You CAN Give Up Your Body Hangups in the New Year
Home: New York City
Maura's hang-up: "My calves and ankles have never been proportionate to the rest of my body. I always used to hide them under long, black pants."
What helps her let it go: "As I get older, I'm learning that what's more important than covering up my imperfections is how confident I am. In this dress, I feel sexy—it shows off my chest and my shoulders and highlights my waist. If every other part of me looks this good, no one will stare at my calves."
Occupation: Senior digital associate
Home: Jersey City
Rosalie's hang-up: "I'm self-conscious about my body, especially my stomach, so I don't normally wear anything clingy. Because I know they'll fit me, I stick to baggy clothes. That also means I won't have to drag out the try-on process."
What helps her let it go: "Pulling on skinny pants was a revelation. They actually made me feel slimmer. The fabric of this pair is stretchy and thick, and there's a panel to hold in my tummy, creating a nice, smooth line. I feel comfortable—and even trendy."
Occupation: Adjunct professor
Home: White Township, New Jersey
Danielle's hang-up: "I have never been thin. While I wouldn't mind the opportunity to be so, I sometimes think it's just not meant to be."
What helps her let it go: "In comparison to the more serious challenges faced by other people, I'll take this one. Besides, I have an air of fun about me, and I like that to show in what I wear. This sheath's mix of prints offers that, yet the shape is professional and flattering. It plays up my waist and hits right at the knee."
Occupation: Sales-development executive
Home: Astoria, New York
Arielle's hang-up: "I'm very curvy above and below the waist. When I wear something loose, I look bigger than I am. And when I wear something formfitting, I can end up looking like a floozy. Neither is a great option."
What helps her let it go: "I've found it's important for me to choose silhouettes that accentuate my waistline, such as a fit-and-flare dress. This provides a nice balance between showing off my waist and being work-appropriate."
Occupation: Account executive
Kate's hang-up: "A lack of curves. I used to feel awkward in my body—I was all legs and didn't have much of a bust."
What helps her let it go: "I have grown into my body, though it hasn't changed much. I usually dress very understated, but this style is very 'look at me.' The cut is fitted through the torso, so my behind seems curvier, and the hem adds visual interest. I like that I look shapelier—not so straight up and down."