The hardest part of this whole liking my body thing was learning how to dress it. I spent way too many years hating clothes and fashion to all of a sudden enjoy it, so getting to that place took a couple of steps.

1. I very realistically float between a size 12 and a size 18 throughout the year, and I have to be ok with that if I ever want to wear pants again. I realized I like to eat food, there are times when I am less motivated to move around, and sometimes, the standard of sizing is so fucked up, it has no actual merit regarding the size of my body.

2. I have to go try stuff on…in real life. Online shopping was my crutch. I’d go into my closet, hate everything, probably cry, and then spend the next hour filling my invisible shopping cart with clothes that looked adorable online. Would I have a emotional breakdown in my bedroom 7-10 days later when they would arrive and not fit? Fuck yes I would, but that was a battle for another day.

Instead, I started going to the mall on Tuesday afternoons, by myself, to try stuff on. At first I kept trying on the stuff I saw other people wearing in commercials and magazines, and it would look horrible, if it even fit at all, and then I’d go do some cake related feeling-eating.

Eventually, I started trying on clothes I didn’t think looked great on the hanger, in sizes I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was, and it ended up looking great. I learned to see the shapes of my body, and the cuts I needed to flatter them. Don’t get me wrong, there was still cake eating, but it was more celebratory in fashion.

Now I can shop online, buying things I know should fit or flatter me, with way less returns and mail bomb planning.

The fact is, I didn’t have a hard to dress body, I had a hard to dress brain, so once I got passed that, shopping and fashion began to be less horrible and more fun, and I became even more motivated to change the beauty industry, because if there is anything I learned from the internet, it’s that Walt Disney’s head is for real frozen underground somewhere, and that I am also in the very gorgeous majority of women who look absolutely nothing like the women portrayed in mainstream fashion and beauty marketing and design.

And that’s a shame, because we have money and like wearing clothes that aren’t tents, so it seems like that would be motivation enough to design flattering things for us, like tops we can wear bras with or pants that have zippers that sit above our pubic hair.

Until that happens, I thought it’d be fun to do a quick fashion post, giving you a peek into my closet, some of my current favorite items, and new ways to pair the things you didn’t think would look good on you.

Let’s play dress up!

I found this shirt in the “Plus Size Section” of Target ($21.99 Scoop Neck Top), or as I like to call it, that one rack of not tiny stuff. First of all, this shirt looks really bad on the hanger, and it’s also a couple sizes too big, being a size 3, which I assume is a skinnier way of saying 3x? Either way, I was looking for a fun, over-sized date night shirt, so I tried it on.

Verdict, I loved it. I am really digging the whole smocked waist thing, because I feel like it helps hide the tummy pouch, but also makes a comfortable oversized shirt look fitted and sexy, so I can pair it with fitted flare jeans (Size 16, Old Navy Flare Jeggings) a fun turquoise necklace (Walmart on clearance) and black high heeled boots ($39, Shoedazzle).

This was another Target find, this time in the Juniors section. While I normally fit into exactly nothing in that area, this was an XL and looked roomy enough, so I decided to give it a go because I loved the idea of an empire waist shirt that didn’t look like Maternity.

I loved this shirt so much, as you may remember, I wore it for my TED talk, only this time, I decided to wear it with a thick brown leather belt, which I am totally loving these days. I used to think I couldn’t pull off the whole belt around the waist thing, but it turns out it’s all about proportion (I needed a thicker belt) and finding a good bra to lift my boobs up more so people could actually see said belt. I love this shirt because it gives me a waist, but also has drapey sleeves that hide my arms, which I am totally self conscious about.  I am wearing the top with fitted flare jeans (Size 18 I KNOW I DON’T UNDERSTAND FASHION MATH EITHER, Old Navy Skinny Mini Flare Jeans), a brown leather braided belt from Lane Bryant, and some mustard heels I found on clearance at Payless.

I got this shirt for $15 at Sam’s Club. Yes, that Sam’s Club. Seriously. This is a case of seeing potential in something that looks like crap balled up on a table next to gallons of Ranch Dressing. Again, it has the smocked waist, which I knew I loved, and a color that I wear well.

The shirt was kinda skimpy, so I bought it in a XXL, and it was also a bit plain, so I decided to try it with the belt and loved it. This is something Old Brittany would never attempt, but I’m glad I did. Also, my mom, who is taking these pictures, keeps asking me where I got this shirt, she totally doesn’t believe this is the same ugly yellow shirt I bought with her at Sam’s Club.

I have been on the hunt for a soft cardigan that I could toss over a fitted cami on chilly days. Something fun and comfy, reminiscent of borrowing your boyfriend’s sweatshirt in high school…unless your boyfriend was always skinnier than you and wore Star Wars hoodies…damn it, Andy. I found this oatmeal colored V-neck cardigan on sale (Size 1X, Lands’ End Cardigan, $34.99).

I was afraid this sweater would be boxy, but it wasn’t, and I loved that it was long enough to cover my waistline, and not skimpy. This is one of my everyday, go-to outfits. I can easily toss it over a nude cami, some flare jeans (Size 15, Mudd Jeans from Kohls $19.99) and some cute flats if I have to help out at school or run to the store.

These are my current favorite shoes ($12.99, Target Ballet Flats). They are cheetah print, but treat that as a neutral. They glam up almost any outfit, adore them!

I was at American Eagle buying some tshirts for Andy when I came across this tank top (XL, American Eagle Crochet Tank, $24.50). First of all, little known fact, American Eagle goes up to XXL and size 18 online. Second, sure, I haven’t been able to shop there for myself since 7th grade, but it looked loose fitting, and the straps were thick enough that my bra straps wouldn’t show.

I am so glad I sucked it up and tried this, because it gives me an adorable top to wear on vacation next week. It’s loose where I need it to be loose, in the tummy, and it sits above my boobs, so I don’t have that weird empire waist line my boobs often hang below.

This is yet another Target shirt (Size 1, Kimono Sleeve Top, $21.99) that looked atrocious and bag-like on the hanger. In fact, it took me a few minutes to verify it was not, in fact, a maternity shirt. But the pattern was interesting, and I didn’t have anything that color, so I wanted to try it on.

This shirt is perfect for date nights, or baby/bridal/whatever showers. It’s fun and feminine and a touch dressy, which I admittedly do not have a ton of in my closet. I tied the bow to the side, because it felt less matronly that way, and I paired it again with my MUDD flare jeans, and some frilly black wedges.

This sweater was on clearance for $14 in store (Size L, Old Navy Blanket Wrap Cardigan), and when I picked it up, my mom all but vomited. She hated this sweater, and refused to go anywhere with me if I wore it, but…it was a really good deal, and it felt kinda Big Lebowski to me.

What can I say, I can’t say no to The Dude. It’s super warm and comfortable, and I can throw it on over almost anything, so sorry, mom, I’m keeping the sweater.

White Russians for everyone!

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