Hey ladies! Nicole from The Wardrobe Code, here.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt for a long time that fashion just wasn’t inclusive enough. In fact, fashion is really meant to be exclusive – only for women who are very thin and have lots of disposable income to line their closets with.
But I believe fashion should be accessible for ALL women – regardless of size, shape, ethnicity, height, monetary status, etc.
Below, meet Laura. Over the next 3 months, she’s going to be sharing her story of finding her true style in a world that isn’t too friendly to anyone over size 12. Heaps of gratitude to her for being so candid about her struggle.
Hi! I am Laura Yamin a lifestyle coach and blogger based in Jersey City/NYC area. I am learning to embrace my personal clothing style by learning to bust out those old beliefs of waiting until I get skinny to wear cute age-appropriate clothes.
A few important facts about me…
I am single 32 years old. I live in Jersey City, but I spend good amount of time in NYC working and hanging out with friends. I have a busy life between running my business, spending time with friends, trying out new things all over the city. Every so often, I pick up administrative jobs in the city as a way to meet new people, get out of the house and meet new people.
I don’t know my exact weight, as I don’t own a scale. What I know for sure is my dress size range, so here it is:
- Skinny size: 12
- Plus Size: 18
- Current range: 14-16
I grew up as a chubby girl. Growing up, I often heard “you’d be so pretty if only you lose the weight.” Yes that phrase totally messed me up!
I did everything I could to change my body and make it skinnier. However, my relationship with food was screwed up and in the process I adopted the “fat girl identity.”
A huge part of my story is that as young woman, I developed bulimia. At the end of the day, the process of recovery from an eating disorder allowed me to heal my relationship with food, how I speak and treat myself and to be in a loving space of acceptance.
There are things that you can change by focusing on your shifting your beliefs and chanting affirmations. Yet the real work happens when we choose to take actions. In my case, embracing this journey when it comes to my personal style is a BIG action for me.
Living with the “Fat Girl” Identity + Fashion
Growing up I adopted the fat girl identity. I felt ashamed of my body size and my curves. I thought I was ugly and well I didn’t matter. Yes this thought process reflected in my style.
I was so disconnected to my body that I didn’t pay attention to the clothes I would wear. I would focus on finding clothes that fit and hid my body. I looked for ways to blend in the background. I longed for the day when the weight would be gone and I could emerge out with the perfect makeover story.
Yes, I have used my weight as the perfect excuse to hide from the world. Being “fat” served me as a safety net that protected me from figuring out what I liked, want or need. I allowed me to live a very small life. It was the perfect scapegoat for the thing I could deny myself from having.
Unfortunately, this identity no longer fit me.
Shopping at One Store
Another drawback of being “fat” teenager in the 90s is that there wasn’t much variety for cute junior clothes in the double digit size.
Growing up, I longed to shop at stores such as 5-7-9 and Contempo Casuals. The problem was that their larger size was 11 which at a size 12-16 this meant tight, ill fitting clothes. Going clothes shopping was something I truly dreaded as it was the reminder that I needed to lose weight ASAP.
Somehow around this time, I discovered that the Gap and Old Navy would carry size 14 and 16 at their regular store. Finally, I was able to get clothes similar to my friends. I could get jeans and shirts that allowed me to feel like I belong.
I did go to a few plus-size clothing stores. Yet at the time I felt that they were for grown-up, professional looking clothes that were dark, dowdy and sometimes shapeless.
Fortunately, I am no longer a teenager looking at the junior’s sections for clothes. I am in a different space in my life where it does resemble a touch of Sex and the City (as opposed to Girls) and the clothes that Old Navy and the Gap offers no longer meet all of my needs.
Yup, it is time to venture out in the world and shop at another store.
What to expect from this journey?
Over the next couple of my months, I will be focusing my attention into bringing personal style into the forefront.
As we know action speaks louder than words. Here are a few of the actions I planned to take:
- Pay special attention to what I wear each day as I am going for the more “put together” look.
- I will venture out and shop at stores that offer the clothes and pieces thatare in alignment with my inspired personal style
- Identify what my body shape is and try out styles that are out of mycomfort zone but may fit well in my body
- I will be shopping in my closet
I can’t wait to share my personal style journey with you over the next couple of months!
Want to share Laura’s journey? Check out our bevy of shareables:
Tweet: Style in the City: Meet Laura – she’s sharing her experience of plus size shopping http://ctt.ec/bwqEZ+