Many lipedema women say their favorite color is black. It hides lumps, bumps, and imperfections in our legs and is generally believed to be universally slimming. Wonderful! you might think. That must boost their confidence! you might think. Then why do so many black outfits for pear-shaped, lipedema women scream, “please don’t notice me!” Today, in Sturdy Woman’s first Fashion Friday, we’re going to talk about how to style a compression-friendly black outfit that makes you feel so good you want to be seen. Can you tell this outfit literally made me dance? (Suggested background music for reading this post.)
The key to dressing your pear, whether in black or any other color, is to balance your proportions. Most of us are bottom-heavy, meaning our upper bodies are smaller than our lower bodies. You’re going to look and feel your best when your top and bottom look proportional, or similar in size. (Spoiler, almost no one has a perfectly proportional body – this is not just a lipedema thing!) Pattern and color are great tools for either adding something extra to our small parts or de-emphasizing the larger ones.
Notice what I’ve done in my outfit this week. I’ve paired a black skinny jean with a bold printed blazer. This draws attention away from my heavier lower body and toward my upper body. I am not hiding my luscious hips and neither should you! I’m just adding attention up top to balance my figure.
Speaking of not hiding, yes, lipedema ladies can wear skinny jeans and, yes, I am wearing compression under them (see it peeping out at my feet?). These are Torrid’s Lux Skinny Jeans and I love that they are all-day-comfortable but professional enough that I could wear them to the office. Don’t let the name fool you – skinny jeans are for every body. As pears we’re often told to look for wide legs, flares, or bootcuts but slimmer, taped cuts are actually more slimming and help elongate the leg. Tan France, Queer Eye’s stylist, agrees!
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In my outfit I’ve taken elongation one step further with a pointed toe shoe, which also helps create the illusion of a long leg. Even though my swelling has drastically improved, I still wear wide shoes and Torrid is my go-to store for cute wide shoes. Be prepared to try a few sizes, though, because they are really inconsistent and I can wear anything from an 8 to a 9.5 depending on the style. These pointed ballet flats run big so I’m wearing an 8.5.
Now, I know you are wondering about that amazing blazer and where it came from. Meet my latest obsession ThredUp. ThredUp sells used clothing and you can get remarkable pieces – many new with tags – for amazing prices. For less than $500 I replaced my entire wardrobe, which was necessary after losing 100lbs, and I have higher quality clothes than I’ve ever been able to afford. Since ThredUp sells used clothes you probably won’t find this identical blazer on there, but you will find something else awesome that fits your personality and style. How much do you think I paid for this beauty? It was priced at $7.99 and, after applying a promo code I found online, I paid $2.66. Yes, you read that right!
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Finally, I am a sucker for accessories and, even though I work from home and no one really sees them, I put some on every day. They make me feel good and that influences the entire day! For this outfit’s simple color story, I used my black tourmaline and copper ring from Pure Impressions. It’s a small, woman-owned business that reminds all its customers they are “made of magic.” I think of that every time I look at my gorgeous ring.
The most important thing to remember about your style, Sturdy Readers, is to wear what makes you feel fantastic. Don’t wear it just because it fits. Don’t wear it because everyone else has it, or because an article (even this one!) told you to. Your unique, gorgeous, magic spirit will shine through strongest when you feel good in your clothes. A great outfit can also do wonders to repair your relationship with your body.
I’d love to see how you are dressing your pear to balance your proportions and feel like the star you are! Drop me a note in the comments or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.