Dressing Kind

In Bermuda I basically lived in this bathing suit cover up / dress / tunic made out of pleated white cotton.

In Bermuda I basically lived in this bathing suit cover up / dress / tunic made out of pleated white cotton.

After my transplant, I made a big change in my closet. After all my body had been through, I was never again going to make it suffer by wearing anything remotely uncomfortable. I headed to my closet and in an act of self-loving defiance did a mighty purge.

Itchy? OUT
Too small? OUT
Makes me feel like a stuffed sausage? OUT
Looks slightly off? OUT
Yuck colour? OUT
Heels? OUT OUT OUT

At the end I had a massive garbage bag of unkind clothes I took downtown to donate. I hope they were kinder to the people who ended up buying them than they were to me.

Slowly, over the next few months, I began to collect clothes that felt kind to my body.


Soft? IN
Drapey? IN
Stretchy? IN
Tie dye or sequins? IN
White linen tops? IN
Clogs? IN
Birkenstocks? IN
Crystals? IN IN IN

I chose items I loved wearing and that made life feel more fun (sequins and velvet for me).

My author uniform. Stretch jeans (YAS!), suede flats, linen top, velvet jacket, scarf.

My author uniform. Stretch jeans (YAS!), suede flats, linen top, velvet jacket, scarf.

Do you have clothes in your closet you bought in hope of a different future you? Will they fit when you lose ten pounds, or start going out to fancy restaurants, or figure out a way to control the insane dog hair situation in your house (my advice will always be to get rid of the clothes, never the dog)?

This kind of aspirational shopping not only clutters up your closet and drawers with things that don’t fit your present, but it interferes with your enjoyment of your present life exactly as it is. Living in an aspirational future seems to be the way North American culture rolls most of the time, but it prevents us from honoring the NOW.

Unkind clothes suck away our power. Their insidious message is that there is something wrong with US. They are mistaken. We are just fine - the something wrong is the unkind clothes.

Get kind. I refuse to let my body endure unkind clothes or shoes anymore. Just...done. So now I am all about cashmere and silk and linen and chenille and kimonos and velvet and - hallelujah! - stretch jeans! One of the best inventions of the last twenty years. Seriously.

I wore this velvet top I found at a consignment shop for my garden party. I love the softness, the beautiful cornflower color, and its tunic length. The V-neck shows off the scar on my chest.

I wore this velvet top I found at a consignment shop for my garden party. I love the softness, the beautiful cornflower color, and its tunic length. The V-neck shows off the scar on my chest.

My body has given my three healthy babies and survived a liver transplant. It’s getting nothing but clothing love and kindness from now on. The funny thing is that I’ve never received as many complements on my clothes as I have since dressing kind.

I think it must be because when I wear kind clothes, I’m appreciating my body exactly how it is - battle scars and curves and strong thighs and all.

You are perfect just the way you are. Make sure your clothes reflect that.

At the top of the Vatican in black palazzo pants (excellent for all those stairs), a linen top, and my beloved Birks.

At the top of the Vatican in black palazzo pants (excellent for all those stairs), a linen top, and my beloved Birks.

Enjoy my writing? You’ll love my bestselling Grape Series.  To find out more just click here.

Enjoy my writing? You’ll love my bestselling Grape Series. To find out more just click here.