I went shopping the other day for some nice warm vests or sweaters. I have been having some trouble finding one as I find the fashion at the moment very ‘baggy’ for women. With that I mean that it is very wide and does not show much of our bodies. I would find myself wondering often if the clothing I had in my hands was really a size S or that it was tagged wrong? (It would be the first one – really a size S.)
So I did go out a little hesitant with the knowing there would be a lot of these stylish ‘body hiding’ vests out there. And yes, there were a lot of oversized shirts and vests. Nevertheless, I felt like giving it a go and got myself a pile of sweaters and vests to try, taking the smallest possible size in the hope it would show a bit of my body shape.
I tried them all on and they were all quite big, yet one of them fitted my body well, so that was simple, I would take that one, but I wanted one more. It was curious to find that I really liked one of them… a wide one!
I was not fully understanding this but this ‘wide’ one just felt really yummy and warm on my body and actually… with a skinny legging it looked really delicious. I felt very feminine, warm, cozy and ‘me’.
I bought the two.
The day after I tried the new wide jumper on again with some nice jeans and… did not like it at all! It was too wide and hiding my body. I was a bit disappointed and put it back in the bag to bring back to the store after the weekend.
It kept inviting me though and I tried it on several more times and hey! One day with certain pants it looked and felt amazing again.
What I found was that I had observed that women’s clothing is often not very confirming of the beauty we naturally are and that there are many women hiding their bodies in big clothes, maybe not because they like to, but because it is the fashion at the moment. I felt women could be wearing more confirming and beautiful clothes, me included.
Yet… I did make this into a picture! No wide clothes at all for me! I found this is too rigid and does not allow me to express from how I am feeling. It might be that a little wider well-fitting jumper is perfect for the day and actually looks very sexy on because it is an expression of me.
With having a picture, we miss out on these kinds of expressions of ourselves and shopping can become very frustrating and very boring. I found as well that dressing towards the picture will never give me that ‘wow, I LOVE this’ feeling, yet shopping without the picture and being open to anything does, because one, I found not all ‘oversized’ clothes are hiding the body, neither is it right to wear a tight shirt every day, and two, that it is a joy to just shop and try what I like in the moment, a bit of playful fun, and it might end up looking amazing beyond what I had ‘pictured’ to be possible.
So it is great to be aware of the huge amount of ‘oversized’ clothes and that they are not always there to support women in their beauty, but it is equally important to not dress towards any picture or ideal, or make it into a rule, so we can be open to expressing ourselves; dressing ourselves to show and celebrate the absolute gorgeous women we are.
By Lieke Campbell, 26, Student of Dentistry, Ghent, Belgium
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