hazel Eyes: Burgundy

To highlight the rest of your facial features, I would suggest having fun with makeup!

Then, for your body, wear clothing that helps you love your favorite part when you’re wearing it. If you really have a hard time loving your body in its entirety, then just focus on your favorite part. Allow yourself to feel good about it, and remind yourself of that throughout your day.

Stop thinking, “Ok, I’m pear shaped, so I can never wear …” or “My shoulders are so huge so this is going to look awful…” or “My body shape used to be … but now it’s…”

I want you to make a habit of stopping the negative self talk, and the critical thoughts. Make the decision to change your mindset. Ask yourself, what is my favorite part of my body today? And then get dressed accordingly.

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