I talk a lot about traditional figure flattery. In no small part because that’s what you folks tell me interests you, and because the questions you have are typically very specific and include topics not covered by style books and magazines. I find it fascinating to learn about the challenges you face in dressing your personal best, and love to explore options with you.
I’m also fascinated by the F*ck Flattering movement which was more or less sparked by a tee shirt designed by Gisela Ramirez, and have read with interest the responses to this conscious rebellion against fashion rules and dressing norms. In common use, “flattering” means something that “makes your body appear tall, thin, balanced, and hourglass-shaped.” It also implies limiting jiggle, covering cellulite, wrinkles, and scars, keeping a large bust in check, and lots of control-related mandates. Traditional ideas of figure flattery are rooted in a very narrow beauty ideal, tied to the male gaze and heteronormativity, and extremely exclusionary. Looking past the obvious sizeism, consider that some petite women will never appear tall and some thin women will never appear hourglassy. “Flattering,” in common use, tries to force a marvelously diverse population of women into a very specific idealized shape.
Originally posted 2013-07-22 06:02:00.
Commando brand tights via Nordstrom
Reader H e-mailed me this request:
I’m writing to you today because I am FED UP with a fashion problem that has been plaguing me for years: tights. Pantyhose are The Devil, but I love skirts and I love wearing them in the winter, so tights are a necessity. I know that you’ve already covered your own struggles with the dreaded segmented worm syndrome, and the ways you’ve worked around it, but I still haven’t found a solution that works for me.
Originally posted 2013-02-15 06:08:49.
Reader Ilujna e-mailed me this request:
You’ve done balancing a long torso and downplaying hips but I was wondering if you could do something on short torsos? I’ve got “great” hips (ie they’re quite large), long legs, no torso and broad shoulders. I seriously look like a Sailor Moon character when I wear pants (because my navel is just that high and due to my hips I can’t wear pants lower than they’re designed) so I just don’t wear pants. Since my torso is so squat and I have those annoying internal organs jammed into a small space, there’s no definition to my waist. If it weren’t for the hips, I’d have no curves at all. I also have trouble wearing wide belts because my lack of a torso means if I wear a belt with anything that has a waistband the belt ends up squashed, unpleasantly, between the waistband and my breasts.
Originally posted 2012-05-21 06:12:53.