Flashback to when I was in my teenage years, I wouldn’t look at anything that wasn’t a dark colour, my favourite thing to wear was my oversized black hoodie (Which I still own and adore to this day). At this time, I don’t think I had ever heard of the rules of what plus size women should and shouldn’t wear, potentially because I was constantly trying to deny my size. But now that I’ve heard of them, I’ve begun to realise how many I break without even thinking about it. You’re welcome to search these rules in google, but when I did, I found the most common and decided to base this post on them.
Rule number 1:
Don’t wear jeans, especially not skinny.
Oh goodness me! It looks like I’ve broken this rule on more than one occasion!
It’s an odd feeling to think that you’re being told that because of your size, you shouldn’t wear jeans. They are literally the most versatile piece of clothing, not to mention insanely comfy. I can understand why some people may not like to wear jeans, they do tend to hug the hips and the thighs, and if you’re conscious about these areas wearing jeans can seem like a big deal. There are plenty of styles out there to fit your taste, personally I prefer the high-waist type, but I know people who prefer the jeans to rest on the hips, or that wear boot cut. It’s your choice, some people prefer skirts, some people prefer dresses, others prefer leggings. It’s a personal choice and this rule does not apply.
Rule number 2:
Horizontal strips are not your friend.
Sadly I think I grew up believing this, I can’t tell you a time where I wore a single stripe in my teenage years, and even up until this point. That’s 22 years of not wearing a stripe in public. I don’t think I was actually taught this rule, it was just something I knew not to wear as it would make me look wider, parts of me would look bigger, that it would do nothing for my figure. I don’t think that’s true anymore. A friend recently gave me some striped fabric, I kept wondering what to do with it. Then as I was making a skirt in a patterned fabric, I decided to make one with the striped fabric. It may not be the most perfect skirt, but it definitely helped to prove to me that stripes can be cute, whatever size.
Rule number 3:
Don’t wear print! No floral, no polka dots, no print.
I really don’t seem to be doing well with following the rules. I love prints. Of course wearing a pattern might bring attention to an area that would otherwise be dull, but patterns are cute. There are patterns which I stay away from but it’s not the case of because it would make me look big, or because it would bring attention to me, it’s more because I don’t like the pattern. I’ve never chosen a piece of clothing and gone, there’s a pattern on it, I can’t wear it. I go with, do I like it? I think that’s what clothes should boil down to, personal preference.
Rule number 4:
Don’t wear short skirts.
I think whoever came up with this rule has never seen my wardrobe. Not only do I pride myself on wearing skirts that go above my knee, so do most of my dresses; the only ones that don’t are my maxi skirt, my maxi dress, and a few of my more formal dresses. During my time at university, I was often told by a housemate to never bend over, and it became a running joke that I wore short skirts, but considering I’m fairly tall, I can’t help having normal length clothing be short on me. I think similar with the next rule, people don’t want to see the cellulite, or anything that has a bit of an extra jiggle to it when it’s not meant to. I can understand some people not wanting to wear short skirts, for example chafing is a pain in the butt (Thank you tights), but don’t you think that being told not to do something makes you want to do it even more? Especially considering it’s your body.
Rule number 5:
Shorts are not for us.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll notice that I have a favourite pair of shorts. If you go far enough back to one of my posts, you’ll also know that I was once insulted for wearing said shorts, something I will always remember. But regardless, they will always be my favourite shorts too. Shorts are wonderful, they let you show that extra bit of leg, without accidentally flashing anyone, they come in so many different styles, and they look great on any size in my opinion.
Let us also appreciate how comfy shorts can be as PJs.
Rule number 6:
Make sure to cover your arms, anything sleeveless is not a good look.
My arms have actually been an area on me that I’ve always hated and always wanted to cover up. While I wouldn’t say I still hate them now, they are still an area I wouldn’t mind improving one day. When I actually thought about what photos to include, I thought, maybe I’ll have to take a photo for this section because I didn’t think I had many that showed my arms. I think you can see that that’s not the case.
This was a bit of a realisation, I didn’t hate my arms as much as I thought I did, otherwise these photos wouldn’t exist. These are photos from various points in my life (Gym with my best friend, summer lounging, my sister’s wedding, presenting to over 150 people, a random night out), if I hated my arms so much during these random/important moments in my life, I wouldn’t be able to see my arms. This proves, that this rule has never been a factor in my life, the times I don’t show my arms are probably for a reason, once again showing it’s a choice.
Rule number 7:
High heels shouldn’t be worn with a larger body.
I can’t wrap my head around this one. I’ve always been tall, so I don’t really wear heels for the sake of being taller. If I wear heels it’s because I want to. My usual boots, chunky heels. My smart shoes, wedges. My formal shoes, open toed heels. Hot day, sandals. It’s choosing what to wear for your needs, and what you feel comfortable in. Apparently larger women shouldn’t walk on thin heels, it looks disproportional. I’ve never thought that when I see that happening. I’m amazed every time I see a woman walk with really high heels that are thin as hell. The reason I don’t wear thin heels, I can just walk in my normal heels, I’m not about to try and add further challenges to balancing. I prefer a more practical approach, hence my love of chunky heels. But it’s odd to think heel size should even be affected by body size. Once again, personal choice (and balancing skills).
Rule number 8:
Stick to one piece swimsuits.
I’ve seen so many women of all sizes wearing a bikini, never once have I thought, “she should stick to a swimsuit”, more often than not, I think “I wish I had that confidence”. Becoming happier with my body has taken me years, and I know I have a lot more to go, so I’m always impressed to see women rocking those bikinis. I want to be at that stage where wearing a bikini to a beach is the norm, or rather, the option to wear whatever I want to the beach is the norm, a bikini, a swimsuit, a top and shorts, whatever I want. This rule seems to want to hide our tiger stripes, our wobbly bits, but that just makes other people more comfortable, and frankly it’s our body, our comfort should come first rather than their opinions. My promise, next summer I’ll be posting a bikini photo, just so I can have a photo for going against this rule.
Rule number 9:
Crop tops are for those with flat stomachs.
Oh honey, that’s not true. Crop tops are for everyone. Similar to the bikini, I’ve seen women of all sizes wearing a crop top in various ways, and whenever there was a story attached, many have stated they felt self-conscious at first, but after a while, they didn’t care, it wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be. When I first wore my top out in public, it felt daunting, I spent so many years insecure about my tummy, that I thought the worst thing might happen if I put it on show; that was months and months ago and I have never looked back since. I’m actually looking to expand my crop top collection, and I would recommend you try one on too, just to see that it’s not as bad as you might expect.
Rule number 10:
Avoid wearing any figure hugging clothing.
Teenage me would be amazed that I could wear a tight dress in public, or wear a top that hugged my curves on purpose as opposed to it being too small. As previously stated, I love my huge black hoodie. It’s warm, comfy, and I can’t bring myself to throw it away, however… I am also aware it does nothing for my shape. It’s odd to think I’d be happy wearing something which tries to hide my curves, but I am. Just like I’m happy wearing something that shows off every single curve I have. It’s not always about trying to look amazing everyday of the week, it’s also about making sure you’re happy with you regardless of your curves being on display or not. If you want to wear a figure hugging dress, just because it’s supposedly a rule, shouldn’t be the reason not to rock the hell out of that bodycon dress. I personally think that figure hugging outfits, can be amazing on the curvier larger figure because it can emphasise that woman’s amazing hips, waist or bust. Plus, if you are a bit nervous about it, you could always put a cute cardigan or an extra layer on top.
Rule number 11:
Stay away from bright colours.
I’ve grown bored of wearing black every day of the week, yes black is supposedly slimming, well, so are other colours with the right design. Black will always be the most classic colour, for example Little black dress, but that’s no reason why we can’t have other colours. Colours have become more integrated into my wardrobe, to the point now I’m not worried about picking up a blue dress, or a green dress because it’s not slimming. I’m picking it up because I like the colour and that’s the important thing. I’ve seen plus size women in neon, in bright pink prints, with multi-coloured dresses and they look amazing, colours suit everyone.
It’s easy to talk about how to break the rules, that they are simply just words, but to a lot of women, they are more than that. They are rules that dictate that larger, curvier women shouldn’t wear certain fashion items, and that’s unfair, fashion is for everyone, it provides an outlet for creativity, for individuality and general enjoyment. Fashion helps to make each person feel unique and it shouldn’t be limited just because of someone’s size. To me, the rules have never been a priority, they’ve had some impact on my fashion, but that was when I was younger, when I was more swayed by other people’s opinions. Now, I’m not caring if I’m being told to cover my tummy or legs or arms, if I want to wear something I will. I broke the rules, as I’ve hopefully demonstrated by my pictures, and I really hope I can see more plus size women doing the same and just being themselves with fashion.