2 min read

Yesterday I wore a dress to go out for lunch to celebrate Mother's Day. Not a big deal on the surface. But it's something I wouldn't have done for most of my life. 

I thought somebody with a figure like mine shouldn't wear a dress because dresses accentuate the contours of your body, and my outline wasn't good enough to be brought attention to. 

I used to dress according to 'the rules'.

So I wore clothes to try to hide my body instead. Or I chose clothes to 'flatter' my figure, as so many people advise these days. It seems to be conventional wisdom that that's a good idea - that you should try to make your body look 'better' by thinking carefully about the clothes you wear. Apparently, there are a lot of rules about this. 🙄🥱

I didn't always hide my body though. When I thought my profile was 'pleasing', I sometimes showed it off with tight-fitting clothes. And that's when I might have dared to wear a dress - when my body had 'earned the right' for me to do so.

My body is more than an ornament.

But yesterday I wore a dress for a different reason - neither to show off my figure, nor to hide my body. I wore it because I liked the pattern and the colours. Because I'm tired of letting other people's rules dictate what I should wear. And I no longer view my body as just an ornament - whether it's deemed a pretty one or an ugly one. My body doesn't just exist to be rated. It's my home, and it's the vehicle through which I experience life. And that's more important to me now.

Of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with people enjoying showing off their bodies because they think they look great. I think that's wonderful. Why not?! 🤩

But having cared far too much about what far too many people think of my body for far too long, right now I'm just over it. I want to reclaim my body for enjoying my life on my terms.  

I'm ok knowing that some people will judge my body and what I wear.

I'll be honest - wearing a dress is still a little bit out of my comfort zone. The legacy of conditioned body shame lingers, and wearing a dress brings it to the fore. It feels feminine to wear a dress, and for a long time, I didn't think I was allowed to feel feminine because in some ways my body didn't conform with what is typically defined as feminine. And a minority of people will judge people like me who dare to break the rules.

But I'm happy to say that it's not the main thing on my mind anymore. Yesterday my focus was much more on enjoying my time with my lovely husband and my darling little girl. And for that I'm very grateful.

A lot of people believe there are 'rules' when it comes to what you wear.

I was listening to some visitors talk about what other people were wearing recently.  There were a lot of snide remarks about how people ‘with bodies like that’ shouldn’t wear that sort of thing, how ‘no one wanted to see that’, and how you need to dress to ‘flatter’ your figure. 

And some people have even made careers out of telling other people ‘what not to wear’.  It seems it’s pretty popular to tell other people the clothes they should and shouldn’t choose.

Have you heard the phrase, ‘with a figure like that, she can wear anything’?  Well, the truth is that anyone with any figure can wear anything!  There are no rules!  Just buy clothes that fit you and put them on.  It’s that simple.

People just make stuff up and then other people hear it, and mindlessly repeat it until it seems like some kind of divine edict.  It’s not.

But they're wrong!  

So, wear whatever you want to wear.  You get to decide.  And if you get some disapproving looks, and mean comments, let them enjoy their small-minded nastiness.  It might just be the only source of pleasure in their day.  

And remember, people who spend a lot of time judging others have to put up with their own judgments too.  It can’t be easy to live in such a hostile internal environment. 

Ultimately, you don’t need anyone else’s approval for how you dress, and people who are going to be critical are just stuck in stale, outdated ideas.  Maybe you can help them have a little refresh. 😉


  • Many people feel obliged to follow certain 'rules' about what they're allowed to wear, according to their age, size, body shape etc.
  • We are conditioned to view our bodies as ornaments to be rated, and to worry about what other people think of our appearance and the way we dress.
  • But it's possible to break free from these constraints, wear what you feel comfortable in and/or like the look of.  
  • There are more productive and important things to be thinking about other than the judgements other people may or may not make about what you wear.

And now it's over to you.  Tell me about your experience with clothes.

  • Do you worry about what you wear?
  • Do you feel that you're not allowed to wear certain clothes because of the size, shape or appearance of some parts of your body?
  • Do you use clothes to hide or show off your body?
  • Do you spend a long time getting ready when you have to go out?
  • Do you sometimes decide against going out because you think you don't look good enough to be seen?

Let me know in the comment box below.  I'd love to hear about your experience.

Reach out if you'd like support

When getting dressed every morning feels like an ordeal and you don't go places simply because of your negative opinions of the way you look, or fear of what other people might think, life can feel painful and depressing.  If you'd like some support breaking free from all the unhealthy, unhelpful 'rules' about what you should wear and you 'should' look, check out my free resources or find out how you can work with me.

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