anti fit fashion

Lately I’m all about the slouchy, comfy, anti-fit. It would be easy to say its due to my hectic toddler life, or post-partum body issues, but since neither is really a fact or even a thing, I can’t.

It’s mainly just an aesthetic choice, but handily, also a feminist one: if bodycon is about showing off your shape to induce envy and enjoyment, anti-fit fashion is giving zero fucks about everybody else’s opinion. It’s opting out of the male-gaze mentality that has seeped into our subconscious. It’s wearing what feels good and fits your life, and I love that so much I almost want to print it on a(n oversized) t-shirt.
 
Bloggers have talked quite a lot in the last few years about ‘uniforms’ – the radical notion of wearing the stuff that works for you every day. I think in the end we all invariably do this anyway, except most of us keep enough other stuff hanging in our wardrobe to kid ourselves that we’re far more varied and fascinating than we actually are.
My life is thankfully slower and less varied since I quit my job, and now my clothing gets to match: hareem pants, skinny jeans, long drapey tees, leggings and dresses. Grey, black, white, nude. Rinse and repeat.  Occasionally get fancy with some spangly shoes.
 
It’s taken me 31 years, but I think I finally know how to dress for myself. I don’t care if it doesn’t impress anyone, or show how tiny my waist is, or elicit sexually offensive comments from men outside takeaways (be still my beating heart). Actually, I kind of like that it doesn’t.
Still, it’s easy to be drawn in. Trying on two prospective dresses in front of R – one a shapeless smock, the other a fitted skater, we both immediately agreed that the latter looked better on me. That feels like a fact, but only because we’re conditioned to seek certain shapes when appraising female figures. This pressure does not exist for men, and in other cultures it’s different for women too.
  
 
 
 
Of course, it’s impossible to be truly silent in the language of fashion. A secret code shared by all Topshop-literate women, we read an outfit like the words emblazened on a billboard – instantly and without intention. So to other women, a minimalist, anti-fit outfit does still talk, but I like to think it says, ‘oh hi, I have excellent self esteem today! The coffee here is great by the way, and aren’t these all nice shades of grey? Not like the book though, obviously. Grim.
 
To further my commitment to fuck-free-fashion, for the first time in a long time, I’m going fringe-free. It was growing out anyway, and eff it all, I can’t be arsed with four cans of dry shampoo just to keep it looking clean til lunchtime. Yes, my forehead is on the large side – that’s probably because my brain is too, and if you’d like to talk about it I will happily eviscerate you in argument to prove my point. Not you, dear reader, but imagined insulter in coffee shop who – let’s be honest – will probably never exist, & if he did would be unlikely to notice me in my denim muumuu and clogs anyway.
 
Twenty years of makeup-application and hair-curling and thousands of pounds worth of disappointing disposable beauty products, all down the drain in order to feel publicly acceptable. It bores me now. I’ve got too much to do. 
 
 I still dress up, of course, and still try to pull pretty out of the bag when it suits, but it feels more like a choice these days. Slouch over ouch. Stretch before fetch? Hmm. This part needs work, but it’s definitely true.
 

Do you make a conscious choice to wear clothes that flatter? Have you ever had to step away from a trend because of your body shape, or do you wear whatever you like? (& can you help me think of a catchphrase, please…? )

  • lou @ Littlegreenshed

    Are you still using your ‘shaver’? Teehee. Amen lady! I love a loose linen number or floaty frock. And I like wearing trainers with tights. High heels and me have never got on.

    • Bahaha! The luna mini? Yes – it broke for a while, and my skin was noticeably worse without it. I’m going to say clear skin is just a health thing and not a vanity thing though… *convincing face*. Yes to trainers – I am always amazed when I wear a pair at the level of comfort most men get to experience every damn day!

  • Nicola

    I’m at a stage where I feel my wardrobe is both flattering and comfortable but I’m also aware that my standard for ‘flattering’ has lowered over the years and the twenty something me would probably be horrified. But I’m happier now than I was then so who really cares.

    However, I have had to abandon a trend – tunic style dresses ( because I have big boobs and I look like Denis Roussos in dresses with no waist.

    So If I see a woman in a coffee shop wearing a muumuu and clogs I usually find myself admiring her style and wishing I had the guts ( and body shape) to dress like that.

    • I just wanna pop in and say I LOVE the last part of this comment.

      • hear hear! / here here! (I never know which…) x

    • Ha! This is so true – my twenty-something self would be silently weeping if she saw me right now. Giving less of a crap is definitely one of the lovelier gifts of growing older.
      I TOO have the big boob Denis Rousos look going on – the boobs act like ski slopes and take the fabric up and out, and never back in. I wear them anyway these days, but I’m not going to advise you to do the same as iy might not be entirely sensible of me! xx

  • My eyes immediately went to 12! I totally have these in black. I love your line: “It bores me.” I totally, 100% get this. I have spent far too much of my time trying to fit into social norms and squeeze into “acceptable” standards to even care anymore. I wear what I want, when I want, and how I want. If that’s jeans and a t-shirt, fine. If that’s sweatpants and an oversized hoodie, deal with it, general public. I have a child + a blog + a blogging magazine. Ain’t nobody got time for your expectations.

    • Yes! I could live in slouchy jersey hareems and die happy. As long as they buried me in them too, of course… 😉
      ‘Deal with it, general public’ and ‘ain’t nobody got time for your expectations’ need to go on t-shirts in my imaginary sassy slogan clothing line, asap! x

  • I kinda wear what ever I like which tends to be lots of clashing patterns, leggings and a skirt and a looser fitting top. Life it too short to wear clothes your not comfortable in I say :)

    • Well this sounds like an awesome wardrobe, and an even better mantra. Totally with you on both counts x

  • My whole wardrobe is by Cos at the moment, I bloody love it!! I’m 41 and don’t give a stuff any more. So two fingers up to tight and uncomfortable and a big round of applause for well cut but slouchy clothes. Being happy within your own skin is the answer and I think I’m winning and having grey hair is helping!! Jx

    • Yes! When did Cos get so unbeatable?! I need it all! Realising all the smoke and mirrors don’t really matter is such a brilliant gift of aging. I’m still hoping to be one of those 95 year old women who doesn’t care what ANYONE thinks and just goes around declaring outrageous truths at people… 😉 x

  • Lorna Fay

    This post is oh so refreshing and very welcome.

    I have inevitably reached that stage in my late twenties where I’m suddenly feeling the need to define who or what I am but is it really necessary? Isn’t one of lifes little joys taking your time on a journey of self-discovery?

    I feel clothes and self-image go hand in hand with this journey and the shoes you have to walk it in. Well, heels to be more precise. Heels are the one thing I have happily waved goodbye to because they hurt and they always ruin your fun. Yes, they’re pretty but is it worth it? I don’t think so.

    Your completely right that you HAVE to dress for yourself, even if it means going against the so called grain created by what the world believes we should be.

    A big fat round of applause for you and your honesty!!

  • Sheona

    Fantastic! I’m so proud of you!

    I think I need to learn to care a little less. I mean, I work with children. Do they give a shit what I wear? Of course not. However, they would benefit from me feeling more comfortable and giving less fucks. I think I just need to figure out what I do feel comfortable in!

  • Hannah

    I can totally relate to this- absolutely everything I own is oversized! And I have also let my fringe grow out because having to go to the hairdressers every 3 weeks because I can’t see anything and am constantly walking into things is not my idea of fun!

  • In one move toward comfort over fashion, I started wearing sports bras a whole more than the other kind. Also no more thongs, gee whiz, why did I ever?!