I was flicking through Twitter the other day and I came across a link to a link from it onwards I went. Soon enough I came across this post over at Daily Life. After meeting more and more fashion bloggers of all sizes, shapes and styles, I changed my opinion on flattering. My opinion was always that I should flatter my body while attempting to replicate or fit the latest trends and whims. Or not try at all. I spent a lot of time trying hard to conceal my flaws in a body I wasn’t sure I knew or understood any more. I was either wearing something that was deemed flattering or nothing {not literally} at all.

I don’t know really. When it comes down to it.

Sure I want to look good. Sure there are clothes that look great on my body, show off the tone and line of it better than others. But does that mean that I have to give UP all the others. Should I never wear a full skirt because narrow pencil skirts look better? Should I only wear v-necks because higher necklines make my boobs look huge {not always a bad thing. Ha}. Wear this length, not that and on and on it goes.

But really, shouldn’t we enjoying wearing whatever it is that takes our fancy? Why wear a belt that squishes your middle and makes you uncomfortable to create an illusion of a waist. Who said a teeny tiny waist was the ‘the thing’ to have anyway? Probably the same people who decided that tall, wafer thin models was in. And long before that, that podgy bellies and full breasts. They are a fickle bunch those people that we give a giant up yours to in general by being ourselves, in the body we have.

So why?

Is it because I really do want to be considered beautiful? The normal kind. Maybe they won this round and for all my ranting and raving I am more than willing to concede that I should have wider hips, longer legs, a shorter torso to be in proportion. That maybe my body isn’t right and I’ve been fooling myself the whole time?  Because just maybe on the inside the idea that I could trick someone into thinking I’m thinner than I am is just a little bit too enticing in the shallow world? I resign myself to being part of the crowd. A flatter’er forever trapped.

And then I pick up a full skirt on eBay.

I grab a dress that twirls at the shops.

I find some pants with a pattern on them.

I wore a top with large billowing sleeves.

And bit by bit, I remind myself that they don’t get to make the rules for me. I do. They don’t get to make me conform to some idea of beauty and that just by being aware of it I have a choice. I wear skinny jeans because they slim my silhouette but mostly because it gives me a bounce in my step. That little nudge to get out there and swing my narrow butt for the world to see. I know, the choice I’ve made. It’s neither good nor bad, it’s just the one I made for my body. It is, after all mine to do with as I please. Heck, some people even say that fat woman shouldn’t wearing slim fit jeans.

You can’t win. You might as well be happy.

Are you happy? How do you decide what to wear? Flattery or fun?  

  • Totally Awesome Post! I love it. I am happy with how I look. I am over the moon with how I feel. Right now I am loving stepping out of my comfort zone and trying different looks and styles because I can and slowly but surely I am becoming much more confident about stepping outside and working it. Tatum xx

    • Thank you Tatum. I certainly know what you mean when you say happy with how you look, loving how you feel. Work it lady. Work it.

  • Skinny jeans for all! Have you ever read Wendy Brandes’ blog Melissa? She’s a jewellery designer in New York and is super cool and her motto is “wear what you want!”

  • I dress in what I like. After years of hearing the “rules” there is probably some residual left over bits picking stuff is flattering but really I don’t care anymore.I wear what I like. At 40 I now feel that I am finally included in fashion. And besides being the size I am it is not going to be hidden by something flattering anyway. Clothes don’t have magical powers. Well apart from making us feel good.

  • I say dress to please yourself. If it pleases you to dress in ways that flatter your body type or just plain “suit you”, so be it! I’ve never listened to rules – mainly because I never knew what body type I am!

    • Absolutely. You are so right on. I feel the same way. It turns out, I’m an inverted triangle. Huh. Who knew!?

  • Bek

    Totally agree! I used to be all about dressing for your shape years ago, but as I read body positive blogs I gradually became aware of how limiting that was. Wear what you like is far more my style now! I actually wrote about this if you don’t mind me sharing it: http://kikiandtea.com/2012/12/screw-the-fashion-rules/

    • I don’t mind you sharing it at all. Can’t wait to check it out myself. It is limiting and I think when you are saying no to something before you’ve tried it or love something and won’t wear it because it doesn’t flatter your shape, that’s a little sad.

  • Amy Wells

    I’m going to go against the grain here and say that I do dress to flatter my figure. If I saw something that i thought was beautiful or interesting on the rack, but when I tried it on it didn’t flatter me, I wouldn’t buy it, no matter how pretty a peice I thought it was. I just would not feel comfortable or confident at all if what I was wearing wasn’t flattering to my body. That’s just me personally thpough …

    • I think if you try it and it doesn’t work on your body, that’s a little different to not trying at all because you don’t think it will suit or are just following the rules. That’s my thought on it anyway. Love this. It’s the trying it thing that I love most.

  • I guess it depends on what your idea of “flattering” actually is! It means to enhance your appearance, but we all have varied ideas of what looks good and what doesn’t. When I was 14, I thought baggy brown corduroy “Humphrey Bear” pants enhanced my appearance [shudder]. There are some ideas which are more prevalent (e.g. cover fat arms with sleeves) but everyone has their own worldview of clothing and personal tastes. It keeps things fun 😉

    • Absolutely. Flattering to enhance and flattering to hide are two different ideas. And Humphrey pants, well they are something else all together. Haha.

  • Ok, first up, amazing post! Second, can’t believe you referred to ‘the normal kind’ of beautiful. I made a comment the other day about not being ‘normal’, in that I’m not one of those people who can actually buy the same size in tops and pants AND dresses. People were outraged! I like to assume that clothes are actually made for some average ratios…and it turns out that’s not me, and that’s fine. As to how to dress, I simply know certain shapes just won’t look any good on me, so I can marvel at it in a hanger, occasionally try it on, but ultimately I think we all have to go with what looks good plus what makes as happy…and I reckon most of the time, that’ll mean exactly the same thing!

    • Thank you. I know, normal kind of beautiful is a tough one. I’m not sure anyone actually fits it. Haha. I think if you wear what makes you happy, whatever that is, that’s what matters. 🙂

  • “You can’t win. You might as well be happy.” < *that*

    love your work x

  • Rhonda Hartman

    I love this post! I think I mostly just choose by what I feel good in lately. Sometimes it works with the current trends and other times not so much. Either way, I like it.

    • Thank you Rhonda, glad you enjoyed it. And wearing what you like is pretty great way to go about it.

  • Faith

    I think for me I follow my rules rather than the rules other people impose on me. Like, I will happily wear horizontal stripes and skinny jeans because I feel awesome in them. I love pencil skirts but they don’t look on me how they look on people with a different body shape. I have a big bum, wide hips and tummy apron (thanks to my 10lb baby!). The reality doesn’t live up to the fantasy and its disappointing so I choose something else.

    • I hear you when you say that the reality doesn’t live up to the expectation. Loud and clear. Don’t get too stuck in your own rules, I mean, look at me and peplum now. 😉

  • Housewife in Heels

    Great post. I think you should wear what makes you feel your best.

  • I agree!
    A lot of what I love the look of I haven’t touched because of how I presume I may look in it, or that it’s some rule that I can’t wear it, and a lot of the time when I just try it on I find that sometimes it looks completely fabulous and I’ve spent all this time saying no when I could have just given it a try.
    For the record, there is a lot I am supposed to wear that I don’t because I don’t like the look of it, or it’s uncomfortable. What you wear is art baby, and you have to express yourself through it!

    • Art baby. Indeed! Wear what you want to.

      Oh yeah, that happens to me all the time. I’m like eeeeew harem pants… Oh wait, awesome! Haha.

  • SpiikerKat

    I think I dress to flatter my figure, but not as per the prescribed “rules”, I do it based on what I think looks good on me, and what I feel good in. At a size 18, I wear shortish shorts, horizontal stripes, bold patterns and bright colours, but as long as I think I look good in them, and I feel good in them 🙂

    • The feeling good and the being happy in yourself is such an important thing I think.

  • Gi

    Hi! I just found your blog and all I can say is that you´ve won a new follower. As for this post, I used to dress according to “the rules” and sometimes still a couple of them pop up in my head when I´m out shopping, but as I´m getting close to 30, I´m more comfortable with my body and have the confidence of wearing what I like and makes me feel great. “You can´t win. You might as well be happy” -you said it all.

    • Welcome along for the ride Gi! I’m glad you enjoyed what you’ve seen so far. I just turned 30 this weekend and there is certainly something about it when it comes to being comfortable in your own skin. For sure. Thanks for the comment love. xo