News » body positive
We are living in very, very strange times… but some of the things we’re experiencing have the ring of familiarity.
Remember when you went to college or university and gained the “Freshman 15”? By the time you went home for Thanksgiving, you needed a new wardrobe that would get you through the coming months of more fast food and sedentary student habits.
Nowadays, I’ve started hearing about the “COVID 15”. If you’re experiencing tightening waistbands and popping buttons, well, certainly, you are not alone.
The past six months have been challenging, exhausting, and just plain overwhelming. It’s no wonder that we can barely keep up with our moods, plus we’re balancing the frustrations and uncertainties of our loved ones. For many of us, this all leads to cravings, baking binges, or comfort foods. The result? Our sizes may have changed.
Unfortunately, weight gain and negative self-image often go hand-in-hand. Now is the time to be as kind and patient with yourself as you possibly can be. We need to permit ourselves to feel all those feelings, experience ever-changing emotions, and find the things that make us feel good as we navigate this pandemic journey. We need to love and forgive ourselves, just as we love and forgive others. Aren’t we always hardest on ourselves?
Finding a place of body positivity isn’t a straight path – we all have our good days and our not-so-good days. We all need a helping hand from time to time, and your outfit can be part of that process. Maybe you can spark some positive emotions with juicy colours. Put yourself in sumptuous fabrics that breath and move with you, even if you are only commuting from the kitchen to the living room and back to the kitchen!
We at DK understand that we’re all living through unprecedented times, and we have your comfort in mind. Our goal is to always celebrate your healthy curves, and we want you to love and appreciate your unique, beautiful body as much as we do.
Remember that you are not alone. Celebrate every joy you can find, and never forget to take care of you. Together, we’ll get through this.
Published Jun 19 2020 in ageless style, Beauty, body confidence, body positive, Customer Appreciation, customer service, diane kennedy, eco, eco friendly, Eco-friendly garments, inspiration, Made in Canada, personal service, personal shopping, shop localAs a brand dedicated to producing garments as eco-friendly as possible, it's a blessing that we are based in one of the most sustainable cities in North America. It's no surprise that Vancouver is filled with people mindful of our environment and it's such a joy to discover our customers are among the like-minded. Recently, a long-time customer reached out to us to share some kind words about our clothes and introduced herself as a climate scientist. That certainly peaked our interest!
Dr. Karen Kohfeld is a professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. She sent us this little story:
"...As you may know, I'm a regular Diane Kennedy customer and have worn your clothing at many talks that I have given in Montreal, Sweden, and Australia. They give me an extra boost of confidence when I need to stand in front of a large crowd. I recently was honored with an award from Stockholm University, and they asked me for a professional headshot for the press release. I'm not particularly fond of being photographed, so I was in a bit of a pickle."
I arrived with my recently self-trimmed COVID-19 hair cut and an entire wardrobe of Diane Kennedy clothing. This clothing, plus a little bit of sand in my hands, put me at ease. Anyway, I wanted to thank you again for making me feel comfortable in my skin - this time in front of a camera!"
We were so touched by her charming note, we wanted to hear more from her; so we sent her a few questions, which she graciously answered. She even sent along the aforementioned headshots, taken in the Fall!
Dr. Kohfeld is wearing our Perception Tunic & Heather Charcoal Cozy Coat
We noticed you've been a customer with us since 2015! How did you find out about us?
I bought my first item (a wonderful pair of bamboo cotton pants) from Bodacious boutique when they used to be on Main Street (well before 2015.) I still have and wear those pants! I rediscovered the DK line when a friend posted a picture in a beautiful Cherry Velvet dress. I went to the website and followed the link to Diane Kennedy. In fact, I first visited your studio down in Gastown before you moved to the Powell Street location. I love coming to the studio - such a great space, and it's usually a try-on party! Your staff and customers are so supportive, helpful, and honest (in a good way).
What's your favourite DK item?
Ooooo. This is actually the hardest question! 🙂
Right now I practically live in the Illustrate Tunic, which I have in two colors (soon to be three, I hope!), and a simple pair of Bamboo Leggings, which I usually wear under my Heather Charcoal Cozy Coat . Overall I just love the bamboo fabrics the most. They are designed to flatter curves, and they are sooo soft!
We're so flattered - Thank you so much for your support! We absolutely love hearing from our customers, don't hesitate to drop us a line!
Let's talk about the difference between size and fit
As we know, women come in unique shapes and fit different sizes. Acknowledging and owning that we are different is a good thing! Clothing companies are often criticized for not showing 'real women' showing their clothing. Understandably, we would all love to be able to see clothing featured on a body that is exactly like our own. Wouldn't that make things so easy? Take a look at the women around you right now. Every single one of them is a different size, shape, height, and proportion. It is truly impossible to show every body type without creating an entire encyclopedia of women's bodies and featuring how a garment fits on every single one. Let's simply move on, shall we?
Look At The Woman In The Mirror
Society can be damaging to a woman's self-esteem regarding her body image. There's a lot we can do to change this! Meet the woman in the mirror with a smile. Tell her she looks beautiful, adorable, cute, sexy, and amazing! At the end of the day, when it's just you in front of the mirror, you make a choice about the words you choose to describe yourself. Be kind to yourself and give some words of encouragement and love to that amazing creature looking back at you. It's time to think about your clothing size like you think about your shoe size - it is just a number that corresponds to the length of your feet. It doesn't define your self-worth.
All About The Fit
When you put on your clothes and they fit right, you know it. They feel good. It's not just about going over your body or being able to do up a zipper or a button. It's about pants and sleeves that are the correct length. It's about armholes that don't gap and the way a garment flows over your body. It's about finding the right pant leg that really fits and flatters your body and makes your legs look amazing! When your clothes fit properly you look and feel like you can take on the world. Most of all it's not about waiting until you're the size you want to be, it's about looking and feeling your best right now! Give yourself that gift!
Everyone loves Pockets, right? I'm in a lucky position as a designer to be able to create exactly the item that I want to wear. For Spring this year I thought to myself what are all the things that I want in a new top? The Add Pockets Tunic was what I came up with.
The idea behind "Add Pockets" was a top that could be worn in different ways. For me, that means mostly on its own but it can also be worn like a vest over a sleeved top like the Perfect Tee. In this way, it transcends the seasons and "Add Pockets" can be worn all year long. It's a summer top but it's also perfect for fall layering when worn as a vest. It's shown here as an outfit with the Smarty Pants.
So if like me you LOVE bare arms in the summer, this could be for you. Many women complain about their arms, specifically that 'extra area' under the bicep. I choose not to be one of them. I'm kind of indifferent to my arms, bare arms are so freeing and comfortable for my busy workday.
Other than deep pockets for my phone, the Add Pockets tunic was designed to be flattering with lots of room across the tummy, and slimming vertical seams. It's long enough so that it can be worn with Cafe leggings too.
If you're local to Vancouver, come try on all the possibilities at our Studio Shop this weekend:
Friday May 17 from 2-7pm + Saturday May 18 from 11-5 pm
There is so much negativity around shopping, body image and fashion in general. How about Happy Shopping? What if you could shop for clothes that were designed by people who not only understood your body shape and how to fit it properly but also really GOT you? How often do you have a happy shopping experience? The truth is, there are companies that exist right now run by women just like you, who want to give you a positive experience every time you shop. They do exist!
Staying in the moment.
When I had my own retail store that catered to sizes 10-24 you wouldn't believe how many people would spend their time, in my shop, that catered to them, talking about how there was nothing out there for them. That may be true but right then, at that moment they were standing in a space that was inspired by their wants and needs. A safe, happy space with quality clothing and lots of choices IN THEIR SIZE. It's kind of like going on a date with someone for the first time and spending the whole time talking about all the bad dates you've been on. I don't blame them at all, it's like being triggered by a trauma or something. One of the reasons I love working at Diane Kennedy is that I find it so easy to help create a happy, positive experience for our shoppers AND we have the goods to back it up.
They totally get me!
What a wonderful feeling it is to enter a space that honours who you are. In many cases, it's because the people who created that space are a lot like you. Or maybe they just possess the empathy needed to make you feel welcome and comfortable when you enter their space, whether that's a retail store or an online store. Those are the businesses you want to support.
You do You.
This year I turn 53. So far my 50's have been pretty great. At this time in my life I have a pretty clear idea about the battles I want to fight. Shopping isn't one of them. There are so many different types of folks out there and everyone has their own shape, size, and story. I'm done with being pissed off because a store doesn't carry my size. They aren't after my dollar and I'm not their customer. That's okay. I'm sure they are filling a need for someone out there or they would have gone out of business long ago. I do think that cheaply made fast fashion is bad for everyone and there's no excuse for badly cut and poorly fitted clothing, but that hasn't made me immune to it. We're all just doing our best to get dressed in the morning without regretting what we are wearing all day. Right?
Look, fashion and clothing isn't everything, but it is something. All I know is when I feel well dressed I find it pretty darned easy to feel good about myself. It gives me confidence. It's one less thing to worry about.
I will leave you with this story...
I ordered some cotton underpants online. You know the type that comes in all sizes and 5 in a package. They fit ok but not great. I didn't want to return them and they were a good price but they ended up being second stringers right away. Never the first ones out of the drawer and only worn when it was laundry day. I decided to order a different style the next time and also to go up a size. When I got my package I unrolled the first pair and they were just enormous looking, full coverage, what I might call a granny panty. My first thought was to send them straight back but then I decided to try them on for a laugh. The laugh was on me because omg, these are the most comfortable underwear I've ever owned. They cover everything that needs covering, and a bit more, and they stay put, no riding up. I never would have bought them if I'd seen them in a store but now I'm so glad to have them. They make me happy!
There's no real moral to this story except sometimes your bum is a bit bigger than you think it is. As long as someone makes the size that fits YOUR bum, life is pretty good! Sometimes it's the little things and the slightly bigger things...
Find out more about happy shopping at Diane Kennedy here.