|Quelques Parisiennes in their natural habitat. Note the (mostly) sensible shoes.|
It was rather serendipitous, Duchesse's post yesterday at Passage Des Perles. (When A French Woman Gains Weight.) Duchesse spoke of her French friend, Laurence, who had gained a little weight and gone up a couple of sizes, but has changed her style of dressing not a whit. Shunning voluminous "camouflage" clothing, she still seeks out the kind of items she's always worn, in a proper fit for her new size.
Serendipitous, because some outfit photos I took over the weekend have really brought home just how much of my wardrobe is comprised of camouflage clothing, and how much I'm still dressing to hide my shape. What looks "soft and draping" in the mirror shows up in the camera lens as "schooner under full sail."
A bit of history: my mother, dismayed by my ronde form, was always on the lookout for clothes that would hide my stomach and bottom, until my teen years when she decided that making me squeeze into clothing a size too small would encourage me to lose weight. When I was old enough to rebel (and buy my own clothing) I let my inner Hippie Chick have a good deal of latitude. Ponchos, wrap skirts, denim overalls and prairie dresses became my best clothing friends.
Flash forward a few decades: finding fitted clothing for a curvy 5'1" body is downright difficile. It's often been easier to rely on flow and drape to skim over my curves than hunt down those few pieces that are cut well (or can be altered) to fit my form. I've learned to avoid the most obviously voluminous items that unequivocally swamp me (the word "cascading" has become a red flag) but need to pay as much attention to fit as I've learned to pay to quality and construction.
Comfort is still important to me. A little stretch is a good thing. ;-) But the more tent-like garments have got to go. As Duchesse's friend says, "you can run, but you can't 'ide." And maybe it's time to check out some (gentle) shapewear too.
Bien dans ma peau means acknowledging my current shape and working with it, not trying to hide it. Very few of us have a "perfect" shape (whatever that is) but we so often feel shame for what is just natural and beautiful human variety. Rather, let's focus on health, well-being and acknowledging our unique beauty by dressing our bodies well.
How about you? Do you gravitate toward clothing that hides your shape? Or are you a stickler for fit?