Fearless Fashion: How A Houndstooth Dress Changed My Life

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

“Let today be the day you love yourself enough to no longer just dream of a better life; let it be the day you act upon it.” ~ Steve Maraboli

I love dresses and prints. And one of my favorite prints is houndstooth. I don't know why but something about houndstooth grabs me and I just love it. I love how it has been translated into more than just a black and white print. I have seen it fused with animal print, polka dots, vibrant colors and even paired with faux leather, which gives it an edge that I love.

Who knew a little houndstooth dress could change my life? Well, it did.

Recently, I was asked to host an event for plus size fashion retailer Lane Bryant. They were holding events in various stores, celebrating teachers and offering them a discount in-store. I was so excited because (1) I have never been asked to host anything before and (2) I was asked to host the event happening at Lane Bryant's flagship store in NYC. So this was a pretty big deal to me.

Of course, I had to wear Lane Bryant to the event so off I went to shop for an outfit. And in that dressing room, to my surprise, I stepped out of my comfort zone. All thanks to houndstooth.

See, I never wear dresses that are above the knee. We all have parts of our body we don't like very much and for me, it's my legs. I love dresses but I always do below the knee or mid-calf lengths. I envy those plus size women who can rock a mini skirt or body con knee length skirt. Their legs are smooth, roll-free and look great. No varicose veins or swollen ankles. I would love to know what they do to achieve this. I walk a lot and am active. But my legs, while they have gotten me all around the world, were not pretty in my eyes.

But what I learned in that dressing room is that sometimes we get in our own head and make the situation bigger than it is. We tend to notice things that others don't. We become our own worst enemy and critic. And I realized I was being ridiculous. 

I tried on this dress first:

**6th & Lane Belted Lace Dress can be found here. I'm 5'7" and I'm wearing a size 26.**

This was out of my comfort zone because it was knee-length AND sleeveless. OH BOY, I thought the store was going to cave in. Let's not even talk about my battle with loving my upper arms, which I call my wings.

So I text this picture to a few friends and all of them said I looked great. Hmmm...these are friends who will let me know if I look a hot mess or not. So I was surprised that they all agreed.

Then I tried on the houndstooth dress. This dress was hidden on a rack and I saw a sliver of it as I glanced at the rack. As I pulled it out from the rack, I fell in love with it until... I saw it was knee length. Just as I was putting it back, something told me to try it on anyway.

I actually had a conversation with myself in the dressing room because I LOVED how it looked on me and I felt comfortable. But, um, my legs are showing!!! I had to tell myself that if I loved it, I had to go for it. Isn't that what being fearless is all about? So I bought it and wore it to the event. I also bought the first dress, too!

Houndstooth dress and shrug: Lane Bryant
Gladiator sandals: Evans
Pearl earrings: Betsey Johnson

Now I did wear a shrug... baby steps, people. And my best friend told me he is tired of my "grandma" shrug. So that is my next project. Going sleeveless.

I believe everything happens for a reason. The hosting opportunity from Lane Bryant allowed me to be visible and step out from behind the laptop and it also allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. I would have never ended up in that dressing room and in that houndstooth dress if it weren't for this hosting gig. So thank you, Lane Bryant!

My legs are a part of me. And if I am on this quest to fully love myself, that means loving my flaws, too. When we don't love ourselves fully, we hinder ourselves from our full potential.

To think, this whole time, I could have been rocking so many fabulous dresses that I passed on by because of the length. And my legs have done so much for me in my life. They take me places I have never seen. They make it possible for me to see the world.

I'm a work in progress but all of these baby steps out of my comfort zone are making me feel so powerful and centered in who I am. And it was all due to a little houndstooth dress.

Added bonus: I had a date who picked me up after the event for dinner. He took one look at me and said "WOW, you look beautiful! And you have amazing legs." Well, alrighty then! 

“I am powerful in my love for myself. The truth of my being is I love myself exactly as I am. I honor my empowered heart.” ~ Amy Leigh Mercree


Please check out what my fellow Ahead of the Curve Bloggers have to say about houndstooth, tweed and plaid 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 comment