Get over your style fears

Melissa Walker HornFashion 46 Comments

how to get over your style fears

Nothing brings about a woman’s style concerns, body worries or overall fears regarding her appearance more than swimwear season.

Nikki discussed it, so did Kim-Marie when she told you to bravely go where plenty of women don’t and won’t … straight for the bikinis!

But what if swimwear isn’t the only thing you’re afraid of?

What if your list extends to stripes, dresses above the knee, jersey fabric or shirts without sleeves. What then?

How do you get past the obstacles that stop you from wearing the clothes you love? Or worse yet, from being comfortable?

Because a shrug is just fine during winter, but during summer (especially in Queensland) you may just cause yourself to pass out from heat exhaustion. Seriously. I wish I was kidding.

How do you get over that? You start by remembering that most people are far more concerned with what others think about them.

You, for all your wonderful talent, charms, impossibly giftedness, are the last thing on their mind.

If by chance you catch their attention and find yourself in their thoughts, it will be fleeting. A momentary obsession that passes as quickly as it arrives. Forgotten.

Do you remember what the people you saw last time you were at the grocery store were wearing? I’d bet it is fuzzy at best.

Now think about the time before. Gone, right?

Doesn’t that make you feel a little better already? To know you are so insignificant that you don’t really warrant remembering.

It makes me a little sad personally but I guess that’s just a sure fire sign I’m a Gen Y. HA.

While we are dealing with the mental game, consider for a moment who told you that plus-size women shouldn’t wear stripes, don’t clash prints, ruffles make your boobs look bigger or shorts are for teenagers ONLY. Would you consult that person about what to wear normally?

For most of us these gems of wisdom are passed down from mother to daughter, grand-parent to grand-child, well meaning aunt to niece.

And for every person who believes this, there is at least one who doesn’t. Maybe it’s time to let the old rules go?

Are you still afraid of that tank top? Or shorts, dress above the knee – insert as applies to you? It comes down to confidence. You know it, I know it.

When you feel good and you look good nothing can get in your way. So it’s time to build your tank top match fitness.

Wait. You know match fitness right? It’s when you train for something, build your stretch, endurance and all that jazz so that you’re ready when the big game comes. That. 

Start by wearing the offending item around the house. Answer the door if someone knocks without changing. Greet your family in it. Wear the heck out of it. Wear it so much that the idea of NOT wearing is weird.

Okay, so this may be bad advice for some items of clothing. Maybe don’t answer the door to the postie in that new camisole and panty set you are building up to wearing for a love one. That’s just weird. But imagine how well your packages would get taken care of from now on …

The next step is to wear it out somewhere safe for a short time. Surprisingly this may not be with family and friends.

We all have those people who find it ESSENTIAL to give their honest, spirit crushing feedback on what we wear. Don’t go near them. Go to the shops, the post office (visit your friend!) or the school run.

It is all part of building your confidence (match fitness!) around wearing that item. It took me lots and lots of dry runs to finally wear my loud, floral, harem pants to a baby shower lunch. But by the time I did, they were the most natural choice in the world.

I was cool, calm and confident in them.

And that shows.

All you really need is confidence in your choices and it all will be okay.

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melissa walker horn suger coat it profile imageMelissa Walker Horn is the chief blogger at Suger Coat It, a blog about living the sweet life. Known as Suger, Melissa loves her family, too much butter on fresh bread and anything with stripes on it. She created the Confident You series and shares her love of fashion, the gym and cooking most days of the week on her blog. The Budget Fashionista Workbook is Melissa’s first eBook and will followed by Confident You in 2014. A social media addict and consultant, you will find Melissa anywhere you search for Suger with an e.    

Comments 46

  1. This is exactly what I did. I started wearing a bikini around the house and backyard. Then I let my neighbours see me (over the fence) if they wanted. Then I wore it to the swimming pool where I don’t know anyone. Then I wore it with a coverup to a pool party. And now. Now I just wear a bikini and don’t care what anyone thinks. Fantastic advice

  2. This is exactly what I did. I started wearing a bikini around the house and backyard. Then I let my neighbours see me (over the fence) if they wanted. Then I wore it to the swimming pool where I don’t know anyone. Then I wore it with a coverup to a pool party. And now. Now I just wear a bikini and don’t care what anyone thinks. Fantastic advice

  3. I loved reading this, you write brilliantly Melissa! I wore my first skinny leg jeans around the house till I was comfortable in them (I’m sooo late to the skinny leg jean bandwagon, even with all of Nikki’s encouragement!) and it totally works, I’m so comfortable in them now. I’m disappointed the hot weather is coming as I won’t get to wear them as much!! Your supermarket analogy is a lightbulb moment! 🙂

    1. Wow. Thank you. I appreciate the feedback. Yay!

      Glad to hear someone who has lived the match fitness theory and loved it, is AWESOME. Better late than never though! It’ll be winter again before you know it. Haha.

      Yes! Perfect. The sad part is we really aren’t that important after all. 😉

    2. Wow. Thank you. I appreciate the feedback. Yay!

      Glad to hear someone who has lived the match fitness theory and loved it, is AWESOME. Better late than never though! It’ll be winter again before you know it. Haha.

      Yes! Perfect. The sad part is we really aren’t that important after all. 😉

  4. I recently bought a pair of jeans with Lots of HOLES in. This is very out of my comfort zone but i liked them and thought they could look cute. They also had spots and i rolled the hems ups a la mode. I had to wear a vintage hermes scarf with it for the first outing to make it feel a little more me (bought on on ebay i must add ). Now trying to convince myself that at the age of 47 i can wear ripped jeans and get away with it….

  5. Wow what a post! It’s one of the first hot days we’ve had here and I just don’t know what to wear. I’m plus size and have never worn sleeveless because of ugly arm syndrome but that used to be ok as I could wear 3/4 pants and skirts in the heat BUT since having a child and now have ugly ugly varicose viens on my legs cant wear anything less than full length in leggings or pants, I am not looking forward to summer as I’ll cook. What do to????

    1. Hi there, what about a long flowing skirt? A-line ones are great and there are plenty of beautiful patterns and fabrics to choose from. There are lots of different waist bands as well, most of which are quite flattering and if you wear a semi fitted top that finishes just over the waist band then that adds shape. In regards to the varicose veins, I know how you feel, I had them too but have since had surgery to have them corrected, it was really worth it, but I waited awhile after having kids as it was quite expensive but it does work. I agree with Melissa about just wearing something a bit different around the place, even on the school run and to the supermarket and you do get used to it really fast. Good luck!

      1. thanks for replying to my post. those veins are just schockers, I’m a teacher and have had kids poke them on my feet and say ‘oooh old lady feet!’, thanks kids!!! I’ll have to do lots of browsing online and get sorted for summer. and glare hard at those kids!!!!

    2. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the blog. I love maxi dresses {add an easy breezy short under if you’re uncomfortable}, bermuda shorts {are great and give a little more coverage if you want it} or a light weight harem pant like I’m wearing today {on my blog} rolled up at the ankle. Lots of options. And of course, I double dare you to get those arms and legs out anyway. 😉

      1. Ooohhh double dare!!! after reading your post and watching the fabulous ladies in the Fabulous Fashionistas on YouTube I went bright and bold to work today and felt great!! (it was a cool day so no arms and legs exposed), loved it!!!!

      2. Ooohhh double dare!!! after reading your post and watching the fabulous ladies in the Fabulous Fashionistas on YouTube I went bright and bold to work today and felt great!! (it was a cool day so no arms and legs exposed), loved it!!!!

  6. This is fantastic advice, Melissa!
    We are so worried about what others will think of us, we forget it’ll be a fleeting memory for them.
    Personally, my body confidence has plummeted in recent times. To build it back up again, I’ve been buying some new clothes and swimsuits, making sure that most of them are in colour rather than safe old black. And most of all, I’m dressing for ME – what I feel good in, what I like, what I think makes me look fabulous.

  7. Great post! Yes, I’m sure that more of us should be less concerned with the image we put out into public – it does mean more to us than those around us, this is true. But it really IS ok to understand your body and know what looks best on it – which helps to communicate the confidence… for me, that includes covering up my white, celluloaded, blubbery Bango wings (they’re bigger than bingo), because it makes ME feel better – less vulnerable. Also to wear a skirt ON the knee is no big deal – I won’t be going above, because then the knees pull focus – and the focus should be on my tits and eyes, people!

    1. Thank you. I hear you on that 100%.

      I think wear whatever you like to wear. Want to wear. I’ll never say don’t do that. I just hope that women will stop discounting items based on old rules and be uncomfortable {like in the case of cardigans or similar in summer here}.

      Around here, bango wings {Ha! Love that} are the norm and no one bats an eyelid. It’s too hot. But I agree, it IS all about the tits and eyes. Haha.

      1. I hearya. It’s pretty hot down here too – Adelaide – and there are some days I’d dearly love to shrug off the shrug, but I think my temperature comfort would lead to worse social discomfort, so as long as it doesn’t literally kill me I’m shrugging it up! I am however a lover of colour, stripes and dots – moving away from the black uniform ever so slowly… thanks for your post, and for replying! Have a comfy summer! X

        1. You’re welcome. Replying to comments is MY FAVOURITE thing. What’s the point of writing blog posts otherwise, right?

          I forget we don’t have a monopoly on heat. I’ll keep my fingers crossed those cardigans don’t literally kill you. 😉

  8. Awesome post Melissa. It is such a hard thing to get out of our comfort zones – for me confidence comes from when I am comfortable in what I am wearing. Part of that is me thinking it looks good. But I like the idea of “match fitness” and now that I think about it, that is how I got my head around printed pants. I also think the trial run is a great concept – there is nothing worse than wearing a new outfit only to find that you are pulling it up/down every 5 minutes.

    1. Thank you Kelly!

      That’s the best part! If you test it out and wear it around you get to know what you love or hate about it. And the more comfortable you feel in your choice, the more confident you will be. Win.

  9. A great reminder Melissa. For me, it’s ‘proper’ shorts (ie not almost-to-the-knee dress shorts) and anything sleeveless. I always wanted to be one of those women who could throw on a white tank and a pair of jeans/shorts/a skirt and some great shoes and walk out the door. I’m going to work on it 🙂

  10. Great Post Melissa,I am glad you have gotten over your Style fears and well done for doing so. I must say those pants are lovely such a beautiful pattern.I got over my style fears quite a few years ago but at age 50! If I am not confident in what I wear now,I will never be,I was actually talking about this with my Mum last week about wearing sleeves ,she thinks her arms are bat wings and she complimented me on my arms as I had a sleeveless dress on ,I really do not take that much notice of other peoples said flaws,so I told her to just wear a sleeveless dress at home and “practise”.Great Advice Melissa.

  11. Love this, Melissa. I think it applies beyond clothing to our whole selves: why are we worried about other people’s taste, preferences, issues…? Especially those who are not exactly presenting themselves in a way I’d want to emulate.
    Those people in our lives who ‘have’ to give honest, spirit crushing feedback? I had an aunt who I was not at all close to, say to me the night before my brother’s wedding, “Your hair’s really bright!”
    I replied, “Thank you,” and she said, “I didn’t say I liked it.”
    How to kill your confidence for a big day- why say anything at all?

    1. Oh Johanne – it is bewildering how tactless or downright rude people can be isn’t it – and things like that are hard to forget. When I was about 17 I was heading out for the evening and my mother said “you look awful”. In typical teenage fashion I said “thanks!” And breezed out the door. But I was crushed and have never forgotten (I was 17 many, many years ago). But there is a positive – I knew I wanted to have a better relationship with my daughters than I had with my mum – and I do.

      1. Thanks chrisatpb-nice to know I’m not the only one. But one of the benefits that comes with getting older is realizing that the only person you really need to please is yourself (and I guess your boss, or whoever is paying you)

    2. It really does. Hair, make-up preference, the things you do with your life, everything.

      There will always be people like your Aunt, you just can’t let them win. Unfortunately it’s often people close to us that can be the most hurtful. The upside is that they are the people you should be most comfortable telling to bugger off! 😉

  12. Hi Melissa – great advice. I have often “trial run” an outfit by just trying it on at home before the occasion I planned to wear it – but never thought of the match fitness idea – fantastic idea!

  13. Bringing match fitness to the wardrobe! I love it and it works for me. Will mull over this at the gym this afternoon.

    SSG xxx

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