“Any Piece Of Clothing Can Be Sexy, With A Quietly Passionate Woman Inside It.”

Reign Magazine put up this graphic this past Monday, and tweeted a group of bloggers (myself included) who they said were their inspiration for it. I found this incredibly flattering, but also sort of ironic considering I’ve been going through some serious body issues lately. I don’t write much about my inner thoughts on here, but as I’ve talked about it to other people they’ve encouraged me to share my experiences. I think when we talk about our bodies and how we feel about them, it’s important to understand that other people are going through the same thing.

I’m generally a pretty body positive person, but several months ago I decided I was going to get in shape and lose a bunch of weight. I lost about 15 pounds (which I have kept off), but hit a plateau when business got busy. Working out takes time, and I just haven’t had much of that recently. While I’m thrilled about all the business I’m getting, I’d like to get back into a routine.

At the same time, I also decided that my wardrobe wasn’t doing my body image or myself any favors. It mostly consisted of jeans and old college era t-shirts, which only made me look shorter and heavier. I’ve discovered that if I put on even a mildly flattering skirt and top, I look like a whole different person. All of my jeans had holes in them, and I didn’t replace any of them. I decided that if I was going to leave the house, I was going to have to really get dressed to do it. I even picked up my first real little black dress, as I felt confident enough to rock it at a size 12/14.

All that having been said, I’ve been going through some real ups and downs with my new look. I’d like to tone up more, and I have the body type where all of my weight gathers in my stomach and breasts. I’m trying to come to terms with no matter how much I tone up, I’m not going to get any taller. When you work at a job where you literally stare at pictures of other women all day, this can be a depressing life fact. It’s not even a body type thing for me, because I know lots of size 20+ bloggers who I think are absolutely gorgeous. I just can’t seem to translate that to how I feel about my body on a daily basis.

And here, I suppose, is the takeaway for me this week. While we may have lots of positive feelings about other people’s bodies, it’s incredibly hard to embrace those same things when you see it staring back at you in the mirror. So while I’m still working on the toning and weight thing, I’m going to shift my focus to feeling and looking good on a daily basis no matter what size I’m at. I’m hoping it will put me in a more positive mindset about the whole thing. I’m also going to try to post more pictures on here, since that’s something I’ve avoided due to some mixed feelings about my weight distribution and wardrobe. Surely, there must be a way to combine the changes I want to see with positive feelings about what I have now!

As a result of all of this, I’m thinking of developing a semi-regular blog series on clothing choices for curvy women, and I’d love to see multiple people contribute to it. If you’re interested, please leave a comment and we can set something up.


  • Reply Darlene April 20, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    So wonderful you shared this. Ever since you tweeted about trying not to wear jeans all the time, I’ve been making a special effort in what I wear each day, even if I only plan to work around the house. As we’ve discussed before, I would love to have you contribute to my “Inside the Closet of . . .” series on Hourglassy. And I’d love to contribute something to your clothing series.

    • Reply hollyj April 24, 2012 at 11:42 PM

      I would love to, Darlene! I’m definitely working on looking pretty and presentable when I leave the house, even if I’m just running out for milk. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut in baggy yet comfy clothes!

  • Reply Abby April 24, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    This is a really inspiring post, Holly. The power of self confidence continues to be underestimated by so many and I believe it’s so important for women to do what you’re doing. Feeling good & looking good are inextricably linked! Small efforts each day to do your hair, wear a pretty top or skirt and maybe try a new lipstick that makes you feel sexy will make you feel and LOOK amazing!! The smile on your face, the spring in your step and the general aura of self-confidence will do wonders 🙂
    Good luck in your journey and I look forward to seeing lots of pictures! x

    • Reply hollyj April 24, 2012 at 11:43 PM

      Thanks for commenting, Abby! You know what I actually did when I started this? I went out and bought a redder lipstick then I’d ever tried before, and I’m loving it. It’s something small, but it’s a whole new look for me and gives me a huge confidence boost. I guess sometimes it really is the small stuff. I hope to be posting lots more pictures here on in the column I will be writing for Darlene. I’ve always avoided it before as I feel dumpy sometimes, but I think getting used to it will help my confidence a lot.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Reply June April 24, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Ah, I hear you! I struggle with this too. Like you a I carry more of my weight in my bust/waist (and arms too!). It can be difficult sometimes seeing women who around the same size or even bigger than me who carry their weight more “proportionally”. I know just the way I’m built that I’m never going to have a super small waist and now that I’m getting close to my goal weight it’s pretty clear that I’m never going to have the nipped in waist but rather can hope for having a flat straight midesection. With weight loss it can definitely be a bumpy road learning to accept your body, especially as a blogger (and with the industry that you work in!) comparing your body to others. Just want to give you a lot of hugs as you do this.

    I have been working, though, on trying to figure out what works for my body type. It’s been a bit hit and miss (and difficult with the insanely long shipping time to Brasil!) but slowly I’ve been able to revamp a lot of my wardrobe and am hoping to post more outfit posts soon too. I also went from a standard, umm.. “mom” uniform (yoga pants, t-shirts, and hoodies) to trying to wear more dresses, fitted clothes, and at least nice shirts with jeans. 😉 It’s been a long road and I’m still not there but part of the fun is figuring it out too. My hair, make-up, shoes, and handbags are still pretty much a disaster but one step at a time, right? 😉

    Oh, and definitely go with the weight training route! I love what it’s done for my body. It’s helped to given me more tangible goals in terms of fitness and I also have to admire my biceps. 🙂 I can’t recommend the book: New Rules of Lifting for Women enough.

    • Reply hollyj April 24, 2012 at 11:47 PM

      June, want to have Skype meetings and be my body buddy? Seriously, I need someone to talk about this stuff with. I have decided that some people are blessed with proportional weight gain and some people have flat butts and pile weight in their stomach and boobs. I’m the second type. If you ever have time to talk clothes for difficult body types, I’d love to chat.

      Thanks for commenting and reading! 🙂

      • Reply June April 25, 2012 at 6:02 AM

        I sent you a DM on twitter. 🙂

  • Reply Summer May 20, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I never judge other women the way I judge myself. I’ve had this pointed out to me by others, but I’m glad I’m not alone.

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