I’m no fashion expert. But I’ve watched a lot of What Not to Wear and I’ve worn a lot of clothes, so there you have my qualifications.
I like shirts shaped like this. In theory. I pull them off the rack at the store and go, “Ooh, it’s pretty!” But I’ve stopped doing anything more with them because I know from experience that when I try them on and look in the dressing room mirror, the thought changes to, “Ugh, that looks AWFUL!” This shape and my shape just do not mix well.
That’s not a problem in and of itself. But, “That looks awful,” easily translates to, “I look awful,” and that thought repeated over and over consistently becomes the belief, “I am inherently awful-looking.” And that’s just depressing; no one wants to live like that.
So I could buy the shirt I think is pretty in theory and go around feeling frumpy and thinking I’m the problem. Or I could put it back on the rack, move on, and maybe find something like…
This is a shirt I actually own, and it’s one of my two current favorites. When I’m wearing it and catch a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror at work, I almost always go, “Hey, I look GOOD!” and it makes me smile and brightens the day a bit.
What changed? Not my shape. Not attempts to tell myself something I don’t really believe. Just my choice of shirt. That’s all.
Clothes that look beautiful on other people or on the rack might look genuinely awful on you. That’s not a problem, it’s just a fact. It only becomes a problem when you sigh and resign yourself to wearing them anyway because you think they should look beautiful.
Stop. Put it back. Find something else. There’s another shirt out there that will be better. And maybe you can’t see this for yourself, maybe you need to do some research or recruit a friend who can tell you, “Yes, this is good, see how this one shows that you have a waist instead of making it look like you’re wearing a tent, and this color complements your skin tone.” But there are options that can make you think, “I look good!”
And guess what? “I look good,” repeated over and over consistently, can at least encourage the belief, “I am inherently good-looking.” And that’s a much happier way to live.