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July 31, 2016

On getting dressed

Lately I've been enjoying getting dressed in the morning, which is a relatively recent development. At first I put it down to finally owning the right clothes (i.e. achieving the mythical Cohesive Wardrobe), but I think there were some attitude changes as well.

1. I've stopped trying to project a predefined image and wanting to stand out. I mean, I personally really like my clothes, but I don't think my style is remarkable to the people I encounter every day. This would have killed me a few years ago, but now I'm fine with it, and no longer have to take "looking different" into account when dressing.

2. I'm trying to stop thinking about what is "flattering". There's no such thing as flattering or unflattering clothing. There are only societal expectations of what women's bodies are supposed to look like, and how much we want to comply with them. Ever since I stopped trying to do things like make my waist look more defined and my legs look longer, I've found it a lot less stressful to dress.

3. As a result, I've started prioritising comfort. Two words: smock dress. I don't care if I look pregnant. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing.

4. I don't fight to make something work. Sometimes there'll be something off about an outfit. In those cases, I just take it off and put on something I know I'll like, because otherwise I'll just be preoccupied with it for the rest of the day. (The one exception to this is if the only reason why I don't like it is that it's not "flattering". Then I make myself wear it as part of my personal crusade for self acceptance. These pants make my thighs look big? The world will have to deal.)

5. I don't mind repeating outfits anymore. I have never in my life judged someone else for repeating outfits, so I don't expect others to care about me doing the same. I've been wearing the outfit above at least twice a week lately.

I guess it might be shallow to think about how I dress so much. I follow a bunch of style blogs and (like the cliche I am) I have a style pin board. I like clothes and looking at clothes, it's fun. On the other hand, I kind of hate how much my self-confidence is derived from my outside appearance in general. Women are socialised into this more than men and I feel that I'm reinforcing it. Any thoughts?

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