If There Is One Thing….

There is one activity that I can get depressed doing. In fact it is pretty much a sure fire way for me to get bummed out. Clothes shopping. Ill paise while you shudder. I’m not sure if it’s knowing that most clothing now a days, or at least some of the cutest, are made for women with hardly any curves to them or the number on the size tags sewn into the seam of the pants that get me down. But of all of the shopping I occasionally do, the kind I hate the most is dress shopping.

My “ample” figure makes it difficult to find a dress in a size that isn’t in the upper double digits. Namely for the reason that they won’t zip around my chest. This may sound awesome, having a cup (or two) that runneth over but believe me, it ain’t. In your case you may want to replace an ample figure up top for ample attributes in other places. I feel you. Everyone has something they would change. Everyone has something they don’t want accentuated.

And on that note, if it isn’t a dress that won’t zip up near the top (or bottom) it’s a dress with fabric that hugs everything that doesn’t deserve a hug. Namely – rolls. Rolls you’re pretty sure weren’t there before you started shopping but somehow appear under the terrible fluorescent lighting in the dressing room mirror. Ew.

I was glad for WHY I was dress shopping this past weekend. I’m in a very very dear friend’s wedding come this October, and I’m truly honored and excited to be. But why does trying on such pretty things have to be so…not pretty??


I was discouraged within an hour of being in the dress store. Even more so about 90 minutes into my session of torture to see a girl who would literally have no issue trying on just about anything she wanted pretending to have to “suck it in” to try on her perfect tea length dress. Puke.

I’m not a hater. If you have it, and by having “it” you can zip up your dress with little to no struggling, somewhere, deep down maybe, I’ll be thinking “darn you!” but truly, you go girl. I don’t think skinny is wrong. I don’t think heavy set is wrong. I think if you’re healthy and, even more importantly, you’re happy then you’re doing just fine. And if you’re happy, might I add, you are doing better than a large percentage of the female population.

I think we are almost trained to NOT like the size, shape or form we are. But how can that be?? For one, look at the images projected EVERYWHERE by EVERYTHING. Do they pat you on the back and tell you, it’s OK to be how you are, so long as you’re happy?

No, didn’t think so. They don’t make money if you don’t feel dissatisfied with your hair, teeth, skin, smell, size, clothing or accessories.

I know I’m not pointing out anything that hasn’t been said, time and time again. Said better, in fact.

But it’s all a trick. I was just discussing this with my friend last night. Especially dress shopping. It’s all a trick. And I have deciphered some of these tricks and figured out a way “around them.” I am sharing a few of them, just for you. So that you, too, don’t get yourself down.

Trick 1.) The size charts are
a joke – they aren’t even close to being accurate.
Ever wonder why when you’re dress shopping you need to go up 2-3 sizes?? Yea, it’s because the size chart, for perhaps logical reasons that I fail to see, that the attendants use is crap. I’ll tell you this, only because I love you guys but…homegirl had to order a size 20 dress last weekend. Now, listen, I have had plenty of cupcakes in my day but I’m not a 20. But to get a size to zip over my bust, I needed to go up that high (cups that runneth over, remember?) so don’t be discouraged if you need to order several sizes up from what your normally wear. Part of it is to make sure that the dress fits where it needs to fit, the other reason is because those charts were probably made by insensitive men who don’t know how crushing it is when something that SHOULD zip won’t. I made that last part up.

2.) The lighting and mirrors are BAD. Horrible. Awful. Terrible. The lights are gross!! It shows ripples, dimples and unflattering shadows that just aren’t there. And remember this – Jessica Alba has thousands of dollars worth of and dozens of (if not more) lights and paid assistants there solely to set them up at photo shoots. You may be like me and be in a dressing room….maybe at a boutique in Dover, Delaware. Same? I say one of these is not like the other.

(See?? Lighting…and photoshop probably)

3.) Know what flatters YOU If I had a dime for every time I tried on an empire waisted gown, because some publication (I use that term loosely) told me that style worked well for bigger chested women with a tiny bit of a belly, and then wanted to bang my head on the wall, I would have a headache and money in my pocket. Sometimes, fashion editorials get it right…sometimes, not so much. Disregard what you’re told is in, and go with what YOU feel most comfortable in and what YOU think flatters you best. And when in doubt….

4.) Take a friend who will be honest and kind with you. Not someone who is catty, or insists that they know what good fashion is. Take someone (or have your camera phone handy to text pictures, like I did) with you who will be honest with you, while not putting you down. I told you that ANYONE has a part of them that they don’t want accentuated. Kate Middleton has a short torso, Katie Holmes has really long, stocky legs and J. Lo’s booty could most certainly look unflattering if dressed unbecomingly. EVERYONE has something they don’t want highlighted. So you should take someone with you that will be honest but encouraging and who really wants to help.

5.) Pick something that feels like you, that you feel beautiful in. Remember how I said that everyone has something about their figure that they don’t want highlighted? Even the likes of Kate Middleton, Katie Holmes and J. Lo? But when those ladies step out…do you notice? Have you ever noticed before that Kate Middleton’s torso is a tad ‘short’? And no, I’m not making fun of her. The girl is gorgeous. Part of the reason why? Do you think she looks inhibited or self conscious while wearing her wedding gown in front of a BILLION people? Nope.

She was both comfortable in what she was wearing because she felt like herself. And, the girl owned it. I have no desire for billion, much less a dozen sometimes, people watch me intently while I do anything, ready to pounce and criticize like so many celeb watchers do. But that dress was her top to bottom. She wore the dress, it don’t wear her. Own what you have and what you wear. Confidence is the best accessory a woman can have.


6.) This one is the most important. Remember: You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are loved an treasure by a most high God. You are worthy. And you are beautiful. One thing that cannot, in my opinion, be objectively rated is beauty. It is truly in the eye of the beholder. Some think Julia Roberts is gorgeous. Others, maybe not so much. But God doesn’t discriminate or have a rating system. You are His. You are loved. And it is your heart, and what it is inside that makes you your most radiant.

There you have it. My ‘tips’. Some pragmatic, some not. All practical. All important. Hopefully, you find good use for them. In the meantime, I’m probably going to eat at least one cupcake today. Ok, you got me.

Probably two.

Happy almost Friday!!


2 thoughts on “If There Is One Thing….

  1. Becca says:

    You are amazing. :} Thank you so much for being willing to go through this torture to stand up with me on my big day. I appreciate it. :> And you know they also make these size charts bigger so they HAVE to do expensive alterations, so that’s another reason to pooh-pooh them. ;P


    • ashleylecompte says:

      You’re amazing. I was so glad to do it but instantly forgot how much fun it isn’t sometimes. 🙂 truly, it was an honor and I’m stoked for my dress. Hope you didn’t think I resented you or anything. It was my pleasure. 🙂 love you!!


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