Last week I attended Nashville's first annual Curated fashion show.
The event was produced by the Fashion Department of Art Institute of Nashville and featured collections by Van Hoang, People Like Art, Brittany Bennett and Ona Rex. Donations were accepted to benefit the Fashion Forward Fund of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
The show took place in an old warehouse in WeHo, one of the neighborhoods currently experiencing a great deal of growth and gentrification. These buildings are often inaccessible, and this one was no exception. The event coordinators knew I was coming, and were assured by the building's owner there would be a wheelchair ramp in place for the show. There was not, and that made for an awkward situation.
To their credit, the staff were incredibly apologetic and did everything they could to make it right. They offered to carry my 200 lb chair up 5 steps into the building, then helped me do the same. I could have refused on principle - but I didn't. To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure I could do it, but I felt it was important to try. I wanted everyone to understand the challenges that people in wheelchairs face every day, and if I had chosen to leave the point would have been quickly forgotten. I have since been contacted by the lead coordinator to work with me in the future to ensure this level of inaccessibility never happens again.
Now, let's talk fashion.
I was in some pretty glamorous company, wasn't I? Good thing I found this gorgeous vintage 1940's dress at Pura Vida Vintage. It has a beautiful ruffle detail on the left side, and these pictures don't do it justice. I promise you will see it again.
This dress is one of the few that fit me perfectly without having to make any alterations. This is definitely the exception and not the rule, and that doesn't just hold true for me. The idea of an "off the rack" body is a myth. Even runway models have to have fittings before they hit the catwalk.
Yet I watch so many women torture themselves if every garment they try on doesn't fit right off the bat. If their "common size" doesn't fit - if they have to go up in number or letter to a larger size - they delude themselves into thinking their bodies are the problem.
Ladies, it's not your body that's the problem. It's your mindset. It's not about size. It's about fit. And the only way to get a great fit is to focus on a different set of numbers and letters. You have to know your measurements. I know a lot of you just recoiled in terror at the thought of assigning actual inch values to your proportions. Only you and your tailor need to know what they are. You'll need them to buy clothes that fit your largest number, and your tailor needs them to alter those clothes to give you that perfect fit.
If you're intimidated by the idea of taking your own measurements I've created a Pinterest board that demystifies the process. It's not rocket science. You can do this.