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How to shop for clothes when you're insecure
Note: For many people, “insecurities” would be better translated as “dysmorphia”, particularly for trans individuals. Many tips will still be applicable, but insecurities is a more wide-reaching word and that’s why I chose it.
1. Shop alone.Or as alone as you can/feel comfortable with. Shopping with other people can remind you of bodies you wish you had and clothes you wish you could wear. Not to mention, it takes twice as long and is at least twice as exhausting.
2. Don’t linger. Does Forever 21 not have pinstripe shorts in your size? Then don’t stand there staring at the shorts. The longer you stare, the more time you waste thinking about the fickle and narrow tastes of fashion companies. You could spend that time looking even more awesome than you already do.
3. Don’t be afraid of less fashionable stores. Maybe some of these stores aren’t the most “in” fashion wise, but exactly 0 people give a shit where it came from once it’s out of the store. If things are more likely to fit you right in a less fashionable store, GO THERE. Going into a store only to find out you feel horrible in everything is a far worse fate. Plus, you can jazz it up with stuff from other places.
4. Face away from the mirror. Try on your clothes with your back to the mirror and only turn around when you really like something and you feel it fits you the way you like. Watching yourself try on clothes encourages you to scrutinize why they don’t fit you in terms of you. As in “these clothes don’t fit me because I’m too skinny.” So on that point…
5. Find clothes built to fit you. Don’t build yourself to fit the clothes. Don’t buy things to fit into them later. Don’t suck in your stomach to make the shirt cover it. Those things will be awkward and uncomfortable and so will be constant reminders of things you don’t like about yourself. Wearing clothes that feel right on you allows you more room to forget about disagreements with your body.
6. Buy one thing that has nothing to do with something you dislike about your body. Cool sunglasses, new earrings, a video game, whatever you want to buy.
7. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re tired, rest. No problems will improve on hunger and exhaustion.
8. Avoid shopping on bad body days. Obviously.
9. Allow for flexibility. You might feel super girly the day you’re shopping, but remember that you might feel super boyish tomorrow. Account for that by buying things you can feel comfortable with no matter how you feel. (Credit to an anon for this!)