Photo caption: Images courtesy of Ferny Chung/Gwynnie Bee

How I Conquered My Fear of Jumpsuits & Trying New Styles

Writer: Marcy Cruz 

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try”. ~ Gail Devers

I know this may sound ridiculous but I used to have such anxiety about wearing jumpsuits. I hated showing my lumpy thighs without coverage and they just never fit me well, in my opinion.

I loved them from afar but didn’t have the courage to actually wear one out in public. I felt too exposed with no front coverage and didn’t feel comfortable showing my belly and leg rolls.

The first time I wore a jumpsuit was last summer and I thought I didn’t look too bad. But I was so self-conscious about my lumpy thighs and belly being evident under the fabric that I took pictures in my hotel room and that was it. Didn’t wear it outside.

It took me a while to post that image on social media and even then, I still didn’t feel 100% confident about it.

Fast forward a year later… my, how things have changed!

As I have written about before, I have been working as a First Fit Reviewer and Model at Gwynnie Bee since January 2016. It has been such a wonderful adventure and journey for me and apparently for many other women as well, judging from the positive messages and comments I have received on social media.

When I started this job, I didn’t think I would have much of an impact. To be honest, I embarked on this new professional path with the goal of getting myself out of my own fashion shell to try new styles as well as learning to be more comfortable in front of the camera.

I not only have accomplished those things but also have inspired and empowered many women along the way. That has forever changed my life.

This experience has reinforced my belief in my mission to inspire women everywhere to be fearless in life in all aspects, including fashion. When you look good, you feel good. I know that firsthand. But first I had to get over my fear of wearing certain things in order to fully embrace that belief.

This job has also forced me to try styles I would have never tried on my own, including jumpsuits.

As a size 26/28 woman, my fashion experience can be more challenging than other plus size women under a size 24. We all have our struggles but for me, there are times I am sized out of stores completely. So trying new styles can be defeating because the plus size range ends at a certain point. Most of the time, it’s a size 24 and with extended sizes, it’s often a size 28..

When I first saw this Raga Eloise Jumpsuit in Floral Print on my rack at Gwynnie Bee, I instantly felt anxiety. This was the second time a jumpsuit was put on my rack to try on and review. The first time around, the jumpsuit did not fit. So I began to dread trying on jumpsuits in general.

I love prints so I had my fingers crossed that this would fit. And guess what? It did!

I had to size up to a 5X (I usually wear between a 3X and 4X, more like a 4X). But I have learned to not focus on the size tag so I didn’t let the fact that I was wearing a 5X upset me. I also reminded myself of my purpose and how important it was to put myself out there and inspire other women.

Then, a month later, another jumpsuit appeared on my rack. This time from Melissa McCarthy’s new line Melissa McCarthy Seven7.

The ladies at Gwynnie Bee hear my gripes about MMS7 regularly. I have even said that I hope I meet Melissa McCarthy one day so I can chat her up on fit and creating clothing for plus size women of many shapes and sizes. I believe she has good intentions but still needs input on designing for an array of plus bodies from actual women wearing her clothing

Many women have said the fit of all pieces are incredible but that has not been the case for me. It has been hit or miss, with more misses. Her tops are cut very baggy so I tend to size down, which is fine. But her bottoms are entirely a different story. I have large upper calves and a belly. Sometimes her pants won’t go over my calves or they won’t button up in the belly area. Her jeans stop at a size 28 so if that size doesn’t fit me, I can’t size up.

However, with this jumpsuit, I was intrigued. The fabric was a stretchy knit and my first instinct was to size down because I like my clothing to be more fitted than oversized.

I’m glad I listened to my instincts because not only did the 3X fit but I loved how the jumpsuit looked on me. I was so shocked when I looked at myself in the mirror.

I can see myself wearing this jumpsuit many times (styled in different ways) and it made me realize how much I was missing out by being scared to wear a jumpsuit. I always loved them but felt like I couldn’t wear them. Why hold myself back because of fear? I wouldn’t be living fully if I let my fear stop me from wearing what I loved.

I realized this was more than an issue with a jumpsuit. It was an issue with me not accepting my body fully. No one is perfect and we all have parts of our bodies we don’t like. But in order to truly love yourself and be free in life, you have to accept your flaws. You have to see your beauty and believe in it, flaws and all.

Is it easy? Nope. I struggle daily. But I have made the commitment to try. How could I not, after seeing how great I look in jumpsuits?

My fear of wearing jumpsuits stopped me from even trying them on until now. And that made me realize that I was missing out on something good. I don’t want to have any regrets in life or miss out on something wonderful out of fear. .

I used to worry so much about my belly or lumpy thighs showing. I would agonize over what to wear out of fear of showing too much or standing out.

Through this experience with Gwynnie Bee, I have tried on bodycon dresses, mini skirts, sleeveless styles and now, jumpsuits. My arms are showing. My belly shows. And oh my goodness, my lumpy legs are showing. And you know what? The world did not come to an end. Instead. I have been showered with compliments from not only customers but my peers and colleagues as well. They tell me I inspire them too!

I feel empowered and excited. I feel free. I am far from being 100% fearless but my confidence has grown leaps and bounds with no intention of stopping. I just take it one day at a time and just think of what fashion fear I am going to conquer next, while wearing a fabulous jumpsuit.

Marcy Cruz

Check out Marcy at Fearlessly Just Me
A former website merchandising manager for a plus size catalog retailer and a traveler, writer and fashion lover by heart, Marcy's goal has always been to inspire women everywhere through fashion, travel and her own fearless moments in life. So she decided that her love for writing was the best way to help empower plus size women to live life fearlessly. In 2012, she had a short story about her travels as a plus size woman, published in the book: Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion. She has also written for various online publications, such as Madison Plus, Goddess Magazine and Belle-Noir Magazine, where she had her own weekly blog collumn called Fearless Fridays. She is presently the Blog Editor for PLUS Model Magazine, the #1 virtual magazine for plus size women. 
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