Clothes and I have a very limited relationship. I wear them, they are comfortable, occasionally they sport a colour, but mostly it’s black. I wear form-fitting items seldom, although I am almost always in skinny jeans. I feel uncomfortable in skirts, and the idea of a ‘Marilyn Monroe’ moment fills me with cold shuddering dread. Jumpers are my only accessories. I wear them baggy and in strange patterns. I do not do well in summer.
I have found clothing combinations that feel good to me, but I am very aware that they are often not particularly fashionable, or particularly flattering.
Fashion is a word that brings to mind elegance and sophistication, and always reminds me that I don’t really fit in.
While I may not care what most people think, I still feel pressure to fit in to the norm.
Growing up, my style icons were few. They included Rory from ‘Gilmore Girls’, although I think her seemingly effortless journey through life swayed me more than what she wore.
I’ve also always struggled with the idea of being ‘girly’.
If we’re going to be stereotypical, I can say that I don’t mind the colour pink, but anything frilly or paired with a skirt completely turns me off. As a child this bothered me a lot, feeling that somehow I wasn’t ‘a proper girl’ because skirts and pastel shades weren’t for me. Sometimes it still concerns me, as if I am somehow less of a woman because of that.
In recent years, I’ve seen that femininity comes in many forms. The women I love, and am lucky enough to call my friends, all have incredibly unique styles. Some dress on trend and others in their own style, and they all look fantastic. Next to them I tend to feel a little drab, big jumper pooling around me, but I have assurances from them that I look fab too.
Fashionable has always felt like a category that’s not for me, and feminine even less so. Yet, apparently I have a style and it is feminine because I’m the one wearing it. I’m learning that fashion can be what I want it to be.
The media is obsessed with what women wear. The slightly off colour joke of Stephen Fry at the BAFTAS toward Jenny Beavan’s outfit proves how far rooted this judgement of women can go, even if only for comedic purposes or a joke amongst friends.
The media tells me I should be dressing to impress, when really I’m dressed for bed.
The fact that some YouTuber’s (like Ingrid Nilsen) have now ben discussing this expectation of women makes my heart explode with joy (an expectation that is also most certainly a pressure for men). That most of them readily display their face in blogs and videos without makeup, and don’t feel the need to apologise for it, makes me feel like I do finally fit somewhere. I am normal; I am feminine, regardless of makeup or clothes.
If you’ve ever felt like a bit of an outsider for the things you wear, know that clothes and makeup are not necessarily there to define you. I may dress in ill-fitting jumpers, and never wear skirts, but I know me. I don’t have to prove anything by what I wear and neither should you.
If you enjoyed this article, why not check out ‘The Unrealistic Ideal Of Looking Picture Perfect All The Time‘?