The real BodyCon
Body-conscious, body confident, sometimes we’re one way, sometimes we’re another and at times we are own worst enemy because the real body con comes from ourselves.
I’ve been thinking about body con a lot recently. Partly because it’s that time in the year where I start to think about packing away the winter stuff and bringing out the Spring gear. Too soon? Perhaps, considering the current weather, but I’m ever the optimist! It’s when I have a bit of a clear out and start trying on the clothes I haven’t seen for a year and deciding what to keep or ditch – or what I need to buy. I wrote a post on ways to declutter your wardrobe that I was thrilled that you really embraced and used, too!
Something I have been very actively working on is building my confidence to feel more like me. Part of that is feeling less self-conscious and wearing more of my wardrobe and the clothes I would have loved pre-baby.
Why? Because I’ve realised that sometimes what you wear or daring to wear what you want can be so powerful! And whilst you can’t really buy confidence, you can sometimes help it along with things you can buy.
I definitely found some in this dress.
It was the one that I favourited, then told myself it wouldn’t look great on me…but kept going back to. Because I love detailed design – I even have a Pinterest board called just that.
So, I kept admiring the detail in the lace and was really drawn to the colour, even though it’s not one I often wear. But, that length, could I actually wear it?
Let me let you into behind the scenes at Kitty and B. Sometimes I have a blog post in mind, I write it, then take the pictures and that’s the (hugely simplified) process. Other times, like this one, I had the dress, but it wasn’t until I put it on and took some pictures that I knew what I was going to write. Because, I won’t lie, I wasn’t expecting to feel what I did when I put it on and when I saw the pictures. I liked them. And I liked me in them, that is not something I say often!
Don’t get me wrong, I love tailoring and form-skimming clothes and they way they can enhance and flatter. Yet still, I kept scrolling through the pictures on the Tobi website thinking how much I loved it, but I just couldn’t choose it. Until, in the end, I just thought, what the hey, it’s coming home to me, I’m sure it will look great when I’ve toned up and…! You know the drill.
It’s that body con that’s the problem, the one convincing you that you shouldn’t. So now I’m saying to heck with that con. I really don’t need that kind of negativity in my life!
In the mirror
I know you’re not supposed to draw attention to your least favourite parts, but I’m going to share with you anyway! I like being and feeling strong, which I why I love weights so much. I’m not looking to add bulk, but I love the tone, definition and the strength (mental and physical) I get from lifting weights.
I am so happy that after my hernia op I can now get back down to business (in fact I just posted some cold weather fitness motivation tips). But, during my fitness hiatus, my legs and I have seen a distinct frostiness forming in our admittedly rocky friendship! I tend not show my bare legs below the knee and cover up them as much as I can (even on the beach!). Particularly when I’m not feeling strong. The reason being that extra muscle tone also helps to minimise the look of my cellulite. The cellulite which is something that I personally feel very self-conscious about.
But, back to that body con. I look at these pictures and I feel like in this dress my legs look OK. Not too shabby, not the horrible nobbly, bobbly affairs I had in my mind. Just saying that is something that feels alien to me to think let alone write, so I almost didn’t!
However, I want to say it and I want to write it. Why? Because it’s affirmed to me that sometimes trying what you like, despite that inner voice, pays off. Sometimes what your mind tells you isn’t actually the reality. And that sometimes something as seemingly insignificant as the right dress can leave you feeling like a million dollars and can help you change that mindset.
How to wear bodycon
For some of my tips on how to wear bodycon, here are the things I recommend:
Know your strengths
It’s always more comfortable to play to your strengths – ordinarily, I would show arms and collarbone and cover legs. So, find a length you like and a body part you love and accentuate those aspects. BUT, don’t forget to try out something new once in a while, like I did with this dress.
Create a solid foundation
The right foundation helps make whatever is on top look its best. I always say what you wear under is just as important as what goes over. You’ve often heard me talk about shapewear – possibly with a passion verging on fanaticism! It’s been surplus to requirements for this dress, but shapewear helps me to feel more confident and helps what I’m wearing look its best on me.
You don’t have to be trussed up in Spanx, it can be a simple as a slip to help smooth and disguise any lines and VPL.
Fabric is always key for me. I tend to prefer heavier fabrics (preferably lined like this dress) for form-fitting or bodycon clothing. Again, it helps what you’re wearing ‘hang’ and look better.
Learn your lines
Learning which cuts are most flattering to your shape goes a long way. Personally, I love the way a high waistband skims over the tummy and slims the waist. The very deliberate detailing of the fabric on this dress also creates a really flattering silhouette and effect. So, use detail to play up and play down the parts you want to.
There are so many examples out there now of so many different shaped and differently sized women rocking every type of look and wearing it well. I follow them, I like their pictures, I am regularly inspired. But, ultimately what they’re doing is just being themselves and making whatever style it is fit them. Find your body and style twin and look to them for inspiration.
Go forth and wear it!
Wouldn’t it be great if we all just wore what we liked? I mean the things we actually like, rather what we tell ourselves we should wear!
For some positivity and style, I highly recommend Catherine and her blog Not Dressed as Lamb, which celebrates the fact we should just wear what we like. Pop along to her weekly #iwillwearwhatilike link up and you’ll see women in all shapes, ages and sizes just, you know, wearing what they like! Or, search the hashtag #mumsthatslay on Instagram for some mums, that, well, slay their outfits!
In the meantime, I’m prompted to try some more styles I’ve avoided for a while. If they don’t work, no problem, but there’s no harm in having fun mixing things up! But, I feel like I’m more motivated and empowered to do that than I have for some time.
How about you, is there anything you’d love to wear, but don’t. Or, do you just wear what you like, no matter what? I’d love to know.
The Dress is c/o Shop Tobi and currently has 50% off. For reference, it’s in size XS. I’m 5’2.5″ and UK 6.