Tag Archives: fashion
Dressing to hide/amend/alter your shape – why women have got it wrong and why magazines are not our friends
Ah, I love the article by Nicole Elphick today. Go on, read it.
How many people have worn clothes they really don’t like because there are some nebulous ‘rules’ floating in the air, liberated from magazines by well-meaning mums, dress shop assistants, and of course Trinny and Susannah?
For the record, I love horizontal stripes. Being a pudgy, curvy woman I apparently shouldn’t ever wear them. I’ll look FAT! (OMG, like it hadn’t been obvious before!) I have a 3/4 sleeve stripy black and white top I’m going to wear tomorrow. And I’ll enjoy it.
And I won’t wear high heels to counter-balance the flared jeans that apparently make my fatness disappear (due to the placement of said fat). I have a number of spinal problems. High heels are a stupid idea. Why don’t I wear jeans that I like (straight ones) and maybe a pair of Birkenstocks?
I know what I like to wear. I have my own style. Sometimes it’s downright odd. I will wear a felt hat with a huge bow while wearing a polar fleece top and jeans – it’s cold in Canberra and I can’t come at wearing a beanie all the time. Besides, it makes the hipsters at the local coffee shop look slightly appalled and it’s worth it for that.
The newest blog to go on my favourites list is http://www.dressmemory.com/ by the talented, heart-achingly honest Lorelei Vashti.
The photograph today is of a gold and black striped dress.
When I went home for Christmas in 2002 I bought this dress for $20. I put it on when I got home and declared that I felt like a thirties-era Tallulah Bankhead. My brother said I looked like an eighties-era RSL club.
I’d say Tallulah Bankhead. Go for it!
The studio photographs are by Lee Sandwith. (I want Lee to take my photo. Honestly.)
If only I had the guts to share my thoughts. What is it about clothing that can pull out such fraught or precious memories? Like the appalling checked shirt with a bow that I wore through several years in the early 80s. Or the shiny magenta silk shirt that I borrowed from a housemate and looked fabulous in. Any photo from that time doesn’t show the sheer sexiness I felt at the time.
I have a charcoal felt hat with a black grosgrain ribbon but I need something else, I think. I can’t find my leopard print beret, my knitted newsboy hat was critically panned by my best friend, and I have a big head. Seriously, it’s so big and I’ve got thick hair, that I end up looking at blokes’ hats. Not quite what I’m looking for.
There is only one available according to the website, http://www.etsy.com/shop/ObeyMyBrain.
Go there. Enjoy the creativity. There should be more people going round in winter wearing a jellyfish hat.
I wrote about horrible clothing for children last week
Here is a gallery of appalling clothes that readers of the BBC’s website submitted in response to an article there. Tartan, everyone wearing sweaters in the same maroon wool, dressing all the kids the same, capes, ponchos, you name it.
On a more serious note, an Oklahoma newspaper had an article about dressing kids so they aren’t picked on. One seventh grade boy doesn’t want to go to school because he’s dressed in second hand clothes, the only ones his mother can afford.
He said “It was horrible. I didn’t think the day would ever end. The kids just kept picking on me, laughing about my clothes, and all I wanted was to go home. I don’t want to go back to school because I don’t have the right clothes and that’s all that matters to the other kids, having the right clothes.”
Now to girls’ clothes. These House of Dereon ads had my eyeballs rotating in astonishment. This is the fashion line owned by Beyonce Knowles and her mother, Tina. Are these kids or Bratz dolls? Not fashion. Not fun. Not on my kid – ever!
Article from the BBC website here, 2 October 2008.
I believe it is a rite of passage or maybe many rites, to have sartorial sins committed against one as a child. (My DD is lucky having relatives and friends who know what styles and colours look lovely on her.) Parents are the chief offenders, dressing kids in appalling clothes, followed by grandparents and fond relatives. Here are some of the reasons I’ve found:
- There was a discount on a bolt of fabric. Since Sewing Relative had bought so much, it stood to reason to make four matching outfits – skirts, shirts, ties, even trousers if they felt up to it.
- It was on sale. Four famous last words.
- It looked nice in the shop. But appalling on the poor little tyke who got stuffed into that frilly jacket or maroon flares.
- You’ll look just like me! Sometimes, just sometimes, that can work. But if it involves plaid, paisley, corduroy, velveteen or sparkles, just put the outfit down and walk away from the cash register …
- I wore one like that when I was a child! Fashions change. Sure, if you had a neat blue skirt or a plain white shirt, that would work in nearly every decade. But fluffy mohair sleeveless jackets from the early 1960s are an acquired taste.
Some of the most humiliating moments of my childhood involved wearing the “wrong” thing. The wrong shorts for PE at school is a poor choice for a child who is already bullied. The out of date trousers, the haircut that was a decade out of date. I wish I could say that these were amusing incidents but judging by the embarrassment I recall from Young!Me, that’s unlikely. I know that some people say “Oh, you could be a trendsetter by wearing different things!” That presupposes that the poor blighter has a strong enough personality to rise above the humiliation of those who tease, chant, prod and pull remorselessly.
I enjoy reading Lindsay Weiss’s blog at Baby Center, who combines trendy tips and sensible advice with a good eye for proportion and co-ordination. She makes me think more about how I dress myself for my different roles and believe me, I haven’t given too much attention to that for a few years so it’s good to think about it. Now I need to think about how I dress my DD, my Pink and Purple Princess. She liked her ensemble of black and white striped babydoll top and black three-quarter leggings with pink transfer, plus hot pink shoes. She looked a whole lot better than me!
Of course I should think whether I am “spoiling” her with taking care over her choice of clothes. Or that I’m letting her get her own way because I had a rotten time with clothes as a kid. There are some who think I should “bend her” to my will rather than letting a 2.5 y-o choose her clothes in the morning. What would that achieve? I say “Pick your battles”. Establish ground rules (warm enough in winter, cool enough in summer), remove items from the wardrobe that are going to be contentious and hide them in my own, and then see what she comes up with. I’m not going to get fussed over what DD wears most times. If it looks odd I’ll say that DH chose the outfit. There are more important things to think about in this world.