When you're not straight size, there are a lot of so-called fashion restrictions put onto your body by the mainstream. It's why plus size women in mini skirts can seem like a radical idea, while wearing horizontal stripes becomes a bold move, rocking a crop top raises an eyebrow, and really enjoying and embracing your personal style seems like a rule-breaking action. When you flip through a magazine or scroll through a blog post or online article, a lot of the so-called rules for plus size women have to do with dressing in a more "flattering" way or "cinching things" in order to look slimmer. So many air quotes, so little time. But why should a woman need to hide, drape, or pinch her curves when she could simply enjoy them?
The truth is that we don't have to aim for a thigh gap before putting on a flirty mini. All body types are beautiful and worthy of cute clothes, and humans of any shape and size can pull off any style of their choosing. So let's shake off these rules and begin embracing the things that should make us want to live out loud, like mini dresses, horizontal stripes, and all. Below are 29 plus size bloggers in minis for your inspiration, and the far more enlightening style rules they can offer.
1. Accent Those Curves, Don't Hide Them
Nicole Edelen looks like an absolute babe in her cobalt mini, ready to tear up whatever dance floor or martini bar she's headed to in it. However, Edelen's confidence didn't happen overnight. She tells me via social media, "It's an uphill journey that I'm taking day by day and I've reached the point where I'm 100 percent comfortable wearing this dress. I want the world to see my curves and love them as much as I do."
2. Different Shapes & Sizes Only Make Us More Beautiful
Curve model Felicity Hayward is all about wearing what makes you happy, regardless what the glossies say. That's why she started the embowering campaign #selflovebringsbeauty. She tells me, "I am a firm believer that fashion is for everyone and you should not listen to the media or [its] absurd views on what we should wear as women. We were all born in different shapes and sizes, we should wear what makes us feel empowering and gorgeous."
3. Somebody Else's Styling Rules Don't Need To Be Your Rules
Jezra has a beautiful motto that she lives by: "My body was made to show." She points out that people have this ridiculous idea that fuller figured women should only wear certain things. But really, who gave them the authority to decide? Jezra tells me, "I gain confidence by accepting ME. Accepting that I am beautiful in my skin even though 'society' doesn't think so. Self love, self awareness and self confidence [are] what I go on every day of my life."
4. You're The Only One Who Can Decide How To Feel About Your Body
Oftentimes we feel body shamed into dressing a certain way. There are all these so-called tricks for "how to look slimmer" and what to avoid so we don't make ourselves look larger. But why is "skinny" the only option for feeling beautiful? Nah, Natalie Drue says. "I decided a long time ago that no one got to tell me how to feel about my body besides me. I wear things I like because I like them, not because I should or shouldn't wear them."
5. Wear What You Want, When You Want
Ola Dipo's attitude towards the mini is awesomely flippant. For her, it's a non-issue and never will be one. She tells me, "Fashion is probably the one thing in life that has no rules. Wear what you want, when you want. Be it a mini skirt or a sequin suit. Having confidence is all that matters."
6. Rule Breaking Can Be Really Liberating
For Kelly Augustine, wearing a mini when fashion rules tell her it's off limits is liberating, not intimidating. She tells me, "Being a woman with an 'unconventional' body type in a piece like a mini skirt is so liberating, and women who may be grappling with size acceptance and confidence have shared how empowering it is to see. It's a huge middle finger to glossies that shove the 'standards' of beauty down our throats."
7. Remember: Fashion Rules Are Boring
Sarah Chiwaya acknowledges that there exist arbitrary fashion 'rules' about who should or should not wear a mini skirt, but she doesn't buy them. She tells me, "How boring would fashion be if we only wore safe bets? I love my legs, thick thighs and all, so I have no compunctions about wearing a mini."
8. You're The One Who Can Put Limitations On Yourself
Granted, there are a ton of articles out there that talk about how to look your slimmest, but that doesn't mean you have to follow them. Instead, stop letting your size keep you in a box. Courtney Hawkins explains, "Know who you are because your clothing size doesn't define you. When you understand your body type and what is flattering, you have less limitations! If you feel confident, then that's all that matters!" And if you feel like a teeny mini flatters you, slap that baby on.
9. Clothes Can Look Outstanding On Top Of Curves, So Don't Limit Yourself
Rochelle Johnson is all about the mini, assuring me that she'd never let anyone tell her what she should or shouldn't wear. She says, "I wear what makes me feel good. If I feel good in a snake print miniskirt, then I'll wear one." *Finger snaps.*
10. You Can Wear What You Want Because You're Beautiful. Period.
Amy Willows is all about telling narrow-minded beauty standards to eff off. She points out, "When we're told to hide our bodies, or wear 'flattering' clothes, we are being told that we are not appealing or worthy." And she's not about to accept that kind of nonsense as fact. She continues, "If you want to wear a mini you should! If you're not confident yet, wear it around the house and get used to your beautiful legs, then unleash that beauty on the world. Because your legs are beautiful. You are beautiful."
11. Don't Let Yourself Hide
Chastity Garner tells me, "There are so many beautiful things in the world that I like that aren't always in line with the flattering guidelines, but I wear them anyway. For me, my goal has always been to live life fully. Wearing this dress was me staying true to that mantra. My confidence comes [from] not wanting to live a life where I feel like I'm hiding and in this dress I'm definitely not hiding."
12. Don't Contemplate If This Is "Meant For You." It Is
Kellie Brown doesn't really know what gave her the confidence to wear a mini skirt, because she never considered that she couldn't. Every style and trend out there is "meant" for each of us — so don't put imaginary restrictions on yourself. Brown tells me, "When I'm getting dressed it's not really my goal to hide or emphasize my 'curves.' It's about expressing myself through fashion and creating an aesthetic that makes me happy. I wore this dress because it's cute, lightweight, and easy while grabbing brunch with my boyfriend on a hot NYC summer day."
13. You Don't Have To Listen To The Glossies
Margot Meanie has always found it strange that we dissect our bodies in order to love certain parts and despise others, but she never quite got the hang of hating her thighs. Negative reinforcement only works if you let it. She tells me, "Of all the body parts I've hated throughout the years on this journey to being body positive, my thighs have never been one of them. Even though according to society I know I should have a deep hatred for them, I just never have. I've never feared wearing the shortest of miniskirts."
14. Celebrate Your Body
Everyone has ebbs and flows when it comes to self esteem and self love, and Nicolette Mason finds that celebrating her body — not hiding it — is one of the best ways to defeat those "bad" days. She tells me, "I really appreciate and like my legs (they're strong and one of my favorite features), and revel in the opportunity to wear shorter hemlines and celebrate the parts of my body that I love."
15. Defeat Your Fears If You Need To
Sometimes it's not easy to pop on a mini if you're struggling with body confidence. But according to Ragini Nag Rao, you just need to get yourself used to them. "I remember the first time I wore something leg baring in public. It was a pair of shorts and I was terrified. But I just kept on wearing those shorts, and later mini skirts and dresses because my commitment to wearing cute stuff I wanted to was greater than the terror."
16. You Need To Make Peace With Your Body
Isabell Decker says she was a late bloomer when it came to accepting her body. She tells me, "I haven't always been confident enough to wear mini skirts or short dresses as someone who had been constantly taught not to show off too much skin as a fat woman, because eventually it could offend someone." But once she cast that idea aside, she was able to make peace with her body and really love the way she looked when dressed up. "Once you have realized that your body is perfect just the way it is, you too will find the confidence to wear whatever makes you happy."
17. Nothing About You Is Ugly, So Stop Treating It Like It Is
Cynthia Ramsay Noel became tired of hiding underneath long dresses and pants just so she wouldn't offend people with her "grotesque legs," but then she wizened up. "Fat thighs and cellulite are no reason to be ashamed. Never let anyone tell you that wearing a mini skirt and showing off your beautiful legs, dimples and all, is not for you... Never forget that you have just as much of a right to wear anything that anyone else does!"
18. Choose Yourself Over Others
Lalaa Misaki actively chooses to be happy over letting outside opinions get her down. She says, "I love my legs — they're sexy, so why not to show them off? Happiness is a choice and I choose to be happy and to be me." That's the right kind of attitude.
19. It's All About What You Like
Chelsea Memmolo doesn't care what she wears, as long as she enjoys it. She says, "I dress in what I like. Whether that's a mini or maxi it doesn't matter. If you feel good in what you wear, who cares what others think? Its all about comfort and what YOU like, not them." So the next time you love a trend but don't think you have the body to "pull it off," just embrace it fully. All that matters is that you enjoy it.
20. Your Body Has Nothing To Do With Anyone Else
Hollie Burgess found the confidence to wear short hems by realizing that her body has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else but herself. "I got totally sick of covering myself up because I was scared of what others thought. But now I know if people don't like my jiggly thighs, chunky calves, or thick knees then they don't have to look. My legs have nothing to do with anyone else. I don't need their approval and neither do you."
21. Don't Choose Discomfort Because Of Fear
How many times have you chosen to wear something completely uncomfortable, just so you could fit into a certain standard? Amarachi Ukachu says, "There was a point in my life where I never wore skirts, dresses, or shorts above my knees because of what people might think. I mean it would be over 100 degrees outside and I'll be in jeans sweating my ass off. Then one day I just decide not to care anymore. Your body is yours. Wear whatever you feel good in!"
22. Don't Mellow Out Your Self-Expression Because Of Others
For Margie Ashcroft, fashion is a huge form of self-expression. She tells me, "I pride myself in showing women to be confident through breaking down social norms by raising hemlines and taking pride in the body I have. We as women get so consumed in focusing on the preconceived negatives about ourselves that we forgot what is unique and beautiful about us as individuals." She assures me, "I promise it gets easier the more you do it!"
23. But Really, What's The Point Of Waiting?
Stephanie Zwicky doesn't see the point of waiting until "a better time" to put on something you like. Even if you're intimidated, try to jump in. She says, "Dress up for yourself and not for what others might think of you. This is your one and only life, so enjoy it now — not tomorrow, not in one week. Now."
24. Use The Skirt Like A Badge Of Honor
After years and years of feeling deflated about a certain body part, going against style norms and embracing what yourself is like a badge of honor. Alysse Dalessandro tells me, "I spent a lot of my life being self conscious about the size of my thighs and now wearing mini skirts is a badge of honor that I no longer have to feel constrained by insecurities to wear what I want. I think my biggest advice to folks still working through these feelings is to be kind to yourself."
25. It's OK To Bring Attention To Your Body
There's a difference between wearing what you like and wearing what is recommended for you. Don't lose out by watering down your sense of style. Callie Thorpe says, "It's so ingrained in plus women to avoid drawing attention to their bodies that wearing something short or what is deemed 'not suitable' for certain body shapes is just out of the question." Because of that, Thorpe believes that most women wouldn't dabble with a mini hem even though it's a great style to play with. "It can take a while to get the confidence but once you do it's an empowering experience to wear something you actually want to and not because you have been told it's acceptable."
26. Some Might Hate The Look, But A Lot Will Love It
Why is it that we stop ourselves from wearing a certain style just because a handful of people might dislike it? Why don't we focus on the people who will love it? Danielle Evanier points out, "For every person that'll hate this look, 10 others will love it. I'm not here for people's approval, though, and as a fat woman I am in no way apologetic for dressing the way I like. If you like it, wear it."
27. There's No Such Thing As "Skinny" Fashion — It's For Everyone
Ana Goitia believes that size shouldn't be a hurdle for dressing well and feeling elegant. No matter your size, you have the option to feel like a knock-out. She tells me, "Although we have more weight and more fat, we have the same right to dress well, to feel beautiful and love each other, like the others who are thin. All are equal, the size cannot make us feel bad." So rock that mini. You have no reason to feel weird about it.
28. No One Is Likely To Care
For Brianna McDonnell, it's all about getting outside of your fashion comfort zone and gauging how people will respond. Chances are the responses won't even be as negative as you think. She says, "I promise you, people don't care as much as you do. If you want to wear or do something for you, that's 100 percent more important than what someone could say. You'll be proud you did it and you'll look amazing doing it!"
29. In The Words Of Beyoncé, Go Slay
Margo Bazuin believes that the word "big" shouldn't be off-putting. Who decided big is bad anyway? She explains, "I’m well aware of the fact that this skirt is making me look ‘big,’ but I don’t care and nobody else should. Be comfortable with what you wear and slay it! People love confidence."
The moral of the story? Put on what you like, when you like it, and enjoy it. You'll look amazing!
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Images: flightofthefatgirl/Instagram (1); Courtesy Interviewees