How easy is it to go into a dressing room with heaps of clothing to try on only to become quickly dismayed, depressed, frustrated and sad when you can’t find clothing that fits your body. I will admit, even I have broken down in tears, texted friends for support and swore that I’d never eat a carb again when a size (that fit me at one time) no longer fits or a style doesn’t flatter my body. It seems the only thing to do when this happens is to put the blame square on yourself. Yet, I want to suggest you try something different. I want to suggest that instead of blaming your body you actually turn it around and blame the clothes. It’s a simple mindset change that has a lot of power.
Regardless of my admitted personal meltdowns in a dressing room (hey, I’m human too) I have years of proof to back up what I am saying, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the size and shape of your body. How can I make this ballsy claim? Well, I’ve been working one-on-one with clients for the past ten years and I’ve never failed at helping a client find something that didn’t flatter their body shape. No, I’m not magical and I don’t bring fairy dust into the dressing room.
Let me start by saying that my clients don’t have perfect model-shaped bodies. They’re women like you and me; some are tall some are petite, some are heavy and some are thin. Peppered throughout all my clients there has been an assortment of different body shapes and proportions; not one client has been built the same. So, how do I manage to find clothing for all of them? Well the first most important thing is patience. If you want to find that one well fitting gem, be prepared to hunt for it. If I shopped with my clients like most women shop for themselves then I would absolutely fail my clients and not be very good at my job. No, I don’t take three to six pieces into a dressing room and assume we’ll strike gold. It takes nearly an entire rolling rack of clothing and a client’s patience to go through piece by piece until we find something. Now if that seems unfair and you’re thinking that it just shouldn’t be that difficult, well a fact is a fact, if you like it or not. In order to find what will fit you, you can’t graze and you can’t browse. You have to try a lot on to find what works. If it sounds time consuming, tally up all the fruitless hours you’ve failed doing it your way and then tell me that this strategy that actually produces results is a waste of time.
The next important thing to talk about is the importance of a good tailor. I can’t believe the senseless arguments I’ve heard from people who feel agitated at the realization that after dropping serious money on clothing they then have to tailor it. Um…hello? You just spent a ton of money on clothing, shouldn’t it fit right? Additionally, tailoring should not just be reserved for expensive purchases; all things should be tailored if need be. If you’re still in disagreement, I heard the best arguments on the importance of tailoring from Nikki Oyefeso , plus size boutique owner, who was a guest on my radio show a few months ago and said “…after all [the clothing] was made by a machine, they didn’t say it was made for me and I shouldn’t expect it should be a fit for me. “ Never have I heard an argument for the importance of tailoring better said than that. Therefore, the argument you have in your head against the necessity of tailoring is the most inane argument you can have with yourself. We come in all shapes in sizes; nobody has you particularly in mind when they are sewing it. Instead of expecting to clothing to fit you perfectly off the rack you should see it more as a blessing or a lucky break.
Yes, finding clothing to fit our bodies may be a struggle and a strain yet, in the end, it’s the beating up of ourselves that can the most detrimental on our psyche and damaging on our self-esteem. Sure, needing to try on fifteen pairs of pants to find one that fits is an enormous pain in the butt and something we can’t control. However, what we can control is what this struggle and effort means about how we see our bodies. The next time you’re stuck in a dressing room, I just want you to remember this simple bit of advice: “It’s not my body that is wrong for the clothing, it’s the clothing that is wrong for me.”