Post break-up, I was finding it difficult to get back to my old self again. I wasn’t getting up to do my make-up, hair, and I was just throwing stuff on to get out of the door and to work. And, to be honest, it’s completely normal. When you go through a loss, whether it’s a break-up, a fall-out in friendship, or the loss of a loved one, you can experience an array of emotions. It can be difficult to get out of bed, your routine is out of whack, and all the while you’re trying to process the event.
The most important thing at this time is self-care. Allow yourself to be in those sweats all day. Do what you can to be presentable at work. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re going through a lot and sometimes certain things take a back seat when you’re trying to heal.
With that being said, fashion can be therapeutic. I know this to be true through my own journey toward body-acceptance and self-love. When I was in an unhealthy relationship, I lost my sense of self, my identity. And, I’m working on myself every day to find out who I am now after that break-up.
When I started to feel like doing my make-up, hair, and put thought into my outfits, it was because of these tips. Here’s how to dress like a boss babe.
Get Inspired By Your Favorite Style Icons
I draw inspiration often from style icons like most people do. Everyone has their favorites and one of mine is Maria Felix, a woman who exuded a powerful presence and exceptional style. That’s something I wanted to radiate at a time when I felt weak.
Maria Felix, Mexican cinemas golden age goddess, and also known as La Doña for her role in the film Doña Bárbara, is undoubtedly one of the most iconic figures of México. High fashion brands like Christian Dior, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, and Balenciaga regularly dressed Felix. Her bold, chic, and elegant choices made her style timeless. I love her choice of statement pieces like extravagant jewelry paired with simple yet chic outfits like a black turtleneck sweater and trousers. And, her take-no-nonsense attitude toward the machismo culture makes her even more of a role model for me.
“We should only cry for a man three days… On the fourth, you put on heels and new clothes.” – Maria Felix
A Proper Fit is a Must
Drawing inspiration from Felix, my wardrobe choices recently have focused on finding a style that is right for me. But, even with the opportunity to buy the most chic pieces, nothing will make you feel stylish if the garment doesn’t fit well. Tailoring has become essential for many plus-size fashionistas. Think about it, top brands and indie designers face the same challenge in trying to design for an array of women when there is so much variance in body type. Not every woman who is a size 18 has the same body shape. So, it can be challenging to create pieces that fit most body types.
But, brands are taking feedback from their customers and creating different options for petite plus-size women as well as different body types. This Black Dolman Romper from Artista Apparel required no alterations. It was a perfect fit for me, and it has some give for women of different shapes and sizes. Any designer or seamstress will tell you it’s all about the construction of the piece. Something that fits you properly will instantly make you feel confident about what you’re wearing.
Wear Something Out of Your Comfort Zone
I’ve avoided wearing certain clothes all my life because as a big woman, you’re given these fashion rules you must adhere to. We all know some of the most notorious, which are:
- Wear black because it’s slimming.
- Don’t wear bold prints.
- Avoid horizontal stripes because they make you look wider.
- Avoid sleeveless pieces because your arms should be covered.
- Don’t go crazy with color.
- Don’t wear things that draw attention to your “problem areas” such as your tummy or arms.
I could keep going with this list, but I think my point has come across. And, I was no exception to having this ingrained in my head. Before I started modeling and blogging, my wardrobe was pretty bland. I hardly wore dresses or prints. And, as I started taking fashion risks, I found that I loved the way I looked in dresses and bold prints. But, there was something I’ve avoided until now and that’s rompers and jumpers.
I’ve had a negative experience with rompers and jumpers. Since I am short, they tend to be long and always require taking up the hem. But, that doesn’t bother me so much as the way they ride up. Can we say camel toe? And, if they didn’t ride up, they would bunch up with an excess of material in the crotch area. It’s the worst feeling to love how something looks but on someone else. So, I thought I was done with them. But, I decided to give it one more shot. And, I’m glad that I did! I absolutely love how I look in this romper. It fits well, I love the design!
Just because something doesn’t look good on you once doesn’t mean that it will always be this way. Perhaps that crop top just didn’t fit you well from one brand. But, that doesn’t mean that every crop top is off limits for you. Experiment with fashion, have fun, and you’ll find that it’s empowering for you to try new things. And, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. You’re the one in charge of what goes on your body. You make the fashion rules!
Fashion therapy can never replace therapy when you need help. But, self-care is vital when you’re dealing with a life event. I found that in my own journey toward healing post break-up, I decided to surround myself with supportive friends, find inspirational messages about love and relationships, take time to write about it, and continue to do things that I love like modeling. I needed to shift the focus back to me instead of that other person, and fashion has been a way for me to express myself. I want more than anything to look like a boss babe. The truth is that I am a boss babe even though I don’t feel like one all the time.
Photographer: Tommy Kim