A woman stopped me at the bus station on my way in to work last week. She wanted to tell me that she often saw me passing by, always loved what I was wearing and was curious as to where I bought my clothes. She brightened up what had started out as another depressing Monday morning I can tell you.
When I named a few of the places where I tended to shop, she confessed that she had either never heard of the brand before or was unaware that they did a plus size range. She also told me that she was tired of wearing black all of the time but to her, it seemed to be the only option as she just couldn't find the confidence to dress the way she truly wanted.
It took me right back to when I started to really take an interest in plus size fashion.
Two years ago, I was the atypical fat girl, head to toe in black. Work attire was black trousers, black top, evening wear was a black dress. My clothes were my invisibility cloak that helped to shield me against the world, but the truth was; I did not actually want to be invisible. I wanted to be a brightly coloured peacock, I just did not know how.
Purely by chance on Twitter one day, I came across a plus size fashion blog. I had never seen a woman who was of a similar size and shape to me wearing fashionable clothing. She did it with such aplomb, such confidence and style and more than anything, I wanted to dress like her and find confidence as she had.
The outfits that she wore all combatted against the rules that fat women were supposed to adhere to. Busy patterns, loud colours; form fitting; no sleeves, all were on display in abundance. With each image I clicked on, something inside me started to finally connect the dots. If she could dress like that, so could I.
To check out my inspiration go to www.mrsbebeblog.co.uk.
I am not going to lie and say that I metamorphosed into a brightly coloured butterfly overnight, but gradually my choices became bolder. I began to choose clothes based primarily on whether I loved them instead of automatically discarding them to the pile of "You can't wear that".
What I started to learn was that you can never tell what an item of clothing is going to look like on your body until you try it on. You could line up 10 people and ask them to wear the same dress and I guarantee that each would look different to the next.
The rules of fashion that I had so strictly adhered to previously, held no meaning for me anymore. Indeed, I started to wonder why I had ever listened to them. Confidence is what makes an outfit and your personality is what makes it sing. High necklines for example are something that I should never wear according to the fashion rules, yet teamed with a necklace or two and a dash of red lipstick, hell yes, I can rock this look.
When I threw away the concept of telling myself what I should not wear, suddenly a new realm of possibilities and combinations opened up to me. There was a whole world of clothing out there for me to try, if I just had the courage.
If I have learnt anything over the past couple of years, it has been this. You can wait your whole waiting to be a prettier, thinner; more confident version of yourself, or you can accept who and what you are and be happy.
You can check out my version of style now at www.TheCurvedOpinion.com.