Dressing with confidence doesn’t have to mean a power suit or a sassy dress. It’s all about knowing who you are.
Ever since I can remember I’ve felt more comfortable in a tracksuit than a dress. As a kid I was what some might call a “tomboy” at heart. Sure, I dressed up for friend’s birthdays and had to wear a skirt at school, but as soon as I got home, it was on with my tracksuit bottoms and a big cosy sweatshirt. I sometimes wonder if this was the start of my body dysmorphia, the need to cover up my body, but at the grand old age of 30 I’ve realised I was just expressing who I am and dressing with confidence for what suited me. During my eating disorder I did of course have many days where I wanted to cover up, but it wasn’t always because I was ashamed of my body. Sometimes, it just suited my mood. Even more than a tracksuit, I felt great wearing the least amount of clothing as possible. A leotard was my uniform for a very long time back in my gymnastics days. Having the freedom to move any which way I want without clothing getting in my way was perfect and felt awesome.
As humans, we’re on this long journey of discovering who the heck we are and what we’re doing here. If experimenting with clothing helps you move a little closer to figuring out what suits you then embrace it. I look at young girls now and the granny in me kicks in, saying to myself, they look too old, too aware of their sexuality, but to be honest when I was 14, I was learning about how to display my sexuality and it felt good to do that through clothing. Whilst I still think we have to be careful, it’s important that we don’t let fear stand in the way of who we are.
I looked at these photos and felt like they portray such a real version of myself, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel like myself in a bikini. Life is a journey and we are constantly evolving through phases, phases that we need to embrace and get to know. I kind of think of it like moon phases, moving through slightly altered versions of myself on a daily basis, but always coming back around to my staple clothing choices.
I love clothes, for me they are fun, like a toy that I can play with to express how I’m feeling each day. And that’s that point, I take it day by day, not letting anyone make me feel like I can’t wear a certain thing. Sometimes I’ve had people say “I wish I could pull off clothes like that.” and my answer is always the same… “YOU CAN.” Only you are stopping yourself from having fun, being comfortable in both your actual skin and the extra layer of skin that you chose for the day.
I love coming home and putting my PJs on, chilling out on the sofa and looking like I’ve made no effort at all, in the same way that sometimes I love doing my makeup and wearing a pair of stripy green flares with a leopard print tops (yes, that outfit has happened, and I love it!). I didn’t make less effort as such in the first scenario, I just felt relaxed and wanted my outfit choice to reflect that.
Surround yourself with people who accept all these different layers of you. You don’t need a “look” or a certain “style”, because you are the most stylish version of you with nothing on at all. Naked. Sexual. Strong. Beautiful. Let the clothes just be a helping hand. Wear whatever the hell you want and wear it with pride.
Love, Cat x