BRITTANY TIPLADY | March 1, 2017


When naked, I will openly say that I had very little connection to my inner sex goddess. Chalk it up to teenage eating disorders, years of ballet, and shitty boyfriends, but rarely do I look at my naked self in the mirror and see anything other than a reflection that slightly resembles Kevin James trying to suck in the night’s indulgences.

I struggled for many years, and still often stumble, to find the right outfits to accentuate my curves in ways that did not make me look 13 months pregnant. For example, the trend of boxy tops, flowy tanks, and trumpet dresses, do not bode well with my 36 F sized breasts unless my goal is to look like a walking teepee (it’s not). As a late bloomer, I grew into my curves well into my 20’s with very little guidance on how to dress this voluptuous body of mine.

The clothing stores I loved betrayed me. They donned advertisements only of small breasted, braless women rocking camisoles, and micro jean shorts that would surely be lost in my thighs after a block of walking in the summer heat. These women so whimsical with their a-line dresses blowing in the wind, bearing elegant, slightly toned arms, a messy topknot I can’t seem to achieve, and very little care for inner-thigh chafing.

I stared at these models while online shopping hopelessly scrolling for a photo, a suggestion, a piece of inspiration on how to dress myself. Most importantly, how to dress myself and feel good about what I was wearing and what I spent my hard earned money on. Feeling sexy in my clothing had been replaced by lamenting each morning over my lack of wardrobe for my new and permanent figure. I wanted so badly to be the minimalist pixie dream girl: the careless, ethereal women that litter clothing advertisements. Instead I soldiered on, shaking my booty into my jeans and praying the inner thigh seams didn’t choose to bust in public. A tough cross to bear.

We worship Hollywood’s curvaceous celebrities. The Kardashian clan, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, all celebrated for their iconic shape and booties akin to the peach emojii. Now, look at the e-commerce models and clothing ads for most major brands. Where are these bodies reflected? How can we shop for every size when the diverse mosaic of the female body is not catered to?

Eventually, my relationship to my clothed self became similar to my relationship to my naked self: uncomfortable, insecure, unsure. One miserably hot July day in Gastown, I remembered a thrift shop that I had once purchased one of my favourite dresses at years prior.  I popped in and dove into the racks of summer frocks.

For the first time that year, I felt relief in the dressing room. CLOTHES THAT FIT MY BODY.

It was if I was in a 1960’s time machine and had emerged with a dress that sat on my hips just right, a bust line that was sexy but oozing with class, a sleeve that sat perfectly on my bicep. Success.

I began to curate the type of style, cuts, and era that worked for my curves without sacrificing any integrity. Scouting different vintage stores and local brands that work for my body is still a challenge but one that offers a relieving reward. I began to feel sexy in my clothing again, and in turn, getting undressed wasn’t so bad after all. Why? Because feeling good in what I had presented to the outside world all day, meant I was able to feel even sexier when slipping into my own skin.

Photo by Alexa Mazerello