Thursday, April 7

Jeans and a casual rant


Wide legged jeans! I can honestly say I never though I'd see the day when I gave up my skinnies. Well, I haven't at all really, but with the 70s silouhettes I'm loving for the summer I wanted another option to wear with my luxurious flowing tops (and because I love dressing like a 70s nerd, complete with flares, big glasses and a tank top. Ohhhh yes.). Dorothy Perkins have £5 off all their jeans in store and online at the minute, and after the style I wanted sold out online but appeared in a branch local to where I work, I jumped on them. These are a size 20/short fitting, which is particularly odd given that I am neither a size 20 or particularly short at 5'9"! I wore this to travel to another archive to prepare some nitrate film for scanning, which is hazardous and potentially explosive, so needless to say I was dressed for comfort and ease above anything else.

Jumper, £3, charity shop
Belt, old vintage stock
Wide leg jeans, £21, Dorothy Perkins
Dunlops, £2, car boot sale

Duffel coat, £12.50, River Island sale (though it was way too hot for this in the end! Yay for sunny weather!)

Also, on a related note I wanted to say how awesome I thought this post on Corpulent was. There is a tension, I feel, in the fatosphere about posting casual outfits. As I have moved back to embracing wider legs and baggier silouhettes, I'm really interested in this debate. Is dressing up a comment on our bodies as inferior when dressed down? Obviously as a person who overdresses frequently, I don't believe this is true (I do it for many other reasons though - to amuse myself, sometimes to engender responses from others and mainly to feel fantastic in myself), however I do feel that there is a pressure on fat bloggers to dress up. This is certainly connected to the stereotype of the fat slob in jeans and tracksuits. It's a tricky balance to strike - by posting pictures of ourselves dressed up, we are refuting this stereotype, but, at the same time, I don't believe that as a fat person, I should be obligated to dress up in order to make my body acceptable or attractive to people who wouldn't otherwise deem it so. Jeans and t-shirts can look amazing on any body, and neither should cultural implications of a particular style of dress make you avoid such clothing. This is why I enjoyed fatshion february so much - it presented images of fat femmes on both up and down days - I felt like it was more of a representation of lived experiences in clothing than more formal blogs.

I post the outfits I wear most days - mainly otherwise they're repeats, hideous mistakes or else I'm sat in my pajamas! This blog is about everyday dressing for me - that's why my photographs and editing are haphazard, and why I sometimes don't post huge chunks of text. I would rather there were lots of outfits updated regularly, which show how I live and what I live in as a fat woman, than more formal photoshoots (though I like these on other blogs also, it's just a personal preference).

I'm always faffing on about this, but the only person I believe you should dress for (as a fat person or otherwise) is yourself. Dressing for me is a way of showing that I like my body, and before that, a strategy of acceptance. Don't dress to make anyone else happy! Wear something that makes you feel fantastic, that you love, and that fits you as well as is possible, and that you feel comfortable in. This could be jeans and a t-shirt or it could be a sequinned ballgown! I feel that wearing the right clothes for you (whatever it may be, regardless of fashion, cultural implications as a fat person or any other social pressures) is one of the most amazing things to do along the way to self acceptance and love.

7 comments:

  1. Your blog is interesting. I find that I am my own worst enemy. I sit here comparing a 65 year old fat and floppy body with the sweet young things who fashion blog. I lose every time. And I don't even do well with young weighty women. So I tell myself i look awful no matter what. I need to read more of your writings. They are good for me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your commentary on dressing down. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, too. I do tend to dress up more often than not, but when I am not looking fancy, I rarely take pics. I think that images of fatties in casual dress are so often the headless ones of someone slumped over a fast food meal, so countering (or maybe augmenting? I don't want to put myself in a position where I am proclaiming that fat people don't eat junk food--we totally do, *just like everyone else*) that visual information with images of fatties in casual clothes posing for pics, doing everyday stuff is really important. I need to work on that!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think its important to see pictures of fats dressing up and dressing down if that is what you (or any other blogger) chose to do. Visibility in whatever form is important, but I guess we only tend to see an edited version of most fat bloggers in their best outfits. (which is cool and not a criticism at all - i was guilty of this too when I blogged).

    I just want to say to Judy, I definitely think you should read more of Kirsty's blog and all the other wonderful fat acceptance ones that are out there. They totally changed my perspective and I know that they have helped others too. I am a bit older than most of the bloggers so I can relate to the fact that it is hard comparing yourself to them. However age does not preclude beauty, just as being fat does not. You are gorgeous, lady!

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I LOVE this. :D
    How I dress on my blog I dress casually. No "fake" stuff here. haha. I just dress very eclectically in real life...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I couldn't agree more. I ALWAYS dress for comfort - whether dressing up or down. I also do try to show the range of outfits I wear. I tend to get the biggest responses when I dress up on my blog but that doesn't mean I will only post those kind of outfit posts.

    I really like your outfit as well! I love my wide legged jeans! I've seen a pair of black ones on sale with Evans.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you!

    "by posting pictures of ourselves dressed up, we are refuting this stereotype, but, at the same time, I don't believe that as a fat person, I should be obligated to dress up" - Yes! That's exactly the tension I feel.

    I post outfits fairly regularly, but I can go weeks and weeks in between posts. That's usually because I think my outfits have been too boring or they feature something I've shown before. I feel like that maybe that gives a sort of dishonest picture of me... someone far more cool and cashed up than I actually am.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree that one should always dress for themselves. There are times when you may need to dress to meet others’ expectations, such as a job interview, but for the most part, I believe I’m the first person I need to please when getting dressed.

    That said, though, I happen to be one of those folks who takes issue with some of the very casual outfits I sometimes see posted in the LJ Fatshionista community. I don’t say anything about it because I don’t feel a need to. But I believe that if you’re going to participate in a community where the purpose is to express elements of one’s personal style, then the outfits you wear in the pics you post should say something about who you are.

    I have no issue with people posting pics of casual outfits on their personal style blogs. It’s *their* blog, after all; a place where people can write and post pics of whatever they want. But if you pull on some baggy jeans and a big t-shirt, or a long, loose skirt, flip-flops and an oversize top because you feel like dressing comfortably, and then try to use it as an example of personal style, I think you’re missing the point.

    I believe it’s entirely possible to dress comfortably and express personal style at the same time. I do it almost every day. Wider leg and straight leg pants and jeans look better on my body shape than skinny pants. I feel comfortable in them, both literally and emotionally speaking. But I always make sure my pants and jeans fit well and don’t look baggy/oversized on me. Most of the tops I wear are made of knit cotton t-shirt material, sometimes jersey knit, and sometimes rayon. But, essentially, they’re t-shirts…just with more interesting detail: a button placket, a drop waist, puffed or ruched sleeves, an unusual color or interesting print. I always make sure my tops fit well and complement the pants I’m wearing. I will sometimes “complete the outfit” with a jacket or cardigan, but not always. I do like to add jewelry and a smart pair of shoes to pull the outfit together and help underscore my personal style. But physical and emotional comfort with what I’m wearing are two of the most important factors to me when putting an outfit together, so I always try to make sure I have both going on. And one of the things that gives me emotional comfort is knowing that I’ve done my best to express my personal style.

    On the weekends when I’m in the mood to just hang around the house, I’m in my yoga pants and big old t-shirts. If I’m ever so inspired to share this with the world at large, I’ll snap a pic and post it on my personal blog. But I wouldn’t post it in a place where the point, it seems, is to highlight personal style. Yes, it’s personal, since it documents my desire to wear my most comfortable house clothes. But *style*? I don’t think so.

    ReplyDelete