plus size denim jacket t-shirt outfit 007

At least weekly at the moment someone comments on one of my images {on Pinterest mostly} reinforcing old rules about style, dressing and telling me what to do with MY body and outfit choices. Sometimes if they’re just pointless, I delete them. Or mean, like what the hell were you THINKING!? I don’t like drama on my pages and the last thing I want {or need} is someone seeing that and feeling badly about their choices. Especially if the comments are on another woman’s photo that I’ve pinned.

Fair enough, I put myself out there. I take a million and one photos of myself for the sole purpose of passing myself off as some sort of expert online. I expect a certain level of conversation about my clothing choices. I expect people to find parts they like and don’t like as related to their own personal style. And I am not one of those people who needs everyone to agree with me. HOWEVER that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t bug me.

Because IT DOES.

I get annoyed about these comments because it reinforces that you should be ashamed of your body if you aren’t perfect. Who is perfect? Show me them and I’ll show you imperfection being perfect. We are all imperfectly perfect. Please don’t tell me to flatter my body, avoid stripes or a certain length top. It’s none of your business. Time after time I say that the old rules don’t apply. It’s up to you and your personal style to decide what you want to wear and how tight you want to wear it.

For a lot of us we have no idea what our body really looks like without the blinkers of self-criticism. Don’t we all have photos of that time in our life when we were so unhappy with our body but now look back and think ‘gosh, I wish I looked like that NOW!’ or ‘I wish I knew then how good I had it’? I know I do. You’ve got it good now. You’re here. Your body works and there’s only one thing getting in the way of you and being at home, in love and proud of your body and that’s you.

Recently my photos were used as examples of outfits not to wear pointing out their opinion on my body’s flaws and faults. My face was blurred and my website not credited. After a comment and a couple of emails back and forth the post was removed after I requested the images be replaced with the original photo {with my face} and for links to my website. I am not ashamed of my body, the way I dress or that someone doesn’t like my choices because they are mine. Don’t blur my face and hide me.

The funny side is people only find these photos because they are so darn popular online with women looking for outfits and ideas. They are some of my most popular outfits ever. HA. Is that irony? I don’t know. Alanis confused me for life on that one.

So ladies I have just a few more things to say… Don’t I always!?

It’s time to get real about the body you have. Sure you can flatter and play to the strengths but always dress in a way that makes YOU feel confident and happy. My flat butt is still my flat butt in horizontal stripes, bodycon dresses, short tops, long tops and in jeans. It certainly isn’t better, worse, wider, bigger or less suitable for public consumption because of the way I chose to dress.

Your body still looks the way it looks no matter what . And here’s the hot tip, your bum is as wide as it is, you’re not fooling anyone. Your belly is what it is, and people will either notice it or not {most, not}. Same goes for your hips, your boobs, your arms, thighs and knees. For demonstration purposes, I made a diagram. Here’s a number of examples of my body continuing to be my body no matter what…

The still my ass Collage

No, horizontal stripes won’t make you look fat. Only being fat makes you look fat.

And you know what, that’s okay.

The end.

  • Pumba

    Good one Suger. We are who we are – regardless of the clothes.

  • Great post! I love your style.


  • Jennifer Cheung

    I really like you.

  • Bridget Crotty

    Wow great article. I share your sentiments expressed we as women should
    feel free to express ourselves however we see fit. If somebody doesn’t
    like it’s their problem. Love your outfits by the way.

    • Thank you Bridget. I agree, it’s certainly a thing specific to women, men are never told to not wear stripes or whatever.

  • Hannah

    I actually think the horizontal stripes make you look better. as it asentuates your curves . you look really great in stripes. and your very glam too

    • Thank you Hannah. I think so too! I’m actually quite rectangular shaped, so they create a curve that’s not really there.

  • Gi Csome

    You go girl! I couldnΒ΄t have said it better. This is our body, the one we have today. And the only way to look great in something is loving it an wear it with confidence. Nobody is allowed to tell us how or what we should wear. As for myself, I looove horizontal stripes and IΒ΄m gonna keep using them and looking like a goddess while at it, ha.

  • MaggieSnarkface

    Oh my, what makes people think that it’s OK to take someone’s photo, post it on their site and then make negative remarks? I agree that it’s sort-of ironic, especially because I have pinned your first photo from this post as an inspiration outfit. Or, rather, re-pinned.

    • I know right? Weird! And yes, the outfit at the top here was one of the ones selected. It draws too much attention to my belly apparently. Thanks for pinning it! The whole post is in the archives if you want it.

  • Malene

    I love this! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • bravo.

  • Kim H

    Those horizontals are so flattering on you! I honestly do think it’s about the cut of the piece of clothing though, don’t you? For my body shape, if I wore that black maxi dress that you’ve got on in the photo next to the horizontal stripey one I wouldn’t feel comfortable. I’m an all black girl most of the time. Love black! But, I need a slightly more fitted look to feel less like a beached whale. I look back at photos of when I was thin and even then big floppy things didn’t flatter my shape. You, Missy, seem to be able to wear whatever shape you like and it works. Not fair! LOL I’m horrified to hear that someone used your photos to show what not to wear. Agh!!!! Out them I say!!!!!

    • Absolutely. I think that wearing what you like, what works on you no matter what other people say is the key. I don’t wear some shapes because I don’t like them on me but I’d never demand someone else not wear them. Even if we share a similar shape.

      And thank you, you’re a gem. πŸ™‚

  • You’re awesome! I don’t always comment but posts like these give me confidence to wear what I like and stop hating the way I look.

    • Thank you Kelly. And thanks for taking the time to comment this time, I’m glad these posts can do that for you! YAY for that.

  • Love this post!!!

  • Sarah Collins

    I don’t like when I hear stuff like for example categorizing body shapes such as ‘apple’ or ‘pear’ or whatever. Like, I am not a category. I am the ‘Sarah’ or ‘Me’ body shape. I am me and I know what works for my body and what i like to wear. I used to pay attention to all those tips from fashion mags saying what to wear to flatter/hide things about your body, but now I just try something on, and if I like it then I wear it. Simple. Love this post πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Sarah. I’m the same these days, I’m like WHAT, what the heck are you lot on about.

  • PrincessEatsPeaSoup

    Oh dear, where to start. People in general often want to ‘help’ me with criticism of one kind or another. For some reason elderly men on the street, often want to give me negative critique about my curvaceous appearance, even though I never wear a sign inviting such attention. I offer the following example of my life –

    Old hunched man with long greasy hair shuffles up very close onto me at the supermarket. I refused to look around because he is too close to me for a start and I am waiting at a counter to ask a question.

    He goes β€˜….mumble mumble mumble when you gonna be skinny like me.’

    Still not even moving my head in his direction, I say β€˜I am not ever going to be skinny. I am happy just as a I am.’

    He shuffles away.

    Curvy girl beside me looking incredulous says β€˜what did he say?’

    I told her and she says β€˜Good on you! Good on you!’

    My policy is that if you own it, people can’t hurt you with their ignorant comments, that goes especially for strangers. Random critique rarely penetrates my self esteem, especially if someone is doing so in person where I can respond. It’s much more frustrating to me when they are not in front of me to respond to. I used to let this sort of thing slide by me but not anymore. I am not ashamed of who I am and I can’t believe the amount of people who start from the assumption that I must be unhappy with my body. Wrong, so wrong. I own it, I work it!

    • OMG! Old dude. Old dude. *shakes head*. I actually do quite well with old dudes. They call me the retiree magnet at work because the old dudes love me and drop by for coffee and such all the time. Let me at him, I’ll sort him out.

      And I love you final paragraph, it really is so true. I’m way more likely to fire something back these days or request clarification. I don’t back down now. It’s my body and I’ll do with it what I will.

    • Bridget Crotty

      That reminds me of when I was a teenager and a middle aged woman at the gym said “You have a such a pretty face, if only you lost tehw eight you’d look much better.” I hate it when random starngers make negative comments. I’ve always been told by friends that I have confience in what I wear. I think that’s what makes a difference if you feel comfortable and good in something. I also try and go for more fitted looks too.

      • PrincessEatsPeaSoup

        A compliment wrapped in insult – they are bad. Because you want to respond to the insult with anger but it seems like they maybe don’t intend to be insulting because of the compliment. I have to always confront it now. In fact I had forgotten exactly what happened with the old man but looked it up because I remembered that I had sent the story to a friend in an email. Variations of that incident happen to me at least once a year and the only way not harbor resentment is for me to speak up and address it immediately. So, in a way I am always prepared to turn around and tell people exactly how happy I am in myself – very assertively. But then I shake it off.

        Or you could take a line from Judge Judy and respond with ‘beauty fades, dumb is forever’.

      • I hate the whole you’ve got such a pretty face thing. Sheesh, people are silly.

  • Maria Thestrup schmidt

    You are such an inspiration and your blog has given me such a confidence boost! Recently joined you from Denmark, and wish we had bloggers like you to spread the message here….


    • Wow Maria, thank you lovely. I appreciate that. Welcome along for the ride. πŸ™‚

  • Wonderfully written as always! And to all the scary haters, I can only offer my own observation in that I would guess that about 80% of recent stripey items of clothing have been bought either directly or inspired by something I’ve seen you wear here πŸ™‚
    I always liked stripes but was unsure how they would work on my figure. Seeing you rock your curves in so many different ways with stripes gave me the oomph to get mine on… And I love them!

    On a side note, the number of pencil skirts I own has also increased since I found your blog last year… Hmmmm

    • Thank you Rebecca. I’m glad to have passed on the stripe bug to you. It really is about if you love them, can feel confident wearing them, then I hope people do. And those haters, they’re not so scary. Just scared, I think.

      Haha. There is a direct correlation between this blog and the ownership of pencil skirts I hear. Whoops. πŸ˜‰

  • Erin Stewart

    I read a recent post on GarnerStyle with the exact same sentiment. She was frustrated with the haters and couldn’t understand why people find it necessary to bash her anonymously in such a public forum for just being herself. You are absolutely beautiful inside and out, and that isn’t limited by what you wear. You should never feel ashamed of yourself for being exactly who you are and you should never cater your style to someone else’s ideals. I am amazed every time I read this blog because it reinforces the new attitude I am trying to adopt about loving my body no matter what it looks like. Thank you for being an inspiration.

    • Thanks for the heads up Erin, I’ll have to find the post and take a read. And thank you also for your kind words. I think the same is absolutely true of all women. And I’m proud to do my little bit to chip away at things.

  • Awesome! Seriously. It’s taken me DECADES to get real about the body I have, and to realize that I need to love it and respect it by dressing however I want to instead of hiding in clothes ‘experts’ tell me are supposed to be the most flattering for my size and shape.

    I appreciate you and your blog! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Natalie. What a lovely thing to say. And yes, it’s important to be yourself and dressing the way you like to, or want to is a part of the expression of that. The rules are silly and created for some silly reason I can’t figure out right now.

  • I <3 YOU!

  • Brittany Norma

    This is brilliant! I used to avoid stripes, loving them from a distance.
    Nowadays though, I’m almost always wearing a striped something!
    Absolutely brilliant post, and sorry you’re recieving negativity, but I’ve always found people only hate what they see in themselves, and so it must be sad to be them!

    • Thank you Brittany. I’m the same. Not that I really shied away from them, I’ve always loved them. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you for saying so. And I agree, indifference is the opposite of love not hate, right? You can’t be indifferent and hate.

  • MilaXX

    LOVE this post! I wear what I like. Yes I play to my strengths, but I’m not under any illusion that my arms aren’t fat, my boobs aren’t big and my belly is anything other than my belly. So I’mm a wear white pants if I feel like it & stripes dresses because I found one I liked that fit.

    • GREAT! Thank you and always great to hear of another self aware lady wearing what she wants. I’m a lot partial to the stripe dress myself. πŸ˜‰

  • I can’t even express how great this post is. This is my first time here, and I clapped after every paragraph! LOL! Love it! Keep on being you and let them look. While they’re busy watching you, you’re living your life like it’s golden πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much Ticka. Welcome to SCI, I hope you have a great time here. I look forward to seeing you around.

  • flashionaffair

    I finally got over asking my boyfriend ‘does this make me look fat’ because ya know what it doesn’t make me look fat, I am already fat! its true that some outfits hide the fat more than the others, but its more of an illusion than anything else and who can honestly be bothered covering themselves with illusions everyday! love this post and i love stripes!

    • Absolutely. Thank you for sharing this, it’s SO true.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. xo

  • KazzBang

    LOVE THIS. A friend of mine is only at the start of her body love / empowerment journey and she struggles with the ‘fat girl style rules’. We often go clothes shopping together and if she likes something I tell her to buy it, if she’s not comfortable then I tell her not to buy it. It’s about what YOU like on YOUR body. If you’re feeling good it shows – conversely, if you’re not comfortable in it then you will be consistently tugging at it and probably apologising about it too. Fake it til you make it – we’ve decided that’s her mantra at the moment til she learns to love herself a bit more!

    • It takes time absolutely to break down the ideas you have drilled into you from a young age. As a child of the nineties I lived in baggy shirts because I thought no one would tell how big I was under them and was constantly surprised they could. Amazing! The short version is they lied. The people who said that stuff, made it up. So good on her! And you, shop the heck out of it ladies. x

  • Kimaloo

    I think I’m going to make it a point to wear stripes tomorrow in honor of this awesome post. πŸ™‚

  • Love it.
    110% agree.

    I think I’ll get on board with stripes for tomorrow’s outfit. xx

  • LOVE this post! LA-AVE it.

  • Well done.

    When skinny people stop wearing leggings and tights as pants maybe I’ll consider not wearing stripes, baha.

    • Thank you.

      Uh oh. I totally wear leggings as pants sometimes. And not just to the gym. Sure the tops are borderline tunic but I know, and people know, they are a wee bit too short for that. And you know what? I couldn’t stop if I tried, I love leggings, they’re just SO comfortable. Haha.

  • Jaz

    You look great in all of those outfits!

  • Olivia

    LOVE the top right outfit, gold and black. Super cute!

  • kp


  • Dead Lindsae

    Just genial!!!

  • Hannah

    you look awesome in stripes!

  • Jo

    I have always avoided horizontal stripes due to fashion ‘rules’, but you look bloody fantastic! I’m going to give it a go!!

    • Well this is the best news I’ve had all day. Glad to hear it Jo! Enjoy. πŸ˜€

  • Rebecca Ross

    Melissa i’m loving the black and white striped numbers on you. Oooo Lalala. i’m personally not a stripe fan. Not because of how they look on me but because I just don’t like stripes (too nautical for me LOL). I think the same can be said for polka dots and me until I tried them on and now I own two polka dot items. LOL

    • Haha. Thank you muchly. I hear you. My sister hates spots, so I barely have any in my wardrobe either. Maybe one or two items. It’s funny what you’re drawn too.

  • Barb

    I think you look gorgeous in every one of these outfits! Keep rockin’ the stripes girl!

    • Thank you Barb!

      Can I ask where you heard about this post? There are LOTS of visits right now and I can’t find who to thank. πŸ™‚

  • Michelle Kennedy

    You rock!

  • Jo Von Scripter-Pierce

    You look wonderful! When people say that outfit makes you look fat, my reply is always “And your point? I’ m fat, so?” Usually shuts them right up.

    • Thank you. And haha, I totally agree. I haven’t has anyone say anything like that in a while but let me tell you, my response would be the same. πŸ˜‰

  • Van

    I thought the two stripe dresses were actually the most flattering, even though you look great in all of them. πŸ™‚ so, so much for that fashion “rule”. I don’t wear stripes only because I’m not a fan. I have no “fashion sense” anyway so rules smules.

  • Kay Elizabeth Kerns

    i agree and i admire your spirit and integrity

  • PatriciaS

    I stumbled upon your blog today and I have to say… well said! By the way, your cheekbones are amazing and you have gorgeous eyes! And I love the first outfit above, looks great.

    • Thank you Patricia! Welcome to my home away from home.

      The cheekbones, from my Mum, the eyes from my Day. Haha. πŸ˜‰ Thank you, it’s one of my favourites too.

  • “No, horizontal stripes won’t make you look fat. Only being fat makes you look fat.” Haha!! So good, I think I’ll be using that one!

    • Haha. Well it’s true right. Some horizontal lines aren’t going to change your body. It is what it is.

  • kp

    This post is AMAZEBALLS ….AMAZEBALLS!!

  • Renee

    Your amazing! Great post x

  • Dee

    Love it x

  • LOVE this. You are amazing and I am always so inspired by how you embrace yourself for who and what you are. An intelligent, beautiful, strong woman. You are empowering other women (me) who have always hid their bodies behind big jumpers and trackies because it wasn’t ‘perfect’ and for that I have to say a huge thank you and, hopefully one day, my girls will too. You look stunning in each of those photos and in the last one I think your dress is giving me a seizure, but you still look amaze. I’m going to buy some stripes tomorrow xx

    • Wow Becky, thank you. My hope is exactly what you said here, I hope one day our daughters won’t feel the way we did about our bodies. I hope they get to see them for what they are and embrace that.

      Sorry about the seizure. Haha. Enjoy shopping. πŸ˜‰

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  • Rachel GeeBee

    Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes I love you.

  • Jessica Theodore

    This is a great article! I think you look great in all the outfits here!

  • JenJen

    How well adjusted are you, Wish I could be, fabulous article enjoyed it to the very end πŸ™‚

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  • Leah Rice-Levitt

    funny thing is i followed all the rules and then when i started wearing tight skirts and stripes and wore what i wanted to wear people started telling em how great i looked. thankyou for putting it out there and giving other women the confidence to do it too. love you!

    • It’s so true, isn’t it! I would never expose my arms at work or on more formal occasions, I always felt like they just weren’t good enough for such dressy occasions… But you know what, it’s hot here a LOT and I like having my arms uncovered. One day I just decided enough was enough and I was going to do what I want and I’ve never looked back. Ever!

  • Leah Rice-Levitt

    funny thing is i followed all the rules and then when i started wearing tight skirts and stripes and wore what i wanted to wear people started telling em how great i looked. thankyou for putting it out there and giving other women the confidence to do it too. love you!

  • LOVE this article! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • L.O.V.E. love your boldness and your confidence, Melissa. It makes me so proud to be WOMAN hear us roar. You know why women (and men) criticise another woman’s appearance? Because it’s ingrained in us to look “good” or “perfect” FOR MEN. And when one woman doesn’t conform to the rules or what is widely accepted as “good” and “perfect” it’s so incredibly intimidating people don’t know what to do with themselves!!!

    • Thank you Daisy. I say that in the start of the Fashion Anarchy eBook, a large part of these rules are about controlling women in the same way for centuries we were told who to love, where to shop, what to do… All that. The sooner we learnt to stand up for ourselves and each other and say no, that’s not right, the better.

  • This is awesome. Well done and too right! x

  • jess @ MissJessFaker

    You look gorgeous! Cant believe people think its okay to tell you otherwise. You’re an amazingly stylish woman! Your confidence shines x

  • OMG!! so true!! you are my style-guru from this day forward!Love the post..couldn’t have put it any better xx

  • Marney

    You’re very brave for putting yourself out there, and despite the haters, there are those of us gals who are full of insecurities who enjoy seeing an every day girl like yourself doing great things with fashion! I’m a size 10, but that means nothing. I still have LOTS of body insecurities, and I would not cope in the slightest having people critique my photos or tell me I should change my appearance in any way at all! I think you’re inspiring and it gives me hope that by the time my little girl is old enough to understand the concept of self-love that our society is more respectful and accepting of every shape and size! Please keep doing what you’re doing. I think your fab!

    • Thank you Marney. I do hope that your daughter grows into a world that isn’t as focused on some idea of perfection and beauty, that she gets to be well and happy in her own body. And if I can do anything to impact that, I will. Show her the way Mumma, it’s over to you mostly. x

  • Preach, sister!

  • Big Curvy Love

    I’m wearing horizontal stripes right now!

    • Me toooo! Though that’s not hard to do, I’m always wearing stripes. πŸ˜‰

  • Sarah Milbourn

    Well said! I wear stripes all the time now. I didn’t for a long time, because if ‘the rules’. But I think as I get older I care about things like that less and less. You look gorgeous!

    • Thank you Sarah. I think as you get older you realise that the rules are made to be broken and a large percent of them are actually bullshit. Haha. Enjoy your stripes!

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  • Minto Thorsen

    I have a somewhat different style, and I do limit some of the things I’d wear because I don’t like the way they look, but DANG, Girl, I applaud you–for your confidence, for your boldness, for your strength in the face of criticism, for putting it out there day in and day out, and for your clear joie de vivre , which is absolutely evident by how you dress. THAT is inspirational!

    • Thank you! This could be the best comment I’ve EVER received. So appreciated. x

  • I know this is totally old, but am wearing stripes right now! πŸ™‚

    • Haha. I love when people comment on old posts. Heya! Team stripes for the win. πŸ˜‰