Saturday, 20 June 2015

Fashion Lies, Tan Lines and Garden Tips

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  High waisted jeans were hideous, unflattering, outdated and bad for everyone, we were told.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.


  1. I'm feeling a dress over a skirt in my near future :-D
    Totally agree as always. Who says we have to fit others' ideas of beauty?!
    But to my eyes you do look beautiful by the way. And isn't your hair growing! (Silly statement, it's always growing :-)
    Hope you had a lovely date with your son. Happy Sunday. Xo Jazzy Jack

  2. i´m with JJ - you look beautiful!!! gorgeous collection of dresses in your doorframe!!
    in the defense of designers - there were always different options, but society would not tolerate them in the way it does now. so consumers went the safe, sheep way mostly and bought the things the neighbor/the boss/etc. wore.
    but still - few days ago a german blogger got a lot of flak for wearing a full skirt first time! a commenter said that she risks her business (image consulting) by looking like a peasant woman instead like a business woman - 2015!
    sometimes in our fabulous and tolerant circle we forget how that world can be.....
    thank goodness we can support each other!

    1. Sorry-didn't mean to unfairly accuse designers! Thank you for correcting me. I only know that there was a time when a certain skirt length was in or a style of trouser or certain colours. It still happens but now it's more that those are the top trends but other options are fine too and also available.
      That's crazy what happened to the German blogger. There are still rules for formal dress and business attire but those are slowly changing, thankfully. xoxoxo

  3. I tried to love the whole low rise thing but didn't like the feeling of my plumber's butt flashing the world every time I'd bend over. The high rise thing I think adds bulk, at least for me. Right in the middle, like those DKNY Soho jeans, are what I go for. ;)
    Your hair is looking really cute like that. Love the bangs!

  4. Hope your outing with your handsome son was wonderful.

    I've been looking at lots of dresses and they look like blouses to me and are screaming out for something to be worn under them ... I love this look on you! I would just do it with a pair of pants.

    I agree with you about trends and fashions ... they come and go so I don't follow them at all, I always wear what feels comfortable to me. Whether I am "in" or "out" really does not bother me at all. Black pants surely never go out of style!! LOL!!!

  5. Ah yes, the fickle world of fashion. It's purpose is to keep us buying. They manage to do a good job at it.

  6. Hi Shawna, looking good, hope you had a lovely evening out with your son xx

  7. Hi Shawna, you look lovely in your dress over skirt outfit. I nominated you for the Liebster award. xo

  8. Ah yes, fashion and its fads and phases... How good it is to be able to ignore it! You do so to beautiful effect, Shawna, and your collection of colourful dresses is lovely to see. Hope your night out with your son was a delight. xxx

  9. I'm ashamed to admit that I wore low rise as a teenager...what can I say? I was young and silly and thinking just because I did 100 sit up at day, everyone must witness that. We (adolescent girls in general) did sit ups to get rid of a period (500 would do the trick) so that we could enjoy swimming when ever we want and just because it seemed more convenient. Now, I only like high rise because I find it to be much more comfortable and because I just well can't stand low rise or even mid rise....ah, how the times change.

    I did actually notice that I'm starting to like somethings I hated when they have been in for a the same time, I often stop wearing what I like because everyone does (flare jeans for example) and I get tired of it....I must admit trends often fascinate me and I mediate upon ways they influence or don't influence ourselves.

    You look lovely in this dress over skirt look at ease in your skin and that is always the most attractive thing.

  10. Shawna! I thought you colored your hair at first. :) Love how you basically created a maxi dress, clever you! Looking forward to see you wearing the beautiful dresses in Summer. I am just like you - my natural tone next to my ever so slight tan surprises even me! :))

    You are so right about everything here. I think that sometimes we people just like to create rules and problems, so we can break and overcome them. :)

    I'm thankful for your encouraging happy comment. I would love to talk more about it, I promise I will when I have a clearer picture myself. The book will be either in Russian only, or in both languages.

    Much love xxxxx

  11. Shawna, I left a reply to you on my blog, but then I wanted to add something, and for some reason my blog is acting weird, so I'll say it here.

    You are so very inspiring to me for that exact reason - for starting focusing on your writing so much. I realized that I did not write more because of my own fear and nothing else. I mean, we always can find the "objective" reasons - no time, etc. But the truth is much simpler. I have such a fear of not being perfect, of not being "approved". But I am getting sick of it. I just want to be me, the genuine me. And that's what you do - you just write and paint, and you are being the genuine you! And I admire you for that and Love you! xxxxx

    1. That is one of the loveliest things anyone has ever said to me. I have to dig deeply for the courage to be me, but the more I do that the more courage I find. I used to be afraid to call myself a writer or a painter because I dreaded the questions, what have you sold, what have you published. Then I checked my own value system and realised I do not define a writer by having been published or an artist by having sold something so I have to live in a way that is true to that. I am cheering you on and so happy we can inspire each other! Love and hugses-xoxoxo


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