Lifestyle

GRADUATION DRESS SHOPPING: WHAT I LEARNED

This week, I graduate from my undergraduate degree! I have mixed emotions… On one hand I’m super excited to be moving on to the next chapter but I am a little scared to leave the people and the place I’ve felt secure at for the past four years. In terms of graduation itself… I genuinely think it’s going to be a tad anti-climactic. Yes, I’m excited to spend a day celebrating with not only friends from uni but super friends and family who are attending to support me. Yes, of course I am excited for a glass (or 6) of bubbly but overall… Getting ready for graduation has been costly (thanks for the help Sues!) and stressful. Looking for a dress to wear to the graduation ceremony has been a huge stressor of late and I want to share with you all what I have learned from the experience. I’m hoping these are lessons I can take onboard in the future for other ceremonies and events I’ll be attending. I swear… Being a guy and wearing the same kilt or suit all the time would be so much easier!

Evidently… I’m not currently at my lightest weight but I’m also still a fair few dress sizes down from my heaviest. I guess this is something that’s annoyed me recently but at the same time, I’m happy! I’ve been living life. Dissertation season resulted in a lot of indulgences. Then celebrating uni being over, my results, my birthday… The list goes on! If I’ve learned anything this past year it’s that happiness and enjoying yourself is more important than eating an apple a day.

Shop Sizing is Bull***t

I’m not ordinarily one for swearing in the blogosphere but this is something that frustrated me to no end when looking for a graduation dress. I ordered a dress from ASOS that I was convinced was the dress. £70 later the dress arrived, in my usual dress size and was no where near to zipping up. It was tiny and this can be so damaging. I sent the usual dramatic messages to my friends “I’m only eating leaves for the next two weeks”; had a wee dramatic google on how to lose a stone in a week (lol); obviously looked up photos of me at my fittest as inspiration that I could absolutely lose 2-3 dress sizes in 14 days and then I stopped and thought “No. This is ridiculous”. I went to sleep and I woke up the next day ready to be fit and healthy (which has not lasted… I mean, it was my birthday) and determined to find a new graduation dress.

Turns out 5 is my lucky number and the graduation dress I will be wearing on Thursday I lovelovelove and is the ‘same’ size as the ASOS disaster. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be my final dress and I can’t wait to walk (stumble) across the stage in a dress that makes me feel wonderful.

I know I am not the only person in the world to feel this way about shop sizing and it doesn’t just relate to dresses but come on, this needs dealt with. It can be so damaging to be different sizes everywhere and also, it’s just a giant inconvenience. It’s so draining having to try on every item of clothing you want to buy because who knows if today you’ll be a 10, 12, or 14 in any given shop!

Sizing is Just a Number

Okay okay… So, this can be easier to say than to actually come to terms with but, it’s true. I am bigger now than I was two years ago. I struggled with this but now I question why. Yes, I need to get my arse in gear and eat healthily again and get back to the gym but who really cares? I want to do this for me, so I feel physically and mentally better and stronger. Not so I can brag and tell someone my dress is a size 10. I feel great in my graduation dress and buying a bigger size meant I could feel good in it and enjoy my birthday with all the cake, prosecco, cocktails and tapas I wanted! At the end of the day, who even asks what size a dress is at an event?

Ordering Online is a Nightmare

This may just be a lesson for me. I know plenty of people who order clothes online all the time and have no issues but I am not one of these lucky gals. I can’t remember the last time I ordered anything online and actually kept it. Especially for something like graduation, it was much easier being in a store and trying something on before parting with cash. It’s also super annoying that companies take your money in seconds yet I’m waiting 7-10 working days for a refund from online… I may need to steer clear of online shopping in the future!

YOU DO YOU.

I guess this is a general life lesson but it’s something I really realised when shopping for graduation. I kept seeing dresses online and in shops that I could imagine other people wearing to graduation. For a little while I totally lost sight of dressing for my shape and my size. This is something I am usually pretty good at but I did feel pressure to look a certain way on graduation. And then I questioned why. I don’t care if no one else would wear my dress to graduation or any other event (although all my favourite people do love it). I am the only person that has to like, wear and be happy in that dress. This goes for a lot of things.

I feel like this post has been kinda ranty but these things needed said and I hope you’ve managed to take some useful points away from this; over and out!

-Shona x

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