Does your clothing define you?
At my last blogger meet-up I was asked the question how I would feel wearing an oversized shapeless dress and I instantly replied,
“I’d feel ugly.”
The Power Of Clothing To Define Our Identity
All of my life I’ve focused on accenting the good and de-emphasizing the bad when choosing my wardrobe. As I am 5’4″ and have a curvy figure that has meant lots of figure hugging, waist cinching clothing with some kind of heel.
With age I can see some unwelcome changes in my body which are forcing me to reevaluate my preconceived ideas of how I dress myself. The feet want comfy shoes and the sometimes fluffy waist doesn’t always look best defined.
It’s a slow process learning to give up long held beliefs. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not quite there yet.
I wore a 1950/60s vintage gown for a photo shoot during my last blogger meet-up and upon reviewing the images my heart sank. I didn’t like how I looked. It made me look substantially larger than I am. This influenced my behaviour. I felt inhibited, self conscious, less vibrant and funny. Why?
I was still the same person under that dress.
In the photos I no longer saw myself.
The person that I feel and believe I am would not be the person everyone else would see.
I’d share some of the offending photos with you but then I’d have to kill you.
I made sure all incriminating evidence was destroyed.
Wearing shift dresses without a belt is still a big leap which can, depending on my body confidence that day, make me feel unattractive.
I find the thinner I am, the less likely I am to have a problem with wearing oversized clothing.
The larger I am the more I dislike it. I want people to know exactly where my body ends. I don’t want to feel like I’m covering up or trying to hide something.
Surrendering The Waist – Wearing The Shift Dress
My collection of shift dresses has been growing since I passed fifty a couple of years ago.
I am very aware that shift dresses add visual weight.
Often put my hands on my hips in photos when I wear this kind of dress just to prove that, yes…I do still have a waist and here it is!
So many women after a certain age wear floaty shapeless clothing and look amazing in it.
Are they so empowered that they no longer care if they add visual weight to their physique?
Do they just want to be comfortable?
Or have they moved past caring?
There is a fine line for me between not caring, being comfortable and simply giving up.
If I were thin and tall I’d be happy to wear oversized items regularly. The clothing wouldn’t be covering up a secret I’m trying to hide.
I found this wild and crazy oversized kaftan thrifting a while back and wanted to see how it would make me feel. I was attracted to the bold, bright, oversized florals and the dramatic swishy-ness of the piece.
Could I make it work for me though?
Would I feel like Mrs. Roper or would I feel like myself?
Would it make me feel older and heavier than I am?
There is no doubt this adds visual weight.
It’s like wearing a tent disguised as a wildly blooming garden.
The infamous “here is my waist” pose.
This piece comes alive when I’m moving, creating blurry bold swooshes of colour and fabric in my wake. It is very Melanie.
Sadly, I haven’t learned how to capture the movement with my camera in the small space where I take my photos.
Upon reviewing the photos I’ve decided I can’t do it.
I’m still adverse to wearing oversized, shapeless clothing, in particular, kaftans.
I’ve analyzed the problem and the dress doesn’t correctly communicate how I want people to remember me. It’s not properly defining the way I feel about myself. It’s close, the colours, the boldness but the shape is a miss.
I think this bright kaftan will be showing up in my Etsy shop soon. Some fabulous, artsy, confident woman will buy it and feel like a million bucks.
How about you? What type of clothing makes you feel less “you”?