5 Things to Consider About Fashion and Sizeism
I remember when I first saw the dress I’m wearing here- only way I could describe it is a coup de foudre! It was the perfect white dress: elegant but with a dose of sexy, a beautifully cinched waist and a darling pearl and gold circle detail that embodied finesse.
It was only available in Plus Sizes at the time!
Uugh, the drama! The frustration! The humanity! (OK, OK, I’m exaggerating for effect). But still, I couldn’t help but feel a searing unfairness at the whole thing. I knew I would look great in that wrap dress, so then why couldn’t I have it??
And that moment I came to a screeching realization:
This is probably what plus-size women feel ALL THE TIME. Knowing that they could look damn well in a certain look, but not having the size to buy it in available. Frustrating, to say the least…
Luckily, the dress became available in my size. But I was still inspired to delve deeper into the subject of fashion and sizeism. Now, as a regular sized gal, I’m not pretending to be able to exhaust or even know all the nuances of the subject. Not by a long shot!
But I have listed 5 things I think we should at least consider on the matter:
Fashion should be fun, empowering and for EVERYONE.
To begin with, I feel like our right to express ourselves through fashion needs to be universal. We should all be able to see ourselves in the mirror in an outfit we love, and smile from ear to ear!
Our physical abilities, weight and body shape should not be a factor in how much fun we feel we can have with fashion.
I’m not looking to start a discussion on what each individual chooses to do with their body. If you’ve been here before, you know my stance: I advocate for exercising regularly, eating well and supporting mental health. That is the lifestyle that brings me mental and physical balance- and one I know I’m lucky I can lead.
However, I just don’t think that these choices- or completely opposite ones for that matter- should make someone more or less eligible to be a fashion rock star!
Because you know why?
You can look stylish/ trendy/ fabulous at any size. Period.
The matter of looking good only when you’re a certain weight/ height combo is bogus imho. I see women with amazing style that flatters their figure every single day! And they range from short, curvy, tall, plump, wrinkly, skinny- you name it.
The key here?
It’s actually knowing your taste in clothes, understanding your body and learning what flatters you personally. So many women go through life figuring their bodies are somehow wrong because they don’t look good in a certain piece of clothing.
They get frustrated because a certain item doesn’t make them look like they pictured in their head. They want it so badly for a certain dress/ top/ pair of pants to make them feel beautiful- and it just doesn’t. Which means that in turn, they’re disappointed.
But the truth is, everyone looks their best in a certain fit and cut. Everyone has a certain look, a certain set of prints, colours- a certain style- that makes them look incredible! So I say: why not search for that, instead of struggling to look your best in absolutely everything?
Focus on highlighting your favorite features.
Going back to my previous point of finding your best look- this is a key little secret. It’s a small shift in mentality, in how you view yourself- but one that brings on massive results! It’s one of the best lessons in Sophie Claire’s French Chic– and a principle I wholeheartedly subscribe to.
Because I feel like the moment we start thinking about choosing clothes that highlight our best features instead of hiding or camouflaging flaws, we take a huge step forward. Not only in taking our style to a whole new level, but also in our journey of self love and body positivity.
It’s really important to get to know ourselves, and to get to know our best features. You can do it in front of a mirror, or by sifting through pictures. Just look at yourself with an objective and kind eye.
Notice which features you like best, and make the conscious effort to start highlighting them. In time, you will feel a lot more confident and happy than if you spent every single moment trying to hide or correct any perceived flaws.
You should alter clothes to fit you.
Not the other way around! I truly hope the days of starving ourselves to fit into a certain size are on their way out. And I do strongly believe that altering clothes is key when it comes to looking amazing in them. A tip that applies to all sizes, by the way!
Finding a great tailor will change your life- especially if you have trouble fitting items off-the-rack. And yes, I know they cost money. Probably more than you think, if they’re really good.
But hear me out here!
If you buy something and never wear it because it fits wrong, that’s money down the drain. There’s no value for you in an item that gets pushed farther and farther away in your dresser.
But if you do buy an item that you love AND have it fitted to your dimensions- that will be a piece to wear forever. Now I’m not saying you need to alter T-shirts- but everything from denim, to blazers, coats, dresses (even fast-fashion ones) can be whipped into perfection!
The industry is changing.
More and more brands are becoming size inclusive, and solutions to make shopping easier are multiplying. One of the best ones that I heard of lately from stylediary.ro is Zozo- an app designed to help elevate our online shopping experience.
With the help of a sensor-laden suit, you will be able to scan yourself from head to toe, and allow the app to create your virtual avatar! This way, you will be able to see exactly how you would look in certain outfits online.
Unfortunately, this app can only be used for Zozo’s own website for now. But I think it’s a sign that great things are coming in the fashion world!
Alright, alright! I’ve shared mine, now you share yours: I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject! How do you experience your relationship with fashion in terms of sizing?
What do you think we as consumers should do to improve the current situation? Let me know below!
Photos by Natalia Bylok, edited by me
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Yolin Natalie (@JolienNathalie)
I sometimes feel bad as a regular sized person that I buy from brands who aren’t inclusive. I don’t have a curvy body and I used to find it difficult to find clothing that was flattering for my body type, when I finally did find the perfect pieces they turned out to be from companies that weren’t making all people feel beautiful or feel good about themselves. I’m glad the industry is changing but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
@JoelienNathalie, you are completely right. It’s often difficult to find clothes that you like, that fit you and highlight your best assets, and that are at the same time size-inclusive and/or environmentally & socially conscious. It’s a goal of mine to shop more and more from these brands- but for the time being, I supplement my regular shop buys with vintage & pre-loved items as well.
Some stores are embracing plus size women but some still have a far ways to go! I wish they would realize we like the same clothes as other women! But just is a different size!
That’s very true- things are changing, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. I think we, as consumers, can also do our part by supporting size-inclusive brands whenever possible.