• CatherineUnleashed

On a Mission: 5 Tips for Getting the Right Fit

Consider this scenario. You need a dress for an upcoming wedding you will be attending, but you haven't shopped for a while, your body has changed since the last dress you bought, and you aren't sure what is "socially acceptable" to wear today. Oh. And your ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend will be attending the wedding, too.

Here are a couple of common-sense tips to help you make the most of your time.

1. Put Some Thought into What You Are Looking For

Sounds logical, right? Yet so many times people shop aimlessly, expecting the perfect item is going to spring right out of the clothing racks and scream "pick me!"

You can do better than that.

So let's say you are looking for a dress. What attributes of "the dress" are most important to you? Are there colors that you prefer or are there any colors that are off limits? Is sleeveless ok, or do you feel more comfortable with at least a cap sleeve? Where do you want the hemline to fall?

If you are struggling with the specifics, it may be helpful to look at the bigger picture. For example, think about your body... what do you like to either emphasize or de-emphasize? What kind of a statement do you want to make when people look at you in your dress? Wow? Sexy? Confident? Beautiful? Sophisticated? Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me!?!

The most frustrating thing for a shopping companion or a storekeeper to hear is "I'll know it when I see it." Translation: Aimless wandering in progress.

Think it through and narrow it down. You can do this and save time and angst in the process.

2. Undergarments Can Make a Big Difference

More women wear shapewear from time to time than women who don't. Fine-tuning, smoothing some edges, or achieving a slimmer look can bolster anyone's confidence.

Shapewear can be your best friend, but it, too, needs to fit right. While there can be a tendency to choose smaller-sized shapewear thinking it will reeeaaallly hold everything in, be sure to try shapewear that is 1-2 sizes larger than your current average. Larger? Yes. We aren't going to quote principles of physics here, but if you push too hard in one area chances are there may be some bubbling up somewhere else. Just sayin'....

When you shop, give yourself the best chance for success. Bring your shapewear with you. It truly can make a big difference, and you may dismiss what would otherwise be a perfect dress if only you were prepared. Again, save yourself some time and angst and go forth with shapewear in tow.

3. Recognize That Tag Sizes are Very Unreliable

Different brands, manufacturers, countries of origin.... even time periods influence how a garment is sized. There is no standardization. We can show you plenty of dresses that are tagged "Size Large" that leave you wondering if the designer meant it for an adult or a child.

So rather than buying into the tag size, know that this is only a place to start. Let us now briefly enter the psychology of tag sizes. In a heartbeat we would consider trying something on if it is tagged in sizes lower than what we think we need. Woohoo! We would love to draw the conclusion that we have lost that weight we have been grueling over. But the thought of trying something on that is tagged in sizes higher than what we want to know about can be heart-wrenching. Our inner critical voice neurotically starts to push the "OMG" button...

It will be ok. Keep an open mind, find the right dress (no matter what the tag size is), take it home, and empower yourself to cut that size tag right off.

4. Simple Alterations Aren't a Bad Thing

The most common words spoken in a dressing room: "It didn't fit."

We are all built a little bit differently. Even beyond a garment's tag size, all clothing is built just a little bit differently, too.

Know this: YOU are perfectly designed, the dress is not. Embrace your uniqueness! So many times it is a simple alteration that gets you to that perfect fit. If you have trouble finding the right fit, consider shopping at a boutique that at least has some experience with tailoring. They are a wonderful resource for identifying simple vs. complex alterations.

5. Self-Confidence is the Best Dress

There is plenty of psych research out there to support look-good, feel-good, perform-well linkages. It really comes down to the right attitude.

You are beautiful... so fearlessly be you! Whatever you choose to wear, own it. And if what you are wearing is a little different than what everyone else is wearing, good for you!!! Life is waayyy too short to wear boring clothes. Strut your stuff! Confidence is sexy, and we will bet that there will be a handful of women who wish they had your moxie.... and will be looking for a dress similar to yours on their next shopping trip.

You go, girl! You've got this.