3 Ways I Confidently Break The "Rules" Of Dressing For My Body Type

If I fall in love with a dress and it happens to be above my knees, dammit, I am going to buy it anyway.
Publish date:
October 7, 2014
dresses, skinny jeans, skirts, bodycon, short skirts, Body Types

I have always struggled with my body, and only recently, after having two daughters of my own, have I started to try my best to embrace body positivity. I still constantly see old-fashioned body-type descriptions in magazines, telling me how to dress my “shape.” As someone who carries most of her weight in her hips and thighs, I've been called a pear, a triangle, and most recently (and perhaps accurately), a teardrop.

Curvy hips and thick thighs meant that I could only wear tea-length skirts to hide my chubby knees, bootcut jeans to balance the width of my child-bearing hips, and pieces that skimmed but did not hug my butt. I was given rules, and I followed them. I was self-conscious. I didn’t want to accentuate the junk in my trunk (another endearing term). I wanted to disguise it or trick people into thinking it didn’t exist.

Somewhere along the way, I got tired of it. My style is always evolving, and I wanted to be able to wear what I loved, even if it meant breaking some rules or exposing parts of my body I didn’t like. Funny thing is, all that exposure actually made me start to like those parts (or at least, on the worst days, accept them).

Body positivity is always a work in progress. For example, I am terrified to share these photos with you, but here I am, baring my hips and thighs and knees and booty in form-fitting clothes. As someone who also doesn’t see her body represented anywhere in the media (I’m not a thin model and I’m not curvaceously, proportionately plus-sized), I am braving this post to say, Hey, this is my body, and it’s real, and I can wear whatever I want, and I don’t have to hide—even if sometimes I still want to.

Skinny Jeans

Just the term “skinny jeans” is frightening because it implies that if you’re not skinny, you can’t wear them.

I love skinny jeans because I can tuck them into boots. I still try to stick to darker colors (in truth, I have at least three pairs of black skinnies) to streamline my legs, and on days when I’m feeling a little less courageous, I go for a longer, tunic-like top. But my favorite hat also makes me feel like kind of a badass (and also hides dirty roots—BONUS).

Body-Con Skirts

There is no hiding your shape in a body-con shirt or dress. Obviously, that’s why it’s called body-con(scious). But it doesn’t have to be body self-conscious.

I grabbed my favorite oversized cardigan to both keep out the chill and to cover the booty just a little in this striped pencil skirt. And my favorite super-high platform heels make me feel taller, and thus, braver. (And I am a text book Aquarius, hence, my desire to change the world and also, my penchant for rebellion, whether by fashion rule-breaking or otherwise.)

Short Dresses

I used to avoid any dress that did not fully cover my knees, but as my sister said when she was taking these pictures and listening to me complain: They’re just legs. They walk, they run (only on the elliptical), they hold me up. If I fall in love with a dress—like I did this one—and it happens to be above my knees, dammit, I am going to buy it anyway.

I still feel a little exposed in short dresses and skirts, which is also why fall and winter are my favorite: tights season! Tights or leggings and boots are my favorite cozy way to wear short things. And I’ve recently seen the skinny jeans under short dresses look as a way to layer, and I think I might try it!

Do you break any body-type rules? What trend are you afraid to try because someone told you that it wouldn’t “work” for your shape?