Copacabana

Written by sarahjanereign

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When I embarked on my body positive journey, I hoped that it would boost my confidence. I had always been good at embodying a “fake it till you make it” attitude, and I was overall pretty comfortable with my body, but I still didn’t love it the way I do now, “flaws” and all.

Once I opened up and really started accepting myself as-is, I was pleasantly surprised to see how much it changed my fashion game. Of course, there are the obvious pieces that bopo babes rock when they cross that line from “figure flattering” into “I wear what I want”: crop tops, bikinis, body con dresses, etc. But then, pieces creep into our wardrobes that we don’t think of as being body positive, but they totally are. Today’s look, Copacabana, is an example of one such ensemble.

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At first, I put this on and felt like it was a normal outfit. I pranced into work, joking about how I call this my “resort wear” look, and went merrily about my day. But as the hours passed, I realized that this look, a straight fit maxi dress, a large scale print, fedora hat, and flat shoes, is something I never would have put together only a few short years ago.

As a plus-sized diva, straight fit is supposed to be a no-no. It’s the BFF of my visible belly outline, and it’s extremely unforgiving. A couple years ago, I would have walked into Gap (actually, I wouldn’t have even done that because I exclusively shopped at plus-size stores so I wouldn’t have to try on the largest size in the store at straight size stores), and I would have bee-lined for the fit and flare section. This straight fit maxi just felt so comfortable, and it was so cute, I knew I had to get it.

The large scale print is another feature I would have shyed away from. Since I’ve been at least slightly chubby since I was a teenager, I felt like I needed to hide myself as much as possible. I couldn’t draw attention to my body with a loud print. Clearly, those days are over, and I’m never looking back!

The fedora, which is pretty much my favorite thing I own now, would not have been purchased even as recently as last year. One of the last things I accepted about myself was my double chin. Even when I was straight-sized, I’ve always had it, along with a perfectly spherical head. I would stay away from hats in all forms for fear that I’d be shining a spotlight on my not-so-defined jawline. But you know what? Now I think it’s kind of cute.

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And the flats are a more subtle step for body positivity. All through college, up until a couple years back, I wore heels religiously even though, let’s be real, they’re not comfortable. It didn’t matter if I was going to class, a date, or the grocery store–heels were the shoe du jour. I wanted to elongate my legs and make myself appear taller so my silhouette would look more streamlined and I wouldn’t look as chubby. Now, I wear flats almost every day. When I want to wear heels, I always have a pair of flats on standby, ready to step up to bat when my feet get tired.

As an added bopo bonus, I’ll disclose that since this dress is a halter, I also wore a strapless bra with it, which I used to avoid at all costs. At my bust size, strapless bras don’t support the girls like their strapped counterparts do. They don’t look as perky and perfectly rounded as they do in other cuts of intimates. And as a PS gal, we’re taught that our ta-tas are our “saving grace.” So, I used to only wear push-up or contour bras that gave me a Jessica Rabbit-esque bust. I still don’t love wearing strapless bras, but now it’s because they’re uncomfortable and not because they don’t make me look like Chesty LaRue.

That said, it’s really fun and empowering for me to look at all the pieces in my closet and see what I’ve only started embracing post-bopo journey. I didn’t intend to put on this outfit comprised of things I wouldn’t have worn in 2014, it just sort of happened. And that’s a beautiful side effect of accepting your body. Happy Saturday, lovely people (shop my style after the pics!).

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Shop my style: Dress (Similar) and Hat by GapNicole Shoes by Shoe Carnival

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