A lot of advice about clothing and fit seems to include advice like “the best place to start is with something that you love that fits you well”. To be frank, if I could find clothes that fit me well and that I loved, I wouldn’t be reading advice.
Furthermore, ideas about what “looks good” are not universal. This project is partly about articulating what I mean by that for myself. I’m definitely not in the “hiding figure flaws” camp which is what the majority of fashion advice was when I was a teen and learning this stuff.
This blog project is about exploring the central issues:
- becoming more aware of what I look like
- becoming more aware of how my clothes affect what I look like
- exploring “fit”
- exploring “style”
I’m starting with photographs/selfies of myself in various things I already own. This involves learning how to take better selfies. (I have been inspired by my friend Kyeli’s explorations of self and identity using selfies. I also note that Amy Herzog recommends taking photos of oneself in her book Knit to Flatter.)
I welcome comments that help me with this exploration. I have a few rules though and will delete anything that doesn’t follow the rules.
Not even positive judgement. That means you can’t write “That looks great.” even if you think it.
I am trying to learn what “looking great” or “looking awful” (and all the gradations in between) mean for me. I do not think there is a universal standard. It’s great that you are clear on what those mean for you, but that doesn’t help me.
In addition to good/bad judgements, I’m also not interested in feminine/masculine judgements. Or old/young judgements.
It’s like when your math teacher wanted to “see your work” and you thought “but I’ve got the right answer, what difference does it make?” Only in this case there is no “right” answer. I want to know what you see that helped you come to whatever judgement/answer you come to (without telling me your judgement/answer).
This is not a project about self-esteem. I’m fine. Really. I’m 50, well past the age where I give a damn what other people think. This is me trying to figure out what “wear whatever you like” means for me.
I am learning how to see. I would like some help seeing what’s there. This may seem crazy, especially to those who have these skills of seeing fashion, style and bodies. It probably feels natural to you to see what you see. You might find it easy to pick out outfits you like that suit your body (even if the manufacturers don’t always produce the stuff you want).
Let me reassure you. This is a skill. A skill I’m trying to get better at.
What is helpful is knowing what strikes people about a particular outfit. Things like “That top really draws attention to your bust.” or “This colour makes your face look …” or whatever are SUPER helpful.
Your first thought may be a judgement but I bet there is something specific that is making you think that. Try to think through your own thought process and explain it to me, leaving off your conclusion. Do not assume that “draws attention to your bust” or whatever is a good thing or a bad thing. And whatever you think of that, leave that bit out of your comment.
I’m okay with things like “hides your waist” or “makes [insert body part here] look smaller/bigger”. Those are factual observations. They do often come with judgements and sometimes the judgements are unspoken. However, in this context as long as you keep your judgement to yourself, I’m more than happy to hear the factual observation part.
Focus on parts
I’m assuming that nothing I own is going to hit all the right buttons for me or anyone else. I don’t mind if you only talk about one thing — the neckline, the shape, the length, the fabric pattern, the colour, whatever.
It all helps me see things I might not otherwise see. And it helps me figure out components that I might want to look for in things I buy or put in things I make for myself.
I’ll try and post my first photo post soon.