Thursday, 4 September 2014

Keep Your Friends Close and Your Lagens Closer

It's well known I have a bit of a penchant for draped and voluminous clothing.  I am quite aware this is generally not the most flattering for me, though sometimes I demand to know why I must flatter my figure at all.  Is the goal not to please myself?  Do I have to look good for you?  No, of course I don't. Complex individual that I am though, I don't only hold one way of thinking and at other times I am most eager to flatter the body I've got which is still a form of pleasing myself not others, but what is pleasing to my eye is probably not too far off what is pleasing to another eye.  (That was a horrible sentence but I'm leaving it like that cause I'm tired)  There tend to be cultural standards and those who study such things will even tell us that certain body proportions are attractive to others cross culturally.  The goal is to look fertile, and although I am, I am certainly past the desire to advertise it not to mention use it!    Or am I?  Fertile=attractive and so in many ways we fake that fertile look well into our non-fertile years.

  I will never be thin but have no wish to look like a podge and no ability to say oh so what, I'm a podge and I love me anyway. When I gain weight I look like a sausage, not a sexy goddess with killer curves.  Keeping my weight down to a point where I maintain a slim though by no means thin figure is not effortless.  I cannot eat anything I wish to in the quantities I wish to and for the most part I am okay with that.  I have a healthy diet and don't deny myself treats.  But I do sometimes think that given the effort put into not looking like a stuffed sleeping bag I had best avoid dressing like one.  Stuffed sleeping bags are apparently not fertile..er, I mean attractive.

I have never been able to claim skinny as my body type except perhaps for a few short adolescent years and by my late teens I had come to think of my body as pear shaped.  This seemed to be my skeletal shape as much or more as fat and muscle distribution.  I learned how to dress to maximize the appearance of my upper body and slim my lower body.   I had a tiny waist, eleven inches smaller than my hips which was not something coveted in those days.  Boobs were in and I had little of them.  Something changed and I woke up twenty years later with a completely different body type.  I guess my top half was a late bloomer because I found myself with a bust, with fleshy upper arms, well padded shoulders and a deep rib cage.  After pregnancy my waist thickened and never returned to it's tiny proportions.

Old habits die hard, as they say and it has been a very steep learning curve for me to stop putting the volume on top when I dress.  I am perhaps just barely qualifying as an hourglass shape if I wear a tight dress, but otherwise I appear more rectangular and if the volume of my clothing gets to be too excessive, I can appear quite shapeless.  In my head I am apparently a sylph, since I am drawn to lots of draped fabric of the sort where one needs be so skinny that even a potato sack layered over a tent cannot disguise the lithe and graceful shape underneath.  Could somebody please invent a magic wand that allows me to be voluptuously sexy when naked and willowy slender when I get dressed?  Thank you.  That would make life so much easier because then I could pile on the layers and not feel totally disheartened when I later see a photo of myself looking like a sausage.

Now, getting back to reality and how I deal with the body I have,   I must admit that what I really want is something I vaguely recall was a catch-phrase in a television commercial for some kind of convenience food back when I was a child.  The phrase was "Fix it and forget it".  Or maybe this was for Crazy Glue or some sort of denture adhesive.  Anyhow, "Fix it" is American jargon for making something or putting something together.   Not all but some, will use the term 'fixing supper'.

Digression:  As a Canadian constantly exposed to our American cousins' media, I learned to speak or at least comprehend American-speak at a young age.  For instance, that letter at the end of the alphabet is Zee, if you are American, which very nicely rhymes with 'won't you come and sing with me'.  Although I determinedly say Zed, I was always a bit put out when singing 'ABCDEFG.......WXY and Zed...now I know my ABCs, won't you come and sing with me.'

So fix it and forget it is how I would like to get dressed.  Put it on, feel great about it and get on with things.  Go out there and be faaaabulous dahling!  For me what feels fabulous are layers and what my clothes feel like is very important.  I have to be comfortable.  I will not suffer for beauty, but damn it I still want to look nice.  Figuring out how to make them also look fabulous has taken a completely new understanding of the body shape I now have.  I have reached a point where I can finally say truthfully that I love my body and I want to take care of it.  It cannot do everything I would like it to do but it works hard and it has done some amazing things and it looks like me.  It deserves to look and feel good in the clothes I put on it.  So layering needs to be less voluminous than I  might instinctively go for and I have learned to make the items on the top half of my body less bulky.  In this way I don't get a shock when I see photos of myself.  I keep my layers close to my body and use more fitted shapes than I would instinctively have chosen in the past or choose very light weight and draping fabric.  When I play with volume I do it with skirts to avoid a top-heavy look and I no longer instinctively put a darker colour on the bottom and a lighter one on top.

I'm a slow learner apparently but I am happy with what I have figured out.  To put on my clothes and feel like me has been a strangely difficult task and I think this has much to do with the fact that the period in my life where my body changed was also a period where I was not paying much attention.  I had a child, a husband, a career, a health concern and a body that had changed but I didn't know what to do with it and didn't have time to figure it out.  Now I have the time.  Now I have figured it out and I no longer have a career or a husband.  I have figured out how to look my best at a time in my life when I am truly dressing for myself.  This will not cure cancer or bring world peace, but it allows me to fix it and forget it regularly.  To get dressed and feel like me and be happy to be me is a treat I will not take for granted.

So quick, now let's take the photos before my ankles are swollen at the end of the day.


I am mad about this scarf and it contains all of my favourite colours.  The mornings are cold so it is useful as a shawl too.  Don't I just look so pleased with myself?

And to answer your question Sue, yes those are my paintings in the background hanging crookedly.  Straight is so over-rated!

Fun and funky red leather wrist flower.

In these photos I appear to only be wearing one earring, but I have just checked and I am in fact wearing two.  Now, off to Qualicum for a day trip with my ex-sister in law who is still a dear friend and really needs a better title than ex-sister in law.  She is doing the driving, thankfully!

20 comments:

  1. chic outfit shawna! i like the colors you put together here - it starts to be really and truly your very own style! and a gorgeous style! chapeau!
    have fun on your trip!
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! It's rather satisfying when an outfit comes together properly. I think that's why I look so smug. ;-)
      xoxo

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  2. Don't get me started on the zed and the zee thing. My husband, who is from France, and has lived in Canada for some 23 years now refuses to say it the Canadian way which drives me bonkers. I mean really, with his French accent...just who does he think he is fooling?

    I love the shawl/scarf and all the colours in it.

    I read on another blog yesterday (which shall remain nameless) that the woman complained she was born thin with large boobs. Ahhhhhh.....HELLO!!! Isn't that what EVERYONE wants? Crap. First time I've heard someone complain about that. You don't hear Pam Anderson going on about having that body.

    Anyhoo...stuffed sleeping bags may not be fertile, but I'm sure that they do get lots of people pregnant. Or at least they used to, in the "old days". LOL

    Please sign me up for the pill that makes me, "voluptuously sexy when naked and willowy slender when I get dressed".

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Isn't it the thick French accent that makes someone say 'zee' for 'the'? Or is that just in the movies? You might say to the hubster "I do not like zee way you are pronouncing zee zed."

      Okay, when I have developed that pill you can be my first guinea pig.
      xoxo

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  3. I think today's outfit perfectly illustrates what you have learned, Shawna - you look long and lean, funky and fun, you have your layers and your favourite colours and some great accessories. So go to the top of the class!
    I know there will always be some debate about dressing to flatter one's shape, since this is generally a euphemism for trying to look thinner. But actually I don't think there is anything wrong with working out which shapes, styles and colours suit us, whatever our size and body type, although I get twitchy as soon as such preferences become "rules". And it is as important to suit our lifestyles as our bodies.
    I'm not thin, but I think I know what clothes work best for my proportions, and those are the things I like to wear. And seeing myself in photos, through blogging, has helped me to be more objective in my self-assessment.
    Hope you have a good day out! xxx

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    1. Isn't it amazing how the photos help? They work better than a mirror though I'm not sure why. I think we all have the goal of looking our best and for some of us that means thinner, for others it means emphasising the positive, and maybe sometimes it just means not accidentally making ourselves look worse-lol. Even if we embrace our size and are happy not to be thin, not too many of us want to make ourselves look bigger than we are and that is the problem I often had. Rules are definitely annoying. I like guidelines, I like to know why something works and something doesn't or why something gives certain results but I will decided whether or not to pay any attention to that or how much I think it works for me. I might even care more on some days than on others.
      xoxo

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  4. Nope. The part of your theory that you might not look as fabulous as you might in flowing layers is all off. You look wonderful ... must come from suiting yourself! Lovely look, and you must have great instincts if following them makes you look so good!
    Catching up ... will try not to make it so long next time! Love to see you.
    And those little shoes are the BEST!

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    1. Awww thanks Jan. Well I have been careful not to don any tents lately. ;-) These little shoes really are the best. I wore them all day today and five hours of shopping with no complaints.
      xoxo

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  5. Oh I wish you to have a splendid day out!! I think calling her "my friend" is one of the best titles one can ever invent. :) It's great to be a friend and to have one!

    You are very funny! And cute! I think I've told you before, but I'll say it again. You are coming to yourself, Shawna - you more and more actively live the life of an artist, and it reflects in your outfits. The colors, the shapes, the layering, the comfort and ease - all together looks more and more artistic every time I see your new outfits. And that's a great thing!

    You look lovely and confident, and I am happy to hear that you love your body! After all, what else to do?! We need love and we need to love!

    Love xxx

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    1. Friend does not seem enough as we were family for so long. I told her I am just going to say she is my sister.

      I think you are right. I have stopped being afraid to be me. Took blood long enough! I am finally very clear in my mind about what I want to wear and that is making me a better shopper too. Maybe too good at it. I was very successful today!
      xoxo

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  6. I love how conscious you are of your body type, and how comfortable you are with what you choose to do with it. I cannot wear shapeless clothing, either, as I have bigger hips...I'm afraid my whole body will look the width of my hips. (that doesn't stop me from doing it, I suppose!) I love your scarf, as well...what beautiful colors!

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  7. LOL ... I always felt EXACTLY the same when singing the ABC song.
    You look great and that outfit is flattering ... whether you meant it to be or not ;0)
    I'm loving the scarf .... I think I might steal the scarf ;0)
    xx

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    1. Well I will keep an eye out for a suspicious looking redhead lurking in my closet!
      xoxo

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  8. They are very nice paintings too!! I especially like the one on the right all by itself, gorgeous colours!!

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I like the one on the right best too. It seems sort of pagan.
      xoxo

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  9. I like how you've brought out the red in your scarf with your funky bracelet ( jealous!) and shoes. And the scarf against the blue gives the outfit a lift.
    You and I have such similar thought processes. I've been pondering the question lately do we need to please others in our dressing.
    It's hard when you've had a lifetime of indoctrination about making the best of yourself. Now with my health issues I am feeling I want to be comfortable!
    Old age setting in ;-) So glad you had a nice outing. Xo JJ

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  10. Haha, slow learner or not, you do layers like no other! :D I'm like you, I love slouchy, bulky, huge, oversized, sometimes Gawd damn ugly clothes! It's silly to dress in a certain way, just because people said it looks good, do whatever makes you happy. Life is so short, hell, wear socks with sandals, whatever! :D
    As for the outfit, I love it as always, the navy shirt is gorgeous. I want a basic shirt like that, perfect for building up layers!

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  11. Hey Shawna, In my part of the world we do pronounce it as "ZED' but I am sure in the song it is sung as zee!!!

    LOVE this outfit of yours and the scarf is a beautiful topping!

    I think calling your ex sister-in-law your sister is beautiful as you do not have to be related to have that relationship! You are sisters from different mothers.

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  12. You look lean and pretty hot from where I'm sitting, a great outfit that exudes sass and confidence.
    A work colleague once told me that the reason men were attracted to me was my tiny waist which apparently highlights fertility. As I had no intention of ever breeding I rarely emphasise my waist, I'd hate to attract someone under false pretences!
    Have a lovely day with your dear friend. xxx

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  13. A day at the beach with a friend who drives there. What could be better? And today is sunny here so probably is there too. Your layers look beautiful on you. I'm not seeing a rectangle, I'm too caught up in the colour from you, metaphorically and literally. Great bracelet too!
    We Canadians are such staunch holdouts for our zed and our "our"s, colours, glamour... I'm not sure why. The queen may be our sovereign leader but I can't even work in England. What's up with that?

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