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Friday, June 24, 2016

Lessons From The Middle

*This post was originally published at www.denverstylemagazine.com


Ah, the middle sizes. The grande in the Starbucks of body shapes. Not a size 2, but not a size 16. The girls that knew we wouldn’t ever be able to be straight size OR plus size models. And that is perfectly okay with us. Our bodies are our temples, and we love the size that we are, large or small. However, with a surge of body positivity in fashion media over recent years, curvier frames are getting more attention than ever. Now we have not only straight sized models showing trends, but we also have plus-size models becoming more and more prominent. However, dressing the middle-sized body type can still be a little different than what we see at Fashion Week or in our favorite blogs. Here are a few types for figuring out how to nail style one a body that is not fashion-defined.
1. Know what you love the most
Yes, we all have our own individual body shapes, and some items are more flattering on a certain shape than others. An hourglass shape looks phenomenal in waist-cinching skirts, and strong shoulders are best shown off in strapless styles. If flattering is your primary goal, then it is important to know your shape and what works on it. However, there is a whole world of style out there! If you do not want to bind yourself to one style, then do not! If you have muscular legs that most style experts would say do not work in skinny jeans and booties (*raises hand*), find a way to make them work. Perhaps with a tunic top and little bit of ankle showing between the jeans and booties to create a slimming line on the leg.

2. Use color to create the look you want
Using color to your advantage can take an outfit from an outfit to a LOOK. Use darker colors to minimize something you don’t want a lot of attention on and to create a great base for some more daring pieces. This is why I basically live in black skinny jeans. Use lighter and brighter colors to highlight items and body parts that you want to showcase that day.
3. Ignore sizes
This sucks and is super hard because the world has trained us to care about the number in the jeans we bought.  In a perfect world, we could walk into a boutique, be measured, and be handed the perfect-fitting pair of jeans. Instead of hiring about a thousand sales associates for one store, brands streamline the process by putting a number or letter in a garment to show us how much fabric it contains. And we freak out. But we shouldn’t. We middle sized ladies are about a million different shapes, and different pieces will hang and fit differently on those shapes. Never be afraid to size up or down from the size you are to get the right fit. It does not mean your body size has changed, just that that particular brand labeled that amount of fabric with that number. This is difficult for middle-sized ladies because girls are sometimes taught that double-digit sizes are a fate equal to prison, and we HAVE to stay below a certain size. They aren’t. There is literally  nothing wrong with any size. It’s just fabric. Try on the fabric until you get the right amount of fabric, then take that fabulous fabric home. And cut the tags out there if you need to.
4. Shop deals more than clearance, and buy something fast if you love it
Middle sizes (6-12) tend to sell out first, so it’s sometimes difficult to wait for something to go on sale. Nothing flies a girl into a blind rage like going to check on, say, a pink midi skirt only to find out it has sold out in her size. However, you don’t always have to pay full price for items you love. Sign up for newsletters and loyalty clubs from your favorite brands to get deals on items. You don’t always have to wait for something to be on sale to save money on it.
5. Look to the plus-sized girls for inspiration
Plus-size fashion bloggers and models absolutely killed it in 2015, and we now get to reap the benefits into 2016. They are truly dishing out some of the most on-edge fashion inspiration, and you will get to see how a look will work on a frame larger than a sample size (Hint: fan-freaking-tastic). You will get a more realistic look at how a certain item may look on a middle-sized frame, and then take their advice straight to the department store.
6.Toe-dip into trends, and then embrace the ones you love
Some trends are scary, especially for women who are not a size 2, because so many of them seem geared toward a smaller frame. But remember, you’ve got an amazing body, and you deserve to have fun with what you put on it. Most trends look fantastic filled out a bit, so give it a shot. Try things out in a more subtle way to get a feel for it. To try a crop top for the first time, try one that just has a small cut out to keep yourself comfortable the first few times. Sometimes trends like over-the-knee boots can look a little extreme on the sexy side on bigger legs. To combat that, keep the rest of the look cozy (think fabrics like tweed and chunky knits) and covered, and make sure you get boots that hit you at a flattering place about one or two inches above your knee.

I like to add black socks sticking out the the top of my boots to add to the cozy look and make sure they are as flattering as possible. Never feel like you can’t try a trend because of your size or shape. Ever. Please. Instead, tinker with trendy pieces until you find a way to incorporate them into your wardrobe in your way.
The middle sizes can sometimes feel like the sizes that fashion forgot. But never sell yourself short of the world of style out there waiting for you. Embrace your gorgeous self, and enjoy!

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