KNOW YOURSELF | The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Despite the thumbnail image I chose, I'm not actually going to tell you to determine what fruit corresponds to your body shape. I've been getting weekly updates on what fruit or vegetable corresponds to my growing baby and have come to realize that it really isn't that helpful. What I will say is that everyone instinctively has things that they love... and don't quite love so much about their bodies, and I think addressing these is more important to feeling confident than associating yourself with a fruit.

That being said, without going into body shapes, I think it is useful to really examine yourself in a mirror (I know... unpleasant) or in photos, and pinpoint the parts of your body that you want to highlight, those you'd rather detract from, and finally, the parts that can either look great or not so great depending on what you wear. Do not make a never-ending list of all the things you hate about your body. Try to keep each list to at most three items - really zoning in on the important areas.

In my case, the lists look somewhat like this:

THE BAD

  • Thick legs & ankles
  • Short legs & long rise
  • Big feet and face

THE GOOD

  • Décolleté (thanks to my small boobs)
  • Toned arms and defined caps
  • Small waist (which has disappeared with pregnancy...)

THE "IT DEPENDS"

  • Broad shoulders
  • Big butt
  • Narrow hips

Once you have your list, this will help you determine what clothing items you should go for and which you should avoid. This will help you especially when lured by trends. There are plenty of lists and websites that tell you how to compensate for negative things and accentuate positive things, so I won't go through every single possibility. Many of them are pretty logical anyway. When you figure it out, jot down a list of flattering items and items to avoid and try to keep that handy at all times (on your phone or in your wallet) but especially when you go shopping.

In my case again, the list looks something like this:

UNFLATTERING ITEMS

  • High turtle necks
  • Overly baggy silhouettes
  • High-rise pants
  • Midi lengths (midi dresses, midi skirts, most gaucho pants & culottes... yes... current trends hate me)
  • Round toe shoes, ankle straps and ankle boots

FLATTERING ITEMS

  • V necks and scoop necks
  • Raglan sleeves, unpadded shoulders
  • High-waisted skirts, mid-rise pants
  • Just above, just below or at the knee lengths (for skirts)
  • Ankle or below length (for skirts and pants)
  • Pointed or almond toe shoes

As always, these are just guidelines, and if you see something in a store that you REALLY love, go ahead and try it on - you never know, and a good alteration never hurt anybody! But generally, if you are self-conscious enough about these areas, then chances are if you buy things that highlight those areas you won't be wearing them that often and you'll be feeling bad not only about your body but also about the money you spent on those items. Also - and I am guilty of this - when you get sucked in by a trend and fall for something in a store and try to convince yourself that you can make it work (my go-to reasoning is: "It'll be ok if I wear heels") really think about your lifestyle (and this will be the next main Know Yourself post) and whether that is a realistic reasoning. In my case, I walk A LOT, I will walk whenever I can, so I basically live in flats, therefore... you get my drift.