Andie’s tale

For all my life I have been consumed with my looks and dress sense. At the age of 5 if I got a tiny bit dirty I would go and change my entire outfit and it had to match. It drove my mother mad! I also refused to wear anything for more than one day. So the moment I could be trusted in the laundry that became my weekend chore. Mums revenge I reckon!

As I got older through the 80′s and 90′s I was a fashion victum, mostly when it came to my hair. Up until recently I always had a perm, why? I have no idea. My mother made me do it as a young almost teenager and it just stuck that way. But recently I found a shampoo and conditioner that gives my hair all it needs. Now I have body and shine, so the old perm has been thrown out the window.

My other HUGE hobby is to watch Fashion Emergency on SKYTV. I love makeovers. I have cried my eyes out with the normal women who turn into Hollywood stars; I have laughed my ass off with sheer joy as the quiet ones suddenly gain their confidence and strut around like peacocks in their new duds. I am addicted to seeing people become happier and bolder and more themselves – just because someone took the time to really help them.

After years of picking up tips here and there, trying to fit into some sort of fashion style, I have finally STOPPED, looked at myself in the mirror and said “Girl you are not a homie. You are not a thug. You are a large woman and you need to stop trying to follow everyone else!” I started looking around at the other larger women I saw in the street and I took note on the looks they had and what I liked about them. I took notes on my own shape and how clothes hung or clung to it. Then I started to trust my taste. I knew what colours I liked to wear. I knew what made me feel confident when I wore it. I knew what made me feel sexy. I sorted out my own feelings about colours and styles. I did NOT want to be like everyone else: I am ME. I have a unique body shape, with curves and bumps and even some lumps. I found that what was the most important thing to me was that I should smell great, I should be clean underneath as well as on my clothes. I want to be neat and tidy. I want to wear what I feel good in.

So then began the search to find a store that had good prices and my sizes. Finally one day after bawling my eyes out on my husband’s shoulder, we drove into Bush Inn in Christchurch. We had some lunch, and then went for a wee walk around the mall. I saw BQ, and looking in the window I thought “Gee that top is nice and it looks like my size!”. I bounced in through the door and began looking around. My heart beat was going flack tack, my wallet was singing and my husband winked at me with a smile that said “YEEHAA!”. For the first time in my life I am dressing in clothes that are actually in my size. No more trying to squeeze my tummy into a size 22 pair of jeans. No more wearing tops that are baggy trying to hide my bulges. I am ME, this is what I look like and I am HAPPY!

So as far as fashion goes…. throw fashion out the window! Look at your body, see it for the shape it is and buy clothes that are made to fit YOU and clothes that YOU feel good in. If your clothes fit you properly then girl you are fashion.

But don’t forget to smile and hold your head high!

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