I just want it to be flattering

Before I start, take a second and ask yourself, what does “flattering” mean? People usually say that something flattering is something that makes you look good, but that’s subjective.What does that even mean? Some like more fitted clothes, while others like something flowier that doesn’t define their shape. Both are right. 

Definition of flattering

Let’s take a step back and think about what flattering means, according to the dictionary. 

flattering: adjective /ˈflæt̬·ər·ɪŋ/

making someone look or feel better or more attractive than usual:

That suit is flattering on you.

(Definition of flattering from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press) 

So, according to the dictionary, something flattering means that it makes you look better (subjective), and I’m gonna just say what you’re thinking. It makes people think you look thinner, prettier, more mainstream. 

Those things don’t matter to so many people, which is why flattering wedding attire will get different comments from different people. 

It’s our own life, experiences, and let’s face it, trauma, that make us comment the way we do. 

Wedding dress shopping

Lens: Amanda DeBusk

Imagine going wedding dress shopping. Maybe you prep by reading this Brides article about the best wedding dress for each body type. You go in with your mom and your best friends. You try on a number of dresses. Everyone has an opinion. But that’s why you brought them along, right?! You trust them to be honest.

Things to consider:

  1. Are you listening to your own voice? I know a lot of people go dress shopping and buy the dress that got the most votes from their friends- the dress that people told them was the most flattering.
  2. Are you basing your opinion on the one or two dresses that fit closest to your body, not the one you really like (but doesn’t fit that well)? Imagine if all the dresses you tried on fit perfectly, and you could base your decision on style and taste?
  3. Are you making conclusions about a particular style or element based on the small handful of designers who design for your body? Imagine have all the elements you love in front of you to choose from!

Seeking validation

When something is made in proportion to your body, it will always fit, which is why I’m such a fan of custom wedding design. Even though I have an idea of how I would fit every body, what I remind my clients is that this is your wedding, your look. I’m not wearing the dress or suit I’m making for you. You’re the expert of how you like things to fit your body.

Once things fit the way that make you feel like yourself, you might find that outside validation means less to you. And then, when you’re walking down the aisle, and you hear whispers, your confidence makes you smile because you know how good you look, and more important, how you feel!

Here’s a really great (raw, real, no holds barred) dialogue about the word flattering over on the Fat Sewing Club insta and another one on the Sewcialists insta that might be of interest to you, no matter your size.

And don’t forget, flattering is subjective. Wear what you want to wear- how you want to wear it.