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Somewhere in Between: Am I Lost in the Middle?

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

From time to time I’ll turn my body a particular way with a slightly too short dress or tight jeans and I’ll get a few comments on Instagram, indicating this is my sexiest look and I should buy it in several colors. I'm what's referred to now as "mid-sized" and often I try to hide it. But those aren’t my most liked posts. The hard data supports that my cutest and most mainstream looks, with a little Mandie flare, perform better on Instagram. But hat’s not what’s selling either. What’s selling are the latest trends: peasant and slip dresses, wide leg jeans, cool jackets that I have styled for winter and spring, bucket hats and leather barrettes.

Dress | Shoes | Headband

I am often selling the looks that often my friends say, “I would/could never wear that.” The woulds come from people who don’t want to embrace the latest trends, that veer away from the Influencer “basic” girl back to the celebrity street style. Mostly because a lot of isn’t “flattering” even on Katie Holmes. But it’s what’s new and different. I love embracing the mom jeans because it’s new and a little out there because it's not as flattering. Turns out I can influence people to try them too, probably for the same reason.

Jeans | Plus Jeans | Shirt | Sandals

The coulds come from plus size friends who say that would look terrible on me. Maybe, but maybe not. I always tag a plus size option if I can find one and they sell well. Not as well as my size, which ranges from a 10 in most brands and a 14 in most Target brands. My late night cereal bowl, my busy schedule taking away from my workouts, and apparently my thyroid is taking a toll but a 3 size difference? Really Target? Back to that you think won't look good on you. I find this an interesting statement because they’re mostly the same women who didn’t pick up on skinny jeans anyway, or women who actually own cropped jeans already. It’s styling. If Leanne weren’t pregnant, I’d be styling the heck out of her to prove my point. Anyone else interested?

Shirt | Jeans | Mules

If you really want to get down to brass tax, my top performing looks on Instagram are ones that show flaws. Shorts that show a little cellulite, or a bikini with a belly pouch, as long as I own and address it. Which begs the question, does it need to be addressed to warrant a response? I wonder what would happen if I did the opposite with those “sexy” looks. If I said “this only looks the way society wants it to if I stand sideways and in really high heels.” If I just post a bathing suit and don’t say “ be kind guys, I am not summer bod ready” do these statements skew the audience perspective. I have done the later out of my own fear but what if I tired the former?

Top | Bottom

Styling matters. You can balance a wide bottom with a slimming top. You can balance a drop crop with a perfect neckline. You can make paper bag pants balanced with a form fitting top. But that’s not what is in style. What’s in style is unflattering. It’s wide jeans and a husband button up. It’s sweatpants and a bucket hat. It’s a peasant dress with an empire waist. Currently they’re blaming Bridgerton for this look. It’s big toe sandals and work boots. Wait for’s comfort. Why are we kicking and screaming about that? Why don’t we want to wear loose jeans that hold in our tummies and wear comfortable shoes?

Dress | Shoes

My husband has never loved distressed jeans or frayed hems. “You pay more for them to have holes in them?” Imagine how he feels about Golden Gooses, Italian crafted sneakers purposefully made to look dirty. Or white sneakers in general which are never practical. Sweater sets are super comfortable but in shorts form are they practical? Overalls actually aren’t comfortable as soon as you sit down you realize they’re quite restrictive. Plain Gliden sweatshirts. Really? I mean who would have thought that would someday be in fashion.

Sweatshirt | Jeans | Sneakers (dupe)

I didn’t really want to bring back leggings, 10 years ago, because I didn’t want the 90s to come back. Too freaking bad. I lost that battle, and you’ll lose this one. Gen Z hates our skinny jeans and side parts. Millennials love to stomp our feet and say “but but but, we’re right and you’re wrong.” I guess we’ll see. It’ll be hard to fight off Katie Holmes, Halley Bieber, and an entire generation who rightfully believes we’ve caused more problems then we solved so there’s that.

Sweatshirt | Sweatpants | Boots | Hat

As for me, I think this is all reinforcement that I should stick with me. I am somewhere in between cool and basic. I am somewhere in between a 10 and a 14. I am somewhere in between not caring what people think about my style and wanting to be successful at my new job. I am somewhere in between wanting to hide my cellulite and own it. I guess I am somewhere in between a side and middle part and own some skinny jeans and some mom jeans. I guess I am just lost in the middle.

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