I spent most of my youth and early adulthood criticizing the heck of my body. The briefest glance in the mirror would trigger a litany of complaints. This part was too big, that thing was too small, too short, too dark, too prominent or conspicuously lopsided.

I grew older and I grew very tired of dissecting all of my supposed flaws, which frankly, weren’t flaws at all. It was just my body being my body. I realized I could spend the rest of my life feeling awful or I could learn to love and embrace the skin I was living in.

Body love is a decidedly more pleasant state of being, but it isn’t something that always comes easily for me. The mean little inner voice still pipes up from time to time. Fortunately, I’ve found that the best way to quiet her, is to focus on the parts of my body that I love most.

I’ve always liked my legs and I enjoy having them on display.  Showing a little – or a lot – of gam, always gives my confidence a boost. High hemlines are prevalent in my wardrobe, as are tights, which let me maintain my short styles throughout those cold winter months.

AP Mini 1


Dress – Zara (thrifted) – similar

Jacket – Old Navy – here

Tights – Value Village Canada – similar

Shoes – Locale – similar

As much as I love me some leg-flaunting, a couple years ago I began to worry that I was aging beyond acceptable mini-skirt limits. I sought the advice of Jes Lacasse, an amazing Ottawa stylist, who assured me that “no-minis after 35” was a style guideline, rather than a hard and fast rule.  She  wisely recommended that I continue wearing the clothes that made me feel good but to embrace my age. It was good advice. I like getting leggy, but I’m not trying to fool anyone into believing I’m twenty-five.

AP Mini 3

Dress – H&M – similar

Scarf – Old Navy – here

Tights – Roots – similar

Shoes – Miz Mooz (thrifted) – similar

At 5’5″, I’m definitely not a tall gal. One of the advantages of being a bit on the small side, is that I can sometimes repurpose long tops and wear them as dresses. The outfit below is one such example. I loved this top when I saw it at a recent clothing swap, but when I tried it on with jeans it completely overwhelmed me. I folded it at the hips, swapped out the jeans for lacy tights and voila – instant mini dress!

AP Mini 2

Dress/Shirt – Just One –similar

Tights – Sock Dreams – similar

Shoes – Aerosoles – here

Which parts of your body do you love most? Is there a cut, hemline or clothing shape that always makes you feel your best? Which  physical features do you love to flaunt?

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13 Responses to “Mini-Me”

  1. Judy Carpenter

    That’s OK because there is no way you look over 35. And besides, every other fashion rule has been broken. Why not that one? You look terrific.

  2. Zipporah

    At 5’5″, I’m definitely not a tall gal. One of the advantages of being a bit on the small side

    Today I Learned that being an inch above average height makes one ‘a bit on the small side’.

  3. Connie Turner

    Dear Nadine,
    You do have great legs, slim and shapley You would absolutely be able to convincingly give your age as 25. Wear the short skirts proudly.

  4. Kate

    This is beautiful!

    I’m on the other end of the spectrum; as an amazonian-tall woman, I can often repurpose dresses into long tops/tunics 😛

  5. Cassie

    I have struggled with body confidence most of my adult life, no matter what my size (and I’ve been everything from size 0 to size 14). I’m now in my mid-30s and find my body confidence increasing greatly over the last couple of years. As I feel more comfortable in my own skin and with who I am, I also feel more confident in my body. I self-criticize a lot, but I find that focusing on areas of my body I love quiet my inner Negative-Nelly. I love to emphasize my cleavage, my legs, and my curves. 🙂

    Being so short (I’m 4’9″), I can also wear some shirts as dresses too!


  6. Rebecca

    Yay someone else who loves minis and their legs just as much as I do! : D You have amazing legs – keep rocking them!

  7. Bree Bronson

    I think you look gorgeous, Nadine. I’m a bit on a taller side (172 cm) and next to girls like you I feel like a clumsy, unfeminine giant.

    I’ve always thought that my waist and flat stomach have been my best features because I’m quite X-shaped. Pregnancies challenge me big time because I’d really like to reunite with my X-shape after giving birth – otherwise I end up looking like a log. 🙂

  8. Eleanorjane

    Good Lord, you’re stunning! What on earth were those critical inner voices on about? If I had legs like yours they’d be out for all to see ’till I was 80 and beyond! 🙂

  9. Ashe

    Damn girl. You have every reason to show off those gams– your legs are amazing!

  10. Mary

    My boyf always appreciates my usual knee-length A-line skirts … but seeing your higher hemlines and similar body type to mine makes me think I should try wearing some shorter things once in a while! I just hope I look half as good as you do in them!

  11. Chris


    You’re so beautiful and your legs are so amazing that I hope you never stop wearing your short skirts. Unless YOU want to.