My great-aunt Mayme was one heck of a lady. She’s been gone for just over four years now, but I think of her often, especially when I wear one of her rings or carry the clutch she gave me or drink whiskey (like I said, quite a lady!). I was enormously pregnant at the time of her death (and that of her husband, one week later), and I can still remember the huffing and puffing up the basement stairs as I helped pack up the things in their house.
We found a lot of funny things that she’d throttle me for sharing with you, like gag gifts and out-of-character movies hidden in bags under clothes in the drawer in the spare room. It was like finding gifts of laughter during a sad time. But I digress...
One of the things that struck me most about Mayme was her wardrobe. It was enormous, filled with extravagant pieces like mink jackets and stoles and peppered with glamorous costume jewelry and it was all quite posh, really. I have very few memories of her even wearing slacks (she’d never have worn jeans), and there was always something very Old Hollywood about her. As I sifted through her closet, though, I noticed something peculiar.
Mayme cut the size tag off of almost every article of clothing that she owned.
The thought of it makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time, because I know that there was some level of shame associated with the number on the tag. I know it because I’ve been there, and you probably have once or twice, too. I learned a lot about style, relationships and life in general from Mayme, but this is the most important lesson she ever taught me:
That number or letter on the size tag can make or break us sometimes, and that makes me incredibly sad. Because as far as I’m concerned, that size tag is bullshit. I’m a different size in different stores. Sometimes women’s clothing doesn’t fit right, but I can’t find anything in the juniors department either. After losing a lot of weight a couple of years ago, I didn’t have the slightest clue what size I was and when I discovered that it was the smallest size I'd ever worn, I felt this weird type of power. But for what?
The size on the tag of your clothes means nothing. NOTHING. Nada. There are only two things that matter when it comes to clothes: how it fits, and how you feel. Whether you’re slipping into a 00 or a size 18 if you don’t feel good in it, it doesn’t deserve to be on your body. Buy what fits. Wear what feels good. Your size and weight are not the ticket to happiness.
Regardless of what beautiful shape and size you are, here are a few pieces that flatter everyone:
Dark jeans. Boot cut is always flattering, but you may prefer skinnies or wide-legs. Wear what you love. With boot-cut and wide-legs, make sure the hem of your jeans brushes the top of your shoe. Add heels to the mix for a longer, leaner leg.
My favourite pair? curvy boot jeans from Gap.ca!
Wrap dresses. Cinched at the waist, wrap-dresses are super chic, uber flattering and, when you choose a fabric like jersey, they’re also really comfortable. The v-shaped neck lengthens your torso, but those with a larger chest may want to wear a camisole underneath for extra-coverage. Look for lengths that hit the knee (*just* above or below is fine, too) so you don’t cut your leg off awkwardly.
Grab a solid or patterned, long- or short-sleeved wrap dress at Old Navy!
Blazers. A well-fitted blazer is one of the most flattering and functional pieces you can add to your wardrobe. Make sure the fit is right in the shoulder – the seams should line up with the top of your shoulder – and have it taken in through the waist if needed.
If you're petite, BUY PETITE. I *love* this Suit Jacket by Halogen which comes in petite and regular sizes!
Smiles. Everyone looks better when they smile. It’s a universal truth.
Brush 'em, love 'em and show 'em to the world! Plus: smiles are contagious!