Quirky style: An accidental style maven

In the last few years, I’ve really started honing and owning my own sense of style. A couple weeks ago, at my brother-in-law’s wedding, I realized that it’s kind of a thing I’m proud of, and it’s definitely a thing that Brian is proud of. So I’m learning to love this part of myself.

The night of my brother-in-law’s rehearsal, we had drinks at the faaaaancy hotel bar (the hotel that Beyonce and Jay Z were staying in), walked the city a bit, and had dinner at a lovely restaurant.

“I think I missed the dress code,” I told Brian. “The other people are all city chic, and I’m over here rocking the Chrissy pink.”

Chrissy disneybounding as Mrs. Hopps in front of Toy Story Land display at Disney Social Media Moms On the Road Conference

This was at the Magical Disney Social Media Moms on the Road Celebration. I was Disneybounding as Mrs. Hopps from Zootopia. It’s also the dress I wore to the rehearsal dinner with even pinker hair.

“Isn’t that the point?”

Two minutes later, a stranger walking past us complimented my pink on pink on pink ensemble. “I like your…pinkness!”

“See? You get random compliments from strangers!” And, to my utter surprise, it wasn’t the last compliment of the night.

I thought about it for a second. And he’s so right. For years, I’d ask his opinion of something I was planning to wear — whether it was rainbow tie-dye yoga pants or a Minnie Mouse onesie — and his response is always, “Well, it’s not something I would wear, but I think it’s really cool that you do.” And then he’d realize he was supposed to say, “It looks really good,” and he’d say that too.

Chrissy dancing on a bench with pink hair and a yellow dress

I bought myself a tripod so I could play around with photo shoots by myself. It wasn’t my worst decision ever.

Ever since I was a small child, I’ve been drawn to bright colors — pinks, teals, greens, yellows — and bold patterns – it is known that I have a thing for polka dots. But I’ve also been drawn to self-doubt, self-preservation, insecurity, envy, and other non-desirable traits. But the more I step into my own skin, the skin I’ve had for 35 years that isn’t going anywhere, the more I accept who I am and that how I dress is a part of that.

Chrissy wearing a brightly colored patterned dress in front of a willow tree and a lake

Bold patterns? Rainbows? Bright colors? Check Check Checkity Check.

Several people (a friend who’s known me for years and one of my brothers-in-law included) have recently mentioned something about me appearing comfortable in my style. Since dying my hair hot pink, it’s as if I’m more me than I’ve been since I was a child. Even before that, I began embracing a hobby called Disneybounding, in which I dress up as characters from Disney cartoons, movies, and even theme park attractions. It gives me the freedom, encouragement, and PERMISSION to dress like a “Polish war bride.”

Chrissy in tamatoa Disneybound outfit in front of a mural wall

This is one of my favorite Disneybound outfits to date: Tamatoa! I am planning to bring it with me on my next Disney World trip!

It’s funny, because I used to essentially wear pajamas to work, and now that I work at home, I find myself getting dressed up more than I have in years. I even wear makeup regularly (thank God for Julep)! I’m having fun playing with bold colors and unique combinations of patterns and styles. I’m matching things that 10-year-old me would have rocked and 25-year-old me would have mocked.

Chrissy wearing an orange dress and green scarf with yellow sneakers for an Orange Bird Disneybound.

This was an Orange Bird Disneybound that I was really excited about.

I wanted to provide my top tips on how to create your own style and own your style. It’s surprisingly easy when you figure out what makes you happy.

How to own your style

  1. ABOLISH all beliefs or rules of style. They don’t own you. They limit you. White after Labor Day? PSHA. White is for any day (except when drinking red wine on an airplane…)! Wheelie sneakers and light-up clothes after age 10? Roll on with your bad self. Stripes and polka dots together? It’s a thing. I swear. Seriously, though. Who came up with those style rules anyway? Forget them and make your own rules!
  2. TRY different styles and combinations and see how they make you feel. Go into an actual store and use the dressing room or order from Amazon, who provides free return shipping. Forget looking at fashion magazines and Pinterest. Make your own combinations.
  3. DISCOVER what makes you happy. For me, it’s hot pink and teal. It’s dressing like Disney characters. It’s bold patterns and rainbows and happy colors. It’s remembering what it’s like to be a kid again. For others, it may be band tee-shirts that have been collecting dust since you got a big-girl job. Or geek skater dresses. Or leggings as pants. Or black goth dresses. Or hippy chic boho skirts. Or fancy pantsuits. Take the time to figure it out.
  4. DONATE old clothes that don’t serve you well. If you try something on or wear it for a day and feel the slightest bit uncomfortable in what you’re wearing (and I don’t mean that it’s too tight. You want to feel like YOU in your clothes), it’s time to say goodbye.
  5. SWAP with friends. I’ve had several friends who have either lost weight, gained weight, or cleared out their closets, and they’ve shared their clothes with me and other friends. And I’ve done the same on several occasions. It’s actually really fun to see your past style as someone’s future look. Believe me, it’ll give an outfit new life.
  6. SMILE. Be confident in who you are and what you’re wearing. For me, it’s not about what’s in and out of fashion, it’s what makes me happy, confident, and comfortable. You’re the only you that’s ever going to be. So make your you stand out.

Take the Brave Pretty Challenge.

So what I’m really just saying here? Own the heck out of you. Wear and be and do what makes you happy. Spread joy. I want to know what your style is like. What are some of the things you love to wear?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Don’t mistake my highlight reel for real life

On occasion, I’ve been overwhelmingly praised for my confidence. For inspiring other women. For sparking a change in their lives. For helping them feel more comfortable in their own bodies. For being a rebel. For being fat when fat isn’t considered beautiful by the media. By men. By other women. For wearing less clothing than a chubby girl should. For showing off my curves (and my rolls). For not doing what is expected of me. For wearing a bathing suit. In public. And taking a picture.

 

For that praise, I am immeasurably grateful. To be referred to as an inspiration is incredibly humbling. And certainly not something I ever expected to be. But it makes me want to be better. It makes me want to try harder. I want to be an advocate for people to feel comfortable in their skin when they need to most. To put on a bathing suit and go to the pool with your children, to relax on a beach with the love of your life, to wear shorts when the weather is sweltering, to be in the pictures instead of just taking them.

If posting a picture of my yoga body, neither long nor lean, lithely moving in one of my beloved pairs of bright and colorful yoga pants can encourage someone to step on their mat every morning, I’m all in. I’m proud of the things my body can do, despite my back injuries, and the fact that I am now limited in my yoga practice. My body is strong.

plus size yogi practicing a head stand in a sports bra

If sharing a carefully posed image of myself in a two-piece bathing suit or a sports bra pushes someone to strut their stuff on the beach, then by all means yes! I’m your girl. I bought a two-piece bathing suit because I was inspired by others, and it made me feel fucking amazing.

But don’t — not for one second — believe that my highlight reel is anything more than anyone else’s daily existence.

I fight with myself every day. To be the confident girl you see in pictures. To be the highlight reel. And some days, even if it’s only for a minute, I’m that girl. Other days, I’m insecure girl. I’m jealous girl. I’m change-my-clothes-five-times girl. I’m stare-in-the-mirror-and-project-hate girl. I’m paranoid girl. Are they looking at the way my boobs pop out of my shirt? Is he staring at the cellulite on my thighs in these shorts? Is she watching me eat this cheeseburger and thinking what a fatty I am? Do they think I’m disgusting? They’re staring at me, right?

90%* of the time, the answer is NO. It’s all in your head. The other 10%* of the time? Assholes. Go ahead and judge them right back. Or don’t. And be the bigger person.

Do I love myself? Fuck yes. I think I’m fantastic. Some of the time. Do I look at myself in the mirror and think I’m beautiful? Sometimes. It’s all a part of who I am. I like to think if I loved only myself all the time, I would be a complete asshole who didn’t care about others. One who couldn’t empathize or sympathize. I’d be a robot.

Instead, I choose to spread love. And kindness. And passion. To support my friends and join them on their beautiful journeys. To live and love unabashedly with my boobs and cellulite and cheeseburgers.

Does that mean I’ll always be happy with my body the way it is? Probably not. If given the opportunity to have liposuction or a tummy tuck, would I take it? Absofuckinglutely. But…that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit on my ass waiting for it under several layers of clothing while I hide behind my computer.

Instead, I’m going to create a highlight reel.

My highlight reel on social media helps me boost my own confidence

*I mathed in a fictitious land called, “Chrissy’s World” and make no promises as to the accuracy of any numbers used in the making of this post.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!