The woman who wears this outfit often has a dog. She might possibly drive a vintage volkswagon or volvo but is also quite likely to get around by walking or cycling. She shops at the thrift shops of course, but she isn't really lacking money despite hinting at that with her wardrobe. She also shops at the alternative foods market, which has higher prices and exotic "health foods".
I've never looked at such a woman and thought, oh you look fat in all those layers, or frumpy or dowdy. I look at it and think oh cool. I wish I had the courage to wear that. I wish I could wear it and not look like some sort of ruffled sausage. I want to thumb my nose at the idea of having to look sleek and chic. But of course I want to have my cake and eat it too because I don't really want to look like a sausage. And I want to mix my food metaphors too because cake and sausages are all tasty. I'm a rebel like that!
She may or may not embrace various aspects of a modern hippie lifestyle but clearly she doesn't embrace the conventional ideas of how clothes should make your body look. This appeals to me. I like this idea of messing with the standard ideas of figure flattery. I like taking pretty things and making them a bit ugly. I love the concepts of jolie-laide, laissez-faire, and deshabille and although all of those can be expressed without french, they just sound better that way. I love juxtaposition and disregard for convention. I also love my clothes to be comfortable and easy to throw on. But apparently I want to both flatter my figure and not flatter it.
It's a bit like makeup. I know how to apply and wear makeup. If I had to do a full face (and I can't really imagine why I would) I could do it and do it well. I am just not interested in doing it. I know how I am supposed to dress my body to flatter my figure. I know how to pair up the pretty things and look like a lady out for tea. Sometimes I need to follow those rules a bit, just to remind myself that I do have a shape, that I am capable of making myself look attractive. And other times I want to say F**K it! I am supposed to wear a nice fitted top with this so I'm damn well going to wear a big baggy sweater. And boots of course.
And then how do I reconcile my love of beading and embroidery with deliberate frumpery. Well that will be my own special challenge. I'm sure I can do it. It's cold and windy today. That seems perfect for some artful layering and of course, a hat! Here is a tunic dress recently purchased at the thrift shop, and a non-baggy sweater thrifted a few years ago. Leggings are warmer than tights and with the addition of bulky socks and leg warmers even more so.
You might be thinking to yourself, she really needs some more accessories. I would say to you, yes only I tend to forget them. In fact it is a challenge for me to remember to put on my glasses, my watch and grab my cell phone before I leave home. I will always have on earrings, as I can't stand the empty holes. But the bangles and necklaces tend to decorate my dresser more than they decorate me. Beading and embroidery is like accessories already there for me.