Friday, July 19, 2013

Clothes and other things that (don't) fit

In the last couple of day, something sad but amazing dawned on me.

I found out the reason why I wore men's clothing when I was younger and why it took me so long to look and dress more feminine.

The annoyingly simple answer is:

I didn't know how to.

It was not something intuitive to me.

I was completely clueless.

I remember going shopping with my sister at the stores she liked, and she would know what to get for herself.

Just like that.

She would know what looked good, what fit, what went with what, what colours, what styles.

But I had no idea.

First, none of the clothes that jumped at me fit. So I developed a bad body image, thinking that I was too fat to look good in "normal" clothes. 

No one had told me not to shop at the skinny people's stores but to go to the curvy women's stores/sections.

Then, I also had no idea what colours suited me, how to combine materials, what styles there were and what clothes and materials would fit my figure.

And so, I was clueless as to how to shop for clothes that fit me, made me look feminine, and that gave me confidence in my appearance.

But I still needed clothes.

So I bought men's clothing.

Those always fit and they were cheap and you could buy them everywhere.

And that's what I did for a few years, pretty much throughout university. This not only affected the way I'd dress, but many other things.

Before leaving university in December, I decided to get curly hair. I don't know what drove me to do that, but that's where it all changed.

That year, for new years eve I went to a party with my sister and a friend from uni.

I still have the picture of me and my fabulous outfit. I never felt so beautiful and fantastic before. Hair, makeup, earrings, necklace, low cut shirt, belt, pants and shoes. All very feminine and fitting me well.

But that was only one outfit, something to wear for special occasions... I still had the rest of the time to deal with.

So, I moved on from men's clothing to jeans and a shirt. It was a step up, but still not feminine or complementary to my figure.

A few months later when I moved to Korea, my fashion sense, if you want to call it that, and my sense of self got influenced by a whole new bunch of things.

Again I didn't fit and was bigger than most of the people I knew and saw, at least that's how it felt. Again I couldn't find any clothes that fit me or that made me look and feel good.

I didn't think about it very much, didn't do much shopping either, but just made due with the shirts and t-shirts I had.

I eventually got some nicer things when I'd travel to Thailand, so the winter and summer vacations became my favorite time of the year because I could wear nice thing that made me feel like a beautiful woman.

Things have changed lately. My priorities have changed. This last year I've spent a bit more money and I've been shopping at an international store that sells larger women's clothing. This way I've been able to buy some very pretty clothes. 

So, looking back, this has been a very long and difficult learning experience.

I wish someone would have sat me down when I was younger and would have told me that solid colours are my thing, that my hair up in a ponytail is not a good look for me, that dresses and skirts look good but that I should wear something underneath so as to not chafe, that skinny jeans do look good on me and bell-bottoms not so much. I wish someone would have told me all these things and more, things that I've only managed to learn now, in my late 20s.

Now I'm looking forward to go back to Canada and try to find clothes that suit my shape, my taste and my budget.

Next, I might tackle swimwear, or makeup and facial products. But I don't know, that might take another 10 or 20 years if I keep going at this pace.


Liv said...

OMG Dana... You know how when we were younger, I was considered "girlie"? I actually wasn't... not really! Only about a couple of years ago, I've started to pay more attention to the type of dresses and shirts and pants to wear. At the end of the day, it's all a trial and error, especially when you have NO clue what fits you best.

This show, was awesome: It's called "What Not To Wear" and it airs on TLC here in Toronto. These guys are brutal but they REALLY know what you're doing wrong and they CAN help you in so many ways. Anyhow, I seriously can't wait to have you back so we can chat about these things! :)

Here's a link for you to check out:

Anonymous said...

Dana, I'm glad to hear that you are interested now b/c when you were younger you didn't seem to care much, so I never took the time to talk to/show you these things. But now that you're coming back I can definitely organize a 'Fashion Boot Camp' for you!! Haha! And I totally agree with Liv, the show 'What not to wear' is totally awesome and educational (even for me). Can't wait to start/continue your fashion education.