Fashion as an art form interests me and I can see the beauty in styled fashion shoots, despite the whole issue of altered photos and their relation to body image. Fashion rules don't appeal to me though and these rules along with changes, trends, dos and don'ts, In/Out lists etc, are all just about marketing.
If you have watched fashion perform its acts for more than a decade you have seen the same items and ways of wearing them declared hopelessly unflattering one year and then perfectly flattering and classic several years later. Something that becomes popular (ie. a big seller) even if it actually breaks some rule about horizontal lines and chopping your legs in half or highlighting the thicker parts, will be flaunted and praised and promoted and sold to us as long as possible.
When the rise and waist band positioning of jeans dropped drastically in the late nineties and early naughties we were told that this was a good thing because it was universally flattering and nobody mentioned muffin tops or the fact that we are all have longer or shorter rises ourselves. High waisted jeans were hideous, unflattering, outdated and bad for everyone, we were told. The tide is turning, as it does, and not only are there a few more options available now in the form of the so called mid-rise (which is still lowish on my body) the high rise is back and considered daring and avant-garde. Little details will change so that you can't just haul out of the back of the closet some jeans you wore twenty years ago, unless your whole personal look is to be provocatively 'wrong'. Someone twenty years younger than you are can wear those jeans though and look like she is deliberately doing retro-chic.
You can, of course, call all of that crap, as it is in many ways.
The lesson, if you are paying attention, is not that there are any particular rules you have to follow, styles you have to wear to suit your body or avoid mistakenly point out all your body's widest parts (except the wide parts that are socially acceptable and desirable) but that you should just wear whatever the hell you want to because the rules don't matter. Even when they are technically correct, they don't matter, they will change, it's all a scam. If you like it, wear it. Yes, there are probably proportions and shapes that look more pleasing to the eye, but who says you have to please everyone's eyes?
Our eyes adjust to silhouettes that once startled us. I have found myself eventually liking trends I initially thought looked silly, because after awhile I have seen the look everywhere and it normalises. If it is very trendy, the appeal of looking 'in' sometimes outweighs doing what actually suits your body shape. We are approaching a time when there are more options and we aren't trapped in only being able to buy or wear what is the current popular look, and I feel very hopeful that this will last. Strangely it has taken ages for designers to realise that the more options there are the more they can sell to more people. I would have thought that a no-brainer but I guess I'm a genius.
So I leave you with a photo of myself, wearing whatever the hell I please, faux pas, no-nos, and not perfectly flattering or trendy be damned! This happens to be my signature look - a skirt under a dress. The dress is purple (purple and green are one of my favourite combinations) but in this photo looks almost black, and so does my hair! This is a barefoot around home look, typical of me but when I go out later tonight with my most beloved and handsome son, I will actually wear sandals.
I always chuckle when you can see a tan line on me and it just proves that I am naturally even paler than what you usually see. Vanity compels me to add that the roll under my bust is the dress and not me. I care enough to mention that, but not enough to give up the dress.
I snapped this quick pic of dresses hanging up to dry as evidence of just how colourful my wardrobe can actually be, even though, as with the pic above, the photo is a bit dark and dim. I seem to get a bit more colourful in summer when the light is more intense. I used that same principle in my garden, paler, softer colours in spring when the light is more diffused and still cool, brighter and stronger colours mid-summer under the light that is so intense it can make a soft pink flower looked washed out. Purple and red flowers were always a favourite then.