opinions – bodylove

12 new year’s resolutions (that aren’t weightloss)

I know a lot of people think new year’s resolutions are unnecessary to begin with and you can make a change all year round blablablabla… And while they are not wrong, I don’t see what’s so bad about having resolutions to work on as the new year starts either. If a new year gives you that extra push you need, why not right? So my annoyance with new year’s resolutions have nothing to do with the fact that they exist, but that a LOT of them revolve around weightloss. Unsuccesfully, by the way, since most people give up after a couple of weeks… Only to start again the next year. Pointless much?

If you’re looking to make a positive, longlasting change in 2017, how about taking a look at some of these resolutions?

12 New Year’s resolutions that aren’t about weightloss

I tend to split my resolutions up in various categories (sometimes I’m shockingly organized) like “health”, “fashion” and “selflove” and each year I pick one in each category to work on. In 2016, I wanted to cut back on drinking caffeinated cofee, explore veganism, wear statement outfits more often in real life, and get into an exercise routine that I loved. All resolutions that made a positive impact on my life and made me feel happier. I’m happy to say I ticked all those boxes! I’ll be keeping up the good work in 2017, but let’s have a look at some possible goals for next year!

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4 healthy New Year’s resolutions

1. Sleep more – I go to bed at a reasonable hour, but some evenings I grab my phone (damn you pinterest) and end up sleeping 2 hours later than I had planned. Only to be tired and grumpy in the morning… Time for change!

2. Dance – no time to hit the gym, and the thought of exercising exhausts you? You’re not alone. Your relaitonship with workouts may be a tricky one, and I understand that journey takes time sometimes. But remember how you would dance as a kid? As if no one was watching? Time to pick that up again. Forget about the fact that it’s “great cardio”, focus on the fact that it’s great fun. Put on some Destiny’s Child (or whatever tickles your fancy), hit the lights (yeah I have to do this in the dark. I take the “no one is watching” part quite literally!) and shake shake shake for half an hour.

3. Prep your lunch – Now that I’ve joined the workforce, I get how easy it is to go for quick (unhealthy) eating options that are readily available at lunch. I feel so much better when I prep my lunch the night before! Unfortunately, I don’t always do this, but I really want to start picking this up…

4. Walk more – Most of us sleep about 8 hours a day and spend another 8 hours sitting behing a desk. That’s at least 2/3rds of your time, not counting the hours you sit in the car or on the couch at night. So park your car a bit further away, take the stairs instead of the elevator (or get out 3 floors earlier and walk the rest), go for a small walk around the block after dinner…Try to walk daily, even if it’s just 5 minutes. Those little things do help!

4 selflove New Year’s resolutions

5. Compliment people more often – Yes, complimenting others will definitely make you feel better about yourself! Think about it, how any times have you walked past a woman and thought “wow her coat is so gorgeous!” but not said anything? How many times have you read a blog that you thought was really great or powerful and not left a comment? How often does your partner do something nice for you that you realle appreciate, and not let them know? Time to speak up! Acknowledging the good and beautiful in the world will help you see the good and beautiful in yourself.

6. Just say thank you – when someone compliments you, just say “thank you”. Don’t try to diminish their compliment by coming up with random excuses why you don’t really deserve the compliment? (“this dress? It’s so old and I got it so cheap!”). Bite your tongue and feel the joy.

7. Learn to say no – Do you tend to give in to people even though you really don’t want to? Stop it woman. Standing up for yourself isn’t selfish! Ofcourse you can do nice things for others, but if it’s draining you more than it is fueling you, it’s time to cut that nasty habit.

8. Put on bodylotion every day – Not only will it force you to spend 5 minutes on yourself every day (you’d be surprised how many women don’t take 5 minutes for themselves!), but it’s a great way to learn to love your body better. We tend to avoid the areas we don’t like about yourself, but let me tell you… There is no more affective way to learn to love your body than to rub it with lotion for a couple of minutes.

4 fashion new year’s resolutions

9. Get rid of everything that doesn’t fit – You’ve been hanging on to it because, maybe, one day, you’ll fit into it again. That day hasn’t come. It will most likely not come. And if it does come, you won’t want to wear those clothes again (cause your style changes over time). Yes, your closet will probably be a lot emptier, but everything in it will be stuff you love. Imagine how much more fun it will be to get dressed in the morning!

10. Invest in your underwear closet – Even women with super organized closets have a weakness… their underwear! I don’t know a woman who doesn’t hold on to bra’s and undies WAY too long. Doesn’t fit you properly? Undies have holes in them? Not wearing them for whatever reason? Still wearing the same bra you wore when you were 17? Time to go! Yes, I know underwear is expensive, but it’s the foundation of everything you wear and you deserve something that fits the queen that you are. Treat yourself.

11. Wear statement pieces more often – This was my resolution for 2016, and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it J. That dress you wore to a party once? Wear it on a datenight. Those sequined shorts you think are “overdressed”? A shirt and black tights and you’re ready to go shopping for friends. That stunning expensive coat you keep in the closet? Wear it, show it, love it!

12. Wear something that frightens you – Maybe it’s a skinny years, a croptop, a bikini or a skintight dress… We all have those items that we drool at occasionally, thinking “god I wish I could wear that”. The fact that you keep going back to them means that, in your heart, you really really want to. It’s the fear in your mind that’s stopping you. So wear something that scares you a little bit…and feel great in it!

What are your resolutions for 2017?

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Should all brands make plussizes?

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Should all brands make plussizes. I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time…As it turns out, it’s quite a complex issue!

The gap between retail and reality

If you know that most plussize brands start carrying plussize from a size 44 and up, you could say that roughly half of all women are a (potential) plussize consumer. In Belgium alone, that’s over 2 million women, and we’re a tiny country no one’s every heard of, so imagine what that number would be on a global scale. Ofcourse, this number isn’t reflected when you go shopping. Most brands only go up to a EU size 42 or 44, maybe a couple of 46 pieces if you’re lucky… And that’s about it. If you look at the shop ratio, it seems like only a small number of women are size 44 and up, even though that’s clearly not the case.

The fact that there is such a gap between reality and what is being sold, is ridiculous. And it brings up the question: should all brands do plussizes?

And my answer is… I’m not sure. Party of me wants to scream “YES THEY SHOULD THIS IS SO STUPID OMG GET IT TOGETHER” but then I look at it from a marketing point of view and I go a bit back and forth.

Segmentation: why it makes sense not to make everything for everyone

Here’s the thing: I do not believe every brand should make everything for every woman. Besides it simply not being possible, it also makes no sense from a marketing point of view. Brands do better when they have very defined boxes and cater to a very defined group of people. Sometimes a brand will launch something new in (for example) a more expensive price range, and there will be people commenting “this is stupid it’s so expensive I can’t afford this make cheaper fashion blablabla” but honey, that’s not how it works. There is a very specific group of people who are willing to pay the prices for the product, and this specific product caters to those specific people. That’s how it works.

So I have no real problem with brands saying “we make this type of product for those kind of people”. It makes complete economic sense.

And that’s where my opinion flips. Economics.

Why it makes no financial sense NOT to do plussizes

Because while it makes financial ense to segment on, for instance, age or price, it makes no sense whatsoever to ignore a group of consumers that are worth a shitload of money. I’m talking billions here. A group of people who’s only difference is that they are bigger.

So why do brands do this?

I think it’s because they don’t realize that plussize women are exactly the same as straightsize women. They see us as a completely seperate category, based on one criteria only: size. Even though plussize women have many, MANY different interests and can be divided into many, MANY different groups, it doesn’t matter. All plussize women are thrown into the same segmentation group.

The plussize stigma – The key problem

The second problematic thing is that not only all plussize women are seen as 1 group, but that this group has a negative connotation. “Plussize”, for many people, is synonymous with “lazy, poor, ugly, ashamed, unpopular,…” and therefor “unwanted”.

And that’s where they are very, very wrong. And as long as this stigma doesn’t change, brands won’t follow.

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Econommies of scale – why it’s not about extra fabric

“But, isn’t it also because making clothes in plussize is more expensive because you need more fabric?”

Another argument I hear a lot. No, I don’t think so. If this was an important reason, for instance, petite clothes would be cheaper than regular ones (and they are not). But more importantly, you’re forgetting about a very important economic concept: the economies of scale. Economies of scale are a cost advantage whenever you produce a product in larger quantities. Simply put: when you make 100 000 t-shirts, you can produce them (and, as a result, sell them) at a much cheaper cost than if you would make the same t-shirt only 1000 times.

Imagine a brand that sells 3000 t-shirts in sizes Small, Medium and Large, a 1000 pices in each size. If they would add XL and XXL, they would produce 5000 t-shirts. Because the quantity of the production goes up, they would be able to produce the smaller-sizes t-shirts at a lower cost too… So sure, maybe making clothes in a bigger size is a little more expensive because you need a little more fabric, but you could divide those cost over your entire collection, and the cost advantage would cover it. So you see how that’s not really an argument?

Nope, not about fit either. It’s been done before!

“But, if it’s not about more expensive fabric… maybe it’s about fit?”

Good one. I know that a plussize body is more than a “wide” thin body. As your size goes up, proportions change. Plussize clothing often have alterations that flatter a larger body; wider sleeves, for instance. To do this requires knowhow, which costs money, and it’s not commercially interesting anyway to have to change designs within the same collection. I get that. But at the same time, I think the plussize industry has taken this fit issue way too far. It has lead to a fashion industry that operates completely seperate from the straightsize industry, because often plussize retailers will think “well this trend doesn’t work in plussize…”. And again, this would be wrong. There are many, many straightsize styles that suit a fuller body just fine. I don’t need everything to be shapeless and boxy and covering.

Don’t feel like reading everything? I feel ya, just read this!

Conclusion? I don’t think all brands should go up to size infinity. But I do think brands could benefit a lot from going up 2-3 sizes. In the current reality of the society we live in, it makes no sense to exclude sizes 46 and 48 from a mainstream collection. And the fact that this happens, that brands still think plussize women are uninteresting and uninterested, maked me really mad.

What do you think about this issue? I’d love to hear from you!

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