A Festive Fashion Style Guide for those with Body Insecurities
Dressing for the festive season is the only thing I currently hate about the festive season! Shiny, bright, bold, satin, sequins, sparkles and look-at-me garments are what the festive fashion trends demands of us and quite frankly are ALL the garments I hate, for no other real reason than the fact that I don’t have the confidence to wear them (toddler tantrum alert)! Up until now I have managed to quite nicely rock my floaty dresses and Topshop jeans with a quiet confidence and I have felt really good about the little style journey I have taken. Lo and behold, just as I’ve started to feel as though I got this, incoming Christmas season with all its glitz and glamour.
I have always lived my best life at Christmas, doing all the things I love to do the most in life. Socialising, drinking, dancing, spending lots of time with my friends and family and doing it all while being dressed up! I can assure you, in my day, which are the days pre- Allegra, there were no limits to how much I could and would DRESS UP! In fact, the thought of it now scares me. I can’t compete with that woman…that woman might laugh me off the dance floor, because not only do I feel as though I no longer have the body confidence for statement fashions, but I have also lost the ability (or the confidence) to dance! I am not going to lie to you, I had hoped to be a little further a long my weightloss journey by now so I could wear all the slinky, sexy, shiny festive fashions, but I am not. However, unlike last year, I have lived with this body a whole year and I am learning to understand my body, my style and how I want to feel when I get dressed up.
I don’t want to spend another festive season ‘not’ participating in the festive fashion trends. It’s once a year for goodness sake, it’s fun and I am ready to get involved again! Unfortunately, I do have limits now and they are mostly related to my confidence and how I currently feel about my body. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to partake and it doesn’t mean I don’t want to feel sexy and glamorous, I just have limits. Ironically, the limits I have have enabled me to feel more comfortable when I do dress up and knowing these limits gives me the confidence I need in my clothes, in spite of my body insecurities. I am a firm believer in wearing what makes you feel comfortable, even throughout the festive season, and it’s how I have managed to create my own method to selecting the clothes I wear when I need or want to be glammed up!
So here’s my approach to styling and selecting outfits for the Christmas season so I can feel confident, comfortable and glam, in spite of my body insecurities. This is not a guide to dressing skinnier, sexier or more conservative, but a guide to feeling good in what we wear over the Christmas season, particularly as the festive fashion trends aren’t always so forgiving!
1. Nothing Revealing on Top
I generally tend to avoid anything that reveals the tops of my arms. I am not sure if it’s the weights I’m lifting or the weight I am gaining, but I am not feeling great about my arms at the moment, nor the armpit fat. For me this means no camis, no bandeau tops or bandeau dresses, sleeveless dresses or slip dresses. Nothing that is cutout at the back or reveals the back in any way, this includes lace or sheer inserts around the back area. This is super annoying for me because I love lace worn on the top half of the body. It’s so sultry and sensuous without being overtly sexy and, needless to say, it gives me all the Dolce and Gabbana vibes that I love so much.
Blazers and Capes
– If I do happen to consider a garment such as a cami, a slip dress or anything sleeveless, I would wear it with a blazer or cape blazer that can be worn comfortably throughout the night over the garment without having to be removed. Cape blazers are amazing, because whilst covering the tops of the arms, they still allow you to reveal the rest of your arm, so you don’t appear too covered up.
– If considering anything sheer or lace, I would most likely opt for lace and go for something with a lace detail or lace trim. Going for certain kinds of lace can also help to tackle the issue. Guipiere lace is closed knit, which means it’s less revealing than other laces that are attached by net and mesh. Alternatively selecting an item that has been designed in a way that doesn’t reveal or accentuate any problem areas is pretty fail safe, although usually often hard to find, especially when I am usually limited for time.
No waist cinching anything!
Firstly I have no real waistline to speak of. I mean I certainly have a waistline…it has miraculously expanded into its non-existence. So anything that is cinched at the waist, be it a jumpsuit, a wrap dress or a pair of high waist trousers is a no from me!
Half Tuck and Drape
– Having said that, a pair of high waisted trousers or a high waist skirt with a half tucked shirt or a draped bodysuit would be my way of tackling this. The tuck helps to create the illusion of a trimmer waistline and if you have no waistline whatsoever, it helps to create one. The devil is in the detail of the tuck.
– An empire line dress or jumpsuit is generally my go to silhouette when it comes to disguising my waistline completely. It’s how I select all of the many floaty dresses that I own. An empire line skims over the waistline as opposed to cinching it in or emphasising it. Shift dresses are also a very easy way to disguise a waist line and draw attention to the legs. A shift dress and a good shoe is a fail safe ensemble, but, if I am completely honest sometimes I find shift dresses a little too fail safe and they can lose my interest.
3. Body con be gone!
I have never been a fan of body con. I’ve worn body con maybe ten times in my life and I kid you not, when I did I fucking loved it, but it’s a very rare occasion that I ever want to wear anything particularly tight or close to my body, even when at my skinniest or fittest – not even when I was young. It’s as sexy as hell and if worn well and made well can still appear classy. But I like material, and draping, volume and design and I find that body con is far more about revealing the body than it is about fashion. Right now, this body is not one I wish to reveal.
Leggings and Long Line Blazers
– The only item of clothing I can imagine wearing so fitted to my body is a pair of leggings. There are lots of shiny, leather, velvet and embellished leggings popping up on the high street for the festive season. Wearing a pair of leggings with a long line tuxedo jacket or blazer would be an alternative for me.
4. No satin!
Unless it’s black and loose fitting, satin can jog off! Unfortunately all fitted, body skimming shiny satin materials do for me is magnify the lumps and bumps that I am working so hard to disguise each and every day I get dressed.
– Plisse is my saviour when I require something a little more shiny with a lot less reveal. The pleats in plisse are so tiny that they don’t add any volume, like knife pleats for example, however the material often has a sheen to it which works perfectly for adding a little more glamour and festivity to an ensemble.
Velvet and lurex are definitely fabrics that I’ll be considering. Velvet is shiny but demure, and the pile of velvet almost creates an extra layer of material which is far more forgiving than satin.
Lurex has just enough sparkle to it without being disco ball glitter crazy. I like the idea of sparkle as opposed to shiny. And lurex I think might be a preferred festive shimmer than sequins.
Sequins are tricky to navigate. When thinking sequins, the colour and the size of the sequins are important to consider. Smaller, darker coloured sequins are far more slimming than larger sequins or platelets in bright colours. I would also go for sequinned garments that have more of a heavier hang to them, so the garment is more weighty. For example a sequinned skirt with a heavier hang will have more movement to it as opposed to a body con sequin skirt. A heavier hang suggests a thicker material of which the sequins are attached to, which is more likely to create a smoothing, holding you in effect as opposed to highlighting lumps and bumps.
The key styling tips I always keep in mind are:
- Always accentuate the areas you feel most confident about.
- Go for tailored pieces if you want a more structured and streamlined shape (perfect for disguising mum tums).
- Draping is perfect for disguising waist lines, muffin tops and ideal for comfort.
- Go for a V-neck or wear the first few buttons of your shirt or blouse open if you want to create the illusion of a smaller bust.
- Always consider going one size up for comfort and a good hang.
Shop the look
Bookmark this post so you can keep coming back to it over the party season!
Happy Festive Fashion Shopping.