Mirror Panic and Wardrobe Disgust: Stop Stressing Over Your Body and Clothes
How many of you have stood in front of your closet — after huffily trying on about a dozen different items — only to find a sea of seemingly inadequate clothes staring back at you? And how many times has this reduced you to tears, or at least paid a toll on your already sensitive self esteem?
Even after you find the most satisfactory outfit you can muster, you gaze into the mirror and feel like all that effort was for naught. You hate the outfit, you hate the way it makes you look and you hate the way it makes you feel. All you can think about is how others will perceive you in this array of self-perceived unflattering garments in which you’ve cloaked yourself.
You’re not alone.
“I think everyone has that terrible feeling of insecurity from time to time when you just know you have on the wrong outfit – as if it’s not just your clothes that are frumpy and outdated, but you, too,” says styling consultant Ashley Martini, author of the new book, “Styletini.”
Martini says that getting your outfit just right is often challenging. After all, you’re trying to strike the perfect balance between comfort and confidence, professional and unstuffy, current and too-trendy. It’s a difficult task, and one that can send you spiraling into a fit of anxiety and stress. We’re telling you to stop. Stop stressing!
It’s easier said than done, we know — and it will take some time to re-train your brain — but it’s possible. Here are five ways to stop the dreaded “mirror panic” and “wardrobe disgust” that plagues us all.
Give Yourself Time to Get Dressed
There’s nothing worse than rushing to get ready. Not only do you not have time to carefully plan out an outfit, but you’re probably running around like a crazy lady. Mussed up hair and a sweaty face is not a good look for anyone.
Give yourself ample time to choose an outfit and get dressed, especially for bigger events. You can, of course, do this the night before. Make sure you plan the look from head to toe, including accessories, shoes, your bag and even your makeup.
Understand That Not All Trends Work On Your Body
“The trendiest thing any individual can do is answer the question: Is it flattering?” says Martini. Truer words were never spoken.
You’re likely aware that women have six basic body types: triangle (narrow above the waist and wider on the bottom), inverted triangle (fuller shoulders and chest with slim hips and thighs), rectangle (also known as athletic with little definition in the waist and hips), diamond (high-sitting, full stomach with wide hips and full thighs), apple (similar to diamonds, but with a lower-sitting stomach), hourglass (equal upper and lower halves with well-defined waists).
Understand that a waistless sack dress may look fabulous on a rectangular frame, but not so much a curvy hourglass. And where skinny jeans may work for an inverted triangle figure, they probably aren’t the best option for a triangle-shaped woman with wider hips.
Ultimately, your goal is to understand your body shape and work to even out proportions. Any garment that doesn’t work to your advantage should be donated pronto.
Know Your Measurements, Carry a Tape Measure
Whether you’re shopping online or in-stores, knowing your measurements is key to finding clothes that fit you best.
Martini says you should measure the parts of your body that most define your shape, which include hips, shoulders, waist, bust and height.
- For hips/butt, wrap the tape around the fullest part. Make sure you’re not pulling too tightly or too loosely; the number in the center front is your hip size.
- For shoulders, relax your shoulders and stand up tall, then extend the tape from the outer edge of one shoulder to the other. You may want to enlist a friend.
- For your waist, bend forward and note where your body creases, which is where your natural waist lies. Measure around that point.
- For bust, wear a top without a bra and wrap the tape across your back, under your shoulder blades and arms, and then around the fullest part of your breasts.
Make note of these measurements (you can keep them in your phone for handy access) and use them when shopping.
Familiarize Yourself With Fabrics
Knowledge is power, and the more you know about the garments you buy, the better. For example, cotton is apt to shrink, which means cotton clothes won’t always fit you the way they do in the dressing room.
Be aware of fabrics that cling — such as polyester and rayon — which can be unforgiving without the assistance of shapewear. On the opposite side of the spectrum, fabrics such as tweed or wool are starchy and stiff, which conceal lumps, but can add bulk.
Always read the labels and be aware of what certain fabrics look like on your body.
Work on Self Love
We know, we know. Loving yourself — flaws and all — is way easier said than done. Still, exuded confidence is one of the most attractive traits a woman can have. And no, we’re not just talking about being attractive to potential partners, but being attractive in general. If you’re confident, you’re more approachable and more hirable, too.
We recommend checking out self-love blogs, reading books and talking it out with girlfriends or a professional. If you’re uncomfortable in your skin, be proactive. Few things are as motivating and life-changing as taking control over yourself and treating your body the way it deserves to be treated.
By Wendy Rose Gould
Know something we don't? Email us
at [email protected]