I didn't feel drawn to any of the other areas, and though I guess this topic is a fairly typical pre-occupation of many women (I feel a bit sexist saying so), it really is the main motivation that got me starting sewing again.
So here are my reflections on prompts from Coletterie:
- In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing?
Alot! When I am slimmer I tend to wear less lycra and jersey clothing in favour of fitted clothes and woven fabrics. At the moment I'm carrying quite a bit of weight so there are relatively more pairs of leggings and longer baggier t-shirts than I would ever wear when I'm a few stone lighter. This is the case for a couple of reasons:
- I find fitted clothes more uncomfortable. This might be down to me not buying the correct sized clothing out of shame, therefore they are "more" fitted than they would be otherwise.
- I carry weight around my top half. I also like to cover up as much of the top and middle part of my body with silhouette hiding shapes as possible as I carry the most amount of weight in this area. However my legs (from mid thigh down) tend to stay relatively slim so I don't mind tight leggings.
I actually prefer more tailored looks and fitted clothing but if there are any risks of lumps being exposed I reach for the lycra and the baggy tops. When I'm slimmer I do also get my legs out a bit more as these are probably my most reasonable feature and I feel less like a round lollipop if I'm not carrying the weight around my hips.
I generally have quite a balanced figure even if I don't have much of a defined waist; my chest and hip measurements are proportionate in both the slimmer and fatter versions of me but I do have silly tiny ankles and wrists and disproportionately large upper arms and thighs so anything that exposes flesh has to stop mid thigh and preferably 3/4 down the arm (cap sleeves are not my friend as they serve to highlight the fattest area of my arm and sleeveless is definitely a no-no!).
- What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in?
I never used to wear slim legs trousers or jeans,especially in the nineties and noughties when the style was for bootleg and wide leg, but also because I have wide thighs and hips in proportion to my ankles so have always felt like a lollipop in this shape. But, in the last couple of years I've actually found I can wear a style of slim leg due to having slimmer calves, as long as the hip seating is right. I also like dresses and skirts that draw attention away from my upper body, to my pins.
The only bit of my upper body I don't mind so much is my neck; I have a fairly long neck and though I used to wear a lot of polo necks I realise now I probably didn't do myself any favours in doing so! I feel best in boat or deep but narrow necklines, possibly because both balance out my wide shoulders.
Any tops that finish above my hip line, a big no no! I've never ever been a fan of crop tops as I have a sticky out belly and I just don't like how it looks. High-waisted trousers also seem to serve only to emphasise my rounded tummy so avoid like the plague, and as much as I love the idea of accessorising with pretty coloured belts I just can't seem to wear them well!
- What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?
I used to have an almost entirely black wardrobe and now I own literally 1 item of black clothing (a lace dress I made for a Christmas party); not even black trousers or a skirt. I just don't like it and I think it washes me out as I have a very pale skin tone. I find it strange how I used only to wear this colour and now I avoid it at all cost.
Oh yes, one final pet hate - boxy shapes. I think because I have broad shoulders and a fairly wide waist the last thing I need is a boxy shape to make me look more apple shaped. I've recently made a beautiful linen jacket which I'm really proud of but the fitting is terrible on me. I think the shoulders are too broad and the waist, too wide (despite using the pattern to fit my measurements), the result ending up like a commission for the Miami Vice costume department, gutted! For the record, I may post about this jacket at some point as I really want help fixing it!!
So I hereby declare the inaugural Wardrobe Architect Programme officially underway,and look forward to a more rational and coordinated wardrobe in 2015.