This post is in partnership with Old Navy. All opinions are mine alone.
Here’s a curvy confession: I’m not always so curvy. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I yoyo year after year from one size to another. As you can only imagine, this is a painful realization when you own a closet full of clothes that you can barely sardine yourself into. Over the last four months, I’ve been experiencing major work/life balance stress and dealing with my underactive thyroid to boot—basically I’ve gone up a size or two! It’s discouraging to not feel comfortable in my own skin and the clothing I wear. Well, I’m suddenly comfortable and I have Old Navy’s denim jeans to thank.
We all go through life and have our towering highs and morose lows. I have a habit of taking on so much work (clearly, I don’t take my own advice) and saying yes to everybody and everything in sight. Whether it’s a new writing gig or kicking off a blogger network, I’m not the best at staying still. What’s even worse? I’m also not the best at stress management and making time for exercise. I know I’ll eventually get back into my groove, but the limbo of being overly body conscious is never fun.
Lately, trying on clothes has felt like attending a showing of Silence of the Lambs—did I say I hate scary movies? When I tried on Old Navy’s denim for the first time and checked out the bohemian-style prints in their new Explorer Collection, I was reluctant to get into the dressing room. I never thought I’d feel confident until I lost the “Freshman 15” I gained when moving to Houston, but Old Navy’s denim accentuates my curves in the right way and has so many slimming qualities. You guys—these jeans are the REAL deal. It’s also so cozy because of the jeans’ special fibers—I feel like I’m wearing super soft yoga pants (which is always a plus).
Because confidence is a constant battle for me, I’m always thinking of new ways to style myself for flattery. I know my areas where I feel “troubled” and I’ve learned how to make them work for me. Today, I really wanted to showcase some ways to not only look great in denim but also feel great in life.
Choose The Right Fit
Old Navy’s jeans have built-in sculpting to make you (and your butt, tbh) look great and toned. I bought myself a pair of high-rise Rockstar skinny jeans that really helped me feel confident in any top I tried on. I usually go for a mid-rise, but am so self-conscious on days where I feel bloated. It’s as if I create an imaginary muffin top in my head that haunts me. High-waisted denim is on trend and is flattering with both flowing and fitted tops.
Find Your Cut
Boyfriend, flare, bootcut—oh my! The choices for jean cuts are endless. The boyfriend jean is clearly still having a moment, but flared pants are making yet another comeback. I opted for cozy blue denim skinny jeans and a fun flared white denim pair.
Think Outside the Blue
Classic indigo is of course the most traditional denim, but don’t be afraid to add color to your look. The Explorer Collection is a great way to add a pop of patterns and color into your outfit. I really enjoyed layering scarves and a jacket on top of my detailed ensemble. I also LOVE the textures in the collection—the details really add more interest to an ensemble. Outside of tops and accessories, dare to be bold and try a colorful pair of pants or a bright white. Everyone always says dark colors and black contribute to a slimmer look—I say color exudes confidence.
Wear Your Highest Heels for Length
A wedge or high-heel can elevate your height and elongate your legs. Don’t be afraid to add a few inches to your look.
Mix & Match
Don’t be too timid to mix it up! Throw on a different shade of denim with your jeans while pairing your look with colors and patterns. The Explorer Collection had me feeling like I’m ready for an “Eat. Pray. Love.” adventure. Find the feelings you want to feel and dress for the occasion.
Stand Tall and Smile More
Aside from my bright white pants and top, I love to have a pearly white smile on at all times. Letting yourself relax, smile and laugh can be a huge stress reliever. Confession: I recently took a trip to Charleston for a blogger conference and was terrified of what people would think of me the entire time. The blogging world can have such a strong community, but there are plenty of Regina George’s out there to ruin it for everyone. I strayed away from wearing form-fitting jeans, bought shapeless dress to hide my curves and slouched like I was Quasimodo’s second cousin. When I saw the photos I took there, I knew I had to make a change. Not in my appearance, but in my confidence. Stand tall, smile and let your radiance exude. If I didn’t try to gain an ounce of confidence that weekend, I realized Cup of Charisma would have to come to an end.
Confidence is always going to be a battle for me whether I’m back at a size 4 or skirting the double-digits. At the end of the day, it’s not about size or weight. When choosing your outfits, find the pieces that bring out your inner beauty and make you feel like you’re shining.
Have a tip for staying confident in your closet? Leave your tips in the comments below for others to find!