There are probably not many people that would claim fashion changed their life, but for me I would say it's pretty close to the truth. Of course there are different circumstances that have changed my life, changed the path I am on and helped me to be happier, but hand on my heart I put a lot of that down to the discovery of plus size fashion and learning my own sense of style.
I grew up a chubby teenager, larger than pretty everyone I knew who was my age. Thankfully it didn't make for an unhappy childhood which when I hear stories of other people growing up seems to be quite lucky. Of course as a chubby teenager life wasn't always easy, but then who find their teenage years a barrel of laughs? One thing I do wish is that I had access to plus size fashion and body positive resources that are available now, but back in the 90s they just didn't exist. After all, the internet as we know it now didn't exist, goodness I feel old!
I would love to be able to tell this child that one day she'd fall in love with fashion and that it would be OK to do so, because I am pretty sure she'd have been really happy to know that!
Thanks to a solid, happy up-bringing I have always been at ease with the way I look. That said, I can't say I grew up head over heels in love with my body; I just didn't let it affect me. I guess you could say I was indifferent about the way I felt it. Not a bad way to feel, but not overly great either.
Thankfully a few years ago I discovered the world of plus size fashion blogs and it changed the way I saw things completely. Now I had access to inspirational photos of women who look like me, wearing fantastic clothing and feeling good while they do it! Suddenly I realised that fat women could wear pretty vintage dresses alongside their own accessories, rather than having to make do with basic choices and just buying whatever is available that fits.
It's a shame really because I only discovered plus size blogs and plus size fashion a few years ago. I moved to London 5 years ago and it was then that I came to the realisation that fashion was accessible to me. It sounds like such a simple concept; being able to buy clothes that fit - but before I knew about bloggers, it seemed like an impossible task.
When I moved to London my wardrobe was plain. It was full of jeans and tunic tops - comfortable and functional but I had nothing that I could really get excited about. Now a few years later I look in my wardrobe I have an array of skirts, dresses and tops in all sorts of styles, colours and fits. It's something to get really excited about and I can't tell you how happy that makes me.
I know it can seem like such a basic thing, but honestly just having a choice of clothing and being able to dress up for occasions is fantastic. I am going to a party tomorrow and I have at least 5 ideas of what I want to wear in my head - it still feels like a luxury to do so, but one that makes my heart sing!
Even thinking outside of the box and seeing an increase in the amount of plus size luxury ladies, bridal gowns, mens suits and work wear on offer makes me really proud. I know the world is still a tough place and life definitely isn't easy, but having a wardrobe filled with pretty fashion is definitely something to be thankful for.