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Posts Tagged ‘dress for yourself’

Princess Bel Air -01
( Photo courtesy of Akaporn Bhothisuwan )

Dressing for yourself was a topic I was going to write about on Saturday night, but after I had gotten an unexpected surprise, I abandoned that topic for the one I ended up writing about.

It is interesting how life is. When there is a topic that needs discussing, reminders keep popping up at you and urging you to talk about it. Urging you to share your views. The final catalyst for me sitting down and writing about this topic today was this post by Ellie (my virtual friend of many years) at Insomniac Mummy.

The lesson to myself about dressing for yourself first popped into my head on Saturday when I was walking home from Synagogue hand in hand with my husband. I have a lost a bit of weight recently, but I am still not as fit as I would like to be. I say fit and not thin because all I really want is to feel good in my clothing and look good in them.

Now to digress and give some background before my epiphany.

Much to my mother’s chagrin, I don’t really have a sense of style or much taste in clothing. Generally that doesn’t bother me as long as I think I look good and I feel comfortable in what I am wearing.

So what is the problem? My sense of style or rather my lack of a sense of style is problematic when it comes to the shopping. I don’t have the eye my mother or my sister (middle sister, cause youngest one is as clueless as me) have where they can tell before trying something on whether it would look good on them. So instead I suffer search through the racks and the piles hoping to find something that I like and that will also look good on me. Needless to say I spend many hours wandering aimlessly shopping in way too many stores.

Clothes barn
(Photo courtesy of Christian Guthier ) Btw-this photo is not me although it can be mistaken for me.

Add to the equation the fact that here in Israel they don’t know what petite sizes are. Petite sizes are non existent. As in not a single petite size anywhere. Anyone who knows me in real life probably just sputtered their drink all over the screen because NO I do not look petite. Funny though, it seems my torso is short and that means petite shirts hang better and look better on me. They fall in the right place so that my hips don’t look as wide as they really are. By the way-that was a tip my mother taught me about myself that I never in a million years would have figured out on my own.

To be honest though, even when I am visiting the States and I shop there where petite sizing is in abundance, I still get overwhelmed.

Comfort is also a big issue for me. I am not one for feeling physically uncomfortable in my clothing. I can’t stand the feel of wool. I will put up with certain types of pantyhose if I have to, but the minute I can I will be peeling them right off.

ASSets
(Photo courtesy of Pam and Frank ) These pantyhose btw are great at reducing fat bulges. Too much info eh?

So why did I just explain all of that in this long winded digression? It was my explanation of why, although my closet is full of clothing, I never seem to find anything to wear. Because having clothing that fit you requires shopping.

Another part of the problem is that unfortunately I have yoyo-ed in weight for many years. So some of my stuff is too big, some too small. I also have the annoying (to my husband) habit of getting rid of my “fat” clothing when I lose weight. Every time I have done this I have of course whole heartedly stated that no way was I ever going to gain weight again. At this point my husband just nods as he rolls his eyes when I make that statement. That’s not to say that he doesn’t wish for me to succeed, of course he does.

Your weight indicates your health
( Photo courtesy of Ben Ostrowsky )

So my closet is right now full of all different sizes clothing. Some of the shirts look good on me, some of the skirts do, some of the pants (for you Brits trousers) do, but amazingly even when I try to pair a shirt that looks good on me with a skirt that looks good on me the result is less than appealing.

So back to Saturday. I wrecked went through my whole closet and amazingly enough came up with a skirt and shirt combo that I thought looked good on me. I didn’t see any rolls of fat too evident and overall I thought I looked nice. It was a skirt I hadn’t worn in ages because up till now I hadn’t fit back into it.

By the way I need to digress again and take a minute and ponder why it is that people feel the need to buy clothing 2 sizes too small and completely unflattering? It is one thing if you have gained weight and are just trying to shove your body into clothing that doesn’t fit (been there , done that too many times). It is yet another when you think skin tight clothing, 2 sizes too small on a “generous” body is attractive. Hmm, but then again maybe they are just dressing for themselves. Or maybe no one ever cared enough to give them some guidance.

Okay now that I finished being judgmental and got that out of my system…back to the story.

So I went to meet hubby at the Synagogue and we walked home together. Generally I know right away if he likes what I am wearing because I will get a nice comment and an appreciative smile. I also usually know if he doesn’t like what I am wearing because I can see it on his face and he will tell me. So on this particular day it was neutral. So I asked. He said it was okay-not his favorite. I was okay with that.

Had this been a year or two back, that might have really given my self esteem a hit. What I have learned only relatively recently is that if I am okay with something, I don’t need someone else’s approval to make me feel okay about myself.

Sure everyone wants to look good and everyone wants other people to think they look good as well. So the question is: are you dressing for yourself or are you dressing for other people and what they think looks good on you?

Even deeper of a question: are you dressing for what you think that other people think looks good on you? That last question was a bit of a brain teaser but basically many times we have whole conversations with other people in our minds and we don’t ever really ask them their opinion. We assume they are thinking a certain way, in our minds we respond to that, then in our minds they respond to what we responded to….and so it goes.

Sometimes we are correct in our assumptions that we make about what others are thinking. Many other times we are dead wrong. Sometimes we just have to ask opinions (from people you trust and who are honest and not hurtful).

I am not saying never to take into account what someone who loves you says. Sure I would rather wear something my husband likes on me-as long as I like it as well. But sometimes whether because of a lack of other choices or because I actually really like an outfit, I might wear something my husband or someone else doesn’t like. In that case, too bad. (Sorry hun, I still love you loads.) I liked it and I have to dress first and foremost to please myself. If I happen to be silly enough to ask for an opinion, then by all means I am fair game.

I think basically like everything in life, dressing for yourself comes down to working on your self confidence. Something which is a never ending journey, but the good news is that we get better at it as the time goes by.

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