Fearless Fashion: Finding My True Fashion Self Through Polka Dots

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

“Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are and what you want to express.” – Gianni Versace

I love polka dots.

As a matter of fact, I love prints in general. If you peeked in my closet, you'd see an array of prints and a handful of solid color pieces, which are usually vibrant colors. I have loved prints since I was a kid. It's just something about the patterns and colors meshed together. I always look at a printed piece of clothing as a work of art and a way to be fearless in fashion. Prints are something that almost every woman has struggled to wear because of what we think will happen once we walk out the door. It's not just a "big girl" thing. My thinner sisters have felt it, too. People can be critical and cruel with their words, while thinking they are offering sound advice. And sometimes we do care what others think, when really we shouldn't.

Some people believe prints are unflattering and "ugly". But lately prints have been becoming popular and more women are embracing prints as a trend. Which is good news to me because now there are so many prints to choose from, that I am beside myself. LOL

Polka dots are my favorite print. I love the retro feel of polka dots and how classic it is. I didn't realize it until two years ago that one of the underlying reasons I am drawn to polka pots is because it's a "safe" print to wear. Or so I thought. Then one day, a friend told me that I should never wear polka dots again because they age me and and are not flattering to me. The friend saw this picture of me from a get-together I attended in Florida, wearing a bright colored polka-dot dress (as a top) from Simply Be:

And proceeded to tell me how I looked pregnant, that color looked terrible and oh, those polka dots! He basically told me I looked terrible. And that dress went back into my closet to never be worn again.

But as in any evolution of self, in the time since then, I have been trying to let go of my fear of fashion. It's amazing how one negative comment from someone can send you in a downward spiral and ruin all the work you have done in your life to get to that point of fashion fearlessness. I was down but I was not out.

Couple that with working for a major plus size fashion magazine where I deal with models and bloggers all the time, my fashion confidence took a major hit. I am not like these fashion bloggers with their crop tops, tutu skirts, jumpsuits, polished outfits and matching accessories. Many of these bloggers look like they are auditioning for an editorial spread in Vogue. And these models are so beautiful and their style is so effortless. It's so easy to compare yourself to others and as a result, feel like you don't belong and feel awkward. Not to mention, I am not rich so there is no way I can afford to dress like any of these people nor do some of these brands carry my size. Many of these bloggers are between a size 12 - 18 and most of the models are a size 14 - 16. I haven't been a size 18 since high school. ::chuckle::

“I’ve always believed that clothing is a great way to tell your story.” – Carson Kressley

I have come a long way in two years and I am better than before. It's a day to day process and some days, it's hard to put myself out into that cruel world and get that backlash in the form of looks and negative comments. But I have since come to the conclusion that fashion is all about breaking the rules because it is self-expression. And self-expression is not limited by rules. Plus, I have every right to express myself. And if people don't like it, they can kick boulders.

“Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.” – Edna Woolman Chase

Fashion is about staying true to yourself, being confident in your skin and wearing what you love. Because how you dress your body reflects how you feel about yourself. If you're confident about yourself and love yourself, that will show in what you wear and how you wear it. It's all about your unique style. You won't love every single fashion piece out there but your style is what counts. Your style tells a story.

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

It was something another friend said to me that made the lightbulb over my head go off. She told me that the one thing she loves about me is that I am different and embrace that. And she's right. Why would I want to be like anyone else? I am unlike anyone else and my uniqueness is what sets me apart. Being different is an amazing thing. I'm no copycat. I'm an original. And right in that moment, the comparisons to others stopped. I'm pretty awesome in my own right so why am I comparing myself to someone else?

“Taking sartorial risks and not following other people is what makes you stand out.” – Zac Posen

Earlier this year, I bought this beautiful polka dot dress from eShakti that I LOVE. Of course, when that friend saw it, he said it made me look old and was not flattering at all. But this time, I thanked him for his opinion and kept it moving. He is entitled to his opinion but I have also learned to look at the source. And if that source is not Audrey Hepburn or Coco Chanel, I'm not listening. It's like one of my fashion quotes says, “Life’s too short to wear boring clothes.” (Cushnie et Ochs)

My next fearless fashion moment... polka dot pants. I have a pair of Torrid's pixie pants in polka dots (black with small white dots) that I cannot wait to rock this fall. They have been sitting there, staring at me and I have finally summoned up the courage to wear them. 

And I'm sure you're wondering what happened to that infamous Simply Be dress that started this evolution of my fashion self. I took it out to wear last month and it doesn't fit anymore! I have since lost some weight. So I am hoping to pass it on to someone else who can rock it with great fierceness and a smile.


Please check out what my fellow Ahead of the Curve Bloggers have to say about polka dots and gingham this month by clicking HERE.

We are a plus size blogging collective that comes together once a month to post on a fashion theme. Stay in the know with Ahead of the Curve by liking us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram as Ahead_of_the_Curve_Bloggers.


  1. You are killing it on those dots. Your friend is an idiot!
    <3 you.xx

  2. Thanks for sharing, m'dear! I echo Stina's comment too! XOX M

  3. So glad you put aside his comments and are flying your own way!

  4. Agree with Stina. You rocked that dress and the next one too. Fabulous. Don't compromise your style for so called friends.

  5. I'm sorry your friend made you feel bad about yourself and your style. I don't understand it, you look great. I think when we compare ourself to others we always end up feeling bad or inadequate in some way and that is no way to live. Keep on truckin' with your positive attitude and your bright prints, the world is a better place with you in it!

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  7. I'm late to the party, but I thought I'd add my 2 cents. Sometimes people misinterpret vintage-inspired style as "old." Well, that's the point: it *is* old; it's supposed to evoke memories of times past. If someone told me I looked "old" in a vintage-inspired outfit, I'd say "thanks, that's just what I was going for. This dress (top, sweater, whatever) reminds me of the 1940s (1920s, '50s, etc) which is why I chose it. I love vintage style. Thanks for noticing." Turn it around on them and see what they do.

  8. I just wanted to say thank you SO much for this. I was trying to decide if I could pull of the eshakti polka dots and you know what? You look so amazing that it's inspiring. Your friend is welcome to his opinion - but I don't share it. You look FABULOUS!! :)