Sunday, 22 January 2017

Body Image and What to Wear: Absolutly No Advice From Me

If you read this blog you may be aware that I went on a personal style-finding journey and then I stopped.  Did I find my style or did I just give up?  I might answer that differently, depending on the day or my mood but mostly I would say that I discovered I'd never lost it.  I did temporarily misplace it and confused other styles for my own but that's okay, I like learning new things.  I explored systems and methods and various forms of advice and I tried winging it too.  I considered colour, which I admit is my main obsession, as well as style and personal expression and one of the biggest lessons I learned was that admiring or even wanting a certain style is not the only factor that will be important in determining if it is right for you.  When it comes to what you look best in there might be a right answer but various people will have differing opinions and you may either be clueless or have opinions which conflict with those of your friends... or the expert on television... so just forget about it all and wear what makes you happy.

Looking good is mainly about grooming and attitude.  Mostly, you will look great if you are clean, deliberate and look confident.  Models pull this off all the time because not only are they good at making model face, we have been told that they look awesome so many times we believe it. It doesn't matter what they are dressed in, we think they look good.  But how is 'good' even defined. It seems to me it is defined by having a body that the clothing can completely take over. Who is that serving?

 If you are young you can get away with an ungroomed look and it will look cool but if you are over thirty you will just look like you are depressed or completely unaware of social norms or don't have a job.  And looking like any of those things is totally fine but I'm just telling you so that nobody can say I neglected to mention it.

Wear whatever you want to and wear it with confidence.  No matter what you wear someone will hate it, someone will be indifferent, it will go out of style, and it may or may not give you the illusion of beauty as we currently understand it.  You can find every opinion out there so prioritise your own,.  If you ask me 'Does this colour suit me? Should I wear a belt with this? Does this make my bum look big?'  I will have an opinion and I won't tell you the truth because that's not socially acceptable but you shouldn't care anyhow.  Unless you do, and then I can't help you.

If you want to achieve the smallest looking waist you can possible achieve, only wear colours that make you look healthy,  that make your legs look miles long or your elbows look their prettiest, then there are rules you can follow and usually, although not always, the so-called experts agree on them.  I stopped trusting the experts when they said use a belt to define your waist and make it look like you have one when you don't.  That's rubbish.  If you don't have a small waist I'm sorry but all that belt is doing is flashing like a neon sign that says hey look here at where there isn't a waist.  Maybe that's the look you want. Or maybe you just like the look of a dress divided in half by a belt.  Go for it.

I used to be worried about clothing making me look fatter than I actually am.  I was obsessed with how to dress to look my most slender and I don't only mean slender as an optical illusion.  I found that often I was choosing clothing that made me look larger than I really am.  It bothered me.  I obsessed over it.  I was determined never to make those mistakes again.  But I still do and because sometimes how an outfit looks when I am standing and looking in the mirror is not the same as how it looks when I am seated and photographed this is always going to happen.  Sometimes I just want my clothing to be a little loose fitting because I find it more comfortable.  In fact, most of the time.

Maybe it's age.  No, I don't actually WANT to look frumpy but if all my efforts over the past few years have taught me anything one of the things I've learned is that no matter how many of the strategies you employ you aren't fooling anyone about what sort of body you've got under those clothes.  Maybe a little bit.  But not much.  Not enough to wear something you don't love or don't feel comfortable just for the sake of trying to look thinner, but at the same time there is no need to give in and wear shapeless oversized things unless you love wearing shapeless oversized things and then we don't call it giving in.

You can wear whatever you want on any body shape, not because you will look great so long as you are confident, though you might, but because you should dress in whatever way makes you happy.  I might think you look terrible or mediocre or flashy or boring  but that doesn't matter.  You might think the same of me and that also doesn't matter.

Plenty of people are confidently perambulating about wearing unflattering colours and shapes and not caring at all what anyone thinks.  Be one of those people and be happy.


  1. I like your attitude (particularly) about 'wearing whatever makes you happy' and not judging other people's priorities when dressing up. Some people pay attention to color, proportions, trends, comfort or whatever, and some other people don't. Every option is ok!. There's not a correct answer, just personal style.
    In my opinión, 'flattering factor' is pretty overrated. On the contrary,'fun factor' is understimated!

    1. I don't think anyone would look at what I am wearing and conclude that I dressed for fun. But they could easily conclude that I am wearing what I like and they would be correct. My big realisation was that fun was not something I am after in dressing, but as you say, for some people it's everything and all options are okay. Besos back at you! xo

  2. Yay you! My favourite line " but I'm just telling you so that nobody could say I neglected to mention it"!! Crack up :-)
    Reading your FB posts lately feels more and more like reading Cris' writings. INTJ here we come! xo Jazzy Jack

    1. It seems like the stifled me looks INFJ but the me being me is INTJ. LOL It means I irritate even more people but so be it. It's not actually my intention to irritate although I do sometimes poke tigers with sticks just to see what happens. ;-)

  3. Heck yeah! I used to be all about "the rules" and watching style makeover shows (I still love What Not to Wear and will watch any rerun of it, though) and aiming for that "ideal" shape. Now, I want to wear things I love, I want to look nice, but I also don't really give a flying fork what anyone thinks of what I'm wearing. And then the balance of wearing this craziness for work... hee hee!

    Amen, preachin' to the choir here, Shawna. :) Great post!

    1. I do different kinds of preaching on Facebook. I like the choir here. Very fond of them even if I don't look like a choir member. LOL My philosophy is that it's best to now the rules because then it's much more fun to knowingly break them. xo


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