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I've spent a lot of time talking to smart feminists about clothes. Most of the women I am close with are pretty intentional about their style. I don't have many "Oh I just throw on whatever all the time" friends. (I don't think! Correct me if I'm wrong. It's just that y'all look so cute all the time.)

I don't read fashion magazines because they make me feel bad about myself, and I don't read fashion blogs because I usually forget they exist or can't handle the writing. But I do like looking at outfits and thinking about outfits. And I have watched an entire season of Project Runway in a week and a half.

I like shopping with friends and getting their opinion on clothes I am trying on. Sometimes I take their advice and sometimes I ignore it. But part of this feedback often involves something being described as "flattering" or not. As littlegirltoast pointed out to me when I talked to him about this, traits that you might appear to have when wearing something "unflattering" would describe what someone else looks like all the time. I was wondering if it's possible to use the word "flattering" in a body-positive context! I want to know what you think.

Because flattering is usually used to mean some variation of "slimming", right? Or at least "smoothing". I guess there are also ways that it's used about complexion, too? Like there are for sure colours that make me look like I have never slept in my life. robotropolis made me stop wearing them.

Speaking of Robo! I also found myself really enjoying reading her entries about trying to get in a new morning routine for herself. One of the things she said that I related to was "7:15 - 7:45 Shower. Blow dry hair, do not let run amok. Apply minimal makeup and use jewelry like a grownup." I don't think she means "Like a grownup ought to" so much as "In order to pass as a grownup". I do feel more "put together" when I've got earrings or a necklace on. ladykutenay talks about long hair being part of her "costume", so maybe it's a bit like that?

But also I totally agree with kira_lynn about how it sucks that there are so many things women need to do to be "ready" for, say, a job interview. And onceupon wrote a great entry about eyebrows while I was writing this one.

SO! Internet! What do you think about all of this? Sample questions: Should we stop describing things as "flattering"? What sorts of things do you do, fashion-wise, to present as more adult? How do you feel about it?


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