Below you see two outfits that never hit the blog. They’re both perfectly fine outfits, but their main players – the dress and the utility vest – have long since been donated. Because while they may have fit just fine, they didn’t actually work for me.
I had been searching for a magenta dress with sleeves for ages. I wanted one I could wear on its own without layers. And when this one arrived and it fit, I was filled with glee. But after a handful of wearings I discovered that half-sleeves are not nearly warm enough for winter wear, and that the deep V in the back was a very pretty feature but left me totally freezing.
Even in warmish weather. The sleeves were pretty thick, so layering a blazer or jacket over the dress made me feel like a sausage. And possibly look like one. I was so excited that it fit, I didn’t give much thought to whether it had all of the characteristics I needed for it to work.
The utility vest was bought on sale for a pittance, and was a piece I’d seen and loved on other women. Again, it fit, so I committed to it and removed the tags. And after several wearings I realized that it hit me right where my hips are widest, drawing attention where I’d rather it weren’t placed. But perhaps more importantly, it didn’t mesh with my style or wardrobe.
It didn’t work with the dresses and skirts that were my mainstay a year or so ago, and it didn’t really work with my badass looks, either. I tried it in both mixes, and it just looked goofy. This outfit was as close as I got to making it work … but it still barely passed muster.
I spent much of my childhood hating the way clothes looked on my body and now, decades later, I can still be blinded by decent fit. If an item I’ve been wanting and seeking out fits me well, I will sometimes buy it before thinking through exactly how and when it will be worn. Because it fits! When I’m wearing it, I don’t look at myself and see a potato sack full of live weasels! REJOICE!
It took me many, many missteps to figure it out, but now I try to seek a good fit and also think more carefully about how new items will function within my wardrobe. I still bung it up sometimes, but I’m learning. And if I have any doubts, I’m more likely to attempt to create at least three outfits around a new item before I remove tags.
Do you find yourself with items that fit but don’t work? Are you like me, and just over the moon when something fits and looks good?
Any tips for gauging whether or not a new piece will actually work?
main image: leather fashion fashionista // cc
Originally posted 2015-05-04 06:55:31.