Beat the Holiday Dress Shopping Blues

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New York Fashion Designer debra deRoo Shares 5 Holiday Dress Shopping Tips for Real Women with Real Figures.

The holidays are just around the corner, and that means holiday parties. Clothes shopping for those special events should be a pleasant experience, right? Not for some women - especially those of us with not so perfect bodies. Too many women with otherwise healthy self esteem can experience the dressing room blues; feelings of anxiety, dread or downright depression in the dressing room.

A recent Fitness Magazine survey of 1,000 women clothes shoppers found that 10% of female respondents have cried in a dressing room. Another 15% have ripped or been stuck in an article of clothing and 39% have purchased clothes too small in hopes it would later fit. Other women admitted to being afraid to reveal their dress size to sales staff and nearly two-thirds of adult women say clothes shopping adversely affect their self confidence, which is particularly true among women wanting to lose more than 30 pounds.

New York City fashion designer debra deRoo offers these tips to help real sized women shop confidently for fashionable holiday clothes.

1. Start Early and Wear the Right Clothes for Shopping
deRoo suggests giving yourself at least two weeks lead time to find the right outfit for that special occasion. Try to wear or bring undergarments such as pantyhose, a strapless bra or cami that will pair well with various styles. Wear easy on/off clothes. And, pre-styled hair and makeup can make that dressing room mirror easier to face.

2. Find Boutiques that Cater to You
Finding the right store is essential to clothes shopping success. Stores with a mature, friendly, and fashion conscious staff will know the cuts and styles that best compliment your body type. They will assist you with appropriate selections, and will help you feel comfortable and less self conscious. And, consider the shopping environment. Are you best in a calm and quiet environment, or somewhere that's hip and vibrant?

3. Choose Styles that Flatter
Research designers who make clothes that minimize figure flaws and play up attributes. Do you have great legs? Play them up with a shorter style dress that draws attention there. A thick middle? Consider an empire a-line dress that creates a faux waistline. deRoo also suggests pants paired with a stylish cropped jacket that does not constrict your middle.

4. Dressing Rooms & Lighting
The ideal dressing room is ample sized with lots of hooks and at least one full length mirror. Avoid shops with overhead fluorescent lights as they show every lump, bump and bulge. Instead, look for dressing rooms with not too bright, warm hued lights that flatter your skin tone.

5. Take Your Time Shopping
Shop when you have time, aren't rushed, and preferably not after a meal. Try to schedule one or two hours for shopping and you're much less likely to make a fashion faux pas.    

And remember, almost everyone, including celebrities and models, has figure flaws. Be confident, find a cut and style that compliments your figure, and celebrate, imperfections and all, a joyous holiday season.

Founded in 1991, debra deRoo is a casual sportswear collection found in more than 400 women's specialty stores across the United States. Designed with an adventurous spirit and effortless attitude, deRoo cuts easy, forgiving silhouettes in luxury fabrics while paying homage to the latest trends - young at heart, yet realistic of fit. With a commitment to quality, deRoo uses luxe fibers and designer construction to create a laid back, yet sophisticated luxury collection of washable, lifestyle-friendly clothes that travel well. Additional information about debra deRoo including store locations and an online catalog, can be found at


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Shelly Harvey
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