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Have you ever seen those women, they just look so put together and polished? They just seem like they have it all together. Well now I know everyone is human and that the surface level never tells the whole story, but I didn’t know that then, and I needed to know how they did it. I was a senior in high school when I started to ask myself this question. This question is what made me choose fashion merchandising as my major in college. 

Now I know confidence and looking polished starts with working on my mindset. However, I did learn that my style can help boost my confidence, but it cannot be the foundation to my confidence. I also learned that the reason these women look polished is because THEY PUT IN THE EFFORT TO LOOK POLISHED (Self Care!). I am embarrassed to admit that it took me way too long to learn that! 

Now I want to specify how looking stylish can help boost your confidence, but you shouldn’t make it the foundation of your confidence. If you put your confidence in the clothes you wear, how you look, or your weight, those things can change. There may be some days where you are too busy, or you gain weight (what happened to me!) and if your confidence is invested in those things you will be riding the I love myself/ I hate myself rollercoaster. Invest your confidence in loving yourself no matter what, and then use your style as a version of self care. 

Style As Self Care

Self care is such a buzzword right now. There are so many different versions of self care, but my definition comes down to doing something out of respect for yourself. This could be anything from eating veggies because you respect your body, or going to sleep early (even though you don’t want to) because you know you function better with it. For style it is dressing fully as your authentic self because you respect yourself so much to be anybody else! 

Style is supposed to be fun! It is a way for you to express yourself. When I gained weight I wanted to hide myself. I started to wear baggy sweaters, dressing down so I didn’t draw attention to myself. Then when I would dress up I would feel uncomfortable. I always felt like I didn’t fit in. Style stopped being fun. 

Become Aware of Your Style Habits

Yes awareness, awareness, awareness, the secret to confidence! Why do you wear what you wear? Is this the style you enjoy wearing? Do you wish you could wear something else? Take your weight out of it, take your insecurities out of it. If you were the most confident version of yourself what would you wear? 

Pinterest is amazing for this! If you don’t know what Pinterest is, it is a search engine, but full of pictures. You can “pin” (like a cork board) your favorite pictures to your “board.” There are so many different style pictures on Pinterest. Log onto Pinterest, or you can even grab a bunch of magazines. Start picking out the outfits you like. Then ask yourself why? What about this style makes you happy? 

The next thing I would do is write down all the pieces of clothing that make up that style. What are the basics found throughout the pictures? Maybe it is a great fitted pair of dark wash jeans? Do you see a lot of lace, or is there a specific color? Write all of this down. Now go to your closet and try to find pieces that are similar. Then start building the outfits with the pieces you have. This is also nice because now you know what pieces to look for when shopping. 

Now think of the first place you would like to wear one of these outfits. Also think of the places in your life you feel intimidated to wear these outfits. Why are you intimidated? What is stopping you from stepping into this version of yourself? 

Start with baby steps. Start with one outfit, or one piece of clothing. Get excited to try new pieces. For a long time I thought I had to be skinny to dress stylish. And there was a part of me that was waiting to do so. It was as if I was punishing myself for gaining weight. Life is way too short for that. Also I started to follow people on my social media accounts that were stylish and had curves. This helped a lot! I shouldn’t be afraid of being myself because I carry extra weight. I deserve to be myself all the time, this is my life and it is not a dress rehearsal.


Ellie Curry



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