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10 tips: what to wear when you’re skinny!
By Juliette Lisa. Personally speaking, I’ve always found it extremely difficult to shop for clothes. It’s my worst
nightmare, especially If I am out with friends. I dread trying anything on and having to show them
afterwards, because what suits their curvaceous bodies simply does not suit me, and that’s hard for
them to register in their brains (in the least insulting way possible), as you cannot begin to understand
people’s situations unless you have been through it yourself. I get so emotional when clothes that
are plastered all along the shop window displays simply do not suit me…whatever is ‘on trend’ I can
never seem to wear because they were designed for the more curvier woman figure, not for the
clothes rail like myself.
We live in such a contradictory society that it’s hard for any woman to know what to buy, given that
catwalks outwardly promote clothes for skinnies, and high streets simply cater for your average
sized boobs and bum woman. I mean, have you seen all of those tight-fitting body-con dresses or
bra-let tops, amongst other figure-hugging designs? It’s all about promoting and celebrating curves!
Where does this leave us skinnies?
Being a 20 year old, I just long to wear what those around me do, it almost hurts….but I’ve learned
to refrain from this desire, and come to accept what DOES suit me, as there is nothing worse than
whining over something that is so far out of reach(unless a miracle happens)! So girls out there,
don’t beat yourself up about this issue…find what suits you and stick to the same/similar format to
avoid feeling the anxiety of something unflattering on you.
1. Clothes from the past
E-bay has become my best friend in recent times, as I have discovered clothes from other eras suit
me better than trends of today, even though today’s trends ARE in fact recycled versions of past
eras!(IRONIC but true).
Ebay is a great source when you're trying to find well-fitting petite clothing, second-hand or new,
from around the world (more here).
2. Tops: Light, airy and floaty
I stay away from tight fitting clothes because I do not want insults of ‘your
ribcage is on show!’ or something along those lines, what I tend to do is go for light, airy, floaty,
batwing styles for the top half of my body. The 90’s and 80’s are amazing for this look – think
oversized sweaters with lovely embellishments and hand stitching, very vintage and boho! I know
this look won’t suit everyone, but the style and shape is very flattering for skinnies like me! It hides a
multitude of sins...so I guess it’s flattering for all body types!
3. Embellishments can do wonders
I also find that any kind of embellishment which draws attention to other areas of my body, does
wonders. For example ruffles can hide the fact we have little to no bust, or opting for baby-doll
or tunic-style tops or dresses can have a profound effect of accentuating what we do have, thus
creating the illusion that less is…umm..more!!
In the picture, I wear a cute pink top with embellishment at the bust area, paired with a loose shirt.
4. High waisted skirts
For my bottom half, I’ve found high waisted skirts, trousers, and shorts, also do a fine job in creating
the illusion of curves!
Even though my thighs don’t touch and my calves lack any sort of fat, high
waisted things emphasise the upper part of my thighs thus detracting away from my calves.
High waisted stuff also gives me the illusion of having a shape, (i.e.: HIPS instead of hip bones!!)
Just take a look at this picture, in which I wear high waisted denim shorts with a cute belt (more on belts here). It draws the eye to the upper part of my thighs and hips. And that means: less attention to my calves :)
Also notice I wear light denim, and loose fitting shirts on top.
You can create a very similar look with high waisted skirts or trousers.
5. Boots & colorful leggings/jeans
I pair this look with some boots, it again hides the skinny calves thus focusing more on the thighs!
I never ever go bare legged though, I team it all with light coloured leggings or tights.
In this example, I opted for light jeans, and grey boots.
Notice that the boots add some bulk: they 're not skinny, tight fitting boots. These have fur and bangles that add more visual bulk. Try to find clothing and shoes with added embellishments so you add visual curves.
Keep in mind that lighter colors will flatter thin bodies more - as dark colours make you look even thinner!!
Here are tips on finding great jeans for small bottoms.
6. Maxi skirts or capri-style shorts
But what if I don’t feel comfortable wearing shorts or mini-skirts? Well, I know not everyone feels
comfortable in showing off their thin frames, and come summer it can be difficult to mooch around
in jogging bottoms or oversized hoodies. Sometimes instead of short skirts or shorts, go for long,
flowing maxi skirts or dresses, and capri-style shorts instead? It all depends upon what you feel
comfortable in. I guarantee you that it’s far better to stay cool then it is to hide your frame under
layers of hot fabrics.
7. Stay away from shoulder pads
Some other handy tips I have found in my journey of skinny acceptance is that if you want to wear
a blazer or a jacket, steer away from shoulder pads! They will not do you any favours particularly if
you have a straight boyish figure as what this does is simply make you look even thinner. You’d want
to find water-fall styles, and go for materials that feel quite thin to the touch. The structured look
is quite hard to pull off so again, avoid the boxy, shoulder-pad styles and think more flowing, silky
styles and shapes!
If you're interested in dresses, here's a blog post on summer dresses that make you look curvier.
8. Layer up
At my lowest point, (when the bullying of being skinny) got quite hard for me to handle, I used to
layer my clothes up quite a bit…for example, putting 2 pairs of leggings underneath trousers to bulk
my legs out a bit, or wearing 2 bras at once, you know…I’m sure a lot of girls have put themselves
through uncomfortable processes in order to make themselves appear a bit larger. I know how much
it hurts to let go of these defence mechanisms….but trust me, you will one day!
It's much better to find a comfortable, well-fitting bra (here are a dozen designed specifically for small breasts)
and layer up comfortably. Accentuate what you have, and feel good in what you wear :)
9. Play around with styles
It’s all really about knowing your shapes, colours and materials. I know shirts buttoned up DO NOT
flatter me in any way whatsoever, but if they are unbuttoned and treated as a jacket, they look
great! Play around with styles, take photos of yourself and compare them.
Also, keep in mind that sizes are different in every store. In some stores, size 0 is comparable
to a size 4 in other stores. Here's a good overview.
10. Be comfortable in what you wear!
At the end of the day though, it’s all about your perception….. how you feel in something, how
you feel others see you in something, you really need to feel comfortable in whatever you wear.
It doesn’t matter how many times someone says, ‘you look great in that’, if you don’t believe it
yourself, you won’t wear it…and it’ll sit at the back of your wardrobe or you won’t buy it and then
you’ll have missed your chance. Sometimes you should believe other people….and trust them. I’ve
done this and have then grown to like a particular item based on other’s beliefs…..and now they
become my staple pieces!! I guess, it’s a journey for everyone…becoming comfortable with their
looks and styles, and it’s hard being skinny and not being able to find the right sizes, as it leaves
us restricted. But always know, there is HOPE for you and your style will always be developing,
whatever your size!!
Please note: this is all based on personal experience, you may find some of these looks I have not
recommended actually suit you, perhaps you exude the confidence to wear even a bin liner, GO YOU!
Or you have such a beautiful face; it makes no difference what you wear! I guess this article is
written purely with the intention of making underweight or boyish figures feel more ‘womanly’, i.e.:
illusions of curves, so please, feel free to argue with me about any contradictions you find !
Light coloured floaty top and jacket, light jeans and floaty tshirt, waterfall-style jacket (l-r)
Top 3 Reasons To Exercise When You’re Skinny!
By Katrina Conte - We're always told that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle. Studies show that people who exercise regularly have healthier weights, lower cholesterol, better cognitive function, etc. But we're also told nowadays that people should exercise to lose weight. This can present a problem for those of us who either want to gain or maintain their weight. So what should you do?
You should still work out!
I know its discouraging when you talk about trying a new workout routine, you walk into a gym, or you go through the store check-out with work out videos and you hear "but you don't need to work out, you're skinny!" We all know that being skinny doesn't necessarily mean you are in-shape!
As a disclaimer, I am not a personal trainer or a nutritionist. Most of this blog is based on my own personal experiences. I'm not even a work-out guru! Ideally I'm involed in mixed martial arts (krav maga and kickboxing) and that is where my workouts mostly come from. But I am going to give you some reasons about why it's important for you to work out, even when you're thin (and I will give you some tips for getting started).
First Reason: Do it for your health!
Guess what, skinny Minnies and Mickies. No matter how slim you are, you still have muscles and joints, and they need to be used! Ever feel winded after going up a flight of stairs or dashing across a parking lot? I have, for sure! It means that your body is not being exercised correctly. It means that your physical endurance needs improvement. No worries, though, this can easily be remedied with a steady and consistent work out routine.
Being naturally thin does not mean that you never have to worry about high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, or other illnesses that are sometimes associated with being overweight. In fact, this can be dangerous because those of us who are on the thinner side may not get these things checked out, thinking that our metabolisms will protect us! Like everyone else, we slender people need to keep a healthy diet combined with physical and mental exercises to keep both body and mind strong and sharp.
Worried about bulking up too much? Don't be. It's a myth that working out will turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger! You will tone up, though. It's a great way to gain weight, actually, because firm muscle weighs more than fat. Just remember to increase your calorie intake so you can nourish those muscles and maintain a healthy weight!
Second Reason: Do it for your mind!
Working out is a great way to release endorphins in your brain, contributing to a better mood. When you're down, you may not feel like hitting the gym, but releasing that negative energy through physical activity will really help! It's a great stress release and a mood booster!
I participate in a very rigorous one-hour kickboxing workout about twice a week. It is HARD. This workout really pushes me to my limits, even when I do feel in shape. At least once a session, I want to give up and sit down. But I don't. Why? Because it is so much more rewarding to push through and then realize that you can make it, even when you don't want to. This is an important lesson that you can carry with you in any facet of your life! Giving up is easy, but pressing on even when you're tired and conquering that thing that almost defeats you is so much more fulfilling in the end! Your workout doesn't always have to be difficult but do challenge yourself sometimes!
Of course, this does not mean that you shouldn't know and respect your limits. Never work out to the point where you feel unwell or overheated. Take precautions, drink lots of water, and stop if you have to. If you feel faint or if you start to see white sports in your vision, stop what you are doing immediately and take a break! There is a difference between pressing on when things get challenging and hurting yourself by trying to do something way outside your limits! Overworking your body is just as harmful as under working it.
Third Reason: Do it to be an example!
People are going to be more likely to work out if they see their friends and loved ones exercising and enjoying it. Working out is good for everyone, big or small!
How To Get Started
- Determine what your workout style is. Do you want to work out in a group? In a gym with a partner? At home by yourself? Everyone is different. I prefer a group setting with involvement, and I want my workout to include self-defense, so martial arts was perfect for me. Also, working with people who are at more advanced levels that I am pushes me to work harder, as opposed to intimating me. On the other hand, I know people who would never be comfortable working out in a group and prefer to follow work out videos at home. Choose what's best for you!
- Make time. You may not have the time or even the desire to workout every day. Sometimes I only get in 2 one-hour workouts a week, though I try for 3-4. Frequency depends a good deal on what you want to get out of your workout, but the most I've heard recommended is at least 4 3o minute sessions a week. It is also recommended that you take at least 1 full day off from working out a week.
- Determine your health level. If you are very underweight and are feeling weak or overly tired, you may need to work on weight gain before you start a workout routine. Don't put too much stress on your body! Also consider a discussion with your doctor if you have conditions like asthma or anemia, so you can make sure you stay safe when you get started. And, no matter your health and fitness level, drink lots of water!!
- Don't let anyone get you down. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't need to work out. Do it because it's good for you, not because you should have to justify yourself to others! If anyone is truly concerned (some eating disorders may include obsessive, drawn-out, daily workouts, and you know that being thin already makes you a target for the anorexia label), don't get offended. Just calmly explain why exercise is important for your over-all health and well being! You only get one body so take good care of it. :)
How petite celebrities gain weight
Guest post by Chrissy Anderson
Opening up any celebrity or lifestyle inspired magazine will confront us with a raft of images of the great and glamorous, done up to the nines as they step out at award ceremonies. Usually, accompanying these images is text to tell us how good or bad they look, for whatever reason.
Sometimes, in the name of real method acting, an actress might have to completely and radically overhaul their appearance so that the performance they give is as believable as possible. Over the last few years, some of the more petite actresses have had to do so. How did they do it, and more pertinently are their regimes something we can follow to help us gain weight?
Celebrity weight gain
When the film "My Week With Marilyn" was released last year, people were amazed by the transformation that lead actress Michelle Williams had gone through in order to look like screen icon Marilyn Monroe. Williams, who is naturally very slim and usually sports an uber cute pixie crop gained enough weight to take her to a size fourteen. When asked how she’d done it she simply replied “I wasn’t watching what I ate, put it that way”. Then, not content with doing it once, Williams did it again on a junk food diet, to play opposite Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine, this time gaining more than fifteen pounds (and losing it all again afterward).
But weight gain is not as easy for everyone. Perhaps most interestingly, Hillary Swank, when researching her role in Million Dollar Baby gave a detailed account of what she had to do to gain weight in order to give a more convincing performance. She said that in order to gain an extra nineteen pounds, that she ate every ninety minutes and that her diet included as much as two hundred and ten grams of protein every single day. Alongside this, she felt she needed to sleep more, ultimately trying to get nine hours a night. If she woke up during this time, she would force herself to drink a protein shake, because she was getting the feeling that her body needed it and couldn’t go for too long without food.
This can’t be good, right?
Well, in a word, no. Renee Zellweger’s Doctors had it about right when they advised her to be careful in the way she gained weight. Firstly, gaining so much weight in a short space of time can be very dangerous and put enormous pressure on the body’s organs to try and cope with the extra onslaught of calories. Secondly, the foods that these actresses ate in order to try and bulk up was not only highly calorific but also very high in fat, salt and sugar which adds to the dangers of possibly storing up trouble for future years, even if the weight is only going on temporarily in order to give believability to a role.
How do you gain weight properly?
To achieve sensible weight gain takes time, patience and, surprisingly, doesn’t include any junk food - well, apart from in moderation as part of an all round balanced eating plan. The key to making long lasting, yet gradual changes lies in planning out a nutritious eating regime that takes into account not only an increase in calories, but making sure optimum health is maintained. It is said that in order to safely
gain between one and three pounds per week, an extra five hundred calories a day would need to be consumed. It sounds like an awful lot, especially if you can find huge platefuls of food very “over-facing” or plain unpalatable. Here are a few ideas:
Little and often: It’s a good move generally, if nothing else to keep blood sugars stable, but eat three, sensibly portioned meals during the day. These meals should ideally have a portion of high quality protein, some complex carbohydrate, some good fats and fruit or vegetables to accompany.
For instance (as a guideline only):
Breakfast: Omelette made with one or two eggs, cooked in olive oil. Serve this with one or two slices of wholegrain toast, buttered. Accompany with a glass of fruit juice.
Lunch: Chicken breast cooked and sliced. Serve this in a sandwich made with a bread of your choice, buttered. Include lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Fruit for dessert. Alternatively, serve the chicken with a baked potato and stir fried vegetables.
Dinner: A bowl of stew perhaps made with lean beef and root vegetables. This could be served with some plain rice or couscous. Perhaps finish with a calcium rich dessert such as full fat yogurt or homemade custard.
Snacks: It’s also a good idea to plan a couple of snacks for during the day too. The occasional bag of chips or cookies is totally fine as part of a good eating plan, but it’s also good to try and incorporate good quality nibbles too. Think about trail mix, a bag of nuts like almonds, cashews or walnuts (all for preference should be unsalted), dried fruit mixes or even things like milkshakes, protein shakes or hot chocolate made with a portion of full fat milk for calcium and protein. All these will offer good nutritional value to you as well as providing useful and useable calories.
The advice is, if you’re going to try and gain weight, do it sensibly and don’t go the crazy Hollywood way. You want to eat healthy and still exercise well. Look after your body and it will look after you.