As I stood in the dressing room assembling the outfits I had pulled from the racks, all the self doubt I felt that morning vanished. I was in the zone.
I smiled at the fitting room attendant, having already explained my presence…
“I’ll be dressing a woman here today, I don’t know who she is, it will probably be emotional and I’ll be grabbing lots of clothes, but I promise to put them all back.”
A few explanations later, and I had the blessing of the shift manager, who, as a curvy woman herself, beamed with excitement and generously filled the room large room with bottled water, kleenex and good luck.
After years of struggling with fashion on a personal level, tackling the wardrobe and self esteem of others seemed like an incredibly daunting task, but also a privilege.
Sara is 33, manages a garden center, spends most of her time outdoors, claims to be a size 18, and wanted, in her words, ”girl clothes.”
I had her meet me at Old Navy, where her dressing room of outfits hung in anticipation. Nobody is hanger shaped, so giving her a visual on how to put outfits together is important. How you incorporate accessories, layers, shapes; these were the lessons I wanted to share.
I also wanted to get her out of her comfort zone, so I threw in skinny jeans, dresses and short shorts for good measure. I was giving her options she didn’t realize she had. Once you learn your shape and proportions, shopping and experimenting becomes way easier, sizing becomes secondary, and that makes the anxiety level plummet.
We spent the day playing with clothes. Every outfit that worked made every defeat irrelevant. Sara learned shopping wasn’t scary, it was a chance to experiment and learn about your body; and she found out her body was amazing.
You see, Sara is an apple shape, which means she is thicker in the middle, but has thinner arms and legs. And girlfriend? She has legs for days, and a body made for shorts and flirty dresses. (Color me jealous.)
By the end of the day, with sexy shoes, supportive bras, updated hair, and three pairs of absolutely rad glasses later… Sara was glowing with confidence.
And that feeling was addicting for the both of us. I can’t wait to share this experience with curvy women all over the country.
A huge thanks to Rivet & Sway for helping make this project a reality, and for providing the stunning glasses that inspired outfit after outfit.
You can see the complete makeover on my blog.