Do I Have The Body To Be A Fashion Blogger?

Amazing art by Pink Bits, they make loads of beautiful, intersectional and body positive art on instagram https://www.instagram.com/pink_bits/

I like to consider myself a relatively well-adjusted twenty two year-old woman. I’m self-employed, making ends meet, go to therapy once a week and get nearly all of my five-a-day. I could be drinking wine in my kitchen every night and avoiding the iMessages I need to respond to like twenty year-old Lucy but no, here I am pushing through those urges to sit on my floor and eat pasta, all in the name of adulthood.

Whilst most of the concerns and insecurities that haunted my adolescent self have now vanished (or, in the case of finances, been replaced by even more pressing ones,) I am still, just like when I was fourteen, hyper-aware of my body and self-image. Those thoughts have been omnipresent since I realised I had a body and was told what it should look like. I’m now twelve years on from that point and I still think about the number of calories in a banana on the regular.

One of my least favourite existential questions that stems from this hyper-awareness is, “Why do I look like a slug in every changing room mirror?” Whilst most of my other philosophical concerns tend to ebb and flow with my changing priorities, unfortunately this one has stayed stubbornly put. This may be in part due to losing and then nearly regaining a stone all in twelve months, which has set my distorted perception of my body into overdrive. I can’t look in the mirror and tell what size I am. I didn’t even notice I’d lost weight. When I go into changing rooms, I’m another completely different version of myself to the one I see in my mirror at home. It’s disconcerting, to say the least.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a post in which talk about my body image. The reason I’ve been experiencing more changing room dysmorphia than usual is because I’ve been spending more time in them – I’m trying to create a capsule wardrobe. This involves, unsurprisingly, purchasing new clothes. But not just any clothes – ones that fit, are good quality and will last for at least a couple of years. I’ve done every inch of assessment on my current wardrobe and have decided on what I need, and what I need are trousers. However this process has brought to my attention something unwaveringly frustrating: high street trousers do not fit me. No matter where I shop, when I try on a pair I either can’t get them above my thighs or they’re squeezing my buttocks like they need to be set free and gaping at my waist. It’s like the designers forgot that people have bums. I’m not kidding. Every. Single. Store. It’s the same story with elasticated waists, jeans, everything. Every time I’m standing there in the changing room with a pair of trousers by my ankles after having done a little dance to try and get them on, I conclude that Nicki Minaj must get her clothes tailored because this shit is impossible.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences this, and while my struggle is unique to trousers, I’m sure there are women who find that the culprit is coats that can’t fasten over their boobs, shoes that are always too narrow or tops that are tight on their upper arms. Whilst my struggle is specific to being pear-shaped, I’ve tweeted about the struggles with poorly fitting clothes before and so many people responded with similar sizing issues. It’s tiring, it’s frustrating, and it’s a part of the advertising construct designed to make women insecure.

To find clothes that fit my bum and my waist, I needed a game plan. So I went online to try and find fashion bloggers with similar figures to mine. My logic was that by the nature of their job, they buy clothes that fit them and they have to tell me where they’re from. And still, after a search I’ve yet to find any who have the same figure as mine. I’m not skinny by any means but nor am I “curvy” in the sense that brands use the term. Where are the middle ground bloggers who have a variety of figures? I only seem to follow – truly wonderful – but very petite women who document their wardrobes. There’s a whole demographic of women who are likely in my position. I’m no Marilyn Monroe, but I have hips and it feels like as soon as you venture above a size 8 the proportions stop resembling an actual human being. There’s no reason that there can’t be greater variation in at least jeans stores and it amazes me that we haven’t created a better sizing system where women of all shapes can be accommodated.

Ironically, mid-way through writing this post a jumpsuit I wanted to wear at Buffer Festival has arrived, and despite having ordered multiple sizes, none of them fit. The size L could only just stretch over my hips, whilst it left loose fabric all around my stomach. Case in point.

So this week I’ve been asking myself: should I be documenting my style if clothes aren’t designed to fit me? If I’m going to have to get things tailored or pin them when I wear them, is it a real portrayal of the item? Should I just cut this out of my fuck budget and resign myself to skinny jeans and leggings? I adore fashion but it’s been so bad for my perception of myself to try on so many ill-fitting clothes that perhaps it’s best for me to quit while I’m ahead.

What are your thoughts on this? And most importantly: if you have this problem too then please tell me where you find trousers/coats/shoes that fit because I am struuuuggling.

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41 Comments

  1. Olivia
    September 25, 2017 / 9:26 am

    Oh Lucy I have a similar problem. I’ve gone from being a size 4 to a size 10 in the span of two years and as much as I like to think I’m a woman accustomed to loving everyone’s shape I see myself resenting mine. I didn’t like it when I was stuck thin and I don’t like it now I have boobs thighs and a bum! My waist is 27 inches and my hips are 32. Dressing rooms do not help my battle with dysphoria, but I have found that the high rise 721 Levi jeans are a pretty dam good fit! (Albeit leaving around an inch on the waist but I see that as room for dinners!)

  2. Sian Bannister
    September 25, 2017 / 10:17 am

    The only thing that I can recommend is going to charity shops and thrift stores, I find that older clothes from the 90’s and things are more fitting – I’m not sure if it was just the style but I feel like older clothes are just the best! I tried on a pair of my mums trousers, from M & S I think and they fit perfectly! Maybe shop in some of the “older shops” like Marks or Debenhams? Loving the blog Lucy! And also if you don’t find anything perfect still make a video about it because i ADORE your fashion💚

  3. georga
    September 25, 2017 / 11:07 am

    saaaaame girl! I’m 16 and I have the same body type as you. I can’t buy shorts ANYWHERE and denim skirts are always tight around my hips and loose around my back and waist. I sometimes find luck in Factorie when it comes to faux jeans, but I’ve literally got to try on every single style and size ( I’m generally a size 8/10 ) Good luck on finding trousers that fit you!

  4. September 25, 2017 / 11:12 am

    I think the fact that you have never seen fashion bloggers in your shape and size means you ought to become that fashion blogger. If not for yourself, than for all the other women out there who have run into the same problems as you. If we conform to the sizing charts of the industry, they will never change.

  5. Lucie Stepankova
    September 25, 2017 / 11:19 am

    I’m 27 and when I was younger I thought my body was just wrong. Just made wrong. I’m 5’11, have hips, smaller waist and big boobs. Now I see that weight wise I’m completely fine. Not skinny, but still quite lean. Now I’m uk12 to 14 in trousers, but if I dare to gain even just 5 kg, high street is done with me. Mind you things are still million times better than in 2004, when we had to wear extremely low rise jeans with no strech (i weigh the same as back then and size 14 never fit me) and tops that barely covered the belly button. With my long torso it was a nightmare. There was nothing for me. I think that with age and looking around at normal people, you realize just how normal and good looking you are. But the high street ending mostly ending at size 14 is bullshit. It’s not even that they don’t cater to people that are “fat” or overweight. I’m on the lower end of my BMI and always hoping there will be some 14s left. I’m not even going to start about bras, because that shit doesn’t exist and everyone knows it.

  6. September 25, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    As someone who’s 24 years old and 5ft tall, it’s a ballache buying jeans and skirts because I have the hips and figure of an average twenty-something but the height of a 13 year old haha. Short skirts go down to my knees, skinny jeans bunch up around my ankles. You get the idea. Like you say, most high street clothes are basically just ‘cookie cutter’ garments that don’t really take into account a variety of body shapes. Should that be a deterrent to dress stylishly and become a fashion blogger? Absolutely not. You keep looking, and eventually you find ‘that’ shop that sells jeans that fit like a dream or ‘that’ range which so happens to complement your figure perfectly. Tbh I think there’s few people, if any, that don’t encounter issues in some way or another.

  7. Doreen
    September 25, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    I’m relatively small with very short legs and short arms but rather curvy. If I want buy clothes they are always either to tight or too long. There’s no in between. Thank god curling your sleeves and pants up is fashion right now.

  8. September 25, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    Lucy I’m in the exact same place as you. We’re the same age and although I am still doing Uni, i have the same struggles of being an adult. I have a belly its just how my body is shaped and it makes it impossible to find pants, because I don’t have a butt. Levi’s jeans have worked well for me in the past. I’ve also just started to sport more dresses because they’re easy. This post was relevant and so relatable, thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone.

  9. September 25, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    Nothing buttons on my boobs, my waist is okay, but my thighs are too wide. We’re not alone, but it’s still so frustrating! Love

  10. Samantha
    September 25, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    I’m about 5 ft and I’ve accepted I’m not moving from that. The only thing that’s grown in the past four years since I pretty much stopped growing at 16 is basically my bum. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had a pair of jeans that don’t have to be rolled at the ankle. As far as accommodating my behind, I’ve tried on the curvy + petite fit from Talbots for nice dressy trousers and they fit perfect. They’re a little pricey but last foreeeeeever.

  11. September 25, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    You are so not alone! I still have yet to find a pair of good jeans that fit EVERYWHERE. It seems like there’s always something wrong. I simply can’t wear mom jeans unless they are reworked Levi’s (of which I have two pairs). You are so right the sizing system is not suitable for the abundant shapes and sizes of people.

  12. September 25, 2017 / 6:12 pm

    Lucy, I have the same problem with trousers! I tend to buy old Levis mens jeans from charity shops cause thats my style but the store Monki make the only other trousers I always fit into! I really recommend it if you haven’t tried to buy trousers from there yet.

  13. marina
    September 25, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    i couldn’t relate more. My hips n bum clearly don’t lie and whenever i buy a new pair of jeans i need to get them tailored bcs legs too short, uh. anyway, the other day i went to zara and foud some pretty lovely jeans from the collection “love your curves” … they’re skinny and feel nice.
    best wishes with your research,keep doing what you do … -you’re helping us a lot.
    you go girl

  14. September 25, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Lucy, I hear you! Technically, I’m quite a petite person but because of a condition I have, my body is all out of proportion, so whilst my arms and legs are definitely skinny, my stomach and bum stick out, making trying on clothes a very stressful experience. It took me YEARS to find jeans that fit me comfortably and didn’t make me hate my reflection, if I find one thing that fits me well, I cling to it for as long as I possibly can. It seems everyone struggles with these things for different reasons, I’ve watched your videos and WISHED that I looked like you and yet here we are on a post you wrote about being uncomfortable with your body. Nobody will ever feel completely confident so find what makes you comfortable, and every now and then be a little braver and wear something different. If it doesn’t work, you never have to do it again, if it does you may have found your new favourite outfit. We’re all so wrapped up in how we look, no one really cares if someone’s dress isn’t right for their shape.

  15. September 26, 2017 / 12:29 am

    This is why I sew things! My body isn’t what high street clothes are made to fit. If you like, I could make you a pair of trousers that do fit?

  16. September 26, 2017 / 1:58 am

    I feel you here. I struggle with similar stuff, I am never fit for clothes, either too big too small. It is amazing how I can’t fit a size M for shirts because of my breast or how some pants are fine on my waist but way too long for my legs, never the right fit.
    I wish there were more bloggers with body that resemblance this: an average body and not a tiny one. I always felt like the industry has either extremely skinny girls or plus size girls (don’t get me wrong I love them both) but never people with regular bodies.
    Love
    Pili
    To Read with Tea

    PS: I would love to read about your capsule wardrobe

  17. September 26, 2017 / 3:27 am

    I can totally relate to this. I have a big bum and some tummy and I love wearing high waisted pants. I typically get my pants from Old Navy (its American though). Their pants typically fit girls with hips. I also like some h&m pants. Two years ago, I found a magical pair of black jeans that fit me so well. I haven’t found another pair since. It’s so hard to find good clothes that fit me.

    I’ve been really into the idea for doing some fashion blogging and looking at my thinner and more fashionable friends, I’ve been wondering if it’s what I’d actually wants to do.

    Your article makes me want to start it up because its hard finding girls with different body shops showing off their style. We need to be shown off.

  18. September 26, 2017 / 7:19 am

    I’m 30 and I can still relate to everything…body image is still something I’m learning about. I’m an apple shaped, so nothing ever does up around my waste or boobs. I did find trousers that fit me in uniqlo and bought a few pairs to last me for a bit. My favourite bloggers who are not a cookie cutter shapes – Hannah Gale and Carrie from WishWishWish.

  19. Astrid
    September 26, 2017 / 3:32 pm

    I hate shopping for clothes especially bras and pants. I have never even owned a button up because they just get too tight around my chest and have holes in-between the buttons. I can’t buy bras at normal shops because they don’t carry my size (70F) so i spend around 35-50 pounds on a single bra.
    Buying pants aren’t much better see my hips+butt are a large and my waist an extra small, so you can just imagine how non stretch pants work for me. Would love to see you do more fashion stuff to get some inspiration for myself, think you would be great.

  20. Perry Stewart
    September 26, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    christ i feel this so hard!
    I’m five-five so not too tiny but definitely on the shorter side compared to a lot of my friends. I have super wide hips, thick thighs, broad shoulders and g-cups but I have a super nippy waist. I bought new joni jeans from topshop yesterday and they fit me perfectly and even stretch a little round my thighs and bum but has at least a couple of inches gape on the waist and its such a frustration! the main “trunk” of my body is probably around a size 10 but I have to up to 12 or 14 to accomodate my boobs so nothing I buy ever really fits and I look weird. It’s frustrating cos I have the option to dress like any other 20 year old but wear ill-fitting clothes or opt for the whole nigella-esque look which gonna be honest I hate and I’d like to avoid dressing like a milf if im brutally honest…Sometimes I hold up clothes and wonder who’s forgotten that women have boobs??
    But i think it’s an interesting topic to engage with Lucy and it definitely helps knowing Im not the only one struggling with this. Maybe consider this a project? Finding ways to get fashion to bend to your body rather than feeling you have to fall under its wrath…i’d certainly be on board

  21. September 27, 2017 / 12:15 am

    I think that it is important for us who don’t have “standard” industry bodies to be in the industry. Not talking about fashion will not make it easier for you to find clothes, it wont make you instantly feel better in changing rooms, it wont make a single difference to the anyone who follows you.
    To be fair, talking about it certainly wont make an instant difference either.
    If you never talked about it us followers would not be able to relate and still possibly feel alone in the void of nothing really fighting, even just one person relating is important.
    You probably wont change the big fashion industries, but you could change the smaller ones.
    Don’t do it if you don’t feel the passion or you lose it, but it’s 100% worth it if you feel the passion. Don’t let the industry squash you because you’re different.
    <3
    Lauryn

  22. hanako
    September 27, 2017 / 7:44 am

    oh my Lucy, I can so relate to your body type and self body image. I’m 5’6 so relatively tall, big bum, flat waist & boobs and thick thighs. Levis’ never fitted, and even those that fit are usually button-fly ones, that make you look like you have crotch. The only brands that fitted my body shape are Lee, Gap and Uniqlo. Pls be that fashion-blogger for us 🙂

  23. Auro
    September 27, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    Try on second hand 501 levi’s, you support local commerces, help maintain environment, and they are high quality and adjust perfect on your thighs and waist, since I’ve the same problem as you with some kind of trousers.
    Hope you the best finding your new wardroom!

  24. lea
    September 27, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    Hey Lucy. I know how you feel. My biggest problem is finding clothes for my upper part. Amazing jupers or shirts never fit me, because I have quite big boobs. Not thaaat massive but they’re big enough that I’m struggeling with them.. That’s a big problem. As far as I try on a shirt or a jumper I’m looking like a tent because my boobs are pressing the shirts high above from my belly. On the other hand I can’t wear super skinny shirts because I’ve got a little belly ( that’s ok), but when I try on a skinny shirt anyway, my boobs are looking huge… I hateeee it.. it’s so hard to find nice clothes. Tbh, your post gave me hope. Even if I know that I’m not the only girl who has problems finding suitable clothes, it’s always giving me more confidence, when I hear that I’m not alone. I just have to realise that this is me. And that I need to love me. Even if that sounds weird and silly now: at the end we’re alone. SO we have to deal with ourselfes till the end of our lifes.( thanks to my lovely mum for this advice). And Lucy: Please never give up. I understand how hard it is. But you have a wonderful style! And you will find clothes that suite you! I’m sure! Good Luck!

  25. writemirage
    September 28, 2017 / 12:12 am

    I think you need to do what’s best for you. I love having someone who is a similar size and shape to me that I can follow their fashion, but if it’s affecting your mental health that’s more important than my personal love of your style 😛 Also I find mom jeans fit me really well, because I have hips and a smaller waist and the design fits me like a regular pair of jeans for someone else 😛 allabouteve have some really nice ones that are a little less baggy than most as well and they’re so comfy 😛

  26. September 28, 2017 / 2:38 am

    I’m not going to give you my life story, but, I am going to say that since I have my daughter, I cant fit into my “Fat pants” even though I weight less than when I used them. It’s been hard. I struggled with body image for a while now, and between the pregnancy and the recovery part… Well, It’s been really hard.
    I would love to see more about your style, mindless of the body part, I love clothing !

  27. September 28, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    Ohhh man I feel you SO HARD on this one, especially the trouser problem. I rarely buy trousers but I’ve found I have to avoid Topshop and Zara for the most part because their sizing makes me weep! I am currently wearing an amazing pair of trousers from Banana Republic which I’ve had for over 3 years and they are insanely snuggly, smart AND stretchy. It’s a godsend. The ones I have are the “Sloan Fit,” I think. And also: you are allowed to show off whatever clothes you want. Seriously. My major reason for looking at fashion blogs is for inspiration, not necessarily to shop people’s wardrobes. I’ll always go for what makes me feel best, instead of what others are wearing. Final thought: you’re probably aware of Carrie from wishwishwish.net but she’s my favourite fashion blogger who I think is closest to my “medium” sized body type. We need a bigger range of body types in the blogosphere so don’t be ashamed of your own!

  28. September 30, 2017 / 11:31 am

    you basically just read my mind, all the issues you bought up I have the same problem I am super short but not super super skinny and the best shop I find, for jeans, is Gap. Goodluck! 🙂

  29. Oda
    October 1, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    Just get them tailored. Very few women will find lots of items with a perfect fit on the high street and we need to learn to use a tailor. They are surprisingly cheap and solve some of lifes more tedious problems.

    I would love to see a capsule of items that have been tailored to fit where neccessary.

  30. October 2, 2017 / 8:44 am

    I completely agree, it is ridiculous- had to try so many different shops to find trousers which just about fit me. Topshop Jamie Jeans are good due to the amount of lycra but they don’t really feel like a trouser. Next are very good, but the best fit came from a pair I found in Tkmaxx. Wrangler trousers were also great but really expensive ditto J Brand (fellow pear/hourglass and size 12- but 14 in trousers!!!)

  31. Sun
    October 2, 2017 / 9:33 am

    I feel weird that someone used me as thinspo. Maybe I should put on weight after all. I love fashion blogging but idk want to be an unhealthy goal for someone. But I love seeing bloggers of all sizes, and bloggers changing sizes, because it’s normal for bodies to do that. Besides, it’s about style, not your body really. idk why fashion has to be so linked to worrying about your body. It doesn’t have to be like this. Stay glowing, Moon.

  32. October 3, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    I’ve been struggling with finding the right comfortable pair of jeans for years, and I’m sort of petite but curvy so most clothes from the high street never fit just right, -I can fit into stuff from sizes XS to L which is just frustrating and confusing whenever I have to visit the changing rooms (imagine trying the same top 4 times in a row). In recent years a friend recommended Monki to me and it’s probably the only store I /enjoy/ frequenting because I don’t get bad anxiety from facing those wall mirrors. Their skinny jeans and work trousers are super comfortable and flattering if you’ve got wide hips, and they’re pretty affordable? All their stuff is great, the materials are probably on the same standard as H&M, but they’ve definitely got more interesting prints and shapes. Also they’ve been recommended by both skinny and curvy fashion gurus like Rosie Bea and Grace Victory so deffo worth checking out. I know pricier stores like Zara appear to have a better quality of clothes because they’re more expensive and chic, but I’ve bought shoes, bags and coats from there that look pretty and cost me a fortune, yet they always fall apart within a year.

  33. October 10, 2017 / 1:33 am

    Could not agree more to this post! I find that I am always struggling to find clothes to fit me. However saying that, I always feel most comfortable in pair of high waisted skinny jeans from New Look. They’re a bit pricier than what I normally spend but fully worth it. As much as I love wearing comfy clothes, it would be nice to wear a nicely fitted comfy dress that suits my figure now and again. Xx

    elegantanchors.blogspot.co.uk

  34. Franni
    October 11, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    Hell yes it is relevant that you document your style and all the struggles that come with it. You just explained well good why it is! Be a fashion blogger with hips and bum and show other girls how to dress for your shape and where to shop. And if you get stuff tailored tell us about where you got it done!

  35. October 19, 2017 / 11:39 am

    The problem you’re having with Trousers is the reason I started sewing my own and no longer buy pants. Clothes are not designed to fit people. They’re designed to fit an average, and hopefully that will be “good enough” and fit “well enough”.

    Oh well, at least jeggings are an option 😀

    http://theemeraldruby.com

  36. October 30, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    Ah, Lucy! I clicked on your blog after watching a few videos about your wardrobe (which I happen to love and would love to see more on), and the one thing I was thinking the whole time was how adorable, down to earth and self-loving you look/come across. I am glad your talking about this, and I hope you have found some jeans that fit you – part from the Jamie ones. Keep up the good work, you are a true inspiration!

    Lots of hugs from Norway

  37. sarah
    November 5, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    I have a similar issue with high-waisted pants/skirts etc. What I’ve started to do is buy items that fit the biggest part of me (in this case the hips) and then tailor down the waist. It also really helps minimize the wardrobe because I know that I not only have to buy the item, but also pay to get it to fit well which means I reeeally have to like it to go through all of that. (it’s even worse in the states since most of the time clothes are an arbitrary size “M” instead of being a useful measurement, why can’t girl pants be sold like guy pants, smh)

  38. Kate
    November 20, 2017 / 11:29 am

    I work in fashion and would love for everyone to know the process behind creating the measurements of clothing and the different sizes. It is a mathematical calculation which is definitely not going to suit all figures and the sad thing is that brands often copy other popular brands so we end up with the same measurements at all the different retailers, hence the lack of diversity in shapes. Creating size spec is basically people calculating the theoretical average, not what you should look like or even what is most beautiful, just what is most like to sell.
    I always have the same problem Lucy mentioned when shopping, I’ll never have a thigh gap but my jeans alwas gap at my waist. Please know that clothes can be tailored to fit you, don’t ever feel like you need to change to fit in to clothes. Xx

  39. November 23, 2017 / 12:52 pm

    This is definitely a problem I think most people struggle with! There are definitely too few clothing sizes for the amount of differently shaped bodies out there and that’s just because companies can’t make them all and it sucks! I definitely think – as you can’t seem to find any bloggers with your shape and clothing needs, there’s definitely room there for you to be that blogger and I’m sure it would definitely help a lot of people!

    I also have that struggle and therefore spend most of my time in Boyfriend jeans or leggings! I can recommend M&S have pretty good (and giving) trousers!

    Daughter of An Air Hostess // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

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