How Dressing How I Want Helped Me Embrace My Flaws

Sunday, 25 March 2018

girl sitting on kitchen counter

The way that I present myself today is very different from how I would throughout my teens and even into my early twenties. Sometimes I feel like the least body confident person in the world. I'll look in the mirror and notice every lump. Every area of skin which isn't perfectly smooth, and every place where a gap should be where there isn't one. Sometimes, I really do feel like I hate my body. But then I'll look back on the relationship that I've had with it in the past, and I'll realise that I'm actually doing pretty great. Somewhere along the way, I've figured out how to get on with life with the body that I have and actually sort of like it, lumps, bumps and all. A lot of this has come from the self-love that I've found within myself, but much of this has also come from the development of my own style.

Knowing who you are when you're a young teen can be really difficult. When I was at school, I really felt like I had nothing going for me at all. I was plain and shy. I wore leggings and baggy jumpers which covered up any promise of a female form and I pushed myself away from the idea of ever being a fashionable person. I didn't have the money or the confidence to dress in a way which reflected what was on the inside, and so I didn't. I spent my days shying away from mirrors and shying away from the attention of other people. It didn't seem like a big deal to me at the time, but when I look back, I can see that I was trying to make myself invisible. I didn't like the way I looked and so I was submitting to the fact that this would always be the way that things were.

When you've spent such a long time feeling like you're not good enough to make an effort with your appearance, you start to become detached from it completely. For years, fashion felt to me like a sport which I could watch from the sidelines, but could never participate in. It seemed like an elitist concept - to spend money on clothes which you liked and to feel good about yourself whilst wearing them. I thought that fashion was for people with a specific body type. For girls who wanted to be models or who always had exciting plans on the horizon. It seems like such a stupid thing to admit to, but I felt unwelcome in the world of fashion - judged and unaccepted. By who? I have no idea.

When I started blogging, I pushed myself towards being a predominantly lifestyle focused blog. If you look back through the very first pages of, it's rare that you'll see my face in sight. Any pictures that I am in, I'm probably bundled up in a black coat which covers my entire figure. I still felt like I couldn't be that person who was wearing the latest trends and actually feeling good about the way they looked. Through years of being involved in the blogging community across Twitter and Instagram, something inside me began to change.

girl standing in kitchen

Suddenly, every time I logged onto my social media, I was surrounded by photos of gorgeous girls of all shapes and sizes, all wearing and sharing the clothes that they loved. Girls were lifting each other up. Sharing style tips, complementing each other on courageous looks and cute pairings. Most of these girls had unique styles completely different from one another, yet they'd all been brought together by a need to share their art and find inspiration in each other. This was the moment where I spotted a place for myself in the world of style. A chance to see fashion not as an uninviting sport, but an open playing field, where everyone was welcome to share the love and discover self-love.

Since this point, I am 100% certain that my body confidence and general confidence have been on an upward trajectory. I started wearing the clothes that I wanted to wear. The ones which made me feel good about myself and helped me to discover my own unique brand, without a care of whether I had the correct body shape for them. Fashion became a light in my day for me. A creative project which I was the centre of. Something that I could use to feel better about myself. More confident in my own skin. A sign that I could hold up in front of the whole world to prove to them who I was.

Now, I honestly don't know where I'd be if I wasn't able to express myself through the clothes that I wear. It's something which makes me feel validated. I'm no longer afraid of stepping in front of the camera in clothes which don't cover up every curve. I'd rather embrace the curves, and use them to show other people that feeling confident in your own skin isn't simply about being flaw free. It's about learning to accept yourself in whatever way you feel you can. For me, that's dressing exactly the way I want to.

There was a time when I'd step out in public and dread that anyone would notice me. Now, I kind of love stepping into a tube carriage in London and being the only one wearing bright pink trousers amongst a sea of men in suits. I truly do think that it's down to my discovery of my own fashion which has meant that I now can admit to loving my body and the skin that I'm in. It's the little things in life which will help you to love yourself. It's just finding them that can take a little while.

woman holding mug in kitchen

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